Lancashire TelegraphBlackburn man's guilty plea to killing friend (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Blackburn man's guilty plea to killing friend

Lancashire Telegraph: MANSLAUGHTER Michael Cocker MANSLAUGHTER Michael Cocker

A BLACKBURN man has admitted the manslaughter of his friend.

Preston Crown Court heard Michael Cocker had previously been charged with murder after police were called to a flat in Fielding Crescent on November 13, last year.

Father-of-two Thomas Hill was found unconscious and covered in blood by his aunt, Helen Bunton, in a bedroom at the property just after 9am.

Mr Hill, who lived at Mrs Bunton’s house opposite the flat where he was found, had been socialising with friends before he was attacked, the court heard.

The 32-year-old suffered a brain haemorrhage, a fractured jaw, bruising to the his face and body as well as fractured ribs, prosecutors said.

Paramedics managed to revive him at the flat before he was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital. Doctors then took the decision to transfer the Glasgow born dad to the Royal Preston Hospital so he could receive specialist treatment for his head injuries. But he died three days later, the court heard.

Police launched a murder investigation and sealed off a 20-metre section of road outside the ground floor flat where Mr Hill was found.

Speaking shortly after Mr Hill was found, his cousin Roxanne Bunton, 25, said: “He was across the road at a friend’s house and my mum went over to wake him up to get him to go and sign on.

“She said she found him lying unconscious on the floor, but as he has a history of seizures, she thought that’s what had happened. Then she realised his face was covered in blood, and ran to a neighbour for help, knowing something worse had happened.”

Mr Hill, who has a son and a daughter who live in Glasgow, was described as ‘having a heart of gold’ by his family.

Cocker, 26, of Seascale Close, Blackburn, admitted the lesser charge of manslaughter which was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.

He was remanded on bail at Preston Crown Court until he is sentenced in April.

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