A MAN has pleaded guilty to murdering Blackburn father-of-eight Steven Thurston.

George Preshur, 30, of Keele Walk, Blackburn, entered his guilty plea when he appeared before Mr Justice Clive Freedman QC at Manchester Crown Court on Friday.

Preshur’s co-accused Andrew Tait denies murdering Mr Thurston. Tait, 22, also of Keele Walk, Blackburn, will stand trial before the Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown, at Preston Crown Court on December 9.

Preshur will be sentenced at the conclusion of that trial.

Both Preshur and Tait, who appeared over video link from HMP Leeds, were remanded back into custody.

Police launched a murder inquiry after the body of Mr Thurston, 50, was found inside his home on Sussex Drive, Blackburn, at about 12.50am on June 6.

Preshur and Tait were arrested on suspicion of murder and subsequently charged.

A 52-year-old woman, from Blackburn, was also arrested in connection with the investigation but was released under investigation.

Prosecuting at an earlier hearing, Paul Brookwell, said Mr Thurston suffered a number of skull fractures.

A Home Office post-mortem examination concluded he died from significant head injuries.

Mr Thurston had lived in Blackburn all his life and studied at Longshaw Community Junior School before moving to the former Everton High School in Manxman Road. He had been homeless during spells of his life and had stayed in hostels.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, his sister, Linda Livesey, said Mr Thurston’s family were finding it hard to come to terms with his sudden death.

Mrs Livesey said: “He was very caring. If he had two cigarettes he would always give one away. That was the kind of person he was. He would be very kind to other people in his situation, to other homeless people.”

Preshur was given a 12-month community order in December 2018 after punching a doctor after claiming the practitioner had upset his mum.

Blackburn magistrates were told how on another occasion Preshur, who was described as having a short fuse, assaulted a shop assistant after being told he was already barred from the store. The murder puts Preshur in breach of a community order.