03/12/2004

Belfast man pleads guilty to attempted murder charge

A Belfast man charged with attempted murder has pleaded guilty at court today.

Gerard Donegan last week apologised for attacking Maurice McCracken in March 2003 with a hammer. The resulting injuries left the 56-year-old man severely brain damaged and unable to walk.

Mr Donegan, 23, changed his plea moments before he was expected to give evidence on his own behalf at Belfast Crown Court on Friday after his defence lawyer asked for the attempted murder charge to be put to his client again.

The accused had pleaded guilty to 15 offences, including causing grievous bodily harm to Mr McCracken in the early hours of 9 March 2003.

Yesterday, the attempted murder charge against Mr Donegan's brother Kevin Barry Moyna was dropped, when he pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Mr McCracken during the same incident.

(MB/SP)

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