The trial of two Ballymena men accused of trying to kill a man who was beaten and locked in a bin was dramatically halted today when they admitted lesser offences.
A jury was sworn in yesterday and the trial of Teri Lau (27), his girlfriend 21-year-old Paula Wilson and Roddy Patterson (27) was due to get underway at Antrim Crown Court today but instead, the indictment was amended and their lawyers asked for them to be rearraigned. The trio are pictured above.
The trio had been charged with trying to kill Adam Robinson and falsely and injuriously imprisoning him against his will on a date unknown between 1 - 4 September last year.
Instead Lau and Patterson admitted Mr Robinson’s false imprisonment and causing him actual bodily harm while Wilson pleaded guilty to “aiding and abetting, counselling or procuring” his false imprisonment.
Prosecuting QC Terence Mooney asked that the charge of attempted murder “remain on the file” and that the jury be discharged from reaching verdicts.
Previous courts have heard that having been seriously assaulted at a drink and drugs fuelled party in the town, Mr Robinson was dumped into a large bin in a wooded area at Sentry Hill and it was then taped shut on a scorching hot day.
He was eventually freed by a dog walker and taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries and although Mr Robinson has recovered well from his physical injuries, it is understood he has been left psychologically traumatised.
On Tuesday trial Judge Gordon Kerr QC adjourned passing sentence until 22 December by which time presentence probation reports and a victim impact statement will have been compiled and submitted.
Thanking the jury of eight men and four women for their attendance, he discharged them from their duties after ordering the foreperson to record verdicts of “guilty by confession” against Lau and Patteron in respect of the false imprisonment offence.
While Ballymena men Lau, from Dunclug Park and Patterson, from Glendun Drive were remanded into custody, Wilson was released on continuing bail in the meantime.