A 24-year-old man today admitted killing a paedophile by setting fire to his home in a vigilante attack.
Convicted pervert Andrew Heath, 52, was found dead in his burned-out city flat in the Warndon area of Worcester in the early hours of December 14, 2011.
Police revealed Mr Heath had five convictions for gross indecency and indecent assault against boys aged 14 to 17 as they hunted his killer.
His last conviction was in 1999, and the oldest was 28 years ago – with offences committed in Leicester and Birmingham.
Officers said they did not believe Mr Heath had offended since moving to Worcester in 2001 but admitted a vigilante attack was a line of enquiry.
Killer Daniel Martin, 24, pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Birmingham Crown Court.
Martin denied murdering Mr Heath on the grounds of a lack of intent – which was accepted by the prosecution.
Judge William Davis QC told Martin: “The prosecution have accepted your plea to the unlawful killing rather than the deliberate murder but that still is an extremely serious offence.
“Your council requests a psychiatric report and I shall grant that. You will be sentenced on July 26 and you will remain in custody in the meantime.”
Martin, wearing a dark suit with a white shirt, attempted to speak to his tearful friends and family in the public gallery during the ten-minute hearing.
He only spoke to confirm his name and plead not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.
The court heard three members of Martin’s family are due to go on trial accused of intending to pervert the course of justice in relation to Mr Heath’s death.
His mother Theresa Martin, sister Sarah Martin, and her partner Matthew Davies will be tried at Worcester Crown Court on June 19.
Three of Martin’s friends were also jailed for 14 months each in March this year after they talked about frightening witnesses in the case on the internet.
Marcus Taylor, 25, Gary Dayus, 26, and Thomas Barnes, 21, who billed their group as the “Warndon Manz”, warned about “getting the snitches” and running them out of town.
Taylor warned: “We will get a massive crew together and run them out of Worcester” before referring to taking one witness’s “head off”.
A message from Dayus threatened: “We’re going to find them” and Barnes replied: “Let’s get ’em.”
The trio were arrested in October last year and jailed at Worcester Crown Court for 14 months each.
Mr Heath had been a doorman in Birmingham before he moved to Worcester but suffered with heart problems and was not working at the time of the fire.
Martin was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on July 26.