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Martial arts expert admits killing David

A MARTIAL arts expert has admitted stomping a Dublin backpacker to death during a party at a Melbourne boarding house where they both lived.

Luke James Wentholt (31), was due to go to trial for the murder of David Greene (30), from Cabinteely in Dublin but changed his plea when he appeared on a prison video link in the Supreme Court of Victoria today.

When the charge of murdering Mr Greene on August 26 in Melbourne last year was read to Wentholt he paused for several seconds and then replied "guilty".

Wentholt also pleaded guilty to intentionally causing serious injury to Mr Greene's friend David Byas (28), during an incident described by a witness as a blood spattered assault by a "crazy monster".

An earlier court hearing heard that a drunk Wentholt, who had trained in jujitsu, had been executing martial arts moves before repeatedly stamping on the heads of Mr Greene and Mr Byas at the boarding house in Lynedoch Avenue in the St Kilda suburb on August 26 last.

Prosecutor Mark Rochford SC told Justice Betty King that Wentholt's guilty plea was made on the basis that it was reckless murder as opposed to intentional murder.

Justice King remanded Wentholt in custody for a pre-sentence plea hearing on July 30 and he will be sentenced some time after that date.

Mr Greene died in the Alfred hospital in Melbourne on September 7.

Mr Byas suffered serious injuries and was in a coma at the time of Mr Greene's death. He spent more than six weeks in hospital after the attack.

Mr Greene, a bricklayer, had moved to Australia in January 2011 and spent a year in Perth before moving to Melbourne.

Outside court friends of Mr Greene and Mr Byas said they were relieved there would be no trial and thanked the police for bringing Wentholt to justice.

hnews@herald.ie


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