Two men and a woman have pleaded guilty to their part in an attack on a student from South Yorkshire who was robbed, beaten and left for dead in a stream.
Daniel Whiteley, 19, from Barnsley, was frogmarched to a park in Manchester where he was forced to hand over his bank card and pin number.
He was kicked and stamped on and then thrown unconscious into a freezing cold culvert as his assailants left and withdrew cash from his account.
At Manchester Crown Court on the day of their scheduled trial, Michael Brownlie, 26, and Nicholas Lindsay, 22, pleaded guilty to attempted murder. Both men also admitted robbery.
Lindsay's girlfriend, Katie Mongan, 18, was also due to go on trial for attempted murder but her guilty plea to an alternative count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent was accepted by the Crown. She too admitted robbery.
The first-year English student at the University of Manchester had come across the defendants by chance as he ate in Krunchy Fried Chicken takeaway in Fallowfield after enjoying a night out with fellow students at a city centre bar.
Mr Whiteley later bumped into the trio as he walked home and the student was told to hand over his watch and was then forcibly shoved into nearby Platt Fields park. There he was robbed of his mobile phone and bank card before he was subjected to the brutal assault which rendered him unconscious.
His body was then carried over a fence and thrown into the water by Lindsay and Mongan's half-brother Brownlie, the court heard. A passing cyclist heard a groan from the stream several hours after the attack and Mr Whiteley was pulled out of the water by paramedics. He had suffered extensive bleeding to the brain - a subdural haematoma - and underwent life-saving emergency surgery.
Adjourning sentencing until September 14, Judge Robert Atherton said it was a "very, very serious case". He asked for pre-sentence reports on the defendants and for a medical report on the physical and psychological impact to Mr Whiteley who the court heard has since resumed his studies.
Brownlie, of Erneley Close, Longsight, Lindsay, of Aked Close, Longsight, and Mongan, of Mount Road, Longsight, were all remanded in custody.