Essex trick or treat killer admits manslaughter after Philip Mersh dies in Leigh-On-Sea

Philip Mersh died two days after being attacked last year. Credit: Essex Police

A man who fatally attacked a father-of-two while he was trick-or-treating with his family has pleaded guilty to manslaughter. 

Daniel Ballard, from Southend in Essex, assaulted 43-year-old Philip Mersh on Halloween last year. 

Mr Mersh, who had been with his family in Leigh-on-Sea at the time of the assault, was rushed to hospital and died two days later. 

Mr Ballard, 31, was initially charged with grievous bodily harm with intent, actual body harm and common assault, but the charges were upgraded following Mr Mersh's death. 

Det Ch Insp Louise Metcalfe, who led the investigation, said: “This is a tragic case and my thoughts go to Philip’s partner and children.

“Philip’s death has had an enormous impact on them and I want to praise the courage they have shown throughout the investigation.

“No conviction will ever bring him back but I hope knowing Ballard has been brought to justice will help them move forward.”

Mr Ballard will appear at Southend Crown Court in July to be sentenced.