Man pleads guilty to manslaughter after death of 'devoted and fiercely loyal' father in West Sussex

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In a tribute, Stephen's family said he was a loving, doting father that prized every moment he spent with his daughter. Credit: Family handout

A man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter following the death of a father in West Sussex.

47-year-old Stephen Harrington was found with a head injury near to Marlpit Lane in Emsworth in July last year.

He was flown by air ambulance to Southampton General Hospital for treatment, but died two days later.

Tarin Linfield, who's 21 and from Hambrook, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and conspiracy to steal. He'll be sentenced next month.

At Lewes Crown Court, Linfield pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to a charge of manslaughter and conspiracy to steal. Credit: ITV News Meridian

The police investigation determined Stephen died as a result of a severe blow to the head, believed to be caused by a piece of wood.

Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Hicks, Senior Investigating Officer, said: “This is a tragic case that has resulted in the sudden and heart-breaking death of a completely innocent and much-loved family man.

“From the outset, we’ve had to rely on the defendants’ accounts to try and piece together the events of that night. Unfortunately, only those who were there will ever know exactly what happened.

“Our thoughts continue to be with Stephen’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time, and I hope this conviction of manslaughter will bring them some sense of closure.”