Ardglass man pleads guilty to murder of fisherman

A Co Down man has been jailed for life after he pleaded guilty to the murder of a Romanian fisherman.

Jason Carr, from Crew Hill Court in Ardglass and who turns 22 on Thursday, also confessed to assaulting Stefa Zait, stealing a bottle of vodka from him, and causing criminal damage to the front door of a property next door to his two days before the murder on 22 May 2018.

Mr Zait, a 45-year-old Romanian fisherman, died two days after being taken to hospital with head injuries, including a blood clot to the brain and suspected fractured jaw.

Following Carr’s confessions, Judge Geoffrey Miller QC told the killer that for the offence of murder "there is only one sentence proscribed by law, that of life imprisonment".

Fisherman Stefa Zait died after suffering serious head injuries. Credit: Family photo

Remanding Carr in custody, the judge ordered various reports to be compiled and listed a tariff hearing for 21 February, when he will set the minimum period Mr Carr will stay in jail before being considered for release.

Many of Carr's friends and relatives had filled the public gallery - many of them crying and shaking their heads at the court proceedings, with one telling the killer to "keep your head up, Jason" as he was lead away in handcuffs.

His father David Carr, from Kildare Court also in Ardglass, is charged with witness intimidation - in that, on 22 May, he allegedly threatened Mr Zait "not to contact police or press charges against Jason Carr which intimidated him and was intended to intimidate him".

He is to go on trial for that offence this Monday.