Joseph Dolan, who was charged with the murder of Fermanagh woman Pauline Kilkenny in her home in November of last year, pleaded guilty to her manslaughter before Dungannon Crown Court, sitting in Belfast today, Friday.

Dolan’s defence had requested a re-arraignment and when the murder charge was put to the 29-year-old with no fixed abode he replied: "Not Guilty to murder ... but guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility".

Prosecution QC Ciaran Murphy told Mr Justice Colton that the prosecution had the opportunity of considering psychiatric reports, and on the balance of those reports his manslaughter plea was accepted.

However, Mr Murphy added that there may be an addendum report, as there was the question of Dolan's dangerousness, which may also require oral evidence from one or other of the doctors.

Mr Justice Colton, who remanded Dolan back into custody for sentencing in the New Year, said having seen reports he could "well see the merit and sense of the approach taken in this case".

Dolan was due to go on trial in Dungannon on Monday accused of murdering the 59-year-old at her isolated bungalow, sometime between the November 4 and 16, 2018, stealing her Fiat Panda car, and implicating his former girlfriend in the killing.

Throughout the short proceeding, Dolan sat in the dock with his head downcast, and on being led out of court did not look in the direction of the public gallery just feet away, where Ms Kilknenny's sisters and brother-in law and other family members were sitting.

No details surrounding the killing of Ms Kilkenny were given in court but it is understood that Ms Kilkenny had provided a home for Dolan.