Thug admits killing Liverpool fan who’d watched Champions League final with sons
A thug has admitted killing a Liverpool FC fan on his way home from the Champions League final.
James Gelling punched Ventsislav Marginov, 51, who was with his two sons, after going to a screening of the game in Southport on June 1.
Mr Marginov was rushed to hospital and died three days later when his life support was switched off.
Gelling, 31, was initially charged with causing grievous bodily harm, but this was later changed to manslaughter.
He appeared in the dock at Liverpool Crown Court this morning, where he spoke only to confirm his personal details and to admit the charge, reports the Liverpool Echo.
John McDermott, QC, prosecuting, said Mr Marginov's family were not in court but would be notified of the guilty plea.
He said the prosecution were still waiting for some pathological evidence and added: "There may be some issue about the force of the punch that killed the defendant."
Paul Becker, defending, said there was no basis of plea but requested a psychiatric report for his client ahead of sentencing.
Judge Andrew Menary, QC, also ordered a pre-sentence report, which he said must consider whether Gelling was a dangerous offender.
He remanded Gelling in custody until his sentencing on September 9.
Mr Marginov's devastated family previously paid tribute to a "loyal and generous" dad.
A short statement on behalf of the family was shared by police.
They said: "Ventsislav was a much loved member of our family and will be very deeply missed by us all.
"He was a hard-working, loyal and generous husband, son and father.
"His parents, who are both in their 70s and still live in Bulgaria, are absolutely devastated by his death. His mother came to visit him a few weeks ago and had no idea that it would be the last time she would see him alive.
"We are all struggling to come to terms with the senseless manner in which Ventsislav died. We would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and kind wishes and we would ask that everyone respects our privacy at this difficult time."
Gelling is the eldest of three brothers who terrorised Southport as children, waging a campaign of burglaries, assaults and vandalism.
He was 15 when the siblings were hit with three-year ASBOs, banning them from Pleasureland and any arcade in the resort, in 2002.
At 16, he was locked up for six months for breaching his ASBO, which he flouted by associating with other named youths.
Gelling was handed a two-year suspended sentence in 2007, for burgling a man's home and stealing his motorbike, then hiding from police on a rooftop.
He climbed up onto Hesketh Mount, which was undergoing major renovation, before being talked down by force negotiators more than an hour later.
Gelling was then jailed for 18 months in 2012, for battering the mum of his child and threatening to go "Raoul Moat" on her if she told police.
By now 25 and with more than 70 convictions, he carried out a cowardly attack on his ex, while their two-year-old daughter was in the room.
Gelling later sent her a text message threatening to emulate the crazed gunman's infamous rampage in 2010.
He told his petrified former partner: "When I get out I'll f***ing Raoul Moat everyone you grass. I'm going to murder you if you don't drop the charges."
Gelling – earlier released from jail for beating up another ex – was convicted of breaching a court order, criminal damage, assault and intimidation.
He then hit the headlines again after scaling a 12ft dock to escape custody in 2014, which earned him the nickname the 'Southport Spider-Man'.
Gelling punched his way through ceiling tiles at Sefton Magistrates' Court, kicked a security guard in the chest then fled, sparking a four-week manhunt.
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