A man has admitted he killed a schoolboy more than two decades ago. Steven Grieveson is accused of the murder of 14-year-old Simon Martin in 1990.
The teenager's body was found in a derelict building in Sunderland and his killing remained a mystery for 23 years.
During a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court today, via videolink to HMP Frankland, Grieveson pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder.
But the court heard the 42-year-old has admitted he did actually kill the schoolboy.
Brian Hegarty, defending, told the hearing: "Mr Grieveson will not dispute that he is responsible for the death."
Judge James Goss QC told the court: "That does not mean he is admitting murder, he is admitting unlawful killing."
The court heard a trial will take place in June to determine whether Grieveson is guilty of murder or manslaughter.
The court heard the issues at trial may be diminished responsibility and/or a lack of intent.
Prosecutor William Lowe QC told the court: "The crown's allegation is he murdered Simon Martin, he is admitting unlawfully having killed him."
Grieveson, who was wearing a black tracksuit top with striped sleeves, spoke only to confirm his name and say "not guilty" to the murder charge.
He was remanded in custody and will appear at court for a further hearing in March.