A SUPERMARKET cleaner has pleaded guilty to murdering his supposed friend by stabbing him at least 13 times.

Gary Solomon, 56, of Castle Court, changed his plea on the second morning of his trial in relation to the killing of 72-year-old Johnny Hammerton.

Mr Hammerton died as a result of multiple stab wounds after his body was found in his two bedroomed ground floor flat in Peckforton Way, on October 8 last year.

The opening day of the trial at Chester Crown Court on Monday saw Soloman enter not guilty pleas to four counts, one of murder, one of theft and two of fraud.

Prosecuting barrister David McLachlan said it was the Crown's case that Solomon had killed Mr Hammerton on October 4 and stolen two of his debit cards, which he later used to buy shopping at the Tesco Express store, where he also worked as a cleaner.

Solomon had already pleaded guilty to charges of theft and fraud in relation to another debit card belonging to Mr Hammerton he had stole and used at the Megabet betting office on Chester Street on August 9.

As the jury returned for the second day of the trial, defending barrister Gordon Cole asked His Honour Judge Steven Everett, The Recorder of Chester, if the four counts could be put to his client again.

On this occasion, Solomon entered guilty pleas to all four counts, including murdering Mr Hammerton in his own home on October 4, stealing two of his debit cards and using both of them after the killing at Tesco Express and a William Hill betting shop.

Judge Everett told the jury: "The defendant has re-assessed his position after considering the weight of evidence against him.

"It was clearly a very strong case that was being made by the Crown.

"Sometimes the strongest evidence is the fact he has changed his plea to guilty."

Solomon will be sentenced later.