A MAN has admitted the murder of a much-loved pub landlord.

Lawrence Bourke, 24, of Lister Road, Braintree, appeared at Basildon Crown Court on Friday.

He admitted killing Scott Gilhooly, 44, at The Swiss Bell pub in Mountbatten Road, Braintree on May 17 last year.

Police were called to the pub after reports a man had been found dead and Bourke was arrested at the scene.

A post mortem examination revealed Mr Gilhooly died as a result of stab wounds to his chest and neck.

Speaking after his death, his family said he had “a heart of gold” and a “unique” sense of humour.

They said: “Scott was many things to so many people, he was a much-loved father, son, brother, uncle and brother-in-law.

Braintree and Witham Times:

“Scott was very community spirited, headstrong and loyal.

“He made light of everything, made us laugh daily and had a unique sense of humour.

“He was beloved by the surrounding community, through his charity work and fundraising.

“Scott will leave an enormous void in all our lives.”

After his death the community rallied together to ensure Mr Gilhooly’s memory lived on throughout the town.

Hundreds of people lined the streets to pay their respects at his funeral, which the family described as a huge source of help and comfort.

More than £5,000 was raised in Mr Gilhooly’s memory to provide life-saving equipment in the community.

Mr Gilhooly approached the Braintree Fund before his death as he was keen to fundraise for a defibrillator for the Fairview community which would be placed near his pub.

After his death, it was Mr Gilhooly’s family wish that the fund continue to fundraise,

Great Bradfords Football Club also set up an award to honour him and he was a supporter and sponsor for the club for a number of years.

The trophy will be presented on an annual basis to a player who has displays exceptional performances throughout the season.

Club secretary Charlie Mills said: “Scott was always the first to admit he didn’t know a lot about football, but he was always cheering the team on from the sidelines.

“He came along to watch a final once and asked me ‘Which way are we shooting?’

“But if didn’t matter that he wasn’t a football person, he was always there for us and offering the pub up for meetings or serving us food.

“He was very much part of the family at the club and his death hit us all really hard.

“It’s difficult to show how grateful we are to him but this is just a small token of our appreciation.”

Bourke was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.