Stratford station
A 17-year-old boy has admitted to 'brutal' assault on a 53-year-old man at the Stratford overground station.Getty Images

A 17-year-old teenager has admitted to killing John Francis Breen, 53, during rush hour at the Stratford station in London. The boy pleaded guilty to the "brutal" manslaughter while appearing before the Old Bailey.

Breen was found unconscious in Stratford on 27 October 2015 after parts of the station were closed to allow medics to attend to the victim. He was rushed to the hospital, however he later died due to serious head injuries. A 15-year-old was also charged after he admitted to causing bodily harm to Breen during the same attack.

The Romanian teens, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, entered their guilty pleas by confirming their names. Prosecutor Mukul Chawla QC who accepted the pleas insisted the murder charge should stay on file. One of the eyewitnesses reportedly told The Evening Standard that Breen was subjected to a "brutal beating" on the Overground platform. The victim is also believed to have fallen down the stairs resulting in his head injuries.

The assault was captured on film, however the CCTV footage was "patchy". According to reports, the accused were hanging out with a group of friends near the Westfield Shopping Centre. A brawl started on the escalator and Breen punched one of the defendants leading up to the assault.

Two other boys who were part of the group were pardoned and their case was dropped following a hearing on 18 January, said the British Transport Police. The two teenagers charged were allowed bail on strict terms mandating regular reporting to a police station and cooperation with probation services. The sentencing has been adjourned by Judge Mark Lucraft QC and will take place on 20 May at the Old Bailey.