A WOMAN cleared of murdering homeless man Denis Witney has admitted repeatedly kicking someone in the head as they lay on the ground.

Joanne Moriarty, of Hart Street, Oxford, pleaded guilty at Oxford Crown Court yesterday to carrying out an assault which caused actual bodily harm on March 8, 2012.

The 31-year-old attacked Samantha Hutchinson outside the O’Hanlon House night shelter, in Luther Street, Oxford, after an argument between them escalated and turned violent.

She was facing a trial for attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, but pleaded guilty to the less serious charge yesterday on what would have been the first day of her trial.

In December 2012, Moriarty was found not guilty of the murder of homeless man Denis Witney, who suffered 26 separate injuries after being attacked in the house where she was staying.

Her then-boyfriend Daniel McCollin and another man, Wayne Cattell, were both convicted of beating the 36-year-old to death and each received 17 years in prison.

Yesterday, Recorder Julian Knowles told the defendant that she was potentially facing a prison sentence.

He said: “This is a case of kicking on the floor and you need to understand that prison is a possibility.

“All options are open and you need to understand that.”

Moriarty was released on bail and will be sentenced on Wednesday, April 9.