The family of slain Sydney youth Thomas Kelly has waited a year for justice but his killer's plea of manslaughter has left them feeling beaten and bewildered by the legal system.
Kieran Loveridge, 19, had been charged with murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge on Tuesday.
He did not express emotion and only said "Yes ma'am" to Magistrate Harriet Grahame when asked to confirm his plea in Central Local Court in Sydney.
In exchange, the NSW Department of Public Prosecutions withdrew the more serious charge of murder as part of a plea deal.
Loveridge will also be given a significant discount to his sentence for pleading before a costly trial.
With time already spent in custody, he is expected to serve a fraction of the time he would if convicted of murder.