A 28-year-old man has been found guilty of the murder of a homeless man whose body was found in a refuse chute of an apartment block in Cork city.

David O'Loughlin, with an address at Garden City Apartments, North Main Street in Cork, had denied murdering 59-year-old Liam Manley at the building on 12 May 2013.

The jury of seven women and five men returned the guilty verdict after this morning visiting the apartment building to see the chute for themselves.

They returned to the courthouse and returned a unanimous verdict of guilty.

Mr Justice Paul Carney handed down a mandatory life sentence.

Mr Manley’s family said he should not have had to endure dying in such horrific and frightening circumstances.

In a victim impact statement, his sister Kay Murphy said her brother was a kind, caring and quiet man who loved life.

She said it was distressing to hear how he was left to die afraid and alone.

The family, she said, wake up at night thinking about his last thoughts.

Throughout the eight-day trial, O'Loughlin, who is originally from Co Clare, denied murdering Mr Manley.

He admitted punching Mr Manley and wanting him to leave his apartment after he heard a story about the homeless man and a girl - a story, he said, he now knew to be untrue. 

He said he put Mr Manley into the rubbish chute outside his fourth floor apartment, claiming he thought he "would slide down into the rubbish and go about his business".

Mr Manley's body was found by a maintenance man later that day following complaints from residents that the rubbish chute was not working.

The court was told he had died from asphyxia and a lack of oxygen by ending up head-first in the chute.

Just before sentencing, defence senior counsel Brendan Nix said his client deeply regretted how Mr Manley died.

He said he never intended to hurt or kill him - he simply wanted him to leave his apartment.