MURDERER Carl Whant, who raped and killed his cousin’s pregnant girlfriend before setting her house on fire today failed in his bid to get his sentence reduced.

Top judges sitting in London’s Court of Appeal branded him as "plainly a very dangerous man".

The former bouncer, 28, was jailed for a minimum of 35 years in February after a jury found him guilty of stabbing heavily pregnant Nikitta Grender, 19, in her Broadmead Park home on February 5, 2010, also killing her unborn daughter Kelsey-May.

Whant, formerly of Bettws, Newport, took a knife to her throat and stomach before setting her bed on fire. He then took a bouquet of flowers to her heart-broken family’s home. He was convicted of rape, murder, child destruction and arson after a month-long trial.

Today Whant asked Lord Justice Pitchford, Mr Justice Hickinbottom and Judge Guy Boney QC, to reduce the minimum term of his sentence on appeal.

The court heard the former window salesman was high on cocaine on the night of the killing, which happened in the flat Miss Grender shared with her boyfriend – and Whant’s cousin - Ryan Mayes, 19.

Whant had raped her at knifepoint then murdered her when she made it clear she was going to report him, Lord Justice Pitchford said.

Lawyers for Whant argued that the crown court judge Mr Justice Griffith Williams had wrongly imposed too high a minimum term by taking the killing of Miss Grender’s unborn baby into account as an aggravating factor.

Rejecting those submissions, Lord Justice Pitchford said: "He killed his victim because she was a witness to the rape he had just committed. The offence was further aggravated by the fact that he killed her unborn child and attempted to dispose of the evidence by fire.

"It is simply unarguable that the killing of the unborn child was somehow part and parcel of the sexual element which led to the killing.

"The appalling facts allowed the judge to impose a minimum term substantially above 30 years. He is plainly a very dangerous man. It is impossible to argue that this minimum term is manifestly excessive," the judge concluded.