A NEWPORT man accused of killing his girlfriend has pleaded guilty to her murder at Cardiff Crown Court this morning.
Kristopher Mitchell, 28, of Bryn Bevan, Newport admitted the murder of Jessica Watkins whose body was found in the bath of the Newport house, on Monday, May 5.
Mitchell appeared via a video link from Cardiff Prison and only spoke to confirm his name and enter his plea.
Crying could be heard from the public gallery as Mitchell took a deep breath before pleading guilty to murdering his 21-year-old girlfriend from Caerleon.
A post-mortem examination concluded that the cause of Miss Watkins’ death was from blood loss from wounds or pressure to the neck.
The family of Miss Watkins previously said she was "very loved by us and will be greatly missed”.
Her friends at Newport City Gaming, where Miss Watkins was a regular visitor, also joined in the tributes.
Bethan Williams, 18, said she met Miss Watkins as a student at Coleg Gwent's Nash campus where she was studying ICT.
She said: "She was a really bubbly, happy girl. She liked to party.
“I have known her for about three years now through college and she came to a lot of the video game events as a member of Newport City Games.
“We would meet up every day and just chill. She was really funny, the things she would come out with, she had me in stitches.
“When I found out what had happened I couldn’t breathe - I just collapsed. She was too young.”
Managing director of Newport City Games Jason Reilly was also left devastated by Miss Watkins' death.
He said: "I have known her since Halloween last year. We do a lot of events and she started turning up to the events.
“She wasn’t a big gamer but she was a party person.”
Members of the gaming group held a minute's silence to remember their friend at Atlantica bar in Newport following her death.
An inquest into Miss Watkins' death was opened on May 13 and adjourned until the conclusion of court proceedings.
The Gwent coroner’s officer, David Arnold, said that Gwent Police were called to the house in Bryn Bevan.
On arrival, officers found the body of Miss Watkins in a bath and she was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.
Mitchell now faces a mandatory life sentence, but the tariff - the time period before which he can become eligible for parole - will be set at a later date.
The court is waiting for psychiatric reports.