FOLLOW our live blog of the Nikitta Grender trial with our reporter Natalie Crockett sending updates from court.

Pregnant teenager Nikitta Grender was found dead at her Lliswerry home after a fire in February last year.

Carl Whant, 27, of no fixed address, stands accused of the rape and murder of Miss Grender on February 5 last year. He is also accused of arson and child destruction. He denies all the charges.

Latest tweets are at the top of the page.


Whant's "missing time" between 5am an 6am is when #nikitta was killed, pros claim Wed Jan 18 16:01:51 2012

Pros say these marks were caused by #nikitta trying to defend herself Wed Jan 18 15:47:15 2012

Whant told her they were caused by a girl who stopped him getting into a fight that night, court hears #nikitta Wed Jan 18 15:45:17 2012

Whant's girlfriend noticed marks on his arms when he returned home the next day, Mr Taylor tells jury #nikitta Wed Jan 18 15:43:43 2012

Whant returned after 6am telling the friends he did not get cigarettes as his grandparents were asleep, jury told #nikitta Wed Jan 18 15:41:33 2012

Around 5am Whant said he was leaving to go to his nan's house to get cigarettes #nikitta Wed Jan 18 15:39:11 2012

They later went to a house party in Corelli Street where they drank more alcohol and took cocaine #nikitta Wed Jan 18 15:37:47 2012

The friends spent the evening in and out of pubs taking drugs, pros claim #nikitta Wed Jan 18 15:32:57 2012

Whant told police in interview his cousin Ryan Mayes "idolised" him and he was the closest thing he had to a father, court told #nikitta Wed Jan 18 15:30:42 2012

That night Whant and Ryan Mayes went out to meet friends at The Star pub in Duckpool Road, before going to Revolution nightclub #nikitta Wed Jan 18 15:28:10 2012

Whant saw #nikitta in her flat earlier on the day of Feb 5 when dropping Ryan Mayes off after work, jury told Wed Jan 18 15:24:57 2012

There was also a wound in the back of the unborn child #nikitta Wed Jan 18 15:18:09 2012

It became clear #nikitta die not die as as result of the fire. She had been murdered, court told. Neck wound was around 9cm deep Wed Jan 18 15:14:05 2012

PM exam found a 2cm wide wound in #nikitta's neck as well as a wound to the stomach, jury told Wed Jan 18 15:12:17 2012

Jury told fire was slow burning and must have burned for around two hours #nikitta Wed Jan 18 15:07:24 2012

The bed was deliberately set on fire with a match, or more likely a lighter, in three places, court told #nikitta Wed Jan 18 15:00:46 2012

When firefighters were able to get into the main bedroom they discovered a body on the bed #nikitta Wed Jan 18 14:47:10 2012

Firefighters unable to use thermal image cameras in the flat as the smoke was so thick. They made their way around by touch #nikitta Wed Jan 18 14:43:35 2012

Jury told #nikitta should have been safe in her own flat in the early hours of Sat morning. But someone raped her, someone murdered her. Wed Jan 18 14:41:18 2012

Jury hears #nikitta didn't like cocaine user Whant. Mr Taylor says she thought he was a bad influence on Ryan Wed Jan 18 14:35:47 2012

Jury being shown pictures of the fire damage in #nikitta's flat Wed Jan 18 14:32:08 2012

Neighbours first heard fire alarm going off around 5.30am, jury told #nikitta Wed Jan 18 14:28:32 2012

Neighbour called 999 for fire brigade at 7.50am #nikitta Wed Jan 18 14:26:13 2012

Mr Taylor claims Carl Whant was responsible. His semen was found on #nikitta's body Wed Jan 18 14:25:18 2012

#nikitta was dead before the bed was set on fire, pros claim Wed Jan 18 14:23:30 2012

#nikitta was stabbed in the neck and stomach and the knife penetrated the baby. Flat was then set on fire, jury told Wed Jan 18 14:22:55 2012

#nikitta went out with her friend, driving around visiting various car parks in the area to meet up with others. Got back home after 1am Sat Wed Jan 18 14:21:22 2012

Ryan Mayes was out on the night of Friday Feb 4 to watch Wales v England with his cousin Carl Whant and other friends #nikitta Wed Jan 18 14:19:56 2012

#nikitta knew the baby was a girl and the couple had already named her Kelsey-May. They were well prepared for the baby Wed Jan 18 14:18:30 2012

#nikitta fell pregnant and was expecting in Feb and the families were looking forward to the new arrival Wed Jan 18 14:17:32 2012

Prosecutor Gregg Taylor tells court #nikitta and Ryan Mayes lived in Broadmead Park and been in an on/off relationship for a few years Wed Jan 18 14:16:32 2012

The jury has taken their seats #nikitta Wed Jan 18 14:09:44 2012

Back in court 3 at Newport Crown awaiting the start of the Whant trial #nikitta Wed Jan 18 13:58:09 2012

It's confirmed - Whant trial will start at 2pm #nikitta Wed Jan 18 13:01:39 2012

Still no sign of movement in the Whant trial. Looking unlikely that it will start before lunch #nikitta Wed Jan 18 12:56:16 2012

Expecting to start again in 30 minutes #nikitta Wed Jan 18 11:57:50 2012

Delay in Whant trial #nikitta Wed Jan 18 11:46:49 2012

Whant has been brought into the dock to await the start of his trial #nikitta Wed Jan 18 11:28:45 2012

Mr Justice John Griffiths Williams has taken his seat to start proceedings #nikitta Wed Jan 18 11:28:11 2012

Prosecution and defence barristers have assembled in court. Anticipating a start soon #nikitta Wed Jan 18 11:12:58 2012

Delayed start here at Whant murder trial. No sign of defence barristers in court yet #nikitta Wed Jan 18 10:59:28 2012

Packed public gallery here at Newport Crown Court. People being turned away #nikitta Wed Jan 18 10:20:32 2012

Nikitta's parents Marcia Grender and Paul Brunnock have just arrived at court #nikitta Wed Jan 18 10:01:45 2012

He is also charged with child destruction in relation to her unborn baby Kelsey-May and arson #nikitta Wed Jan 18 09:30:56 2012

Carl Whant, 27, is accused of raping and murdering the pregnant teenager at her Lliswerry home on February 5, 2011 #nikitta Wed Jan 18 09:27:23 2012

Follow me for live blogging from the Nikitta Grender murder trial starting today at Newport Crown #nikitta Wed Jan 18 09:23:45 2012