NIKITTA TRIAL DAY 15: Follow our live blog

FOLLOW our live blog of the Nikitta Grender trial with our reporters sending updates from 10.00am today.

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

Murder accused Carl Whant is expected to take the stand today in his trial.

With the defence case expected to get under way today, it is expected Whant will take the stand to face questions from his barrister, Christopher Kinch, QC, and prosecutor Gregg Taylor QC.

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.

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Afternoon coverage from @ArgusNCrockett

Trial is adjourned until 10.15am tomorrow #nikitta Wed Feb 15 16:11:03 2012

Whant: I was concerned because I was out on my own at 5.30am and nobody was with me #nikitta Wed Feb 15 16:09:01 2012

Whant: I told police I was concerned because the time of the fire appeared to change from 8am to 5.30am #nikitta Wed Feb 15 16:08:18 2012

Whant: I took them the next day. Giving them instructions of where to go #nikitta Wed Feb 15 16:06:12 2012

Whant: police asked me if I would take them on the route I went from Corelli Street to my nan's house #nikitta Wed Feb 15 16:04:15 2012

Whant: was interviewed by police at Bettws police station for about eight hours #nikitta Wed Feb 15 16:01:52 2012

Whant: found it later when Rachel was sorting the clothes from the washing machine #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:56:09 2012

Whant: later that night police returned to get the clothes I was wearing the previous night. Couldn't find the shirt #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:55:13 2012

Whant: I didn't say anything to the officer to suggest I had got cigarettes from my nan's house in the early hours of Feb 5 #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:53:52 2012

Whant: they asked me for my phone & shirt and asked me about #nikitta's past. I explained about her previous partners & the time we met up Wed Feb 15 15:52:55 2012

Whant: Rachel wasn't happy that I had been out all night. Next day I was visited by police officers #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:50:43 2012

Whant: at home I spoke to Rachel about what had happened. I put the clothes I had been wearing all night to be washed by Rachel #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:48:54 2012

Whant: dropped Daniel off then went to my parents' house before going to meet Rachel around 1.30pm #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:46:15 2012

Whant: was asked to go to the police station to make a statement because they had arrested Ryan #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:41:42 2012

Whant: when we got there, there were police cars and fire engines all over the place. Was there a few hours and left Ryan there #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:40:59 2012

Whant: then went to drop Ryan off at Broadmead Park. journey took about 10-15 mins #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:39:56 2012

Whant: left the house with Ryan and Daniel and went back to nan's house. She was awake, I took half a pack of cigarettes #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:38:00 2012

Whant: Ryan went back to sleep and I went to sleep on the sofa. Chris woke me up because he had to go to work. It was around 8am #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:36:02 2012

Whant: Ryan wasn't happy I didn't have cigarettes. Think I was away from the house for about half an hour #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:34:28 2012

Whant: drove into Corelli Street turned the car around and parked outside the house facing the train tracks again #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:33:26 2012

Whant: can't remember which way I went back. It was probably the same way I came but not 100 per cent sure #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:30:37 2012

Whant: thought about going back home but would have had an "ear full" from girlfriend so went back to Corelli Street #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:29:48 2012

Whant: I knocked my nan's front door to see if she was awake. It was around 5.20pm. Tried 3 or 4 times, there was no answer #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:29:03 2012

Whant: took a less direct route than usual because I wanted to avoid police because I had been drinking and taking cocaine #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:25:52 2012

Whant is describing the route he took to get to his nan's house #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:21:36 2012

Whant: there was a song on the radio called G6. It's one of my favourite songs. #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:20:29 2012

Whant: my car was facing towards the train tracks at the end of the road - the opposite way to the river #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:18:29 2012

Whant: Ryan and Elizabeth wanted to come but I didn't see the point in us all going so thought I'd go on my own #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:17:17 2012

Whant: I thought I'd go to my gran's house. If I've been short of cigarettes or cash she always sorts me out #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:16:21 2012

Whant: between 5 and 5.15am I wanted to leave to get cigarettes. I was the only one had a car and it was freezing cold and wet #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:14:52 2012

Whant: I thought Ryan was flirting with Elizabeth #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:12:15 2012

Whant: Daniel and Maria went upstairs shortly followed by Elizabeth and Ryan #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:11:28 2012

Whant: at the house we were all having a drink and were talking. Someone ordered cocaine which came later #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:09:16 2012

Whant: we went to a petrol station on Chepstow Road to get cigarettes before going to the house #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:07:18 2012

Whant: didn't think about going home to Rachel #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:03:53 2012

Whant: Ryan asked if I wanted to go to the house in Corelli Street with everyone else. Everyone was going so thought I would too #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:03:38 2012

Whant: didn't make any complaint about what had happened at The Greyhound. It wasnt anything to complain about #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:01:14 2012

Whant: cant remember how I got bruises near my elbow. Don't think they happened at the same time #nikitta Wed Feb 15 15:00:00 2012

Whant: I didn't know they were there and at first & wondered how it happened. But realised it was from when the woman grabbed me #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:58:51 2012

Whant: they were like four holes in the skin #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:57:23 2012

Whant: the next night girlfriend Rachel asked me about marks on my wrist #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:57:04 2012

Whant: I went outside and spoke to one of the doormen. I said "I can't believe the attitude on some people", he laughed #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:55:38 2012

Whant: don't know what time this happened. It was close to when we were going to leave #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:54:31 2012

Whant: I didn't see the Asian man again #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:53:36 2012

Whant: she said something like "he ain't worth the trouble" and I went out the entrance #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:53:15 2012

Whant: I went to go after him but a woman pulled me back. I carried on walking and it pulled her off her balance #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:52:22 2012

Whant: I said something to him like "be careful". He swore at me and carried on walking #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:51:12 2012

Whant: I drew a map of The Greyhound pub for police in interview to show them where the incident took place #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:49:50 2012

Whant: an "arrogant" Asian person spilled my drink as he walked past #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:48:47 2012

Whant: I tried to draw a sketch of the man for police in interview #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:46:47 2012

Whant: didn't see him coming, he came from the my right side #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:46:07 2012

Whant: there were a few people I knew there but can't remember who #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:44:43 2012

Whant: in The Greyhound I was drinking and speaking to other people I knew #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:40:31 2012

Jury shown CCTV still of Whant talking to door staff at The Greyhound on Feb 4 #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:37:23 2012

Whant: always go to The Greyhound on a night out. Previously worked on the door #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:35:47 2012

Whant: Took cocaine or M-Cat 6 or 7 times that night. It lasts about half and hour each time #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:34:54 2012

Whant: it makes me feel happy, confident and high #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:31:39 2012

Whant: that week I had taken "hardly any". In the past I was on it all the time. In the past two or three years, hardly ever #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:31:18 2012

Whant: have used cocaine since I was 21 #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:30:15 2012

Whant: first took it in the car before we went to The Greyhound pub #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:29:10 2012

Whant: took cocaine and another drug called M-Cat #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:28:33 2012

Whant: I had the intention to go home but we went to the pub and out to town #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:26:35 2012

Whant: went to get the ingredients before going to Ryan's mum's house #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:24:12 2012

Whant: I was supposed to have gone to get ingredients to cook a curry for Rachel and me #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:23:25 2012

Whant: after we left the flat we went to Ryan's mother's house. We watched the first half of the rugby #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:21:50 2012

Whant: I didn't think it through. It wasn't a sensible thing to do #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:19:48 2012

Whant: I didn't want to cause embarrassment or hurt anyone's feelings #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:19:23 2012

Whant: told police I hadn't had sex with #nikitta and hadn't been unfaithful to girlfriend #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:18:49 2012

Whant: I didn't want to cause any embarrassment for anyone - Ryan, my girlfriend, me. #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:18:02 2012

Whant: didn't mention having sex with #nikitta in police interviews Wed Feb 15 14:17:13 2012

Whant: thought afterwards that having sex with #nikitta was a stupid thing to have done and I wish I hadn't because I have a fiancé Wed Feb 15 14:16:11 2012

Whant: the keys to the flat were in the door when I left #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:14:40 2012

Whant: she put on a cream-coloured bra and red underwear #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:13:25 2012

Whant: When I went back into kitchen I saw #nikitta getting dressed Wed Feb 15 14:12:33 2012

Whant: I had a cigarette and said I would wait for Ryan in the car #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:11:40 2012

Whant: didn't go into any other rooms #nikitta Wed Feb 15 14:10:59 2012

Whant: got dressed again after having sex with #nikitta on Feb 4 and went into kitchen where Ryan Mayes was Wed Feb 15 14:10:38 2012

#nikitta trial resumes. Whant continues his evidence Wed Feb 15 14:09:12 2012

#nikitta trial will resume at 2pm. I'll be tweeting from then. Wed Feb 15 13:18:18 2012


Morning coverage from @ArgusAChalk

I'm handing the tweeting reins over to @argusncrockett this afternoon when Carl Whant will continue his evidence #nikitta Wed Feb 15 13:33:22 2012

Court rising for lunch #nikitta Wed Feb 15 13:01:43 2012

Whant: I had a cigarette, Ryan was playing on a computer game & his girlfriend came over to me, we started kissing & had sex #nikitta Wed Feb 15 13:00:58 2012

Whant said Mr Mayes was having sex with his girlfriend at the time while he was asleep on the sofa #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:57:56 2012

Whant tells the jury #nikitta 'seemed willing' & a similar incident happened before when Mr Mayes was living in Corporation Road Wed Feb 15 12:55:59 2012

Whant: #nikitta didn't say anything. Afterwards I got dressed & went to the kitchen. It was just unexpected. Didn't know why it had happened Wed Feb 15 12:54:12 2012

Whant: Ryan got up & I thought he was still in the bedroom, but when I finished he was in the kitchen ironing his jeans #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:51:12 2012

Whant: it just happened. I don't think I said 'yeah' or 'ok' or anything. It was just one of those things. Just happened #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:50:09 2012

Whant: Ryan invited me to have sex with #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:48:59 2012

Whant: after about 10mins, Ryan called me into his bedroom. I went to bedroom & opened door & he was having sex with #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:47:45 2012

Whant: went to Broadmead Park, had a cigarette in the kitchen, while Ryan was in the bedroom #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:46:36 2012

Jury shown CCTV still of Whant at a petrol station on the afternoon of Feb 4 #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:44:42 2012

Whant: dropped another workmate off then went to Broadmead Park. Thought it was 4/4.30 at the time. Now think it was 5/5.15pm #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:43:15 2012

Whant: went to a pub to see if Ryan's grandad was there, went to a garage, then dropped Ryan's grandad off at Ryan's mother's #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:41:45 2012

Whant: we arranged to finish early because the Wales game was on. Finished around 3.30pm. #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:40:44 2012

Whant: picked Ryan up for work that morning. Just a normal day, in work about 11am, canvassing in Cwmbran #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:39:19 2012

Mr Kinch is moving on to ask Whant about the events of Feb 4, 2011 #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:37:37 2012

Whant: supposed to work 10.30 - 6.30, but almost always finished early. Would drop other members of the team home after work #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:36:56 2012

Court hears Whant & Mr Mayes worked as canvassers together for Anglian Windows. Would go out in teams of 4. I was the only driver #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:34:02 2012

Whant: police asked if I'd ever been alone with #nikitta, so I told them about that Wed Feb 15 12:32:54 2012

Whant: at that point #nikitta wasn't with Ryan Mayes. No other meetings after that. Not alone again after Wed Feb 15 12:31:55 2012

Whant: nothing more to it than that. More could've happened possibly, but not my intention. Wasn't hoping for anything #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:30:39 2012

Whant: #nikitta was living at her parents house nearby. Arranged to met, talked 4 10/15mins, it started to rain, had a hug & kiss & she left Wed Feb 15 12:29:19 2012

Whant: was drinking at a friend's house & contacted #nikitta. I was just bored, it was something to do Wed Feb 15 12:27:33 2012

Whant: met up with #nikitta around 3yrs ago. Before he got with his girlfriend Wed Feb 15 12:26:39 2012

Whant: was not infatuated with #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:24:22 2012

Whant: #nikitta was 'alright'. If I was there she was fine, it's only through other people I heard she 'wasn't keen on me' Wed Feb 15 12:23:54 2012

Whant: had known #nikitta ever since she & Ryan first met. Around 4 years Wed Feb 15 12:22:35 2012

Mr Kinch is asking Whant about his visits to Broadmead Park #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:21:55 2012

Whant: knew #nikitta & had been to their Broadmead Park flat. Went there almost everyday Wed Feb 15 12:21:03 2012

Whant: got closer as we got older. One of the things we did was take drugs together #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:19:54 2012

Whant: have known Ryan Mayes all his life. We do everything together, go out, watch sport, all sorts of things #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:19:07 2012

Whant: I never raped & stabbed #nikitta, never set fire to her flat, never left the flat with the knife & #nikitta's keys & phone Wed Feb 15 12:18:05 2012

Mr Kinch is explaining that Whant has a stammer from time to time, which just happens #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:16:16 2012

Jury coming back in. Christopher Kinch QC calls Carl Whant to the stand #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:14:25 2012

Back in court waiting for defence case to begin #nikitta Wed Feb 15 12:08:39 2012

DS Passmore has finished his evidence. Prosecution closes it's case. Court rising until 12.10 #nikitta Wed Feb 15 11:39:15 2012

Passmore: the point is we don't have it. There may be lessons to be learned #nikitta Wed Feb 15 11:32:22 2012

Kinch: it might have been the case that there was footage, but it was overwritten by the police got there #nikitta Wed Feb 15 11:31:50 2012

Court hears defence also pointed out a CCTV camera on a private house, but footage could not be retrieved #nikitta Wed Feb 15 11:20:13 2012

Passmore: as a result of the defence indicating we missed footage at the garage, an officer revisited the premises on that route #nikitta Wed Feb 15 11:11:00 2012

Passmore: despite our best efforts we have been unable to retrieve any footage from the overwritten disc #nikitta Wed Feb 15 11:08:15 2012

Officers later seized footage to see what view was available & road can be seen #nikitta Wed Feb 15 11:02:58 2012

Passmore: we were made aware by the defence that info we had about coverage of cameras at the garage was perhaps incorrect #nikitta Wed Feb 15 11:01:40 2012

Mr Kinch is asking DS Passmore why footage was not seized from Queenshill Garage #nikitta Wed Feb 15 11:00:40 2012

DS Passmore: only had footage for that camera up until 3.30am of Feb 5 as later footage was overwritten #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:52:34 2012

Kinch: Lower Dock Street camera gives a better view of the Old Green Roundabout, but only have limited footage #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:51:27 2012

DS Passmore: purpose of my exercise was to double check the viewing logs & make sure no vehicles were missed #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:42:37 2012

Mr Kinch is going through some CCTV stills with DS Passmore #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:39:41 2012

Kinch: at some stage DS Passmore looked at the CCTV as part of his role as officer in the case #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:37:31 2012

Kinch: CCTV was originally the responsibility of another officer for the first week #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:36:27 2012

DS Passmore: not unusual for what police officers have been told before to change in interview #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:33:24 2012

DS Passmore: interview would have aimed to establish if the accounts were true. Interview was under caution #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:31:54 2012

Kinch: going into interview the investigation had a background of a detailed account of Whant's movements #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:30:49 2012

Kinch: Whant was arrested after forensic information was received #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:29:56 2012

DS Passmore: he along with others provided a lot of information #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:28:49 2012

Kinch: Whant provided a considerable amount of information before GIS arrest. Throughout that his status was as a witness #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:28:16 2012

Kinch: Feb 12 the day he was charged, Whant complained of having trouble sleeping during a review as his cell light was left on #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:27:04 2012

Kinch: a further request at 12.53pm was denied as Whant's girlfriend was now a witness #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:24:55 2012

DS Passmore said it may well have been that Whant's girlfriend was giving a statement at the time #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:24:13 2012

Feb 10 12.05am Whant requested to call his girlfriend, but no answer. Requested again at 9.30am, again no answer #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:23:16 2012

Kinch: one of the things that is recorded in custody log is the communication a detainee has with family or a solicitor #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:21:39 2012

Mr Kinch is asking DS Passmore about Whant's time in the custody unit #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:20:38 2012

Kinch: a white towel with blood stains on it was recovered from a radiator #nikitta, but there's no towel on radiator in scene photos Wed Feb 15 10:17:51 2012

Mr Kinch is now asking DS Passmore about a towel recovered from #nikitta's bathroom Wed Feb 15 10:16:03 2012

DS Passmore said the door manufacturer said it's more likely than not that the door levers were not engaged #nikitta Wed Feb 15 10:14:55 2012

DS Passmore tells the court that as far he understands it #nikitta's door could only be locked with a key Wed Feb 15 10:13:37 2012

Defence barrister Christopher Kinch QC is asking DC Passmore what enquiries were carried out about if #nikitta's front door was locked Wed Feb 15 10:10:26 2012

DC Neil Passmore has been recalled. Tells the court no knife was recovered & #nikitta's phone or house keys were also never found Wed Feb 15 10:08:59 2012

Packed public gallery in court today for the #nikitta trial. Whant is expected to take the stand at some point during today's hearing Wed Feb 15 10:03:28 2012

Morning, I'll be tweeting from the #nikitta trial from 10am Wed Feb 15 09:23:46 2012

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