NIKITTA TRIAL DAY 17: Follow our live blog

South Wales Argus: NIKITTA TRIAL DAY 17: Follow our live blog NIKITTA TRIAL DAY 17: Follow our live blog

FOLLOW our live blog of the Nikitta Grender trial with our reporters sending updates from 10.30am today.

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.

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Mr Kinch will continue his closing on Monday #nikitta Fri Feb 17 15:28:12 +0000 2012

Mr Kinch is showing the jury a map made by police to show the route the prosecution say Whant took #nikitta Fri Feb 17 15:25:15 +0000 2012

Kinch: Mr Cass said the Godfrey Morgan pub footage was 'blink & you miss it' & he had to take stills, but still couldn't be certain #nikitta Fri Feb 17 15:19:01 +0000 2012

Kinch: the CCTV of the route back undermines Mr Cass's conclusions & the certainty he speaks of #nikitta Fri Feb 17 15:12:28 +0000 2012

Mr Kinch is now showing the jury CCTV stills from premises on Chepstow Road #nikitta Fri Feb 17 15:06:21 +0000 2012

Kinch: it may be that to the extent of identifying a Ford Focus you can rely on that evidence, anything further may be a problem #nikitta Fri Feb 17 15:05:33 +0000 2012

Kinch: reconstruction of the events of a wet February night, was carried out on a dry night on July #nikitta Fri Feb 17 15:01:23 +0000 2012

Kinch: what Matthew Cass was looking for was identifying features - a tax disc, an AA sticker etc #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:58:05 +0000 2012

Kinch: looking at the CCTV of the vehicles had limitations - no number plates, no distinct colours, can't say how many passengers #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:56:35 +0000 2012

Mr Kinch is moving on to talk about the vehicle recognition evidence #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:54:01 +0000 2012

Kinch: even if the fire had started at 5.15am there simply wasn't enough time for Whant to have got there & set the fire #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:51:18 +0000 2012

Kinch: Mr Flanagan said it was reasonable to say the fire could've burned for an hour before the alarm triggered #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:49:22 +0000 2012

Kinch: we know that #nikitta's dog was found in the room. It died from the effects of the fire. No question of the dog escaping the room Fri Feb 17 14:46:02 +0000 2012

Kinch: had #nikitta's bedroom door been open for any great deal of time, there would've been more damage to the lower part of the corridor Fri Feb 17 14:38:36 +0000 2012

Kinch: a smouldering fire would have taken hours to cause the damage in #nikitta's flat Fri Feb 17 14:33:17 +0000 2012

Mr Kinch is showing the jury photos of inside #nikitta's burnt out flat Fri Feb 17 14:30:05 +0000 2012

Kinch: that suggests the door was closed or closed to, when firefighters entered #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:29:19 +0000 2012

Kinch: none of the firefighters noticed any increased heat or light from the fire when they entered the flat #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:28:40 +0000 2012

Kinch: we know that this fire flared up shortly after fire crews arrived #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:24:14 +0000 2012

Kinch: this fire was a slow burning fire that had been deprived of oxygen #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:23:09 +0000 2012

Kinch: there are 2 things Miss Voisey can't tell us - how long the alarm had been going off & how long the fire had been burning #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:19:51 +0000 2012

Kinch: the fire started at some point before Sarah Voisey first heard the alarm at 5.30am #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:18:06 +0000 2012

Kinch: it follows as night follows day that whoever set the fire killed #Nikitta Grender Fri Feb 17 14:16:27 +0000 2012

Kinch: the question we want to put is does the evidence you have heard fit the picture that the prosecution have put to you? #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:15:32 +0000 2012

Kinch: It's the same as putting a jigsaw together - some pieces fit & others don't #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:13:36 +0000 2012

Kinch: some circumstantial evidence will help & fit, but some you will have to question #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:12:06 +0000 2012

Kinch: we have to face up to the fact there's no direct evidence from machine or person. What we have is circumstantial evidence #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:11:05 +0000 2012

Kinch: what help it might've been if someone nearby was having a sleepless night & was able to tell us what was going on #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:08:37 +0000 2012

Mr Kinch is showing the jury an aerial view of Broadmead Park #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:07:29 +0000 2012

Kinch: different counsel, take different approaches & there is a lot material I need to address & cover with you #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:06:23 +0000 2012

Jury are taking their seats for Christopher Kinch QC's defence closing speech #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:04:32 +0000 2012

Mr Taylor has finished his speech. Court rising until 2pm #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:50:12 +0000 2012

Taylor: something was put under that footwell mat. The knife has never been found #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:49:17 +0000 2012

Taylor: then you have the blood in the car #nikitta had never been in Fri Feb 17 12:48:42 +0000 2012

Taylor: the question is how did #nikitta's blood get on the inside of his shirt & jacket Fri Feb 17 12:48:17 +0000 2012

Taylor: again how very unlucky for Whant that there is a car, which he said isn't his, with similar features out at that time #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:46:38 +0000 2012

Taylor: it's significant that there is a pre-facelift mk1 Focus driving on Chepstow Rd in the early hrs of Feb 5 #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:45:01 +0000 2012

Mr Taylor is highlighting CCTV footage where a car the prosecution say is Whant's was spotted in the early hrs of Feb 5, 11 #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:42:46 +0000 2012

Taylor: no doubt in Mr Cass's mind that the car on the CCTV was a mark 1 pre-facelift Ford Focus #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:39:37 +0000 2012

Taylor: features identified on a particular car on cctv were the tax disc & AA sticker positions & the defective no plate lights #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:38:32 +0000 2012

Taylor: CCTV was sent to the Transport Research Lab for Matthew Cass to look at without knowing what he was looking for #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:35:32 +0000 2012

Taylor: his loss of memory starts then. The only thing he remembered was possibly turning his car around in Corelli St #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:33:33 +0000 2012

Taylor: he never went there, we know exactly where he went. It is another embellishment invented by him #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:32:28 +0000 2012

Taylor: he is gone from something like 5am until 6.15/6.20am. Knocking on his nan's door to get cigarettes #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:31:43 +0000 2012

Taylor: Mr Mayes rang Miss Bird at 5.20am on Feb 5 to see if Whant was with her. At that time Whant had been gone 20/30mins #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:30:17 +0000 2012

Taylor: he is never shown on CCTV in the Greyhound with a pint. This is another invention on his part to explain the injuries #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:28:41 +0000 2012

Jury being shown the coat Whant wore on the night of Feb 4, 2011 #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:27:42 +0000 2012

Taylor: Whant drew a plan of where the man knocked his pint & where he went. None of his friends noticed any injuries that night #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:26:58 +0000 2012

Taylor: how unlucky for Whant that on the same night #nikitta is raped & murdered, he has a 'run in' with an 'arrogant' man in the pub Fri Feb 17 12:25:34 +0000 2012

Kinch: It's the same as putting a jigsaw together - some pieces fit & others don't #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:13:36 +0000 2012

Kinch: some circumstantial evidence will help & fit, but some you will have to question #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:12:06 +0000 2012

Kinch: we have to face up to the fact there's no direct evidence from machine or person. What we have is circumstantial evidence #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:11:05 +0000 2012

Kinch: what help it might've been if someone nearby was having a sleepless night & was able to tell us what was going on #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:08:37 +0000 2012

Mr Kinch is showing the jury an aerial view of Broadmead Park #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:07:29 +0000 2012

Kinch: different counsel, take different approaches & there is a lot material I need to address & cover with you #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:06:23 +0000 2012

Jury are taking their seats for Christopher Kinch QC's defence closing speech #nikitta Fri Feb 17 14:04:32 +0000 2012

Mr Taylor has finished his speech. Court rising until 2pm #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:50:12 +0000 2012

Taylor: something was put under that footwell mat. The knife has never been found #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:49:17 +0000 2012

Taylor: then you have the blood in the car #nikitta had never been in Fri Feb 17 12:48:42 +0000 2012

Taylor: the question is how did #nikitta's blood get on the inside of his shirt & jacket Fri Feb 17 12:48:17 +0000 2012

Taylor: again how very unlucky for Whant that there is a car, which he said isn't his, with similar features out at that time #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:46:38 +0000 2012

Taylor: it's significant that there is a pre-facelift mk1 Focus driving on Chepstow Rd in the early hrs of Feb 5 #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:45:01 +0000 2012

Mr Taylor is highlighting CCTV footage where a car the prosecution say is Whant's was spotted in the early hrs of Feb 5, 11 #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:42:46 +0000 2012

Taylor: no doubt in Mr Cass's mind that the car on the CCTV was a mark 1 pre-facelift Ford Focus #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:39:37 +0000 2012

Taylor: features identified on a particular car on cctv were the tax disc & AA sticker positions & the defective no plate lights #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:38:32 +0000 2012

Taylor: CCTV was sent to the Transport Research Lab for Matthew Cass to look at without knowing what he was looking for #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:35:32 +0000 2012

Taylor: his loss of memory starts then. The only thing he remembered was possibly turning his car around in Corelli St #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:33:33 +0000 2012

Taylor: he never went there, we know exactly where he went. It is another embellishment invented by him #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:32:28 +0000 2012

Taylor: he is gone from something like 5am until 6.15/6.20am. Knocking on his nan's door to get cigarettes #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:31:43 +0000 2012

Taylor: Mr Mayes rang Miss Bird at 5.20am on Feb 5 to see if Whant was with her. At that time Whant had been gone 20/30mins #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:30:17 +0000 2012

Taylor: he is never shown on CCTV in the Greyhound with a pint. This is another invention on his part to explain the injuries #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:28:41 +0000 2012

Jury being shown the coat Whant wore on the night of Feb 4, 2011 #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:27:42 +0000 2012

Taylor: Whant drew a plan of where the man knocked his pint & where he went. None of his friends noticed any injuries that night #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:26:58 +0000 2012

Taylor: how unlucky for Whant that on the same night #nikitta is raped & murdered, he has a 'run in' with an 'arrogant' man in the pub Fri Feb 17 12:25:34 +0000 2012

Taylor: his explanation to her was the same as to the police #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:24:13 +0000 2012

Taylor: he said he wasn't aware of marks on his arm until they were pointed out by his fiancee Rachel Bird #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:22:50 +0000 2012

Taylor: I submit that Whant will say anything if he thinks it helps him #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:21:56 +0000 2012

Taylor: we say #nikitta was raped by Whant & she fought him off, puncturing his skin with her nails #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:21:10 +0000 2012

Taylor: you know from Mr Mayes & #nikitta's mother Marcia Grender that she didn't like Whant Fri Feb 17 12:20:15 +0000 2012

Taylor: Whant tried to change his explanation about how he too came to have sex with #nikitta. Said it occurred at Ryan Mate's invitation Fri Feb 17 12:19:28 +0000 2012

Taylor: if Whant wasn't responsible, how unlucky that the 1st time he has consensual sex with #nikitta is hrs before her death Fri Feb 17 12:18:02 +0000 2012

Taylor: someone went into that flat & committed these crimes. You know we say that it was Carl Whant #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:15:48 +0000 2012

Taylor: if the door was open, alarm could've gone off anytime up to 15mins #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:14:59 +0000 2012

Taylor: there are theories about the start of this fire - if the door was closed could take up to an hr for alarm to go off #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:13:59 +0000 2012

Taylor: Mr Flanagan said he believed the door was closed or closed to for most of the fire #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:12:56 +0000 2012

Taylor: if that's the duration of the fire, we say we have a fire starting between 5 & 5.30am #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:11:47 +0000 2012

Taylor: cannot be precise in terms of when the fire started. Could have started between 4.30 & 5.30. Could have burned for 2.5-3hrs #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:10:43 +0000 2012

Taylor: Mr Flanagan said that if the door had been fully open the alarm would've gone off within 30secs #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:08:43 +0000 2012

Taylor: fire was likely started by a lighter rather than anything else. Evidence was found that clothing was hanging from door #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:07:37 +0000 2012

Taylor: fire started in more than one place. 2 seats of fire - 1 at top of the bed, another at foot of the bed #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:06:35 +0000 2012

Taylor: fire had not had time to develop. Mr Flanagan said it was a deliberately started, slow burning fire. #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:05:01 +0000 2012

Taylor: fire investigator Mick Flanagan attended on Feb 6 to try & find cause of fire, any matches or lighters. Took all day #nikitta Fri Feb 17 12:03:46 +0000 2012

Taylor: at 8.14am a fire investigation team was called for as #nikitta's body had been found Fri Feb 17 12:01:51 +0000 2012

Taylor: #nikitta's friend Jenna Allman said she dropped her off at around 1am & #nikitta unlocked the door before going into her flat Fri Feb 17 12:00:26 +0000 2012

Taylor: both sisters sais they heard footsteps, but the flat was locked. May well have been the dog playing with something #nikitta Fri Feb 17 11:59:20 +0000 2012

Taylor: 999 call at 7.50am & Miss Voisey tried to raise #nikitta but no reply. Told court her sister had heard footsteps upstairs Fri Feb 17 11:58:00 +0000 2012

Taylor: 7.30am came & Miss Voisey was putting a nappy in the bin when she smelt smoke. Her flat started to get hot & she called 999 #nikitta Fri Feb 17 11:56:34 +0000 2012

Taylor: neighbour Sarah Voisey heard the alarm at around 5.30am, got up looked around but didn't see anything wrong #nikitta Fri Feb 17 11:55:11 +0000 2012

Taylor: smoke alarm was going off when firefighters got there. Alarm expert said alarm was very sensitive #nikitta Fri Feb 17 11:54:19 +0000 2012

Taylor: window had blown out & air was clearing & #nikitta's body was found on the bed Fri Feb 17 11:53:22 +0000 2012

Taylor: went to main bedroom, closed door before opening it again & dampening down the fire #nikitta Fri Feb 17 11:52:42 +0000 2012

Taylor: a ball of flame came down the corridor towards them & they had to crouch to fight it #nikitta Fri Feb 17 11:51:59 +0000 2012

Taylor: when the window in the baby's room opened, visibility cleared & firefighters heard a bang #nikitta Fri Feb 17 11:51:18 +0000 2012

Taylor: firemen were called to #nikitta's house at 7.50am & they could see the windows were blackened. Entered & started a search Fri Feb 17 11:50:03 +0000 2012

Mr Kinch has closed the defence case. Prosecutor Gregg Taylor QC is starting his closing speech #nikitta Fri Feb 17 11:48:43 +0000 2012

Document included a summary of one of Whant's witness statements given to Whant's solicitor at the same time #nikitta Fri Feb 17 11:46:55 +0000 2012

Jury also being given a copy of the first disclosure document given to Whant's solicitor before interviews after his arrest #nikitta Fri Feb 17 11:43:57 +0000 2012

Photos include a close up of bloodstaining on the towel #nikitta Fri Feb 17 11:41:47 +0000 2012

Jury being shown photos of a towel recovered from the bathroom in #nikitta's flat Fri Feb 17 11:40:41 +0000 2012

Christopher Kinch QC is continuing the defence case #nikitta Fri Feb 17 11:39:57 +0000 2012

Judge & jury back in the courtroom #nikitta Fri Feb 17 11:38:00 +0000 2012

Jury now expected to come in at 11.30am #nikitta Fri Feb 17 11:18:57 +0000 2012

Short delay before #nikitta trial restarts Fri Feb 17 10:49:19 +0000 2012

Morning, I'll be tweeting from the #nikitta trial from 10.30am. Judge has another case up at 10am, but hopefully trial will restart on time Fri Feb 17 09:49:04 +0000 2012

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