NIKITTA TRIAL DAY 18: Follow our live blog

9:57am Monday 20th February 2012

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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@ryanmartin29 jury are going out tomorrow so could be any time from then Mon Feb 20 22:14:59 +0000 2012

See tomorrow's @southwalesargus for @ArgusAChalk's full coverage of the #nikitta trial today Mon Feb 20 17:59:53 +0000 2012

End of today's evidence at the #nikitta trial, to resume tomorrow at 10.15am Mon Feb 20 16:14:20 +0000 2012

Judge: the group then went to a house in Corelli Street. No one in the car remembers stopping at a garage for cigarettes #nikitta Mon Feb 20 16:13:27 +0000 2012

Judge: no such incident was logged in the pub's incident book and none of the group or door staff saw it #nikitta Mon Feb 20 16:11:46 +0000 2012

Judge: Whant and Ryan met up with friends and went to The Greyhound pub. Whant claims he had scuffle with an Asian man #nikitta Mon Feb 20 16:10:11 +0000 2012

Judge: Whant said he had also had sex with Ryan's ex girlfriend Laura McClaren. Both Ryan and Laura disputed this #nikitta Mon Feb 20 16:08:45 +0000 2012

Judge: Whant claimed he had consensual sex with #nikitta on Feb 4. Ryan Mayes said that did not happen Mon Feb 20 16:07:02 +0000 2012

Judge: they stopped at #nikitta's flat so Ryan could get changed Mon Feb 20 16:06:07 +0000 2012

Judge: he changed his mind and was to watch the Wales v England rugby match at Ryan's mum's house #nikitta Mon Feb 20 16:05:40 +0000 2012

Judge: Whant went to work on Feb 4 and he was to buy ingredients to cook a curry for the couple that night #nikitta Mon Feb 20 16:05:04 +0000 2012

Judge: Whant met his girlfriend Rachel in 2009 he spent most nights at her home #nikitta Mon Feb 20 16:03:49 +0000 2012

Judge: the fire was slow burning and the charring on the door suggested it had been in a closed to position #nikitta Mon Feb 20 16:01:20 +0000 2012

Judge: the fire originated in the bedroom and started on the bed. No evidence of accelerant, most likely started using a lighter #nikitta Mon Feb 20 15:58:32 +0000 2012

Judge: #nikitta's bedroom window was smashed by the heat. Fire was not very large, firefighters put it out and found #nikitta's body Mon Feb 20 15:57:14 +0000 2012

Judge: firefighters described seeing dark and thick smoke coming from #nikitta's windows. The door to the flat was not locked Mon Feb 20 15:54:00 +0000 2012

Judge: Voisey did not hear #nikitta return home at 1am Mon Feb 20 15:52:05 +0000 2012

Judge: Miss Voisey heard the fire alarm at 5.30am, again when she woke at 6.30am and again at 7.50am when her own alarm started #nikitta Mon Feb 20 15:51:05 +0000 2012

Judge: if that evidence is to be relied upon on you must consider that that noise could not have been caused by #nikitta or Ryan Mayes Mon Feb 20 15:49:15 +0000 2012

Judge: when she left she noticed #nikitta's living room light on and the curtains were open Mon Feb 20 15:47:39 +0000 2012

Judge: the sister of neighbour Sarah Voisey said she heard footsteps in #nikitta's flat above around 9.30pm Mon Feb 20 15:47:08 +0000 2012

Judge: a lighter was found in #nikitta's flat. I have found nothing to suggest a link between that lighter and the fire Mon Feb 20 15:44:32 +0000 2012

Judge: scientist said there was no smell of fire or smoke on Whant's jacket #nikitta Mon Feb 20 15:44:04 +0000 2012

Judge: DNA matching #nikitta's was found in blood on Whant's shirt Mon Feb 20 15:40:21 +0000 2012

Judge: scientist said this could either mean #nikitta didn't scratch Whant, or she did but the evidence was destroyed by the fire Mon Feb 20 15:39:37 +0000 2012

Judge: no DNA matching Whant's was found underneath #nikitta's finger nails. Mon Feb 20 15:38:20 +0000 2012

Judge: DNA from another unknown male was found underneath #nikitta's finger nails Mon Feb 20 15:37:02 +0000 2012

Judge: the match probability of DNA matching Whant's found in semen in #nikitta's body having come from someone else was one in one billion Mon Feb 20 15:35:38 +0000 2012

Judge: fabric remnants with #nikitta's DNA on them were found around her head Mon Feb 20 15:33:26 +0000 2012

Judge: blood matching #nikitta's DNA profile found underneath the car mat in Whant's car were deposited when wet, scientists said Mon Feb 20 15:32:42 +0000 2012

Judge: forensic scientists took samples from the car and #nikitta's flat Mon Feb 20 15:26:49 +0000 2012

Judge: Whant told police who collected his shirt it had been washed #nikitta Mon Feb 20 15:25:28 +0000 2012

Judge: the yard where it was taken was secure and kept locked. It remained in there until it went to forensic lab for examination #nikitta Mon Feb 20 15:24:06 +0000 2012

Judge: on Feb 7 police took the clothes Whant was wearing in Feb 4. Whant was cooperative, a driver later came to take his car #nikitta Mon Feb 20 15:22:39 +0000 2012

#nikitta trial resumes. Judge continues summing up Mon Feb 20 15:19:28 +0000 2012

#nikitta trial rising for a short break Mon Feb 20 15:05:43 +0000 2012

Judge: car expert who looked at CCTV noticed a bulb on the number plate of Whant's car was dim #nikitta Mon Feb 20 15:05:29 +0000 2012

Judge: no knife linked to the killing has ever been found. #nikitta's phone and keys are also still missing Mon Feb 20 15:01:52 +0000 2012

Judge: pathologist later found a stab injury to her belly which injured also the baby #nikitta Mon Feb 20 15:01:15 +0000 2012

Judge: pathologist didn't see the stab injuries at first. The wound in #nikitta's neck was 10cm deep. She was dead before fire was started Mon Feb 20 15:00:15 +0000 2012

Judge: pathologist was called to #nikitta's flat on Feb 5. Her body was on the bed. Her face was covered by the remains of fabric Mon Feb 20 14:58:47 +0000 2012

Judge: #nikitta went out with friend Jenna Allman driving around on evening of Feb 4. She dropped he home at 1am Mon Feb 20 14:57:53 +0000 2012

Judge: #nikitta did not like Whant which her mother confirmed Mon Feb 20 14:56:52 +0000 2012

Judge: Ryan Mayes had lost his flat keys and #nikitta would let him in. #nikitta was responsible for washing clothes. Mon Feb 20 14:56:26 +0000 2012

Judge: she was two weeks away from giving birth on Feb 5 #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:55:13 +0000 2012

Judge: #nikitta was just 19 years old when she died. She had on/off relationship with Ryan Mayes and was excited about pregnancy Mon Feb 20 14:54:43 +0000 2012

Judge: I will remind you now of the evidence #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:53:40 +0000 2012

Judge: you are the judges of fact and it is your view alone that matters #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:53:10 +0000 2012

Judge: you will decide if these are reasons enough for his refusal to answer further questions after DNA evidence was revealed #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:52:28 +0000 2012

Judge: Whant said in interview he was worried about his family, he had not smoked since his arrest and he had difficulty sleeping #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:51:24 +0000 2012

Judge: Whant said for the first time in December he had sex with #nikitta on Feb 4. Pros say if this was true he would have said it earlier Mon Feb 20 14:48:15 +0000 2012

Judge: I direct you not to make any adverse inference on the decision of Whant to answer no comment in first interviews #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:46:56 +0000 2012

Judge: any verdict must be based upon all the evidence #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:45:53 +0000 2012

Judge: when you consider and expert's evidence you must consider whether it is credible #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:45:14 +0000 2012

Judge: if you conclude that DNA had been contaminated you must dismiss the expert's evidence about it #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:40:15 +0000 2012

Judge: you have heard from expert witnesses who give you information on behalf of the court not the pros or def who call them #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:39:09 +0000 2012

Judge: defence says Whant shouldn't be criticised for no comment answers in police interviews when he had already given an account #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:36:33 +0000 2012

Judge: defence say the CCTV evidence cannot be relied upon as you can't be sure it is Whant's car #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:34:13 +0000 2012

Judge: the defence say that if the fire was started at 4.30am, as suggested by fire expert, Whant was in Corelli Street #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:33:21 +0000 2012

Judge: the defence say the timings of the incident and CCTV of Whant's car do not give him enough time to commit the offences #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:32:00 +0000 2012

Judge: the defence submit that Ryan Mayes is not a credible witness #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:31:00 +0000 2012

Judge: the defence submit that on all the evidence you cannot be sure that Whant is responsible for #nikitta's death Mon Feb 20 14:30:38 +0000 2012

Judge: the defence case is that an unwanted guest was in #nikitta's flat that night Mon Feb 20 14:30:00 +0000 2012

Judge: pros say Whant committed the crimes, proved by DNA matching #nikitta's found on his clothes and in his car Mon Feb 20 14:29:21 +0000 2012

Judge: there's support for evidence that Whant's car was parked in a different direction to earlier in evening #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:27:19 +0000 2012

Judge: pros say this was enough time for him to commit the offences. They say his claims he had consensual sex with #nikitta are contrived Mon Feb 20 14:26:19 +0000 2012

Judge: Whant was away from Corelli Street when the fire alarm started and returned sometime around 6.30am #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:25:12 +0000 2012

Judge: the pros say that in early hours of Feb 5 Whant drove to #nikitta's flat where he raped her, stabbed her and started a fire Mon Feb 20 14:23:59 +0000 2012

Judge: I am now going to sum up the case of both the prosecution and defence #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:22:37 +0000 2012

Judge: the only issue for you to decide on the arson charge is whether it was Whant was who started the fire #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:20:39 +0000 2012

Judge: there is no doubt that #nikitta's baby could have been born alive. You must decide if the intent was to kill the unborn child Mon Feb 20 14:19:09 +0000 2012

Judge: Whant's account is that he had taken cocaine and drink. A drunken or drug induced intent is still intent #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:18:03 +0000 2012

Judge: if you are not sure Whant stabbed #nikitta then you are to acquit him Mon Feb 20 14:16:20 +0000 2012

Judge: if you are sure Whant killed #nikitta that too might prove that she did not consent to sex Mon Feb 20 14:15:41 +0000 2012

Judge: Whant says he had consensual sex with #nikitta. Ryan Mayes says otherwise Mon Feb 20 14:14:48 +0000 2012

Judge: you must consider the four charges of rape, murder, arson and child destruction separately #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:13:52 +0000 2012

Judge: Whant says he is not responsible. He does not have to prove that. The prosecution must prove he is guilty #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:10:45 +0000 2012

Judge: you have heard from the witnesses and you will decide who to believe #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:09:31 +0000 2012

Judge: you must make your decision on the evidence. You must not speculate or look for other evidence #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:08:38 +0000 2012

Judge: #nikitta's death attracted a lot of media attention you must put that out of your mind Mon Feb 20 14:07:56 +0000 2012

Judge: #nikitta was a pretty young woman who was looking forward to the birth of her child. Her death shocked many people Mon Feb 20 14:07:21 +0000 2012

Jury have been handed legal directions from the judge which they must follow when reaching their decision #nikitta Mon Feb 20 14:06:26 +0000 2012

#nikitta trial resumes. Judge Mr Justice John Griffith Williams is to start summing up Mon Feb 20 14:05:22 +0000 2012

#nikitta trial is rising for lunch. Judge Mr Justice John Griffith Williams will begin summing up at 2pm Mon Feb 20 12:36:58 +0000 2012

Kinch: can you be sure Whant is responsible? There is no shame in not being sure #nikitta Mon Feb 20 12:35:41 +0000 2012

Kinch: neighbour Sarah Voisey smelt cannabis and another male's DNA was found under #nikitta's finger nails. Whose DNA and why is it there? Mon Feb 20 12:34:44 +0000 2012

Kinch: was there an uninvited guest at #nikitta's flat? Can you be sure the door was locked? The neighbour below heard footsteps at 9.30pm Mon Feb 20 12:33:28 +0000 2012

Kinch: fire investigator Mick Flanagan said the smouldering fire could have been set around 4.30am - 1 hour before alarm sounded #nikitta Mon Feb 20 12:31:25 +0000 2012

Kinch: no matter what the DNA evidence is telling you, you can't be in two places at once #nikitta Mon Feb 20 12:27:39 +0000 2012

Kinch: as far as we know Whant was in his car at 5.15am when G6 was playing #nikitta Mon Feb 20 12:27:09 +0000 2012

Kinch: if Whant did this, he's got to get there, rape #nikitta, stab her, keep blood off his clothes and set the fire all before 5.30am Mon Feb 20 12:26:39 +0000 2012

Mr Kinch is showing the jury a map of the route police say Whant took to get to Broadmead Park on Feb 5 #nikitta Mon Feb 20 12:24:22 +0000 2012

Kinch: these flaws are symptomatic of a case where the police thought we've got DNA evidence and got our man #nikitta Mon Feb 20 12:19:09 +0000 2012

Kinch: these aren't isolated faults. Not only has there been a failure but it deprives the defence of footage #nikitta Mon Feb 20 12:17:45 +0000 2012

Kinch: police didn't seize footage from Queens Hill garage. This would have shown Whant's car passing to go to his nan's house #nikitta Mon Feb 20 12:13:47 +0000 2012

Kinch: police should have moved faster to obtain CCTV #nikitta Mon Feb 20 12:06:20 +0000 2012

Kinch: how could you go for 22 hours and not get to the key evidence against this man? It's nonsense #nikitta Mon Feb 20 12:03:15 +0000 2012

Kinch: hours and hours of interviews & then police say that they hadn't put all the evidence to him. We ask whose fault was that? #nikitta Mon Feb 20 12:02:37 +0000 2012

Kinch: when Whant was told about DNA evidence he said he felt unwell and told police he had already answered questions #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:59:32 +0000 2012

Kinch: Whant, a smoker, wasn't allowed to smoke and couldn't sleep because the light in his cell was left on #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:57:51 +0000 2012

Kinch: Whant had already told police in his statement #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:55:34 +0000 2012

Kinch: the strategy obviously wasn't working because Whant initially gave no comment #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:55:01 +0000 2012

Kinch: what was the point of police asking Whant again when they already had a detailed account of his movements? #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:54:19 +0000 2012

Kinch: police strategy was to get a detailed account of what Whant had been doing on Feb 4/5 #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:50:12 +0000 2012

Kinch: he gave a considerable amount of information to police in the days after #nikitta died Mon Feb 20 11:48:52 +0000 2012

Kinch: Whant gave his clothing willingly the police #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:47:54 +0000 2012

Kinch: criticisms have been made about the way Whant behaved in police interviews #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:44:40 +0000 2012

Kinch: why isn't it there? And why are there traces of some other male's DNA under her finger nails? #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:43:57 +0000 2012

Kinch: there was no trace of Whant's DNA under her finger nails #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:42:44 +0000 2012

Kinch: the marks would only matter if they were made by #nikitta when she was fighting for her life Mon Feb 20 11:41:45 +0000 2012

Kinch: there are signs here that every piece of evidence is being thrown at this man (Whant) in the hope that something will stick #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:41:04 +0000 2012

Kinch: Rachel only noticed them when she and Whant were in bed together #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:36:26 +0000 2012

Kinch: are those injuries really worth a mention? Does Whant have to be aware of them? Would he have commented on them? #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:35:57 +0000 2012

Kinch: the scuffle didn't make if into the incident book because it wasn't an "incident" #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:35:02 +0000 2012

Kinch: the prosecution have blown Whant's explanation of the injuries out of proportion and made a bigger issue of it #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:33:46 +0000 2012

Kinch: prosecution say there was no time that Whant could have got injuries on his arms #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:32:40 +0000 2012

Kinch: Whant didn't tell police he had sex with #nikitta. Not wanting to explain he had betrayed his girlfriend? Or just telling the truth? Mon Feb 20 11:30:31 +0000 2012

Kinch: we say Whant is more likely to be telling the truth #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:28:22 +0000 2012

Kinch: what does it tell you about someone who is willing lie to protect his reputation in the middle of a murder inquiry? #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:27:38 +0000 2012

Kinch: his partner has been killed the police are wanting answers and he himself was arrested #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:26:25 +0000 2012

Kinch: he tried to suggest that there was nothing in it at all. But we know that it wasn't for a want of trying #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:25:44 +0000 2012

Kinch: Ryan Mayes pursued Liz Taylor, flirted with her and invited her up to a bedroom in Corelli Street for privacy #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:24:13 +0000 2012

Kinch: you've heard that Ryan Mayes had other girlfriends and on/off relationships. It may be that he sees women as commodities #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:23:16 +0000 2012

Kinch: Whant's explanation for contact with #nikitta is that he had sex with her the previous afternoon Mon Feb 20 11:20:41 +0000 2012

Kinch: this does not fit with a violent stabbing #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:19:08 +0000 2012

Kinch: there were very few stains on his shirt and he wore it the next day. There was no sense of urgency or panic to clean them #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:18:51 +0000 2012

Kinch: how is it that Whant stabs #nikitta and yet has very little blood on his clothes? Mon Feb 20 11:17:43 +0000 2012

Kinch: if Whant was in contact with something #nikitta had touched, or they had sex, the transfer of her blood to him increased enormously Mon Feb 20 11:16:48 +0000 2012

Kinch: we say it's unlikely that the blood had been there long. Ryan Mayes didn't know about any injury and #nikitta did washing regularly Mon Feb 20 11:15:06 +0000 2012

Kinch: we say that at some point that towel is likely to have been used to mop up a small injury #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:13:32 +0000 2012

Kinch: Whant says that is not the case. We suggest #nikitta was injured before- a towel in her bathroom had blood matching her DNA on it Mon Feb 20 11:12:47 +0000 2012

Kinch: the prosecution suggest that the blood on Whant's shirt must have come from the time #nikitta was killed Mon Feb 20 11:11:09 +0000 2012

Kinch: there's no evidence to suggest that #nikitta was injured before she was killed Mon Feb 20 11:10:23 +0000 2012

Kinch: however powerful the evidence of the blood on the car mat might appear, you cannot decide on that evidence alone #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:09:31 +0000 2012

Kinch: it doesn't prove Whant is a murderer. It only suggests one explanation #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:07:26 +0000 2012

Kinch: that finding of blood cannot tell you that Whant put a knife wet with blood there #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:06:21 +0000 2012

Kinch: we don't know what happened to it. Was it put back in the car? Placed aside? #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:04:18 +0000 2012

Kinch: it wasn't. It was only later that it was examined #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:03:26 +0000 2012

Kinch: if the car mat was looked at at the time and it had blood on it, surely it should have been taken away #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:02:42 +0000 2012

Kinch: is there some muddle or confusion about the appearance, layout and recovery of that evidence? #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:01:40 +0000 2012

Court hears the car was looked at by a number of people #nikitta Mon Feb 20 11:00:42 +0000 2012

Kinch: There are some points on the way to the discovery of DNA evidence in Whant's car that we ask you to consider with care #nikitta Mon Feb 20 10:59:40 +0000 2012

#nikitta trial has resumed. Defence counsel Christopher Kinch QC will continue his closing statement Mon Feb 20 10:57:30 +0000 2012

There's a bit of a delay here at the #nikitta trial. Should be starting soon Mon Feb 20 10:38:39 +0000 2012

Back at Newport Crown Court today with @ArgusAChalk for the #nikitta trial. Follow me for live coverage from 10.30am Mon Feb 20 09:56:28 +0000 2012


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