FAMILY and friends of murdered mum-to-be Nikitta Grender and her unborn child gathered to unveil a mosaic created in her memory.

Around 50 supporters, including the pregnant teenager’s mum Marcia Grender, father Paul Brunnock, brother Luke and boyfriend Ryan Mayes, 19, braved the rain to give thanks to the community who did a sponsored walk to raise £500 towards its costs.

The money, which was match-funded by Newport City Homes, also paid for play equipment for toddlers that meet at the centre. The teenager’s uncle Michael Brunnock thanked locals for their support, he said: “It was a tragic event for the family but the community has felt it as well, and they off their own backs collected themoney.Onbehalf of the family, thank you very much for your help.”

The artwork, in the shape of a yellow rose, which was Nikitta’s favourite flower, has been installed on the wall at Newport East Community Centre’s garden.

It was made by artist Nathan Sheen and local children helped with the design, which bears Miss Grender’s name, along with her unborn daughter Kelsey-May, and her dog Missy who also died in the tragedy.

Ayellowrose, named Nikitta-Jade, has also been planted nearby and was dedicated to the former Hartridge High pupil by the community of Moorland and Broadmead Park, where she lived.

Thosewhogathered to viewthe memorial described it as “lovely” and one relative wore a T-shirt which read “Never Forgotten, Nikitta-Jade and Kelsey-May.

Also there was Newport Superintendent Dave Johnson, who helped lead the murder investigation.

Baby joy turned to tragedy

THE 19-year-old was excitedly looking forward to the birth of her first child with childhood sweetheart Ryan Mayes.

The pair had decorated the baby’s nursery ready for the new arrival, who was due two weeks after she died.

Had it not been for the appalling events of February 5, 2011, doctors said there was nothing to suggest Kelsey-May would not have been born healthy.

The Crown Prosecution Service took the decision to include a separate count of child destruction relating to the death of Kelsey-May because they said the fact Miss Grender had been stabbed in the stomach was a “serious aggravated feature”.

It is a rare charge and there have been no convictions in Wales in the past five years.

‘Devious’ killer’s life term

MURDERER Carl Whant is serving a life sentence for the rape and murder of pregnant teenager Nikitta Grender.

Jury members took just four hours to find him unanimously guilty on all four counts of rape, murder, arson and the destruction of Miss Grender’s unborn daughter Kelsey-May.

Mr Justice John Griffith Williams branded him a “calculating, vain and devious individual” as he sentenced him to life in prison, with a minimum tariff of 35 years.

The former bouncer and window salesman had maintained his innocence throughout the five-week trail, claiming he was in another part of Newport at the time of her killing.

He also claimed the pair had consensual sex the night before she died – something always disputed by her boyfriend Ryan Mayes.

Several people gave evidence, including Miss Grender’s mother Marcia, testifying how much her daughter disliked Whant.

Killer’s horrific crimes left entire community in shock and grief

NIKITTA Grender’s life was tragically cut short on February 5, 2011, when she was raped and murdered by Carl Whant.

The crime, which also killed her unborn baby Kelsey-May, is among the most shocking to have happened in Wales and deeply affected the close-knit community of the Broadmead Park estate where she lived.

Dozens of people left floral tributes outside her home, which was torched by Whant before he fled, and hundreds attended her funeral.

Neighbours were woken by fire engines on the morning her body was discovered in her burnt-out flat.

Drug user Whant went on a drink and drug-fuelled night out before he drove to the heavily pregnant teenager’s home, raped her and stabbed her in the neck and stomach before setting the place on fire.

The court heard the former Lliswerry High School pupil had a fixation with Miss Grender, but she did not like him and thought he was a bad influence on her boyfriend Ryan Mayes, 19.

On the evening before the killing Whant visited the flat she shared with his cousin Mr Mayes to get ready for a night out.

They spent the night with friends, watching the England vs Wales Six Nations match before moving on to The Star Inn in Duckpool Road, Maindee.

From there the group moved on to The Greyhound Inn and Revolution nightclub in the city centre, returning to Whant’s silver Ford Focus car regularly to take drugs.

The friends then went to a house party in Corelli Street at around 2.30am, and continued drinking and taking cocaine.

Whant left the house alone at around 5am, saying he was going to get cigarettes from his nan’s house. He returned around 6.20am empty-handed.

CCTV cameras captured a car matching the description of Whant’s travelling towards Miss Grender’s Lliswerry home – the opposite direction to where he told police he went that night.

Whant’s girlfriend Rachel Bird, noticed scratch marks on his arms later the next day but he said he got them when a woman held him back during a confrontation with a man who spilled a drink on him in the pub.

Dilute bloodstains, matching Miss Grender’s DNA profile, were found on Whant’s shirt, black jacket and in his car.

Forensics also found DNA evidence, which showed Whant had recently had sex with Miss Grender.

The father-of-two was arrested on February 9 and was interviewed 26 times before he was charged on February 12, 2011.