Man pleads guilty to beating Travelodge receptionist to death on her night shift

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A 32-year-old man has pleaded guilty to beating a Travelodge receptionist to death as she worked a nightshift.

Stephen Cole, pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Winchester Crown Court on Tuesday over the death of Marta Vento, a 27-year-old Spanish national.

Ms Vento was found dead at a Travelodge in Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, on December 9 last year.

Cole is due to be sentenced at the same court on June 1. He has been remanded in custody.

Marta, originally from Valencia,, was working alone at the Travelodge in Bournemouth when a man came into the reception and beat her.

She was was last spoken to alive at around 1am that morning.

She suffered "multiple blunt force head injuries," an inquest into her death was told in December.

The court heard that a murder charge against Cole had been dropped after a report from a doctor.

Prosecutor Simon Jones added: "The crown finds that the defendant has a partial diminished responsibility.

"Given all the circumstances in this case we have said to amend the indictment adding manslaughter as count two."

Bespectacled Cole, who has short, dark hair and was wearing a black jumper in the dock, spoke only to confirm his name, plead not guilty to murder and plead guilty to the manslaughter charge.

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A judge today remanded him in custody at Ravenswood House Hospital, a secure adult mental health unit in Fareham, Hants.

Judge Jane Miller QC told him: "You now need to be sentenced in respect to the offence of manslaughter to which you have pleaded guilty. I have fixed the sentence for the first of June.

"Until then you are remanded in custody."

The court heard that 11 minutes of CCTV footage will be shown at the sentencing and impact statements from the victim's family in Spain will be read out.

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