Leeds & West Yorkshire

Gemma Simpson death: Man admits killing woman missing since 2000

Gemma Simpson in 2000 Image copyright wy police
Image caption Gemma Simpson was 23 when she went missing in May 2000

A man has admitted killing a woman who went missing more than 14 years ago.

Martin Bell, 45, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Gemma Simpson, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Miss Simpson, 23, from Leeds, was last seen in May 2000. Her body was found at Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire, on 8 August.

Bell, of St Leonard's Crescent, Scarborough, pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Leeds Crown Court. He is due to be sentenced on Friday.

The court heard Bell, formerly of Harrogate, and Miss Simpson had known each other for five years.

After they smoked cannabis together in May 2000 Bell had told Miss Simpson: "God wants me to kill you", the court heard.

He then struck her repeatedly with a hammer and stabbed her before leaving her body in a bath for several days, prosecutors said.

Bell was arrested in July after he walked into a police station in Scarborough and confessed to killing Miss Simpson before telling officers where he had buried her body.

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