Date set for Nikitta Grender murder trial

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Carl Whant, 26, arriving at Caerphilly Magistrates' Court on Monday
Image caption,
Carl Whant arriving at Caerphilly Magistrates' Court on Monday

A provisional date has been set for the trial of a man charged with murdering heavily pregnant teenager Nikitta Grender in Newport.

Carl Whant, 26, from Bettws, Newport, also faced a charge of child destruction before Cardiff Crown Court.

The body of 19-year-old Ms Grender, who was two weeks from giving birth, was found stabbed in her burning flat in Liswerry, Newport on 5 February.

Mr Whant appeared before a high court judge in Cardiff.

It is likely he will stand trial for the murder at the start of October.

Judge Mr Justice Griffith Williams remanded Mr Whant in custody until a plea and case management hearing on Friday 13 May.

Image caption,
Nikitta Grender was found dead at her flat on 5 February

Before adjourning proceedings, he told the court that a "very provisional" date for trial would be the start of the Michaelmas term.

That was interpreted by barristers to mean the beginning of October.

On Monday, Mr Whant appeared before magistrates in Caerphilly in a brief, one-minute hearing and was remanded in custody.

The nightclub bouncer was arrested last Wednesday and charged late on Saturday night.

He is the second cousin of the victim's boyfriend, Ryan Mayes, 18, the father of Ms Grender's unborn baby, who had already been named Kelsey-May.

Mr Mayes and other family members looked on from the court's public gallery.