Sarah Hassall: Pontypridd man admits murder of ex-servicewoman

Sarah Hassall Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Sarah Hassall served in the RAF and the Army

A man has admitted murdering a former RAF mountain rescue expert "who touched many lives".

Mother-of-two Sarah Hassall, 38, who left the armed services 10 years ago, was discovered in a flat in Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taff, in October.

Via video-link at Swansea Crown Court, Brian Manship, 37, admitted killing her.

Manship, from Pontypridd, will be sentenced in March.

The court heard Manship met Ms Hassall on a night out before taking her back to his flat in Llys Graig Y Wion, where she was found the next morning.

Ms Hassall, originally from Chelmsford, Essex, served with the RAF and the Royal Engineers, representing her units in rock-climbing competitions and running events.

She was a member of RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team in Moray in the early years of her military career.

Ms Hassall left the armed forces after failing a compulsory drugs test and later separated from her husband, Graham.

She was living in Wales at the time of her death.

In tribute, her family said her career was "dominated by her commitment to mountain search and rescue".

They said: "Sarah left the Army in 2010 to embark on, and excel at, even greater challenges - raising two young boys, Owain and Evan."

Her husband added: "Sarah was my best friend and touched many more lives along the way.

"We all now mourn her passing, grateful for the short time we had in her company."

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