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Co-op stabbing: Woman admits manslaughter of man, 88

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image captionZara Radcliffe appeared in court via video link from Rampton secure hospital

A woman has admitted stabbing an 88-year-old man to death at a supermarket in south Wales.

John Rees was attacked at the Co-op in Penygraig, Rhondda Cynon Taff, on 5 May.

Zara Anne Radcliffe, 30, pleaded not guilty to murder but admitted manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility at Merthyr Crown Court.

She also pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Lisa Way, 53, Gaynor Saurin, 65 and Andrew Price, 58.

She appeared in court via video link from Rampton Hospital, a secure unit in Nottinghamshire.

Mr Rees's 87-year-old wife Eunice, who has dementia, was waiting in a car outside while he had gone shopping.

He died of blunt force trauma during the attack.

It happened during the UK national lockdown when people were given limited opportunities to go outside, such as to buy food.

image copyrightMichael Smith
image captionJohn Rees was stabbed while his wife Eunice was sitting in a car outside

Prosecution barrister Michael Jones QC said the crown accepted those pleas based on the "factual and psychiatric evidence".

He said the evidence showed she had been suffering from schizophrenia at the time of the incident and was "profoundly mentally ill and unwell".

Mrs Justice Jefford said sentencing would take place on Wednesday.

image captionThree other people were injured at the Co-op store on Tylacelyn Road in Penygraig

There was "disbelief" over the death of Mr Rees, a grandfather from Trealaw.

He was described by his family as "the very definition of a good man, extremely respected and liked in the community".

In a statement in May, they said: "He was proud of his family, proud to be a Welshman and devoted to All Saints Church. We will all miss him terribly."

Mr Rees helped ring the church bells every Thursday for key workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

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  • Rhondda Co-op death: John Rees died from blunt force trauma