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Last Updated: Monday, 13 March 2006, 18:36 GMT
Accused 'cut girlfriend's throat'
Hayley Richards
Hayley Richards was found in her flat with her throat cut
A factory worker slit his pregnant girlfriend's throat in a "prolonged, deliberate attack", a court has heard.

Portuguese national Hugo Quintas, 24, denies murdering Hayley Richards with a craft knife at her flat in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, last June.

Mr Quintas has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of provocation.

Bristol Crown Court was told he had also attacked 23-year-old Ms Richards, who was three months pregnant, less than a week before her death.

Violent row

Mr Quintas left Trowbridge hours after the attack and flew from Bristol to Portugal. He told police officers while in Portugal that he was willing to return to Britain voluntarily.

But after failing to meet officers at Porto Airport on 14 June Wiltshire Police applied for a European Arrest Warrant.

He was finally arrested in northern Spain on 21 June and flown back to Wiltshire eight days later to be charged with Ms Richards' murder.

Mark Evans QC, prosecuting, told the court that Mr Quintas had initially told police that he had killed Ms Richards during a struggle and that it was not intentional.

But he later changed the grounds of his plea, the court heard, saying that he was provoked by Hayley into attacking her.

Flight tickets

The court heard that Ms Richards had ended her relationship with Mr Quintas after a violent row on 5 June. The pair had argued and Ms Richards received treatment in hospital for injuries to her neck.

Mr Quintas's friend, Portuguese dairy worker Joaquim Sergio Da Cuhna, 30, appeared in the same court accused of perverting the course of justice.

He denies washing Quintas's clothes, buying flight tickets and helping him travel to Bristol International airport after the alleged attack.

The case continues.




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