Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Man admits murdering couple outside Matalan store in Cardiff

CARDIFF: A man has admitted stabbing a couple to death outside a Matalan store where they worked in Cardiff. Andrew Saunders, 20, pleaded guilty at Cardiff crown court to the murders of Zoe Morgan, 21, and Lee Simmons, 33. Their bodies were found near the store in Queen Street in Cardiff city centre at about 5.50am on 28 September. Morgan and Simmons had been dating for four months. Saunders, of no fixed address, spoke only to confirm his name before entering guilty pleas to two charges. The judge, Eleri Rees, the recorder of Cardiff, remanded Saunders into custody. The defendant, who has short brown hair and a beard, and wore a blue hooded top, will be sentenced next year by Mrs Justice Nicola Davies. Rees said: “I do not anticipate it [the sentencing date] being before mid January.” She ordered the Crown to produce for the court copies of the prosecution case, key evidence and submissions on the minimum term for what is thought to be an inevitable life sentence, ahead of the hearing. Michael Jones, prosecuting, said Davies would have to watch “disturbing” CCTV of the incident.

“The footage is disturbing, but it is important [for the] evidence [to] be seen by the judge,” he told the court. Rees asked whether a psychiatric report would be of assistance to the court ahead of the sentencing. Hilary Roberts, defending, said one had been produced for the defence. “It is a report that only looks backwards and I don’t think it will be of much assistance to the court,” he said. The judge replied: “I would have thought that [Davies] would in any case like to have a psychiatric report. It is a matter for you.” Morgan, who worked as a window dresser, had recently graduated from the University of South Wales with an honours degree in fashion marketing and retail design. Her family said: “She was taken away from us tragically, too soon, and has left a massive hole in our lives that will never be filled. Zoe will always be in our hearts forever and always. We are all broken hearted.”

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