Nikitta Grender
Nikitta was due to give birth less than two weeks after her murder

Newport bouncer Carl Whant has been found guilty of the murder of his cousin's girlfriend and their unborn baby, at Newport Crown Court and given a minimum jail sentence of 35 years.

Whant, 27, was accused of raping heavily pregnant Nikitta Grender, 19, before stabbing her in the neck and stomach and burning her house on 5 February last year.

Grender was due to give birth to Whant's cousin Ryan Mayes' child just two weeks later. The bouncer has now been found guilty of rape, murder, arson and destruction of child.

Prosecuting, Gregg Taylor QC said: "At her own flat in the early hours of Saturday morning, she should have been safe for the rest of the night.

"But at some point that morning, someone entered the flat, someone raped her, someone murdered her and in the process killed her unborn child."

The day Grender was murdered, Whant had been watching rugby with his cousin, Ryan Mayes, before he said he was popping out to his grandmother's house.

Whant claimed he went to his grandmother's house to get some cigarettes, but Mayes noted he came back empty handed.

The 18-year-old was reportedly devastated that his cousin who an IBTimes UK source said he: "looks to Whant as a father figure."

Mayes wrote on a Facebook dedication to Grender: "You meant the world to me and the baby would have.

"You were the best thing ever created. My heart has been ripped open."