A man has appeared in court to admit the "unlawful" killing of a travel agent who had her throat slit as she worked.

Cassie Hayes, an assistant manager at a the Tui store in Southport town centre, Merseyside, was attacked on 13 January this year.

The 28-year-old mother died after being rushed to hospital following the brutal knife attack with a Home Office post-mortem finding she died from shock and haemorrhaging from the throat wound.

Andrew Burke, of Vincent Street, St Helens, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court via video link, on Monday (19 February).

The 30-year-old is charged with murder and did not enter a plea during the hearing but his barrister David McLachlan QC said "he will accept responsibility for her homicide", the Liverpool Echo reports.

"There will be no issue that she was unlawfully killed," McLachlan said.

"He will accept responsibility for her homicide and the issue will be whether or not partial defence applies in the case."

McLachlan added that psychiatric reports are being prepared before Burke returns to court on 9 April. Burke has also been charged with possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

Judge David Aubrey said during the hearing: "Your client admits the unlawful killing of the deceased. The court is obliged to give sufficient time and opportunity to ascertain whether there is a partial and I emphasise partial defence available to the defence and that can only be determined or otherwise by the completion of the relevant medical reports."

Hayes, who was originally from Alnwick, Northumberland, was described as "the most amazing, gorgeous, selfless and strong person I know" by her partner Laura Williams.

Hayes' family released a statement following her death that read: "Our whole lives have been shattered. This has torn our hearts from our bodies.

"Cassie was an amazing, kind human being who would do anything for anyone. She doted on all her family and our loss is beyond calculation."

A provisional trial date has been set for 2 July this year.