A PICTURE of the man who killed a receptionist at the Bournemouth hotel where she worked has been released by police for the first time.

Stephen Richard Cole, 32, bludgeoned Marta Vento to death at Travelodge in Christchurch Road while she was working a nightshift on the morning of December 9 last year.

At a hearing on May 4 at Winchester Crown Court Cole pleaded not guilty to murder but admitted manslaughter.

These pleas were accepted by the prosecution on the basis of ‘partial diminished responsibility'.

Cole, who was remanded into custody at Ravenswood House Hospital in Fareham, Hampshire, is due to be sentenced at the same court on June 1.

As reported, at around 8am on Wednesday, December 9, police were called to the Travelodge hotel following reports a woman had been found dead.

Bournemouth Echo: Stephen Cole, 32, admitted the manslaughter of Marta VentoStephen Cole, 32, admitted the manslaughter of Marta Vento

A short time later at around 8.20am Cole attended the enquiry office at Bournemouth police station and told a member of staff that he had just killed someone. He was arrested and taken into police custody.

The victim was identified as Miss Vento, a 27-year-old a Spanish national who was living in Bournemouth and was working as a receptionist at the hotel.

When Cole attended the police station he was in possession of a carrier bag, which contained items of his clothing that were blood-stained.

The bag also contained a lanyard and keys that matched the description of items that would have been used by Marta Elena Vento at work.

During police interview, Cole admitted causing the death of Marta Elena Vento.

Bournemouth Echo: Police at the scene in Christchurch RoadPolice at the scene in Christchurch Road

Following an assessment by mental health professionals, he was subsequently detained under the Mental Health Act. Cole is continuing to remain in the care of mental health services throughout court proceedings.

A post-mortem examination was carried out on Thursday, December 10, 2020, and indicated that the cause of death was multiple blunt force injury.

Detective Chief Inspector Jez Noyce, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “This is an extremely sad and deeply shocking incident where a young woman lost her life in tragic circumstances.

“My thoughts and sympathies continue to remain with Marta Elena Vento’s family.”