THE family of the Bournemouth hotel receptionist who was killed in a brutal 42-minute attack have paid tribute to her.

Marta Elena Vento was repeatedly hit by Stephen Richard Cole at the Travelodge where she worked.

Spanish national Miss Vento, 27, was found dead in the reception area of the Christchurch Road hotel on the morning of December 9, 2020.

Cole, a 32-year-old paranoid schizophrenic, admitted her manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility and was given a hospital order at Winchester Crown Court on June 1.

In a statement issued after the conclusion of the court case, her family said: "Marta was a hard-working and responsible girl, with a good heart, who transmitted her joy and desire to live to all of us around her.

"Nothing will be able to repair the damage and pain that this man's action has produced.

"We will continue to honour Marta's memory by seeking to understand all circumstances surrounding her tragic death.”

Victim personal statements from Miss Vento's father and brother were read in court by prosecutor Tom Wright, while members of the family followed proceedings via video link from Spain.

Her father said the family have suffered "pain and anguish", with them trying to "keep the ruins of what was a happy family standing". 

He said he wanted all those responsible to face justice for not protecting her daughter and not looking after the defendant properly.

Miss Vento's brother said "happiness left our lives" on December 9, adding that "nothing has ever been the same again".

As reported, at around 8.20am on December 9, 2020, Cole attended the enquiry office at Bournemouth police station and told a member of staff that he had just killed someone. 

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 Miss Vento at work.

Cole was arrested and taken into police custody where during police interview, he admitted causing the death of Marta Elena Vento.

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

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

Detective Chief Inspector Jez Noyce, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “This was a tragic case where a young woman lost her life and our thoughts continue to remain with the family and friends of Marta Elena Vento.

"I would like to thank everyone who was involved in this investigation and helped to bring Cole before the court."