A man has pleaded not guilty to murdering a “much-loved” grandmother in Newport, South Wales.
Lewis Bush, 25, appeared before Newport Crown Court on Friday and denied murdering Kelly Pitt between May 9 and 13.
The 44-year-old, who was described by her family as a “devoted nan” was found unresponsive after police were called to a property in Sandalwood Court, Newport, south Wales, at about 11.30am on May 12.
Paramedics who attended confirmed Ms Pitt’s death at the scene.
Bush was arrested on suspicion of murder and later charged with the offence, appearing at Newport Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday May 17 and at Cardiff Crown Court the next day.
At a plea and trial preparation hearing Bush, who appeared via videolink from prison wearing a grey sweatshirt, spoke only to confirm his name and his plea.
Judge Daniel Williams confirmed a trial would begin on October 30 and estimated it would last for around three weeks.
The prosecution said extensive CCTV and forensic works had been carried out by Gwent Police.
Caroline Rees KC, defending, said a psychiatrist report had been ordered for her client and a second post-mortem examination had been authorised.
Before rising, Judge Williams said: “On the court’s behalf, can I extend the court’s condolences to those affected by the tragic death of Kelly Pitt.”
Ms Pitt’s family previously released a tribute to her, describing her as an “all-round beautiful soul”.
They said: “Kelly was a much-loved granddaughter, daughter, sister, mother and grandmother. She was a loving, caring mother and a devoted nan.
“She was an all-round beautiful soul, a lovely person inside and out. She was kind, thoughtful, funny and would help anyone.
“Kelly was taken far too soon and we are devastated by what has happened, she was taken in such a painful way which we will never be able to come to terms with.
“We would like to thank the emergency services for such a quick response and the police for supporting us during this difficult time.
“Thank you for all the messages of condolence, we now wish to be left to grieve in private as a family.”
Gwent Police said the family were being supported by specialist officers.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Gwent Police on 101, quoting log reference 2300153148, or send a direct message on Facebook or Twitter.
The force previously confirmed that it would be making a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct “in line with standard procedure”.