Man, 32, in court after 'battering Travelodge receptionist to death during night shift'

A MAN has today appeared in court accused of battering a Travelodge receptionist to death during a night shift.

Stephen Cole, 32, is alleged to have killed Marta Vento while she worked the nightshift at the busy hotel in Bournemouth, Dorset.

The 27-year-old was found in the foyer area of the hotel by shocked guests at 7.30am on December 9 last year.

Miss Vento, originally from Valencia, Spain, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination revealed she died from multiple blunt force head injuries.

Cole was arrested that morning and was detained under the Mental Health Act.

Yesterday, Dorset police charged him with Miss Vento's murder and he appeared at Winchester Crown Court today.

A bespectacled Cole sat in the dock for the brief hearing.

The court was told that Cole needs to undergo further psychiatric assessment to determine whether he is fit to enter a plea to the charge.

He was further detained under Section 48 of the mental health act at Ravenswood House Hospital in Fareham, Hants.

Cole will next appear at court on May 4, with a provisional trial date set for September 27.

The potential trial currently has a time estimate of five days.

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