St Helens man admits unlawful killing of travel agent

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A man charged with murdering a travel agent at her workplace admits unlawful killing, a court has heard.

Andrew Burke, 30, of Vincent Street, St Helens, did not enter pleas to the charges of murder and possessing an unlawful weapon in a public place when he appeared via videolink from prison at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday.

Cassie Hayes with her sister Nadine.

Cassie Hayes with her sister Nadine.

Burke, who was holding a rosary throughout the hearing, is accused of the murder of Cassie Hayes, 28, who died in hospital from a wound to her throat inflicted at the Tui branch in Southport town centre on January 13.

David McLachlan QC, defending, said there would be no issue that Ms Hayes was unlawfully killed by Burke but psychiatric reports on the defendant were still being prepared.

Judge David Aubrey QC adjourned the hearing until April 9, when Burke is expected to enter pleas.

In a tribute issued via Merseyside Police after her death, Ms Hayes’s partner Laura Williams said: “Cassie is my partner and words will not explain my sorrow and loss.

Cassie Hayes with her mum Tracy.

Cassie Hayes with her mum Tracy.

“She is the most amazing, gorgeous, selfless and strong person I know. She is my future wife and my forever.”

The family of Ms Hayes, who was originally from Alnwick, Northumberland, added: “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.”