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Man, 22, admits killing American woman, 21, who was stabbed to death at house in Essex after travelling to the UK to meet man she met online

 A man has admitted killing a 'shy and kind' American woman days before she was due to fly home.

Adam Butt, 22, had previously denied murder after 21-year-old Mary Wells was found with stab wounds to her neck and body in a shared Colchester home in Essex.

An inquest into her death heard Ms Wells had flown thousands of miles to see a man she had met online.

Butt, of Colchester, was arrested after she was found dead in January and denied murder at a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court last month.

But during a short hearing at the same court yesterday, Butt admitted manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility.

The court heard a jury trial could still proceed on the murder charge, but discussions between the Crown Prosecution Service and Butt's defence team are ongoing.

Butt remains remanded at a psychiatric hospital.

Judge Christopher Morgan said: 'I will adjourn this matter to a pre-trial review or further case management hearing on September 3.

'The defendant can appear over the videolink if he requires, or he can be produced as he has been today.

'The trial, which is due to commence in September, will remain at this stage until the parties have had the opportunity of fully considering the position in light of the plea of manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility entered today.'

Speaking at an inquest, assistant coroner Tina Harrington  established a provisional cause of death as penetrating wounds to the neck and torso.

Mary had been born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and lived in Dallastown, Philadelphia, where she graduated from high school. 

Paramedics were called to the property but tragically they could not save Ms Wells' life

Paramedics were called to the property but tragically they could not save Ms Wells' life

A fundraising page was set up to help her grieving family with the process of transporting her body home.

On the page, Ms Wells was described as kind, a person who 'would give someone the shirt off her back'.

The page set a target of raising £3,300 and reached the goal in just two days.

It said: 'Mary was so kind and selfless, she would give someone the shirt off her back. Mary was quiet and didn't ask for much.

'She wasn't the kind of person that likes to fight or argue. She was very shy. 

'Mary had a tough couple of years. She lost her mum due to health problems and lost her grandmother, who took care of her after her mum died two years ago.'

The tragic woman had spent six months in the UK and was due to fly home on February 8 but died on January 17.

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