Man admits killing 'kind' woman whose body lay undiscovered for weeks
Joe Rankin, 33, is facing life in prison after he pleaded guilty to murdering 40-year-old Emma Potter.
A man has admitted to murdering a "kind" woman whose body lay undiscovered in her flat for weeks.
Joe Rankin, 33, is facing life in prison after he pleaded guilty to killing 40-year-old Emma Potter.
Ms Potter was found dead at her flat in Stroud, Gloucestershire, on 4 November last year by police officers after a neighbour had raised concerns, a previous court hearing was told.
Rankin, of Stroud, who has a long history of psychiatric problems, appeared at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday for his arraignment after it was deemed he was now fit to plead.
Rankin spoke only to confirm his name and submit a plea of guilty to the charge he murdered Ms Potter sometime between 19 September and 4 November last year.
No further details of the crime were given in court during the short hearing and he was remanded in custody ahead of his sentencing next month.
Ms Potter's death was treated initially as unexplained but after a post-mortem examination was carried out, Gloucestershire Police opened a murder investigation.
Rankin was told a medical report would now be prepared ahead of sentencing to look at any mitigating factors that could affect the minimum term he is given.
The prosecution said that instead of opening the case now it would, in their view, be "better to have everything heard at once" and have the judge assisted by a psychiatric report.
The court heard the defendant had a "detailed psychiatric history" but by his "guilty plea to the charge on the indictment" the conclusion was he was "not suffering to an extent that equates to diminished responsibility."
Rankin was no longer in a hospital setting and was now being held in custody in prison, the court also heard.
The Recorder of Bristol, His Honour Judge Peter Blair KC, told the defendant: "As you will already have had explained to you in detail by your solicitor, you will receive a life sentence and the question for me will be to determine what the minimum period will be before you can even be considered for release.
"In the meantime you will be remanded in custody."
Paying tribute to her at the time of her death, Emma's family said: "We mourn the death of our daughter, Emma, who joined our family as a beautiful five-month-old baby.
They added: "All her life, Emma tried to be kind to anyone who befriended her.
''Life wasn't always easy, but she was trying to find ways to improve herself. We will never know whether she would have succeeded.”