Teenager admits killing Sunderland One Stop Shop worker Joan Hoggett

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A teenager has admitted killing a shop worker during a shift at her store.

Joan Hoggett, a 62-year-old grandmother from Grindon, was stabbed at the One Stop Shop in Sea Road, Fulwell, Sunderland, on September 5 last year.

Ethan Mountain, 19, of Heaton Gardens, South Shields, is charged with her murder.

Mountain pleaded not guilty to murder during a court hearing last December.

At Newcastle Crown Court today he has pleaded guilty to an offence of manslaughter.

Mountain, who has been assessed by both prosecution and defence psychiatrists while in custody, appeared at the hearing via video link to HMP Manchester.

When asked how he pleaded to the manslaughter offence, he replied "guilty by diminished responsibility".

Mountain may still face trial, on March 5, on the murder charge.

Judge Paul Sloan QC told him: "Pending the next court appearance, you will be remanded in custody."

Joan's funeral, a humanist service, was held at Sunderland Crematorium, with scores of mourners packing into the venue to say their final goodbyes.

A total of £570 in donations were collected to pass on to Cancer Research UK in memory of Joan.

AFter her death, Joan's family paid loving tribute to the popular shop worker.

They said: "Joan was a hard-working, independent woman who was a proud and devoted mother, grandmother, great grandma, sister and aunt. She will be greatly missed by all of her family and friends.

"We would like to thank all members of the emergency services who attended or assisted to care for Joan.

"We have also been overwhelmed by the public’s response since Joan’s death, and we want to thank all members of the community for their assistance, best wishes and support."