A Dutch man has admitted to killing his former colleague and girlfriend, Shannon Mak, who in 2018 was found dead in a pool of blood between a parked car and a garden wall in Santa Venera.

Mak, 30, was brutally beaten and kicked before being fatally stabbed in the neck, a medical expert had testified in the murder proceedings. 

A curving trail of reddish handprints suggested that she had clung to the wall after being stabbed. Her lifeless body had been discovered on August 3 at 6.15am on Triq il-Mastrudaxxi. 

Jelle Rijpma, 24, had denied the charges until Wednesday, when he changed his plea to one of guilt in a sitting before magistrate Simone Grech.

This led the court to close the compilation of evidence and refer the case to the Criminal Court to hand down its punishment against Rijpma.

Magistrates hear cases that carry an imprisonment sentence of not longer than 12 years, so willful homicide exceeds the competence of the Court of Magistrates. 

The reason behind the change in plea remains unknown. It is also not known if there has been any plea bargaining between the defence and the prosecution team. 

During the compilation of evidence, the court had heard how a long strand of golden hair on the handle of the shower bar at a flat rented by Rijpma appeared to indicate the victim’s presence inside her former boyfriend’s home. Traces of blood had also been found inside the premises.

Steve Tonna Lowell is defence counsel while Stefano Filletti appeared parte civile for Mak's family.

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