Leeds man admits killing sex worker near city centre but faces murder trial

Daria Pionko was found with fatal injuries
Daria Pionko was found with fatal injuries

A man has admitted killing a sex worker close to Leeds city centre.

Lewis Pierre, 24, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and robbery over the death of 21-year-old Daria Pionko when he appeared before Leeds Crown Court.

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Pierre, of Miles Hill Street, Leeds, pleaded not guilty to murder.

Miss Pionko was discovered with fatal injuries after what police described as a “brutal” attack in Springwell Road, Holbeck, early on December 23.

She was taken to Leeds General Infirmary but confirmed dead a short time later.

Miss Pionko, a Polish national who had been living in Leeds, was found in a “managed” area, where sex workers are allowed to ply their trade.

A post-mortem examination found she died of head and facial injuries.

Pierre was told a murder trial will be held later this month, on June 27, and he will remain in custody until the hearing

In the days after Miss Pionko’s death more than 40 people lit candles and left floral tributes at a memorial service at the spot where her body was discovered