Man pleads guilty to murder over violent death of maths graduate Poppy Devey-Waterhouse at Leeds flat

Poppy Devey-Waterhouse.
Poppy Devey-Waterhouse.

A man has pleaded guilty to murdering a 24-year-old maths graduate at a flat in Leeds.

Joe Atkinson today changed his plea to admit the killing of Poppy Devey-Waterhouse.

The murder took place at Saxton flats development in the Richmond Hill area of the city on December 14 last year.

READ MORE: Robber terrified McDonald’s restaurant staff and fought with taxi driver in knifepoint attacks in Leeds

Atkinson, 25, had pleaded not guilty to the murder charge when he appeared before Leeds Crown Court on January 17 this year.

The case was returned to the court this morning where Atkinson’s barrister, Richard Wright, QC, asked for the murder charge to be put to him again by the court clerk.

Atkinson spoke only to confirm his name and enter the guilty plea.

The public gallery was full with Miss Devey-Waterhouse’s relatives and police officers involved in the case.

Atkinson’s parents were also present for the brief hearing.

Prosecutor Jason Pitter, QC, asked for the case to be adjourned until next Friday (April 12) when Atkinson will be sentenced.

Mr Justice Lavender adjourned the case until that date and told Atkinson he will have to remain in custody until then

Emergency services were called to the apartment block in the Richmond Hill area just before 9am.

A post-mortem examination found Miss Devey Waterhouse’s preliminary cause of death as head and neck trauma.

Poppy, originally from Somerset, was a University of Nottingham maths graduate who is originally from Somerset.

She had a Masters degree in statistics and began a job as a quantitative trading analyst at bookmaker William Hill’s Leeds offices in 2017.

A spokesman for the company said at the time of of the incident: “I can confirm she was an employee and that we are providing support to her colleagues, who are clearly very shocked and saddened.”