A 25-year-old man who murdered his girlfriend in their Newry home lied about her cause of death, a court has heard.
Dawid Lukasz Mietus beat and strangled his 20-year-old partner Patrycja Wyrebek in their Drumalane Park home in August 2020.
The Polish national initially told police Ms Wyrebek had died during a consensual 'sex game gone wrong' and that her death was accidental.
Almost two years after her death and in the presence of her relatives at Newry Crown Court sitting in Belfast, Mietus now accepts this was an 'utter lie' and that he murdered his girlfriend following a row over past partners.
In April, he pleaded guilty to murdering Ms Wyrebek, and the facts of the case were opened on Friday ahead of a tariff hearing to be held next week.
Following a childhood in Poland marred by domestic abuse and alcoholism, Mietus moved to Northern Ireland in February 2019.
He met Ms Wyrebek, who is also originally from Poland, in December 2019 and the following month she moved into Mietus's home in Newry.
Crown barrister Neil Connor QC said that on the morning of August 2, 2020 Mietus cycled to his aunt's house and said "I've killed her."
She noticed her nephew's shoes were bloodstained, and when her partner walked to Mietus's home, he found Ms Wyrebek's body lying in an empty bath.
Police were immediately alerted and when officers arrived at 8.20am, they observed a heavily blood-stained bedroom and noticed the smell of bleach.
Mr Connor said the bedroom "showed obvious signs of an assault or struggle with blood visible on the floor and walls".
Whilst Ms Wyrebek's remains were removed, a police search was launched to find Mietus. He was arrested a short time later after being located lying beside an oil tank in the rear of a neighbouring property.
During interview, Mietus claimed he and Ms Wyrebek had a shared interest in erotic asphyxiation and that she had accidentally died during consensual sex.
Mr Connor pointed out that the extent and nature of Ms Wyrebek's injuries, and the amount of blood found at the scene, proved otherwise - as did the differing accounts he gave to both his aunt and probation.
Mietus now claims that before he killed her, he and his girlfriend rowed over past partners. He told probation that he punched her then grabbed her by the throat and squeezed until she stopped moving.
The prosecutor said: "It is unlikely that the court will know with certainty what actually happened in the house on the night in question. There were only two people in the house - the deceased and the defendant."
A post mortem examination revealed Ms Wyrebek died of 'compression of the neck in association with blunt force injuries of the head.'
The young woman also sustained a fractured nose and cheekbone, cut lips and extensive bruising to her head and face.
Defence barrister Patrick Lyttle addressed Mietus's initial claims that Ms Wyrebek died during a consensual sex act and said: "That is a complete and utter lie and on behalf of my client I apologise for the hurt and upset it would have caused to the family of the deceased."
"He tried to be cute in the way that he dealt with it ... but it was also stupid."
Mr Lyttle described Mietus as an immature man who was both jealous and "unable to control his temper." Saying the murder was a "spontaneous act", the barrister said Mietus is truly sorry for what he did.
Mr Justice O'Hara said he wanted to consider all the submissions made, and said he would impose the minimum term Mietus will have to serve in prison before being considered eligible for release by the Parole Commissioners at a tariff hearing next Thursday.