6 Nov 2009

Man admits strangling animal worker

12:52 pm on 6 November 2009

A Christchuch man has admitted murdering a Cats Protection League worker who went to pick up a stray from his home.

Kerry Downey was strangled after going to Ashley Peach's home in August last year.

Peach, 42, pleaded guilty to the murder charge in the High Court in Christchurch on Friday, 10 days before his trial was due to begin.

He now admits strangling Ms Downey after contacting her to pick up a stray cat hanging around his flat.

Ms Downey was last seen arriving at Peach's flat and was reported missing when she did not turn up for work the next day.

Her body was found dumped in the Port Hills, but police found her clothes and handbag at Peach's home.

The work practices of the Cats Protection League have now been changed to ensure its staff are safer.

Peach will be sentenced on 3 December.