A 46-year-old man has admitted murdering Co Offaly vet Catherine Gowing in Wales.

Ms Gowing, 37, who was originally from Clonlee, near Birr, was murdered last October.

Her body has never been fully recovered, although remains were found at two rural locations near her home in Flintshire, north Wales, and near Chester.

Clive Sharp, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to her murder at Mold Crown Court today.

Flanked by two prison officers, Sharp sat in the dock with his head down for most of the brief hearing.

The victim's sister, Emma Maguire, was also present at the court hearing.

After pleading guilty to the murder of Ms Gowing, sometime between 11 October and 17 October last year, Sharp was warned he faces life in prison.

But Mr Justice Griffith-Williams said he would not sentence Sharp immediately as he has to determine the minimum term he must serve before he can be considered for release.

He also said there were a "number of concerns" about the murder that he needed to consider before setting a minimum term of imprisonment.

The court heard in a report on the defendant that Sharp had "expressed his fantasies" and the judge asked for a complete history of his criminal record to be prepared.

Adjourning sentencing until next month, the judge told Sharp: "There is only one sentence I can impose upon you for this offence, as you well know.

"I have to indicate the minimum term you will serve before the parole board will consider your release - if you are ever to be released.

"Sentencing is adjourned until Monday the 25th of February. You can be taken down."

Ms Gowing's family left court without commenting.