Nikitta, Carl Whant (SUPPLIED)

A man raped and murdered his close friend’s nine-month pregnant girlfriend.

After killing Nikitta, Carl Whant, 27, set fire to her bed to cover up his crime, a court heard yesterday.

Whant cold bloodedly plunged a knife into the stomach of Nikitta Grender, 19, which penetrated through to the liver of her unborn baby daughter, the jury was told.

The gory episode did not end there; he stabbed Nikitta in the neck and severed an artery.

He set fire to the bed to make it look like Nikitta had died in a house fire.

Nikitta was just two weeks away from giving birth to her baby. She and boyfriend Ryan Mayes, 18, decided to name the child Kelsey-May.

The Sun reported, that Ryan “idolised” Whant and regarded him as a father figure. The two used to work together as salesmen for a local window company.

Nikitta was weary abou their close proximity. She doubted that when they went out, they used to indulge in drinking and taking cocaine.

Whant, of Newport, denies murder, child destruction, rape and arson. The case continues.