A babysitter was found murdered in a pool of blood by the two small children she had been looking after, a jury heard today.
Church-going Katie Wynter, 19, was stabbed 13 times in an attack in an horrific attack on Boxing Day night.
When her mother Joy arrived just before 8pm the next morning she noticed blood on the front door and a light on upstairs.
Joy Davies went to the kitchen of the house in Beech Drive, Borehamwood, and found her daughter in a pool of blood.
Michael Speak, prosecuting, said: "Those young children had no real comprehension of the appalling nature of what had happened at the house.
"Joy walked through the living room and could see there was blood on the way to the kitchen. She got into the kitchen and could see Katie's lifeless body on the kitchen floor on her back in a pool of blood. Her head was against a fridge freezer and her feet were pointing towards the kitchen door.
"Joy touched Katie's left arm to try to pull her up, but she realised it was cold and stiff and realised something terrible had happened. She called the emergency services."
The jury of 6 men and 6 women heard that Katie was studying for a foundation degree in Illustration at the Watford campus of West Herts College. She attended church and did not drink.
The man accused of her murder Tony Bushby had also attended the college. He worked at the Holiday Inn in Borehamwood and was said to have an interest in martial arts. He had achieved a high level in karate, which he sometimes taught.
"We can reasonably assume he met Katie at college. We don't know how they met - fatefully meet they did," said Mr Speak.
The prosecutor said Katie had a small group of friends. Her family thought she might have a boyfriend, but did not know much about him. She spent a lot of time on her computer, listening to music and studying for her degree.
On the night of the killing Katie was staying at a house in Borehamwood babysitting.
Mr Speak went on: "Katie was stabbed many, many times. There was a tremendous amount of blood. The defendant got blood on himself and on his clothing and his hands. When he was entering his home in Digswell Close he left traces of Katie's blood on his own front door."
The cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the neck and abdomen. The most lethal was a stab to the neck which penetrated two jugular veins and a stab wound to the abdomen, which penetrated deep inside her. There were other puncture wounds to her liver.
Pathologist Dr Nat Carey found that Katie had suffered multiple defence injuries to her right hand where she had tried to defend herself.
The prosecutor told the jury that Katie spent a lot of time on her computer and, like the defendant, was a subscriber to Facebook.
After the murder the police discovered that Bushby might be Katie's boyfriend and went to speak to him at his home. He was not in, but the officers discovered he had bought a new mobile phone that day.
Mr Speak said: "The defendant's old phone was damaged. He said that was an accident. The prosecution say that is a lie. The prosecution say he tried to damage his own phone to make it unusable, to prevent data being taken from it.
"He did a lot of things to hide contact with Katie. It was not damaged by accident."
The officers left as Bushby arrived home. He was asked if he was in a relationship with Katie and said: "No I am not." He said he had spoken to her the previous evening.
Mr Speak went on to tell the jury that family and friends thought Katie had a boyfriend, but not a great deal was known about the relationship.
He told the jury that Bushby had set up four fake Facebook accounts with the bogus names of two men and two women. He would use those to talk to Katie, who believed she was talking to his friends.
"The defendant manipulated the false identities to make Katie believe they were real people. He used them to say things about himself to gain her trust. They said flattering or impressive things to get her to like him."
When quizzed about the murder by detectives, he told them that it had been carried out by one of his Facebook friends called Dan Tress.
Mr Speak said "That it total nonsense. Dan Tress does not exist. He is a figment of the defendant's imagination."
Bushby, 19, of Digswell Close, Borehamwood denies murder.
Prosecution opening will continue on Friday. The case continues.