By Luke Voogt
Phillip Island man Christopher Allen Bell has pleaded guilty to murdering Highton woman Natalina Angok, whose body was found in Melbourne’s Chinatown in April 2019.
Bell had been scheduled to stand trial at Supreme Court in December over the murder of his girlfriend.
But the 33-year-old entered a guilty plea while appearing via video link at Supreme Court for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
Bell was a schizophrenic, who had been released from an inpatient facility a week before the murder, Melbourne Magistrates’ Court heard during a filing hearing in April 2019.
A passerby discovered Ms Angok’s body in Chinatown, near the corner of Little Bourke Street and Celestial Avenue, about 6.30am on April 24.
Paramedics arrived soon after but could not revive her.
Following the murder Ms Angok’s family released a statement through police saying they were heartbroken.
“Our family is finding the strength to come to terms with this tragedy and the loss of Natalina Angok.”
In another statement online that week Ms Angok’s sister Helena described her as a generous and kind woman.
“Natalina Angok was our sister, our daughter, our cousin, our friend,” she wrote.
She was a shining light and her life was taken away from her at just 33.”
“Her selfless, friendly, loving and humble character has always drawn people to her. “She would always seek the happiness of others.
“We still can’t believe we won’t see her again.”
Bell is due to return to court for a pre-sentencing hearing in September.