A MAN has admitted killing a devoted mother who was found stabbed to death in a North-East house shortly after celebrating her birth-day.

The blood-soaked body of Susan Carr, a 38-year-old mother of two teenagers, was discovered at a bungalow in Palm Street, Craghead, near Stanley in the early hours of July 7.

Mrs Carr, a telephone operator for a Stanley taxi firm, had been celebrating her birthday at the nearby Craghead Royal British Legion Club and had called at the bungalow on her way to her home in Hazel Terrace.

In a brief appearance at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, 57-year-old Peter Killeen, the owner of the bungalow, pleaded guilty to her murder. After a three-minute hearing, Killeen was remanded in custody by Judge David Hodson until Friday, when he will return to court to be sentenced.

The murder of Mrs Carr, mother of 19-year-old Lee and 14-year-old Kirsty, shocked the tiny community of Craghead.

The day after her 38th birthday, Mrs Carr had spent the night out with friends in the club, where she was a member of the women's darts team, and had left with a man and a woman.

At about 4.30am the following day, paramedics answered an emergency call to the bungalow and discovered the body of Mrs Carr slumped in a bedroom. She had suffered multiple stab wounds, including a serious injury to her neck.

Killeen was arrested at the scene and a knife was later recovered from the house, which was sent for scientific tests.

The area was sealed off and a search of the house was launched.

The forensic investigation into the death of Mrs Carr was led by Detective Superintendent Dave Jones, of Durham Police, who was yesterday in court to hear Killeen admit to murder.