A 24-year-old man today admitted killing a Marlow Bottom pensioner in her woodland home before setting her body alight.

Tautrydas Narbutas , who is from Lithuania, denied murdering 81-year-old Albertina Choules who was hit around the head outside her isolated home in Ragmans Lane, but the prosecution accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

He also admitted affray after his "abnormal" behaviour at the scene of the crime against two Thames Valley Police officers who responded to Mrs Choules' 999 call. But two charges of attempted grievous bodily harm were dropped.

The Italian-born pensioner's charred body was discovered in her garden at around 6.30am on July 6 last year after she called the emergency services on the telephone for help from the police about an intruder in her home.

After a psychiatrist instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service agreed with the assessment of one hired by Narbutas' defence team it was decided his responsibility for the gruesome crime was as "severely diminished".

Narbutas, of Chiltern Avenue, High Wycombe wore a red, prison-issued jumper while a Lithuanian interpreter translated proceedings and spoke only to enter his pleas via video link from HMP Woodhill Prison where he is on remand.

Through the translator he said: "Not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter."

Prosecutor Alan Blake said today: "We've carefully reviewed all the evidence and in particular the medical evidence.

"The mental abnormality is identified as arising from a psychotic disorder.

"With that consensus among the medical experts and the evidence of abnormal behaviour at the scene when the defendant was arrested we do not consider there is a realist prospect the jury would reject that medical evidence.

"Accordingly, we consider it proper to accept the plea that has been offered."

The prosecution team met Mrs Choules’ family on Monday before agreeing to accept the pleas he revealed.

The pensioner lived without electricity and would take care of the wildlife near her remote country home.

Villagers were free to visit her estate as part of a Buddhist trail she created with her husband Michael, a fellow Buddhist convert, who died in 2004 after battling cancer.

A statement from her family after her death said: “Tina was incredibly special, as was her simple, self-sufficient way of life with no electricity, television or washing machine.

“She never liked to sit still and worked tirelessly to maintain her beautiful garden and produce all year round.”

At the opening of Mrs Choules' inquest in July last year, a coroner heard the emergency service call handler could hear the chilling voice of a man in the background when the tragic 81-year-old phoned for help, but the line was suddenly disconnected.

When police finally arrived at the luxury home they found a man stood near a fire, where Mrs Choules' body was later revealed.

Narbutas was remanded in custody after the hearing while more medical evidence was gathered for his sentencing on October 3.

Judge Johannah Cutts said: "I should make clear a clear consideration at the sentencing hearing will be dangerousness - I would ask the experts to address that question.

"What is likely to be a concern to the sentencing judge is whether this is likely to happen again."

The judge told Narbutas: "Your sentence will take place on October 3. It is likely in that date the judge will hear further evidence from the psychiatrists.

"In the meantime you'll remain at custody but will come to this court on October 3."