Former socialite Maria Coady confessed yesterday to killing her lover, after two years and eight months of steadfastly maintaining she was innocent. The one-time art promoter, model and fashion designer admitted stabbing Gregoire Weil, 42, to death after being provoked by him on December 19, 1997. Her admission, made from the dock in the Court of Appeal, saved Coady from the prospect of a new murder trial and the risk of a mandatory life sentence. The court entered a verdict of guilty to manslaughter and she will be sentenced at a later date. Acting Chief Judge Michael Stuart-Moore explained to Coady, also known as Veronika Anderson, that the judges were prepared to accept this course so long as she admitted responsibility for the killing. He said: 'It is a very simple question. Were you responsible for his death?' Staring straight ahead, Coady replied: 'I am guilty of it, your Honour.' Her acceptance of guilt came a day after the court had quashed her murder conviction, delivered by a jury in March last year, because of the possibility she may have been provoked. The prosecution had applied for Coady, 44, to be put on trial for murder a second time. But giving the ruling of the court yesterday, Mr Justice Brian Keith said the prosecution was now prepared to withdraw its application. He said this decision was 'in view of the fact that the appellant has conceded today that the deceased did indeed die at her hands and that she claims that she was provoked into killing him'. The maximum sentence for manslaughter is life imprisonment, but much lighter prison terms are usually imposed, depending on the facts of the case. Coady was remanded in custody pending her sentence and waved to friends as she headed for the cells. Weil died after being taken to hospital from the flat he shared with Coady in Wan Chai, suffering from seven stab wounds. She at first claimed he had been the victim of robbers, but told jurors at her trial Weil had inflicted the wounds upon himself. They did not believe her. But claims by Coady that she had been threatened and beaten by Weil before his death could amount to evidence of provocation, the Court of Appeal ruled on Wednesday. Andrew Bruce SC, for the Government, revealed yesterday that on four occasions during the trial the prosecution had offered to accept a plea of guilty to manslaughter, so long as it was provided with facts which supported Coady having been provoked. But she refused to accept responsibility for the death and continued to deny the killing until yesterday. Gerard McCoy SC, for Coady during the appeal, said she had been 'a person perhaps swelled up with the sins of pride and perhaps diverting everyone from the realities of the case'. Keith Oderberg, for Coady yesterday, told the court the prosecution had agreed that the proper way of concluding the case was for the appeal judges to enter a conviction for manslaughter. The case had been brought back to court because Coady's lawyers argued she should not have been held in custody after having her conviction quashed on Wednesday and before either a manslaughter conviction was imposed, or a new trial ordered. Mr Justice Keith, without accepting this to be the legal position, said the court had only delayed a decision at the request, made earlier, of lawyers on both sides.