London

Brother in court over death of Gemma McCluskie

Gemma McCluskie
Image caption Ms McCluskie starred in the BBC One soap in 2001

The brother of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie has appeared in court charged with her murder.

Tony McCluskie, 35, of Hackney, east London, is accused of killing the 29-year-old whose torso was found in Regent's Canal last week.

Mr McCluskie appeared at Thames Magistrates' Court to confirm his name, address and date of birth during a one-and-a-half minute appearance.

He will face a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey on 26 March.

Mr McCluskie, of Pelter Street, is accused of killing her sometime between 29 February and 6 March.

She was believed to have been last seen on 1 March at the high-profile opening of the £650m Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Police are still carrying out searches for her remaining body parts.

A post-mortem examination carried out on Wednesday proved inconclusive leading police to carry out further tests.

Family and friends had appealed for help in finding her, including her former co-stars Natalie Cassidy and Brooke Kinsella.

Ms McCluskie played Kerry Skinner in the soap in 30 episodes during 2001.

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