Coventry & Warwickshire

Nicola Payne murder case: Two Coventry men in court

Nicola Payne Image copyright Other - NOT West Midlands Police
Image caption Nicola Payne was last seen on 14 December 1991

Two men have appeared in court accused of killing 18-year-old Nicola Payne, who disappeared 23 years ago.

The mother of one was last seen in Coventry in December 1991.

Nigel Barwell, of Copperas Street, and Thomas O'Reilly, of Ribble Road, both in Coventry, were charged with her murder on Monday.

The pair, both aged 50, appeared via video link at Birmingham Crown Court and were remanded in custody for a plea hearing on 23 April.

Body never found

Asked by Judge Burbidge QC if they had anything to say, Mr Barwell said: "I just want to say we're both innocent men and we sit here, in custody, as innocent men, sir."

The two men were first arrested on suspicion of Ms Payne's murder in late 2013.

She disappeared on 14 December 1991 after leaving her boyfriend to return to her parents' home. She left behind a son who was seven months old at the time.

The investigation was reopened in 2012, after detectives were alerted to new information.

Despite searches of several areas of Coventry, her body has never been found.

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