London

Father in court over Southwark child deaths

Flat where the children were found dead on Sunday
Image caption Police were called to the block of flats in Empire Square on Sunday morning

A father has appeared in court charged with murdering his two young children in south London.

The girl, Regina, 10, and the boy, Rolls, eight, were found dead at a property in Empire Square, Southwark.

Jean Francis Say, 61, of Empire Square, appeared at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court by videolink and was ordered to appear at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.

The children's next of kin have been informed.

Post-mortem examinations are yet to be conducted.

Police were called to the modern block of flats at about 0815 GMT on Sunday.

Say, who is from the Ivory Coast, spoke through a French interpreter at the hearing before being remanded in custody.

Paper suits

Teams of forensic officers remained at the flat which is a short distance from London Bridge railway station.

One detective said the children's mother has been left deeply traumatised by the deaths and they are waiting to speak to her.

Neighbour Scott McEwan, a 23-year-old plumber, said he knew something had gone badly wrong on Saturday because there were lots of police officers around the complex.

"Then we saw officers in paper suits going in and out of the flat. I just couldn't believe it when I heard that two kids had died," he said.

Following the arrest, police went from door to door to reassure residents.

The precinct surrounding the building in Empire Square has been taped off by police.

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