Brother appears in court over Gemma McCluskie murder


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The Independent Online

The brother of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie appeared in court today accused of murdering his sister and dumping her headless and limbless torso in an east London canal.

Tony McCluskie spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth during an appearance at Thames Magistrates' Court that lasted just over a minute.

Chair of the bench Cliff Lynn told the defendant, appearing behind bullet-proof glass wearing a long-sleeved grey t-shirt, that a bail hearing would take place at the Old Bailey within the next 48 hours.

He added: "You are remanded in custody. A preliminary hearing has been provisionally set for March 26."

Gemma McCluskie, 29, who played Kerry Skinner in more than 30 episodes of the BBC soap in 2001, went missing following the opening of the £650 million Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Friends launched extensive searches across east London in a bid to find her, and former EastEnders co-stars Natalie Cassidy and Brooke Kinsella both appealed for help on Twitter.

Miss McCluskie's remains were discovered last Tuesday after a member of the public reported a suspicious object floating in Regents Canal, close to Hackney’s famous Broadway Market and a short distance from the actress’ home.