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Father of murdered children remanded on sex charges

An alleged paedophile whose wife is accused of murdering their two children in a Spanish hotel appeared in court today.

Martin Smith, 45, was wearing a small bandage over his right ear after being attacked with a snooker cue by another inmate last week in Durham Prison.

He appeared at Carlisle Crown Court for a brief hearing, accused of a string of sex offences and failing to answer to bail.

No pleas were entered, there was no application for bail and Smith was further remanded into custody by Judge Paul Batty QC.

A provisional trial date was set for November 1.

His daughter, Rebecca, five, and son Daniel, 11 months, were found dead in the Hotel Miramar in the resort of Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava on May 18.

Their mother, Lianne Smith, 43, is being held by Spanish police on suspicion of murder.

She has appeared in court and admitted asphyxiating her children with a plastic bag, Spanish court officials said.

Smith, from North Shields, was one of Britain's most wanted men until he was arrested in Spain on May 7.

The family fled the UK in 2007 after he was first arrested over child sex allegations.

He allegedly jumped bail while facing charges of rape of a child under 16, gross indecency with a girl under 16, indecent assault of a girl under 16 and attempted rape of a girl under 16.

Smith, who has lived at various addresses in Carlisle, was stopped by the Spanish Civil Guard in Barcelona last month and checks alerted officers to his wanted status in the UK.

Mrs Smith was formerly a manager at Cumbria County Council's children's services department but did not work directly with children.

Smith will next appear back at the same court on July 27 for a case management hearing ahead of his trial.