Man charged with daughter's murder dies in jail

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The Independent Online

A man facing trial today accused of murdering his teenage daughter has died in jail, the Prison Service said.

Tony Couchman, 47, of Beecham Place, St Leonards, East Sussex, was accused of killing single mother Victoria Couchman, 19, between 15 and 18 May 2008.

He was found unconscious in his cell in HMP Lewes, East Sussex, on Saturday morning and was pronounced dead shortly afterwards, the Prison Service said.

He had slashed his wrists, according to The Sun.

Couchman was originally arrested after children playing in Redgeland Wood in the Queensway area of St Leonards found a skull in October 2008.

Further human remains were later found around the scene and medical records were used to identify them as those of Ms Couchman.

Her father was also charged with perverting the course of justice in connection with the murder investigation. He had denied both charges.

He was listed for trial at Lewes Crown Court.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "HMP Lewes prisoner Tony Couchman was found unconscious in his cell at 11.30am on Saturday January 2.

"Paramedics attended the prison, but Mr Couchman was pronounced dead shortly after that time. The cause of death is yet to be determined.

"As with all deaths in custody, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation."