Woman in court accused of sister's murder

The sister of a woman who was found stabbed to death in a field appeared in court today accused of her murder.

The body of Karen Barton, 51, was discovered by dog walkers off Rentain Road, Chartham, near Canterbury, Kent, shortly after midnight on Sunday.

Detectives from Kent Police then announced that they wanted to speak to her sister Phoebe Barton, 49, who had not been seen since 7pm on the same day.

Last night unemployed Barton, who lived with her sister in Highland Road, Chartham, was charged with murder between May 7 and 10 and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a kitchen knife.

Dressed in a baggy grey jumper and handcuffed to a security guard, she spoke only to confirm her name, address and date of birth before being remanded in custody during a five-minute hearing at Dover Magistrates' Court.

No application for bail was made and she will make her next appearance at a preliminary hearing at Maidstone Crown Court on June 1.

Ms Barton's body was found by dog walkers in a field known locally as Pickett's Field.

Officers searched the surrounding area, including a special marine unit in the river Stour, which runs through Chartham.