Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Brother admits killing actress

Gemma McCluskie played Kerry Skinner in EastEnders

The brother of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie, found dead in a canal, now accepts responsibility for killing her, the Old Bailey has heard.

Tony McCluskie, 35, will now face trial on the issue of whether her death was murder or manslaughter, a judge said.

McCluskie, who lived in Peter Street, Hackney, east London, with his 29-year-old sister, was due to face trial next month.

But the trial has now been moved to January 14 next year, following the discovery of Gemma's head in the Regent's Canal near her home on September 9.

McCluskie, who appeared by videolink, was remanded in custody at the Old Bailey.

Gemma's headless and limbless body was discovered floating in the canal in March.

She had been missing for a week after attending the £650 million opening of the new Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.

The actress played Kerry Skinner in the BBC soap in 2001.

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 on Twitter for help.

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Your career has been undergoing some dramatic changes. At long last, you'll have a chance to slow down and catch your breath. Getting used to a new set of responsibilities will take time and patience. Try not to be hard on yourself when you struggle with unfamiliar concepts. Nobody expects perfection, especially at this stage of the game. The more gentle you are with yourself, the easier it will be to master this role. If you're out of work, take this opportunity to rest and reflect on future possibilities.More