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Man remanded over deaths of ex-EastEnders actress Sian Blake and their two sons

Published 12/02/2016

Arthur Simpson-Kent was arrested at Heathrow Airport after his extradition from Ghana
Arthur Simpson-Kent was arrested at Heathrow Airport after his extradition from Ghana

The boyfriend of EastEnders actress Sian Blake has appeared in court charged with murdering her and their two children.

Ms Blake and her sons Zachary, eight, and four-year-old Amon vanished on December 13 and were found buried in the garden of their family home in Erith, Kent, on January 5.

Arthur Simpson-Kent, 48, was arrested at Heathrow Airport after agreeing to his extradition from Ghana.

He entered no pleas during a 10-minute hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London and was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.

Ms Blake's sister Ava and mother Pansy sat facing Simpson-Kent on the opposite side of the courtroom.

Wearing a grey T-shirt and grey sweater, Simpson-Kent spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.

The hairdresser entered the dock flanked by security and looked around the courtroom before sitting down with his arms crossed.

Ms Blake's sister Ava stared directly at the dock throughout the hearing, while her mother Pansy rubbed her back. Eight supporters of the family sat in the public gallery.

Chief magistrate Howard Riddle said he could not consider bail as the case was sent to the Central Criminal Court.

Scotland Yard is under investigation by the police watchdog for the way it handled the missing persons inquiry and why it took more than three weeks to find the bodies of Ms Blake and her sons.

The back garden of the house was only thoroughly searched in early January after murder squad detectives were called in.

Ms Blake played Frankie Pierre in 56 episodes of EastEnders between 1996 and 1997. She was suffering from motor neurone disease before she died.

The charges against Simpson-Kent say Ms Blake and her sons were murdered between December 12 and December 16.

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