In the Media

Brother of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie admits responsibility for her death

PUBLISHED September 28, 2012

The brother of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie admits responsibility for her death, the Old Bailey heard today.

Tony McCluskie, 35, is charged with murdering the 29-year-old and then dumping her body in a canal just hours after she attended a hospital opening ceremony on March 1 this year.

Her headless torso was discovered in a stretch of the Regent's Canal in Hackney, east London, five days later after a barge owner called the police.

Two weeks after that an arm and two legs were recovered from the same stretch of water and earlier this month the head was found near Kingsland Road by members of the public cleaning the canal. It had to be identified from dental records.

Tony McCluskie was due to stand trial on November 12 this year but today the prosecution applied for it to be put back to January 14 next year.

The Common Serjeant of London, Brian Barker QC agreed to the new date.

McCluskie listened over a video link from prison as his barrister Jeremy Dein QC revealed that McCluskie admits responsibility for the death of his sister.

'The position is Mr McCluskie does accept responsibility for the death of his sister. The defence will be one of loss of control.'

McCluskie has not entered any plea but the court heard the issue will be whether he is guilty of murder or manslaughter.

The judge said: 'It does seem to me the Press can report that it is accepted now that Mr McCluskie is responsible for the death of his sister.'

McCluskie spoke only to confirm his name during the short hearing.

Gemma appeared in more than 30 episodes of the BBC soap opera as teenage temptress Kerry Skinner in 2001.

Former EastEnders co-stars Natalie Cassidy and Brooke Kinsella both appealed on Twitter for help in finding her.

McCluskie, of (23) Pelter Street, Bethnal Green, east London, was remanded in custody.