Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
19

Showbiz News

'EastEnders' Gemma McCluskie murder: Brother Tony found guilty, jailed for life

By
The brother of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie has been jailed for life after being found guilty of her murder.

Tony McCluskie, 35, from Shoreditch, East London admitted to killing his 25-year-old sister, but denied murder. He was convicted by an 11-1 majority verdict at the Old Bailey today (January 30) and given life with a minimum tariff of 20 years.

Gemma McCluskie

© PA Images

Tony McCluskie, The Old Bailey, London, Britain

© Rex Features


[L: Tony McCluskie, R: Gemma McCluskie]

> 'EastEnders' stars pay tribute to Gemma McCluskie

The Central Criminal Court heard that Gemma was killed by being hit over the head at least twice. Her body was then hacked into six pieces using a cleaver and a knife.

CPS London Chief Crown Prosecutor Alison Saunders said: "This was an extremely distressing and violent case. McCluskie used all means possible to divert suspicion away from himself, giving false hope to family and friends.

"After committing the crime on 1 March 2012, he filed a missing person's report and gave false information to the police.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Tony McCluskie in the dock at the Old Bailey where he is accused of the murder of his sister, former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie

© PA Images / Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire


[Court artist sketch of Tony McCluskie by Elizabeth Cook]

"The strong case against McCluskie led to him admitting unlawfully killing his sister and he pleaded guilty to manslaughter, saying it was not intentional and that he had lost control."

She continued: "But the prosecution did not accept his plea to manslaughter. We felt that the evidence of brutality showed a deliberate intent to cause death or serious bodily harm to Gemma, which amounts to murder.

"CPS London will robustly prosecute offenders to ensure that convictions reflect the nature of the crime. Our thoughts are with those who have been doubly affected by this tragedy."

Gemma, who played Kerry Skinner in the BBC soap, was reported missing on March 1, 2012 and was confirmed dead a week later.

Her body parts were found in Regent's in Hackney, East London and her severed head was found in the same canal six months later.

A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from RegentÕs Canal in east London

© PA Images / Sophie Duval/EMPICS Entertainment


[Gemma's remains are found by police at Regent's Canal]

During the trial, the prosecution argued that the pair had been at odds "for some time" due to Tony's drug use.

A row broke out after Tony left on the taps at their shared flat and after Gemma told him to move out he killed her, cut up her body and dumped it in the canal.

A man matching Tony's description was later reported to have had taken a minicab to the canal on the day after his sister's disappearance.

You May Like

Comments

Loading...