Gemma McCluskie: Murder trial told how dismembered body was found in Regent’s Canal

13:23 14 January 2013

Gemma McCluskie

Gemma McCluskie

submitted by police

Former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was murdered, chopped up and dumped in the Regent’s Canal by her brother after she told him to move out of the family home in Bethnal Green, the Old Bailey jury has been told today (Mon).

Gemma, who played Kerry Skinner in the TV soap while a teenager, had become annoyed by her brother Tony using skunk, the most powerful form of cannabis, which led to rows and a final confrontation on March 1 last year, said the prosecution.

Gemma, then aged 29, was last seen returning home to the flat in Pelter Street at 1.50pm and was never heard from again.

Five days later her torso was found in a suitcase floating on the canal after a barge hit it, causing the catch to spring open, the court heard.

“This calls for strong stomachs,” Prosecutor Crispin Aylett told the jury. “You will have to brace yourselves. Inside the suitcase was a female torso.”

Her arms and legs were recovered separately over the next two weeks, but her head was not discovered until September.

Detectives later found Gemma’s blood in the bathroom of the flat and a blood-stained knife in the kitchen.

Her blood was also found in a mini-cab that Tony McCluskie called to take him to the canal, the court heard.

The driver remembered his passenger struggling to get a suitcase into the boot and then dragging it towards the canal, added the prosecution.

McCluskie, 35, from Pelter Street, Bethnal Green, admits killing his sister, but denies murder and claims he cannot remember cutting her up or dumping her body in the canal.

The trial continues.

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