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Gemma McCluskie: Brother Tony found guilty of her murder

PUBLISHED: 15:42 30 January 2013 | UPDATED: 15:45 30 January 2013

Gemma McCluskie is described as a

Gemma McCluskie is described as a "bubbly, strong, independent and responsible" woman, who would normally let friends and family know where she is.

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The brother of EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie, has been found guilty of her murder.

Tony McCluskie, aged 36, is now facing a life sentence for killing his sister and dumping her dismembered body in the Regent’s Canal.

He was a cannabis addict who had resented being overshadowed by the 29-year-old sister throughout his life, the court heard.

He murdered her during a blazing row after he left the taps on and flooded the bathroom at the family home in Pelter Street, Bethnal Green.

The window spent up to three hours cutting off her head, arms and legs with a knife and a meat cleaver in an attempt to cover up the crime.

Over the next four days he posed as the concerned brother desperate to find his missing sister - even posing for the Sun newspaper holding an appeal poster.

But he was finally forced to face the truth when his father and brother identified him from CCTV footage taking the suitcase containing her body to the Regent’s Canal.

Tony gave police a vague account of his movements, claiming he could not remember the killing but must have lost control when his sister tried to throw him out of the family home.

He also tried to blacken her name by saying she had bullied and abused him for years.

The jury rejected his defence and convicted him of murder by a majority of 11-to-two.

His father Tony snr was in court as the verdict was announced.

His mother, who contracted MRSA after an operation to remove a brain tumour, remains desperately ill and requires 24 hour care.

The judge, Mr Justice Fulford, is expected to pass sentence later today.

Tony McCluskie admitted manslaughter but denied murder.


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