Gemma McCluskie: Brother Tony pleads guilty to manslaughter against EastEnders actress
PUBLISHED: 11:07 07 December 2012
submitted by police
The brother of EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie today (Dec 7) pleaded guilty to her manslaughter.
Tony McCluskie, 35, who shared a home with Gemma and their ill mother Pauline in Pelter Street, Bethnal Green, claims to have “suffered loss of control” leading to the actress’s death on March 1.
The 29 year old actress’ headless torso was discovered in Regent’s Canal, near Broadway, Market five days later by a barge owner.
Her arms and legs were later recovered from different sections of the same stretch of water.
Her head was not found until September, near Kingsland Road, by boaters cleaning the canal. Dental records had to be used to identify the head.
Prosecutors are still waiting for a medical report to establish how she died.
McCluskie appeared at the Old Bailey by videolink from Belmarsh prison.
His father, Tony senior, watched from the back of the court as he was asked to enter his pleas.
Wearing a dark suit, McCluskie, pleaded not guilty to murder followed by a guilty plea to manslaughter.
Judge Gerald Gordon said this meant a trial on the issue of murder or manslaughter would go ahead on January 14 before Mr Justice Fulford. An expert on amnesia is expected to be called by the defence.
A trial was due to take place last month but had to be put off because her head was discovered.
The judge said the trial must not be further delayed. He said: “The family must have closure.”
Gemma played Kerry Skinner in the BBC soap in 2001.
She went missing after attending the opening of the £650 million Royal London Hospital.
The defendant joined friends who launched extensive searches to find her.
Former EastEnders co-stars Natalie Cassidy and Brooke Kinsella also appealed on Twitter for help.