The brother of former Eastenders actress Gemma McCluskie, whose body was found in a canal last year, has been accused of beating her to death in an argument about an overflowing sink.
Tony McCluskie, 35, from Pelter Street, Shoreditch, appeared at the Old Bailey today to stand trial for the murder of his sister.
Prosecutor Crispin Aylett, QC, told the court that in the period leading up to her death there had been tension between the two siblings, who were living together at the time of her death.
According to Aylett, the cause of this tension was: “a result of the defendant’s habitual use of cannabis.
“Gemma told a friend ‘He’s permanently stoned. He puts a spliff in his mouth first thing in the morning and doesn’t know what he’s doing.”
The court heard that on March 1 last year, (Tony) McCluskie left the taps on in the bathroom, resulting in an argument between the two.
The prosecution allege that after killing his sister, Mccluskie cut up her body with a meat cleaver, put it into a suitcase, and dumped it in Regent’s Canal. He then led police on a “wild goose chase”, sending her texts pretending she was still alive, before reporting her missing.
Her torso was found in the canal five days later, identified by a small tattoo on her body. Her limbs and severed head were also later discovered, causing the trial to be delayed.
McCluskie pleaded guilty to manslaughter on December 7, 2012, where he claimed to have “suffered loss of control” prior to the actress’s death. However, his plea was rejected.
Gemma McCluskie, 29, appeared as the character Kerry Skinner in over 30 episodes of EastEnders during 2001, alongside co-stars Natalie Cassidy and Brooke Kinsella.
The trial continues.