The brother of slain actress Gemma McCluskie has been found guilty of murdering his sibling.
Although 35-year-old Tony McCluskie copped to manslaughter, he said he did not murder his sister. According to BBC News, a jury ultimately felt otherwise. Tony was convicted of murdering the EastEnders actress and sentenced to life in prison.
Authorities found the actress’ torso floating in the east London canal on March 6. The rest of her body was found in the water at a later date. Gemma reportedly died after being struck over the head several times. In order to dispose of her remains, her brother cut her into six pieces and put her in a suitcase.
The Guardian reports that Tony called a cab to take him to the canal. Police said he was last seen with the suitcase in this area.
Anthony McCluskie, father of Tony and Gemma, said after the verdict:
“I know that my son, Tony Junior, is suffering too. I will not desert him even though he has committed this terrible crime and taken Gemma’s life. I hope and pray that one day Tony will be released from prison with a better understanding of his actions.”
According to The Independent, the murder took place during a heated argument between the Gemma and her brother. The actress reportedly took issue with Tony’s marijuana habit, going as far as to complain to friends about her sibling drug problems.
Police said McCluskie continued to text his sister after Gemma had been killed. Tony eventually reported that his sibling was missing. He explained to authorities that Gemma had been spotted in a local restaurant and that she had paid a visit to her mother.
Although McCluskie admitted to killing the actress, he said it was “not intentional and that he had lost control.” A jury decided that the brother was guilty of murder.