Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dad accused of murdering 19-year-old daughter dies in jail cell (East Sussex, England, United Kingdom)

Dad TONY COUCHMAN, who had been accused of murdering his 19-year-old daughter, has apparently committed suicide in his jail cell. The daughter had been living with her unemployed father at the time of her murder.


Murder Victim's Accused Dad Dies In Jail Cell
9:11am UK, Tuesday January 05, 2010

Huw Borland, Sky News Online

A man accused of murdering his 19-year-old daughter has reportedly killed himself in jail by slashing his wrists.

Tony Couchman, 47, of St Leonards, East Sussex, was charged with killing single mother-of-one Victoria Couchman after her skull was discovered in woodland in 2008.

He was set to go on trial over the murder on Monday but was found unconscious in his cell in HMP Lewes, East Sussex, on Saturday.

The father was pronounced dead shortly afterwards, the Prison Service said. He had cut his wrists, according to The Sun.

Unemployed Couchman was first arrested after children playing in Redgeland Wood, St Leonards, came across a skull in October 2008.

More human remains were later found around the scene and medical records helped identify them as those of Ms Couchman, who had lived with her father.

Tony Couchman was also charged with perverting the course of justice in connection with the murder investigation.

He had denied both allegations and was listed for trial at Lewes Crown Court.

Remains were found in woodland

Ms Couchman's murder came as a fresh blow to her family and friends following the death of her brother Dean, 17, in a 2005 road accident.

It was suggested at the time of her death that she and her father had argued over who was responsible for his death.

Neighbours described Ms Couchman as a "dedicated mum who spent hours playing with her daughter".

One neighbour said Tony Couchman was a "really nice guy" who would help with their garden.

A Prison Service spokesman said the cause of his death was yet to be determined. The matter has been referred to a coroner.