Aussie woman’s alleged killer faces UK court
A GRAPHIC designer charged with murdering his Australian fiancee at their East London apartment has appeared in court.
Roderick Deakin-White, 37, was on Monday remanded in custody at Thames Magistrates' Court until Wednesday, when he will be able to apply for bail at the Old Bailey.
He was arrested and charged after police were called to the fifth-floor Whitechapel apartment on Friday at 1.30pm over concerns for the welfare of Amy Parsons, from Melbourne.
The 35-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene and Deakin-White was detained in North London.
The Londoner looked dishevelled in a grey tracksuit as his supportive family watched from the public gallery, speaking only to confirm his name, birth date, address and nationality, the Herald Sun reported.
A witness told the newspaper five police cars and an ambulance visited the home, close to trendy Shoreditch, but officers were delayed up to five minutes because they could not open the secure door.
Neighbour Asad Samee, 21, told the Evening Standard: "Amy was very friendly, the sort of person who would always give you a smile.
"They were a really nice couple; just lovely, happy people. When I saw the police and ambulance I knew something was wrong. It is horrifying.
One neighbour, who did not wish to be named, told the newspaper: "Rod helped me with things like council tax and wi-fi when I needed help. Their relationship always seemed very good."
The couple are believed to have been together for at least six years, and Ms Parsons regularly posted love-up photos of the pair to social media.
Photographs of Ms Parsons and her alleged murderer - who works for the Royal Opera House - show them celebrating Christmas, travelling on a plane and enjoying each other's company as far back as 2012.
They are thought to have been engaged and Ms Parsons, a former Koonung Secondary College student, had visited Melbourne in January.
In a grimly prescient post from June last year, a friend said she hoped the young woman was "well away from everything" after terrorists drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and launched a knife attack. Ms Parsons reassured her: "We are away at Rod's folks in the country, so away from the horror."
Investigators are not looking for anyone else in connection with the killing, Met Police said.
The cause of death has not been confirmed but a post-mortem is expected to be conducted this week, and Ms Parsons' family has been informed.
Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said consular officials are providing assistance to Ms Parsons' family.
Her death comes as the UK's murder rate reached its highest level for over a decade, with 607 murders in 2018.