The brother of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie, found dead in a canal, pleaded guilty on Friday to her manslaughter.

Tony McCluskie, 35, claims to have "suffered loss of control" leading to her death on March 1.

Prosecutors are still waiting for a medical report to establish how she died.

gemma mccluskie

Gemma McCluskie played Kerry Skinner in EastEnders

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.

McCluskie, wearing a dark suit, 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.

Judge Gordon was told that Miss McCluskie's body was found in the Regent's Canal in east London in March.

A trial was due to take place last month but had to be put off because her head was discovered in September.

gemma mccluskie

McCluskie's headless body was discovered in Regent's Canal on March 6, 2012

The judge said the trial must not be further delayed. He said: "The family must have closure."

McCluskie lived in Hackney, east London, with his 29-year-old sister.

She went missing after attending the £650 million opening of the new Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.

Her limbless body was seen floating in the water a week later.

Miss McCluskie played Kerry Skinner in the BBC soap in 2001.

The defendant joined friends who launched extensive searches across east London to find her.

Former EastEnders co-stars Natalie Cassidy and Brooke Kinsella both appealed on Twitter for help.


brooke kinsella
Gemma McCluskie has been MISSING from Bethnal Green since Thursday please get in touch if you have seen her RT xx

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  • Gemma McCluskie death

    Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Gemma McCluskie. Police have recovered a severed head from a canal where the decapitated remains of the former EastEnders actress were found. Scotland Yard said the discovery was made by a member of the public in Regent's Canal in Hackney, east London, yesterday afternoon.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regents Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regents Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regents Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regents Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regents Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regents Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regents Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regents Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regents Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regents Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regents Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Gemma McCluskie death

    BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE: Undated handout CCTV still issued by the Metropolitan Police of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie, attending a hospital opening ceremony on Wednesday February 29. Detectives revealed today that Gemma was murdered and dumped in a canal after attending the high-profile hospital opening ceremony.

  • Gemma McCluskie death

    BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE: Undated handout CCTV still issued by the Metropolitan Police of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie, attending a hospital opening ceremony on Wednesday February 29. Detectives revealed today that Gemma was murdered and dumped in a canal after attending the high-profile hospital opening ceremony.

  • Gemma McCluskie death

    Tony McCluskie has been arrested after the headless torso of EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Gemma McCluskie death

    Tony McCluskie has been arrested after the headless torso of EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Gemma McCluskie death

    Tony McCluskie has been arrested after the headless torso of EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Gemma McCluskie death

    Tony McCluskie has been arrested after the headless torso of EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London.

  • Body found in Regent's Canal

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested after a headless torso feared to be EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was dragged from Regents Canal in east London.

  • Gemma McCluskie death

    RETRANSMITTED WITH PIXALATION AT THE REQUEST OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE PLEASE ONLY USE PIXALATED VERSION OF THIS IMAGE: Court artist sketch of Tony McCluskie, of Pelter Street, Hackney, at Thames Magistrates' Court in east London, where he is accused of killing his sister Gemma McCluskie, 29, between February 29 and March 6, and whose torso was discovered floating close to Hackney's Broadway Market last week, days after she attended a high-profile hospital opening ceremony in east London.