28/09/2012 06:16 BST | Updated 28/09/2012 06:54 BST

Gemma McCluskie Murder: Brother Tony McCluskie Accepts Responsibility For The Death Of EastEnders Actress (PICTURES)

The brother of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie, found dead in a canal, now accepts responsibility for her death, the Old Bailey heard today.

Tony McCluskie, 35, will now face trial on the issue of whether her death was murder or manslaughter, a judge said.

Miss McCluskie, who played Kerry Skinner in the BBC soap in 2001, went missing after attending the £650 million opening of the new Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, in March.

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

Friends launched extensive searches across east London in a bid to find her, and former EastEnders co-stars Natalie Cassidy and Brooke Kinsella both appealed for help on Twitter.

Miss McCluskie's headless and limbless body was discovered floating in the canal in March. Her head was found near her home on September 9.

Miss McCluskie's character arrived in Walford as a friend of Zoe Slater and the great-niece of the late Ethel Skinner. She briefly dated Robbie Jackson.

McCluskie, who lived in Hackney, east London, with his 29-year-old sister, was due to face trial next month. He appeared via videolink and was remanded in custody at the Old Bailey.

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