AWOMAN has appeared in court charged with killing a mother who was found stabbed to death in her home.
Tina Casey was found dead earlier this month. Heather Emmonds is accused of murdering Ms Casey in Holywell, near Whitley Bay.
Emmonds appeared at Newcastle Crown Court for the first time yesterday via a video link from Low Newton prison.
She appeared on television screens wearing a grey tracksuit top.
Grey-haired Emmonds sat behind a table at the prison and spoke only to confirm her name and that she understood what was happening.
During the preliminary hearing, a timetable for the case was set out.
Judge James Goss QC told Emmonds: “The prosecution will serve the case papers on or before March 28, there must be a defence case statement by April 21 and a plea and case management hearing will take place the following day.
“In the event of this case proceeding to trial it will take place on July 8, with an estimate of five days’ plus.”
There was no bail application on behalf of Emmonds, 57, from Blyth Street, Seaton Delaval, Northumberland.
The body of Ms Casey, 42, was discovered at her home in Wallridge Drive, Holywell.
Detectives were led to Ms Casey’s terraced house after a car crashed into a lamp-post on Bertram Place in Shiremoor, North Tyneside, on Monday, February 4.
Officers making investigations at the scene of the 11am accident said they found items in the car which led them to make the grim discovery. A post-mortem examination established Ms Casey died from stab wounds.
A 32-year-old man and a 57-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of murder.
The man has since been released on police bail.
Ms Casey worked at Procter & Gamble’s Seaton Delaval site, where colleagues have expressed their sadness and shock over what has happened.
Tributes to Ms Casey have also been left on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.
One colleague wrote: “Sad, sad news. RIP Tina, thoughts go out to your family x.”