England

Sian Blake: EastEnders actress's partner due in Ghana court

Police officer escorts Arthur Simpson-Kent (right) inside the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters in Accra, Ghana, on 10 January 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Arthur Simpson-Kent (right) was brought into a police station in Accra on Sunday

The partner of a former EastEnders star found dead with her two young sons is set to appear before a court in Ghana.

Arthur Simpson-Kent, 48, is being held by police in Accra after his arrest in a beach resort on Saturday.

The bodies of Sian Blake, 43, and the boys were found in the garden of their south-east London home on 5 January.

Ghanaian police cannot hold a person for more than 48 hours without putting them before a judge. UK officers say an extradition request is yet to be made.

Detectives from Scotland Yard, who are in Ghana, have already spoken to Mr Simpson-Kent. They have said an application for extradition will be "made by officers and partner agencies in due course".

Image caption Sian Blake played Frankie Pierre in EastEnders in 1996 and 1997
Image copyright Blake Family
Image caption Zachary, eight, and four-year-old Amon were last seen on 13 December with their mother

Ms Blake and the couple's sons were last seen on 13 December, and a missing persons inquiry was launched on 16 December. The Met Police said they spoke to Mr Simpson-Kent at their house in Erith on the same day.

Ghanaian Police say Mr Simpson-Kent arrived in Ghana on 19 December.

The country's police force became involved on 7 January and arrested him in in Busua, a south-west coastal resort, two days later.

The actress and her two sons had died from neck and head injuries, post-mortem examinations found.


Timeline

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionArthur Simpson-Kent appeared to be in deep thought when he was shown to the media in Accra, Sammy Darko reports
  • 13 December: Sian Blake is last seen in Waltham Forest, east London, with her sons Zachary, eight, and Amon, four.
  • 16 December: Police visit her home in Erith and speak to Mr Simpson-Kent. This is the last time he is seen.
  • 3 January: Miss Blake's car is found in Bethnal Green, east London
  • 5 January: Bodies found at her home in Erith, south east London
  • 6 January: Police announce Mr Simpson-Kent is thought to have travelled to Ghana
  • 8 January: Sian Blake and her two sons are confirmed dead
  • 9 January: Mr Simpson-Kent arrested in Busua, in western Ghana. British police say he will be extradited to the UK

Ms Blake, who had motor neurone disease, had played Frankie Pierre in 56 episodes of BBC TV soap EastEnders between 1996 and 1997.

Image caption Detectives from the Met's homicide and major crime command are in Ghana

The Met has been criticised over delays in its investigation and is being investigated by the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Speaking in Accra on Saturday, Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn, of the Met's homicide and major crime command, said he was satisfied "there was nothing we or the Ghanaians could have done any quicker", and thanked local police for their help in making an arrest.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites