Christina Abbotts death: Man charged with murder

Christina Abbotts Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Christina Abbotts was described as "sweet" and "loving"

A man has been charged with murdering a woman, who was found dead after failing to turn up for her own birthday party.

Christina Abbotts' body was found at a flat in Highams Hill, Gossops Green, Crawley, at about 22:30 BST on Friday.

Zahid Naseem, 47, from Amersham in Buckinghamshire, appeared at Brighton Magistrates' Court accused of killing Ms Abbotts.

Her family paid tribute to her in a statement which said "the light in our life is now extinguished".

Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Christina Abbotts died from blunt force trauma to the head, preliminary tests found

"Christina, our sweet loving daughter and best friend, educated at Cirencester and Oxford, will be sorely missed. This independent lady, a much travelled person was taken from us far too early.

"Her friends in London and parts of the UK will also be grieving," the statement added.

Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Forensics officers examined the scene

Concerned friends had raised the alarm when Ms Abbotts, who was in her 20s, could not be contacted.

A post-mortem examination found the preliminary cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, a Sussex Police spokesman said.

Mr Naseem was remanded in custody to appear at Lewes Crown Court on Wednesday.

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