Jillian Grant death: Murder-accused appears in court

Image source, Northumbria Police
Image caption,
Jillian Grant's family said she had an independent spirit and did not let blindness stand in her way

A man has appeared in court charged with the murder a woman found dead on Christmas Day.

Jillian Grant, 38, of York Court, Wallsend, was found dead at a property on Tennyson Terrace in North Shields, North Tyneside.

Mark Smith, 41, of Tennyson Terrace, is also charged with attempted murder in relation to an arson attack in Heaton.

North Tyneside Magistrates' Court remanded him in custody to appear at Newcastle Crown Court on 2 January.

Ms Grant, who was registered as blind, was described by her family as "friendly, loving and full of life".

In a statement they said: "Jillian also had an independent spirit, she didn't let blindness stand in her way as she took up opportunities to travel and be a speaker for the RNIB.

"Above all, she was deeply loved by her family and will be missed by all who knew her."

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