Midwife’s ex-fiance’s relative appears in court on murder charge


A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of midwife Samantha Eastwood, whose body was found a week after she went missing in Stoke-on-Trent.

Michael Stirling, 32, of Cromer Road, Stoke-on-Trent, appeared at North Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning and is now due to appear at Stafford Crown Court on Wednesday.

Wearing a grey sweater, Stirling, who appeared cuffed in the dock flanked by two security officers, spoke briefly to confirm his name and address before the charge was read out.

The man is the brother-in-law of Ms Eastwood’s ex-fiance John Peake.

Stirling is accused of murdering Ms Eastwood between 26 July and 5 August at Baddeley Green, a residential area of Stoke-on-Trent.

During the two-minute hearing no application for bail was made and Stirling was remanded in custody.

Samantha Eastwood and Michael Stirling
Image: Samantha Eastwood (L) and Michael Stirling (R) previously pictured together

Two other men, aged 28 and 60, who were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, have been released on conditional bail while inquiries continue.

Ms Eastwood was last seen when she finished her night shift at the Royal Stoke Hospital at 7.47am last Friday, and her colleagues raised concerns 12 hours later after she failed to show up for her next shift.

Officers investigating her disappearance found a body in a rural area near the city on Saturday and they have now confirmed they believe it to be that of the 28-year-old.

A post-mortem took place on Sunday, but further tests are required.

In a statement released by police, Ms Eastwood’s family thanked supporters for their efforts.

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They said: “The family of Samantha would like to ask that their privacy is respected at this terrible time.

“We would like to say ‘thank you’ to all the people who followed Samantha’s story and tried their best to help.”

From – SkyNews


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