A man smiled as he appeared in court today (Weds) charged with murdering his former girlfriend.
Joe Storey, 26, was shouted at by relatives of his former partner Kerri McAuley, 32, who broke down in tears in the packed public gallery at Norwich Magistrates Court.
One shouted “what are you smiling for?” as the murder charge against him was read out.
Storey, from Norwich, Norfolk, who was wearing a blue jumper, spoke only to confirm his name and address during the short hearing.
However, a fight then broke out outside the court room as relatives of Storey clashed with Miss McAuley’s grieving families.
Punches appeared to be thrown in the fracas, which court security staff and police were called to deal with.
It is not thought any complaint was made and no action appeared to be taken.
Supermarket worker Miss McAuley, a mum-of-two, was found dead at her flat in Norwich, Norfolk, on Sunday, just weeks after the couple are believed to have split.
A Home Office post mortem examination proved inconclusive but police revealed there is evidence that she was subjected to a severe blunt force assault.
Storey was remanded in custody to appear at Norwich Crown Court tomorrow (Thu).
Meanwhile, tributes have continued to pour in for Miss McAuley who has been described as “beautiful inside and out”.
Clare Louise said: I am in TOTAL shock I just can’t believe it I don’t want to believe it either. R.I.P Sweetheart !! Thoughts to your 2 Boys & Family xXx”
Teresa Devine wrote: “Yet another young life taken away at the hands of a thug!!
“I was going to put man … but that is no man!! Karma will sort you out in the end!!
“She will live in peace in the hearts of her children and family. May you rot in hell !! RIP Kerri xx”
And Simon Kindleysides added: “RIP Kerri McAuley. “Thoughts & prayers for your boys & family xxx”
A fundraising site set up to help pay for her funeral has raised more than £9,000 as hundreds of people support her heartbroken family.
The police cordon that had been at the scene has now been removed but several more flowers and tributes have been left close to the flats where she lived.
Balloons, a picture, bottles of wine have also been left following what was thought to have been a “send off” held by friends and neighbours.