Vanessa Santillan,
Vanessa Santillan was found dead in a Fulham flat on 28 March 2015Source: Met Police

A man has been charged with the murder of a transgender woman who was believed to have been working as an escort in London.

Vanessa Santillan, 33, was found strangled and beaten in a first-floor flat in Landridge Road, Fulham on March 28.

Joaquin Gomez-Hernandez, 23, was charged on Thursday (14 May), and appeared at Bromley Magistrates' Court the following day.

Santillan, who arrived in London from Mexico in January, was found dead at 9.30pm by officers who were responding to reports a body had been found.

Police said her parents had been left "devastated" by the loss of their daughter, a glamour model and escort.

Santillan's website described her as "one in a million" and states: "I'm a Ts girl visiting from MIAMI FL."

It adds: "I am looking to meet upscale, respectable gentlemen, of a certain calibre, who know how to treat a lady like me."

Following her death, police set up an appeal line in English and Spanish, working alongside Galop, a charity that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

A 2014 report found that transphobic hate crimes are on the rise in the UK, with police recording a 44% rise in offences ranging from harassment to grievous bodily harm.

"A third of trans people in the UK go through transphobic abuse every year," Galop's Serge Nicholson said earlier this month. "That's the second highest of any EU country."