Jemma Mitchell pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mee Kuen Chong, whose headless body was found dumped in Salcombe, Devon in June.
The 36-year old is charged with murdering and beheading the 67-year-old pensioner in June. She is accused of killing the victim before dumping her body in the holiday town 250 miles from the deceased's home in Wembley, London.
However, Mitchell, from Brondesbury Park, Brent, pleaded her innocence during Tuesday's hearing at the Old Bailey. According to The Sun, she pleaded not guilty to murder on a date between June 10 and 27. She was eventually remanded into custody ahead of another hearing on Dec. 23. A four-week provisional trial has also been set starting Sept. 26, 2022.
Ms. Chong was first reported missing on June 11 and it was only two weeks after that she was found in a tragic state. Her headless body was discovered on June 27 in a wooded area near Bennett Road which is popular among dog walkers. Her corpse was found near quiet North Sands cove by a member of the public who immediately alerted the police. Her death was initially treated as "unexplained" before police opened a murder investigation.
A post-mortem examination was reportedly carried out at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in July. But a cause of death was not determined.
Mitchell, on the other hand, was arrested in July and has since been in custody at the Bronzefield prison, where she appeared before Judge Mark Lucraft QC via video conference. At the time, she only stated her name and date of birth before the judge scheduled a plea hearing for Sept. 28.
Ms. Chong had been living in London for 30 years but was originally from Malaysia. Her friends and neighbours know her as Deborah. Those close to the deceased remembered her as a friendly, pleasant, and very religious woman. They also mentioned that she was vulnerable at the time of her disappearance because of issues concerning her mental health. In the meantime, specially-trained officers continue to support her family deal with the trauma and keep them abreast of developments to the case.