Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Friday, 30 April 2010 17:38 UK

Man in court over London and Rotterdam canal murders

Paula Fields (l) and Melissa Halstead
The bodies of both women were decapitated and were missing hands

A man accused of murdering two women whose bodies were found in canals in London and the Netherlands has appeared at the Old Bailey.

John Sweeney, 53, of no fixed address, was remanded in custody until 4 August when he appeared by videolink.

Mr Sweeney is charged with the murders of Paula Fields and Melissa Halstead.

In 1990 Ms Halstead's body was found in a Rotterdam canal while Ms Fields' body was found in Regent's Canal in 2001. The cases were linked in February.

Bodies dismembered

Mr Sweeney is due before Tower Bridge magistrates on 4 August.

The headless body of Ms Fields, 31, with her hands and feet missing, was found stuffed in holdalls in London's Regent's Canal. The missing body parts have never been found.

American model Ms Halstead's dismembered body, with the head and hands missing, was found in Westersingel waterway in Rotterdam.

The body was not identified as that of 33-year-old Ms Halstead until 2008 when scientific techniques had advanced enough to determine who she was.

The case of Paula Fields was featured on BBC One's Crimewatch programme.

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