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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007, 11:55 GMT
Uncle remanded over toddler death
Casey Leigh Mullen
Neighbours said Casey Mullen was known as "Smiley"
A man has appeared in court charged with the rape and murder of his niece who was found dead in her bedroom.

Two-year-old Casey Mullen was found dead at her home in Oak Tree Crescent, Gipton, Leeds, on 11 February following a disturbance outside the house.

Her uncle, Michael Patrick Mullen, 21, of Lawrence Road, Gipton, appeared at Leeds Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

No application for bail was made and no pleas were entered. He was remanded in custody to appear again on 21 February.

Mr Mullen, slim with short black hair and wearing a grey jumper, stood in the dock with two security guards as the charges were read to him.

He spoke only to confirm his name, age, address and that he understood the charges during a 10-minute hearing in front of District Judge Christopher Darnton.

The judge initially banned the child from being identified but this ban was lifted after representations from the media.

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