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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007, 11:22 GMT
Uncle in court over toddler death
Casey Leigh Mullen
Neighbours said Casey Mullen was known as "Smiley"
A man charged with the rape and murder of his two-year-old niece, Casey Leigh Mullen, has appeared in a court in West Yorkshire via video link.

The toddler was found dead at her home in Oak Tree Crescent, Gipton, Leeds, on 11 February, following a disturbance outside the house.

Michael Patrick Mullen, 21, of Lawrence Road, Gipton, appeared at Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday.

He was remanded in custody to appear again on 16 April.

Trial date set

Mr Mullen spoke only to confirm his name during the 10-minute hearing.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Norman Jones, told him his trial date had been set for 2 July.

No pleas were entered and there was no application for bail.

A post-mortem examination revealed Casey died from compression of the neck.

Neighbours have described her as a "lovely little girl, always smiling."

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