Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 14:05 UK

Murder accused found dead in cell

Bobbie Stokoe
Daryl Smith was accused of murdering Bobbie Stokoe, 23

A remand prisoner accused of murdering a woman, whose body was wrapped in a carpet, has been found dead in his cell.

Darrell Smith, 40, of Trevethin, Pontypool was charged with murdering Bobbie Stokoe, 23, in August, who was found on wasteland.

He was being held in Cardiff Prison and was due to appear at Newport Crown Court on 6 November.

The prison service confirmed he was found dead in his cell on Monday.

The spokesperson said he was found dead in his cell at 08.35 BST on Monday.

"Paramedics were called but he was pronounced dead at 8.50am. As yet the cause of death is unknown," he said.

Multiple stab wounds

"As with all deaths in custody, the prisons and probation ombudsman will conduct an investigation."

Mr Smith last appeared in court in Newport on 27 August where he spoke only to confirm his name.

He was due to appear at court again next month where he was expected to enter a plea.

Miss Stokoe, formerly of Maindee, Newport, was found by two local men wrapped in a carpet in undergrowth near Beeches Road, Trevethin on 19 August.

She died of multiple stab wounds, an inquest into her death which opened last month heard.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the actions of Gwent Police before the discovery of Ms Stokoe's body.

It is looking into the way police responded to calls made to the police before her death which had expressed concern for her welfare.

The police watchdog has previously said Gwent Police referred the case to them on 19 August.

It said the force had received a telephone call on 18 August and three subsequent calls expressing concern for Ms Stokoe's welfare.

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