Grim discovery of murdered midwife’s body revealed in court

THE shocking sight which confronted police officers who found the body of murdered midwife Samantha Eastwood was revealed at Stafford Crown Court today (Aug 8).

James Hankin QC, prosecuting, said: “Samantha Eastwood was found in a shallow grave with masking tape around her face and eyes and she was wrapped in a single duvet.”

Appearing via videolink was Michael Stirling, aged 32, of Gratton Road, Bucknall, who has been charged with murdering Samantha at Baddeley Green between July 26 and August 5.

Samantha’s body was found by a specialist search team on land near the Staffordshire Moorlands village of Caverswall at around noon on Saturday (Aug 4).

Samnatha, of Greenside Avenue, Baddeley Green, had been missing since finishing her shift at the Royal Stoke University Hospital on the morning of July 27.

The court heard a preliminary post-mortem had found no evidence of a gun shot or stab wound on Samantha and that further examinations would focus on the neck.

No application for bail was made by defence barrister Samina Rasid and Stirling was not required to enter any plea.

Stirling –  the brother-in-law of Samantha’s ex-fiance – was remanded in custody until his next hearing on October 5.

A provisional trial date has been fixed for next February.

Two men, aged 60 and 28, who were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, have been released on conditional bail.