COLNE: Man due in court after woman strangled

A MAN has appeared in court charged with the murder of a young mum who was found dead at a house in Colne in the early hours of last Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 8:26 am

Anna Banks (23) was found at a flat in Centaur Court off Hawley Street, a complex for people with learning difficulties and mental health problems.

Daniel Lancaster (24), of Hawley Street, has been charged with her murder, and appeared before Pennine magistrates on Thursday.

He was remanded in custody and will appear before Manchester Crown Court today.

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Anna’s older sister Sharon, on behalf of the whole family, said: “Anna was always smiling and she had a lust for life.

“She adored her daughter and her two nephews.

“She will be sadly missed by her devastated family and friends.”

Police believe she may have been strangled, and a post-mortem examination has revealed the cause of death as pressure to the neck.

Detective Superintendent Neil Hunter, of Lancashire Police’s serious crime unit, said: “I would appeal to anyone who knew Anna, or anyone who may have spent some time with her in her last three or four days of her life, to come forward and contact police.

“I would also appeal to anyone who may have been in the Centaur Court area on the night of Tuesday, December 21st, who may have witnessed something, or have any information that can assist the inquiry, to contact us.”

Residents in the Hawley Street area have expressed their shock and sadness at news of Anna’s death, which happened so close to Christmas.

They said they were unaware of the incident until a team of crime investigators descended on the flats.

Anna is thought to have been a resident at the Centaur Court complex, which is part of the SLC Group.

Charles Eggleston, SLC Group chief executive, said: “We send sincere condolences to Anna’s family and friends, and our thoughts are with them all at this very tragic time.

“We are continuing to assist Lancashire Police in every way we can with their inquiry.”

Anyone with information should contact Lancashire Police on 01282 425001 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.