A 51-year-old reclusive bookkeeper has appeared in court accused of murdering the British girlfriend of a Kiwi rugby player after she was found strangled.

Police discovered India Chipchase, 20, in Edward Tenniswood's Northampton home after she vanished on a night out clubbing with friends.

The suspect, who is just over 1.5m tall and was wearing slip-on shoes, a grey top and jogging bottoms when he appeared in court, spoke only to confirm he understood he was accused of murder.

Tenniswood was remanded in custody and will reappear in the Northampton Crown Court tomorrow.

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Miss Chipchase's heartbroken boyfriend Evaan Reihana spoke of his pain and loss.

Reihana, who is the son of former All Black Bruce Reihana and plays for Bordeaux Begles in France, wrote on Instagram: "I can't believe you have left us India. I will be playing for you for as long as I know."

Miss Chipchase was last seen outside the NB's nightclub in the early hours of Saturday.

Police smashed down Tenniswood's front door after tracing her phone to a nearby park and found her body inside his house.


Neighbours of the suspect, who lives alone, described seeing a body being removed from the property in Northampton's St James district on Sunday evening. The street remained cordoned off last night.

One local resident said: "He is a recluse. Nobody ever sees him."

Another said: "The police smashed their way into a house and called for paramedics. I am guessing they found her there. We heard her phone had been found in the park."

One elderly neighbour said: "I saw her face on the TV and she was a very pretty girl. It's awful. [Tenniswood] lived alone in the house and kept himself to himself. He didn't have a girlfriend as far as I know.

"He came from Wiltshire and had a strong accent. I assume he had family connections there."

Another neighbour said: "I never saw anyone go in or out of his house. I sometimes saw him coming back home with a paper or pint of milk but he never really said much. As far as I know he lived alone and didn't have family."

A post-mortem examination on Monday confirmed Miss Chipchase died from neck injuries.

Miss Chipchase lived four miles away with her mother Suzanne in the upmarket Wootton district on the edge of the town. Her father, Jeremy, 49, is a doctor specialising in obstetrics in Australia.

She had been a pupil at £12,000-a -year ($26,000) Pitsford School, the county's leading small independent school, which is in 162ha of countryside beside Pitsford Reservoir, outside Northampton.

Headmaster Noel Toone described his former pupil as a "delightful girl with a bubbly personality who would go out of her way to help others".

Miss Chipchase went on to complete a diploma in health and social care at Northampton College.

She was sports mad and a keen Northampton Saints rugby supporter.

Former England star Ben Cohen, who played for the club as a youngster, tweeted: "So sad and devastating and on our doorstep. Thoughts go out to her family."

Former England fly-half Paul Grayson also tweeted: "It is utterly devastating she has been found dead. Young people please look after each other."

On Sunday, in an appeal for information about her disappearance, police said it was "out of character" for her not to have made contact with friends and family, and "out of the ordinary" for her not to have arrived at work, in The Collingtree pub and restaurant in East Hunsbury, Northampton, on Saturday afternoon.

- Daily Mail