The man accused of strangling to death India Chipchase, the British girlfriend of Kiwi rugby star Evaan Reihana, has appeared in court.

Chipchase, 20, was murdered after being refused entry to a cocktail bar in Northampton, England, at the weekend.

Her body was discovered in a terraced property close to Victoria Park in Northampton where her mobile phone signal was last detected. A post mortem examination found she had been strangled.

Book-keeper Edward Tenniswood, 51, appeared at Northampton crown court via video link from HMP Woodhill where he is currently imprisoned. He was not required to enter a plea.

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Tenniswood was arrested at an Ibis Hotel near his home three hours after her body was found. The hotel is 270 metres from the nightclub where she was refused entry.

His appearance comes as Northamptonshire Police referred itself to the police watchdog over its "responses before and during" the search.

"Northamptonshire Police has made a referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission to ensure transparency in examining police action and responses before and during the search for India Chipchase,"

"We await the decision of the IPCC and will not be commenting further as the criminal investigation is now in the court process."

Ms Chipchase had been out on Friday night with friends before they became separated in Northampton Bridge Street. A source said that door staff at NB's cocktail bar then refused her entry at around 1am on Saturday.

"They thought she was too drunk. There were two men on the pavement outside the bar and they got talking to her," they told The Sun. "One was in his 30s, the other in his 50s. The older man is sometimes seen walking up and down Bridge Street at night. She then went off up Bridge Street."

Ms Chipchase had been working as a barmaid but was hoping to follow her father Jeremy into healthcare, and had completed a diploma in health and social care.

Jeremy Chipchase, 49, is a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology who is currently working in Australia. India lived with her mother Suzanne, 47, her brother Harry, 18, and sisters Pia, 15, and Honor, 11, in an upmarket suburb of Northampton.

The family were too upset to speak about India's death, but her brother posted a message on Twitter saying: "I miss you my little angel. You'll always remain the best big sister I ever had and always hold a place deep in my heart."

Her boyfriend Evaan, who is the son of the former All Black Bruce Reihana, said: "I honestly can't believe to think even now that you have left us...I will be playing for you for as long as I know."

Ms Chipchase was a former pupil at the £12,000-a-year Pitsford School, whose headmaster Noel Toone described her as a "delightful girl" who would "go out of her way to help others".

Friends at the Collingtree pub, where she had been working, described her as a "smile machine", adding: "You were a joy to work with nothing ever being too much trouble, always gave without expectation, you brought joy to so many."

A spokesman for NB's declined to comment but a statement on its website said they had been working with officers.