UK & World News
Blackpool Stabbing: Accused Man In Court
A 22-year-old man has appeared before magistrates in Blackpool charged with the murder of a teenager whose body was found in an alleyway.
College student Sasha Marsden, 16, had been stabbed in the head and face before attempts were made to set her on fire.
During the brief hearing, David Minto, who is from Blackpool, spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.
He stood in the dock wearing jeans and a black and grey jumper as the murder charge against him was read out.
He was remanded back into custody and is due to appear and Preston Crown Court on Tuesday.
Sasha's family were not in court. On Sunday they made an emotional visit to the murder scene in the town.
A post-mortem examination found the teenager's body was set on fire after she had died.
Sasha was in the first year of a childcare course at Blackpool and The Fylde College and lived with her parents in nearby Staining.
The police have issued a statement on behalf of the teenager's family.
Her parents, Jayne and Gary Marsden, said: "No words can express how we feel.
"Our beautiful daughter has been taken from us. She was a loving daughter, sister, granddaughter, great granddaughter, auntie, niece, cousin and girlfriend. She was very much loved and her loss has left a huge gap in all our lives, a gap that can never be filled.
"Sasha was your typical teenager, a fun-loving girl who enjoyed spending time with her friends and boyfriend, with her parents being last on the list unless she wanted something or needed a lift somewhere.
"We would ask that we be left alone in private to allow us to come to terms with losing our beautiful precious daughter."
Sasha's brother Mark Brett, 24, said: "She was my little sister and I was so proud of her going to college to do her childcare course. She will be missed by all her family and friends."
Her sister, 21-year-old Katie Brett, described her as "a gorgeous little lady", adding: "She was an expert wind up merchant and although you might be annoyed with her, you couldn't stay mad with her for long."
Sasha's oldest sister, Gemma Aitchison, 26, said: "Cheeky, friendly and stubborn are all things that make Sasha as special as she is and make her overcome anything. She is a beautiful sister and a wonderful and caring aunty too."
And her brother Thomas Nicholl, 21, said: "Sasha was an adorable little sister and was never afraid to put her opinions across no matter what the situation was.
"She always knew how to make us smile, especially after winding us up. She gave the most amazing cuddles and we will miss her so much."