A MAN has appeared in court accused of murdering a woman who was found dead in a wheelie bin.

Nicola Stevenson was found dumped in the bin in undergrowth near her home in Stansfield Road, Lewes, last week.

Neighbours said the 39-year-old had not been seen for weeks.

Yesterday Richard Canlin, 41, appeared in court accused of her murder.

He appeared via a video link before District Judge Tessa Szagun at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

She said: “The reason you have been brought before me is because it is said that between October 10 and November 13 at Stansfield Road, Lewes, you murdered Nicola Stevenson.

“I have to immediately send this matter to the crown court.”

Canlin, of no fixed address, who was wearing a grey shirt, nodded as the judge explained the process.

He spoke only to confirm his name.

Ms Stevenson was found dead on Wednesday last week in undergrowth near Landport Road.

She was a mother of two and lived nearby in Stansfield Road, where detectives have been searching her flat and asking neighbours for information.

According to her Facebook page, she was recovering from cancer, and is originally from Edinburgh.

News left the community in shock last week.

One resident said: “It is shocking, you never think something like this is going to happen.

“I used to play in the park near where it happened and I went to the old school there when I was younger.

“It is scary that a body was found there, I’ve lived here for my whole life and nothing like this has ever happened before.”

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Friday said officers are working “tirelessly” on the case.

The detective said: “Despite the charging of a man, we are still desperate to hear from anyone who may be able to add to our investigation timeline.

“We are urging anyone who saw Nicola before her body was found to come forward to us as you may hold vital information to aid our ongoing investigation.

“For those of you living in local community to Nicola, you will still see our officers out and about conducting enquiries. Please do go and speak to them if you have anything to add.”

Police said a second man, a 37-year-old man of no fixed address, has been released on police bail until December 12.

Canlin will appear at crown court this week.