A MAN accused of murdering a woman and dumping her body in a wheelie bin has been isolated on health grounds.

Richard Canlin, 41, could not appear at an online pre-trial hearing where he was expected to enter a plea.

Nicola Stevenson was found stuffed in the bin with a fatal head injury in November last year near the Landport estate in Lewes.

A trial will not now take place until September this year at the earliest.

At the court hearing prison staff said Richard Canlin has been isolated for a minimum of 12 weeks.

He is described as being in a high risk group and has been in isolation at the request of medical staff since April 24, the court heard.

Ms Stevenson, 39, was found in a grey domestic wheelie bin partially hidden by undergrowth near the Commercial Square bonfire site in Lewes.

The mum-of-two from Edinburgh had suffered a fatal head injury, a post-mortem examination revealed.

Her body may have been in the bin for several weeks before she was discovered by a dog walker at the recreation ground off Landport Road on Wednesday, November 13 last year.

Canlin, of no fixed address, was arrested by Sussex Police the following day. The pre-trial hearing was held online while courts are closed during the coronavirus lockdown.

He had been expected to enter a plea.

The trial is no expected to start in September. Her Honour Judge Shani Barnes said the trial would go ahead at either Lewes, Brighton or Hove if the courts were able to sit.

“We will hope to carry on in the normal way, as best we can,” the judge said.