A MAN has been arrested in Portugal in connection with the murder of a mother and her young son.

Gina Ingles, 34, and her son Milo Ingles-Bailey died in a house fire in Croxden Way, Eastbourne, in July 2018.

It sparked a large scale murder inquiry and this week Andrew Milne, 42, of Hastings, was charged with murder.

Ms Ingles’ partner Toby Jarrett managed to escape from the burning home via a first-floor window and suffered serious burns

The Argus:

Milne appeared at Hove Crown Court via video link today and spoke only to confirm his name and that he could hear the proceedings.

It was also revealed that a second man has been arrested on suspicion of murder in Portugal and that there is an application for a European Arrest Warrant.

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Judge Christine Laing QC told the court they were aiming for a trial to start on February 1 next year.

That is because of the suspension of all jury trials at crown courts in Sussex, including Hove, Lewes and Brighton.

It is not yet clear when jury cases will resume in the county.

The Argus:

There had previously been five arrests in connection with the incident, as part of Operation Druffield.

But this week, after new information was discovered about the blaze, Sussex Police announced they had charged 42-year-old Andrew Milne with the murder of Gina Ingles and her young son, as well as the attempted murder of Toby Jarrett.

The Argus:

In court Rebecca Austin, prosecuting, said a man had been detained in Portugal and an application was being made to bring him to the UK.

Judge Laing said the coronavirus pandemic had hit cases and the trial date on February 1 was “provisional”.

Milne was remanded in custody to appear at a pre trial hearing on August 28.

Detective Inspector Gordon Denslow said: “Following a review of evidence presented to them by the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, the Crown Prosecution Service has authorised charges for two counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

“We are unable to disclose any further details at this time to ensure any defendants have the right to a fair trial.”

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Andrew Milne, from Hastings, was arrested in the early hours of July 28.

A 28-year-old woman from Hastings, who was arrested on the same morning on suspicion of committing an act or series of acts with intent to pervert the course of justice, has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

In January, a 30-year-old man from St Leonards was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder. He has been released on conditional bail until August 7.

Det Insp Denslow added: “This has been a long and complex investigation and we remain committed to bringing those responsible for this tragic incident to justice on behalf of the loved ones of Gina, Milo and Toby.”

The Argus:

Sussex Police are still appealing for information on the incident as the investigation continues.

A spokesman said: “Anyone with any information about the investigation is urged to report it online or call 101, quoting Operation Druffield.

“You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”