The sister of music teacher Jane Longhurst today came face to face with the man accused of murdering her.

Sue Barnett, 40, watched from the public gallery as Graham James Coutts was led into the dock at Lewes Crown Court.

Coutts, 35, a part-time musician and Kleeneze salesman of Waterloo Street, Hove, denies murdering Miss Longhurst.

Flanked by three security guards and wearing beige trousers and a dark grey polo shirt, he spoke only to confirm his name, saying "Yeah" with a slight nod of his head.

Less than ten feet away sat Jane's sister Sue wearing a red polo-neck jumper and black blazer.

The hearing was adjourned after just 30 minutes for legal arguments and will resume again tomorrow.

Miss Longhurst, 31, of Shaftesbury Road, Brighton, was an orchestral musician and a special needs teacher at Uplands School for children with learning difficulties in Hollingdean, Brighton.

She disappeared on March 14 last year. Her burning body was found at an RSPB sanctuary at Wiggonholt Common, near Pulborough, a month later.

A post-mortem showed she had been strangled.

Miss Longhurst was last seen alive by her partner Malcolm Sentance on the morning she vanished.

The trial before Judge Richard Brown is expected to last three weeks. Defending Coutts is Jeremy Gold QC and prosecuting is John Kelsey-Fry QC.

Three hundred people attended Miss Longhurst's funeral at St Peter's Church, Brighton, in June last year.

She played the viola in several orchestras, including the Sussex Symphony Orchestra and the Musicians of All Saints in Lewes.