A coroner passed on his condolences to the family of schoolteacher Jane Longhurst as he opened and adjourned an inquest into her death today.

West Sussex coroner Roger Stone described Miss Longhurst's death as a "tragic loss" to her family as he drew the three-minute hearing at Worthing Hospital to a close.

Miss Longhurst's body was found at a nature reserve at Wiggonholt Common, near Pulborough, on April 19, four weeks after she went missing from her home in Shaftesbury Road, Brighton.

Coroner's officer Darren Moffat told the court firefighters had discovered her after being called to a blaze at the site.

Miss Longhurst, a 31-year-old special needs teacher at Uplands School, Hollingdean, Brighton, was later identified by her dental records, Mr Moffat said.

Closing the hearing Mr Stone said: "Perhaps you would like to pass on my sincere condolences to the family on their tragic loss."

Musician Graham Coutts, 35, of Waterloo Street, Hove, has been charged with murder. He is due to appear at Lewes Crown Court on August 1.