A hairdresser will face trial in the autumn over the murder of EastEnders actress Sian Blake and her two children.

Arthur Simpson-Kent, 48, is accused of killing his 43-year-old girlfriend and their sons Zachary, eight, and four-year-old Amon between December 12 and December 16 last year.

Sian Blake

Sian Blake (Metropolitan Police/PA)

 

The victims vanished on December 13 and their bodies were found buried in the garden of the family home in Erith, Kent, on January 5.

Simpson-Kent was arrested at Heathrow Airport last week after agreeing to his extradition from Ghana.

He appeared before the Recorder of London, Nicholas Hilliard QC, at the Old Bailey via video-link from Wandsworth Prison.

Arthur Simpson-Kent

Arthur Simpson-Kent was extradited from Ghana (Christian Thompson/AP/PA)

 

Bearded Simpson-Kent wore a grey sweatshirt and spoke only to confirm his name.

The judge fixed a plea and case management hearing for May 3 ahead of a provisional trial on October 4.

No application for bail was made and the defendant was remanded in custody.

Ava (left) and Pansy Blake, sister and mother of murdered actress Sian Blake

Ava (left) and Pansy Blake, sister and mother of murdered actress Sian Blake (Yui Mok/PA)

 

Ms Blake played Frankie Pierre in 56 episodes of EastEnders between 1996 and 1997. She was suffering from motor neurone disease before she died.