Rosie Darbyshire's boyfriend Benjamin Topping appears in court for the first time charged with her murder

A 25-year-old man has appeared in court charged with the murder of mum-of-one Rosie Darbyshire.

The body of Ms Darbyshire, 27, from Ribbleton, Preston was found on a pavement in Pope Lane, Ribbleton, close to the junction with Village Drive, in the early hours of Thursday (February 7) morning.

Benjamin Topping, 25, of St Georges Road, Preston

Benjamin Topping, 25, of St Georges Road, Preston

Lancashire Police said she had been subjected to a brutal and sustained assault.

A post mortem examination revealed she had died as a result of serious head injuries.

At a Preston Magistrates' Court hearing held at Preston Crown Court this morning (February 9), Benjamin Topping, 25, of St George’s Road, Preston was charged with the murder of Rosie Darbyshire on February 7, 2019.

Topping spoke to confirm his age, name, nationality and address when appearing in court before a bench of three magistrate judges.

Rosie Darbyshire

Rosie Darbyshire

He also spoke to confirm that he understood the charge of murder.

No plea was entered in the hearing which lasted just two and a half minutes.

Topping, who could be seen wearing a grey jumper, showed no emotion while in court.

There was no application for bail from defence solicitor Sephton Lee and Topping remains in custody.

Topping is next due to appear in court at Preston Crown Court on Monday (February 11) for a Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing (PTPH), Mr Lee confirmed.