News | World News | Ex-civil servant in court charged with Essex debt collector's murder

Ex-civil servant in court charged with Essex debt collector's murder

Popular Articles

  • Tina Cantello, 49, from Basildon in Essex, disappeared while debt-collecting 
  • Police later found her body in the town and confirmed she died of stab wounds
  • Her son thanked locals for support in online tribute which said: 'I love you Mum'
  • Geoffrey Hutton, 38, has been charged with the murder and appeared in court

By Richard Spillett, Crime Correspondent For Mailonline

Published: 03:52 EDT, 12 June 2018 | Updated: 08:21 EDT, 12 June 2018

  • e-mail

A former civil servant has appeared in court charged with murdering a debt collector who was found dead after she went missing during at collection rounds.

Geoffrey Hutton appeared in court today charged with the murder of Tina Cantello, 49, who was on the last of her three door-to-door collections when she disappeared.

Mother-of-two Mrs Cantello went missing on Friday in Basildon, sparking a frantic search by her family and police.

After her body was discovered with stab wounds, Hutton - understood to be a former Ministry of Justice worker - was arrested and charged with her murder.

A man is to appear in court today over the murder of debt collector Tina Cantello, 49, who was found at a house in Basildon, Essex, a day after she went missing
A man is to appear in court today over the murder of debt collector Tina Cantello, 49, who was found at a house in Basildon, Essex, a day after she went missing
Geoffrey Hutton (right) has appeared in court over the murder of debt collector Tina Cantello
Geoffrey Hutton (right) has appeared in court over the murder of debt collector Tina Cantello

Geoffrey Hutton (right) has appeared in court over the murder of debt collector Tina Cantello

Hutton was arrested after Mrs Cantello's body was found following a search in Basildon, Essex
Hutton was arrested after Mrs Cantello's body was found following a search in Basildon, Essex

Hutton was arrested after Mrs Cantello's body was found following a search in Basildon, Essex

Hutton, who had a heavy medical bandage on his left arm, spoke only confirm his name and address at Basildon Magistrates Court today.

Chair of the magistrates bench Paul Fisher declined jurisdiction on the case and said: 'We have no power to do anything today apart from remand you in custody to Chelmsford Crown Court where you will appear tomorrow.'

It comes after Mrs Cantello's mobile phone was found abandoned at the side of the road, with her distraught family describing the disappearance as '100 per cent out of character'.

A missing person's appeal was launched but then suspended 24 hours later when her body was found about two miles from where she was last seen.

Hutton, a 38 year-old from Langdon Hills, was arrested at the weekend and Essex Police confirmed this morning he has been charged with murder.  

Ahead of the hearing, a spokesman for Essex Police confirmed: 'A post mortem examination was carried out and established that she died from multiple stab wounds to the chest.' 

The mother of two was out debt collecting when she went missing on Friday. A man aged 38 has been charged murder
The mother of two was out debt collecting when she went missing on Friday. A man aged 38 has been charged murder

The mother of two was out debt collecting when she went missing on Friday. A man aged 38 has been charged murder

Mrs Cantello's son Sam Malone had earlier posted on Facebook thanking people for their support during the family's nightmare ordeal.

He wrote: 'I love you Mum. Thank you everyone for your support. It has helped massively'. 

Yesterday two police officers guarded the front door of Hutton's home in the Langdon Hills area of the Essex town. 

Floral tributes have been left outside the brick building to Mrs Cantello.  A card on one of the bouquets read 'Our hearts are broken' 

Detectives have been searching a house in Basildon where her body was found
Detectives have been searching a house in Basildon where her body was found

Detectives have been searching a house in Basildon where her body was found

Another emotionally stated: 'Desperately sad on your tragic loss, still in utter shock. Our love goes out to your family. Such a wonderful caring woman.' 

Neighbours spoke at their shock, with one saying: 'I'm shocked. The first I knew about it when I came home and saw police tape, it's terrifying. 'I've got kids of mine and it is just frightening.' 

James Taylor, the boyfriend of Mrs Cantello's daughter Aimee, said in a Facebook Mrs Cantello left her home in the Laindon area of the town at around 5pm on Friday to do her loan-collecting rounds. 

'Her work phone was found in a different area in Durham Road in Laindon where her final phone activity was recorded. 

'We believe she was last seen around the Deacon Drive area. Police are investigating, they found her phone on the side of the road. 

'There is a woodland area nearby and police did search that area too. We have seen police dotted everywhere all around Laindon.' 

Ms Cantello was last seen in Deacon Drive but her phone was found two miles away in Durham Road. Her body was found a day later in Derby Close, Basildon 
Ms Cantello was last seen in Deacon Drive but her phone was found two miles away in Durham Road. Her body was found a day later in Derby Close, Basildon 

Ms Cantello was last seen in Deacon Drive but her phone was found two miles away in Durham Road. Her body was found a day later in Derby Close, Basildon 

Mrs Cantello worked as a debt collector for Provident. Jade Byrne, communications manager, said: 'I can confirm Tina Cantello worked for Provident, and we are helping police with their ongoing investigation. 

'Our thoughts are with Tina's family and friends at this time.' 

An Essex Police statement confirmed the charge this morning. 'A man has been charged in connection with the death of a Basildon woman. 

'Geoffrey Hutton, 38, of Langdon Hills, has been charged with the murder of Tina Cantello, 49. He is due to appear at Basildon Magistrates' Court today.'

Advertisement
Read more:

Most watched News videos

MOST READ NEWS

Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.

View All

MOST WATCHED NEWS VIDEOS

By Shawn Arnette 12/06/2018 08:21:00