Man 'stabbed female door-to-door debt collector to death' in Basildon

UK

A man has been charged with murder after a door-to-door debt collector was stabbed to death in Essex.

Geoffrey Hutton, 38, appeared in court on Tuesday accused of killing Tina Cantello, 49, who disappeared in Basildon last week.

Ms Cantello was reported missing after she failed to return home from work on Friday night.

Her body was found at a property in Derby Close, Langdon Hills, on Saturday evening.

Essex Police said the mother-of-two had been stabbed in the chest several times.

Ms Cantello, a customer service manager for doorstep loan company Provident, was last seen at 5pm on Friday as she left her house in Basildon to go to work.

Her mobile phone was later found abandoned at the roadside, raising fears about her welfare.

Flowers have been left outside her house since her death was confirmed. Attached to one bouquet was a handwritten card reading: “Our hearts are broken, so sorry for your loss.”

In a statement, Provident said: “We are all deeply shocked and saddened by this tragic incident.

“Our immediate concern at this time is for the welfare of Tina’s family, to whom we offer our sincere condolences.

“Tina was a much-loved and well-respected colleague who had been with Provident for over 25 years.

“She will be sorely missed by us and her customers, many of who regard her as part of the family.

“The company is fully supporting the police investigation.”

Mr Hutton, of Derby Close, Langdon Hills, appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The former civil servant was remanded in custody to appear for a bail hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday.

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