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Kerri McAuley’s loved ones shout out in court - and a scuffle breaks out outside - as murder suspect Joe Storey appears to smile in the dock

PUBLISHED: 13:31 11 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:35 12 January 2017

The JustGiving page set up by Kerri's friends has so far raised over £9000. Picture: Screengrab/JustGiving

The JustGiving page set up by Kerri's friends has so far raised over £9000. Picture: Screengrab/JustGiving

Screengrab/JustGiving

A man has appeared in court today after being charged with murdering a Norwich mother.

Scene of murder on Southalls Way, Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYScene of murder on Southalls Way, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

There were emotional scenes in Norwich Magistrates Court this morning as the former partner of Kerri McAuley appeared for the first time charged with her murder.

The public gallery was packed and loved ones of Ms McAuley shouted out and broke down in tears as Joe Storey, 26, was brought before the court.

MORE: “I’m as strong as I’ve ever been”: Kerri McAuley’s moving Christmas Day Facebook post

And emotions were still running high outside court with a scuffle seeming to break out between friends of both sides.

Scene of murder on Southalls Way, Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYScene of murder on Southalls Way, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Punches appeared to be thrown in the melee outside court and security staff and police were called to help deal with the situation.

It is not thought any complaint was made and no action appeared to be taken.

Ms McAuley, 32, was found dead at a property in Southalls Way on Sunday, January 8.

A Home Office post mortem examination which took place on Monday was inconclusive however there is evidence that Ms McAuley was subjected to a severe blunt force assault.

Scene of murder on Southalls Way, Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYScene of murder on Southalls Way, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Storey, 26, of Murrells Court, St John Street, Norwich, appeared to smile during proceedings and before being taken down to the cells.

It prompted an emotional outburst from the public gallery many of whom shouted out comments including “what are you smiling for?”

Ushers went to get tissues for some of Ms McAuley’s friends who broke down in the public gallery.

Storey, who wore a blue jumper spoke only to confirm his details during the short hearing.

More tributes to Kerri Mcauley left close to murder scene. Photo: Peter WalshMore tributes to Kerri Mcauley left close to murder scene. Photo: Peter Walsh

The case was formally sent to Norwich Crown Court tomorrow and he was remanded in custody.

Tributes have continued to pour in for Ms McAuley, a mother of two, who has been described as “beautiful inside and out”.

A fundraising site set up to help pay for her funeral has broken through the £9, 000 mark after hundreds of people were moved to support her heartbroken family.

The police cordon that had been at the scene has now been removed but several more flowers and tributes have been left close to the flats where Ms McAuley lived.

More tributes to Kerri Mcauley left close to murder scene. Photo: Peter WalshMore tributes to Kerri Mcauley left close to murder scene. Photo: Peter Walsh

Balloons, a picture, and bottles of wine have also been left following what was thought to have been a “send off” held by friends and neighbours yesterday.

• Would you like to pay tribute to Ms McAuley? Email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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