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An inquest rules that Gina Lander was unlawfully killed

Gina Lander was reported missing from her home on 16th March Credit: West Midlands Police

The disappearance of a New Zealand national from Walsall is being treated as a murder.

Gina Lander was reported missing from her home on 16th March this year by her partner. Despite a number of appeals, no trace of the 46-year-old was found.

On 21st April police were called to reports of a man falling from a bridge over the M6 motorway in Walsall. The man identified as David Stokes, from Mellish Road, died following the fall.

The 39-year-old was Gina’s partner and at the time she was reported missing.

One line of enquiry to date has been that David Stokes may have killed Gina and disposed of her remains shortly before she was reported missing. The investigation was handed to the coroner. At an inquest today ruled that Gina’s death was an unlawful killing and that David Stokes committed suicide.

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Fundraising appeal to help repair shop after arson attack

A fundraising appeal has begun online to help a man whose Halal meat shop was badly damaged in a petrol bomb attack.

The damage caused after the arson attack Credit: ITV News Central / Steve Clamp

CCTV footage shows the suspect moments before the attack on Monday 27 June in Wednesbury Road.

Police say they don't believe the attack was racially motivated, and no-one has been arrested.

The fundraising page was set up by a man who lives opposite the store. He says the owner is "very shaken and troubled by the incident".

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Council leader expressed concern at 'notable increase in tension' in borough

The leader of Walsall Council expressed concern at a "notable increase in tension" in the borough over the last few days.

Council leader expressed concern at 'notable increase in tension' in borough Credit: ITV News Central

Councillor Sean Coughlan said:

Walsall has a long and proud history of harmony between communities and this has served us well and will continue to do so.

I call upon all political and religious community leaders and the residents of Walsall to use their influence to maintain our high values of understanding, unity and harmony that we all hold dear.

– Councillor Sean Coughlan
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