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Plumstead murder victim Toni Rudman's brother speaks out about family horror

PUBLISHED: 14:10 13 August 2010 | UPDATED: 16:09 13 August 2010

Murder victim Toni Rudman, 22.

Murder victim Toni Rudman, 22.

Archant

The brother of a young woman who was found beaten to death on a building site says that her injuries were so severe that the family were denied the chance to say a final goodbye.

Police were called to a builders’ yard in North Road, Plumstead at 8.10pm on Saturday after reports of an assault, when they found 24-year-old Toni Rudman from Erith, unconscious.

An air ambulance and paramedics arrived at the scene but Miss Rudman was pronounced dead.

Ryan David Lee Backhouse, 19 of Brookhill Close, Woolwich, was arrested near the scene on the night of the death and charged with murder at Woolwich Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Miss Rudman’s older brother, Robert McMullen, 28, who lived in the family home with his sister and mother, Dawn, said he thought it was a sick joke when his mother called him and told him the news.

Having described his family as close-knit, he said: “I was at a wedding when she was killed and when I got a call from my mum and she told me I though it was some kind of a sick joke.

“It was devastating. My little sister should outlive us not the other way round.

“The coroner said that we couldn’t view the body because she was in such a bad state but my mum really wanted to one last time.”

But the distraught mother was denied the chance to say goodbye to her youngest daughter who had suffered 80 injuries to her face and neck.

Mrs Rudman was too upset to speak to the Times at the time of going to press.

Her son said: “Not many words can describe what my mother is going through.

“My little sister was her life. She was the youngest in the family. You really don’t expect it. No-one deserves what happened to Toni.”

He added: “Toni would never hurt anyone and if anyone hurt her she wouldn’t have fought back, she’s not that type of person.

“She touched lots of people’s hearts. We’ve had lots of phone calls from people who I didn’t know she knew.”

He described his sister as talkative and someone who always got on with people.

A postmortem examination held at Greenwich Mortuary last Sunday revealed the cause of death as head injuries. Mr Backhouse was refused bail when he appeared at the Old Bailey yesterday (Wednesday) and was remanded in custody until a plea and case management hearing on November 15.

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