Man on murder charge over death at flats

A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a young woman found dead at their flat in Leeds.

Joe Atkinson, 25, appeared before Leeds Magistrates Court yesterday charged with the murder of Poppy Devey-Waterhouse.

Miss Devey-Waterhouse, 24, died at the Saxton flats development in the Richmond Hill area of the city on Friday.

Police were called to an address at the building shortly before 9am.

Miss Devey-Waterhouse, of The Avenue, Richmond Hill, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Atkinson, who has the same address, appeared in court alongside a dock officer for the brief hearing.

He wore a grey sweater and grey bottoms. Atkinson spoke only to confirm his address, date of birth and nationality as British. No pleas were entered to the charge. District Judge Watkin told Atkinson that the case had to be committed to Leeds Crown Court, where he is due to appear today.

Atkinson was returned to custody. Relatives of Miss Devey-Waterhouse were in court for the hearing.

There were gasps from the public gallery as Atkinson was led into court. Miss Devey-Waterhouse was a gifted mathematician with a successful career.

She was originally from Somerset but moved to Leeds for a job as a quantitative trading analyst with bookmakers William Hill, which she began in 2017.

Academically gifted, she studied financial mathematics at the University of Nottingham, graduating with a first-class honours degree in 2015, and she stayed on to complete a Masters in statistics.

As a teenager, she worked as a volunteer children’s tennis coach.

A spokesman for William Hill said: “I can confirm she was an employee and that we are providing support to her colleagues, who are clearly very shocked and saddened.

“She was a very young, recently-joined member of the team, highly intelligent and she was a member of the research and development team, who work on quantitative techniques for trading.”