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Home Dartford News Article
A man has appeared in court for the first time today charged with murdering Greenhithe schoolgirl Claire Tiltman 21 years ago.
Colin Ash-Smith, from Swanscombe, did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody.
The 45-year-old is next due to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday morning.
He appeared before magistrates in Maidstone via video link this morning.
Wearing a white t-shirt and black trousers, he spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.
The public gallery was packed with friends of Claire and Ash Smith's father, Aubrey.
Ash-Smith is being prosecuted after lawyers were handed a file by Kent Police following a cold case review.
Tilt, as she was known to her friends, was stabbed more than 40 times in January 1993 in an alleyway off London Road, Greenhithe.
It was just four days after her 16th birthday and not far from her home in Woodward Terrace.
Her mother, Linda, died in 2008 and her father, Cliff, in September 2012 without seeing justice.
Claire, an only child, had been on her way to visit a friend when she was attacked between 6pm and 6.30pm.
Claire, a Dartford Grammar School pupil, had hoped to join the fire brigade and regularly visited her local fire station while completing her Duke of Edinburgh Award.
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