A 34-year-old woman appeared in court today charged with the murder of her daughter in the bedroom of their family home more than 13 years ago.

Maxine Robinson is alleged to have killed nine-month-old Victoria Jean Cope at their home in Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, County Durham, in June 1989.

Bespectacled Robinson, wearing a purple sweatshirt under a blue fleece jacket, sat impassively throughout the 20-minute preliminary hearing at Newcastle Crown Court before Mr Justice Henriques.

The hearing was adjourned for a plea and directions hearing at Newcastle Crown Court in the week commencing May 19.