A MAN has appeared in court charged with murdering a woman who died in a house fire. 

Andrew Wilding has been remanded into custody after appearing in court for the murder of Elsie Pinder.

Ms Pinder, 66, died following a fire at a house in Southchurch Road on July 3 this year.

She was rescued from the fire in the early hours of Saturday morning, before passing away a "short time later."

Wilding, 41, of Southchurch Road, was charged on Monday and appeared at Southend Magistrates' Court this morning.

Dressed in a grey hoodie and wearing glasses, he held his hands behind his back and showed little emotion during the short hearing.

He spoke only to confirm his name and address.

The court heard that Wilding's two charges of murder and arson with intent to endanger life, were so serious they can only be dealt with at crown court.

Chair of the magistrates' bench Paul Fisher told Wilding: "The matters are not something that the court can deal with.

"You will be remanded in custody until tomorrow where you will be in crown court in this building at 10am. That's all for today."

The fire sparked a huge investigation by Essex Police which saw forensic teams examining the scene in the days after the blaze.

Nearby businesses were left without power on Saturday morning due to a power cut caused by the fire, with forensics on the scene the rest of the weekend.

A bunch of flowers had been left on the doorstep.

Tributes were paid to Ms Pinder following her death.

Her son Paul said: "She was a lovely, kind-hearted, generous, loving and witty lady who can only be described as a bottle of champagne waiting to pop.

“She will be sadly missed.”

Wilding will appear at Southend Crown Court tomorrow.

Anyone who believes they have information on the incident or the hours leading up to the fire should call police on 101 and cite incident number 42/128551/21.

You can also submit a report online or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.