An Estonian man has denied killing a French film producer whose body was found buried in her Kew garden.

Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, was discovered in a shallow grave in her garden the day after she was reported missing on March 5.

A post-mortem examination found her death was consistent with compression of the neck.

London-based Kirill Belorusov, 32, was arrested in Tallin, the capital of Estonia, on suspicion of her murder on March 13.

He was escorted back to the UK by officers from the Metropolitan Police's Extradition Unit and charged with murder.

Belorusov appeared at the Old Bailey for a plea hearing before Judge Nigel Lickley QC on Tuesday.

The tall, shaven-headed defendant wore a blue suit and white shirt and confirmed his identity in lightly accented English.

He pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms Garcia-Bertaux between March 1 and 5.

The defendant, who is in custody, faces a three-week trial from September 9.

The victim's mother sat in the well of the court for the hearing and was assisted by a French embassy official.