A 44-YEAR-OLD man has been charged with murdering a woman who went missing more than 14 years ago.

Martin Bell, of St Leonard's Crescent, Scarborough, North Yorkshire is due to appear in court over the disappearance of Gemma Simpson, 23, in May 2000.

She told a friend she was catching a bus from the Harehills area of Leeds to the city centre, but vanished.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman said it had been working closely with West Yorkshire Police, who arrested Bell at the resort earlier this week.

She said: "Having carefully considered all of the evidence presented to us, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge this defendant with the murder of Gemma Simpson and that it is in the public interest to do so."

Ms Lamping said: "This defendant now stands charged with serious criminal offences and has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

Bell will appear before magistrates in York today (Saturday, July 12).