A chef at a Horley pub has appeared in court charged with murdering model Sally Anne Bowman.

Mark Dixie, 35, head chef at Ye Olde Six Bells, who is accused of killing 18-year-old Sally Anne in Croydon last September, was arrested by 12 detectives on Tuesday last week.

They led him from the kitchen of the 14th-century pub, to the astonishment of customers.

Many residents living near the pub in Church Road woke on Wednesday morning to see it cordoned off with a police guard in front.

A sign told customers it was closed temporarily due to "circumstances".

Detectives searched the pub and its beer garden. Dixie's girlfriend, Katie McConaghie, who is a junior chef at the Six Bells, spoke of her shock to a national newspaper, saying: "When it dawned on me that he had been held for killing that beautiful girl I just felt physically sick."

Dixie was remanded in custody after a five-minute hearing at Sutton Magistrates Court. Sally Anne's three sisters and mother Linda were 10ft away in the public gallery.

Dressed in a grey tracksuit top, white T-shirt and dark trousers, Dixie remained silent throughout, nodding only to confirm his name and that he understood the charge of murder. The prison van in which he was driven away from the court was pelted with eggs.

Dixie was linked with the investigation into the murder of the model after he was arrested on June 15, the night England played Trinidad and Tobago in the World Cup. The chef was watching the match with friends at a bar in Crawley when a fight broke out. Fingerprints and a routine saliva swab were taken by police who arrived to break up the fight. Dixie was re-arrested two weeks later.

Sally Anne, a hairdresser beginning to break into modelling, was bitten, sexually assaulted and stabbed to death yards from her house in Blenheim Crescent, Croydon. She was accosted as she returned home after being dropped off by ex-boyfriend Lewis Sprotson, following a Saturday night out. Neighbours heard the teenager screaming in the early hours of the morning and her body was later found near a skip at the end of her drive. Four men were arrested that month but all were released without charge.

Dixie's arrest in connection with her murder followed a massive DNA screening operation in South London and a Crimewatch appeal. The BBC programme's appeal earlier this month was broadcast after police released a new electronic picture of a man who indecently assaulted a woman in Purley Cross four years ago, as described by his victim. The DNA from that incident, where the suspect exposed himself to the woman as she made a call from a phone box and tried to force the door open, matched that found on Sally Anne's clothes.

Dixie has worked at various pubs in and around Croydon since 2001 and once lived just five doors from the Bowmans. He split up with long-term girlfriend and mother of his baby son, Stacey Nivet, in the summer of last year, a few months before Sally Anne was stabbed. He then moved in with a male cousin in Coulsdon but had no fixed address.

Both his cousin's flat, his current girlfriend's, and Ms Nivet's former flat in East Grinstead have been searched as part of the investigation. The Six Bells and its cellars and outbuildings were taken over by detectives and the beer garden was blanketed by a large tent. Forensic officers armed with metal detectors and pick-axes have been trawling the garden. Sally Anne's passport, Prada handbag and mobile phone were missing when her body was discovered.

In court Dixie was also charged with indecent assault and outraging public decency in unrelated incidents.