INITIAL examinations reveal that a woman found dead in a County Durham home on Christmas Eve died from stab wounds.

County Durham coroner Andrew Tweddle said the full cause of Lesley Ann Caile’s death still needs to be determined, but an initial post-mortem listed stab wounds as a probable cause.

The 48-year-old mother of two grown-up and grandmother of three was found dead at her home in Hunwick near Willington, County Durham, on Christmas Eve.

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A man who was found in the same house suffering from unspecified injuries has been charged with her murder.

Peter Edward Yorke, 46, had to be airlifted to hospital after being found in the house he shared with Mrs Caile on North View at about 11am on Christmas Eve.

On New Year ’s Eve he appeared before Newcastle Crown Court where he was remanded into custody with a plea and case management hearing due in the week starting Monday, February 25.

Mr Tweddle said a post-mortem has been carried out by Home Office Pathologist Dr Mark Egan, and Mrs Caile’s body can now be released to her family for funeral arrangements to be made.

He said: “A post-mortem has been carried out with stab wounds put forward as the preliminary cause of death.

“It requires confirmation in due course but that is the initial cause of death given by him.”

Stuart Urwin, the vicar of St Paul’s Church in Hunwick, said Ms Caile’s death had shocked the village.

He said: “She was well known and well-liked in the village, her family are well-respected in Hunwick.

“Her death came as a very horrible shock, it would be fair to say it cast a pall over Christmas in the village and all our thoughts are with her family.”