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Stabbed solicitor was facing fraud charges
A NORTH-EAST solicitor, who died of unexplained stab wounds while out jogging, was due in court over an alleged multi-million pound mortgage fraud, The Northern Echo can reveal.
A summons demanding Peter Maine appear at Darlington Magistrates’ Court this Tuesday (September 10) had been posted to his luxury £1m home in Wynyard, near Stockton – but whether the 56-year-old father-of-two knew of his impending court date remains a mystery.
After Mr Maine met his violent end on Sunday (September 1), the letter was stopped from reaching his grieving wife, Joanna.
A CPS spokeswoman said it was unable to confirm whether the long-serving solicitor had already learned of the charges.
Mr Maine was due to face accusations of conspiracy to defraud, as part of a long-running Durham Police inquiry.
Detectives have said the fraud investigation will continue despite Mr Maine’s death.
Mr Maine was found with three stab wounds to his chest on a path near Maiden Castle sports ground, Durham City, at 8am on Sunday.
Detectives are treating his death as suspicious and unexplained but keeping an open mind as to how he met his end.
They say they have had a good response to public appeals and are following up several leads to piece together a picture of Mr Maine’s lifestyle, the circles he moved in and the 24 hours before his death.
Mr Maine parked his Range Rover near his old offices - Hall and Co LLP, on Old Elvet, Durham - at 7.25am and carried some furniture into the premises, which are now student flats.
He then parked in a nearby bay before going for a run, during which he sustained his fatal wounds.
Police have also revealed that the night before his death Mr Maine and his wife were out for a meal with friends at a restaurant in Yarm.
The couple had two grown-up daughters, Lucy and Jessica.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Chapman said: “Peter’s family are still coming to terms with what has been an enormous shock but are giving us every assistance.
“We have two liaison officers attached to the family who are keeping them updated with any developments in the case.”
Meanwhile, police are continuing to search the River Wear for clues but, as yet, no weapon has been found.
There were no signs of a struggle when Mr Maine was found and no suicide note has emerged. An independent lawyers’ tribunal into claims Mr Maine was involved with a firm he should have known was dubious was scrapped following his death.
* Anyone with information on Mr Maine’s death is asked to call Durham Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymous on 0800-555-111.