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Solicitor's plea to Stuart Bycroft Smith
THE solicitor of a man police are trying to trace has urged his client to contact him immediately.
Police investigating the murder of John Anthony Hall are trying to trace Stuart Bycroft Smith, 42, from Houghton-le-Spring, who they need to speak to in connection with the investigation.
Mr Smith's solicitor has encouraged his client, from Wordsworth Avenue West, to get in touch.
He said: "I would urge Mr Smith to contact me immediately."
The body 46-year-old Mr Hall, from Burn Terrace, Shiney Row, was discovered by a dog walker on Mark’s Lane close to a railway bridge in the West Rainton area of Durham on Sunday, September 15, at around 7pm.
Northumbria Police are appealing for the public's help to trace Mr Smith, but said he was not to be approached.
Detective Chief Inspector Christina Barrett, who is leading the investigation, said: "We know that Stuart Smith was known to Mr Hall and we urgently need to speak to him.
"I am appealing to him to contact us or his solicitor immediately."
Two men appeared at Sunderland Magistrate's Court on Saturday charged with Mr Hall’s murder.
Nicholas John Rought, 45, of Princess Street, Shiney Row, and Paul Ian Tate, 48, of Mill Terrace, also Shiney Row, charged by police on Friday night.
A post-mortem investigation concluded that dad of two Mr Hall died from multiple injuries.
On Friday, his family told how they were in a "living nightmare".
They said he suffered a "vicious, violent attack" but have not given details of his multiple injuries.
It is thought police think Mr Hall, who was known as Jonty, may have been killed in Shiney Row and his body dumped across the county border.
He had been reported missing to Durham Police but the case has since been taken on by the Northumbria force.
Three men aged 43, 32 and 34 who were arrested on suspicion of murder have been bailed Anyone who has seen Mr Smith or has any information about his whereabouts is asked not to approach him but to contact police on 101 or 999.