Two men have tonight been charged with the murder of 31-year-old Mark Denton in Hartlepool on New Year's Eve.

The pair - aged 21 and 23 - are due to appear at Teesside Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (Saturday 4th January) morning.

A 17 year old arrested in connection with the enquiry has been released without charge.

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Mr Denton, once ranked England's second best amateur middleweight boxer, was well known in his home town of Hartlepool.

He was reportedly attacked with an ice axe at about 10.20pm and was taken to hospital but died a short time later.

The incident took place at a party in a house in Hutton Avenue, near the town centre.

Mr Denton's family have said they are heartbroken by the loss of the ''larger-than-life character''.

They released a tribute which said: ''We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken to have lost Mark, and in such a tragic way.

''He was a loving uncle, brother, son and boyfriend and he will be sadly missed by everyone. Our hearts will never heal from the loss of Mark, he was a larger-than-life character and our loss is immeasurable.

''We now ask for privacy to be allowed to deal with our grief.''

Police have not said what weapon was used in the attack but according to reports it was an ice axe.