TWO men have appeared in court charged with possessing an imitation firearm after armed police were called to a County Durham town.

Andrew Wright and Jason Blackwood appeared at Peterlee Magistrates' Court today (Saturday, January 25) after an alleged incident involving firearms in Leadgate near Consett on Thursday morning.

Both are charged with possessing an imitation firearm with the intent of causing fear of violence jointly with each other and other unknown people.

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Mr Wright, 21, of Templar Mews in Medomsley Edge near Consett, was remanded into custody.

Magistrates gave Mr Blackwood, also 21, bail on the condition that he reside at his home on Daisy Hill in Medomsley Edge, abides by a curfew between 7pm and 7am, reports to Consett Police Station three times a week, does not contact any prosecution witnesses and does not enter Leadgate.

However he will remain in custody after the Crown Prosecution Service appealed that decision, with a hearing to be held at Durham Crown Court on Monday or Tuesday.

Both men are due at Durham Crown Court on February 7.