A SOLICITOR’S fatal stab wounds may have been self-inflicted, an inquest has heard.

Father-of-two Peter Maine died from stab wounds to his chest while out jogging in Durham City on September 1, last year.

Police initially launched a murder-style investigation, but at a review into Mr Maine’s inquest held by County Durham coroner Andrew Tweddle in Crook this morning (January 21), the detective leading the case said the wounds may have been inflicted by Mr Maine himself.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Chapman said Mr Maine suffered three stab wounds in his heart, two of which were fatal as they pierced his left and right ventricles.

DCI Chapman said: “We know this is what killed Peter Maine.

“What we are trying to establish is how and why Peter Maine died in the way he did.”

The officer said there were no restraint or defence marks on Mr Maine’s body which he said was indicative of the wounds being self inflicted.

But he said officers are still looking into the possibility that a third party was involved as no weapon has yet been recovered and the wounds were inflicted through Mr Maine’s clothing.

Officers have identified 61 possible witnesses who were in the Maiden Castle area of Durham City between 7.15am and 8.15am which is around the time Mr Maine, Swainston Close in Wynyard near Billingham, suffered the injuries.

DCI Chapman said they have spoken to all but seven of them, two men and a female believed to have been jogging on the Pelaw Wood side of the River Wear where Mr Maine was running, and four people on the other bank.

He said officers are still trying to find the seven people but did not have any concerns about them being involved.

Police are appealing for anyone who was in the area between Baths Bridge and Maiden Castle bridge to come forward.

DCI Chapman said: “We would like to speak to these people.

“They may have a crucial piece of information that they do not think is crucial but might be for the investigation.”

Information can be reported to Durham Police on 101.