A JURY has been sworn in the trial of a former paratrooper accused of killing 31-year-old Iain Lee, from Newton Aycliffe.

Nathan Robbie Buckland is standing trial for murder at Newcastle Crown Court.

The 25-year-old, of Lumley Close, Newton Aycliffe, denies the charge.

Mr Lee died in hospital on September 19 last year, eleven days after being assaulted near The Roundhouse pub in Newton Aycliffe.

The assault happened in the early hours of Saturday, September 8.

Mr Lee suffered serious head injuries and died at James Cook University Hospital.

Toby Hedworth, QC, prosecuting, told jurors: "Iain Lee was born on the 22nd April 1987. He died on the 19th September 2018.

"He was at that time 31-years-old. The cause of death was the end result of blunt head injury."

Mr Hedworth will open the prosecution tomorrow. 

Mr Buckland is represented by Robert Woodcock, QC.

Following his death, Mr Lee’s organs were donated for transplant to help others.

At the time, Mr Lee’s family said: “Iain was a much-loved son, brother and uncle.

“He wasn’t just our son – he was our best friend: his family meant the world to him.

“Iain was loved by everyone and had love for everyone else – he was everyone’s friend.

“We agreed to organ donation so Iain can continue to make a difference to others even after his death and it is of some comfort to know that five people could have the chance of a better life.

“The family would like to request that our privacy be respected at this time”.