THE trial of a County Durham man charged with sending “poison pen” letters making threats to members of a North-East authority is due to get underway today.

David Alexander Stephen Lindsay, from Lanchester, is facing two charges, including one for sending a letter which made threats towards 57 members of Durham County Council who were seeking re-election to the authority in 2017.

He is also accused of perverting the course of justice, by getting a US national to agree to send letters purporting a threat to the life of Mr Lindsay, if he were to be acquitted of the initial charge.

Mr Lindsay, of Foxhills Crescent, denies both charges and is standing trial at Durham Crown Court.

A jury has been sworn in and Peter Sabiston, prosecuting, is due to outline the details of the case this afternoon.

Jurors were read a list of witnesses due to give evidence, which includes Rupert Kalus, of All Saints Parish Church in Lanchester, and Cornelius O’Connor, of the village’s Catholic church in Kitswell Road.

The trial continues.