TWO men have appeared in court charged with the murder of a 43-year-old man just before Christmas.

Lee Cooper was found on Westbourne Street in Stockton, with serious injuries, on December 23 last year.

He died the same day after being taken to hospital.

Neil Maxwell, 40, and 19-year-old Luke Pearson were charged with murder in relation to the incident.

Appearing at Teesside Crown Court on Friday, the two men were not required to enter any pleas during the ten-minute hearing.

Maxwell, of Lytton Court, North Ormesby, Middlesbrough, and Pearson, of Westbourne Street, Stockton, were told that a provisional date for trial has been set for the week commencing June 3.