THE murder charge against Liam Murray has been formally discharged after proof of his prison death was submitted to court.

He was charged with one count of murder and a further count of possession of a bladed article – a kitchen knife - following the death of Stacey Cooper on New Year's Eve.

Murray, 27, was found dead in Durham Prison on January 14 while he was remanded in custody.

Judge Stephen Ashurst told Teesside Crown Court that he was satisfied that the man who died in prison was Liam Murray and recorded his death on the legal papers.

A murder investigation was launched by Cleveland Police after the 34-year-old was found dead in a property on Malham Gill in Redcar.

Murray, of Whitby Avenue, Guisborough, was arrested and charged with the murder of the mother-of-six.

During today's short hearing, David Brooke QC, prosecuting, confirmed Murray's body was found in prison earlier this month.

Formally closing the case, Judge Ashurst said: "He was formally remanded in custody to HM Durham, in light of the coroner's certificate recording he was found dead on January 14, I am satisfied that this man, Liam Murray, who was sent for trial, died in custody.

"Accordingly, the indictment will be marked to record that death."