A POLICE officer has described the 'bloody' mess he discovered when he entered the bedroom of a man who had been battered to death with a hammer.

John Littlewood suffered horrendous injuries when he was attacked in his own bed by a friend following a drunken dispute hours earlier.

Marty Bates let himself into the Mr Littlewood's Blackhall Colliery home in the early hours of July 26, 2019, before launching the fatal and sustained attack on his prone victim, Teesside Crown Court had heard.

Mr Littlewood's body was discovered four days later by his on/off girlfriend Julie Muir after she became concerned she hadn't heard from him for several days.

The evidence of PC Scott Longstaff, of Durham Constabulary, was read out in court as he recounted the grim discovery in Mr Littlewood's home on Third Street.

The Northern Echo: John LittlewoodJohn Littlewood

The officer said: "The male was lying on his back on the bed, his face was heavily bloodied and he had a wound to his forehead, approximately three inches long and an inch wide. The wound itself appeared very deep.

"I also noticed that there was a congealed pool of blood under the head as well as blood splatter over the bedroom wall."

The officer said he had no other visible injuries."

Bates, 31, and co-accused 45-year-old Tracey Bunney, of Tenth Street, Blackhall Colliery, deny murder.

The trial continues.