FORENSIC evidence showed how a man was repeatedly hit with a hammer when he was attacked in his own bed.

John Littlewood suffered several blows to the head which splattered blood around his bedroom.

Teesside Crown Court also heard how the 36-year-old did not die instantly from his injuries and could have taken up to four hours for him to die.

Forensic officer John Newell said the distribution of blood around the room showed the attacker delivered the first blow from one side of the bed before moving to the other side to deliver further blows to the prone victim.

He said: "It appears he (Mr Littlewood) was getting out of the right side of the bed, the blow is in keeping with it being struck when the assailant was on the right side of the bed and then moving round to the other side and striking him again."

Mr Newell said there was blood traces on the wallpaper consistent with being touched by a blood-soaked object.

Jurors had earlier heard how Marty Bates is accused of letting 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.

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

The trial continues.