SEVEN teenagers charged with murder following the death of an 18-year-old in Houghton-le-Spring will appear at Newcastle Crown Court, tomorrow.

The accused, aged 14 to 17, were among nine youths arrested amid inquiries into an altercation near the Britannia Inn, on Newbottle Street, at 9.30pm, on Saturday.

Emergency services attended and found Jack Woodley severely injured.

The teenager, originally from the Durham area, was taken to hospital suffering life-threatening injuries, but his death was confirmed by police on Sunday night.

All seven defendants, three aged 14, two 16, plus one each aged 15 and 17, went before South Tyneside magistrates yesterday and each was remanded, the older four in youth custody and the younger three in the care of the local authority, to appear at a Newcastle Crown Court plea hearing, on Friday.

Northumbria Police confirmed two 15-year-olds, also arrested in the inquiry, have been released, “under investigation.”

Detective Inspector Joanne Brooks, who is leading the investigation, said specialist officers are continuing to support the victim’s family.

“Our thoughts remain with Jack’s loved ones at this incredibly difficult time."

But she urged members of the public not to identify any of those accused of his murder.

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind people that as all seven of those charged are under the age of 18, they are legally entitled to anonymity and must not be named or identified in connection with this incident.

"I would urge people to not speculate or name them online as this could severely impact our investigation, which remains ongoing.

“Our inquiries will continue and I would ask anyone who witnessed the incident or has information, who has not yet come forward, to pick up the phone and contact police or Crimestoppers.

"Any information, no matter how insignificant you may feel it is, could prove crucial to this investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting log NP-20211016-1193, or Crimestoppers anonymously, on (0800) 555111.



the accused are all aged under 18 and are legally entitled to anonymity, so must not be named or identified in connection with the incident.

Anyone with information to help the inquiry is asked to call 101, quoting log NP-20211016-1193, or ring Crimestoppers, anonymously, on (0800) 555111.

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