TWO men appeared in a case at Durham Crown Court today over an alleged attempted murder last month.

Ben Whale, 43, and 35-year-old Sam Turner are accused of attempting to kill the victim in a hammer attack at a flat in Chester-le-Street.

Police attended reports of an incident in a first-floor premises, above a takeaway, in Hilda Park, at about 12.15pm on Friday October 15.

On arrival at the flat, both accused were arrested and the prone victim was found and given immediate medical assistance before being taken to hospital suffering significant leg and facial injuries.

The accused pair, appearing via video link from custody at HMP Durham and HMP Hull, respectively, did not put in pleas to the charge.

Both cases were adjourned for them to receive medical assessment, with completed reports to be submitted by January 11, along with defence statements.

A trial date of up to five days was agreed, to start at the court on Monday April 4.

Both Mr Whale, of Hilda Park, Chester-le-Street, and Mr Turner, of Mitford Gardens, Wallsend, North Tyneside, were remanded to remain in custody by Judge James Adkin.

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