A TEENAGER has denied murdering Thomas Mallaby when he made a brief appearance in court this morning.

The 40-year-old, from Sacriston, died from injuries he sustained during the alleged attack on the forecourt of the Esso garage in Annfield Plain, Stanley, in September.

The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spoke only to confirm his name before entering a not guilty plea to a charge of murder.

The alleged incident involving Mr Mallaby happened at 2.40am on Sunday, September 26.

The following day, as part of the police investigation, officers arrested the teenage suspect on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Mr Mallaby, who had been taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle for treatment, died two days later.

The teenager, who was allowed to sit with his father throughout the hearing, was then charged with murder.

This morning, he was released on conditional bail until he goes on trial next year.

A fundraising page was set up to help to support the family of Mr Mallaby.

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