A heartbroken family has paid tribute to a man who died following a suspected stabbing days before Christmas.

Emergency services were called shortly before 4.30pm on Friday December 23 to John Street in Cullercoats.

Police attended and found 45-year-old Lee Santos, from Killingworth, suffering from ‘injuries consistent with having been caused by a bladed article’.

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The Northern Echo: Lee SantosLee Santos (Image: Contributor)

Despite the best efforts of police and paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a joint statement, Lee’s family said: “Lee was a loving brother, dad and grandad who still had so many things to look forward to in his life.

“We are still processing the fact that he is no longer with us.

“As a family, we would like to thank everyone for their support.

“We now respectfully ask that we are given the time and privacy to grieve, as we try to come to terms with what’s happened.”

Andrew Peacock, 43, was subsequently charged with Lee’s murder and appeared at court on December 26.

He has been remanded into custody awaiting his next court appearance on January 23.

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Detective Inspector Tam Fowler, of Northumbria Police, said: “Our thoughts continue to be with Lee’s family at this devastating time and our specially-trained officers will continue to support them.

“We would ask anybody who has any information who hasn’t already come forward to contact police.

“We would also ask that people avoid any speculation in the community that could jeopardise the ongoing investigation.”

Anyone with information can contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101 quoting log NP-20221223-0738.