A 16-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with murdering a teenage girl stabbed to death in Northumberland.

Holly Newton, 15, was found hurt in the Priestpopple area of Hexham shortly after 5.10pm on Friday and later died in hospital.

A 16-year-old boy, who was also taken to hospital, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

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The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before a district judge at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on Monday after being charged with murder, attempted murder and having a knife.

The Gateshead teenager was not asked to enter pleas during the brief hearing.

Wearing a grey prison tracksuit, he spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

He was remanded into youth detention accommodation until his next appearance at Newcastle Crown Court on Wednesday, February 1.

District judge Paul Currer told the youth: “The allegations against you are very serious. For that reason you can’t be dealt with in this court. I am going to send your case to the crown court.”

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Holly’s family has paid tribute to a “bright and bubbly girl” who was “a much-loved daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece and cousin”.

A statement on Monday said: “Holly was always a popular girl, who was loved by so many people – not just in Hexham – but all over the North East.

“Holly also loved dancing and was so talented – and a big part of her spare time was spent at classes and taking part in competitions up and down the country.

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“She had her whole life ahead of her and we are still coming to terms with the fact that our beautiful and loving girl is no longer with us.

“Rest in peace to our baby girl – we love you so much and our lives will never be the same without you here. You touched so many hearts and you will be missed beyond words by all of your family and loved ones.”

A candle-lighting service was held at Hexham Abbey over the weekend so people could pay tribute to Holly, who lived in Haltwhistle, a market town about 15 miles west of Hexham.