Two men have appeared in court accused of manslaughter following the death of a delivery driver after an incident on Sunday (March 19).

Gary Peter Hepworth, 43, and Joseph Henry Niles, 41, appeared before Peterlee Magistrates Court on Wednesday (March 22) morning charged with manslaughter and theft after the incident in Horden, County Durham at the weekend.

Hepworth, 43, of Greenside Avenue, Peterlee was also charged with assault causing actual bodily harm after an officer was injured while he was being detained.

Read more: Tragedy as police confirm man has died following incident in County Durham town

He appeared in the dock alongside co-accused Niles, of no fixed abode, flanked by three security officers.

Hepworth and Niles spoke only to confirm their names, dates of birth and addresses.

No pleas were entered against any of the charges and the pair were remanded in custody ahead of a hearing at Durham Crown Court on April 19.

Defending, Mr Taylor, entered no application for bail.

Magistrate John Robinson, the chairperson of the bench, told the pair: “The charges against you are what we call indictable only and can only be dealt with at crown court.”

To get more stories direct to your email basket go here 

A cry of 'I love you' came from the public gallery as they were sent to the cells pending their next court appearance.

Emergency crews rushed to the Handley Street area of Horden but a DPD delivery driver was tragically pronounced dead at the scene.

On Wednesday (March 22) officers named him as 54-year-old James Andrew Coyles as his family paid tribute to him.

Read next:

Get more from The Northern Echo with a Premium Plus digital subscription from as little as only £1.50 a week. Click here

Police cordoned off three roads including Handley Street and two back alleys on Sunday while they worked at the scene.

A forensic tent was erected next to a white DPD van alongside a row of terraced houses.

One resident said the incident had been "absolutely terrible" and offered sympathy for the man and his family.