A man is to stand trial later this year accused of helping a killer to “lie low” in the days after he was involved in a fatal attack.

Anthony Keating, now 23, jointly took part in the prolonged beating of Blaine Hammond with co-accused Louis Whelan in the early hours of December 3, 2021.

Following the attack, Mr Hammond was shoved down external stairs outside Whelan’s flat, in Saltburn Road, Springwell Estate, Sunderland, and later dragged and left for dead in a green telecoms box nearby.

The 22-year-old victim was confirmed dead when emergency services found his body in the utility box later that morning after Whelan made an anonymous 999 call to the emergency services.

Read more: Blaine Hammond murder: Life sentences for killers of Sunderland man

While Whelan was arrested at his flat later that morning, Keating remained at large, before he was arrested in Billingham two days later.

Both Keating, of Palmerston Road, Pennywell, Sunderland, and Whelan, who is now 24, were convicted of Mr Hammond’s murder following a four-week trial at Newcastle Crown Court, in November last year.

They were each jailed for life, with a minimum of 14 years behind bars, at the sentencing hearing at the court, in January.

Read more: Blaine Hammond murder: Family's heartfelt statement after son's death

A 23-year-old Sunderland man, Ally Gordon, formerly of Polmuir Road, in the Plains Farm area of the city, appeared at the court today (Monday July 10) accused of assisting an offender.

He is alleged to have harboured Keating, with intent to prevent his lawful apprehension, between December 2 and 6, 2021.

Appearing via video link from Durham Prison, where he is on remand in custody, Mr Gordon pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The case was adjourned for a trial of up to three days’ duration at the court, starting on December 4.

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But the defendant must appear for a further case management hearing, on August 17, and a pre-trial review, on November 17.

The defendant was told his defence statement must be submitted to the court by August 25.

Judge Christopher Prince adjourned the hearing and remanded the defendant to remain in custody pending the further case management hearing, next month.