The trial date has been put back for those accused of a fatal ammonia attack on a man answering his door late at night, as now four defendants stand charged with his murder.

Andy Foster, 26, died in hospital from the effects of the facial attack, on his doorstep, in Eighton Terrace, Wrekenton, Gateshead, at 11pm on Sunday August 20.

Two men, Kenneth Fawcett, 33, of Balkwell Avenue, North Shields, and 32-year-old John Wandless, of no fixed abode, were initially arrested and charged with Mr Foster’s murder.

Both were remanded in custody and, at a Newcastle Crown Court hearing involving the pair, on October 2, a trial date was set for February 5, next year.

The Northern Echo: Pair accused of the murder of ammonia attack victim Andy Foster on doorstep of his Gateshead home,

But later last month a third man, 21-year-old Josh Craig Hawthorn, of Ashfield, Jarrow, was also charged with the murder and appeared before Newcastle Crown Court.

He was also remanded in custody and appeared today (Friday November 17) with the previously charged pair at the court, via video link from Durham Prison, where they are all on remand.

A fourth man, Yousef Wynne, 39, of Wuppertal Court, Jarrow, who has now been charged with the murder is on remand at HMP Doncaster.

He did not appear at today’s hearing as he was being brought to the court by van from the prison in South Yorkshire and had not arrived by the time the case was called on.

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Mark McKone KC, prosecuting, said all four have indicated not guilty pleas, and each will face trial for Mr Foster’s murder and for robbery.

As the case now features four defendants the trial, of up to four weeks, was re-listed to start on April 15.

Judge Edward Bindloss adjourned the hearing until Friday December 15, when the charges will be formally put to defendants Wynne and Hawthorn, but Wandless and Fawcett will also be expected to appear, via video link.