Four people charged with the murder of a Bishop Auckland man have been remanded into custody after appearing before magistrates.

Emergency Officers were called to West Lane at around 6.30pm last Wednesday where they found a 41-year-old man with stab wounds.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and over the weekend four people were charged in relation to his death.

Three people from Bishop Auckland - Michael Richardson, 52 of Boddy Street, Karl Jones, 44, and Helen Jones, 42, of General Bucher Court - and Craig Dent, 42, of Gray Street, Eldon Lane, appeared before Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning.

No pleas have been entered and they have been remanded into custody until their next appearance at Teesside Crown Court on January 3.

A 16-year-old boy has also been arrested in connection with the incident and remains in police custody where he is being questioned by officers.

Enquiries into the incident remain ongoing and residents may see an increased police presence in the area.

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A spokesperson for Durham Constabulary said: “We would like to reassure residents that there is no wider risk to the public.”

Any witnesses who have yet to speak to officers are asked to call Durham Constabulary on 101, quoting incident number 351 of November 29.

Alternatively, information can be passed on to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.