A 16-year-old boy has appeared before magistrates charged with the murder of a Bishop Auckland man.

The boy appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates accused of the murder of  Lee Clarkson, 41, who died outside the property on West Lane at about 6.30pm on Wednesday last week (November 29).

No pleas were entered and he was remanded to appear at Teesside Crown Court for a plea and directions hearing tomorrow (Wednesday, December 6).

The Northern Echo:

The boy's appearance comes after four other people charged with the murder were remanded into custody after appearing before magistrates.

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 at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning.

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

The Northern Echo: Bishop Auckland incident

The appearances came as Lee's family paid tribute. In a statement, the family said: “Lee was a much-loved father, son, and brother. 

“The whole family is absolutely devastated at the loss of Lee and his death has left an enormous hole in our lives.”

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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. 

The Northern Echo: West Lane, Bishop Auckland