Five people have appeared in court charged with the murder of a Bishop Auckland man.

Lee Clarkson suffered fatal stab wounds outside his home on West Lane at about 6.30pm on Wednesday last week (November 29).

The 41-year-old died at the scene despite the best efforts of medical staff.

Today, four adults and a youth made a brief appearance in Teesside Crown Court charged with his murder.

The Northern Echo: Police at the scene of the alleged murder in Bishop AucklandPolice at the scene of the alleged murder in Bishop Auckland (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

All five defendants spoke only to confirm their name and date of birth when the appeared before the Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Paul Watson KC.

Three men, aged 52, 44, and 42, and a 42-year-old woman were arrested in connection with the incident.

The Northern Echo: Lee ClarksonLee Clarkson (Image: DURHAM CONSTABULARY)

Michael Richardson, 52, of Boddy Street, Bishop Auckland; Karl Jones, 44, of General Bucher Court, Bishop Auckland; Helen Jones, 42, of General Bucher Court, Bishop Auckland; and Craig Dent, 42, of Gray Street, Eldon Lane, were subsequently charged with murder.

A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has also been charged in connection with the alleged murder.

The Northern Echo: Crime scene investigators working at the property in Bishop AucklandCrime scene investigators working at the property in Bishop Auckland (Image: TERRY BLACKBURN)

None of the defendants were asked to enter a plea and the adults were remanded in custody while the teenager was remanded into the care of the local authority.

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Judge Watson set a provisional trial date of June 5 next year which was listed for five weeks in front of a High Court judge.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled to take place in the New Year.

Earlier this week, in a statement Lee’s 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.”