Four people have denied murdering a Bishop Auckland dad when they appeared in court this morning (Monday, April 22).

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

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

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

The Northern Echo:

Michael Richardson, 52, of Boddy Street, Bishop Auckland; Karl Jones, 45, of General Bucher Court, Bishop Auckland; Helen Jones, 42, of General Bucher Court, Bishop Auckland; and Craig Dent, 42, of Gray Street, Eldon Lane, all pleaded not guilty at a hearing at Teesside Crown Court.

The Northern Echo: Forensic officers working at the scene.

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The Northern Echo:

A teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, did not appear in court and his legal representative was not asked to enter a plea to a charge of murder.

The Judge, Mr Justice Jacobs, adjourned the case until June 5 when the trial is listed to start.

In a statement issued by Mr Clarkson’s family at the time 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.”