POLICE have renewed appeals in a bid to trace a man missing from home for approaching a fortnight.

As prolonged wintry weather grips the North-East concern has grown over the whereabouts and safety of 50-year-old John Nelson.

The last known sighting of him was at around by a neighbour in Highfield Rise, off Newcastle Road, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, at about 11am, on Monday, December 28.

He was reported missing by his sister Kathleen Nelson, who also lives in Chester-le-Street.

She has had no contact with him since Sunday December 27.

Sergeant Paul Hadden, of Chester-le-Street Police Office, said family and friends are particularly anxious to trace Mr Nelson as he has a condition requiring medication which he does not appear to have with him.

Mr Nelson, described as, "a creature of habit", was also previously reported to have left home without the spectacles he usually wears.

Sgt Hadden said: "Taking this and the extreme weather conditions into account, we are becoming increasingly fearful for his safety.

"It may be that he has taken ill out of doors and could be unable to summon help."

Teams from Teesdale and Weardale Mountain Rescue Service have assisted police in searching the Chester-le-Street area, including local woodland.

Sgt Hadden added: "We're extremely concerned about Mr Nelson's welfare and are anxious to speak to him or anyone who thinks they may have seen him."

Mr Nelson is 5ft 10ins, of slim build, with brown eyes and short, black hair which is thinning.

Anyone with information as to his whereabouts should contact Chester-le-Street police, via the Durham force's non-emergency number 0345-60-60-365.