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 John Littlewood alleged murder investigation update


​A further arrest has been made by officers investigating the death of John Littlewood.

A 49-year-old man was arrested in Hartlepool this morning on suspicion of assisting an offender. He remains in police custody.

Four people appeared in court yesterday (September 26) charged with the murder of John – known as John D – who was found dead in a house in Blackhall Colliery on July 30.

James Riley, 30, and Donna Balfour, 35, both of Ninth Street, Blackhall Colliery, and Marty Bates, 29, and Tracey Bunney, 44, both of Tenth Street, Blackhall Colliery, have been jointly charged with murder.

Mr Riley and Miss Balfour also face a joint charge of intimidation of a witness.

All four appeared before magistrates in Newton Aycliffe yesterday, where they were remanded in custody to appear at Teesside Crown Court today. They did not enter any pleas.

A 31-year-old man who was also arrested on suspicion of murder on September 24 has been released under investigation.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Superintendent Kevin Weir, said: “This has been a complex investigation, and officers are working hard to establish the circumstances which led to John D’s tragic death.

“I would urge anyone who may have any information around what happened in the days leading up to July 30 to come forward and speak to us by calling 101.

“If you would prefer to remain anonymous, information can be passed on to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or via their website”