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 Murder investigation launched after body found in Blackhall Colliery


​Police have launched a murder investigation after a man’s body was found in a house in Blackhall Colliery. 

The body of 36-year-old John Littlewood was found in a bedroom in a property in Third Street on Tuesday evening (July 30). 

Detectives believe he died from head injuries.

Mr Littlewood’s family today paid tribute to him, saying: “John D was a son, brother and father who liked to help anyone if he could. He had a heart of gold.”​

A police cordon remains in place at the property while officers carry out their enquiries. It will remain there for the next few days.

No arrests have been made at this stage. 

Detective Superintendent Kevin Weir, who is leading the investigation, said: “I would like to offer my condolences to the family of Mr Littlewood following this tragic incident. They are currently being supported by specially trained officers.

“I know many people in the village will be shocked and saddened by what has happened, and I understand their concerns. 

“We are working as quickly as we can, while conducting a thorough investigation, to establish exactly what has happened.

“A team of detectives are carrying out enquiries in the area and I would urge anyone who has information which could help us trace those responsible to come forward.

“We will also have extra patrols in the area over the next few days to provide reassurance to local residents.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Durham Constabulary on 101, quoting incident number 394 of July 30.

Alternatively, information can be passed on to Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.