Since January 2018 there have been nine murder investigations opened by Cleveland Police and suspects arrested in each case.

Here is a brief update on the court proceedings.

Time Line

The 9 murder investigations launched on Teesside in 2018

  1. March 5 – Jason Dean

    Jason Dean, 43, died at a home on Brackenfield Court, Eston.

    The man charged with his murder – Andrew Timney – is expected to stand trial in May next year.

    The 29-year-old, of Brackenfield Court, has not yet entered a plea to the charge.

    Mr Dean was described by his heartbroken family as “a loving father and grandfather” who left behind doting parents, a long-term partner, two daughters, a son and a granddaughter.

  2. April 16 – Steven Willis

    Five men stand accused of the murder of Steven Willis.

    Dominic Pickering, Mark Pickering, Jack Cross, Kieran Ibitson and Jahmal Weaver have all denied the murder and manslaughter of 27-year-old Mr Willis in Normanby.

    All five men appeared at Teesside Crown Court on September 13 for a pre-trial review.

    A five-week trial began before a High Court judge began on October 3. You can follow live updates from the trial HERE

    Mr Willis died after an incident on Meadowcroft Drive, Normanby. The other alleged victims, aged 17 and 44, were injured and treated at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough for non-life-threatening injuries.

  3. May 14 – Jessica Patel

    Mrs Patel was found dead at her house on The Avenue in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough.

    Her husband Mitesh Patel, 37, is due to stand trial on November 13, charged with her murder.

    He was arrested in West Yorkshire three days after the death of his 34-year-old wife. He denies killing her.

    Mrs Patel suffered serious injuries before she died at the couple’s semi-detached home.

    Emergency services were called to the address at about 8.20pm and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Police activity also focused on the nearby Roman Road pharmacy, where the couple worked.

  4. July 24 – Craig Barker

    The much-loved dad and car washer from Hardwick in Stockton died on July 24.

    The 47-year-old was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough from his home at Cleatlam Close on the morning of July 22 and died there two days later.

    The family dog Leon also died following the incident.

    Nathan Davis, 25, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Barker.

    He also denied two charges of having an offensive weapon, in each case an axe, on Cleatlam Close, Hardwick, Stockton, on July 22.

    Davis, of Wylam Road, Stockton, appeared at Teesside Crown Court on August 24 via video link to Durham Prison.

    A trial date is set for February 4 next year, to last an estimated two weeks.

  5. August 3 – Kelly Franklin

    A man has denied murdering Kelly Franklin in a street attack.

    The 29-year-old mother-of-three from Kipling Road, was found dead on Oxford Road in Hartlepool on August 3. She is believed to have been stabbed, and died tragically despite efforts of passers-by to save her.

    Torbjorn Kettlewell, of Oval Grange, Hartlepool, denies murdering Ms Franklin as well as a charge of possessing a knife.

    The 30-year-old, who is also known as Ian, was remanded in custody pending a trial starting on January 14.

    A 48-year-old woman Julie Wass, from Hartlepool, has also been charged with her murder.

  6. August 15 – Barbara Davison

    The body of 66-year-old pensioner Barbara Davison was found dead in William Street in Redcar.

    Scenes of crime officers in white suits, wearing gloves, hair nets and masks were seen going in and out of the property along with detectives.

    Paul Plunkett has been charged with her murder and could face a trial in February next year.

    The 61-year-old, of Station Road in Redcar, pleaded not guilty to murder on Wednesday, October 3.

    He is due to stand trial from February 18, 2019

  7. August 29 – Laura Harrison

    The 36-year-old died after an incident in Grange Road in Middlesbrough.

    Jonathon Joseph Robinson, 31, of Grange Road, Middlesbrough, was charged with her murder and appeared at Leeds Crown Court on September 3.

    A plea and case management hearing has been held at Leeds Crown Court and a trial is set to start on January 21 next year.

    Police activity was spotted on Grange Road – the block of flats directly behind the mima art gallery – at around 3pm the day Ms Harrison died.

    It was confirmed a body had been found shortly afterwards.

  8. September 29 – Peter Gilling

    Mr Gilling was found collapsed in Billingham in the early hours of a Saturday morning.

    Police were called to the Melsonby Court flats in the town centre but the 39-year-old was pronounced dead shortly after.

    His family said they hoped his death would “not be in vain”.

    Two men – Darren Willens and Derek Pallas – have appeared in court charged with murder.

  9. October 7 – Natalie Saunders

    A murder investigation was launched after Natalie Saunders’ body was discovered in Brambles Farm, Middlesbrough.

    The body was found at a semi-detached home on Tomlinson Way on Sunday morning.

    The 33-year-old was a mum-of-five and her family paid tribute following her death.

    They said: “Natalie was a beautiful lady and we will miss her. Natalie, you will forever and always be in our hearts and thoughts.”

    A 24-year-old man Stephen Charlton has been charged with murder and appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on October 9.

© 2018 Tees Info


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