Seven teens appear in court charged with the murder of 18-year-old Jack Woodley in Houghton-le-Spring

Seven teenagers have appeared in court charged jointly with the murder of an 18-year-old man in Houghton-le-Spring.

The youngsters, aged 14 to 17, are accused of killing Jack Woodley on Saturday evening, near the Britannia Inn in Newbottle Street.

Police say Mr Woodley, who was from the Durham area, died in hospital from his injuries on Sunday night.

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His alleged attackers, each wearing a grey sweat top, appeared separately in the dock at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The charge of murder was read to each, but no pleas were taken.

Parents or other relatives of all the defendants, who are all from the Houghton-le-Spring area, in Sunderland, were in court.

District Judge Kathryn Meek told the hearing the allegations against them could only be dealt with at crown court.

The defendants, three aged 14, one each of 15 and 16, and two of 17, will appear next at Newcastle Crown on Friday, October 22.

All were remanded into local authority care or youth detention.

Two 15-year-olds held as part of the murder probe have been released under investigation.

Northumbria Police said its inquiries into Mr Woodley’s death were continuing and appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Anyone with information should contact police or Crimestoppers.

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Chronicle Live – Sunderland