Funeral date set for Sunderland murder suspect

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THE funeral of a murder suspect found dead in his prison cell will take place next week.

Paul Tate, of Silksworth, was on remand in Holme House Prison, Stockton, charged with the murder of John ‘Jonty’ Hall, when his body was discovered by prison staff last Friday.

Paramedics were called to his cell, but Mr Tate was unresponsive and later pronounced dead.

Just days earlier, the 49-year-old had been in court charged with murdering Mr Hall, a grandfather and father-of-two, of Burn Terrace, Shiney Row.

Mr Tate, of Cambridge Road, was jointly charged with Nicholas Rought, 45, of Princess Street, Shiney Row, and Stuart Smith, 42, of no fixed address, with the killing of Mr Hall on September 15.

Mr Tate’s funeral service will take place on Wednesday at Sunderland Crematorium.

The case against the other two defendants is now proceeding. They are expected to enter their pleas at a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court on December 10. They were remanded in custody. An investigation is now under way into the cause of Mr Tate’s death.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “HMP Holme House prisoner Paul Tate was found unresponsive in his cell by prison staff.

“As with all deaths in custody, the Independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation.”

The body of 46-year-old Mr Hall, known to friends as Jonty, was found in Marks Lane, West Rainton, on Sunday, September 15.

The father-of-two died from multiple injuries.

Door-to-door inquiries were then carried out across the Shiney Row area before the three arrests were made.