Police appeal for help to find man as murder probe continues

Northumbria Police want to speak to Stuart Bycroft Smith after the murder of Sunderland grandfather, John Hall
Northumbria Police want to speak to Stuart Bycroft Smith after the murder of Sunderland grandfather, John Hall
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AN appeal has been made by police investigating the murder of Sunderland grandfather John Hall.

Detectives are trying to trace a man they want to speak after the father-of-two’s body was found in Marks Lane, West Rainton, on Sunday night.

The 46-year-old was discovered at about 7pm. Police believe he died from multiple injuries.

Officers now want to speak to Stuart Bycroft Smith, 42, who is from the Houghton area.

Northumbria Police have confirmed he was known to Mr Hall and it is thought he might have information that could help with the investigation.

People have been warned not to approach him, though police say it is not believed he poses a risk to members of the public.

Anyone with information on Mr Smith is asked to call 999 immediately.

Police made a fresh appeal for information regarding Mr Hall’s death yesterday.

Detective Chief Inspector Christina Barrett, of Northumbria Police, who is leading the investigation, said: “We are continuing to appeal for witnesses to come forward.

“In particular, we are keen to hear from anyone who saw or heard suspicious activity in the area where Mr Hall’s body was found at Marks Lane, near to the railway bridge, on Sunday evening.

“At the area of Mill Terrace in Shiney Row, including the rear lane, we are keen to hear from anyone who saw anything unusual or suspicious between Saturday evening and Tuesday evening.

“We are continuing to work closely with Durham Constabulary building on the joint work carried out to date.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

*Two men appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court today, after being charged with the murder of Mr Hall. Their case was adjourned until a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court on Tuesday.

Twitter: @janethejourno