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A MAN found dead at his home may have survived for more than two hours after a savage hammer attack, jurors have heard.

Fred Shipley, of Easington Colliery, suffered at least eight separate blows to his skull with a weapon, possibly a hammer, which left him with devastating injuries.

Home Office Pathologist Mark Egan told Newcastle Crown Court it would not have been possible to save the 59-year-old after the attack. He said Mr Shipley would not have been suffering when he was unconscious.

Andrew Johnson, 40, of John Street, Easington Colliery, denies murder.