Second man in court over Washington murder

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A SECOND person has appeared in court charged with the murder of a man in Washington.

Andrew Lucas, 20, was found with stab wounds by ambulance crews on a path near his home in Warkworth Close, Oxclose, on November 3.

Mark Spalding, 45, of Kestrel Close, Ayton, Washington, was charged with his murder days later and is due to stand trial at Newcastle Crown Court in April.

Now Paul Andrew Mallin, 35, of Dunstanburgh Close, Washington, has been charged with the same offence.

Mallin, who wore a cream cardigan appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

He spoke to confirm his details, watched by about 10 members of Mr Lucas’s friends and family.

Mallin will appear before a judge at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday.

His solicitor Sandra Fife said an application for bail could only be dealt with at crown court.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson told JPs: “This is an offence that is so serious that it can only be heard at crown court and I invite you to immediately send it to there.”

Chairman of the bench Alex Hendry told Mallin: “I am remanding you in custody for your next appearance at Newcastle Crown Court, which will be on 10am, on December 31.”

Tributes paid to Mr Lucas described him as “always smiling”.

Despite the best efforts of paramedics, he died shortly after reaching the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Gateshead.

Cliff Torr, who runs CD Property Solutions in Gateshead, employed Andrew as a labourer and said his colleagues are devastated.

He told the Echo: “He was a great lad. I never saw him when he wasn’t smiling. He was always laughing and joking on with the lads. Everyone loved him.

“I had just come back off holiday and was getting loads of messages telling me what had happened. I just kept hoping they had got it wrong and it wasn’t him.

“It is so, so heartbreaking. He had his whole life ahead of him.

“He had so much to offer as well.”

Cliff said Andrew was very close to his family and his long-term girlfriend and his thoughts go out to them.