Washington murder accused blame each other

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TWO men accused of murder have blamed each other for the killing, a court heard.

Paul Mallin and Mark Spalding are both accused of the murder of Andrew Lucas, who died after a knife attack in Washington last November.

Spalding, 45, of Kestrel Close, Ayton, pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday via videolink to HMP Durham.

Mallin, 35, of Dunstanburgh Close, Washington, appeared at the court in person and also pleaded not guilty.

During the hearing Robert Smith QC, defending Mallin, told the court: “The accused effectively blame each other.”

Spalding and Mallin are to be tried by a jury on the murder charge on April 15.

The case is expected to last up to ten days.

Judge John Milford QC remanded both men in custody.

Mr Lucas, a former Hebburn Comprehensive School pupil, had been stabbed near his home in Warkworth Close, Oxclose.

He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead after the knife attack.