Washington shooting victim named as man appears in court charged with attempted murder

The man charged with attempting to murder a 28-year-old by allegedly shooting him at ‘point blank range’ with a sawn-off shotgun has appeared before magistrates.

Monday, 14th October 2019, 1:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 11:17 am

The victim of the shooting, who was named at court as Darren March, remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital following a shooting in Washington last week.

John Dees, of no fixed abode, appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning (October 10) charged with the attempted murder of Darren March, the possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life and criminal damage caused at the police cell.

The 33-year-old did not enter a plea at the short hearing.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Specialist Police Search team attend Blue House Lane

Lee Poppett, prosecuting, said: “The allegation very, very briefly is Mr Dees has used what is understood to be a shortened shotgun, a sawn off shotgun.”

The court heard the victim was shot in the right-hand side of his chest at point blank range.

Mr March is battling serious injuries including an 8cm by 8cm chest wall where the contents of a shotgun have hit him, he has suffered a number shattered ribs and there are multiple pellets in his liver.

Solicitor Geoffrey Michael Forrester told magistrates there would be no application for bail.

Crime scene cordon in Washington

Dees was remanded into custody until the next hearing at Newcastle Crown Court in four weeks time on Monday, November 11.

When he was brought into the docks, wearing a grey tracksuit, he shouted to those in the public gallery asking where a woman was.

As he left he shouted: “Tell our lass I love her.”

Specialist Police Search team were at the scene for hours

A police cordon was put up around Blue House Lane which remained in place for over 24 hours as police and forensics carried out their investigations in the area.

Two men previously arrested in connection with the incident have been released without charge and a 24-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has been released on police bail.