Two men face Crown Court date after being charged with murder of Blaine Hammond in Sunderland

Two men have appeared in court having been charged with murder more than five months after the death of a 22-year-old man in Sunderland.

Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 2:37 pm

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Northumbria Police said in a statement on Tuesday night: “Two men have been charged with murder following the death of a man in Sunderland.

“Shortly before 9.45am on December 3 last year, police received a report of a concern for a man on Saltburn Road.

Emergency services attended and found the body of 22-year-old Blaine Hammond who was later sadly pronounced dead.

Two men have been charged with murder and are due to appear before South Tyneside magistrates on Wednesday.

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“An investigation was immediately launched into the circumstances surrounding his death and two men, both 22, have now been charged with his murder.”

Louis Whelan, 22, of Watling Street, Towcester, and Anthony Keating, 22, of Palmerston Road, Sunderland, both appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates Court on Wednesday, May 11, charged with murder.

Neither man entered a plea and only spoke to confirm their name, age and address.

Both were remanded in custody and will appear at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday, May 13.

Detective Chief Inspector Sharon Chatterton, of Northumbria Police’s major investigation team, added: “Firstly, our thoughts remain with the loved ones of Blaine and we will continue to offer his family specialist support while they continue to come to terms with what has happened.

“I also want to take this opportunity to thank those who have supported our investigation, as well as the local community for your support and co-operation.

“Now that we have two suspects due in court, I would ask that people refrain from any speculation, both in public and on social media, that could jeopardise those legal proceedings.

After launching their investigation in Saltburn Road, which is in the Springwell area of the city, police described Mr Hammond’s death as “unexplained”.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the force by calling 101, quoting log 135735V/21, or to phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.