West Rainton Murder: Third Man Charged

25 September 2013, 06:07 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

A third person has now been charged with the murder of John Anthony Hall in West Rainton, County Durham

42 year old Stuart Bycroft Smith, from the Houghton area has been charged with murder.

He will appear at Sunderland magistrates court later (Wednesday, September 25th.)


45 year old Nicholas John Rought, from Princess Street and 48 year old Paul Ian Tate, from Mill Terrace, both in Shiney Row, are due before Sunderland Magistrates' Court this morning (Saturday 21st September)

Three men aged 43, 32 and 34 who were arrested on suspicion of murder have since been bailed.

Northumbria Police have taken over the investigation from Durham Police.



Northumbria Police is releasing a statement on behalf of the Hall family.

The statement is from his two daughters Bethany and Shelby:

"This is a living nightmare for us, it is the hardest and most heartbreaking thing that we will ever have to deal with. He was our dad, he brought us up and made us into who we are today.

Death is such a terrible thing but murder is something that we will never be able to accept or come to terms with. Inside our dad was a gentle man and would do anything for anyone. No-one, and certainly not our dad, deserved this.

He was a loving son, brother, dad, grandad and uncle and a true friend to many. We know that he will be looking down on us and one day we will all be together again. Until then we will keep you in our hearts. Love you forever dad."



Five people have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a man's body was found on a country lane in West Rainton, County Durham

John Anthony Hall's body was found by a dog walker on Sunday evening.

The men who've been arrested are all aged between 32 and 48 and are from the Shiney Row area.

They're being held at police stations across County Durham where they are helping police with their enquiries.

Mr Hall's body was discovered by the dog walker at about 7pm on Sunday 15th September near to the railway bridge on Mark's Lane.

A post mortem examination which was held yesterday (Tuesday 17th September) concluded that the 46-year old from Shiney Row, died from multiple injuries.

Det Supt Kevin Weir, leading the investigation, said:
"Leading up to his death Mr Hall had been subjected to a vicious and violent assault. With this in mind I would urge anyone with any information that can help us to come forward.

We are working hard to piece together Mr Hall's movements in the hours leading up to his death in order to help us understand the circumstances in which he died.

My investigation team will continue to carry out house to house enquiries in the West Rainton and Shiney Row area as we work hard to progress this investigation.

An incident room has been set up and I have a team of detectives working around the clock.

I would like to take this opportunity to stress that I do not believe Mr Hall was the victim of a random attack and that the public should be reassured we are doing everything possible to bring those responsible to justice."