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Jury discharged in Northumberland shallow-grave murder trial after legal argument

The site where Darren Bonner was found naked in a shallow grave.
The site where Darren Bonner was found naked in a shallow grave.

The jury in the murder trial of a man accused of burying his naked victim in a shallow grave at Cresswell in Northumberland has been discharged.

Richard Spottiswood, 34, of Canterbury Way, Jarrow, had denied the murder of 24-year-old Darren Bonner during a trial at Newcastle Crown Court, which began on Monday, January 8.

But Judge Stephen Ashurst today discharged jurors from delivering a verdict in Spottiswood's case for legal reasons and the case will be re-tried later in the the year. Spottiswood has been remanded in custody until then.

Cresswell Towers Holiday Park, near where the victim was found.

Cresswell Towers Holiday Park, near where the victim was found.

The court heard that Mr Bonner, from Sunderland, who was employed at Spottiswood's garage, had been found semi-conscious by a man walking along the shore road from Lynemouth to Cresswell, near Cresswell Towers Holiday Park, on July 10 last year. He died 16 days later, having suffered brain damage.

Yesterday, Spottiswood's partner Lucy Burn, 29, of Burns Close, South Shields, was cleared of the murder charge.