36-year-old James Allen was remanded in custody after appearing at Teesside Crown Court today. He is accused of murders of Julie Davison, 50, from Whitby, in North Yorkshire, and Colin Dunford, 81, from Middlesbrough.
He is also charged with rape, assault, witness intimidation and false imprisonment. Recorder Peter Fox, presiding, also added a separate charge of sexual assault to be taken into account.
Mr Allen, who appeared in a blue and white shirt with a gash on the right-hand side of his head, spoke only to confirm his name. No pleas were entered.
Judge Fox added he would like a High Court judge to come to Teesside because of the seriousness of the case.
When he appeared at Teesside Magistrates yesterday he made an obscene gesture to magistrates. During the brief hearing he smiled as an error was made during the proceedings and said "apology accepted" when the mistake was acknowledged.
He showed his middle finger to the magistrates as he was led away by two security guards.
During the brief hearing he smiled as an error was made during the proceedings and said "apology accepted" when the mistake was acknowledged. He showed his middle finger to the magistrates as he was led away by two security guards. Allen was remanded in custody and the case was adjourned until tomorrow when he will appear before Teesside Crown Court.
Meanwhile police say they are trying to find a laptop belonging to Julie Davsion. She was found dead at her flat in Whitby on April 25. Detectives think the laptop may be in the Leeds area.
North Yorkshire Police officers are handing out leaflets in Leeds today to help find the laptop.
– Detective Chief Inspector Steve Smith, North Yorkshire Police
"The laptop is missing from Julie's home and it is extremely important that it is located as soon as possible. Even if you didn't buy it, but have been offered a Toshiba laptop for sale, please contact us."