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"I wish I had died and my son could live"

The mother of Mark Denton, who was murdered in a brutal axe attack at a New Year's Eve party in Hartlepool, has said she would rather have died than live through the death of her son.

Ann Denton said her son's death had hit her family and the whole community hard, especially her other son, who can barely cope with the loss of his brother.

Cheers from public as brothers convicted of axe murder

There were cheers from the public gallery at Teesside Crown Court as a jury took just over an hour to convict two half-brothers of the murder of Mark Denton, from Hartlepool.

David Sowerby, 24, and Anthony Middleton, 21, attacked Mark Denton with an axe

David Sowerby, 24, and Anthony Middleton, 21, attacked Mark Denton with an axe at a New Year's Eve party in Hartlepool. He died of blood loss after suffering 50 separate injuries. They will be sentenced this afternoon.

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Police 'had never seen such a brutal and horrific murder'

The detective in charge of the investigation Mark Denton's murder in Hartlepool has said it was the most brutal and horrific murder she has ever witnessed.

“In my career as a detective I have never known such a brutal and horrific murder, and one that was played out in front of so many innocent witnesses. It has had a devastating effect on his family who feel utterly broken and lost without him.

"Many of the people who witnessed this senseless murder and those who came to Mark’s aid are still traumatised by what they had to endure and will need continued support.

"Sowerby and Middleton have shown no remorse for the cold blooded murder of Mark and have put his family and friends through the ordeal of going to trial. The courage and bravery of Mark’s family and friends to stand up and be heard has been key to the investigation and significant in the conviction of Sowerby and Middleton, who now face a long time behind bars where they belong.

"This case highlights the destructive effect where weapons are used and the police will continue to seek prosecution for anyone found to be carrying weapons unlawfully."

– Detective Chief Inspector Anne-Marie Salwey, Cleveland Police

Brothers guilty of murder at New Year's Eve party

Two men have been found guilty of the murder of a former amateur boxer from Hartlepool at a New Year's Eve party.

Anthony Middleton, 21, and his half-brother David Sowerby, 24, attacked Mark Denton with an axe without provocation. He died of blood loss after suffering more than 50 separate injuries.

Middleton and Sowerby, who both denied murder, will be sentenced this afternoon.

Mark Denton was a former amateur boxer from Hartlepool

Hartlepool Marina to host 60 Dutch racing yachts

Sixty private racing yachts from the Netherlands are to moor at Hartlepool Marina today as part of a friendly race between various North Sea ports.

  • The best spot to see them is Navigation Point car park, at the end nearest the lock office, from 1pm
  • Members of the public can also watch them leave through the marina lock gates between 12:30pm and 1pm on 25th June
  • From Hartlepool, the yachts will progress to Newcastle (via Tynemouth) and Edinburgh

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Police name woman killed in Hartlepool crash

A 36-year-old woman who died following a collision in Hartlepool has been named as Keri Holdsworth, a Physiotherapist from the Edinburgh area.

Her sister, Fiona Chadwick, described her as a “beloved sister who will be greatly missed” and said that family and friends have been left “devastated by what has happened.”

The collision happened at around 4.30pm on Friday 13 June on the A19 northbound at the junction with Dalton Piercy, involving a black Renault Clio and a black BMW M5.

Police are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact them.

Arrests in police drug crackdown operation

Four houses in Hartlepool were targeted by police in raids today. Two 29-year-old men, a 36-year-old man and a 33-year-old man were arrested for Conspiracy to Supply Class A and Class B drugs. Two further arrests were made in Wales and two in Liverpool with 3 arrests made from Holme House Prison.

Operation Roderigo started in 2012 to target organised crime. To date, 15 people have been arrested, convicted and are serving in excess of 88 years in prison.

Drugs recovered:

  • 5 Kilo’s high purity cocaine with a street value estimated around £1 million
  • 100 litres amphetamine oil estimated at £12 million
  • 37 kilos cannabis estimated at £55,500
  • 80 kilos amphetamine estimated at £800,000
  • 12 kilos methamphetamine estimated at £120,000

“The focus of today’s operation is to arrest the key members of this group to dismantle their supply of drugs in this area. These individuals are involved in the production and distribution of Class A and Class B controlled drugs throughout the UK on a massive scale.”

– Detective Sergeant Sarah Robinson who is leading the investigation

“’This was a well planned and executed operation over a two year period, tackling high-end criminals who are manufacturing as well as supplying illegal drugs. I’m sure residents in Cleveland will join me in congratulating all our officers and staff involved in this operation which sends a very clear signal.”

– Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger
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