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Man charged with murder after body found in field

Michael Outhwaite was found stabbed to death in a field near Crook Credit: Durham Constabulary

A man has appeared in court charged with murdering a man whose body was found in a field in County Durham.

The victim has been named as Michael Outhwaite, 42, from the Sunderland area.

His body was found in a field at Willington near Crook early on Friday morning. He had been stabbed to death.

Daniel Oxley, who is a 22-year-old from Willington, was remanded in custody to appear at Newcastle Crown Court on 17th September.

Man arrested in Willington murder investigation

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of a man was found in a field in Willington, near Crook.

The body of a 42-year-old man was discovered by police in a field behind Willington High Street at 1am on September 12. They were responding to a report.

A 22-year-old man from Murton is in custody.

Cumberland Terrace, Willington Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

“I can confirm we have launched a murder investigation following the discovery of a man’s body in the early hours of this morning. We do believe this is an isolated incident and we currently have a suspect in custody. Over the coming hours there will be much police activity in Willington, I would ask for the patience of residents in that area while the scene preservation remains in place”

– Detective Superintendent Kevin Weir

Animal sanctuary involved in barricade in County Durham

An animal sanctuary in County Durham has closed after its owner was evicted from the farm.

Paula Campbell, who ran The Rainbow Ark Sanctuary in Willington, was ejected following a lengthy mortgage dispute.

Protestors, concerned about the welfare of the animals, barricaded themselves into the property.

Our reporter Jonny Blair followed the unfolding events - watch his full report below.

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Sheep's head left in County Durham yard

A man and a woman have been arrested and are in police custody after a sheep was allegedly mutilated and then killed in Willington at the weekend.

Residents rang police late on Sunday night and early on Monday morning reporting a sheep’s head had been left in the rear yard of a house.

The rest of the sheep's body was found in a nearby field. An examination of the carcass has suggested that it was mutilated before the sheep died.

A man and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and outraging public decency.

Several knives were also seized from a house in the area.

Durham Police have confirmed that they are investigating claims that the sheep's head was shown to a number of young children before it was left in the yard of the house.

Anyone with information is being urged to ring 101 and ask for the Neighbourhood Police Team based at Crook.

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