A 16-year-old boy has appeared at Peterlee Magistrates' Court charged with murder.
David Scott, 33, died in hospital two days before Christmas after he was found with stab wounds in Stanley.
The teenager was remanded in custody to appear before Newcastle Crown Court on Friday.
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NFU Mutual has found the cost of rural crime in our region rose by a fifth last year, despite a decrease nationally.
The victim was walking her dog last month in an area known to locals as 'Black Bobby's Field'.