Third man charged with murder after alleged ammonia attack in Wrekenton

25.08.23 Andrew Foster Credit: Northumbria Police
Andy Foster, 26, died after suspected ammonia was sprayed on him when he opened his front door. Credit: Northumbria Police

A third person has been charged with murder following the death of a man who had suspected ammonia sprayed in his face.

Andy Foster, from Gateshead, died in hospital after being allegedly assaulted at an address in Wrekenton.

Emergency services were called to Eighton Terrace just after 11pm on Sunday 20 August following reports that the 26-year-old had been sprayed with a substance suspected to be ammonia.

On Friday 27 October a third man was charged with his murder.

Josh Craig Hawthorn, 21, of Ashfield, Jarrow, is due to appear before magistrates sitting at Newcastle Crown Court on Saturday 28 October.

Two men were previously charged with murder. Kenneth Fawcett, 32, of Balkwell Avenue, North Shields, and John Wandless, 32, of no fixed abode have been remanded in custody ahead of a trial date set for 2024.

Officers have also confirmed four further arrests were made this week.

A 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery and three women – aged 26, 34 and 37 – were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. They have all been released on police bail, pending further inquiries.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Tam Fowler, of Northumbria Police, said: “We continue to offer support to Andy’s family as they try to come to terms with their loss.

“We would like to thank members of the public for their continued support and cooperation throughout our investigation.

“I hope the arrests and charges this week send a strong message that our investigation is far from over.

“We are still keen to hear from anyone with further information which could help us get answers for Andy’s loved ones.  

“I would also ask that the public please refrain from any speculation or commentary, either in the community or online, that could jeopardise the live legal proceedings.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference number NP-20230820-1369. Details can also be provided via the Northumbria Police website or the major incident portal.

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