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Man in court over double murder

A 36-year-old man accused of murdering two people in their homes appeared in court via videolink and seemed to have a gash to his head.

James Allen, of Lothian Road, Middlesbrough, has apparently suffered the injury since he was remanded into custody by magistrates on Wednesday.

He was arrested in Leeds on Sunday following the murders of Colin Dunford, 81, and Julie Davison, 50.

During a brief hearing before Judge Peter Fox at Middlesbrough Crown Court, Allen seemed subdued over the TV link to Holme House Prison.

He did not enter pleas to the two counts of murder, and charges of rape, grievous bodily harm, false imprisonment and witness intimidation that he also faces.

The case was adjourned until July 6 when a plea and directions hearing will take place.

Mr Dunford, from Leven Street, Middlesbrough, and Ms Davison, from Whitby, North Yorkshire, were found dead in their homes last week having suffered head injuries.

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