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Pair remanded on jail murder charge

Two prisoners have appeared in court after a convicted child rapist was brutally killed in his cell.

Michael Parr, 32, and Nathan Mann, 23, appeared at Peterlee Magistrates' Court charged with the murder of Mitchell Harrison at HM Prison Frankland in County Durham.

The body of Harrison, 23, originally from Wolverhampton, was found by prison staff on Saturday morning.

A post-mortem examination found that he died from "multiple injuries".

Each man spoke only to answer his name during the brief hearing. They are charged jointly with murder.

Neither entered a plea and the case was transferred to Newcastle Crown Court where the men will face a judge on Wednesday. They were remanded in custody.

Harrison was serving an indeterminate sentence of at least four and a half years after being convicted at Carlisle Crown Court in January last year of raping a 13-year-old girl. He was also put on the sex offenders register for life after the attack on the teenager at a property in Kendal, Cumbria, in 2009.

HMP Frankland is a Category A institution housing more than 800 inmates, including some of the most serious offenders in the prison system.

The family of Mitchell Harrison paid tribute to their dead son. The statement, released through Durham Police, said: "Mitchell was a much loved son and brother and we are devastated by his death.

"Although we never condoned his past actions, he was serving his time and was by all accounts a model, trusted prisoner who did not deserve to die in this horrific way. We look forward to the day when the people responsible are brought to justice."

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