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Victim's partner accused of murder.

THE partner of a Tyneside man Andrew Gardner appeared in court yesterday charged with killing him.

Clare Nicholls, 28, of Arthur Street, Chilton, near Ferryhill, County Durham, is accused of murdering Mr Gardner on March 13 this year.

Bespectacled Nicholls, dressed in a pink top, appeared in the dock at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court alongside her brother, Simon Nicholls, 23, and another man, Steven Martin, 44.

All three were said to live at the same address, Arthur Street, Chilton. They were arrested on Thursday after a lengthy police investigation.

The court was told that Clare and Simon Nicholls were arrested in Arthur Street and Martin at an address in Jarrow, South Tyneside.

A woman, 51, believed to be the Nicholls' mother, was also arrested but was later released without charge.

The three accused appeared in the dock flanked by prison officers. Clare Nicholls was refused an application for bail and remanded in custody to appear at Teesside Crown Court on August 21.

Her two co-accused, who made no applications for bail, were also remanded in custody to the same date.

As they were led away, a woman relative of Mr Gardner, believed to be his mother, shouted abuse at them.

Father-of-four Mr Gardner, 35, who was originally from Bensham, Gateshead, was pronounced dead by paramedics at the rented house on Arthur Street, Chilton, in the early hours of March 13.

A post-mortem revealed he died of multiple injuries.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 11, 2009
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