A man accused of trying to help the killers of a tragic business boss evade justice has appeared in court.
Jason Errington stood in the dock at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court this morning charged with assisting Michael McDougal and Michael Mullen following the murder of dad-of-two Tipu Sultan at his family-run Herbs and Spice takeway, in South Shields, last April.
The tragic 32-year-old, who lived in Sunderland, died after being blasted in the neck with a sawn-off shotgun by killer Michael McDougall on April 7 of last year.
The gunman had been taken to and from the scene by getaway driver Michael Mullen on the back of a motorbike.
McDougal, 47, of Hylton Avenue, South Shields was jailed for 34 years after being found guilty of Mr Sultan's murder as well as two charges of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Mullen, 24, of Hawthorne Avenue, South Shields, was cleared of murder but was locked up for 12 years after found guilty of manslaughter.
Errington, 43, is accused of transporting both Mullen and McDougall from Whitburn to South Shields, with the intent of impeding their prosecution or arrest.
Errington, of Hylton Avenue, South Shields, is alleged to having carried out the offence between April 6 of last year and January 31 of this year.
He entered no plea to the charge of assisting an offender during a brief hearing.
He spoke only to confirm his name, age and address.
Gary Fothergill, prosecuting, said the case should be dealt with at the crown court.
Ian Cruickshank, defending, made no representations on Errington's behalf.
The matter was sent to Newcastle Crown Court for trial.
Errington was granted unconditional bail until his hearing at the crown court on June 28.