Man to appear at crown court tomorrow, accused of murder of grandfather Simon Bowman

A man charged with the murder of Simon Bowman, whose body was found at his home in Jarrow last week, will now appear before crown court tomorrow.

By Kevin Clark
Monday, 20 May, 2019, 15:59

Christopher Graham, 30, of Romney Avenue, Washington, was charged with the murder of Mr Bowman and appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates' Court on Friday.

He was initially due to appear before Teesside Crown Court today but the case has been been transferred to Newcastle, where he will appear at 10am in the morning.

Mr Bowman, 54, was found dead by emergency services at his home address in High Street just after midday on Tuesday, May 14.

The grandfather had not been seen since Sunday.

Police confirmed that evening that they were treating his death as suspicious.At Friday's hearing, chair of the bench Ray Ashley informed Graham, that due to the serious nature of the charge the case would automatically be transferred to crown court .

He added: "You will be remanded in custody to the crown court."

Friends of Mr Bowman paid tribute to the 'devoted' grand-father.

Friends Mick and Kelly Collingwood said: "We are very saddened to hear the news that our dear friend Simon Bowman has passed away.

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"He was a devoted father, grandfather and best friend, a man who made mistakes in the past, however, he battled back to regain a place in society.

"To us he was a loving caring man with a big heart. He will be a great loss to us all."

Detective Chief Inspector John Bent is the senior investigating officer and continues to appeal for anyone with information to contact police.

He said: "We know that these types of incidents can always have a big impact on the local community.

"I want to reassure the public that we believe those involved are known to each other and that this is an isolated incident, not a random attack between strangers.

"Specially-trained officers are supporting Simon’s family at this difficult time and we would ask you to respect their privacy.

"With this in mind, we would ask the public to also avoid speculating about the incident on social media as this is an ongoing murder investigation."

Officers would ask that anyone who may have information, or who saw anything suspicious in the area between Sunday and Tuesday, to contact police.

You can call police on 101 quoting log 441 14/05/19 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.