Two men have appeared in court and denied murdering a takeaway boss.
Father-of-two Tipu Sultan was gunned down outside his family run shop Herbs & Spice Kitchen in Lake Avenue, South Shields.
The killing of the 32-year-old, from Sunderland, happened outside his business at around 10pm on April 7.
Michael McDougall, 47, of Hylton Avenue and Michael Mullen, 24, of Haworthorne Avenue, both South Shields, are accused of murder.
During a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court both men, who appeared via video link to separate prisons, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The pair also pleaded not guilty to a joint charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Mullen faces a further charge, of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, which he denied.
The men will be tried by a jury at a trial on February 23 next year and have been remanded in custody in the meantime.