Police believe missing North East man has been murdered - five arrested

Missing man James Prout, who police believe has been murdered.
Missing man James Prout, who police believe has been murdered.

Police searching for missing Tyneside man James Prout have launched a murder investigation.

At around 8am on Friday, Northumbria Police received a report which led to concern for the well-being of the 43-year-old, who is known as Jimmy.

They attended his home address in St Stephen's Way, Percy Main, North Tyneside, but he has not been seen by friends or family since early February.

Officers have been carrying out an investigation into the circumstances around his disappearance and now believe he has been murdered.

They are appealing for help from the public in piecing together Mr Prout's last-known movements and want to hear from anyone who may have seen or spoken to him in recent weeks.

Two men, aged 26 and 42, and three women, aged 25, 49, and 55, have been arrested on suspicion of murder, and are in police custody.

Mr Prout's ex-partner Anne Corbett, 25, was also reported missing on Friday morning. She has now been located safe and well.

Superintendent Peter Bent, of Northern Area Command, said he wanted to reassure local communities that there is not believed to be any danger to the wider public.

He said: 'We received a call on Friday morning that gave us a number of concerns about Jimmy's welfare, and following a number of inquiries we now believe he has been murdered.

'Our officers have not yet found a body, but the last known sighting of Jimmy is the beginning of February, so we really need help from the public to piece together his last-known movements.

'We have a number of people in custody and all those involved in this case were known to each other. There is not believed to be any risk to the wider public in our local communities.

'There will be extra patrols in Percy Main throughout the bank holiday weekend to carry out inquiries and to reassure any concerned members of the public.

'Anyone who might help us establish the circumstances surrounding Jimmy's disappearance should call police.

"Any information, no matter how small, could be vital to helping our investigation."

Anyone who knows anything about Mr Prout's movements in recent weeks is asked to contact police on 101.