South Shields man due to face murder charge

The police seal off Cornthwaite Park in Whitburn
The police seal off Cornthwaite Park in Whitburn

A man from South Tyneside was due to appear in court today charged with the murder of a shop worker.

Ethan Mountain, 19, of Heaton Gardens, South Shields, was to face the allegation at Newcastle Crown Court.

Joan Hoggett.

Joan Hoggett.

Mountain is accused of murdering 62-year-old Joan Hoggett on Wednesday night in Sea Road, Fulwell, Sunderland.

Northumbria Police say they were called to the One Stop shop shortly after 10.40pm and found the woman suffering from serious injuries, consistent with a stabbing.

Joan, of Grindon, Sunderland, was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital but sadly later died.

Floral tributes have been left outside the shop, which remained closed behind a police cordon yesterday as forensic officers continued to work at the scene.

Cornthwaite Park in Whitburn, which had been sealed off on Thursday and yesterday morning while police carried out searches was reopened yesterday.

Officers were still on guard at Roker Park as inquiries continued.

Superintendent Paul Milner, of Northumbria Police, said: “This is a really tragic incident which we recognise has had a significant impact on the local community.

“A 19-year-old man has been charged with murder and will appear before the courts.

“Our thoughts go out to Joan’s family at this terribly difficult time.

“We have specialist officers on hand to offer them any support they may need.

“My message to the public is one of reassurance.

“This has been an isolated incident and there is no wider threat to the community.

“I’d like to thank the public for their patience and cooperation since the incident, and a lot of people have come forward to help police with the ongoing investigation.

“Anybody with any concerns in the local area is advised to speak to a nearby officer.

“A large police presence will remain in the area to offer reassurance throughout the weekend.”

He added his thanks to businesses and residents in the area for their patience and understanding while a large cordon was put in place by officers.

“Joan was a popular member of the Fulwell community and it has really pulled together to help the police with our investigation and I want to take this opportunity to thank the public and the businesses as well.

“They are continuing to assist us and I want to say how grateful we are for that.”

Pop up meetings have been organised by the force at Fulwell Library, with the next to be held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with the times still to be confirmed.