Peter Maine death: Detectives still trying to trace witnesses

Detectives are still trying to trace key witnesses to the death of solicitor Peter Maine after rain saw potential informants stay indoors

Police officers search in woodland at Maiden Castle
Police officers search in woodland at Maiden Castle

Detectives are still trying to trace key witnesses to the death of solicitor Peter Maine after rain saw potential informants stay indoors.

Two weeks after the father-of-two was stabbed three times in the chest on a footpath alongside Durham University’s Graham Sports Centre, at Maiden Castle, officers returned to the scene in to hope of finding new leads.

Officers searched the area and hoped to speak to passers-by who may have seen Mr Maine a fortnight ago.

But as wet weather lashed the North East murder police were left frustrated, with a spokesman for Durham Constabulary last night reporting no new information had come to light following the five-hour operation.

“The weather played a big part,” he said. “It really affected the number of people who were out in that area.”

Fifty-six-year-old Mr Maine, who lived in a £650,000 house on the Wynyard Estate, near Stockton, parked his Range Rover in Durham’s Old Elvet at 7.25am on Sunday, September 1 and set off on a run that took him past Baths Bridge and onto a footpath opposite the running track at Maiden Castle.

And there, just after 8am, he was found by a passing cyclist, bleeding from three stab wounds to his chest. He was confirmed dead shortly after he arrived at the University Hospital of North Durham.

 

A murder-style investigation was launched and police say they are treating his death as “suspicious and unexplained”. Solicitor Mr Maine previously worked at Hall & Co LLP in Easington Colliery and was part of a long-running and complex probe over an alleged £170m “sale and rent back” scam involving Gateshead firms North East Property Buyers and Newcastle Home Loans.

Senior investigating officer, detective chief inspector Steve Chapman said he was hopeful anyone who might have been in Durham City on that Sunday morning, and seen Peter, would come forward.

“In the two weeks since Peter’s death we have had a positive response to appeals for information and several people have contacted us with information,” he said.

“My investigation team have been working hard to follow up all of these calls and in conducting a search of the area where Peter was found.

“I can confirm that we are continuing to class Peter’s death as suspicious and are keeping an open mind as to how Peter came about his wounds.

“Any information provided may be helpful in assisting us in building up a clear picture of what happened.”

Anyone with information should contact the incident room on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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