Witness appeal over solicitor's stab death in Durham

Durham Constabulary have issued posters bearing the image of Peter Maine as they try to piece together his final movements prior to his death

Posters bearing the image of solicitor Peter Maine have been distributed as a team of more than 30 detectives piece together his final movements.

The father-of-two’s body was discovered near the Maiden Castle running track on the outskirts of Durham city just after 8am on Sunday morning.

Detectives have launched a “homicide-scale” investigation after a post-mortem examination revealed Mr Maine’s death was caused by stab wounds.

And Det Chief Insp Steve Chapman, who is leading the investigation, said officers from Durham Constabulary were gathering CCTV and continuing to comb the site for clues.

Yesterday it emerged that the 56-year-old was the focus of a police and watchdog investigation at the time of his death over allegations of mortgage fraud. Det Chief Insp Chapman, who is leading the investigation, said: “Mr Maine’s death remains suspicious but we have to keep an open mind as to how he came by his injuries.

The police poster being distributed in the hunt for information about the death of Peter Thomas Maine
The police poster being distributed in the hunt for information about the death of Peter Thomas Maine
 

“We have established a major incident room at police headquarters and we are committing the same resources we would for any homicide investigation.”

Dozens of detectives and police staff are now working full-time on Mr Maine’s death. He was wearing a short-sleeved black running top, blue tracksuit bottoms and trainers.

His vehicle, a black Land Rover was subsequently found parked in Old Elvet, where he left it at 7.30am.

Yesterday, officers distributed A4 posters bearing Mr Maine’s photo in the hope they may prompt other potential witnesses to come forward.

These were fixed to lampposts and other locations in Old Elvet, Green Lane and around the Maiden Castle sports complex.

Officers said they were also sifting through witness statements and scouring CCTV footage in an effort to unearth further clues. A specialist team are piecing together Mr Maine’s final movements and forensic experts continued to search for evidence around the Maiden Castle.

Yesterday it emerged Mr Maine, from Wynyard in Stockton, Teesside, was the subject of a police investigation and was due to be prosecuted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

It is understood the investigation was looking at allegations of mortgage fraud. A notice published on the SRA website confirmed it was due to prosecute Mr Maine over allegations he “acted as a solicitor in relation to transactions concerning a company which he ought to have known were dubious and thereby acted in a way that was likely to compromise or impair his independence and/or his integrity and/or his good repute or that of the solicitor’s profession and/or his duty to act in the bests interests of his clients.”

He was described as a loving husband to wife Joanna, 53, and devoted dad to Lucy, 25, and Jessica, 22.

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