Murder suspect held in custody by magistrates

A MAN charged with murder will appear before Leeds Crown Court this week after he was remanded in custody yesterday by magistrates.

John David Stamford, 51, is accused of murdering 48-year-old Gary Francis Virr, whose body was discovered in a flat in Scarborough last week.

Stamford was arrested on the morning of Christmas Eve and was held in custody by North Yorkshire Police throughout the weekend before detectives charged him on Sunday evening.

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He appeared before Scarborough magistrates yesterday morning and was remanded in custody following the brief hearing.

Stamford is due to appear at Leeds Crown Court on Thursday.

An inquest on Mr Virr, who was from the Eastborough district of Scarborough, is expected to be opened and adjourned later this week.

His body was found in the ground floor flat in Eastborough on Thursday night.

Mr Virr had been subjected to a violent attack in which he appeared to have suffered extensive head injuries, according to a North Yorkshire Police spokesman.

Officers have been carrying out house-to-house inquiries in the Eastborough district in the hope of finding key witnesses.

Forensic investigators were at the flat where Mr Virr's body was discovered throughout the weekend as they searched for evidence.