Man due in court charged with murder of Hartlepool OAP Norma Bell

Norma Bell
Norma Bell

A man is due to go on trial this week charged with the murder of Hartlepool woman Norma Bell.

The body of Mrs Bell, 79, - a former foster mother - was found in her home in Westbourne Road, on April 3, last year following a fire.

Gareth Dack, 32, of Windermere Road, Hartlepool, is charged with her murder and also with arson.

The trial at Teesside Crown Court is due to begin on Thursday, January 12, and is expected to last up to ten days.

It will be presided over by High Court judge Mrs Philippa Jane Edwards Whipple QC.

The trial was previously delayed due to outstanding forensic enquiries.

Police launched a murder inquiry after a post mortem examination found Mrs Bell did not die as a result of the fire.

She had lived in the house for 27 years and had fostered more than 50 children, as well as having three children of her own.