Armed police descend on Winterbottom Avenue in Hartlepool

Witnesses have described the moment armed police descended on a Hartlepool street.

Friday, 2nd August 2019, 7:32 pm

Over a dozen officers from Durham Constabulary, some of them carrying guns, were seen in Winterbottom Avenue, West View, close to the junction with Warren Road, at around 8am on Friday.

Police confirmed the incident was linked to an ongoing murder investigation into the death of 36-year-old John Littlewood, who was found dead at a house in Third Street, Blackhall Colliery, on Tuesday, July 31.

One resident of Winterbottom Avenue, who did not wish to be named, told the Mail: “There was armed police there at about quarter past eight. There were four or five of the Jeep type county police cars, a police van and a panda car.

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Police on Winterbottom Avenue. Picture Frank Reid.

“I would say there were about 15 police officers. It’s not something you see every day.”

Two men aged 31 and 29, were arrested on suspicion of murder on Friday, August 2, in the Cleveland area. A third man was arrested on suspicion of murder in Peterlee at 5.30pm on Friday.

Mr Littlewood, known as John D, is said to have died as a result of head injuries.

A cordon remains in place and around 50 detectives, crime scene investigators, uniformed officers and other staff are currently working on the case.

Winterbottom Avenue where the police incident took place. Picture Frank Reid.

Specialist officers are currently supporting Mr Littlewood’s family.

Paying tribute in a statement released by police, they said: “John D was a son, brother and father who liked to help anyone if he could.

“He had a heart of gold.”