No verdicts in sex attack trial

THE jury in a trial of three brothers accused of a host of sex offences was discharged after failing to reach verdicts.

Keith Whittingham, 56, of Garside Drive, Hartlepool, denied four counts of rape, four indecent assaults and one charge of indecency with a child.

John Whittingham, 58, of Clarkson Court, also Hartlepool, denied three counts of indecent assault against the same woman.

Alan Whittingham, 53, of Carlton Street, Hartlepool, denied four offences of rape.

A woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed she was abused by each of the three brothers when she was a child.

The judge discharged the jury after they failed to come to any verdicts after 10 hours of deliberations.

The prosecution said they will speak to lawyers and the alleged victim before deciding whether to seek another trial with a new jury.

A decision is due by next Friday.

The trial at Teesside Crown Court lasted more than a week.