Man charged with County Durham woman's stab murder

Gillian Raine
Image caption Gillian Raine had suffered head and neck injuries

A 24-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a woman who was found with stab wounds on a path outside a house in County Durham.

Gillian Raine, 53, was found outside the house in Coleridge Gardens, Dipton, near Consett on Monday.

A post-mortem examination revealed the classroom assistant had been stabbed.

Durham Police said Gary Thompson, of Moorland View, Castleside, near Consett, would appear before Peterlee Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

Police described the incident, which happened at about 0700 GMT on Monday, as a "sustained assault".

Her family said Ms Raine was a "much-loved daughter, sister and mother".

In a statement released by Durham Police, her family said: "Gillian will be greatly missed by her family and everyone who knew her.

"Gillian has devoted the last 12 years to running the out of hours school club for children from Dipton Colliery School and the surrounding area.

"The community of Dipton has been made poorer by her loss."

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