Man sought over Middlesbrough and Whitby murders

James Allen
Image caption The public has been warned not to approach Allen

Police have released the name of a man they want to speak to in connection with two "brutal" murders in the north east of England.

James Allen, 35, is being sought by the Cleveland and North Yorkshire forces.

It follows the discovery of the body of an 81-year-old man at his house at Leven Street, Middlesbrough, on Monday. He has now been named as Colin Dunford.

On Wednesday, Julie Davison, 50, was found dead at her flat in Church Square, Whitby.

Both had suffered head injuries.

'Callous acts'

Mr Allen is known to police and they are advising people not to approach him but to call 999.

Image caption Julie Davison and Colin Dunford both died from head injuries

He is described as 5ft 7ins tall, with a bald head and tattoos on both arms.

Det Ch Supt Gordon Lang, from Cleveland Police, said: "We now believe the Middlesbrough murder is linked to the murder that took place in Whitby yesterday.

"Two brutal murders in the victims' own homes. Anyone who can carry out such callous acts needs to be caught as a matter of urgency.

"We have over 100 officers working on the incident to trace Allen and we are focusing our efforts in the Cleveland and in the Whitby area of North Yorkshire area.

"Anyone who sees him or who knows where he is, we would ask them to contact 999 immediately."

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