James Allen charged with Whitby and Middlesbrough murders

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

A 36-year-old man has appeared before magistrates charged with the murders of a Middlesbrough man and a Whitby woman.

James Allen was arrested on Sunday and was charged with two counts of murder, rape, false imprisonment, assault and witness intimidation.

It follows the discovery of the body of Colin Dunford, 81, at his home in Middlesbrough on 23 April, and Julie Davison, 50, in Whitby two days later.

He was remanded in custody to appear at Teesside Crown Court on Thursday.

Mr Dunford, who was found dead at his terrace house in Leven Street, suffered head injuries during an assault, according to a post-mortem examination.

Missing laptop

The body of Ms Davison was discovered by her sister when she visited her rented flat in Church Square. She had also suffered serious head injuries.

Mr Allen, who appeared at Teesside Magistrates' Court, was arrested in Leeds following a joint investigation by the Cleveland and North Yorkshire forces.

North Yorkshire Police are currently appealing for help to trace a laptop belonging to Ms Davison.

The laptop is a Toshiba C660/C660D, it is silver on the outside with a Toshiba logo across the centre and black inside.

Anyone in the Leeds area who may have been offered the laptop for sale since 26 April is asked to contact the police immediately.

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