Peter John McMahon
THREE people will appear in court today charged with the murder of Peter John McMahon.
Pensioner Ronald Douglas, 76, of West Acres, Blaydon, Gateshead, Joseph Collins, 53, of the Sycamores, Elswick, Newcastle, and Sharon Swinhoe, 43, of Crawford Terrace, Newcastle will make their first appearance before magistrates.
Mr McMahon was found dead in a flat on the eighth floor at the Sycamores, in Riverside Dene (formerly Cruddas Park), Elswick, Newcastle, on Saturday afternoon.
Police were alerted after concerns were raised over the 68-year-old’s safety and they made the discovery at around 3.40pm.
Officers were still guarding the landing outside the flat last night as they continued to gather evidence from the scene.
A sense of shock still remains in the local community as word spread of the alleged murder of Mr McMahon.
A woman, who works in a shop around the corner from the Sycamores, said: "People have been saying he didn’t really have a lot of family or friends.
"It’s just awful, such a horrible thing. He looked like a friendly man."
Mr McMahon lived on Hawthorn Terrace, which is just a short distance from the newly-refurbished Sycamores, where his body was found.
A resident of the Elswick street said she had heard that someone had been killed nearby, but had no idea it was one of her neighbours.
The widow, who asked not to be named, said: "I definitely recognise his face as I’ve probably seen him going in and out. I didn’t know him personally though.
"He looks like such a lovely fella, and no one deserves anything like this to happen to them especially just before Christmas.
"I recently lost my husband so I know what his family must be going though. It’s so sad."
Meanwhile, Coun Dipu Ahad has moved to put Elswick residents’ minds at rest.
He said: "I’ve been in touch with the police, and I’ve been assured this is an isolated incident.
"I just want to reassure the community that it is an isolated incident.
"The police are looking into it and there’s nothing to fear."
Police are appealing for anyone who knew Mr McMahon to come forward with any information they may have.
DCI Paul Young, who is leading the investigation, said: "An investigation is ongoing into the full circumstances of Mr McMahon’s death and we would particularly like to hear from anyone who knew him.
"I would urge anyone who recognises his picture or who knows Mr McMahon to contact police."
Inquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191.