Two 15-year-old boys accused of murdering a homeless man in Darlington have appeared in court.
The body of George Akers, 59, was found in the grounds of St Cuthbert's Church on 12 June. He had suffered multiple internal injuries.
Magistrates in Newton Aycliffe remanded the two boys, both from Darlington, to secure local authority accommodation.
No pleas were entered, and the boys are due to appear at Teesside Crown Court on Wednesday.
Police have described Mr Akers as a vulnerable man, known and liked by many people in the town, who often gave him cigarettes, sweets or cash.
He had not been in regular work for about 15 years and had spent time at various addresses before living on the streets.