Hartlepool stab death man was 'self defence'

Norman Hay
Image caption Mr Hay died in hospital of his injuries

A murder charge against 39-year-old has been dropped after prosecutors found he stabbed a man in self defence.

Norman Hay, 38, was discovered with multiple wounds in St Bees Walk, Hartlepool, in November 2010.

He died later in hospital and David Howard, of St Bees Walk, was charged with his murder.

But the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has now dropped the charge against Mr Howard and apologised to Mr Hay's family.

Cleveland Chief Crown Prosecutor Gerry Wareham said: "After a very careful review of the case, including studying detailed forensic analysis, witness statements and Mr Howard's account of what happened, we took the view that the defendant acted in self defence.

"We realise this is a distressing time for Mr Hay's family and we will be offering to meet them to explain the reasons for our decision.

"We are duty bound to keep all our cases under review as they proceed through the legal system and determined that in this case there is no realistic prospect of conviction."

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