by Sophie Doughty
MURDER accused Karl Bestford stabbed his landlord to death at the home he was renting, it has been alleged in court.
Simon Meech was pronounced dead at the scene after police were called to the flat on Rayleigh Grove, Bensham, Gateshead, on Saturday night.
He had been fatally stabbed.
Karl Bestford was arrested soon after and later charged with murder.
And as he made his first appearance in court, it was revealed how the 46-year-old victim and his alleged killer knew each other. Mr Meech, had been Bestford’s landlord.
The 35-year-old defendant spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth during the brief hearing at Gateshead Magistrates’ Court.
Dressed in a navy-blue jumper, stocky Bestford listened as his case was sent to Newcastle Crown Court, where he will appear tomorrow.
Bestford, of Rayleigh Grove, was remanded in custody.
The Chronicle understands Mr Meech lived in Whickham on a leafy street of semi-detached family homes.
Detectives from Northumbria Police were at his house yesterday speaking to relatives.
Police received reports that a man had been knifed on Raleigh Grove at around 9pm on Saturday.
On Sunday a section of the street, including a black Vauxhall Astra car, remained cordoned off with police tape.
Residents, many of whom had returned from a Saturday night out to find their street had become the scene of a murder investigation , told the Chronicle of their shock.
One neighbour said: “I left to go out just after 10pm and there were no police or anything on the street. Everything seemed normal. It wasn’t until I came home at two in the morning and tried to get to my house that I realised something had happened.
“There were police and forensics in the street, and most of the street was cordoned off. I asked them what had happened but they wouldn’t tell me anything, they just said there had been a serious incident.
“I didn’t know it was a stabbing until I heard it on the radio. It’s awful.”