Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mystery of Solicitor's Death on a Morning Run May Never Be Solved

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mystery of Solicitor's Death on a Morning Run May Never Be Solved

Article excerpt

Byline: Katie Davies Chief Reporter katie.davies@ncjmedia.co.uk

QUESTIONS still remain over how a North East solicitor came to be found stabbed on a riverside footpath.

Peter Maine, 56, was found dead after going for a run alongside the River Wear, in Durham City, in 2013.

Detectives probing the death investigated whether he was targeted by a killer, was the victim of a random attack or inflicted the fatal injuries himself.

But those investigations drew a blank - prompting coroner Andrew Tweddle to deliver an open verdict at an inquest into his death yesterday.

Mr Maine was under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority following a complaint by a client, as well as facing a conspiracy to defraud charge.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Chapman, who led the inquiry into the father-of-two's death, said officers looked at 65 people who may have had recent contact with Mr Maine and may have had reason to want to harm him.

A three-month search - costing police PS30,000 - resulted in police finding six weapons, two of which were sent for forensic testing but examinations proved fruitless.

Mr Maine's home was also raided as part of the probe and officers discovered he had a keen interest in Leatherman knives. But further investigations found that none were missing from his collection of 18.

Robbery was also ruled out as a motive as he was found with his Rolex watch, wallet and keys. But at the hearing his wife Joanna, who first met Mr Maine in the 1980s, insisted her husband wouldn't have killed himself, saying: "We were planning for the future."

Following all the evidence Mr Tweddle said he was unable to make any firm conclusions about how Mr Maine had died. He said: "I can't be sure beyond responsible doubt that Peter Maine intended to take his own life. He might have done but might is not sufficient. …

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