Trial confirmed for Sunderland man Aaron Ray charged with murdering Northumbria University student

Aaron Ray has been charged with the murder of a Northumbria University student he is believed to have known.

A trial date has been set for the suspected murder of a 24-year-old Northumbria University scholar at student accommodation Mansion Tyne last week.

Aaron Ray of Mayfield Road, South Hylton has been charged with murder and appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on Tuesday, October 4.

The 21-year-old attended his hearing via video link from custody and spoke only to confirm his name and that he could hear the courtroom.

Ray will appear at court again for a pre-trial hearing on Friday, October 28 and a date for a trial has now been set for Tuesday, March 14, 2023 - it is expected to last five days. The defendant will be kept in custody.

A police cordon in place at Mansion Tyne student accommodation in Newcastle

Last week Northumbria University students were left 'shocked' and 'overwhelmed' by the death of their colleague. One student told NewcastleWorld: "We heard about it via email from the uni. We've got too much work on, it's our second day in, so we're a bit overwhelmed, but it's horrible."

Another added: “I went to a society on Wednesday and there were people from that accommodation talking about it, but it was all speculation, no one knew what happened. People were saying it might be a murder, but it wasn't at all known at that time. It's a bit scary, we didn't think that would happen, especially so soon."

Others confirmed that they had received emotional support from Northumbria University in the days after the incident. One student told the site: "I've been emailed by the uni with info on emotional support. Everyone got sent the same email.

"Everyone's been talking about it in group chats. No one is worried, just want to know what happened. There are a lot of rumours. It's a bit out of nowhere, everyone is in the dark. It's the uncertainty that's more concerning than anything else."

On Thursday, September 29 a Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “Shortly before 4.30 pm on Tuesday [Sep 27] police received a report of concern for the welfare of a man inside an address on Howard Street, Newcastle.

“Police and emergency services attended but sadly a 24-year-old man was confirmed as deceased.

Police enter Mansion Tyne at Thursday lunchtime

“While enquiries are at an early stage, a murder investigation has been launched and a 21-year-old man arrested in connection with the incident. He remains in custody at this time.

“It is believed the two men were known to each other and there is no risk to the wider public, but officers will remain in the area.

“The man’s next of kin have been informed and are currently being supported by specialist officers.”