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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 August 2007, 17:13 GMT 18:13 UK
Murder charges over gang beating
Brent Martin
Mr Martin suffered a sustained and brutal attack
Three people, including two teenagers, have been charged with murder after a man with learning difficulties was attacked by a gang.

Brent Martin, 23, died in hospital after being found injured in Town End Farm estate in Sunderland on Thursday.

A 21-year-old man and two youths, aged 16 and 17, will appear before Sunderland magistrates on Monday.

A woman, aged 47, arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and a youth, aged 17, were released on police bail.

Mr Martin, described as vulnerable by police, had been the victim of a "sustained and brutal" beating, said Northumbria Police.

Officers found him slumped unconscious with multiple injuries after being alerted by residents who witnessed the attack.

The local man died on Saturday in Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Police said the area where the attack happened had experienced low-level anti-social behaviour, but crime levels were relatively low.

Community thanked

On Sunday, floral tributes and a soft toy were left at the scene in Baxter Road.

Included were single red roses, carnations, and a white envelope with hand drawn hearts from Mr Martin's sister Angela.

Northumbria Police thanked the local community for its help and support in the wake of the attack.

Det Supt Barbara Franklin said: "I am very pleased with the response from the local community.

"The people of Town End Farm have been excellent."

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