Murdered students suffered severe head injuries

Two Chinese students found murdered in a flat suffered severe head injuries, police said today.

The man and woman were found in separate bedrooms of a ground floor flat in Croydon Road in Newcastle's West End, around 4.30pm yesterday.

A source said the crime scene was "gruesome".

It was understood that the nature of the injuries meant police were unable to say what weapon was used.

Neither the man, who was found lying on the bed in the back bedroom, nor the woman, discovered on a bed in the front bedroom, has been formally identified.

Northumbria Police said it was thought that both were students.

Officers were trying to contact their next of kin.

A spokesman said: "The pair had both suffered significant head injuries."

The cause of death has not been determined, and post-mortem examinations will be carried out at the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Detective Superintendent Steve Wade, a senior murder investigator, was at the scene today.

Forensic officers were back in the two-bedroom property, searching for evidence.

Last night a silver hatchback was taken from outside the flat on a truck, as forensic experts in white suits watched.

Croydon Road, which is in the heart of an area of terraced streets popular with students and Asian families, was cordoned off.

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, added: "They have not been here for long and they just kept themselves to themselves."

By coincidence, the flat is a couple of doors away from the former home of a murdered schoolboy.

Wesley Neailey was 11 when he was murdered in 1998 by convicted paedophile Dominic McKilligan.

The boy went out riding his bike from his home in Croydon Road and was found weeks later in the Northumberland countryside.

McKilligan, a student from the Bournemouth area, had recently been released from a young offender institution before the murder, and was jailed for life in 1999.

Wesley's relatives still live in the Croydon Road area.

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "This is a nice place to live and we have been here for 15 years but seeing all the police activity has brought back memories of Wesley."