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Van driver lured to death by hoax call

(First Edition)

DETECTIVES hunting a killer who lured a meal delivery driver to a remote farm on the Northumberland-Durham border and then bludgeoned him to death are baffled by the motive.

Det Supt Dave Wilson, leading the inquiry, appealed to the public yesterday to help supply a reason for the murder of Paul Logan, a father of two.

Mr Logan, who lived at Consett, received a hoax phone call at the Golden Flower Chinese restaurant in Shotley Bridge, Co Durham, where he worked, asking him to make a delivery to the isolated Blue House Farm near the town. On arrival he was told that they had not asked for a take-away.

While he was at the farmhouse the gate at the end of the road was closed, forcing Mr Logan to alight from his white Peugeot van on the return journey. He was beaten repeatedly about the head with a blunt instrument when he went to open the gate and died from severe head injuries.

When police found his body 50 yards from the van, early on Christmas Eve, he was still carrying money. The alarm had been raised by a woman at the farmhouse, who became worried when she saw the van still parked at the end of the road 30 minutes after Mr Logan had left the house.

The hoax telephone call was made from a public coin box in Snows Green, Shotley Bridge, just yards from the restaurant, between 8pm and 9pm on 23 December. Mr Logan was last seen alive at 10pm by the people living at the farm.