Updated: Jury sworn in for James Allen trial

Officers search the bottom of West Square pond, next to the guest house James Allen stayed in before his arrest. Picture by Andrew Higgins 1218349b

Officers search the bottom of West Square pond, next to the guest house James Allen stayed in before his arrest. Picture by Andrew Higgins 1218349b

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The jury for the trial of double murder suspect James Allen has been chosen.

Nine men and three women were sworn in at Newcastle Crown Court and the case adjourned until this afternoon when the prosecution will open its case.

The 37-year-old, from Middlesborough, denies murdering Whitby woman Julie Davidson and Teesside pensioner Colin Dunford.

He also faces a string of other charges including rape, false imprisonment, assault and witness intimidation.

In the days following the murders Allen was spotted throughout the region and was recorded on CCTV in Scarborough town centre.

He spent a night at the Allerton Croft Hotel in Scarborough and there was also an alleged sighting in the Lord Rosebery pub on the same day.

On what was his 36th birthday, Allen was arrested in Leeds in April after being spotted by an off-duty police officer.

The trial, which started today, is expected to last three weeks.

Follow @thescarboronews on Twitter for live updates from the trial throughout the day.