Lee Irving
Lee Irving's murder is being treated as a disability hate crimeFamily photo

Two men have been charged with the murder of a vulnerable man who was found dead near a pathway in Newcastle.

Lee Irving, 24, from East Denton, was found dead on 6 June. Police have not yet revealed how he died.

Irving, who had learning difficulties, was described by his mother as having the "mind of an eight-year-old". Following inquiries, Northumbria Police said they are treating his murder as a disability hate crime.

Two people, James Wheatley, 28, of Studdon Walk, and Barry Imray, 31, of no fixed abode, have been charged with Irving's murder. Imray has also been charged with perverting the course of justice.

Both are due to appear at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court to face the charges.

Two males, aged 50 and 23, and two females, aged 50 and 20, who were arrested as part of the investigation have been bailed pending further enquiries.

Irving's family previously issued a statement describing him as a "wonderful young man".

The family added: "Loved by many, he used to love ice-skating, going to the pictures and enjoying life. He will be very sadly missed by all who knew him. What we have lost is irreplaceable and we must live with our loss every day. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us at this devastating time. Lee will always remain in our hearts and thoughts."

Supt Bruce Storey said: "It's thought those involved in this incident know each other. Lee had learning difficulties and was vulnerable, one of our key lines of enquiry was to establish whether this is a factor in his death and a motivation in this crime."