A man accused of murdering a mum-of-six in Redcar has died in prison.
Liam Murray, 27, had been charged killing his partner Stacey Cooper, 34, after she was found dead on New Year's Eve.
He had twice appeared in court charged with murder and possessing a bladed article – a kitchen knife – in public.
Murray was found dead on Tuesday at HMP Durham.
He had yet to enter a plea and was being held at the prison, reports Teesside Live .
Ms Cooper was allegedly murdered by Murray at her home on Malham Gill, on December 31
Her family paid tribute following her death.
They said: "Stacey was a much-loved mother-of-six, a treasured daughter and sister.
"There are no words to express our sadness.
"Stacey was a wonderful mother and the loss of her to her children is unimaginable."
It is understood Ms Cooper moved to Teesside with her family from the Tyneside area and went to Warsett School in Brotton.
The day after her death one of her best friends choked back tears calling the mum-of-six "her rock" and said she "can't believe she's gone".
Murray had been due to appear in court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on January 29.
A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “HMP Durham prisoner Liam Murray died in custody on January 14.
"Our thoughts are with his friends and family.
“As with all deaths in custody, there will be an independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.”
Murray was jailed in 2015 for two-and-a-half years for stamping on his then-girlfriend after a "volcanic loss of temper".
The scared, blood-covered victim managed to get away, banged on doors and sought help in a house.
She was treated at A&E for a cut above her right eye, bruising and swelling.
Murray, of Guisborough, admitted unlawful wounding.
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