Dr Thomas Kwan has been charged with attempted murder of a man in his 70s following a huge emergency response at Brading Court in Ingleby Barwick where a hazardous substance is believed to have been found by police searching the property.
Officers discovered the substance while searching the address as part of an ongoing investigation. As a precaution, specialist units were deployed to the scene shortly after 4pm. Firefighters clad in hazardous materials (Hazmat) suits were observed entering the property, with decontamination tents erected in the garden.
Additionally, the North East Ambulance Service dispatched two Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) units to stand by in case of need.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “”Following a report of suspected poisoning which was received on Wednesday, January 24, Thomas Kwan, 52, of Brading Court, Ingleby Barwick, has been charged with attempted murder.”
Doctor Kwan appeared at Newcastle Magistrates court on Wednesday and was remanded in custody until 6th March.
Having qualified from Newcastle University in 1996, he has been working in Sunderland where he was a partner at a medical practice. Kwan was previously a director of Invictas Ltd which has a registered office at Thornaby Medical Centre in Stockton-on-Tees.
Police have confirmed the man in his 70s who was allegedly poisoned was not a patient.
Photos and videos from the scene show firefighters preparing to enter the property with decontamination tents set up in the garden of the property.
The large detached property on Brading Court is located backing onto Ingleby Barwick Golf Course, and is believed to have had one owner since it was built in 2010. Neighbours have described police activity since the start of the week, with the huge hazmat response taking place this afternoon.
Yesterday both Northumbria Police and Cleveland Police have emphasised that there is no wider risk to the public. The increased police presence in the area is due to the ongoing investigation and the presence of specialist teams handling the unknown substance.
Northumbria Police said in a statement “As part of an ongoing investigation, an address in the Ingleby Barwick area of Stockton was being searched. This led to the discovery of unknown substances and as a precaution, officers are conducting further checks at the property. There is believed to be no wider risk to the public and enquiries are ongoing.”
Cleveland Police said “Cleveland Police are supporting Northumbria Police with an ongoing investigation following the discovery of an unknown substance in Brading Court, Ingleby Barwick, Stockton.
“The local community will see an increased police presence in the area, as officers who are experts in handling substances visit the property. The public should be reassured there is no risk to the community’s safety.”
North East Ambulance Service are also at the scene. They confirmed: “We are supporting our police colleagues as part of an ongoing investigation at an address in the Ingleby Barwick area of Stockton.
“We have dispatched two resources from our Hazardous Area Response Team to be available on standby if required.”
A Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) is a specialized unit within an ambulance service that is trained and equipped to respond to emergencies in hazardous environments.
The emergency response continued late into the evening, with the fire service and ambulance service leaving the scene around midnight. Police activity at the property remained ongoing the following morning.