A MAN has appeared in court charged with three counts of murder.

Tom Saunders appeared to spit at the glass of the dock during the short hearing at Colchester Magistrates' Court.

The 32-year-old was flanked by security guards and spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

He is accused of stabbing to death Danny Gibson, 35, Jason Gibson 31, and Richard Booth, 35, who are all from Colchester.

The Gibsons - who are thought to be related - were both found dead inside a property in Wellesley Road, Colchester, shortly after midnight on Sunday.

Mr Booth was found dead inside a car in nearby Hospital Road.

Post-mortem examinations took place on Monday and found they all died as a result of multiple stab wounds.

AS IT HAPPENED: Read live updates from the Colchester Magistrates' Court hearing.

Saunders, of Bounstead Road, Colchester, was wearing a prison-issued grey jumper and tracksuit bottoms having been in custody since he was arrested hours after police found the bodies.

He was initially arrested at hospital before being transferred to custody.

Sharon Hall, prosecuting at the court, confirmed that Saunders was facing the three murder charges as well as one of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

Due to the severity of the charges, magistrates were unable to deal with the case and scheduled another hearing for Saunders at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday.

Matthew Bone, representing Saunders, said he had no powers to make a bail application at this stage.

"I have explained this to Mr Saunders - the law says I cannot make a bail application at this stage and therefore I do not do so," he said.

After the hearing, court staff were forced to take a break before other cases were heard to clean up the glass - believed to be because Saunders had spat.

He was seen to be wearing bandages to his hands and wrists during his court appearance.

Police have been in Wellesley Road since the early hours of Sunday and the cordon is expected to be in place for some time.

Yesterday, specialist forensic officers were trawling the streets and even drains looking for the weapon used in the attack.

There are ten areas of the site being treated as crime scenes.