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  1. Updates on Thursday 17 December 2015
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Lloyd Watson

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Live updates for the North East have now finished. We'll have more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 tomorrow.

    We hope you can join us then.

    If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet us, email, or contact us through our Facebook page

  2. Weather: Dry with light showers possible

    Kawser Quamer

    BBC Weather

    Dry initially, then a few light showers are possible for a time early evening, then becoming largely dry again with clear spells.

    Remaining breezy, and a little less mild than the previous night, but temperatures still above average for the time of year.

    Weather forecast

      Minimum temperature: 9C (48F). Check the forecast near you.

  3. 'Tony the Fridge' handed community sentence for assault

    Charity fundraiser Tony Morrison - known as "Tony the Fridge" has been sentenced to community service after being convicted of assault.

    Morrison is well know for running with a fridge strapped to his back and has raised about £100,000 for charities including Cancer Research UK and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

    He was handed a 12-month community sentence and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also told to pay £200 compensation and £400 in costs.

  4. Travel: Delays on A19 and A1

    BBC Travel

    The A19 in Shiremoor is partially blocked and there is slow traffic southbound between the A1056 Killingworth Way junction and Holystone Roundabout, because of an accident involving two vehicles.  

    One lane is closed and queuing traffic on A1 northbound at Catterick North, because of an accident.  

    There is more traffic information on the BBC Travel website for Tyne & Wear and Teesside.

  5. Video: Council puts car parking attendants' cabin up for sale

    A former car parking attendants' cabin in Newcastle is among the unusual buildings which councils across the north-east of England currently have on the market for sale or lease. 

    The Government recently changed the rules on council asset sales so any money which local authorities make on the deal can now be ploughed back into front line services. 

    It has led to a number of unusual council property "offers" including the small wooden cabin opposite a car park in Ellison Place. Watch the video here.

    The former car parking attendants' cabin in Newcastle
  6. Nick Barnes makes last minute changes after Mourinho sacking

    Nick Barnes

    BBC Newcastle's Sunderland commentator

    I've already been making my notes ahead of Sunderland's game against Chelsea on Saturday.

    Now it looks like I have to make some corrections, or possibly even start again now that Jose Mourinho has been sacked as Chelsea manager.

    NIck Barnes' notes
  7. 'One of our own' Tshirts released for charity

    Fans are being asked to show their support for BBC Tees presenter and Boro commentator Ali Brownlee and at the same time raise money for charity.

    A T-shirt sporting the words Boro fans chant in support of Ali - "one of our own" - has been produced with all profits raised going to the BBC's Children in Need charity.

    Hundreds of radio listeners and football fans have sent messages of support to Ali after learning he has lower bowel cancer.  

    'One of our own' Tshirts
  8. Poison termination woman jailed

    A woman who used poison to terminate her pregnancy has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

    Natalie Towers, 24, of Adams Street, Shildon, County Durham, had earlier admitted a charge of administering poison with intent to procure a miscarriage while 32-34 weeks pregnant.

    Newcastle Crown Court was told she bought the substance over the internet.

    Judge Mr Justice Jay gave her credit for pleading guilty but said she must serve a custodial sentence.

  9. Chelsea's loss of form 'incredible', says Shearer

    The former Newcastle and England captain, Alan Shearer, said Chelsea's loss of form under Jose Mourinho was "incredible".

    He said: "I have never known a capitulation like it from a football club who've been champions to where they are now.

    Phil Neville and Alan Shearer

    "I mean I cannot remember a situation ever like it. I mean it's a capitulation of the highest order. For them to go from champions to where they are now is just an incredible situation."

    His comments come after Chelsea sacked Mourinho seven months after he led them to the Premier League title.

  10. Police appeal for missing teenager

    Cleveland Police are trying to trace a missing 17-year-old.

    Terri Ann Hugill was last seen at a property on Church Street in Hartlepool on Monday.

    It is believed she might be in the Newcastle area as she has friends there, police say.

    Terri Ann Hugill
  11. Judgement set for January for Northumberland man detained in India

    A Northumberland man detained in India on weapons charges won't be home for Christmas, his family say.

    Nick Dunn, from Ashington, was among six Britons detained while working on an anti-piracy ship more than two years ago.

    Nick Dunn

    Although charges against him were dropped, the Indian authorities appealed against that decision and they are still waiting to hear the final judgement.

    That is due to be made in January.

  12. Weather: Why has it been so mild recently?

    Unseasonably warm weather across the UK has seen daffodils blooming as far north as Ayr in Scotland. 

    Temperatures are expected to continue in the double figures for the next week.

    Find out why we're experiencing such unusual weather here.

    Video content

    Video caption: Why is it so mild?
  13. 'Tony the Fridge' convicted of assault on former employee

    North East charity fundraiser 'Tony the Fridge' has been convicted of assaulting a former employee. 

    Tony Morrison, 51, from Hebburn, South Tyneside, denied the attack, which happened in Sunderland.

    Sunderland Magistrates' Court heard that he arrived at the victim's home in a state of "heightened emotion".

    He's due to be sentenced this afternoon.

  14. Christmas grotto created to raise money for family

    BBC Tees

    Would you ever transform your home into a Grotto to help a worthy cause?

    Well that's exactly what one Middlesbrough man, Darren - or Dibsy as he calls himself - McClintock has done - watch the tour here.

    He built his very own Santa's Grotto in his shed, raising more than £1,000 to help a family with the cost of caring for their sick baby.

    Christmas decorations
  15. Sunderland news conference ahead of Chelsea game

    BBC Sport

    Second-bottom Sunderland will be looking to take advantage of Chelsea's precarious league position.

    "Our job on Saturday is to try and continue that cloud Chelsea are under," said boss Sam Allardyce. 

    "We have to play our best on Saturday irrespective of the form Chelsea have been in.

    "While we have won three games we have failed to get the odd draw here and there."

  16. Baby death couple 'refused to accept responsibility'

    A couple who were jailed for eight years following the death of their baby in Newcastle "refused to accept any responsibility", police say.

    Victoria Burke, 24, and Paul Nicholson, 20, of Crigdon Hill, West Denton, were sentenced for causing the death of Tequiilah Burke. 

    Nicholson also received an additional three months for breaching his bail by going on the run. 

    Det Ch Insp Nicola Musgrove said: "Paul Nicholson and Victoria Burke have refused to accept any responsibility for their action which led to the death of a 16-week old baby. 

    Nicholson has then tried to avoid his punishment and led police on a man hunt, which was completely foolish of him. 

    "They have been utterly dishonest and shown no remorse throughout the investigation."

  17. Cocker Spaniels hang up their police collars

    Top dogs Cracka, Snoop and Billy are retiring after dedicating almost a decade of service to Northumbria Police.

    The three Cocker Spaniels have been most valuable when it comes to stopping some of the region's most prolific criminals by sniffing out evidence used to convict offenders.

    Cracka, Snoop and Billy with police officers

    Some of their career highlights include sniffing out approximately £6m in cash, hundreds of kilograms of drugs and thousands of weapons.

    Cracka even helped sniff out more than £110,000 in just a single operation.