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  1. Updates on Wednesday 17 February 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Rebecca Turner

    BBC North East

    Updates for the North East have now finished for the day - thank you for joining us.

    If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet us @BBCNewsNEemail us or contact us through our Facebook page.  

    We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel updates from 08:00 tomorrow.

    We hope you can join us then.

  2. Weather: Frost and ice patches possible later

    BBC Weather

    It'll become dry during the evening, with cloud slowly thinning to allow temperatures to fall away. 

    Clear and cold by dawn, with frost and icy patches possible. Very light winds. 

    Check the forecast where you are.

    Weather graphic
  3. Fresh Prince of Sunderland?

    BBC Sport

    As you may know, it's tradition at football clubs for new signings to sing a song as an initiation. 

    Well, Scotland striker Steven Fletcherdid this after joining Marseille on loan from Sunderland...  

    View more on twitter
  4. Angela Wrightson murder trial: Day One

    The trial of two girls accused of murdering Angela Wrightson, whose half naked body was found at her home in Hartlepool, has adjourned for the day.

    The girls, aged 14 and 15, deny murdering her.  

    Opening the case, prosecutor Nicholas Campbell QC told the jury:

    • Ms Wrightson sustained "more than 100 injuries" in a "sustained and brutal attack" with a variety of implements including a kettle and glass ornaments.
    • The schoolgirls then phoned police for a lift home after, before posting a photo from the back of the van, the court was told.  
    • The day after her body was found, one of the defendants allegedly messaged a friend saying: "I might be getting sent down... look on the news on Facebook.

    Both defendants admit they were present when the injuries were inflicted. The older girl accepts that she struck Ms Wrightson but says she did not intend her serious harm. 

    The younger girl says she played no part in the assault and did not encourage her co-accused in any way. 

    They both deny murder. The trial at Leeds Crown Court continues. 

  5. Angela Wrightson trial: Teenager told friend 'smash her head in... kill her'

    A teenager accused of murdering a woman in Hartlepool made a Facebook call to a friend who heard her say: "Go on... Smash her head in. Bray her... kill her" as another laughed in the background, a court has heard.

    Prosecutor Nicholas Campbell said the two teenage girls then left the property and met a friend who claimed the older girl "said something about 'slicing her face' and booting her all over".

    Angela Wrightson was found dead at the house in December 2014.  

    Both defendants admit they were present at the time her injuries were inflicted, but deny murder. The trial continues.

  6. More details of graphic injuries read out in court

    More details of the graphic injuries suffered by Hartlepool woman Angela Wrightson have been read out in court.

    The 39-year-old was found half naked and with more than 100 injuries following a "sustained and brutal" attack in December 2014, a jury head.

    Shards of glass, together with small pieces of gravel or grit were strewn over and around her private parts, and ash from burnt paper had been stuffed into her ear.

    Two schoolgirls, who cannot be named for legal reasons, deny murder. The trial at Leeds Crown Court continues.

  7. Teenage girls 'phoned police for lift home after killing woman'

    Two schoolgirls phoned police for a lift home after they battered a woman to death before posting a photo from the back of the van, a court has heard.

    The picture, posted on Snapchat, was captioned "me and (older girl's name) in the back on the bizzie van again".

    Snapchat photo

    The girls, aged 13 and 14 at the time, beat 39-year-old Angela Wrightson to death as she pleaded for her life in her Hartlepool home, the jury at Leeds Crown Court was told. 

    Jurors were told they called police but when their "taxi" did not come quick enough they called again, swearing and saying it was "freezing". 

    Both defendants admit they were present at the time the injuries were inflicted. The older girl accepts that she struck Ms Wrightson but said she did not intend her serious harm. 

    The younger girl says she played no part in the assault and did not encourage her co-accused in any way. 

    They both deny murder. The trial continues.

  8. Angela Wrightson trial: Teenager messaged friend saying 'I might be getting sent down'

    A teenage girl accused of murdering a Hartlepool woman told a friend "I might be getting sent down", a court has heard.

    The jury at Leeds Crown Court heard that the day after Angela Wrightson's body was found, one of the defendants, who is now 14, messaged a friend saying: "I might be getting sent down... look on the news on Facebook". 

    The prosecution says both she and another defendant were spotted with bloodied clothes hours after the fatal attack, and one of the girls asked her foster mother if she could wash them for her. 

    The jury was told that the second defendant, who is now 15, also had a scratch on her eye and asked somebody: "How long do you think you get for murder?" 

    Both teenagers deny murder. The trial continues. 

    Stephen Street in Hartlepool
  9. 16-year-old boy assaulted during attempted robbery

    A 16-year-old boy was assaulted during an attempted robbery in Normanby last night.

    The teenager was walking along a path towards Normanby Primary School when he was approached by two men.

    One of the men tried to take his phone and punched him in the face, whilst the other struck him in the back with what the victim believes to have been a pole.

    The men then made off along the path towards Normanby.

  10. Newcastle United gossip: Brendan Rodgers to be next manager?

    BBC Sport

    Here's some snippets from today's Gossip Column:

    Brendan Rodgers is in line to become the next manager of Newcastle United, according to the Shields Gazette.

    The former Liverpool manager could take over if the St James' Park club suffer poor results against Stoke and Bournemouth in their next two games. Former Manchester United boss David Moyes is also in the frame.

    Rob Lee has also been very critical of his former side's spending in the January transfer window. The midfielder, who played for Newcastle between 1992 and 2002, has told the Newcastle Chronicle that the signings of Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend in the mid-season were "not essential buys".

    Meanwhile, striker Papiss Demba Cisse has tweeted a picture of himself in the gym saying "glad to be back in training". The Senegalese forward has been out since December with a knee injury.

  11. Three men sought by police for 'inappropriate comments' to 15-year-old girl

    BBC Tees

    Three men who made "inappropriate comments" to a 15-year-old girl in Hartlepool are being sought by police. 

    They spoke to the girl from inside a white a van at 22:00 on Monday in Catcote Road.

    The van left after a female driver intervened and took the girl home.

    The van driver was a white man in his late 20s, with a moustache and stubble, of large build and with a local accent. 

  12. Prince Charles meets business mentors on Teesside

    Prince Charles is meeting Business Connectors during a visit to Redcar on Teesside.

    They're seconded from firms and use their expertise to benefit the community.

    It's part of his tour of the region, where he also met former SSI steel plant workers.

    View more on twitter
  13. Three arrests made after Billingham car damage spree

    Three people have been arrested following damage caused to vehicles across Billingham on Monday. 

    Two 16-year-old boys were arrested earlier today, followed by a 37-year-old man.

    Police received 22 reports of damaged vehicles in total. 

    Damaged car
    Damaged car

    Most cars had windows smashed, however, some were driven into, causing damage to garages and other vehicles.

    The suspected offending vehicle was recovered yesterday afternoon.

    One of the 16-year-olds has been released on bail. The other two arrested people remain in custody.

  14. Children's park set alight in spate of incidents in Blakelaw

    There were a number of reports of anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and burglaries in Blakelaw last night.

    Officers believe the same group boys and girls aged between 13 to 15 were responsible for the offences.

    Blakelaw councillor David Stockdale shared pictures of a burnt out play area, saying "someone set fire to the kid's park in Blakelaw". 

    Fire in play area

    He adds: "They've ruined three pieces of play equipment and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

    "The damage is horrific and our park is ruined."

    Burnt play area

    Other offences included residents' doors being damaged, motorbikes being ridden on footpaths and walls and roofs being climbed on. 

    Two homes in Holly Court and Fulwell Green were burgled with offenders getting into the homes through unlocked windows. 

    Insp Julie Rana said: "Those responsible have caused around £15,000 damage to Blakelaw Park which has recently been refurbished

    "Everyone suffers because of what this group has done."

  15. More than half of people in the North East affected by someone else's drinking

    More than half of the people living in the North East have been affected by someone else's drinking, according to charity Balance North East.

    Empty alcohol bottles

    They say it's not just physical violence and emotional abuse but also things like annoying neighbours.

    Today Police Commissioners from across our region are taking part in a conference looking at licensing laws. 

  16. Teenage girls 'took selfies with murdered woman'

    Two teenage girls accused of murdering a Hartlepool woman took selfies with her after she was injured, a court has heard.

    Angela Wrightson was found dead at her home on 9 December 2014. The two girls, now aged 14 and 15, deny murder.

    Jurors were told how the younger girl took selfies showing the defendants smiling, with Ms Wrightson pictured in the background. 

    Prosecutor Nicholas Campbell QC said in the photos that Ms Wrightson "is alive but she is not smiling and her face is marked". 

    The court also heard that the house had been trashed and further selfies showed the girls drinking cider from a bottle. 

  17. Adam Johnson 'asked schoolgirl for naked picture'

    Former Sunderland winger Adam Johnson asked a schoolgirl for a naked picture and offered to meet her for money, a court has heard.

    A friend of the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the jury: "She (her friend) said that they talked on Snapchat and he'd asked her to send a naked picture and that's all I can remember about it." 

    The girl said this after she was asked by Kate Blackwell QC, prosecuting, to tell the court about more details she had told police last week. 

    Adam Johnson

    She also described how she told officers that her friend had told her about more serious sexual activity and she had not told police about this earlier. 

    The girl said: "She told me not to say anything." She also told the jury: "She told me that she'd been texting him before she went away and he offered to meet her for money."

    Mr Johnson has admitted grooming and sexual activity but denies two further charges. The trial continues.