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Summary

  1. Updates on Thursday 31 March 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Rebecca Turner

    BBC North East

    Live updates for the North East have now finished for the day. 

    We'll be back from 08:00 on Friday with more news, sport, weather and travel - we hope you can join us then.

    If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet usemail us, or contact us via Facebook.  

  2. Man suffers fractured cheekbone after being 'kicked repeatedly'

    An 18-year-old man who tried to break up a row between a man and woman was then assaulted by a gang. 

    The group of five or six men knocked him to the ground in Collingwood Street in Newcastle before kicking him in the face a number of times, leaving him with a fractured cheekbone.

    He'll now need plates to be fitted into his face and further surgery. 

  3. BBC to cover Yorkshire and Durham cricket matches

    Great news for Yorkshire and Durham cricket fans - For the fourth year in a row, the BBC will be providing commentary from every first class county cricket match played in England and Wales across its local radio stations and online.

    There will be coverage on BBC Tees and BBC Newcastle. 

    Read more here.

    Tim Bresnan
  4. Allardyce questioned over Adam Johnson sentence

    Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has been facing questions concerning the Black Cats' former winger Adam Johnson, who has just begun a six-year jail sentence for grooming and sexual activity with a girl aged 15.

    "As a professional you have to deal with it and in the only way you can do," says Allardyce.

    Adam Johnson

    "The decision has been made and you have to accept it and make sure it does not affect the dressing room - and I'm confident it won't do.

    “We’ve lost a hugely talented player in Adam Johnson, irrespective of his indiscretions. He obviously got what he deserved but we’ve lost a talented player I would’ve liked to keep but it was taken out of our hands by other factors.”

  5. Travel: One lane closed on A1

    BBC Travel

    One lane is closed and there's very slow traffic on the A1 Western Bypass southbound in Gosforth at Kingston Park because of a broken down vehicle.  

    And there's very slow traffic and heavier than usual traffic on the A19 in both directions in New York between Holystone Roundabout and Silverlink Roundabout.  

    But the good news is there are no major problems reported in Teesside.

    Get the latest travel news for Tyne and Wear and Teesside.

  6. Tonight's weather: Dry and chilly

    BBC Weather

    Any showers will die out by late evening, leaving a dry and chilly night with light winds and clear spells.

    Patchy frost is likely to form during the early hours.

    Becoming a little cloudier and breezier by dawn.  

    Video content

    Video caption: Weather: weather_northeast.avi
  7. Man attempts to burgle house while homeowner is in garden

    A man broke into a house in Kenton Lane in Newcastle while the homeowner was in the back garden.

    Police say the burglar searched the house but didn't steal anything.

    Around the time of the burglary a man had knocked on a number of neighbouring doors asking for "John".

    Northumbria Police want to identify this man as they think he may have information about the burglary.

    He is white, about 5ft 1in and of skinny build with a mousey coloured goatee style beard.

  8. Valencia 'eyeing move for Boro boss Karanka'

    BBC Sport

    Middlesbrough bossAitor Karanka is a candidate for the Valencia job, reports the Daily Star.

    The Spanish club sacked Gary Neville yesterday after four miserable months in charge.

    Neville won just three of his 16 league games in charge and paid the price with his job.

    Former Liverpool assistant Pako Ayestaran has taken on the role on a temporary basis until the summer.

    Karanka and Pellegrini
  9. Stranded trawler with three fishermen on board towed to safety

    A trawler with three fishermen on board was towed to safety by Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat yesterday morning after the vessel became stranded 12 miles east of Whitley Bay.

    Trawlers on Whitley Bay

    Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI, said that the fishing boat "got its trawl wires wrapped around the propeller which is just something that happens from time to time".

    He adds: "It would have been dangerous for the fishermen to attempt to free the fouled prop at sea so they did the right thing in calling for help".

  10. BreakingMan charged with murdering man following 2013 attack

    A man has been charged with murdering a man who was attacked two-and-a-half years ago.

    Karl Pascoe, 31, from Blackfell in Washington, has been charged with the murder of Joseph Leach. 

    Mr Leach, 32, suffered serious injuries in Woodland Terrace in Washington on 23 December 2013. 

    He was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle where he died on 2 April 2015. 

    Mr Pascoe is due to appear before South Tyneside Magistrates' Court on 15 April.

  11. There could be a way back for Eboue - Allardyce

    BBC Sport

    One last quote from Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce on Emmanuel Eboue, the full-back who earlier today was handed a one-year ban by Fifa for owing money to a former agent.

    Eboue is set to be sacked by the club, but Allardyce says the 32-year-old could still play for the Black Cats - if the issue is resolved very quickly.

    "There could be a way back if he gets it sorted out," added Allardyce.

    Emmanuel Eboue

    "There has been a denial (from Emmanuel) in the early stages but it does not just get to Fifa and a ban - it's a long process," he said.

    "He has relied on other people and other people have let him down. He was going to be in my squad for us because he is fit enough but that all has gone now."

  12. Angela Wrightson accused 'not a raging monster', court hears

    A girl accused of murdering a vulnerable woman "was not a raging monster out of control" but was so distracted by messaging friends she could not have been aware of what was going on, a court has heard. 

    Angela Wrightson was found dead and in her blood-splattered Hartlepool home in December 2014.

    Two girls, then aged 13 and 14, deny murder. The older girl has admitted manslaughter.

    The prosecution argues the girls were both "volatile" and an argument with Ms Wrightson, who had been drinking alcohol all day, spiralled into murder when both girls attacked her.

    Angela Wrightson

    Jamie Hill QC, defence for the older girl, has argued she did not understand the consequences of her actions, citing her low IQ, psychological problems, and troubled upbringing

    "It is just a terrible moment in history when these three people collided in the most appalling and tragic way".

    He told Leeds Crown Court the older girl was "led" by the younger, who had "the stronger personality" of the two.

    But the younger girl's defence, John Elvidge QC, said that was not the case, and the fact the younger girl was using her phone indicated she "was not a raging monster out of control" but was so distracted by messaging friends she could have been unaware of what was going on.

  13. Allardyce: 'The past has caught up with Emmanuel'

    BBC Sport

    Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has been giving his views on full-back Emmanuel Eboue, who is set to be sacked by the club after receiving a one-year ban from Fifa for not paying an agent.

    "The problem is what has happened in the past has caught up with Emmanuel, for whatever the reason," says Allardyce.

    "He hasn't sorted it out and we were completely in the dark until we found out a few days ago. He has got a ban and the contract gets terminated on that basis.

    "I'm massively disappointed like everyone else is."

  14. Girl accused of murdering Angela Wrightson 'given alibi by phone'

    A girl accused of murdering a vulnerable woman has been "given an alibi by her mobile phone", a court has heard.

    Angela Wrightson, 39, was found dead and half naked in her Hartlepool home in December 2014

    Angela Wrightson

    Two girls, then aged 13 and 14, deny murder. The older has admitted manslaughter.

    In summing up the defence for the younger girl, John Elvidge QC said the fact the girl was using her phone to message friends during the time of the attack showed she was not participating.

    The two girls, who are now both 15, are accused of using a variety of weapons to beat Ms Wrightson to death over a period of several hours. The trial continues.

    Police outside Wrightson's home
  15. Lauren Laverne set to be the new voice of BBC Newcastle

    BBC Newcastle has announced that Sunderland-born presenter Lauren Laverne will be the new "voice of the station". 

    Lauren Laverne

    Lauren has recorded a number of jingles and idents that will be played on the station in a couple of months.

    She'll be taking over from the lead singer of ACDC, Brian Johnson, who's been the voice of BBC Newcastle since 2013.

    Lauren says: “I have enjoyed listening to Brian’s voice on the station over the last few years and it’s an honour to step into his shoes."

  16. Police carry out drug raids in Stockton

    A series of police raids have been carried out in Stockton this morning aimed at cracking down on drug dealers and anti-social behaviour.

    Teams of officers targeted two flats and two shops in Harrington Road. 

    Two arrests were made and a sniffer dog discovered a quantity of illegal tobacco. 

  17. Police consider recruiting cats because a five-year-old asked them to

    A police force could become the first in the country to introduce cats in the fight against crime, after a five-year-old girl wrote to the chief constable.

    Eliza Adamson-Hopper contacted Durham Police chief Mike Barton suggesting cats would be good at listening out for danger and rescuing people from trees.

    View more on twitter

    She received a reply saying he would pass the idea on to an inspector.

    The force has now confirmed it will consider using felines in an as-yet unspecified role.