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  1. Updates on Friday 13 May 2016

Live Reporting

By Rebecca Turner

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Our updates here have now finished for the day - thank you for joining us. 

We'll have more news, sport, weather and travel updates from 08:00 on Monday and hope you can join us then. 

In the meantime there will be updates tonight and over the weekend online, on BBC Newcastle and BBC Tees and on Look North.

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

Tonight's weather: Touch of frost

BBC Weather

It will be a chilly night with clear spells, and a touch of frost possible in prone spots.

It should stay dry for most, although a few showers could develop around coastal areas later in the night.  

Check the weather where you are.

Missing puppy reunited with owner

A seven-week-old puppy who went missing after a burglary at a house in Hovingham Street, North Ormesby has been reunited her owner.

The puppy was rejected by her mother when she was born so needed a special diet and specific care.

Police say the the Chihuahua/Yorkshire Terrier cross may not have survived if she had not been returned.

Puppy which was missing
Cleveland Police

Three men aged 22, 19 and 17 have been charged with aggravated taking without consent.

A 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of burglary and has been interviewed and bailed pending further inquiries.

Teesside prisons seizures find firearm, knives and drugs

Drugs, knives and a firearm have been found in three Teesside prisons over the past nine months.

A Freedom of Information request by BBC Tees revealed more than 100 drug seizures at Holme House, Deerbolt and Kirklevington Grange.

HMP Holme House

One included a whole cannabis plant while a further 106 were of legal highs, mostly of the synthetic cannabis known as Spice.

The Ministry of Justice said it was looking at ways to tackle the problem.

Liam Fee murder trial: Accused researched broken bones on phones

The Liam Fee murder trial has heard phones belonging to the two accused were used to search the Internet to see if a broken bone can lead to death.

Liam Fee

Data recovered from Rachel and Nyomi Fee's phones showed search engines and websites had been accessed on the topic.

Nyomi Fee and her partner Rachel Fee, both originally from Ryton, deny murdering Liam on 22 March 2014 and blame his death on another child.

Liam was found dead in a house near Glenrothes, Fife.

The trial at the High Court in Livingston continues.

Inside Out wins at BBC Ruby Awards

Congratulations to our colleagues on the BBC North East and & Cumbria Inside Out team - they've won programme of the year at the Ruby Awards.

The awards recognise excellence in the BBC's regional news teams.

Chris Middis, who also works on Inside Out, won the operator production award.

Brave Emily, 8, receives award after 999 call

Eight-year-old Emily from Stockton called 999 after her mam had a fit.

The North East Ambulance Service gave her a bravery award for helping to make sure she was OK.

Hear the phone call here.

North East Ambulance Service

Travel: Broken down van on A1 causing disruption

BBC Travel

One lane is closed and there is queuing traffic on the A1(M) northbound between J62, A690 (Carrville) and J63, A167 (Chester-le-Street), because of a broken down van.  

More traffic information on the BBC Travel website for Tyne & Wear.

Man dies in collision between van and HGV

A man died in a collision between a van and an HGV this morning on Longhoughton Road in Lesbury near Alnwick, in Northumberland.

The 28 year old was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other driver involved in the collision was uninjured.

Metro services running again following bridge collision

Mike Ashley: 'Time for a period of careful consideration'

In his open letter written to Newcastle United fans, the club's owner Mike Ashley said he will be reflecting over the last 12 months as he works out how to take the club back to the Premier League.

In his letter following Wednesday's relegation, Mr Ashley said: "We invested heavily in the squad over last summer and again in January, but we have been unable to secure Premier League status despite the recent efforts of the team under the formidable stewardship of Rafa Benitez.

"I thank the fans for their passionate support, in particular for Rafa and the team at recent fixtures, both home and away.

"Clearly it is now time for a period of careful consideration whilst we reflect upon the lessons that need to be learned from the last 12 months to restore this great club to the very top flight of English football."

Newcastle United fans

Fancy eating dinner while 100ft in the air?

Daring diners have been taking to the skies for a meal suspended over the Gateshead Quayside.

View more on twitter

A19 southbound in North Tyneside reopened after bridge collision

Metro bridge inspected after being hit by vehicle

The Metro bridge over the A19 in North Tyneside which was struck by a vehicle earlier is currently being inspected.

View more on twitter

Mike Ashley writes open letter to Newcastle fans

Newcastle boss Mike Ashley has written an open letter to fans, saying relegation from the Premier League is a "bitterly disappointing outcome for all of us".

He goes on to say Newcastle United "rightly has a proud and long tradition of competing at the highest level and I therefore understand and share the pain that supporters will be feeling at this difficult time. 

"Many of you have expressed strong views about what we could have done differently.

"I respect those views but I would like to reiterate that it has always been my intention to try to achieve the very best for Newcastle United". 

Mike Ashley

Travis visit BBC Newcastle

Simon Logan

BBC Newcastle presenter

Scottish rockers Travis have been chatting to me in the studio ahead of their gig tonight in Newcastle.

We talked about the new album, their hits over the years and I asked what Fran lied about when he was 17.

Watch the interview on BBC Newcastle again here.

Travis and Simon Logan

Newcastle could be persuading Benitez to stay 'for weeks'

Talks between Rafael Benitez and Newcastle could extend to weeks rather than days as the club attempts to persuade him to remain on Tyneside.

Rafael Benitez

The Spaniard met managing director Lee Charnley on Thursday in the immediate aftermath of relegation from the Barclays Premier League with sources later indicating their initial discussions had been "productive".   

Arts, culture and heritage venues open doors later

Arts, culture and heritage venues in Newcastle and Gateshead will be opening after hours this weekend.

The Late Shows is now in its 10th year and will be held between today and tomorrow. 

Among the 70 venues involved are Ouseburn Farm, Victoria Tunnel, Dunston Staithes and Baltic. Find the full details here.

Dunston Staithes

Jonas Gutierrez nominated as sporting superhero

BBC Sport

We've been asking you for your sporting superheroes as it is, apparently, national superhero day.

Former Newcastle player Jonas Gutierrez has been getting a few shouts for the title.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Travel: Metro bridge vehicle collision affecting Tyne Tunnel traffic

Metro services affected after vehicle hits bridge

Weather: Cloudy with the odd spot of rain

It will be rather cloudy for much of the afternoon with a chance of the odd spot of rain, chiefly over the hills. 

Brighter spells should develop later in the day. Much cooler than recent days with a northeasterly breeze. 

Maximum Temperature: 10C (50F).

weather graphic

Tribute to former BBC presenter Kathy Secker

Kathy Secker

This weekend Grace House will pay tribute to founder and former BBC presenter Kathy Secker.

Kathy was a household name in the North East for decades thanks to her work with Tyne Tees television and more recently at BBC Newcastle.

She died last December.

Her daughter Jayne says that Grace House, a project which gives respite care to children with complex disabilities, health needs and life limiting conditions, was more important to her than anything else she achieved in her life.

Jermain Defoe: I've done everything right to earn England recall'

BBC Sport

Sunderlandstriker Jermain Defoesays he's done 'everything right' in his bid to earn an England recall.

Defoe last played for England in 2013 but his 14 Premier League goals this season has led to speculation he could return to the international stage.  

Jermain Defoe
Getty Images

Teenage girls to face trial charged with kidnapping two year old

Fiona Trott

BBC News

Two teenagers have appeared in court charged with kidnapping a two year old with the intention of committing a sexual offence. 

The toddler went missing from the Primark store in Newcastle city centre in April. She was found less than two hours later in Gosforth

Today, two girls charged with kidnapping the child spoke quietly at North Tyneside Youth Court, to confirm their names and ages and sat with their hands clasped. No relatives of the 13 and 14 year olds were present. 

The girls' legal representative has requested intermediaries for their next hearing to explain the court proceedings. A trial date was set for 7 June.

Man treated for fractured skull after Middlesbrough assault

A 24-year-old man has been treated for a fractured skull and facial injuries after being being approached and assaulted by an unknown number of people on Ormesby High Street in Middlesbrough, police say.

He was taken to James Cook University Hospital, but has now been released. 

Newcastle University's DIY drug testing kits

BBC Newsbeat

DIY drug testing kits have gone on sale at Newcastle University and other colleges so that students can see what's in the pills they might take.


They're being sold for £3 by the students' union and follows a rise in deaths linked to PMA or PMMA, sometimes found in drugs sold as ecstasy or MDMA.

Experts are warning the packs can't be fully trusted but campaigners insist they can save lives.

Newsbeat decided to put them to the test at a Home Office lab in London.

Football: Rafa Benitez 'could be perfect candidate for Everton'

BBC Sport

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitezcould be the "perfect" candidate to replace Roberto Martinez at Evertondespite his previous stint at Liverpool, according to former England defender Danny Mills.

Benitez's future is uncertain following Newcastle's relegation to the Championship this week.

Frank de Boer, who quit Ajax this week, has been installed as the bookmakers' favourite to take over at Goodison Park but appointing the Dutchman would be "a risk" according to former England winger Chris Waddle.

Rafa Benitez
Getty Images

Drugs seized and arrests made in Newcastle raids

Thousands of pounds worth of drugs have been seized and 11 people have been arrested in a series of raids across the Throckley and Lemington areas of Newcastle, police say.

Among the drugs found in the operations by Northumbria Police were cannabis, cocaine and amphetamine. An illegal taser was also found.

Neighbourhood Sgt Pinner Rana said: "This action is about disrupting those suspected of being involved in drugs and criminal activity here in Newcastle."

New low fares trains services between London and the North East

The Journal


A train operator has been given the green light to launch a new low fares services between London and the North East – but commuters may have to wait five years for the services to start.  

Jounral front page
Journal front

UK banks have closed more than 600 branches over the last year

More than 600 bank branches have closed across the UK in the last year, with rural areas worst affected, according to figures obtained by the BBC.  

You can find how many banks have been closed in your area using the postcode checker in the story.

Bank map

Police marine unit 'not as glamorous as you might think'

Northumbria Police's marine unit have given us a glimpse of what they usually deal with.

View more on twitter

Former goalkeeper and businessman awarded Freedom of Sunderland

Sunderland goalkeeping legend Jimmy Montgomery and businessman John Hays have been granted Freedoms of the City.                

Sunderland City Council leader Councillor Paul Watson said: "Jimmy Montgomery is held in very high esteem by residents of Sunderland.

"John Hays has built his company up into a household name. We are very proud of him."

Here they are with Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Barry Curran.

John Hays and Jimmy Montgomery with Mayor of Sunderland Cllr Barry Curran
North News

Two men arrested after pulling up plants

Two men have been arrested after pulling some plants out of tubs which are part of Durham's bid to defend its Britain In Bloom and Northumbria in Bloom titles.

The launch of Durham City In Bloom earlier this year
Durham County Council

Durham Council say the planters in Market Place and Millennium Place were targeted last weekend, and about £200 of damage was caused.

The council say both men were arrested, with one give a fine of £100, and the other ordered to carry out voluntary work and meet representatives from Durham In Bloom.

Your photos: Dawn at Tynemouth

A beautiful picture taken this morning by one of our team at Tynemouth of Jacob's Ladders streaming through the clouds.

Dawn at Tynemouth

If you have a photo to share with us you can tweet usemail us, or contact us via our Facebook page.   

Metro running a good service today, apparently...

Tyne and Wear Metro say they're running a good service to all destinations today.

A couple of people have disagreed on Twitter though...