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  1. Updates on Thursday 23 June 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage throughout the day

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

And just like that, we're done for the day - thank you for joining us. 

We'll be back at the earlier time of 06:00 tomorrow, to bring you the latest news on the EU Referendum results.

Coverage will also be available throughout the night across the BBC, and on our EU Referendum live page.

In the meantime, if you've got any updates or pictures you'd like to share with us feel free to get in touch via FacebookTwitter or email  

Weather: Mostly clear

BBC Weather

Remaining mostly clear through the first half of the night, with light winds. Although some patchy cloud could spread into the Pennines most parts are expected to stay dry. Coastal areas turning cloudy later perhaps with fog patches.  

Weather graph

Tonight's Look North

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

Tonight on Look North we'll hear from the County Durham mum who's campaigning against the website Ask FM after her daughter's bullying ordeal.

Also on the programme, we'll tell you all about the family of a Sunderland man who have made an emotional appeal for help to solve his murder, on the second anniversary of his disappearance.

That, and much more, tonight at 18:30 on BBC One.

BreakingPolice probe graffiti mocking MP Jo Cox in Durham

Graffiti mocking dead MP Jo Cox and warning "Durham next" has been daubed across doors in Durham City.

Police are investigating the incident in Old Elvet, but are reassuring people they have no reason to believe it is a serious threat.

Oliver Metcalf

Jo Cox was fatally injured outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire, last week. 

Oliver Metcalf, who spotted the graffiti, said: “It was down by the racecourse in Durham on one the boathouse doors adjacent to the bowling green. 

"I noticed it as I was commuting to work yesterday."  

Insp Dave Coxon from Durham Police said a number of empty cans were found near the scene.

He added: "We have recovered CCTV footage from cameras in the area which we hope may help us identify the offender and potential witnesses who were in the area at the time."

The graffiti has now been removed.

Tributes to Jo Cox

Man charged after alleged brawl outside town centre takeaway

The Gazette


A man has been charged with assault after two men were injured in an alleged brawl outside a takeaway.

The incident happened outside Perfect Chicken on Borough Road in Middlesbrough at 19:00 yesterday. 

Borough Road

More dogs at polling stations

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

We promised you more dogs at polling stations, and here they are.

These pooches visited their polling stations in Redcar on Teesside.

There's even more in here.

Dog at polling station
Getty Images
Dog and owner leave polling station
Getty Images

Former soldier got schoolgirl drunk and tried to ply her with nitrous oxide before sex

The Gazette


An ex-squaddie got a schoolgirl drunk then tried to ply her with relaxant gas before having sex with her.

Shaun Johnston, who groomed the girl before having unprotected sex with her at The Blue Bell Hotel in Acklam, Middlesbrough, has now been jailed for almost nine years.

Rolex stolen during Newcastle robbery

A man was assaulted and knocked unconscious in Newcastle and when he woke up his Rolex had been stolen.

The 21-year-old was attacked outside an address in Lily Avenue, Jesmond, on 15 April when he was approached by two men.

Lily Avenue

Police are now looking for a 20 to 25 year old, 6ft slim black man and a man of a similar age said to have a "Middle Eastern appearance", short dark hair and a beard.

The watch is a silver and gold GMT Master 2 Rolex model and is worth about £10,000.

Highs being sold despite ban, Newcastle charity says

Users are still getting hold of the drugs once known as legal highs despite them being banned, a charity claims.

The cost has increased and many addicts are begging to fund their habits, Changing Lives said.

The production, distribution, sale and supply of new psychoactive substances - cannabis and cocaine substitutes such as Spice and Black Mamba - became a criminal offence in May

Legal highs
Getty Images

Travel: No trains between Airport to South Gosforth

Nexus has announced that there will be no trains between the Newcastle Airport and South Gosforth on Sunday, 26 June.

View more on twitter

Stockton cycling festival

Stockton's cycling festival kickstarts today.

As part of the three-day event, world class riders will take part in the British Cycling National Road Championships.

But that's not all: Throughout the festival there will be many activities for the public, including a cycling expo, a velodrome and a youth racing night - will we find the next Bradley Wiggins on Teesside?

Our reporter Louise Hobson has been to the festival:

View more on twitter

The festival will run until Sunday 26 June.

Northumbrian Water boss named among top women engineers

The chief executive of Northumbrian Water, Heidi Mottram, has been named as one of the UK’s top 50 female engineers in a poll compiled by the Daily Telegraph.

She had a distinguished career in the rail industry before being appointed as the boss of the water firm in 2010. She was awarded the OBE the same year.

The list also features Newcastle Central Labour MP Chi Onwurah, the only female engineer in Parliament.

Heidi Mottram
Recognition PR

Watch: When will we know the EU referendum result?

Looking at the results timetable with Jeremy Vine, Prof John Curtice and David Dimbleby.

Rob Jones extends spell at Hartlepool United

BBC Tees

BBC Tees Sport

Defender Rob Jones has become the fifth player to extend his current deal at Hartlepool United.

The 36-year-old will stay for the 2016-17 season as boss Craig Hignett was keen to keep him on.

“I’m really pleased that Rob has agreed the new deal,” Hignett said.

“He had a really positive influence on the squad when he came in last season; his experience, organisation and ability are benefits to us and he showed that both in games and in training."

Sunny sights

BBC Weather Watchers

How are you enjoying the heat and the sun today?

Our Weather Watchers have captured some beautiful scenes across the North East today.

Look at this picture of Seaham taken by Dan:


You too can become a Weather Watcher - click here to find out how.

Beyonce concert: Are you travelling by Metro?

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Are you going to see Beyonce at the Stadium of Light next Tuesday?

If like me you've been too busy listening to Queen B on a loop to actually sit down and plan your journey there, I think you'll appreciate this little update.

Nexus has organised extra Metro services on the day, but they're still encouraging ticket holders to arrive early.

Metro staff will be on hand to help customers at St Peter’s station and Stadium of Light station, which are both a short walk from the venue. 

Central Station in Newcastle is currently being refurbished, but don't panic - it will remain open during the evening of 28 June. 

Beyonce on stage
Getty Images

Holiday park plans withdrawn at 11th hour

BBC Tees

A plan to create a new holiday park near Great Ayton has been withdrawn. 

 Local farmer Alan Petch wanted to build 179 chalets, together with fish ponds and a cycling centre creating 160 jobs. 

Some people had voiced concerns over noise and traffic in the area. 

The application was due before councillors this afternoon but it's not known why the proposal has been withdrawn.

Your photos: Dogs at polling stations

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

It's become somewhat of a tradition for the hashtag #dogsatpollingstations to trend on Twitter during polling day.

Why? Maybe due to strict reporting rules for the media, or maybe just because dogs are just too cute.

A North East voter tweeted this picture of her dog Ben:

View more on twitter


We'll bring you more pups later in the day.

Family pays tribute to man who died at Boulby Potash mine

The family of John Anderson, who died last week at Boulby Potash mine, have paid tribute to their "loyal and caring husband".

In a statement, the family remembered him, saying: “We are a large and very close family and we are each grieving in our own way... His sudden death has left us all utterly devastated. He was a truly great, unassuming man with a blistering work ethic."

The post-mortem exam suggests that John, 55, died as a result of asphyxiation. 

Cleveland Police officers are continuing to investigate the incident.

John and his granddaughter
Cleveland Police

Malaga flight from Newcastle cancelled

Sunseekers due to fly to Spain this morning were hit by a last-minute cancellation of their flight.

Ryanair's Newcastle to Malaga flight FR5159 - which was due to take off at 09:30 this morning - was bit by a French air traffic control strike.

For some families, it was the second time in recent months that their flight had been cancelled due to French strikes.

Ryanair plane

Factory fire rages for 10 hours in Peterlee

Sunderland Echo


A factory has been on fire for more than 10 hours in Peterlee.

Firefighters were called to Peterlee's South West industrial estate to tackle the fire at 21:00 yesterday after a factory was engulfed in flames.

Burning factory
Sunderland Echo

Watch: Kynren, a sneak peak

Fiona Trott

BBC News

In a corner of northern England, Vikings, Roman soldiers and jousting knights have gathered for the UK's biggest open air show since the 2012 Olympics.  

Kynren: An Epic Tale of England starts on 2 July, but here's an exciting preview:

Spennymoor man killed in motorbike crash

A man from Spennymoor died in a motorbike crash last night.

The 49-year-old was riding a Suzuki with a group of other bikers from Barnard Castle to Spennymoor when the crash happened at 21:50 in Brusselton Lane, Shildon.

Police at the scene

Ashington man charged over rape

Police have charged a man in connection with a rape in Northumberland.

The charges relate to an attack in the North Seaton area which occurred in the early hours of Tuesday. 

Northumbria Police said 40-year-old Munawar Hussain, from Ashington, had been charged with two counts of rape and one of assault by penetration. 

A force spokesman said Mr Hussain was due to appear before magistrates in Bedlington today.

County Durham mother starts petition after daughter's self harm

A County Durham mother whose daughter cut her own arms, legs and face with a razor after suffering months of abuse online has started a petition to get the Ask FM website shut down.

The website allows users to post anonymous comments on other people's profile pages. 

In the last three years, two teenagers who have suffered abuse on the site have taken their own lives.

Ask FM says it has made the site safer by giving users the chance to block and report comments.

McDonald's drops fight to build drive-through near Newcastle school

McDonald's has dropped its fight to build a drive-through restaurant near a school in Newcastle.

Hundreds of people raised objections to the plans, with some fearing it would encourage unhealthy eating among children at Kenton School. 


Newcastle city councillors rejected the proposal in September, despite planning officers recommending approval. The company then appealed. 

Today the firm says the council has amended its draft planning guidance, and now it has withdrawn its appeal "as a direct consequence". 

A McDonald's spokesman said: “We are genuinely disappointed and frustrated by this development at such a late stage. We remain resolute in our belief around the positive contribution we would have made in the local community."

How the BBC reports EU referendum polling day

Here's some information about how we report on election day:

Strict rules mean the BBC, like other broadcasters, is not allowed to report details of campaigning while the polls are open.

The basic principle behind this is the need for due impartiality of political coverage, as set out in the agreement accompanying the BBC Charter.

The BBC Trust's referendum guidelines say that during those times there should be no coverage of "any of the issues relating to the referendum".  

The restrictions on coverage last from 00:30 to 22:00 today. 

Polling station

Dramatic rise in dog thefts

Dog theft reports have risen by 22% in two years in England and Wales.

More than 5,000 dogs have been reported stolen to police forces in England and Wales since the start of 2013, a BBC investigation has found.

There were 44 reports of dogs being stolen in the Cleveland police area since 2013, while Durham police reported 60 cases, and Northumbria police 87. 

You can see the data for your force area here.

a dog

Weather: Sunny and warm

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

A fine and mostly sunny day. Whilst some cloud will build through the afternoon, it should remain dry. 

With light winds, it will be feeling warm, especially in the sunshine.

Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Morning. Welcome to our live coverage. We'll be here throughout the day bringing you the latest news, sport, weather and travel from the North East.

As you probably already know, it's Referendum day. Due to reporting restrictions we won't be able cover any Leave and Remain campaigns - but come tonight, we'll bring you all the latest information.

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