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  1. Updates on Wednesday 6 July 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage throughout the day

    That's all of today's live updates - Thank you very much for joining us.

    We'll back bright and early tomorrow at 08:00 with more news, weather, travel and sport stories.

    You can get in touch with us at anytime on TwitterFacebook, or via email at

  2. Jury retires in Sunderland murder trial

    A jury in the trial of three men accused of a brutal back lane murder has retired to consider its verdict. 

    Charles Lamont, his son Dalton Barnett and former Nissan worker Patrick Duggan are accused of killing of David Walsh, 45, known as Boff, who died from blood loss after a stabbing attack in Sunderland last November. 

    All three deny murder and are being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

    Raymond Brown, 37, who was seen to plunge a knife into Mr Walsh "26 to 27 times" has pleaded guilty to murder and violent disorder, and is awaiting sentence. 

    Canon Cockin Street, where David Walsh was found
  3. Gateshead find out opponents after fixtures released

    BBC Sport

    The fixtures for the National League have been released today.

    Gateshead's first match will be against Chester on 6 August.

    And the league is making the festive period a double-header, so they'll play Barrow on Boxing Day (away) and New Year's Day (home). 

    You can read Gateshead's full fixtures here.

  4. Weather: A bright evening

    BBC Weather

    A bright evening then a dry start to the night. Some light patchy rain or drizzle in the early hours of Thursday, but perhaps becoming dry again from the north towards the end of the night. Feeling mild.  

    Weather graph
  5. Video: Blue light fake ambulance driver fined

    A man who fitted his car with blue lights and a siren to make it look like an ambulance has been fined.

    Shaun Scandle was spotted by staff at the Tyne Tunnel as he drove through rush-hour traffic.

    The 31-year-old, of Priestpopple, Hexham, pleaded guilty at North Shields Magistrates' Court, to driving carelessly on 9 September.  

    Video content

    Video caption: Shaun Scandle fined over fake ambulance
  6. Belle Vue Nursing Home in Middlesbrough in special measures over 'neglect'

    A Middlesbrough care home has been placed in special measures over concerns its residents had suffered from neglect.

    Belle Vue Nursing Home was judged to be "inadequate" by the health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after an unannounced inspection in May.

    It was ordered to improve but, after further complaints, was visited again in June and found to be "inadequate".

    If it does not improve steps will be taken to close it down, the CQC said.

    Belle Vue Nursing Home
  7. Video: Chilcot brings 'no closure' for mother

    The mother of one of the youngest service personnel to die in Iraq has said that the publication of the Chilcot report has given her "no closure".

    Pte Michael Tench was just 18 when he was killed by a roadside bomb near Basra in 2007. 

    Janice Proctor watched the coverage of the report's publication on television at her home in Washington.  

    Video content

    Video caption: Chilcot brings 'no justice' for young dead soldier
  8. Thirteen-year-old girl assaulted in Guisborough

    A 13-year-old girl has been assaulted on the footpath which runs along the beck at Stumps Cross in Guisborough on Teesside.

    The incident occurred at about 15:40 yesterday when the girl was approached by four boys aged between 13 and 14.

    The males pushed the girl on the grass, and one of them who was wearing a plastic glove wiped dog faeces on her.

    The boys were all wearing green jumpers and ran away from the scene.

  9. Meet Durham Constabulary’s new recruit… Mittens the cat

    Durham Police have adopted a furry friend as their new mascot.

    It all happened after five-year-old Eliza Adamson-Hopper wrote to Chief Constable Mike Barton asking why the force only used dogs and that it should consider having cats too.

    Mr Barton replied and told her the force was looking to recruit its first cat: And it looked no further than Eliza’s own cat, Mittens.

    The Force enlisted the help of a professional artist who transformed Mittens into a cartoon.

    Now Mittens will be proudly adopted by Durham Constabulary’s Mini Police, a pioneering volunteer programme for 9-11-year-olds.

  10. Mother of soldier killed in Iraq believes Chilcot Report backs her call for Blair to face prosecution

    The Shields Gazette

    The mother of a military policeman killed in Iraq says the Chilcot Report backs what she and other families believed all along.

    Pat Long, who lost her 24-year-old son Paul in 2003, has said the inquiry into the war proves Tony Blair “lied” about the details which led to the conflict and claimed the lives of 179 British servicemen and women.

    Pat Long
  11. Man threatens Post Office staff with kitchen knife

    A man entered the Post Office in Saltwell Road, Gateshead, and threatened a staff member with a large kitchen knife.

    He demanded cash before making off with a mobile phone belonging to a worker at about 16:30 on Monday. 

    No one was injured but staff members were left shocked.   

    The offender is being white, about 6ft and of slim build.

    The post office
  12. Mother of soldier killed in Iraq reacts to Chilcot Report

    BBC Look North

    North East and Cumbria

    The mother of Pte Michael Tench, who died in Iraq in 2003, has spoken to Look North following the Chilcot Inquiry.

    Janice Procter said she felt "sick" watching John Chilcot's speech, as she was hoping to find the "honest truth" about what happened to her son.

    She agrees that Tony Blair, who she calls "the monster of Iraq", had to make certain decisions, but ultimately believes that going to war was not needed.

    Mrs Procter added: "He did not back up what should have been backed up, he's had our children murdered, so my law should be the same as his law, and it should be a punishment, and not heavily criticised."

    Janice Procter
  13. Tyne Tunnel blue light fake ambulance driver fined

    A man who fitted his car with blue lights and a siren to make it look like an ambulance before driving erratically on the roads has been fined.

    Shaun Scandle was spotted by staff at the Tyne Tunnel as he drove through rush hour traffic.

    The fake ambulance

    The 31-year-old, of Priestpopple, Hexham, pleaded guilty at North Shields Magistrates' Court, to driving carelessly on 9 September.

    He was fined £1,000 and given nine points on his licence.

  14. Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Newcastle offered new trophy route

    BBC Sport

    Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United have the chance to win another trophy next season after their academy sides were confirmed to enter the 2016-17 EFL Trophy.

    Clubs from both League One and League Two will play alongside the Category One academies, starting with a group format before a Wembley final in April.

    The 16 groups of four teams will each comprise an academy side with the top two from each qualifying for the first knockout round of 32 teams.

    The group stage draw will be announced by the EFL in due course.

    Known last season as the Football League Trophy and sponsored by Johnstone's Paint, the competition has been rebranded for this season along with the Football League as a whole.  

    Barnsley beat Oxford United at Wembley in the Football League Trophy final last season

    Barnsley beat Oxford United at Wembley in the Football League Trophy final last season  

  15. Four osprey chicks in 100-1 odds Kielder nest share

    Four osprey chicks are thriving against the odds after hatching in a single nest.

    Conservationists said the chances of the chicks surviving were 100 to one.

    The multiple hatching, at Kielder Water and Forest Park in Northumberland, was one of only three in public UK osprey sites this year.

    The bird of prey has been reintroduced to parts of England after an absence of more than 200 years, the Forestry Commission said.

    The birds
  16. Universities take a knock post-Brexit

    Chris Cook

    Newsnight Policy Editor

    European academic bodies are pulling back from research collaboration with UK academics, amid post-Brexit uncertainty about the future of UK higher education.

    While post-Brexit Britain might remain inside the European research funding system, academics in other countries are nervous about collaborating with UK institutions.

    UK-based academics are being asked to withdraw their applications for future funding by European partners.

    BBC Newsnight is aware of concerns raised by academics at Durham University.

    The vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam, Chris Husbands, says research bids have been hit:

    Video content

    Video caption: University research bids 'hit by Brexit'
  17. Liam Fee: NSPCC release statement

    After a mother and her civil partner were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of two-year-old Liam Fee earlier today, the NSPCC have issued a statement.

    They have announced that a Significant Case Review into the case has begun, in order to prevent other children from suffering as Liam did before his murder.

    Matt Forde, Head of Service for NSPCC Scotland said: “Those responsible for Liam’s brutal murder have quite rightly received long jail terms. It is incomprehensible how two people who were meant to look after the children in their care could subject them to such appalling abuse."

    Liam Fee
  18. Prison officers staged walkouts over past five months

    Some other news today away from the Chilcot Report - Prison officers have withdrawn labour or staged unofficial walkouts at five prisons in England over the past five months, the BBC has learned.

    The Prison Officers Association, whose members are banned from going on strike, said the action was the result of staff concerns over their safety.

    Last year there were nearly 5,000 assaults on prison staff - the highest number for at least a decade.

    In May, 40 prison officers at Holme House jail, in Stockton on Teesside, withdrew in protest about changes to the regime. 

    Police Officer