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  1. Updates on Tuesday 27 September 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

That's us done for today - thank you for joining us. 

There will be further updates through the evening on BBC Tees and BBC Newcastle, online and on Look North.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with more news, sport, weather and travel from across the North East. 

Fancy getting in touch? If so, you can contact us on TwitterFacebook, or via email at

Weather: Dry but cloudy

BBC Weather

Evening sunny spells will be followed by a dry overnight period.

There will be some clear spells, although cloud will tend to increase from the west by dawn.

It will also stay rather breezy.  

Weather graph

Check the weather where you are.

Washing machines produced in County Durham

BBC Tees

Production of the first domestic washing machines to be built in this country for a decade has started in County Durham today.

The Newton Aycliffe-based dehumidifier and water cooler company Ebac aims to eventually manufacture 200,000 machines per year.

If it does, the chairman of Ebac John Elliot believes that 120 new jobs could be created. 

Couple 'shaken' after meat cleaver armed robbery

A couple were left shaken after a man armed with a meat cleaver tied them up in their own home and stole cash and their car, police say.

The attack happened at 00:15 this morning in Durham Road in Bishop Auckland when the attacker got in through a downstairs window.  

Det Insp Paul Phillips said: “This was an extremely distressing incident for the victims who have been left shaken but thankfully uninjured.

“I am keen to hear from anyone who was in either the Durham Road or Market Place areas of Bishop Auckland in the early hours of this morning and may have seen something that could help our investigation. 

"I would also like to hear from anyone who may have information on the whereabouts of the stolen items."

 Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Son's meningitis death prompts research calls

The parents of a Newcastle teenager are calling for more research to be done into meningitis following his death.

Tyler Garwood died in April just 24 hours after falling ill at a football match.

The 14-year-old was rushed to hospital with the blood poisoning form of meningitis. He had shown no symptoms of the disease.

Now his parents are calling for more funding for research into the disease.  

Tyler Garwood death: Parents call for more meningitis research

Yobs damage Sunderland Illuminations figures just days after attraction opens

Sunderland Echo


Sculptures at Sunderland’s Illuminations show have been damaged by yobs just hours after the attraction was opened to the public.

Sunderland Echo

Karren Brady defends Sam Allardyce

BBC Newsbeat

The chief executive of West Ham, Karren Brady, said that she's "saddened and disappointed" by the recent claims made about former Hammers and Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce.

She added: "This is a man who spent his whole life trying to get that job, and got it in his 60s. What a great shame if he loses that job through non footballing reasons. I think he'll be disappointed in himself."

The Football Association is investigating allegations England manager Sam Allardyce used his role to negotiate a £400,000 deal and offer advice on how to "get around" rules on player transfers.

BreakingBurglar armed with meat cleaver ties up couple in their home

A man armed with a meat cleaver smashed his way into a home in Bishop Auckland and tied up the occupants before fleeing with cash and their car.

The attack happened at 00:15 this morning in Durham Road when the attacker got in through a downstairs window.

In the house at the time were a couple, a woman aged in her 50s and a man aged in his 60s, and their teenage children. 

The suspect tied up the couple before leaving with cash, Barbour jackets, and several pairs of shoes, plus the couple’s Audi A1. 

He drove off in the direction of Bishop Auckland Market Place but a short time later the car was found crashed near the Bertie clothing store in the town centre. 

There had been an attempted break in at the store and the front window was smashed, which officers believe may be linked to the earlier burglary.

Jennings proud of writers' honour

Durham's Keaton Jennings is proud after he is named the Cricket Writers' Club county player of the year for 2016.

Durham's Keaton Jennings is proud of being named Cricket Writers' player of the year.

Devolution deal 'could be agreed with three North East councils'

Richard Moss

Political Editor, BBC Look North

The Northern Powerhouse minister says the government is prepared to work towards a devolution deal with the three North East councils that backed the original offer of extra powers and money.

Andrew Percy says the Department for Communities and Local Government is "more than happy" to see if an agreement can be reached with Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland councils.

Those three councils voted to accept a deal that would have brought £30m extra a year to the area, but it had to be abandoned when four other councils - Gateshead. Sunderland, South Tyneside and Durham - rejected it.

The councils would also have had to agree to the election of a mayor for the area too.

Mr Percy, who took over the role from Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton, said: "We have been quite open that we are happy to work with any of the councils in the North East who want to continue to pursue a deal." 

BreakingTeesside trader pleads not guilty to selling illegal streaming boxes

A Teesside trader has appeared in court and pleaded not guilty of selling Android boxes that allow illegal streaming of copyrighted content.

Brian Thompson, 54, who runs a shop in Middlesbrough, is thought to be the first person in the country to be prosecuted for selling pre-loaded Kodi boxes.

The devices, the court heard, were adapted to show premium content such as films and Premier League football that would usually need a subscription. 

Mr Thompson pleaded not guilty to three offences and will next appear at Teesside Crown Court on 27 October.

Brian Thompson

Problems on Felling Bypass set to continue

Bad news for drivers - it looks like the problems on the Felling Bypass in Gateshead will be continuing for a while.

Gateshead Council says the failed lights are "beyond repair".

A spokesman said: "Work will therefore start at 09:30 tomorrow on installing new traffic lights at the Abbotsford Road junction. 

"This means the temporary traffic lights will have to remain for the rest of the week and, in addition, one lane eastbound will temporarily close to traffic. 

"We will be working as quickly as possible but some delays are inevitable, especially at peak periods. We therefore recommend that motorists seek alternative routes where possible or use public transport for the duration of the works."

Thieves steal wooden planks from allotment

Fencing has been stolen in Seaton Delaval, Northumberland.

It happened at Seaton Terrace Allotments  on Thursday between 09:30 and 17:00.

Thieves stole 11 wooden planks from a fence before making off.

Former SAFC forward Stephane Sessegnon joins Montpellier

Montpellier have announced the signing of former Sunderland forward Stephane Sessegnon on a two-year contract. 

Sessegnon was a free agent after leaving West Brom in May. 

The ex-Paris St Germain forward joined the Black Cats for a fee of £6m in January 2011, agreeing a three-and-a-half-year deal.  

A statement on the Ligue 1 club's official website confirmed the 32-year-old Benin international - who has also played in France for Creteil and Le Mans - would wear the number 28.

Stephane Sessegnon

Forensic services to merge

Forensic services at Durham Constabulary and Northumbria Police are set to merge.

The first phase will begin this week, and the entire process is expected to be completed by winter next year. 

The headquarters will be based at Peterlee, County Durham, but crime scene investigators will remain at stations in the Northumbria Police area to ensure that they are easily accessible. 

Weather: Drier and brighter this afternoon

BBC Weather

It'll be drier with brighter conditions developing through the afternoon with some sunny spells but westerly winds increasing.  


Check the forecast where you are here.

Thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes stolen

A large quantity of cigarettes have been stolen from a store in Eston.

Crazy Prices, on the High Street, was burgled between 17:00 on Thursday 15 September and 09:00 on Friday 16 September.

Thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes were taken, and police believe a group of youths who were seen close to the shop were responsible. 

Hartlepool council agrees to sell former hotel for redevelopment

Hartlepool Mail


Hartlepool Borough Council has agreed to accept an offer it has received to buy the freehold the authority owns for the Grade II listed Market Hotel on the corner of Lynn Street and Surtees Street.

The hotel
Hartlepool Mail

Gateshead driver jailed for causing death by dangerous driving

A driver who killed a man in a hit-and-run crash after drinking heavily has been jailed for six years.

Newcastle Crown Court heard 39-year-old Allen Hale, from Gateshead, was caught on CCTV buying six bottles of wine, which he drunk with his partner.

He then drove a car and hit 56-year-old Gavin Bolam on Victoria Road in Hebburn.

He failed to stop and went on to drive for a further 25 minutes, causing several other collisions before being stopped by the police. 

Hale was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving.  

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks on SSI costs

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn talks to the BBC about clean-up costs of the former SSI Redcar steelworks:

View more on twitter

Traffic light cause delays in Heworth

Failed traffic lights on the Abbotsford Road roundabout on Felling Bypass are causing huge delays and proving difficult to repair, the council says.

Check for more travel updates here.

Durham University leads study into the subject of rest

A team from Durham University has led what is being described as "the world's largest survey into the subject of rest".

Some 18,000 people from 134 different countries took part in a rest test, which found that more than two thirds of the public would like more of it.

Reading is classed as the most restful activity, followed by being in the natural environment and being on your own.  

  • The Rest Test is a collaboration between BBC Radio 4 and the Wellcome Collection's researchers in residence, Hubbub.
  • Hubbub is an international collective led by Durham University, comprising scientists, artists, poets, humanities researchers, mental health experts and social scientists.
Rest chart

Durham County Council call for inquiry into 1984 miners' strike

Durham County Council has called for a full public inquiry into the policing of picket lines outside the Orgreave coking plant in 1984 during the miners' strike.

During the confrontation, dozens of arrests were made but, when 95 miners - including four from Durham - were prosecuted, their trials collapsed due to concerns over the evidence against them.

Miners and police officers

Sale of Kodi 'fully-loaded' streaming boxes faces legal test

BBC News Technology

A legal case concerning the sale of video-streaming set-top boxes that can access subscription content for free begins today.

So-called "fully-loaded Kodi boxes" have gained popularity, but the legality of their sale is in question.

Middlesbrough trader Brian Thompson is accused of selling equipment that "facilitated the circumvention" of copyright protection measures.

The trial has been described as a landmark case by industry watchers.

Mr Thompson will not enter a plea today, but has told local media he intends to challenge the charges.

Kodi box remote

Travel: A69 to reopen shortly

Both carriageways on the A69 just west of Hexham remain closed - however the road should reopen in a few minutes, police say.

A crash between three vehicles and an HGV took place at 07:10 this morning on the eastbound carriageway.

Due to a fuel spillage the westbound carriageway is also closed.

One person has been taken to hospital, but none of those involved are thought to have serious or life-threatening injuries.

Who should foot Redcar steelworks' clean-up bill?

BBC Inside Out

A year on, Chris Jackson asks Lord Heseltine what's stopping the clean up at Redcar's redundant steel site, before heading to Germany to discover a wacky use for an abandoned smelter.

Watch the full show:

Whitley Bay at dawn

This beautiful picture was taken early this morning at Whitley Bay:

Whitley Bay

Autumn may be here, but the town should expect highs of 18 Celsius today.

If you want to share your pictures of the North East, go ahead and tweet us @BBCNewsNE.

Travel update: A69 'closed until mid-morning'

BBC Travel

Police say the A69 in Northumberland will probably be closed until mid-morning as emergency services clear up after a crash involving a fuel tanker and three other vehicles.

Most routes in the Hexham area are congested, and there's a diversion via the Military Road.

You can find the latest updates for this accident here.

'More people die of drug misuse than on the roads'

Drug misuse causes 10 times as many deaths as collisions on the roads in parts of England and Wales.

Analysis by BBC News has found drug misuse deaths outnumbered road fatalities in three quarters of local authority areas between 2013 and 2015.

Here in the North East, for every two road deaths in South Tyneside, 29 people died of drug misuse.

The number of people dying of drug misuse has recently reached a record high.

Public Health England (PHE) said it needed to ensure the most vulnerable drug users could access treatment.

Get the data here.

Heroin user in bathroom

Weather: A cloudy start

Alina Jenkins

BBC Weather

A dull and cloudy morning with some hill fog and outbreaks of mostly light rain.

Drier and brighter conditions developing through the afternoon with some sunny spells but westerly winds increasing.  

Check the weather where you are.

FA to probe Ex-Sunderland boss Allardyce

The Football Association is investigating allegations England manager Sam Allardyce used his role to negotiate a £400,000 deal and offer advice on how to "get around" rules on player transfers.

The Telegraph claims to have footage from August of Allardyce meeting men claiming to represent a Far East firm where he appears to say third-party ownership rules can be avoided.

The 61-year-old has yet to respond to the allegations, while the FA has asked to see the paper's filmed recordings.

It will meet on Tuesday morning when new chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn must decide whether the issue is one of poor judgement or something more serious.

Sam Allardyce
Getty Images

Severe accident: A69 Northumberland both ways

BBC Travel

A69 Northumberland both ways severe accident, between B6531 and A686.

A69 Northumberland - A69 closed and queuing traffic in both directions between the B6531 junction in Hexham and the A686 junction in Haydon Bridge, because of an accident involving a fuel tanker and three other vehicles and a fuel spillage. Diversion in operation - via Acomb Road Ends and Military Road.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Welcome to our live coverage

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Morning. Welcome to today's BBC Local Live.

We'll be here until 18:00 bringing you the latest news, sport, weather and travel from across the North East.

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