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Summary

  1. Updates on Tuesday 13 December 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Thank you for joining us for today's coverage. 

You can find the latest news online, on BBC Tees, on BBC Newcastle and on Look North.

We'll be back in the morning with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00.

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Three men facing jail over death of man in Eston

Two men have been found guilty of killing a man who died from serious chest injuries.

Lee Pettite, who was 22, was found on Oakley Walk, Eston in March, having staggered a short way.

Luke Lovell, 22, of Wilton Way, has been found guilty of his murder. Gordon Blue Smith, 23, of Laburnum Road was convicted of manslaughter.

Christopher Stubbs, 21, from South Bank, had already admitted murder. The men will be sentenced on Monday.

Lee Pettite
Family photo

Man seriously injured after being struck by car

A man remains in hospital after being struck by a car on the A167 between Durham and Chester-le-Street last night.

The incident happened just after 17:00 near the Plawsworth roundabout on the northbound carriageway. 

A silver Toyota Prius collided with the man, who is thought to be local and in his 50s, and was crossing the road.

The driver of the car, a 61-year-old man from Durham, was uninjured. 

The road was closed for several hours while collision investigators examined the scene. 

Durham Crown Court

A student accused of raping an undergraduate claims their relationship was "on the verge of becoming more intimate", a court hears.

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Pay deal accepted by Nissan workforce

Car workers at Nissan have accepted a pay deal worth 2.75% in each of the next two years.

The agreement was backed 2-1 by about 7,400 employees based in Sunderland and at the Nissan Technical Centre Europe at Cranfield, Bedfordshire. 

Sunderland Nissan plant
Getty Images

The union Unite says pay for maternity leave will rise from January and next year will also see a lump sum of £750.

This is excellent news for this hardworking and dedicated workforce which has been in the vanguard of the renaissance in the UK car industry in recent years."

Tony MurphyNissan National Officer

Dramatic fall in number of births in Hartlepool's maternity unit

Lee Johnson

BBC Tees

Hartlepool's maternity unit has seen a 90% fall in the number of women giving birth there.

Figures obtained by the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act show in 2011 to 2012, 289 mothers gave birth at Hartlepool's Birthing Centre.

However, last year saw just 29 women have children at the centre.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust says it follows very strict guidance on who is eligible to use the unit and only women with no complications or medical problems give birth there. 

Bradley Lowery to lead Black Cats out for Chelsea match

Five-year-old Bradley Lowery will lead his team out on to the pitch for the second time tomorrow when Chelsea visit the Stadium of Light.

The Sunderland AFC fan, who has cancer, was the guest of honour when Everton came to the North East.

The Merseyside team gave a sizeable donation towards treatment.

Sadly, Bradley's family were told by consultants that any option of treatment can only buy them time with their son. 

Bradley Lowery with Sunderland AFC's black cat mascot
Getty Images

He's a strong little boy let me tell you. We're trying to give him everything we possibly can to make sure he has a nice Christmas."

David MoyesSunderland Manager

Bradley recently told his parents he wanted to score a goal for Sunderland and tomorrow night's opponents Chelsea have offered to make that wish come true.

During the pre-match warm up, blues keeper Asmir Begovic will go in goal and Bradley will be able to take a shot against him.

Fans are urged to get to the stadium as early as possible to show support for Bradley.

Parachutist Pamela Gower 'died due to misadventure'

Mark Denten

BBC Look North

An inquest to establish the facts behind the death of charity parachutist Pamela Gower continues.

Tony Butler from the British Parachute Association told the inquest that none of the association's rules were broken.   

The inquest heard that Gower "died through misadventure" during the parachute jump at Peterlee Parachute Centre in September.

Business Secretary promises boost to UK steel Industry

The government is promising extra help for the steel industry. 

Ministers have updated their "procurement" policy in an effort to ensure that more public sector contracts use as much U-K steel as possible. 

Business Secretary Greg Clark told the Commons that the aim was to assist British firms struggling against foreign competition.

He said: "The government have dropped the previous guideline threshold of £10m as well as extending the guidelines to include health services and local authorities. 

"The changes are expected to increase the competitiveness of UK steel when bidding for contracts against foreign competition."

Redcar steel works
Ge

New lifeboat called out 48 hours after being brought into service

Staithes' new lifeboat, the Atlantic 85 Sheila & Dennis Tongue III, completed its first rescue mission only two days after coming into service.

The crew spent more than four hours at sea looking after a 35 year-old man who had become separated from two colleagues. 

The man became lost after descending a 600ft cliff, the highest on England's east coast, on a steep scramble known as Rope Walk.

Staithes Lifeboat
BBC

After the alarm was raised to the coastguard, the Staithes lifeboat launched and located the missing man. 

Crew member Tim Hurford swam ashore from the lifeboat to see that he was safe, 20ft above the high tide mark. 

Because of the swell and the big rocks under the cliff, helmsman Mark Porritt kept the lifeboat stood off at sea until high tide had safely passed while coastguards stayed at the top of the cliff.

Pamela Gower inquest: 'It all happened so quick'

Mark Denten

BBC Look North

An inquest is currently being held to determine the facts behind the death of charity parachutist Pamela Gower.

The 49-year-old died on 10 September while skydiving from an airfield in Shotton Colliery.

Pamela, who had dwarfism, had a specially-adapted harness because of her restricted height. 

The inquest heard she had deployed her own parachute several times prior to the day she died.  

Pamela Gower
BBC

Michelle Meakins, Pamela's instructor, told the inquest that her student had undergone wind tunnel training, but said "It all happened so quick" on the day of her death. 

Peterlee Parachute Centre's Ian Rosenvinge told the inquest that Pamela didn't jump between April and August and was put through "full revision training".

Coroner Andrew Tweddle said it was apparent from the video footage of the fatal jump that Pamela "is trying to deploy her parachute but isn't able to do so".

Joey Barton: 'There are a lot of footballers out there that don’t earn millions'

BBC Radio 5 live

Former Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton believes it’s a misconception that all footballers earn excessive wages. 

He argues that it’s only a small percentage at the very top of the game and “that for every Wayne Rooney, there’s somebody playing in the Conference that’s living from week to week”.

First broadcast on It's Obscene!, 6 December 2016.

He believes it's a misconception that all footballers earn excessive wages.

Disabled seven-year-old assaulted in Sunderland

A seven-year-old girl with a disability was pushed to the ground outside a hospital, police say.

She was attacked outside the Eye Infirmary on Queen Alexandra Road in Sunderland at 10:55 on Friday.

The girl was not hurt but was left shaken.

The attacker is a man in his early 20s and was wearing a grey Nike hooded top, grey tracksuit bottoms, black trainers with a gold Nike logo and a black baseball cap.

Sunderland Eye Infirmary
Google

We simply won't tolerate attacks like this happening in our community. An innocent seven-year-old has been walking with her father when for no reason she has been pushed to the ground by someone who can only be described as a thug."

Neighbourhood Sergeant Neil HudspethNorthumberland Police

Police say they are doing all they can to find the person responsible, and would urge anybody with information to contact them.

Video: Boyfriend pops the question on screen

A woman is surprised after seeing her partner propose to her on the big screen. 

Yasar popped the question to Hannah just before they sat down to watch a movie at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle.

A woman is surprised after seeing her partner propose to her on the big screen.

Conservatives select candidate for Tees Valley mayoral election

The Conservative party have selected businessman and councillor Ben Houchen to contest the Tees Valley mayoral election in May.

Mr Houchen represents Yarm and Kirklevington on Stockton Council. 

He promises that Teesside will compete with "other leading regions".

North East's 'urban wasteland' could be used for carbon capture

Urban wasteland could be pressed into use as carbon capture gardens to help fight climate change, according to North East academies.

Some 21 sites have been examined in the North East by Newcastle University to study the impact of carbon soaking flora.

The research suggests that more than two acres of brownfield ground could take 85 tonnes of carbon out of the atmosphere in one year.

Stockton High Street named 'rising star' at awards ceremony

Stockton High Street has been named as the "rising star" in the Great British High Street Awards.

The category is a new addition to the awards, and was introduced to reward high streets that are "turning fortunes around". 

Stockton High Street
BBC

The ceremony took place in London yesterday. 

Stockton was commended for its "extraordinary transformation" from it's industrial past to a tourist destination. 

Helen Simmonds from Stockton's Business Improvement District team told BBC Tees she believes the award will see more investment in the town.

Runners up in the category were Leominster, Herefordshire and Dornoch in the Scottish Highlands.  

Police appeal following motorway collision

Police are trying to trace the driver of a HGV that was involved in a collision this morning.

Police were informed at 10:05 that a car had crashed into the back of the lorry southbound on the central motorway in Newcastle.

The HGV driver stopped but had left before officers arrived at the scene.

The driver of the car, a 53-year-old woman, has been taken to the RVI in a serious condition. 

It is not clear whether her injuries were caused by the collision or a medical episode. 

The road, near to the Byker turnoff, has been closed to allow further inquiries.

County Durham stables owner relives fire rescue

BBC Tees

www.bbc.co.uk/BBCTees

A County Durham stables owner has been telling the BBC how she led a dozen horses to safety in her bare feet as fire swept through her farm.

Kirstie Hook saved 12 horses, but one died in the fire at White House Farm in Toft Hill, near Bishop Auckland, overnight on Friday.

Investigators have so far been unable to pinpoint what caused the blaze.

Kirstie says the flames were intense as the fire reached its peak

Kole Lulgjuraj

A financial advisor who swindled several elderly people out of almost £1m and went on the run to the USA, is jailed.

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Man stabbed in Middlesbrough fight

A man was stabbed during a group fight in Middlesbrough yesterday.

Police were called to Grangetown just after 16:30.

The fight had broken up, but a 45-year-old man was taken to James Cook University Hospital with suspected stab wounds to his abdomen. 

Video: Horses saved from fire at farm

BBC Tees

www.bbc.co.uk/BBCTees

This is the scene of destruction at White House Farm near Bishop Auckland where 12 horses were saved from a fire:

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Travel: Congestion on Newcastle Quayside

BBC Travel

If you're planning to travel into work along Newcastle's Quayside this morning, be aware that roadworks have caused congestion in the area.

Elsewhere, there's slow-moving traffic in both directions on the A19 Silverlink roundabout in North Tyneside.

You can keep up to date with all the latest with BBC Travel.

Weather: Dull, damp start

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

It will be a dull, damp start for many with light winds generating some mist and patchy fog in the south of the region.

Through the morning more persistent rain will spread north affecting most by midday with rain turning back to drizzle by dusk.

Tonight, low cloud will generate some patchy drizzle at first, with a weakening band of rain moving north-eastwards affecting most places after midnight. It will become drier but stay dull by dawn. 

Check the forecast where you are here.

Weather forecast, Tuesday 13 December, 2016
BBC

Work to finally start on Sunderland's former Vaux brewery site

Colin Briggs

Look North

"A momentous day for Sunderland" is how city council leader Paul Watson is describing today's start of redevelopment work on the Vaux Brewery site.

The site, in the centre of the city, has stood idle since the brewery closed in 1999.

The development partnership Siglion will start the long-awaited first part of the £20m construction phase later this morning.

Going up will be a 60,000sq ft of office space along with shops, leisure facilities and homes

Artist's impression of how the Vaux site will look
Siglion

Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage

Well, it's Tuesday. How are things where you are this morning?

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

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