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  1. Updates on Wednesday 21 December 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Weather: Dry with clear spells. Breezy over higher ground

Mostly dry with some clear spells overnight, and although breezy over higher ground, winds will fall light at lower elevations with a touch of frost developing in sheltered parts by morning. 

Minimum Temperature: 1C (34F).

Stagecoach introduces contactless card payments on North East buses

The Chronicle

Bus passengers in the North East will be among the first in the country to use contactless payments.

Councillor Michael Mordey and Stagecoach operations director Colin Newbury
Councillor Michael Mordey and Stagecoach operations director Colin Newbury

Second car involved in Middlesbrough robbery, police say

BBC Tees

Police investigating the robbery of a security van delivering cash in Middlesbrough say they think a second car was involved.

Money was being delivered to a machine at the Trimdon Avenue shops on Monday lunchtime when a substantial amount was stolen by two men in a silver van.

Detectives are looking for a white Skoda Octavia seen in the area that morning. 

Storm Barbara warning to North East drivers

With forecasters predicting the arrival of Storm Barbara in the UK on Friday, Highways England is warning drivers to slow down in the rain.

It comes after almost 3,000 people were killed or seriously injured when driving in wet conditions last year. 

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for high winds in the North from 09:00 on Friday until 09:00 on Saturday, with heavy rain also expected.

Rain makes it harder for tyres to grip the road and harder for drivers to see ahead - significantly increasing the chances of being involved in a crash."

Stuart Lovatt
Cars in the rain
Getty Images
Calls for drivers to slow down in the bad weather
National League

Newton Aycliffe are charged by the Durham FA for failing to control players following their FA Vase defeat by Morpeth.

Read more

Woman arrested on suspicion of posting abusive comment online about Bradley Lowery

A woman from Hartlepool has been arrested on suspicion of posting an abusive comment online about Bradley Lowery. 

The five-year-old Sunderland fan has made headlines around the world after being diagnosed with terminal Neuroblastoma.

Cleveland Police has confirmed a 24-year-old woman is being held on suspicion of offences under the Malicious Communications Act and was also arrested on suspicion of abstracting electricity.

Bradley Lowery
Getty Images
Bradley Lowery

New recruit aims to secure future of HMS Trincomalee

Hartlepool Mail


The HMS Trincomalee Trust has appointed a fundraising manager to secure its future.

Helen Loynes
Hartlepool Mail
Helen Loynes

Teesside lamb braves the cold weather

Kendra Moore from Hartburn, near Stockton, spotted this lamb outside her local garden produce shop.

Apparently it was due to be born at Christmas but arrived four weeks early.

We hope the blue coat keeps it warm.

Lamb keeping warm in the cold weather
Kendra Moore
Lamb keeping warm in the cold weather

Darlington MP tweets reaction to fellow MP's resignation

Richard Moss

Political Editor, BBC Look North

Labour MP for Copeland in Cumbria Jame Reed has announced his resignation to take a job in the nuclear industry.

Here's the reaction of Darlington MP Jenny Chapman:

View more on twitter

Teesside ambulance staff abuse revealed

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

Almost 150 ambulance workers on Teesside have been assaulted and injured on duty over the last four years, it has been revealed.

The North East Ambulance Service reports that since 2014 staff have reported 529 incidents of physical and verbal assault.

Fifty workers were injured in 2014 and that rose to 56 in 2015. So far this year, 38 ambulance workers have been injured, while 60 have been verbally assaulted.

Weather: Breezy with sunny spells and the odd shower

This afternoon will be breezy with sunny spells and just perhaps the odd shower or two. 

Maximum Temperature: 7C (45F).

weather graphic

North East poet wins Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry

Gillian Allnutt has been named as this year's winner of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. 

Born in London in 1949, Ms Allnutt spent much of her childhood in Newcastle and has lived in County Durham since the 1980s. 

Chair of the the medal's judging committee, Poet Laureate Dame Carol Ann Duffy, praised her writing as having the "power to comfort and to astonish in equal measure". 

The Queen has approved the judging committee's recommendation and will present Ms Allnutt with the honour next year.

Gang members involved in major cross-country drugs ring convicted over roles in trafficking heroin destined for Teesside

The Gazette


Gang members involved in a major cross-country drugs operation have been convicted over their role in trafficking heroin destined for the streets of Teesside.  

Gang members
Gazette Live
From left: John McNaughton, Anthony Thurlow, Terrance-Duffield and Sean Hornsby, inset

Two spaniels are in the dog house after being found lapping up their owners Christmas drink.

Read more
Pine Street, Grange Villa,

A teenager is remanded in custody accused of the murder of a man found tied up in a County Durham house.

Read more

Travel: Delays on A1 caused by overturned lorry

Mark Shaw death: Teenager appears in court on murder charge

A teenager has appeared in charged with the murder of a man who was found tied up and beaten in a house in County Durham.

Mark Shaw, 29, was found in Grange Villa, near Chester-le-Street on Saturday. He had been beaten and had a single stab wound.

Kieran Adey, 18, from Queen Street, Grange Villa was remanded in custody when he appeared at Peterlee Magistrates Court this morning.

He will appear at Newcastle Crown Court on Thursday.

Police specialist search team at work.
Police have continued to search for evidence around the village.

Allotment holders distraught after birds killed in horrific attacks

Hartlepool Mail


Sick thugs kicked and stamped pigeons, chickens and a goose to death during a killing spree which left allotment holders distraught.

Severe disruption: A1(M) County Durham southbound

BBC Travel

A1(M) County Durham southbound severe disruption, between J61 for A177 and J60 for A689 affecting J62 for A690.

A1(M) County Durham - A1(M) closed and stationary traffic southbound between J61, A177 (Bowburn) and J60, A689 (Bradbury), because of an overturned lorry. Diversion in operation - via J61, following the A688, along the A177 and the A689 to re-join the A1M J60. Congestion to J62, A690 (Carrville).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Fancy spending a penny?

Actually it might cost you more than that.

The toilets in the Bigg Market in Newcastle are up for rent. 

They were shut in 2012 but now it's hoped they could become a coffee shop or restaurant.  

View more on facebook

Cash taken as Northumberland pub set ablaze

Colin Briggs

Look North

The owners of a pub in Northumberland say a robber tried to set it on fire while people were asleep upstairs.

The Old Fellow's Arms in Alnwick was broken into at about 01:30 on Sunday.

Police say an undisclosed amount of money was taken and are asking for anyone with information to contact them.

A new scheme shows men learn how their abusive acts affect their partners
A project on Wearside involving charities and housing officials shows men how their abuse impacts on their partners and families.

Lorry 'deliberately driven into Darlington house'

BBC Tees

A HGV was deliberately driven into a house in Darlington, Durham Police says.

It happened in Yarm Road on Monday and the driver of the lorry then drove off in a Green Rover 75.

Although no one was injured, the wall to the property was damaged.

It comes just over a year since two similar incidents in the area.

Weather: Bright and breezy with showers to follow

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

After a bright and breezy start, a band of showers will spread east across the region in the morning - possibly heavy and thundery in places.

This afternoon will be breezy with sunny spells and just the odd shower.

It's expected to be mostly dry with some clear spells overnight. However, it'll be breezy across the hills with the odd wintry shower likely. A touch of frost will develop in sheltered parts by morning.  

Check the forecast where you are here.

Weather forecast, Wednesday 21 December, 2016

Mark Shaw murder: Accused Kieran Adey due in court

Colin Briggs

Look North

An 18-year-old man will appear in court today charged the murder of Mark Shaw, whose badly beaten body was found tied up in a house in Grange Villa near Chester-le-Street at the weekend.

Mr Shaw, 29 and known as "Sharkey" (pictured below), was beaten and had a single stab wound.  

Kieran Adey is expected before Peterlee magistrates this morning.

Mark Shaw
Durham Police

Medomsley abuse probe: 1,400 people have now come forward

Almost 1,400 people have now come forward to say they were abused at Medomsley detention centre in County Durham.

Operation Seabrook is the Durham Police investigation into abuse allegations at the facility.

It was triggered after former prison officer Neville Husband was jailed for eight years in 2003 for abusing five youths.

It's been running for two-and-a-half years now and is the biggest of its kind. Officers have spoken to around 20 suspects.

Medomsley Detention Centre

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