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  1. Updates on Tuesday 21 March 2017
  2. North East MP speaks up about ticket touts
  3. Firefighters tackle blaze in Bishop Auckland

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day: BBC North East England

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

That's all from us for today - thank you for joining us.

You can still catch up with the latest news throughout the night on  BBC TeesBBC NewcastleLook North  and online.

If you'd like to get in touch or share your North East pictures with us, you can do so on  TwitterFacebook , or via  email at  .

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00, have a good evening.

Man achieves dream by joining police

A Newcastle man has finally fulfilled his dream of becoming a police officer - seven years after he joined Northumbria Police as a police cadet. 

Kevin Thompson was one of the force's first ever cadets when the scheme was launched in 2010. He then became a special constable when he turned 18 clocking up 1,200 volunteer hours.

Now the 21-year-old has joined Northumbria Police as a constable.

kevin Thompson
Northumbria Police

Mr Thompson, who previously worked in the force's communications centre as a call handler, said: "It's all I've ever wanted to do since I was a child."

Why do people like epic drama Game of Thrones?

Academics have launched a study to try and understand why people like Game of Thrones , the fantasy TV show full of sex, fights and politics based on George RR Martin's series of books.

The team, which includes University of Sunderland Professor Clarissa Smith, has devised a questionnaire for fans of the series to complete. 

John Snow
Helen Sloan/HBO via AP

They want to analyse the responses to understand what it is about this show that people love, and cannot let go, despite key characters being killed off each season, or what has even annoyed and upset them about the programme. 

Prof Smith said: “We’ve sensed that Game of Thrones is significant, and important, a ‘game-changer’, but we’re not yet sure why."

Northern Education Trust

The Northern Education Trust says the Ofsted report does not take into account recent changes.

Read more

More than 800 fined for flytipping and being litterbugs in a year

More than 800 people have been issued with fines for environmental crime in a year, a council has said.

Durham County Council said its wardens have doled out 803 Fixed Penalty notices (FPN) since 1 April 2016.

And of those who received fines for offences such as flytipping, littering and failing to clean up after a pet, 43 failed to pay and were taken to court by the council.  

Durham County Council

FPN fines range from £80 to £400 although there is a discount if they are paid speedily but much higher penalties if the case goes to court .

Neighbourhood wardens have also investigated 770 reports of dog fouling, 1,452 reports of stray dogs and 480 reports of abandoned, tethered horses. 

Fire volunteer clocks up the hours

A volunteer for the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has been awarded for clocking up hundreds of hours of service. 

View more on twitter

Newcastle's Murphy pulls out of Ireland squad

BBC Sport

Newcastle United striker Daryl Murphy has pulled out of the Ireland squad after suffering a calf problem .


Murphy had been part of the squad set to face Wales in Dublin in a World Cup qualifier on Friday.

He has returned to his club for further treatment.

Award-winning foster carers' appeal for volunteers to make a difference

A County Durham couple have been praised for their work as foster carers.

Ingrida Pigagiene and Vilius Pigaga, who currently foster four children alongside their own three children, have received a special achievement award from Durham County Council's fostering service.

They were nominated by a family who adopted a child they had fostered who praised the way they had looked after the youngster.

Florence Coulter, Durham County Council’s fostering team manager, said: “These are ordinary people who choose to make a real difference to the lives of the children and young people that they care for – they really bring to life our motto of making ordinary moments extraordinary – and for this we are truly grateful.”

 There is currently a shortage of foster carers in County Durham and  the service is actively recruiting

Sunderland record Defoe's day

Sunderland have released a video of Jermain Defoe's day.

View more on twitter

Weather: Cold night ahead

BBC Weather

A cold night is in prospect with clear spells to start. 

Cloud will then thicken to bring rain and snow, the latter mainly over hills with accumulations expected.

Click here for more weather .  

Weather bars

Police chiefs break ground on new HQ

Cleveland Police's chief constable Iain Spittal and Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger have been talking about the Community Safety Hub, their new headquarters, at the official ground-breaking event.

View more on twitter

Sentencing of man for veil ripping adjourned

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

The sentencing of a man who pulled a niqab off a woman in a shopping centre and yelled "you are in our country now, you stupid Muslim" has been adjourned.

Peter Scotter, 55, of Beach Street, Roker, Sunderland, was due to appear at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting racially aggravated assault by beating and racially aggravated harassment. 

But earlier the case was adjourned in his absence until 2 May. 

The hearing heard that Scotter had recently undergone cancer treatment.

Peter Scotter

When he targeted his victim, Scotter was also heard to say: "Our Britain, you live by our rules," before hurling more racist abuse during the attack in Sunderland's Bridges shopping centre.

Judge Stephen Earl adjourned a previous hearing to allow specialists to assess his condition after Scotter was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour under his tongue.

Sunderland Magistrates' Court was told previously how Scotter left his victim terrified when he attacked her in July, with the force he used almost throwing her to the ground.

Metro delay warning near Stadium of Light

Gossip: Moyes wanted 'Britishness'

BBC Sport

Sunderland boss David Moyes says he started Jack Rodwell, 26, over Didier Ndong, 22, in midfield against Burnley on Saturday because he "felt the game suited more Britishness".  (Sunderland Echo)

Click here for more football gossip .

Man wanted after woman's purse taken and bank cards used

BBC Newcastle

Police have released an image of a man they want to speak to after a purse was stolen from a woman whose bank cards were then used to make purchases. 

Northumbria Police said the woman was targeted in the Byker area of Newcastle on 17 Feburary.

A spokesman for the force said the man pictured on CCTV  "was in the area at the time and may be able to help officers with their inquiries". 

Northumbria Police

Road shut while work is under way

Woman, 79, has handbag stolen

A 79-year-old woman had her handbag stolen while she walking in Guisborough on Sunday.

Cleveland Police said the woman was approached from behind after entering an alley off Venables Road leading to Lime Road and Park Lane at about 19:10.The woman was not hurt.

The suspect is described as a man wearing a black, puffa-style jacket and bottoms. 

Adam Bartlett

Goalkeeper Adam Bartlett leaves Hartlepool United by mutual consent to take up a full-time coach role at Middlesbrough.

Read more

Police need help to trace this missing, vulnerable man

If you've seen him get in touch with police

Murder police continue to interview man

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

Police investigating the murder of a man in Whitley Bay are continuing to question one man.

Matthew Davis, who was 39 and from North Parade, was found dead in his home on Friday evening, Northumbria Police said. 

His family said: "Matty was a lovely lad with a heart of gold. He was no bother to anyone and very close to his family and friends. 

"We cannot understand how anyone could do this to such a lovely person. Our family are deeply upset and we would be grateful for anyone to come forward with any information which may assist the police."

Matthew Davis
Northumbria Police

Five men were initially arrested on suspicion of his murder and following inquiries, two of them were released from custody with no further police action.

A woman was also arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. 

Two men and the woman have all been released on police bail pending further inquiries. 

One man aged 25, who had been arrested on suspicion of murder, remains in custody helping police with their inquiries. 

Severe accident: A69 Northumberland eastbound

BBC News Travel

A69 Northumberland eastbound severe accident, between B6322 Tyne View Road and B6322.

A69 Northumberland - A69 in Haltwhistle closed eastbound between the B6322 Tyne View Road junction and the B6322 junction, because of an accident involving one vehicle and recovery work.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Thieves tackle 6ft high fence to steal garden furniture

Thieves managed to steal garden furniture by hauling it over a 6ft (1.8m) high fence, police have said.

They targeted a garden on Fourstones Street in West Denton, Newcastle, sometime around 14 March and managed to get away with a wicker bench and chair, as well as a glass table, without being spotted. 

Police badge
Northumbria Police

Photographing football's female fans

Despite the often male associations of football, over the course of the 2014-15 Premier League season  25% of fans attending matches were female.

This Fan Girl is a website dedicated to documenting the women who attend football matches around the UK. Sitting together in the pub during last summer's European Championships, founders Amy Drucquer and Laura Blake decided to fight against what they saw as the narrow depiction of female fans in the media.

Click here to see more of their pictures on the BBC website .

Female Sunderland fan
This Fan Girl
Female fans
This Fan Girl
Bradley Lowery gives a thumbs-up on the Stadium of Light pitch

The box was raising funds for five-year-old Bradley Lowery who has terminal cancer.

Read more

Blast victim 'sat next to bomber' in Brussels terror attacks

Hartlepool Mail


An IT consultant from Hartlepool is believed to have been sitting next to a terrorist when he detonated a bomb on a train in Belgium killing 16 people, an inquest has heard.

David Dixon
Hartlepool Mail

Watch: Defoe teased over football boots flag

BBC Sport

England and Sunderland striker  Jermain Defoe  says he has been teased by team-mates about still wearing an England flag on his boots after not being selected for more than three years.  

Germany v England: Teammates tease Defoe 'why have you still got England flag on boots?'

Man sought in witness intimidation case

BBC Tees

Police are appealing for the public's help to identify a man they want to speak to in an investigation into an allegation of witness intimidation.

Cleveland Police said the offence occurred at about 17:30 on 26 February on Bright Street in Middlesbrough.

Officers said the man pictured "may be able to assist with the the investigation".

The man
Cleveland Police

North East MP to speak up against ticket touting

Colin Briggs

Look North

A North East MP is calling out ticket touts who sell tickets online at inflated prices, often using software to bulk buy and queue jump.

MP for Washington and Sunderland West Sharon Hodgson is the co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse.

She got involved after her daughter couldn't get Take That tickets.

Today evidence will be heard today from Ed Sheeran's manager about "ticket abuse" at a Culture, Media and Sport Committee meeting.

Take That

Weather: Feeling colder than recent days

BBC Weather

After a chilly start with a risk of ice on untreated surfaces, there will be sunshine and scattered showers, locally wintry, especially over hills.

Feeling colder than recent days in the strong and occasionally gusty wind. 

Weather forecast

Maximum temperature: 7C (45F). Check the forecast near you .

Toddler assaulted on board train

A toddler has been assaulted on a train from Edinburgh Waverley to Peterborough.

British Transport Police have issued a CCTV picture of a man they wish to speak to in connection with the incident on 12 February.

It happened on board the 16:00 Virgin East Coast service.

CCTV of a man
British Transport Police

The white man is 5ft 10in, in his late 30s and of a large build. He has short black spiked hair and was wearing glasses and white polo shirt.

He was also wearing a dark coloured jacket, a thick metal chain around his neck, dark grey jeans and white trainers.

He has a tattoo on his right arm and has a north-east English accent.

Anyone who recognises him is being urged to contact the police.

Crews tackle blaze in Bishop Auckland

BBC Tees

Fire crews have been tackling a large blaze in Bishop Auckland.

The fire on Tindale Crescent on the Romanway Industrial estate started in the early hours, and it took seven fire engines and specialist equipment to bring it under control.

All roads have now been reopened but investigations are continuing.

Fire in Bishop Auckland
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue

Welcome to our live coverage

Morning, hope you're well.

It's a bit nippy out there this morning - BBC Look North's Colin Briggs says he had to scrape frozen rain off his windscreen this morning.

We'll still, however, bring you all the latest updates as well as all the other news through until 18:00.

If you have any snow pictures or you'd like to get in touch about anything else you can using  TwitterFacebook , or via  email at .