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  1. Priest spared jail over £50,000 fraud
  2. Man jailed after forging mother's will
  3. Rise in A&Es turning away ambulances
  4. Firms face court over levy boycott
  5. Friday 7 April 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Steven Fletcher

Brendon Mitchell

BBC Sport

Sheffield Wednesday beat fellow Championship promotion hopefuls Newcastle, who lose striker Dwight Gayle through injury.

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Our live coverage across the day

That's it for today and, indeed, this week.

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

If you have a photograph you'd like to share with us, you can tweet us  @BBCNewsNEemail , or contact us via our  Facebook page .

We'll be back on Monday from 08:00 and hope you can join us.

Photos: Sunrise over Coquet Island

Hopefully this picture is a taste of things to come and we have a sunny weekend to look forward to.

Press Association photographer Owen Humphreys took this beautiful photo of the sun rising over Coquet Island off the Northumberland coast.

sunrise over Coquet Island

Middlesbrough without Friend and Chambers

BBC Sport

George Friend and Calum Chambers will miss Middlesbrough's game against Burnley on Saturday.

And temporary boss Steve Agnew says Gaston Ramirez is a doubt although he took part in a light training session earlier.

“It’s difficult when good players, and players who have done well this season are missing through injury, but this is football," he added.

Steve Agnew
Getty Images

Man jailed for trying to forge mother's will

A son spelt his brother's name wrong when he forged their mother's will to try and swindle money .

Stewart Caygill, 53, had been taking money from his mother Theresa then made himself the beneficiary of her estate, Teesside Crown Court heard.

But the scam was exposed after his brother Philip, 55, noticed his name had been spelt with an extra "l".

Caygill, of Horden, County Durham, was found guilty of forgery and jailed for four years.

Stewart Caygill
Durham Police

Cancer drug developed by Newcastle University helps Whitley Bay woman

A woman from Whitley Bay says she is feeling her best since before her cancer diagnosis in 2007 after taking part in a clinical trial. 

Susan Ross, 59, had undergone four operations and three rounds of chemotherapy before being enrolled for the new drug called Rubraca. 

Susan, who will continue using the drug as part of her treatment, said: "I hope patients in the UK will also have this opportunity in the future."

The drug, developed by scientists at Newcastle University, is designed for women with recurrent ovarian cancer and has just been approved for use in America.

It is hoped that the drug will be approved in the UK and Europe in next year. 

Susan Ross in NUFC changing room
Susan Ross
Father John Reid

Father John Reid's fraud was an "aberration" which persisted over 40 months, the court heard.

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'We're not relegated yet..."

BBC Sport

Hats off to David Moyes who said, after he took over from Sam Allardyce is the summer, that the Black Cats would be facing a relegation struggle this season.

He was right.

Here's the Scot again: "It's a massive ask for us now, but we're not relegated yet and we have a chance.

"We'll push as hard as we can and sometimes one game can make a difference. Hopefully that game can be this weekend.

"We've relied on [striker] Jermain Defoe a lot and I hope he has another half dozen before the end of the season, but others have to score as well."

David Moyes

Northern Rail strike to affect Saturday services

Northern Rail workers are taking further strike action on Saturday with two thirds of services not running.  

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Operation targets gang of 50 'terrorising' Hartlepool marina

Hartlepool Mail


A police operation has been launched to tackle a gang of up to 50 yobs causing a nuisance around Hartlepool Marina.

A dispersal order has been imposed covering The Lanyard, Victoria Terrace and Maritime Avenue and will remain in place for 48 hours.

Hartlepool Marina
Hartlepool Mail

Tees Valley Mayor - the economics

Transport, culture, tourism, skills, innovation, identity. These are all important issues in the Tees Valley mayoral election on 4 May. 

But ultimately this new role is about the economy – bringing more high-quality, better-paid jobs to the region.

For his final look at the mayoral election, David Macmillan has chosen something which is integral to the region’s economy. And it has more uses than you might think.

Tees Valley Mayor - the economics

Three North East hospital trusts among highest for ambulance diversions

Three North East hospitals trusts were among five who accounted for nearly half of the 500 times overcrowded hospitals were forced to close their doors to ambulances over the winter.

Figures from the Nuffield Trust think tank showed the figures were nearly double the level of the previous three winters.

Among the five trusts accounting for almost half the diverts were Northumbria, County Durham & Darlington and South Tyneside.

In a joint statement, the three said they work closely with the ambulance service and that during extremely busy times they sometimes divert an ambulance to another local hospital but any decisions taken were "always in the interests of patient safety".

This animation explains how the NHS system works.

Celebrations mark 175 since Victoria Tunnel opened

It's 175 years since Newcastle's Victoria Tunnel opened and to mark the occasion the Ouseburn Trust is holding a day of celebrations .

It was built for coal transportation and runs under the city centre from the Town Moor to the River Tyne.

The tunnel was converted into an air raid shelter during World War Two and is now used for guided tours. 

Black and white image of Victoria Tunnel in Newcastle
City Library

Priest who pocketed church donations to be sentenced

A Roman Catholic priest is due to be sentenced for fraudulently diverting more than £50,000 donated to his church by parishioners. 

Father John Reid, 69, admitted abusing his position after he took the money meant for charitable purposes and the upkeep of St Cuthbert's Church, Chester-le-Street (pictured). 

St Cuthbert's Church, Chester-le-Street

From June 2009 to October 2013, he instead spent some of the money on foreign travel and restaurants. He was also accused of failing to keep proper receipts and accounts. 

At a previous hearing Reid, who now lives in Stockton-on-Tees, pleaded not guilty to two charges of fraud by abuse of position. But last month at Durham Crown Court he changed his plea and admitted one of the charges. 

After the investigation was launched by Durham Police in 2014, Reid withdrew from public ministry, which also included leading St Bede's Church in Sacriston. 

He will be sentenced at Durham Crown Court.

Sunderland and Moyes get more time over 'slap' warning

Sunderland and David Moyes have been given more time to provide observations to the Football Association regarding the manager's threat to "slap" a female reporter. 

The Scot's behaviour has come under scrutiny after video emerged of an exchange with BBC journalist Vicki Sparks following the 0-0 draw with Burnley on 18 March. 

David Moyes

He has apologised, and  Sunderland issued a statement stating their commitment to Moyes  but agreed that his suggestion he might slap the reporter was "wholly unacceptable". 

The FA contacted the club on Monday seeking observations about the matter and had wanted a response by the close of business on Thursday. 

However, the governing body has granted Sunderland's request to extend the deadline and they now have until 10 April to respond - the day after the embattled Black Cats host Manchester United.

Extra trains for FA Vase fans

South Shields face Cleethorpes in the FA Vase final on Sunday 21 May.

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Woman robbed in street

Police are appealing for information after a woman was robbed in the street in Gateshead. 

The 33-year-old was walking on Old Durham Road near the ambulance station when she was confronted by a male on a bicycle just before midnight on Monday.

The man, who was wearing all-white clothing, grabbed her bag and fled. The woman was not injured.

Officers want to trace an elderly male who was in the area. They say could provide useful information.

Breaking Redcar 'rape victim' arrested on suspicion of wasting police time

A woman in her early 30s who reported being raped in front of her toddler on Redcar seafront has been arrested on suspicion of wasting police time.

The incident was alleged to have taken place on Friday 3 March and it was claimed two men had bundled her into a car and attacked her. One man was arrested before being released without charge.

Cleveland Police have now said they are no longer investigating the rape allegation.

Police car on Redcar seafront

Ex-Newcastle striker Andrew Cole has kidney transplant

BBC Sport

Former Newcastle and Manchester United striker Andrew Cole has had a kidney transplant operation at Manchester Royal Infirmary, the Red Devils website has announced .

It was as part of his treatment for a condition called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.

The statement adds: "During his recuperation, Andrew will be taking a break from his role as Manchester United ambassador.

"Andrew and his family would like to thank the club and fans for their support. They also request that he can continue with his treatment in private, and ask that their privacy is respected."

Andrew Cole
Getty Images

The 45-year-old won five Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a Champions League title with the Old Trafford club during a six-year period.   

Teesport protest has now finished

Your photos: Bloomin' lovely day

Shane Dew sent us this lovely photo of spring blossom in Darlington. 

Have you got any photos you'd like to share with us? In that case you can tweet them to  @BBCNewsNEemail them,  or contact us via our  Facebook page

Shane Dew

Peaceful protest causing delays around Teesport

Cleveland Police say there are about 60 or 70 protestors around Teesport this morning and they are advising people to avoid the area.

They say the protest on Tees Dock Road is peaceful and are trying to minimise disruption but they say delays are expected to continue.

They say the 1053 is blocked and there is congestion at Greystones Roundabout and tailbacks on the A66.

Dry with some warm sunny spells

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

After a slightly chilly start in some places we should see a largely dry day.

It will be cloudy across western and some northern areas towards higher ground. 


But it will remain generally sunny and feel rather warm in sunnier eastern parts by the afternoon.

Daytime temperatures should get to about 14C (57F) and possibly a little higher.

Later, it will stay dry, with some places having long clear spells. 

Cloud is most likely to persist across some western and northern hills, with overnight temperatures dipping to 3C (37F). 

Rise in A&Es turning away ambulances

Colin Briggs

Look North

Three hospital trusts in the North East were among five which accounted for almost half of those that had to close their doors to ambulances because of overcrowding.

Ambulances are diverted when there are not enough beds available for the patients. 

It happened almost 500 times over the winter in England .


But the Nuffield Trust think tank named Northumbria Healthcare, which runs the emergency hospital in Cramlington, County Durham and Darlington trust, and South Tyneside as three of the five worst affected. 

The charity said delays caused by the closures were stopping ambulance crews from responding quickly to other urgent calls.

In a joint statement all three trusts said they work closely with the ambulance service and that during extremely busy times they sometimes divert an ambulance to another local hospital.

They said any decisions taken were "always in the interests of patient safety".

Teesport protest holding up traffic

Welcome to our live coverage for Friday

Morning. Welcome to BBC Local Live. We'll be with you throughout the day to bring you the latest news, weather, sport and travel updates.

Have you got any photos you'd like to share with us? In that case you can tweet them to  @BBCNewsNEemail them,  or contact us via our  Facebook page .