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  1. Wednesday 12 April 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

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.

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

Weather: Any showers will die away

BBC Weather

Through the evening any showers will die away leaving some prolonged cloud breaks allowing it to get cold enough for a touch of frost in sheltered rural areas by dawn.

Weather graph

Check the weather where you are.

Travel: Trains now running between South Gosforth and Airport but delayed

Stephen Cook: South Africa opener to live out County dream at Durham
In joining Durham for part of the 2017 season, South Africa Test opener Stephen Cook is fulfilling a personal ambition.

Travel: No trains between South Gosforth and Newcastle Airport

Catholic priest guilty of child sex abuse

A former priest has been found guilty of sexually abusing a pupil at a Catholic boarding school in the 1970s.

Father Michael Higginbottom, 74, of West Farm Road, Newcastle, denied subjecting a teenage boy to repeated sexual abuse while he was a teacher at St Joseph's College in Lancashire.

Higginbottom was convicted of four counts of a serious sexual offence and four counts of indecent assault at Liverpool Crown Court.

He will be sentenced on Thursday.

Father Michael Higginbottom

Watch: Funeral for Newcastle United's legendary tea lday

The funeral of Newcastle United's "legendary" tea lady has taken place in Wallsend. 

Kath Cassidy served at the club for more than 50 years and retired in 2015. 

She worked on match days and saw 26 managers come through the doors at St James' Park. 

Among the mourners were former Newcastle United captain Bob Moncur, ex-keeper Steve Harper and chief executive Lee Charnley.  

Newcastle United's 'legendary' tea lady laid to rest

Have you seen this man?

A 35-year-old man from South Shields has gone missing.

Robert Hood, from Mortimer Road, was last seen at 08:20 on Monday by his partner at their home.

Robert sent a text to a family member at 14:10 yesterday and hasn't been heard from since, Northumbria Police said.

Robert Hood

Charity boost for disabled riders at Washington Riding Centre

Sunderland Echo


A Wearside riding centre has been given a leg-up to help disabled people.

Washington Riding Centre manager, Jane Cherry, TT2's Stuart Sutton and Sophie Clarke.

Weardale crash victim named

A motorcyclist who died in a collision with another motorbike in Weardale at the weekend has been named.

Frazer Golden, 30, died in the crash on the A689 at St John's Chapel on Sunday afternoon.

He was a former air cadet who had worked at Nissan since the age of 18.

His family say that he will leave "a massive void in everyone's life" and that he was "Golden by name, and golden by nature".

Frazer Golden

County Durham entrepreneur and animal campaigner turns 100

A County Durham hairdresser and lifelong animal welfare campaigner and fundraiser has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Peggy Hardy opened her own hairdressing business in the 1930s and employed her mother, saving the family after her father had to quit work aged 26 due to illness.

She also overcame a serious childhood illness and then beat cancer twice later in life.  

Her birthday was celebrated at Rowlandson House Residential Home in Sunderland with family and friends earlier this week, where she was handed a telegram from the Queen.

Peggy Hardy and her son Nick

Power cut hits hundreds in Whitley Bay and Tynemouth

About 560 properties were hit by a power cut in Whitley Bay and Tynemouth shortly after 14:00.

Northern Powergrid says it has restored electricity to some of those affected and hopes to have everyone back online by approximately 15:45.

You can keep up to date with the latest news on the firm's website.

View more on twitter

Air ambulance targeted with laser beam

The dangers of laser strikes have been raised by the chief pilot of the Great North Air Ambulance after his aircraft was targeted.

Captain Jay Steward was flying from Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital to the charity's base at Durham Tees Valley Airport on Sunday when a green laser beam was shone into the helicopter's cabin.

The aircraft was at about 700ft and preparing to land when the crew spotted the laser. 

Captain Steward warned of the dangers, saying lasers could cause temporary sight loss and lead to a pilot losing control of an aircraft.

It is believed the beam originated from near the roundabout by Tesco in Eaglescliffe.

The aircraft after it landed

Man and ferret duo continue Hadrian's Wall trek

A man who is walking the length of Hadrian's Wall with his pet ferret is only eight miles away from Carlisle.

Charlie Hammerton and his pet Bandit set off on the challenge to raise funds to help fight motor neurone disease, which killed Charlie's mother.

The pair started their journey from Tyneside on Monday and it seems all the walking has taken its toll as Charlie had to buy a new pair of boots after suffering from a badly bruised and swollen ankle.The 22-year-old said: "My new walking shoes are helping and we are making good progress, lots of people are supporting us along the way."

Bandit is keeping strong and doing well.

Charlie and Bandit
Charlie Hammerton

Scared of spiders? Look away...

These animals visit schools and help people overcome their fears of creepy crawlies in County Durham.  

View more on facebook

Two children 'critical' after car overturns on bridge

Two children are in a critical condition after a car overturned in Gateshead.

The collision happened on the northbound carriageway of the Redheugh Bridge yesterday.

The 19-year-old female driver, 32-year-old passenger and three youngsters in the car - aged 15, 13 and 11 - were taken to hospital.

The youngest two remain in a critical condition.

Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward and help establish the circumstances of the incident.

Scene of the crash on Gateshead's Redheugh Bridge

Severe accident: A19 County Durham southbound

BBC News Travel

A19 County Durham southbound severe accident, between A179 and Ron Perry Services.

A19 County Durham - A19 in Dalton Piercy blocked and heavy traffic southbound between the A179 junction and Bp services, because of an accident involving three vehicles.

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

Professional quizzer takes on Billingham's best

This is what happened when an Eggheads and Mastermind champion came face to face with Billingham's toughest quiz master.

View more on facebook

Hartlepool woman ‘devastated’ after revelation grandfather was buried without his brain

Hartlepool Mail


A Hartlepool woman has spoken of her devastation at the revelation her grandfather’s brain has been kept at a North East hospital for almost 20 years.

Kayleigh Bayliss and grandmother Rose Cowell with a picture of Mrs Cowell
Hartlepool Mail

Body found in search for missing woman

Police searching for missing Gateshead woman Ellen Mundell have found a body.

Emergency services were called to the River Tyne at Newburn at about 07:40.

Officers say they believe it to be that of the 66-year-old, who went missing from her home in Hookergate on Saturday.

The body has not been formally identified. However, her family have been informed of the discovery.

Ellen Mundell

House cordoned off while investigations take place

More now on the report a man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in Peterlee.

The house on Barsloan Avenue will remain cordoned off for most of today while specialist teams carry out searches and forensic investigations.

Damage was done to the inside of the property as well as the roof.

Two armed police response units were sent to the scene by Durham Police as well as trained negotiators, a helicopter and fire and ambulance services.

A 26-year-old local man is currently in custody.

Man arrested on suspicion of attempted murder

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in Peterlee.

The 26-year-old was arrested last night after a five-hour stand-off with police.

Officers were called after a Seat was reported to be driven erratically in the Little Eden area at 15:50 - including towards pedestrians who had to move out of its way.

A few minutes later, the man entered an empty house on Barsloan Avenue and it was suggested he may have been armed with a knife.

Armed response teams were sent to the scene and the suspect was finally detained at 21:30 after a stand-off which saw him take to the roof.

Steam loco hits a ton on main line for first time since 1960s

The East Coast Main Line (ECML) played host to a very special guest last night as testing started to see how fast steam trains can safely travel along the route.  


Tornado, Britain's newest steam locomotive, was used for the tests which are being done due to congestion and changes to the network, meaning longer journeys for heritage-style travel.

Steam engines are currently limited to 75mph on the ECML, but the idea is that they'll instead be able to travel at up to 100mph - hence the testing. 

The Tornado footplate crew behind this very special journey were, from left to right, Graeme Bunker from the A1 steam trust, fireman Dave Proctor, driver Steve Hanczar and traction inspector Jim Smith.

From left, Graeme Bunker from the A1 steam trust, fireman Dave Proctor, driver Steve Hanczar and traction inspector Jim Smith

BBC Look North's Tom Ingall followed Tornado's progress and he says it was "a fairly historic evening, and quite a quick one" - with a steam train reaching 100mph on the ECML for the first time since 1967.

Region's unemployment rate falls, but remains country's highest

BBC Newcastle

The number of people unemployed in the North East has fallen.

The figure dropped by 4,000 in the three months to February compared with the previous quarter.

It means the figure stands at 83,000, which is a rate of 6.4% and still the highest rate in the country. The South East has the lowest at 3.4%.

The rate across the UK remains at 4.7% with 1.56m people unemployed - down 45,000 - as inflation starts to wipe out wage growth, official figures show.

Worker at a car plant
Getty Images

Late payments take toll on North East firms

The Journal


Labour has pledged to take action after figures showed 1,345 companies in the region closed as a result of late payments.

Party leader Jeremy Corbyn floated a number of policies, including fines for large companies that fail to pay suppliers on time, as he addressed members of the Federation of Small Businesses.

Journal front page
The Journal

Salvage yard to welcome North Sea's 'heaviest' structure

Colin Briggs

Look North

A Hartlepool offshore yard is preparing to take delivery of what's said to be the heaviest single structure lifted in the history of the oil and gas industry.

Able UK will decommission the 24,000-tonne Delta platform from Shell's Brent field in the North Sea. 

The field has been the cornerstone of the UK's North Sea oil and gas industry for the past 40 years, but three of its four platforms are no longer producing. 

Brent Delta rig

Able UK has been involved in dismantling oil and gas rigs since 1985 and is probably best known for winning a four-year planning battle in 2007 to dismantle former US naval vessels - the so-called ghost ships.

The Brent field rigs were built in the 1970s and produced around a tenth of the UK’s North Sea oil. 

Shell has embarked on a multibillion-pound 10-year project to remove the vast drilling and accommodation structures, which are about 115-miles (185km) off the coast of Shetland.

Hotel set to win final approval

BBC Tees

A multimillion-pound new hotel for Stockton's Riverside is expected to win the final go-ahead later.

Stockton councillors have already agreed to borrow £17m to fund the Hampton by Hilton hotel as part of the town's North Shore regeneration scheme. 

Hampton Hotel planned for Stockton
Stocton Council

Demonstrations were held in February in protest at the authority's plan to borrow the cash to fund the project with opponents saying the cash would be better spent on preserving services facing austerity cuts.

But the council argues there is rising demand for more hotel beds for business and leisure visitors.

MP demands answers over human tissue probe

The Shields Gazette

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck (pictured) has called on police to say how many families are involved in the human tissue probe at South Tyneside District Hospital.

Mrs Lewell-Buck says it is a matter of transparency that the scale of the operation is made public.

Emma Lewell-Buck
Shields Gazette

Weather: Breezy to start, with a chance of rain

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

It will be largely cloudy to start, with some outbreaks of rain possible almost anywhere.

By late morning cloud should have started to break up, allowing some sunny spells and isolated showers to develop.


Winds will stay brisk, making it feel rather cool in exposed parts, with temperatures reaching about 12C (54F).

Through the evening any showers will die away, leaving some prolonged cloud breaks allowing it to get cold enough for a touch of frost in sheltered rural areas by dawn. 

Overnight temperatures should be pegged at about 4C (39F). 

Service to remember Newcastle United's 'legendary' tea lady

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

A memorial service for Newcastle United's much-loved tea lady, Kath Cassidy, will be held on Tyneside later.

Mrs Cassidy, who was 90 years old, was described as a "legendary figure" who worked at the club for more than 50 years.

She died in March after becoming a friend to generations of players, managers and football journalists. 

Kath Cassidy
Newcastle United

A requiem mass is being held at Our Lady and St Columba's Church in Wallsend at 09:30.

At the time of her death, the club said staff were "deeply saddened" by the news.

Five treated after car overturns on approach to bridge

Colin Briggs

Look North

Four adults and a child were taken to hospital on Tuesday evening after a car overturned at the Gateshead end of the Redheugh Bridge.

Redheugh Bridge accident

The bridge was closed for a time and traffic severely affected. 

No-one was reported as seriously hurt.

Welcome to Wednesday's live coverage

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.

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