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Live Reporting

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    So to recap today's top news - Two men have been jailed for sexually abusing vulnerable girls in Newcastle after plying them with drink and drugs.

    Our updates have now finished for the day. Thank you for joining us.

    To keep up with what's happening overnight, head to BBC Tees, BBC Newcastle, Look North, and online.

    We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00

    If you have new or photos to share with us you can tweet us @BBCNewsNE, email us, or contact us via our Facebook page.

    Mohammed Azram and Jahangir Zaman
    Image caption: Mohammed Azram and Jahangir Zaman
  2. Man loses part of ear during fight in Durham

    Anna Snowdon

    BBC Local Live

    A man suffered severe facial injuries and lost part of his ear in a fight in Durham on Saturday.

    It happened at the junction of Silver Street and Claypath at 19:55.

    The man was involved in the altercation with a tall man who was wearing a black short sleeved shirt, dark trousers and black trainers with white soles.

  3. New luxury hotel planned for city centre

    Anna Snowdon

    BBC Local Live

    A rooftop swimming pool, nightclub and shops are part of plans for a new multimillion-pound hotel complex in Newcastle city centre.

    The site for the £35m development will stretch from Grey Street down to its junction with Mosley Street and across to the lower part of Cloth Market.

    area for hotel plans

    Full plans for the scheme will be presented to Newcastle City Council by the end of the year with a view to starting the refurbishment in spring, subject to planning permission being granted.

  4. Northumbria Police paid convicted rapist for help during investigations

    Anna Snowdon

    BBC Local Live

    Two men have been handed jail terms today after they plied girls with alcohol and drugs then forced them to have sex as part of a gang

    It emerged that during investigations as part of Operation Sanctuary that Northumbria Police paid a convicted rapist £10,000 to act as an informant.

  5. Grooming victims 'not targeted because of race'

    A grooming gang which preyed on girls was not racially or religiously motivated, a judge has ruled.

    Newcastle Crown Court heard how the defendants focused on exploitation of vulnerable girls in the West End of Newcastle, were of "Asian extraction" and largely British-born, although some were born abroad.

    #John Elvidge QC, prosecuting, said the victims who gave evidence in court were all "white British".

    But the ethnicity of other potential targets was not known, he said, and one vulnerable girl who did not engage with police was black, and an Asian girl was seen at a party.

    Judge Penny Moreland said the gang picked out their victims "not because of their race, but because they were young, impressionable, naive and vulnerable".

  6. NSPCC says exploitation will have 'lifelong effects' on victims

    Anna Snowdon

    BBC Local Live

    The NSPCC have responded to the sentences for two men involved in the Operation Sanctuary grooming investigation in Newcastle.

    In a statement, an NSPCC spokesperson said the charity welcomes the long jail terms as the crimes were "horrific and calculated":

    Quote Message: Child sexual exploitation is a horrifying crime which will have lifelong effects on those who are subjected to it.
    Quote Message: Tackling this hidden offence is an extremely difficult task and we welcome the fact that Northumbria Police has brought this gang to justice."
  7. Man jailed for drugging and sexually abusing women

    Mohammed Azram picked up girls from a courtyard in the city's West End known as "The Box".

    The 35 year-old was jailed for 12-and-a-half years as part of the Operation Sanctuary investigation

    During the trial one victim said he took her to a party where she saw another girl, who did not make a complaint to the police, being treated like a slave.

    Azram's barrister told the court that he attended Grainger Grammar School but got into drugs after moving to Newcastle College for his GCSEs.

    He admitted a string of drugs offences and was convicted of one count of sexual assault and one count of inciting prostitution.

  8. How Jahangir Zaman abused girls in Newcastle

    Anna Snowdon

    BBC Local Live

    Details of how a man managed to abuse vulnerable girls and women across the West End of Newcastle have been read out in court.

    Jahangir Zaman, 45, gave girls lines of M-Cat and demanded oral sex if they wanted more, Newcastle Crown Court was told.

    Recalling one victim's evidence, John Elvidge QC, prosecuting, said: "She didn't want to do it, but she did want the drugs.

    "It was made quite clear sex was the price she had to pay for the M-Cat."

    He was convicted of rape, supplying drugs and inciting prostitution. Roy Brown, mitigating, said: "He blames no-one but himself."

    A repeat drug dealer, Zaman was also caught in a separate police operation to target the heroin trade.

  9. BreakingMan jailed for 29 years for abuse of girls and women

    Fiona Trott

    BBC News

    A further man has been jailed for his role in the abuse of vulnerable girls and women in the West End of Newcastle.

    Jahangir Zaman, 45, was sentenced to 29 years for rape, sexual exploitation and drugs offences, as part of the Operation Sanctuary investigation and also for his involvement in a separate drugs conspiracy.

    Seventeen men and one woman were found guilty after two years of trials. Sentencing is due to last until Friday.

    Jahangir Zaman
  10. BreakingMan jailed for drugging and sexually abusing women

    Fiona Trott

    BBC News

    A man has been jailed for 12-and-a-half years for his role in drugging and sexually abusing vulnerable girls and women in Newcastle.

    Mohammed Azram, 35, was sentenced as part of the Operation Sanctuary investigation.

    Seventeen men and one woman were found guilty after two years of trials. Sentencing is due to last until Friday.

    Mohammed Azram
  11. British Touring Car driver thanks GNAAS

    Anna Snowdon

    BBC Local Live

    Luke Davenport was driving round Croft Circuit on 10 June when his car flew off the track due to wet conditions.

    The rain caused other drivers to lose control of their cars and they smashed into Luke.

    Luke Davenport

    He received injuries including a broken left tibia, fibula and ankle, broken ribs and punctured both lungs.

    The Great North Air Ambulance arrived at the scene and Luke was placed into an induced coma, before being airlifted to James Cook Hospital.

    Luke has now thanked the GNAAS, and hopes to be back racing next season.

  12. Victim says she 'still gets flashbacks' of abuse

    Anna Snowdon

    BBC Local Live

    Two men who were convicted of abusing girls in Newcastle who were plied with alcohol and drugs before being forced to have sex are being sentenced.

    Statements from witnesses have already been read out at Newcastle Crown Court

    Another victim impact statement heard one female say that despite having recovered physically, she "still gets flashbacks" about what happened.

    A fourth statement from another female said the men left her feeling "humiliated and angry".

    She added that going through the court process made her have a "mental breakdown" and that she feared for her life.

  13. CCTV footage of potential witness released

    Anna Snowdon

    BBC Local Live

    Northumbria Police have released CCTV footage of a potential key witness during investigations into the murder of Quyen Ngoc Nguyen.

    Two men have been charged with her murder.

    Her body was found in a vehicle in Success Road in Shiney Row in the early hours of 15 August.

    CCTV Image

    There is no suspicion that the man was involved in the incident but officers are keen to speak to him as a potential witness.

  14. Ant and Dec scoop another presenting award

    Anna Snowdon

    BBC Local Live

    Ant and Dec took home the best entertainment award at the TV Choice awards last night.

    Ant and Dec

    To date, the pair have won over 20 TV Choice awards, 13 Baftas and 32 National Television Awards.

  15. Witnesses tell of horrific abuse by men in Newcastle

    Two men who were convicted of abusing girls in Newcastle who were plied with alcohol and drugs before being forced to have sex are being sentenced.

    They are:

    • Mohammed Azram, 35, of Croydon Road, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, sexual assault, supplying drugs to a victim
    • Jahanghir Zaman, 43, of Hadrian Road, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, rape, supplying drugs to a victim

    Victim impact statements read out at Newcastle Crown Court heard how one female described them as "monsters who abused me".

    She added: "My child is no longer in my care. My body has been totally used.

    "I'm scared in general to go outside the house because of the thought of bumping into people who might know me or people who abused me."