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  1. Woman jailed for taking children to grooming gang
  2. Man jailed for rape at parties known as 'sessions'
  3. They are latest to be sentenced under Operation Sanctuary
  4. Sixteen men and one woman from Newcastle now behind bars

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Clayton Donaldson

Clayton Donaldson scores twice on his Sheffield United debut to condemn Sunderland to a third consecutive league defeat.

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Middlesbrough players including Britt Assomblalonga (centre left) and Adama Traore (centre right) celebrate their second goal

Striker Britt Assombalonga scores twice as Middlesbrough claim a comfortable victory at struggling Bolton Wanderers.

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Our live coverage across the day

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

That's all for this week - thank you for joining us.

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

You can tweet your photos to @BBCNewsNE, email them, or contact us via our Facebook page.

We'll be back tomorrow on Monday from 08:00 - best of luck if you're taking part in Sunday's Great North Run.

You can follow it live here.

Tyne Bridge
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Great North Run: Brendan Foster's buddy, fitness to save sight & 10 steps to finish

Get Inspired

Get Inspired

There are as many reasons to take part in the Great North Run as there are competitors, and so many are worthy of a mention.

Sunday's race features runners of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, and there are three in particular that caught our eye.

You can read all about them here.

People running
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Watch the whole of the Great North Run and catch up with even more stories from those involved with the live text commentary from 09:30-13:30 on Sunday.

Weather: Clear spells expected

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

Showers easing through the evening, especially in the east where some clear spells could develop.

Cloudier further west where heavier, blustery showers are most likely, mainly over the Pennines. Breezy along the coast.

Check the weather where you are.

Happy Friday from Cleveland Pawlice

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

It's that time of the week when Cleveland Police share pictures of their canine team to brighten up our Friday.

Today is Elsa's turn:

View more on twitter

Your Pictures: Marsden beach

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Thank you to David Mckenna for sending us this beautiful picture of the sunset at Marsden beach earlier this week.

Marsden beach
David Mckenna

We love seeing your pictures of the North East, so if you have any you want to share with us you can do so on Twitter @BBCNewsNE, you can email us, or contact us via our Facebook page.

Traffic and travel: A66 reopens after earlier blockage

BBC News Travel

The A66 has finally reopened after earlier problems on the stretch from Brough to Scotch Corner.

A lorry had shed its load near West Layton, with a 67-tonne digger becoming wedged on a trailer.

Things should hopefully be getting back to normal now:

View more on twitter

Horror crash survivor all set for his 27th Great North Run for charity

Hartlepool Mail


A man who survived a horror car crash will lead a team of runners once again in memory of his late wife.

Phil Holbrook with Lee Dodgson who are part of the team

Rafa Benitez recovering from operation

Newcastle United's assistant manager has reassured fans that Rafa Benitez is "in good spirits" after undergoing surgery.

According to Francisco de Miguel Moreno, Benitez has been in "constant contact" with staff ahead of Sunday's match against Swansea City.

He added: "[Rafa] is feeling better each day and we are looking forward to seeing him back shortly."

Rafa Benitez

Watch: These Girls Can Run

How one woman set up a running group:

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Police chief defends paying child rapist in Operation Sanctuary

A police chief who took the decision to use a child rapist as an informant against a grooming gang insists his decision led police to catch "dangerous men".

Northumbria Chief Constable Steve Ashman said employing the man identified as XY "stopped some girls from being raped".

Mr Ashman added: "If he hadn't told us the information we would've found them, and it doesn't take too much of an imagination to work out what might have happened to them."

You can watch our video of what happened with XY below:

Northumbria Police paid £10,000 to child rapist

Police 'got hundreds of messages of support' for paying rapist £10,000

A police chief who decided to use a child rapist as an informant against a grooming gang in Newcastle says he has received "hundreds of messages of support from the public".

Northumbria Chief Constable Steve Ashman said it had always been a moral question, not a legal one, whether to pay the man who can only be identified as XY almost £10,000 for information.

Mr Ashman was speaking after all but one member of a grooming gang was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court for their roles in recruiting vulnerable young girls, giving them drugs and then persuading or forcing them into sex with them or other, older men.

Steve Ashman

Mr Ashman said: "When reflecting upon the morality of the decision, I think it's important to take account of public opinion.

"If the moral compass was spinning when it was first made public a few weeks ago, when the verdicts were handed out, it's absolutely fixed now and it's fixed in our favour."

Operation Sanctuary: How the papers reported it

This is how a local and national newspapers have reported on Operation Sanctuary.

  • The Chronicle spoke to Carolann Gallon's father, who called the judge "cruel" and initially refused to leave the court.
  • The Shields Gazette focused on Northumbria Police's response following the sentence announcements.
  • The Guardian wrote a feature on how the grooming of girls in Newcastle is not "an issue of race – it’s about misogyny".

Girl with learning difficulties was taken to parties by Carolann Gallon

Press Association

More details have emerged on how Carolann Gallon took vulnerable girls to abusive parties.

Gallon took one girl with learning difficulties to a flat where she was raped by Abdulhamid Minoyee.

The 34-year-old from Newcastle, gave the girl cannabis and raped her when she was intoxicated.

The court heard he had a "big grin" on his face, while his victim told police "she was scared, ashamed and embarrassed".

Minoyee had already sexually assaulted a heroin addict having plied her with drink, but she managed to fight him off.

Judge Penny Moreland jailed him for 15 years, saying: "You committed two sexual offences against young women you had enticed into your home."

Operation Sanctuary: How the rest of the men were jailed

Here is what happened at Tuesday's sentencing:

Two men were jailed for sexually abusing vulnerable girls in Newcastle after plying them with drink and drugs.

  • Jahangir Zaman, 45, gave girls lines of M-Cat and demanded oral sex if they wanted more, Newcastle Crown Court was told. He was convicted of rape, supplying drugs and inciting prostitution and sentenced to 29 years in prison.
  • Mohammed Azram admitted a string of drugs offences and was convicted of one count of sexual assault and one count of inciting prostitution. He was jailed for 12-and-a-half years.

Mohammed Azram and Jahangir Zaman

Woman 'had ample opportunity to prove she was a victim'

A judge has rejected the idea that Carolann Gallon was herself a victim of the abuse gang.

judge Penny Moreland said: "It is clear you did not have the care and support during your childhood that you should have had.

"You described yourself as being a victim.

"There have been ample opportunities for you to make complaints about these matters.

"You have never chosen to do so.

"The result is your complaints have never been tested in court."

The judge said Gallon continued to "ally" herself with other defendants.

Gallon also took a girl with learning difficulties to a flat where she was raped by Abdulhamid Minoyee.

Woman had 'no sympathy' for abused girls

A woman who trafficked children into a sex gang so they could be raped and abused said she had "no sympathy" for the victims.

Carolann Gallon is one of 18 people convicted as part of Operation Sanctuary, an investigation into the sexual abuse of vulnerable girls.

John Elvidge QC, prosecuting, said she told police after she was arrested: "They shouldn't have too much to drink.

"If they want to go with them, they have got their own mind to go with people.

"They are not some kid, they are 15 or 16.

"If they're mortal (drunk) they are going to do something, why get mortal in the first place?

"It's self-inflicted, I've got no sympathy."

Carolann Gallon

Carolann Gallon was part of a gang who gave girls alcohol and drugs then forced them to have sex.

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Operation Sanctuary: How the gang were sentenced

On Wednesday, four more men were jailed for their roles in drugging and sexually abusing vulnerable girls in Newcastle.

They were:

  • Habibur Rahim, 34, of Kenilworth Road, was jailed for 29 years for rape, inciting prostitution, drugs, sexual assault and trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation
  • Abdul Sabe, 40, of Dean House, was jailed for 12 years for conspiracy to incite prostitution, trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation, drugs offences. The court had heard that Sabe was already on the sex offenders register when he carried out the abuse.
  • Mohibur Rahman, 44, of Northcote Street, was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to incite prostitution and supplying drugs to a victim.
  • Badrul Hussain, 37, of Drybeck Court, convicted of drug offences and jailed for four years.
Badrul Hussain, Habibur Rahim, Abdul Sabe and Mohibur Rahman

Operation Sanctuary sentences what police were 'hoping for'

Police have welcomed the sentences given to those involved in Operation Sanctuary.

Det Supt Steve Barron said the results were what they were "hoping for".

He also praised the victims' bravery, saying that without them coming forward, the force "wouldn't be here with this number of convictions".

In a statement, he stressed that the women were targeted "because of their vulnerabilities" and encouraged other victims of abuse to come forward.

He added:

It is an excellent example of the ongoing work we are doing in our commitment to Operation Sanctuary and the protection of vulnerable people.

We need people to be vigilant and be the eyes, ears and voice of the community."

Grooming gang 'underestimated victims' desire for justice'

A detective who investigated the Newcastle grooming gang says the abusers underestimated their victims' desire to get justice.

Det Supt Steve Barron said: "These offenders targeted these women because of their vulnerabilities.

"They hugely underestimated their strength and determination to seek justice, they thought no one would believe them.

Det Supt Steve Barron
Northumbria Police

"We believed them, as did the jury. I have spoken to some of these victims and they are lovely people.

"They have had a tough life and to then go through courts is so difficult for them. "It has just been brilliant to see how their bravery is now showing justice."

Operation Sanctuary: How the sentences were handed down

Five more men were jailed yesterday for their part in the drugs and grooming ring that forced young women to have sex in Newcastle.

  • Eisa Mousavi, 41, of Todds Nook, was jailed for 20 years for offences including three rapes and conspiracy to incite prostitution.
  • Nashir Uddin, 35, of Joan Street, was jailed for 11-and-a-half years for offences including a sex offence and conspiracy to incite prostitution.
  • Taherul Alam, 32, of Normanton Terrace, was jailed for eight years for offences including conspiracy to incite prostitution.
  • Monjur Choudrey, 33, of Phillip Place, was jailed for five years for offences including conspiracy to incite prostitution.
  • Prabhat Nelli - 33, of Sidney Grove, was sentenced to four years for offences including conspiracy to incite prostitution.
Taherul Alam, Monjur Choudhury, Prabhat Nelli, Eisa Mousavi, Nashir Uddin

Carolann Gallon: 'The groomed becoming a groomer'

A 13-year-old girl has told how she was "harmed beyond imagination" by what happened to her after 22-year-old Carolann Gallon took her to a party where she became a victim of sexual abuse.

Carolann Gallon

Gallon also took another victim to Abdulhamid Minoyee promising her she would be "safe" with him; however, she was later raped.

Gallon is said to have had a "terrible upbringing" and her barrister described her a "classic example of the abused becoming the abuser, the groomed becoming the a groomer".

Operation Sanctuary: A week-long set of trials

Today's sentencing is part of a set of trials that have taken place throughout the week.

Sixteen men and one woman have been handed sentences of up to 29 years in jail.

Here's a summary of this week's events.

Woman who trafficked child said 'I didn't force them into sex'

Fiona Trott

BBC News

These trials have revealed that between 2010 and 2014, groups of men in Newcastle groomed vulnerable girls and women for sex.

Most of them were from Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi backgrounds.

They invited teenagers to parties and plied them with drugs and alcohol.

Today, the court head that Carolann Gallon trafficked two girls who were in care.

One was 13. When interviewed by police she said: "I didn't force them into having sex. They are not kids - they've got their own mind."

She was jailed for six years. Abdhulhamid Minoyee raped a woman with learning difficulties. He's been jailed for 15 years.

Another man is due to be sentenced next week.

Operation Shelter: How it started

Operation Shelter uncovered groups of men in the West End of Newcastle - many of whom were known to each other - who exploited vulnerable young women and girls from 2010 to 2014.

It all began when an "extremely vulnerable" 19-year-old told police she had been raped by Abdul Minoyee.

A police officer took the girl on a tour of the West End to try identify Minoyee's house and car and other places where these "parties" had taken place.

Her information was a red flag - the abuse was on a much bigger scale.

Addresses around the West End of Newcastle where victims were abused

Days later the officer's hunch was given added weight when two girls in care reported that they had been repeatedly raped by a group of older Asian men.

The girls were aged 14 and 15. It would lead to a long police investigation which resulted in 17 people being sentenced this week.

You can read the full feature here.

Groomed girls 'were in care at the time'

A woman has been jailed as part of Operation Sanctuary for taking girls as young as 13 to grooming parties.

Carolann Gallon, 22, was sentenced to six years and three months after the girls were given booze and drugs and forced to have sex.

Two of her victims were in care at the time.

Carolann Gallon

Video: How police paid £10,000 to child rapist

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

While working for the officers, the man known only as XY was arrested for dishonesty, an assault in a mosque, and was questioned about making sexual advances to a 13-year-old girl.

Operation Sanctuary: Two jailed for grooming gang trafficking

A woman who helped a gang who plied girls with alcohol and drugs and raped or sexually abused them has been jailed.

Carolann Gallon was one of a number of people caught in Operation Sanctuary - the investigation into the sexual abuse of vulnerable girls in Newcastle.

The 22-year-old, of Hareside Court, admitted three counts of trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and was sentenced to six years and three months in prison.

A man who took part in the abuse, Abdulhamid Minoyee, was sentenced to 15 years.

The 33-year-old, of Gainsborough Grove, had been convicted of rape, sexual assault and the supply of drugs.

Carolann Gallon and Abdulhamid Minoyee

Woman jailed for helping grooming gang

Carolann Gallon is jailed for six years and three months for trafficking victims for sexual exploitation.

Carolann Gallon
Northumbria Police

BreakingOperation Sanctuary: Rapist jailed for 15 years

Abdulhamid Minoyee, 34, has been jailed for 15 years for rape, sexual assault, and supplying drugs as part of the Operation Sanctuary investigation.

Abdulhamid Minoyee
Northumbria Police

Baby killed 'after dad had eight cans of lager'

Megan Paterson

Reporter, BBC Look North

On the night Reggie Yates was killed, his father Ryan had drank eight cans of lager, and he then called a taxi and ordered eight more.

He then fell asleep on the sofa - he was supposed to be looking after Reggie who was in the bouncy chair beside him.

Mr Young didn't wake up until he heard his partner's screams.

She returned home to find her baby son lying lifeless in the living room.

Mr Young was too asleep to wake up.

'You selfishly made the decision to drink to excess."

Megan Paterson

Reporter, BBC Look North

The court heard the dog involved could have been stopped if Ryan Young had been awake, if he hadn't been drinking.

Judge Tim Gittens said Young's alcohol intake that night "significantly intoxicated" him, "if not to the point of stupor, then into a very deep sleep".

He added: "Reggie's care should have been at the centre of your mind. Instead you selfishly made the decision to drink to excess."

Mr Young is now severely depressed and suffers from PTSD as a result of the attack on his son, the court was heard.

'I never said I had a bomb' - hoax accused says alleged threat was a misunderstanding

The Gazette


A bomb hoax accused has denied threatening to blow up a college, claiming the events were a misunderstanding.

Front page

Reggie Young: Father admitted owning dog

More now on the father who has been jailed after his three-week-old son was killed by a dog.

Ryan Young, 32, had initially denied owning the terrier-type dog but changed his plea at Newcastle Crown Court.

Reggie Young was attacked at his home in Falkland Road, Sunderland, on 20 June 2015 while his father was drunk and asleep.

Young's barrister Caroline Goodwin QC told an earlier hearing Reggie's death had been an "emotionally devastating chapter" in the family's lives.

Ryan Young

Father who owned dog that killed three-week-old son jailed

A father who was drunk and fell asleep before his pet dog killed his baby son has been sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Reggie Young was three weeks old when he died after being bitten by a small terrier-type dog at his home in Sunderland in June 2015.

His father Ryan Young failed to prevent the attack.

The dog was later destroyed.

Reggie Young

Severe disruption: A1(M) County Durham southbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) County Durham southbound severe disruption, at J59 for A167.

A1(M) County Durham - One lane closed on A1(M) southbound at J59, A167 (Aycliffe), because of medical emergency. Traffic is coping well.

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