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World War Two bomb found in West Boldon

A controlled explosion has been carried out on a World War Two German incendiary aircraft bomb which was found on a farm in a Tyneside village.

A woman called Northumbria Police yesterday after finding the device on her farm in West Boldon.

Bomb disposal experts confirmed it dated back to World War Two.

Take a look at the video of the controlled explosion.

Unexploded bomb
Northumbria Police
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Statue stolen from memorial garden in Sunderland

A statue honouring the lives of 43 people buried in unmarked graves has been stolen from a cemetery in Sunderland.

Gail Sheppard, 56, created the memorial in her front garden after moving into a lodge within the grounds of Sunderland Cemetery two years ago.

The lodges at the entrance to Grangetown Cemetery are consecrated land which was used for burials more than a century ago, and still contains dozens of unmarked graves.

Police believe thieves stole the statue from the memorial garden at some point between 22:00 on Saturday and 13:00 on Sunday.

Gail Sheppard in the memorial garden
Northumbria police

I am absolutely devastated that somebody would take something from this garden – not only have they stolen my statue, but I feel they have stolen from those who are lying beneath."

Gail Sheppard

North East raids net almost 100kg of drugs

Drugs weighing almost 100kg have been seized in raids across the region as part of the biggest-ever crackdown on organised crime in the North East.

A total of 91kg of cocaine, amphetamine, MDMA and ketamine were uncovered in searches, along with thousands of cannabis plants, in just four months.

Officers seized £1.5m in cash, vehicles, firearms and a grenade as part of the operation.

It was led by the North East Regional Special Operations Unit, which saw raids and vehicle stops carried out from March, alongside Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland police.

A total of 37 people have been arrested across the region, with nine people remanded in custody.

The operation, involving months of work, intercepted an encrypted phone network across Europe, and thousands of handsets were monitored and millions of messages analysed.

Nationally over two tonnes of drugs and £54m cash have been seized, with 746 arrests made as part of Operation Venetic.

Organised crime is anything which is planned, coordinated and conducted by brazen individuals who want nothing more than to turn a profit. This operation sends a clear message that we will do all we can to bring these people to justice and seize any assets achieved through criminal means."

Det Ch Sup Alastair SimpsonNorth East Regional Special Operations Unit
Cleveland Police
Cannabis plants
Cleveland Police
Seized money
Cleveland Police

Police dog sniffs out suspected drink driver

A suspected drunk driver who fled his car and attempted to take shelter in shrubbery was sniffed out by a Northumbria Police dog.

Motor patrol officers had tried to stop a car which was spotted being driven erraticaly in the Whitehead Street area of South Shields yesterday afternoon, but it made off.

The driver then abandoned the vehicle in Tyne Dock and ran off.

Officers launched a search operation and police dog Ziva eventually located him "skulking in some shrubbery".

The 36-year-old was later charged with driving whilst above the legal alcohol limit, and will appear before magistrates later this month.

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Emergency doctor makes full recovery from coronavirus

Sharon Barbour

BBC Look North

A man who has led accident and emergency teams in the North East for decades became one of the first Covid-19 patients to become seriously ill.

Dr Bob Jarman, who was at the forefront of preparing Newcastle Hospitals to cope with coronavirus, was admitted to the very ward he manages at the RVI in Newcastle.

He was admitted to hospital in the middle of March and has now recovered.

Now back at work Dr Jarman said: "In my career in emergency medicine and being a doctor for many years nobody I knew has ever experienced anything like this."

Dr Bob Jarman

100 days of lockdown: Aerial footage shows England's empty spaces

At the height of the lockdown in England cities and tourist spots stood empty.

BBC teams captured aerial footage of the quiet streets - including the Angel of the North and Gateshead city centre - as people stayed at home on the advice of the government.

100 days of lockdown: Aerial footage shows England's empty spaces

Witness sought after 11-year-old child hurt in crash

Police are trying to trace a driver who may have witnessed a crash involving an 11-year-old child.

Officers were called to Silksworth Lane, Sunderland, just after 18:40 BST on 23 June to reports of the child being struck by a car.

The child suffered serious injuries which are not life-threatening and is still in hospital in a stable condition, Northumbria Police said.

A spokesman confirmed officers have spoken to the driver of the vehicle who stopped at the scene.

They are trying to trace the driver of a small, red 4x4-type vehicle which was travelling in the area at the time and may have witnessed the crash.

Northumbria Police

Three in court over disorder at North East beaches

Three men have appeared in court following an investigation into suspected disorder on beaches across North Tyneside.

Police received a number of reports claiming some beach-goers were fighting and causing disorder in Tynemouth and Cullercoats last Thursday.

An investigation led to the arrest of eight males aged between 15 and 28.

Three of those arrested were charged in connection with the incidents and have appeared in court.

Tony Cowell, 27, of Lough Court, Gateshead, Jordan Cowell, 21, of Bewick Road, Gateshead and Michael Cowell, 26, of Warwick Court, Gateshead, are charged with affray and appeared before magistrates in Newcastle on Saturday.

They will appear at Newcastle Crown Court on July 24.

Sunderland care home blaze started accidentally

A fire which broke out at a Sunderland care home on Friday started accidentally, firefighters say.

Six people were taken to hospital after the fire started at Croft Residential Care Home on Ettrick Grove on Friday morning. None of them suffered life-threatening injuries.

More than 40 firefighters from Tyne & Wear Fires and Rescue Service tackled the blaze.

Damage to Sunderland care home

Richie Rickaby, area manager for community safety, said: "The fire started on the roof of the building and spread very quickly due to the warm, dry conditions.

"When our crews arrived on scene, most of the occupants had already evacuated the building but there were still seven people known to be inside."

He said firefighters went into the building using breathing apparatus and brought them to safety.

He said it was an "extremely challenging" incident.

Appeal for fire-hit care home smashes target

An online appeal to help residents of a care home which was badly damaged by fire has smashed its target.

Six people have been taken to hospital after fire swept through Croft Residential Care Home on Ettrick Grove, Sunderland on Friday.

The North East Ambulance Service said that none of the six taken to two separate hospitals had suffered life-threatening injuries.

At the height of the fire 43 firefighters were in attendance.

An appeal launched in the aftermath of the fire set a target of £1,000, but has so far raised more than £6,000.

Croft residential home

Quayside litter clean-up operation

Daniel Holland

Local Democracy Reporter

It's not just the North East coastline which has taken a battering with litter - beer cans, coffee cups, and McDonald’s wrappers were left strewn across the Newcastle Quayside after the hottest day of the year.

Council workers were seen sweeping up rubbish and emptying overflowing bins.

Overflowing rubbish bin

Major clean-up operations have also been needed at the coast, and there have been calls for an alcohol ban at Tynemouth, after crowds flocked to the beach as temperatures soared.

Newcastle councillor John-Paul Stephenson urged people to take their rubbish home instead of dropping it in the street if bins are full.

"We would remind everyone of their personal responsibility to dispose of their rubbish properly – If there is not a public bin nearby, or you arrive at a bin that is already full, please take your rubbish home, and put bottles and cans out for recycling," he said.

Six hurt in care home fire

Six people have been taken to hospital following a fire at a Sunderland care home.

The blaze broke out at Croft Residential Care Home on Ettrick Grove, at about 10:30, and fire crews remain at the scene.

The North East Ambulance Service said three people were taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital and three patients to South Tyneside District Hospital.

None of them had life-threatening injuries.

It also said some patients were treated and discharged on scene.

Scene of fire

'Everyone accounted for' in care home fire

All residents have been accounted for following a fire at a care home in Sunderland.

More than 40 firefighters have been tackling the blaze at Croft Residential Care Home on Ettrick Grove.

A number of appliances remain at the scene, and people are being asked to avoid the area.

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Warning to avoid area around fire-hit care home

People are asked to avoid the area around Ettrick Grove in Sunderland, where fire crews are tackling a blaze at a care home.

They were called to Croft Residentail Home at about 10:30, where the first storey was reported to be "well alight".

There have not as yet been any reports of injuries.

More than 40 firefirefighters and a number of appliances are at the scene, and nearby residents have been warned to keep doors and windows closed.

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BreakingFirefighters tackle care home blaze

Firefighters are tackling a blaze at a care home in Sunderland.

Crews were called to Croft Residential Care Home, in Ettrick Grove, at 10:32 BST where the first floor of the two-storey building was "well alight".

The Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said 43 firefighters and four officers, an aerial ladder platform and a number of appliances were at the scene.

People living nearby have been warned to keep their doors and windows closed.

Shopping centre giant Intu likely to appoint administrators

The owner of some of the UK's biggest shopping centres, Intu, has warned that it is likely to call in administrators.

The firm, which owns Gateshead Metrocentre and Newcastle's Eldon Square, said it had not reached an agreement in financial restructuring talks with its lenders.

Intu warned earlier this week that its troubles could see entire sites shut.

The company is the UK's biggest shopping centre group, with 17 centres in the UK and three in Spain.


'We simply cannot afford to lose these jobs'

A Gateshead MP has called on the government to support workers in the region after De La Rue announced 260 jobs at its Team Valley site are at risk.

Earlier this month, the firm said it is to end banknote printing at its Gateshead plant.

Speaking in parliament yesterday, Liz Twist, Labour MP for Blaydon, said: "I want to know what the government is going to do to ensure jobs like these are retained in the North East.

"We simply cannot afford to lose them. These highly skilled, well-paid jobs will help stimulate our regional economy."

The Secretary of State for Business, Alok Sharma, said he was disappointed by the firm's move and added the government will support workers in the North East.

Stock image of £5 notes

Two cyclists hurt in 'hit and runs'

Two reports of cyclists being hit by cars within a short space of time in the same area are being investigated by police.

Shortly after 19:30 yesterday there was a report of someone being knocked off their bike on Windsor Crescent, in Cullercoats, by a car which then fled the scene.

Then just before 19:45, there was a report of another collision on nearby Victoria Crescent, by a car which also left the scene.

In both cases the cyclist sustained minor injuries, with one taken to hospital as a precaution

Northumbria Police said this early stage it was unable to say whether or not the two incidents might be linked, but appealed for information.

Racist graffiti treated as hate crime

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Herbert Soden

An investigation has been launched after racist graffiti was found outside a Gateshead school.

Police were contacted on Tuesday evening by a resident who spotted a swastika painted on the pavement outside Grace College, on Saltwell Road South.

Saltwell is next to Bensham which is known for its thriving Jewish community.

Northumbria Police said the incident was being treated as a suspected hate crime, and urged anyone with information to get in touch.


City bars have 'horribly wrong' culture of drug-taking

Daniel Holland

Local Democracy Reporter

The company which owns three Newcastle bars has pleaded with council bosses not to shut down its venues despite police accusations of a “horribly wrong” culture of staff taking drugs.

Florita's, Madame Koo, and House of Smith closed for six days over Christmas in 2017 after officers discovered Class A drugs were being supplied on the premises.

Northumbria Police launched a new bid to permanently close the bars earlier this year after seeing CCTV footage of four off-duty staff taking cocaine in House of Smith’s smoking area in December 2019.

But the Apartment Group fiercely defended itself yesterday at a marathon Newcastle City Council licensing hearing to decide its fate with barrister Gary Grant claiming the force's actions were “grossly disproportionate, unnecessary, and hugely damaging”.

Apartment Group is currently renovating all three bars and plans to replace them later this year with five new venues, which it says are aimed at attracting an older clientele – a £2m plan it says would be jeopardised if the firm loses its licence.

Despite nearly seven hours of argument, the hearing was not completed and will continue this morning.

Revellers gather outside Florita's and House of Smith

Man suspected of having a firearm arrested by police

A man has been arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm.

Police were called out to Team Valley in Gateshead just after noon today after receiving reports a man had what looked like a firearm in his vehicle.

Officers arrested a 43-year-old man a short time later, Northumbria Police said.

Bird mimics emergency siren at Alnwick ambulance station

The North East Ambulance Service has discovered a nesting bird on the roof of its Alnwick station, which starts every day echoing the ambulance siren!

Click below below and have a listen.

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Man arrested after South Shields disturbance

A 34-year-old man's been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after police were called to South Shields this morning.

It happened about 08:10 in the Ryton Court area after reports of a disturbance.

Services calling at Bede on the Tyne and Wear Metro were stopped for a short while earlier, but have now resumed

Police investigations are continuing and the man remains in police custody.

Metrocentre owner braces for administration

BBC Business News

Intu, which owns the Metrocentre in Gateshead, has appointed administrators as a "contingency" in case financial rescue talks fail.

In March, the firm - which also runs the Trafford Centre and Lakeside - said it was in talks with lenders about new funding.

Intu had been struggling before coronavirus to fill outlets within some centres sites, and had heavy debts.

On Tuesday, Intu said "notwithstanding the progress made" it had appointed KPMG to plan for administration.

Since the coronavirus lockdown Intu's centres have been partially shut, with only essential stores remaining open.

The entrance to the Metrocentre's Red Mall

Smuggling into Durham prison was uncovered after Facebook boast

Two men who plotted to smuggle drugs and mobile phones into Durham prison have been jailed after an inmate used one of the phones to boast about his exploits on social media.

Gang members conspired to bring thousands of pounds worth of drugs, including spice, into HMP Durham, packed inside trainers which visitors would swap with inmates under the table during prison visits.

But the conspiracy was discovered when Nathan Aldus used a smuggled mobile phone to post photographs taken inside prison on Facebook, complete with the caption “HMP Durham’s main men that roll with real Rolexs and iphones #smashingit”

A prison officer spotted it and the cell Aldu shared with Daniel John McCardle was searched, resulting in the discovery of mobile phones, chargers and drugs.

Aldus, who's 30-years-old, admitted conspiracy to convey prohibited articles into prison and possession of drugs and was sentenced to three years and three months in prison.

McCardle pleaded guilty to possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply and was sentenced to six months.

Detectives investigating the case estimate the total value of drugs and mobile phones to be worth something in the region of £30,000 to the gang members.

The Facebook post
Durham Constabulary

Parents 'missing meals to feed their children' amid virus outbreak

BBC Newcastle

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are forcing more adults to miss meals in order to feed their children - potentially even causing people to become malnourished, according to research by Northumbria University.

Working with the charity Feeding Britain, it says a quarter of adults across the UK are struggling to get food they can afford because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Feeding Britain is calling for the government to change free school meal restrictions and universal credit regulations.

In response, the Government said there are hundreds of thousands fewer families living in poverty now than there were in 2010.

Man arrested after phone mast fire in Gateshead

A man's been arrested on suspicion of arson after a phone mast fire in Gateshead.

Police were alerted at 04.20 about the fire in the Wardley area. No one was injured.

A 39-year-old man is in police custody.

Budgies abandoned at petrol station

New homes are being found for four budgies who were abandoned outside a petrol station in Gateshead.

They were discovered in a cage, but without any food or water, by a member of staff at the rear of the premises in Clockmill Road.

As it was late at night, it was at first thought the owner had forgotten about them and would return, but when this did not happen the RSPCA was contacted.

RSPCA inspector Rachael Hurst said: “Abandoning pets is never the right option.

“We do understand that people’s circumstances may change, especially at the moment, but if anyone is struggling to cope with their pets we would urge them to reach out for help from friends or family, or charities like ourselves."

Abandoned budgies

The charity is also urging pet-owners to make an emergency pet-care plan should they be admitted to hospital with Coronavirus, including placing a poster in the window informing people that there are pets inside.

BreakingFive held over violence during Newcastle BLM protests

Five men have been arrested after confrontations between counter-protesters and a Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstration in Newcastle last weekend.

The men, aged 39, 42, 44, 51 and 55, were all arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and are currently in police custody.

On the Saturday itself, 14 people were arrested, mainly on suspicion of public order related offences. They have since been released while investigations continue.

violence during Newcastle BLM protests
PA Media

Assistant Chief Constable Scott Hall said: “The violent disorder we saw on Saturday was completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“We have made it abundantly clear that anyone found to have been involved will be brought to justice.

“Since the weekend, a dedicated team have been working to identify those believed to have been involved, which has today resulted in a number of suspects being arrested.

“However, this activity is still very much ongoing – and we expect to be making more arrests in the very near future."

Delivery driver hospitalised by robbers

A delivery driver was hospitalised with multiple injuries to his head and chest, including fractured ribs, when robbers stole his car in Sunderland.

The man, who also works as a taxi driver, was delivering food to an address on Yewtree Avenue in the Marley Potts area at about 03:00 BST on 9 June when he was attacked, Northumbria Police said.

The robbers took the keys to his vehicle, and following a short struggle, the victim was dragged down the road – suffering multiple injuries. The blue Skoda Octavia was later found abandoned in the Witherwack area.

Officers arrested a 37-year-old man on suspicion of robbery and he has since been released under investigation.

Det Con Jodie Faulkner said: “This was an incredibly serious incident that resulted in the victim being hospitalised with multiple injuries. We are now asking the public to assist us with the investigation. If you saw this incident – or saw a blue Skoda Octavia taxi driving in the area between 03:00 and 06:00, please get in touch with us.

“Your information, however small or insignificant you feel it may be, could prove the key to making sure the offenders responsible are located and put before the courts.”

Police hunt driver who had beer bottle in car cupholder

Officers from Cleveland and Durham police's Specialist Operations Unit are hunting a driver who fled the scene of a crash after they left a beer bottle in the cupholder:

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Primula amends cheese tube recall

Primula has amended the list of products potentially affected by a toxic bacteria.

As reported yesterday, the Team Valley-based firm recalled all its cheese tube products as a precaution following the discovery of a potential source of Clostridium botulinum.

Now it has amended the list with only its 150g cheese tubes (all flavours) with best before dates between 25 December 2020 and 28 January 2021 and 100g tubes (all flavours) dated 30 October 2020 to 10 December 2020 now affected.

A spokesman said: "Your safety and wellbeing is our number one priority and therefore, as a precaution, we have stopped all product distribution. We have also instructed retailers to remove Primula tubes from shelves with immediate effect.

Cheese tubes

"We also advise you not to eat any Primula Cheese tubes you have already purchased, with the above best before dates, but instead to return these to stores in exchange for a full refund."

Gateshead Council's environmental health team has also been contacted by the company after the issue was "brought to light by the company's own in-house control and inspection regime," an authority spokeswoman said.

She said: “Although investigations are at an early stage, it’s thought that this problem may have been the result of a production fault affecting a number of specific batches of product.

“We have received no reports of any illness associated with this product.

“Environmental Health Officers last carried out an inspection of the premises six months ago and reported no issues. There have been no previous issues or concerns reported.”

Boost in Metro passenger numbers

BBC Newcastle

People using the Tyne and Wear Metro are being urged to follow strict precautions against coronavirus after the network experienced its busiest day since lockdown began.

On Monday, were 18,000 passengers and 486 journeys, according to Nexus, which operates the system.

This was put down to the opening of non-essential shops and more children going back to school.

However, while it was almost double the usage of the previous Friday, and the highest number since 20 March, it is still only about 20% of the normal level.

Metro sign

Man seriously injured in stabbing

A man suffered serious injuries in a stabbing in Alnwick yesterday, police have said.

The 48-year-old man was assaulted near Lion Bridge at about 18:50 and is in a stable condition in hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Northumbria Police said.

A 41-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent and remains in police custody.

Neighbourhood Insp John Swan said: “We believe this to be an isolated incident and are not looking for anyone else in connection with the assault. We are now appealing to the public for help and are urging anyone with any information to get in touch with us as it could help our investigation.”