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Summary

  1. Updates from Friday 6 February 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Happy weekend

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

That is all for Local Live today, we will be back at 08:00 on Monday with more breaking news, travel and weather from across the North East.

Evening weather forecast: cloudy

According to

the BBC weather centre, most parts of the North East will have a rather cloudy night, and although mainly dry, the odd spot of light rain cannot be ruled out here and there.

A touch of frost is likely where any cloud breaks occur.

Weather chart
BBC

Coastline work gets funding boost

Northumberland Wildlife Trust has been awarded more than £400,000 of funding to help restore a seven-mile stretch of coastline.

Hauxley nature reserve
BBC

The project will

restore and recreate habitats along Druridge Bay, from Cressell Pond to Foreshore and East Chevington to Linton Lane.

Barclays to create 100 more jobs in Sunderland

Barclays Contact Centre in Sunderland has announced plans to create more than 100 jobs.

The centre at Doxford International Business Park site currently employs 1,200 people.

Barclays said it is recruiting new staff in its business banking, premier banking and retail banking operations as it grows its business in Sunderland.

Did you miss Redcar on Daily Politics?

David Rhodes

Politics Reporter, BBC North East and Cumbria

The Redcar and Cleveland Labour trouble was discussed on BBC Two's Daily Politics earlier today.

Council leader George Dunning, who left

Labour along with nine fellow councillors, told Andrew Neil why they have had enough of their party.

Andrew Neil interviews George Dunning
BBC

Burglars jailed for mass crimewave

The Chronicle

Newspaper

Two burglars are behind bars after a crimewave that targeted dozens of homes and £100,000 worth of goods.

Paul Wilson, 43, of Bywell Grove, Shiremoor, North Tyneside, was

given a prison term of 10 years, and Andrew Temple, 19, of Buddle Terrace, West Allotment, was locked up for seven years.

Paul Wilson and Andrew Temple
Northumbria Police/The Chronicle

Forgery widow's 'remorse and self-hatred'

Caroline Goodwin, representing Smith, said the widow feels remorse and self-hatred for her actions.

In a letter read to the court by Ms Goodwin, Smith, who has also sold family heirlooms since her husband's death, said: "Being part of a family means you are part of something irreplaceable, I forgot that and I am deeply sorry, and I accept that I am no longer part of the family, but that is my own fault."

Speaking after Smith was jailed for 21 months, Cleveland Police said she had deliberately "ostracised" Mr Smith from his family before his death and the "cold and calculating" widow had shown no remorse until her sentencing hearing.

Forgery widow 'consoled daughters'

Judge John Walford at Teesside Crown Court heard how Mr Smith's daughters had felt their father had not loved them or their children because of Smith's deceit.

Teesside court
Google

In a statement to the court, Karen Harwood said Smith, who also failed to pay her husband's funeral costs, had even consoled her over the forged will saying she could not believe Mr Smith had "done this to you and your kids."

Smith married Mr Smith in 2009, three years before his death, and repeatedly denied altering the will before finally admitting her crime, while Mr Smith's family spent £20,000 on legal fees contesting the document.

Judge Walford called Smith "manipulative and deceitful, selfish and callous".

Family 'hurt' by widow's will forgery

Phil Connell

BBC Look North

The step-daughter of Dawn Smith described the "great pain and upset" caused by the solicitor secretary's will forgery.

In a statement read outside the court, Harvey Smith's daughter Karen Harwood said: "My father's last wishes and intentions have been lost forever and will never be truly known.

"Promises made to us, his family, have been overturned by her."

She said it was also an injustice that Smith, of Carmel Road North in Darlington, may still get to keep much of the inheritance after she completes her time in prison.

Widow jailed for faking husband's will

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

A solicitor's secretary who faked her husband's will to cut his daughters out of their share of his £1m estate has been jailed for 21 months - despite falling pregnant at the age of 47.

Dawn Smith admitted drawing up the false will before Harvey Smith's death, forging his signature and those of witnesses and falsely swearing an oath the document was legal.

After Mr Smith died aged 61 from pneumonia, his widow made regular trips to Turkey where she married a waiter with whom she is now expecting a child, Teesside Crown Court was told.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 17:00 include:

CCTV to catch flytippers bought

Durham County Council has invested in 15 new CCTV cameras to catch flytippers.

Council workers show the new equipment
Durham County Council

The cameras, paid for by several councillors, will be moved around the county to cover hotspots with video evidence then being used to prosecute flytippers.

Brian Stephens, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: "

Anyone caught on camera will be made to pay for their careless actions, which threaten wildlife and damage the environment."

The council

has also released footage caught by previous cameras.

Match ban for Sunderland smoke-bomb 'mule'

Sunderland Echo

A football fan who claimed he was threatened by racist abusers who forced him to act as a mule and carry a smoke bomb into Sunderland's Stadium of Light has been banned from attending games.

Mohammed Absughe, 22,

was caught trying to enter SAFC's ground with a smoke-generating device hidden in his trousers, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Aerial view of the Stadium of Light
Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Flights of fancy

Jon Harle and Anne Leuchars

BBC Newcastle

Seat and seat belt
BBC

Aircraft engineer Stuart Abbot is hoping to reach new heights after setting up a business making furniture from aeroplane parts.

The 32-year-old from Gateshead is receiving so many demands for his creations he's quit his daytime job and taken on new premises in Felling.

We will be

speaking to him on BBC Newcastle after 16:30 today.

Mayor's award for basketball pro

Former professional basketball player Tony Hanson has been given an award by Middlesbrough mayor Ray Mallon.

Mr Hanson, who played for New Orleans Jazz in the NBA in 1977, received the mayor's award for his 15 years' service, first as

coach and now chairman, at Tees Valley Mohawks Basketball Club, who were English champions five years in a row between 2000 and 2004.

Ray Mallon presents award to Tony Hanson
Middlesbrough Council

The mayor said Mr Hanson, who is also chairman of Middlesbrough's Black and Minority Ethnic Network, has "made an important contribution to the life of the town and the wider Tees area".

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: Police have charged two men with sexual offences in Newcastle as part of investigations that were reopened having initially been marked as no-crimes.
  • BBC Tees: UKIP leader Nigel Farage arrives in Hartlepool later ahead of the party's North East conference.

Share your views

We've introduced BBC Local Live, which is written by reporters across the North East, to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

Tell us what you think.

How will UKIP do?

Neil Green

BBC Tees

With UKIP holding its annual North East conference in Hartlepool this weekend, I'm asking if they will stand up to scrutiny?

Nigel Farage
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

I will be

speaking to politicians and experts after 16:00 on BBC Tees.

Are trains keeping pace with public opinion?

Richard Moss

Political editor, North East & Cumbria

What future have pacer trains got in the North East?

Pacer train
BBC

With the body of a bus bolted to train wheels,

they were only ever meant to be temporary, but 30 years on and they are still being used as a key form of transport in the region.

After meeting Transport Secretary Patrick Mclaughlin, their future use remains unclear.

A1 reopens after crash

Rebecca O'Neill

BBC Newcastle

The A1 in Northumberland has reopened after being closed for more than five hours following a serious crash involving a car and postal van this morning.

The air ambulance at the scene
Great North Air Ambulance

It happened just after 08:00 this morning north of Alnwick.

One man is in a serious condition in hospital with life threatening injuries while another man suffered less serious injuries.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 15:00 include:

Metro service resumes with delays

Nexus has said it will take "some time" to get the Tyne and Wear Metro back to a normal service after a broken engine at Felling closed the line,

although trains are now running again.

In a message on Twitter,

the transport company said a seized traction motor was to blame for the disruption between Gateshead Stadium and Brockley Whins and Jarrow.

Find more BBC Travel News for

Tyne and Wear and
Teesside.

Metro services still suspended

The Tyne and Wear Metro Metro is still suspended between Jarrow and Gateshead Stadium, and also between Brockley Whins and Gateshead Stadium due to faulty train.

Tickets are being accepted on local bus route 27 services.

Get more on BBC Travel News for

Tyne and Wear and
Teesside.

Scene of the A1 crash

Damian O'Neil

BBC Look North

This is the scene of the horrific crash which closed the A1 in Northumberland earlier.

Scene of the car crash, a red car lies on its side, white car is bashed in
BBC

Northumbria Police said one man was taken to the RVI with life-threatening injuries while another man was taken to Wansbeck Hospital with less serious injuries.

The A1

remains closed between Denwick and South Charlton.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

Armed robber raids Wallsend store

An armed robber targeted a shop in North Tyneside this morning.

The man went into Diane's Newsagency in Angle Terrace, Wallsend, with what appeared to be a handgun and demanded cash.

An undisclosed amount was handed over and he then left the shop. The staff member was shocked but unhurt.

Will Sunderland survive relegation battle

Robbie Savage

BBC football pundit

Who will avoid the Premier League drop?

Gus Poyet
Stephen Pond/PA Wire

Having been through relegation fights in my playing days, I know what it is like to be scrapping for results.

Here

are my predictions for the bottom of the table battle, and where I think Sunderland will end up.

On the programme this afternoon

BBC Look North

Direct trains between Middlesbrough and London are back on the agenda for the first time since the 1980s, but the Transport Secretary is not giving any firm promises for a start date.

Patrick McLoughlin was on Teesside to see investment at Eaglescliffe Station. The consortium taking over the East Coast Main Line plans to run Middlesbrough-London trains from 2020. The town's Labour MP Andy McDonald says that isn't soon enough, but the Transport Secretary says he'll look into those concerns.

There's more on this story on Look North on BBC One at 13:30.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

Call for Labour investigation

George Dunning tells Andrew Neil: "The Labour Party should have an investigation into the deselection of councillors and an independent investigation into bullying."

Teen lands pro American Football contract

Bishop Auckland teenager Jack Curry has secured a professional contract to play American Football - in Germany.

The 19-year-old from Eldon, a former student at Bishop Auckland College, has signed an eight-month contract with Cologne Falcons after playing for Team Europe in a tournament in Texas.

Jack Curry
Bishop Auckland College

He said it is his dream to play pro football.

In the papers today

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

Here are the front pages of today's Hartlepool Mail and Sunderland Echo.

Front pages of the hartlepool Mail and Sunderland Echo
Hartlepool Mail/Sunderland Echo

The Hartlepool Mail is reporting on the

collapse of TMH 2014's attempt to take over Hartlepool United.

The Sunderland Echo

tells the story of a father who was beaten up by his landlord in a row over unpaid rent.

Alan Barnes' money handed over at ball

Phil Mawson

BBC Newcastle

Disabled mugging victim Alan Barnes is to

receive more than £300,000 raised through online donations at a gala ball at Newcastle's Assembly Rooms on 13 February.

Alan Barnes and Katie Cutler
BBC

The frail 67-year-old suffered a broken collar bone in an attack outside his Gateshead home on 25 January.

Beautician Katie Cutler launched an online fundraising campaign, which raised £330,135 in less than a week.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

Man charged after case re-opened

Northumbria Police has charged a man with sex offences in Newcastle after re-opening a case it had previously been closed as a no-crime.

The 50-year-old, of Slatyford, is accused of five sexual assaults dating between 2010 and 2014.

He appeared at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court yesterday and was remanded in custody until 19 February to appear at Newcastle Crown Court.

Daily Politics delves into Redcar Labour woes

David Rhodes

Politics Reporter, BBC North East and Cumbria