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  1. Updates on Thursday 16 April 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

That's all from BBC Local Live today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Friday. Iain Yule sent us this picture of the still water in Berwick, Northumberland.

Iain Yule

You can send your pictures by email to or tweet
@BBCNewsNE and we may feature them on BBC Local Live tomorrow.

TV crew sets up in Weardale quarry

A former limestone quarry in County Durham has been

taken over by the cast and crew of a new fantasy TV drama.

The quarry at Eastgate, in Weardale, which served the Blue Circle cement works, forms the backdrop for ITV's new production of Beowulf, described as a "spin-off" from the epic poem written more than 1,000 years ago.

Set of Beowulf

Star of the show, Hartlepool actor Kieran Bew, says the team is "spoilt for choice with the scenery in the area".

Band's record shop at risk

Ian Youngs

Entertainment reporter

Pop Recs Ltd,

the brilliant record shop opened by indie band Frankie & the Heartstrings in Sunderland in 2013, is under threat after the premises was sold to become student flats.

As well as selling records, the shop has staged gigs by James Bay, The Vaccines and The Cribs in the past few weeks and hosts local writing, poetry and stitching groups and music tuition from one of The Futureheads.

Frankie & The Heartstrings at Pop Recs Ltd in 2013

"We do have to find new premises," drummer Dave Harper says. "The necessity for Pop Recs to exist is obvious. It's the logistics of making that happen which is an issue."

The current building has been sold by the council to developers. Meanwhile, the band are fitting their rota around releasing a new album in July and

going on tour in May.

Dry and clear

Paul Mooney

BBC Weather presenter

Dry overnight with some clear spells, variable cloud and light winds. Temperatures will drop to give a risk of localised ground frost in some rural areas.

Weather forecast

Minimum temperature: 0C (32F).

Check the forecast near you.

Mills decides on players' futures

Matthew Raisbeck

BBC Newcastle

Gateshead FC boss Gary Mills says he has decided who he'll release in the summer and who he wants to keep at the club.

He said: "Maybe in the past I've been too loyal... so I might be a little bit unpopular with some decisions I make."

He added that it wouldn't be fair to say how many players he intends to keep or release before the season ends.

Gary Mills
Getty Images

The Heed Army are

10th in the Conference and have taken six points from a possible 21.

Woman raped on ferry

A woman has been raped on a ferry travelling from North Shields to Amsterdam, Northumbria Police says.

The 23-year-old was in the cabin with two men when she was attacked during the early hours of Saturday 4 April. Police were informed of the incident the following Friday.

The woman had been speaking to a group of men on the ferry before the incident and officers are keen for them to get in contact.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 17:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: Cleveland Police has apologised to the family of a missing Middlesbrough teenager for the way it handled her disappearance.
  • BBC Newcastle: Jon Harle and Anne Leuchars have a round-up of the day's news.

Tight at the top

Middlesbrough dropped back down to fourth in the Championship after a result last night did not go their way.

Watford beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 at the City Ground.

Watford celebrate
Getty Images

The top four, fighting for the top two automatic promotion spots, are still separated by two points with Boro having the poorest goal difference. Aitor Karanka's side

play second place Norwich on tomorrow night.

'Protocols adhered to'

Rik Martin

BBC Newcastle News Editor

The Ministry of Justice has told the BBC it has "asked for details from Northumbria PCC and made a request for information".

But it says it has not launched an investigation after claims were made Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird agreed to pay her charity, Victims First Northumbria, £500,000.

Earlier Ms Baird said: "All Ministry of Justice procedures and protocols have been adhered to throughout."

Bright or sunny spells

Kay Crewdson

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

More in the way of cloud will develop through the afternoon, although there should still be some bright or sunny spells and it will remain mostly dry.

Weather forecast

Maximum temperature: 12C (54F).

Check the forecast where you are.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: Police are to re-investigate the disappearance of a Middlesbrough teenager.
  • BBC Newcastle: Jon Harle and Anne Leuchars have a round-up of the day's news.

'Investigation not planned'

More on that last bit of breaking news:

The Ministry of justice says that "there is no intention to investigate" after

The Mirror and
The Chronicle claimed Northumbria PCC Vera Baird had agreed to pay a charity she is a director of £500,000.

BreakingNo probe into PCC charity cash

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed there will be no investigation into the setting up of Victims First Northumbria or the decisions of the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.

Woody out, Adomah doubtful

Boro boss Aitor Karanka confirms

Jonathan Woodgate will miss the trip to Carrow Road tomorrow and Albert Adomah is also doubtful.

Albert Adomah

Karanka is hopeful that Dimi Konstantopoulos will be fit for tomorrow's game after needing treatment during the Watford game.

Hartlepool's Harrison on upward path

Matt Newsum

BBC Sport

The sign on the stand behind Scott Harrison as he poses with his Football League Young Player of the Month award reads 'Hartlepool College of Further Education', but in the case of the 21-year-old defender, he could be described as a graduate of the 'School of Hard Knocks'.

Scott Harrison
Hartlepool United/Mark Simpson

Now 21, Harrison has since more than proved his worth to Moore and Pools, starring in their late season 'Great Escape' bid to win the monthly award, and is desperate to secure their Football League status with three games remaining.

Read my feature here.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 15:00 include:

Payout for birth brain injury girl

We bring you more on the story that a Sunderland hospital has

agreed to pay damages to a seven-year-old girl injured during her birth.

Sophie Steele from Sunderland has cerebral palsy had a blood sample taken from her head which caused a brain injury.

Sophie Steele

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust said her care "was not what it should have been". It added: "We acknowledge that no amount of money can compensate adequately for what has happened."

'Power to investigate conflict of interest'

Danny Shaw

Home affairs correspondent, BBC News


The Mirror and
The Chronicle claimed Northumbria PCC Vera Baird had agreed to pay a charity she is a director of £500,000, A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "PCCs are best placed to understand the needs of victims in their communities and take decisions about how the available money is best spent locally.

"While PCCs are required under the MoJ grant to provide evidence that victims needs and entitlements are being met, decisions on how local arrangements are funded is for individual PCCs to determine. It is for PCCs to take the appropriate advice, including legal, on local decisions.

"The MoJ requires PCCs not to be subject to conflicts of interest when providing victims' services and has the power to investigate any possible conflict of interest and to cease funding if such a conflict is established."

'Procedures and protocols adhered to'

Danny Shaw

Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

Ministry of Justice officials are expected to speak to Northumbria PCC Vera Baird to establish the facts of the case after

The Mirror and
The Chronicle claimed she has agreed to pay a charity she is a director of £500,000.

Ms Baird said "procedures and protocols were adhered to" in giving the cash to Victims First Northumbria. In a statement she said: "I looked at a number of options, as did all Police and Crime Commissioners, to ensure we would offer excellent value for money and a service that always put victims first and addresses their every need.

"It is clear the model that I have chosen was the best for our region. Victims First Northumbria is unique in that it will give victims one point of contact for all their needs and support.

"I am confident the team of coordinators will show that the decisions taken to create Victims First Northumbria were the right ones."

Vera Baird probed over charity

Danny Shaw

Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

The Ministry of Justice is to examine the role of Northumbria's police and crime commissioner in a victims charity over concerns of a possible conflict of interest.

Vera Baird is a director of Victims First Northumbria, which has started providing support services to victims of crime in the region.

The Mirror and
The Chronicle allege that Ms Baird, in her role as PCC, has agreed to make payments to the charity of £500,000.

The PCC's office could not confirm that but said it had not yet received funding from the Ministry of Justice.

More on child abuse detection

Police in Durham using an American system of spotting child abusers

could look for certain tattoos or clothing.

Dr Joe Sullivan with Durham Police Chief Constable Mike Barton

Durham Constabulary's Chief Constable, Mike Barton (pictured), said the programme gave staff support to "do a bit more digging".

"We are giving them the confidence to recognise, if people wear certain clothing, if people have certain tattoos, if people behave in a certain way, that might be an indication," he said.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: The family of a man shot dead in South Shields say their
    world has been shattered
  • BBC Tees: Police officers in Durham are the first in the country to be trained to spot child abusers by things like their clothes or the tattoos they have

Your photos: Roker Pier

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

Dean Matthews sent us this picture of the sun rising at Roker Pier in Sunderland.

Roker Pier
Dean Matthews

You can send your pictures by email to or tweet

On the lunchtime BBC Look North

Colin Briggs

BBC Look North

Cleveland Police has revealed it will carry out a fresh review into the disappearance of the Middlesbrough teenager, Donna Keogh, and has issued an apology to her family for the way it handled the case.

Donna disappeared from her home in 1998 aged 17 and her family has said they felt "let down" by the police for their handling of the early stages of the investigation.

Donna Keogh

Cleveland Police says "no stone will be left unturned" in the review. I'll have more on this story on

BBC Look North at 13:40 on BBC One.

Inflatable parliament in Durham

Fergus Hewison

BBC Newcastle political reporter

It's going up again. BBC Newcastle's inflatable parliament in Durham marketplace is filling with air.

Inflatable parliament in Durham

I'm here to get the people of Durham's thoughts ahead of the General Election. I'll have more on

BBC Newcastle later.

Spotting 'hidden signs'

BBC Newcastle

Durham Constabulary sent 400 of its officers for some pioneering training -

designed to spot hidden signs that someone is abusing a child.

The programme was developed in America - and Durham is the first force in the country to try it out.

We're told one PCSO has already used the knowledge to protect a five-year-old who was at risk.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

Alan Barnes: Receives keys for house

Alan Barnes, the disabled man assaulted while putting his bins out in Gateshead, has today received the keys for his new house.

The 67-year-old suffered a broken collarbone when he was knocked to the ground outside his home in January.

Alan Barnes receives key

An online appeal set up by beautician Katie Cutler raised £330,135.

Richard Gatiss pleaded guilty to assault with intent to rob and was

jailed for four years.

The investigation so far...

A 35-year-old Newcastle man was arrested on Sunday in connection with the murder and later released on bail.

Tipu Sultan
Photo from Northumbria Police


released CCTV images on Wednesday showing two men heading away from the scene on a motorbike, moments after he was gunned down. They believe the getaway bike - a large red, performance-style machine - headed towards the Whitburn and Sunderland areas.

Officers have ruled out race as a motive for the fatal shooting.

Tipu 'loved and respected'

Tipu Sultan's family said that he was "loved and respected" in his community and the "foundation" of the family, at press conference held today.

Tupu Sulatan's family

Tipu's brother said: "The sudden and violent way that my brother died has left our world shattered."

His wife was too upset to attend the conference.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

Family plea for public's help

Sharon Barbour

BBC Look North

The family of a man who was shot dead outside a takeaway in South Shields are pleading to the public to help find his killer.

Tipu Sultan, 32, was

found with a single gunshot wound on 7 April, at the back of the Herbs n Spice Kitchen where he worked.

Family of Tipu Sultan

Tipu's brother Mahsum Sultan said: "Please help find who killed my brother."

How Eagles became title winners

So Newcastle Eagles claimed a

seventh British Basketball League title in 10 years with a 107-97 victory over Manchester Giants last night.

Charles Smith played all 40 minutes and scored 27 points to keep the title with Fab Flournoy's team. It completes a treble for Newcastle, after winning the BBL Cup and Trophy.

Newcastle Eagles celebrate winning the #British Basketball League title

Fencing for River Wear?

Charlie Charlton is in Durham talking river safety this morning on BBC Newcastle.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) recommended enclosing parts of the River Wear with fencing.

Pippa Bell with Charlie Charlton

Watch her chat with Pippa Bell, a resident in Durham who is against fencing or barriers being put up along the River Wear. Have your say on

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 11:00 include: