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  1. Updates on Wednesday 22 April 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

That's all from BBC Local Live today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Thursday. "Ships come and go but Tommy - the World War One hero - stays forever on post," says Dan Myers from Seaham, County Durham.

World War One sculpture Tommy
Dan Myers

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

Mist and low cloud

Paul Mooney

BBC Weather presenter

Evening sunshine for many but mist and low cloud will creep back in from the east, giving fog in places by morning. Quite chilly again inland under clearer skies.

Weather forecast

Minimum temperature: 2C (36F).

Check the forecast near you.

Hundreds attend Tipu funeral

Gerry Jackson

BBC Look North

Hundreds of people have attended a funeral gathering to pray for Tipu Sultan, the father of two gunned down outside his family takeaway in South Shields.

Bangladeshi community leaders organised part of the proceedings to take place outdoors to allow as many people as possible to pay their respects.

People at funeral

A fortnight after he was killed, detectives still know of no apparent motive for the murder of Mr Sultan. I'll have more on this story on

BBC Look North at 18:30 on BBC One.

Man pleads guilty to woman's murder

A man has admitted murdering a woman who was found dead at a house in Gateshead in December.

Carl Anderson
Northumbria Police

Michelle Jane Grey, 42, from the Bensham area of Gateshead, was found with multiple injuries at an address in Hillfield Street on 19 December 2014.

Carl Anderson, 41, of Hillfield Street, (pictured) pleaded guilty to murder during a brief hearing at Newcastle Crown Court. He will be sentenced in June.

Three-vehicle accident blocks lane

One lane blocked southbound and very slow traffic on the A1(M) between J63, A167 (Chester-le-Street) and J62, A690 (Carrville) because of an accident involving three vehicles.

A196 in Stakeford partially blocked and slow traffic eastbound between the A1147 Half Moon Street junction and the Remscheid Way junction because of an accident.

One lane closed on A19 southbound between the A67 junction in Crathorne and Cleveland Tontine in Ingleby Arncliffe, because of a broken down vehicle. More on BBC Travel News for

Teesside and
Tyne and Wear.

Cruise ship attack accused 'ashamed'

A man accused of attacking two Middlesbrough pensioners on a cruise ship has

told a court he feels "deeply ashamed" about the incident.

Ron Phillips, 70, was repeatedly punched as he took cocoa back to the cabin he shared with his wife June, 68, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Graeme Finlay

Graeme Finlay, 53, from Glasgow, denies unlawful wounding and assault during the 2014 cruise around Lanzarote. He claimed he had been struck and acted in self-defence.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 17:00 include:

'Funding has been a challenge'

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

Brinkburn Festival organiser Zoe Bottrell told us that their funding bid from the Arts Council was unsuccessful.

In a letter to supporters of the festival, she said: "Funding has been a challenge these last few years and we feel we need to step back... and consider our way forward. This has been a very difficult decision to make.

"The board has explored various different options, but were keen to ensure that if we were to do anything, that it would be worthy of the name of the Brinkburn Music Festival."

Brinkburn Music Festival cancelled

Organisers of a classical music festival in Northumberland have

blamed a lack of funds for the cancellation of this year's event.

Brinkburn Music Festival was due to be held at Brinkburn Priory near Rothbury in July and in previous years has been featured on BBC Radio 3.

Brinkburn Priory

But festival management have confirmed this year's event will not be going ahead. Manager Zoe Bottrell said funding is the big issue.

UKIP candidate in beheading threat

A threat to behead a UKIP candidate in Newcastle

is being investigated by the police.

David Robinson-Young, who is standing in Newcastle East, said he received a phone call on Tuesday from a constituent complaining about the Middle East.

David Robinson-Young
David Robinson-Young is standing for Newcastle East

The caller said "you will be beheaded next" during the 20-minute call. A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "The matter has been reported to police and is being investigated."

Click here for a full list of candidates for Newcastle-upon-Tyne East.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

Man acted in 'self-defence' court hears

Lee Johnson

BBC Tees

Graeme Finlay from Glasgow, who is accused of attacking two Middlesbrough pensioners during a cruise, told police he acted in self-defence.

Teesside Crown Court heard that 72 year old Ron Phillips, was repeatedly punched during the Lanzarote cruise in 2014. His wife was knocked out and says she fractured two vertebrae after being shoved against a wall.

Mr Finlay denies unlawful wounding and grievous bodily harm, he admits he hit the pensioner in self defence, but he denies causing an injury to Mrs Phillips. The trial continues.

Our top flight clubs across the world

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

Is there a country that has more Sunderland fans than Newcastle United? Has the Bidvest sponsorship increased the interest in the Black Cats in Africa?

I haven't got all the answers, but it is fun formulating theories on the back of this research by Twitter, who have looked at where

tweets about different Premier League clubs come from.

Map of tweets

NE companies 'most responsible'

Helen Richardson

BBC Newcastle

North East bakers Greggs, Northumbria Water and Northern Rail have all been named on a list of the most responsible firms in the country.

Almost 70 businesses appear on the list - put together by the Prince's responsible business network - one of the charities of the Prince of Wales.

The companies on the list are commended for things like their consideration for the environment - and taking social issues into account when making big decisions.

Return for de Jong?

BBC Sport

Injury-hit Newcastle midfielder Siem de Jong is set to play a part in Saturday's Premier League home match against Swansea after an eight-month lay-off.

The Dutch international, 26, has made just three appearances since arriving from Ajax in a £6m deal because of a torn thigh muscle and a collapsed lung.

Siem de Jong

But he has returned to the reserves, playing 72 minutes against Aston Villa on Tuesday.

"We will see what happens," he says. "I don't think I could play 90 minutes yet, especially not on a level higher, so we will have to build it up and see how it goes."

Scores attend funeral

Gerry Jackson

BBC Look North

I'm here in Sunderland at the funeral of Tipu Sultan - the takeaway worker gunned down outside his shop in South Shields.

People attending funeral

It's now two weeks since Mr Sultan was killed outside the Herbs and Spice Kitchen. Northumbria Police are still appealing for help to find his killers.

Last night a

vigil was held by the local community outside the shop he worked at.

Whither Wonga

The rags to riches to rags story of a Newcastle United sponsor, Wonga, has made the payday lender a household name but left it with a sullied image.

Old Wonga advert

News that the company, which provides short-term loans, has itself fallen into the red was met with glee by some, while others point out it remains a huge player in a strictly regulated market.

What does this say about the wider health of the payday lending industry?

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

Houghton confident over fitness

BBC Sport

England captain Steph Houghton, who is from County Durham, is confident she will be fit in time for this summer's World Cup in Canada.

The Manchester City defender injured her knee at the Cyprus Cup in March.

"I'm 100% sure (that I'll be fit)," Houghton tells BBC Sport. "I'm joining back in training in the next few weeks."

On Look North at lunchtime

Stuart Whincup

BBC Look North

Sir John Hall says Wynyard Hall Rose Garden will be open by this August and will have more than 10,000 flowers.

Work at rose garden

See more on this story on Look North at lunchtime on BBC One at 13:40.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

More cloud expected

Keeley Donovan

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

It will be another warm and dry day with light winds. However, there is likely to be more cloud around compared to Tuesday. Feeling cool along the coast.

Weather forecast

Maximum temperature: 16C (61F).

Check the forecast near you.

Two-vehicle accident in Northumberland

BBC Travel

The A189 in North Seaton is closed northbound and there's very slow traffic between North Seaton Roundabout and the A197 junction because of an accident involving two vehicles. Diversion in operation.

More on BBC Travel News for

Teesside and
Tyne and Wear.

In the news today

Sunderland Echo

Today's front page.

Here's a link to the main story:

Front page
Sunderland Echo

Durham breathalyser pilot launches

Helen Richardson

BBC Newcastle

A new breathalyser scheme is being trialled in pubs in Durham to try and tackle excessive drinking and improve safety.

It's one of a series of measures from the City Safety Group

after the deaths of three students in the River Wear.

Breathalyser pilot launch

Under the new pilot scheme drinkers will be breathalysed before they're allowed into pubs if staff believe they're already intoxicated.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

'Tears for Tipu'

The Shields Gazette

Today's front page.

Here's a link to the main story:

Front page
The Shields Gazette

Quakers held at Warrington

Paul Addison

BBC Tees Sport

Darlington will play Spennymoor in the Northern Premier League First Division North play-offs.

The Quakers drew

1-1 at Warrington, which means they can't catch Salford City at the top.

They'll have home advantage in the semi-final against Moors, which will be played next Wednesday.

Raising £2k in 24 hours

Helen Richardson

BBC Newcastle

A North East woman has raised £2,000 in about 24 hours to pay for the medical treatment her son needs.

Kate Roberts' son Miles was born with so called "flat-head syndrome" and the NHS told her it wouldn't pay for the treatment because it is

cosmetic and controversial.

Miles will get a colourful helmet next week which he'll wear for several months to improve the symmetry of his skull.

In the news today

The Journal


Here's today's front page and a

link to the main story:

Front page
The Journal

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 11:00 include:

Avoiding relegation battle

Matthew Raisbeck

BBC Newcastle

Newcastle United head coach John Carver says he might start playing with two strikers up front as Newcastle United look to put more distance between themselves and the bottom three.

He also says a group of his players are "giving everything they've got" for the cause - and it's now down to him to select a side that will work hard and put teams under pressure.

Results and league table

The Magpies are seven points and four places clear of the relegation zone after

losing their last six games.

Peculiar polling stations

A casual glance down the list of polling stations for next month's general election reads like this: "Parish hall, village hall, village hall, village hall, community centre, parish hall".

But every so often they throw up a peculiarity, such as the Swerve Table Tennis Centre in Middlesbrough.

Car polling station

Voters in Roddymoor, Crook, County Durham may well feel the same when they cast their votes in the garage of a house.

Here are a few of them. Let us know if you have an unusual polling station email: or tweet: