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  1. Updates on Thursday 23 April 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Lloyd Watson

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. There were blue skies over Tynemouth Priory and the Tynemouth Battery as this photo from Moira Wooldridge shows.

Tynemouth Priory and the Tynemouth Battery
Moira Wooldridge

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

A 'difficult and dangerous' journey

Stuart Whincup

BBC Look North

She's one of the world's greatest paralympians, but every week she has to go through a difficult and dangerous ordeal - just to catch a train.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson has to grab a handrail, while pushing her wheelchair - one-handed - up a steep ramp. All this to simply catch a train from her local station on Teesside to the House of Lords.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Twenty years after the first disability legislation came into force, she says her problems highlight the difficulties thousands of wheelchair users face everyday. I'll have more on this story on

BBC Look North at 18:30 on BBC One.

Bamford, Vossen and Adomah injury doubts

Aitor Karanka could be

forced into making a re-shuffle for Saturday's game at Fulham.

The Boro head coach is already without Tomas Kalas, whose loan expired after the Norwich City game last week, and he has a number of injury doubts ahead of the weekend.

Jelle Vossen and Patrick Bamford
Getty Images

Patrick Bamford and Jelle Vossen have both undergone scans on injuries this week and may miss the Fulham trip while Albert Adomah is still feeling the effects of an injury he sustained in the win against Wolves.

Look North Hot Seat in Redcar

The BBC Look North hot seat has been to Redcar to turn up the heat on the area's general election candidates.

Watch the video here.

Members of the public gave four candidates a grilling over issues including minimum wage, the spare room subsidy and university tuition fees.

Redcar Hot seat logo

In the hot seats were Christopher Gallacher for the UK Independence Party, Liberal Democrat Josh Mason, Labour's Anna Turley and Conservative Jacob Young.

Also standing in Redcar are Philip Lockey for the North East Party and Peter Pinkney for the Greens.

Dossena treated 'like a terrorist'

BBC Sport

Former Sunderland and Liverpool defender Andrea Dossena has claimed he was treated "like a terrorist" after he was arrested for shoplifting in Harrods.

Italian Dossena, 33, was detained with his wife, Deborah, and young son, Romeo, at the Knightsbridge department store, but all charges were later dropped.

Andrea Dossena
Getty Images

Dossena, who is now at Leyton Orient, told

Corriere dello Sport they were handcuffed, "as you would do with a terrorist", adding: "I was obviously in disbelief, not only because of that gesture but because I didn't know what was going on - I hadn't realised the mistake we'd made.

"They asked to see our documents that prove our status as residents of London, and obviously I didn't have them with me - I'd left them at home. So then they took us to the police station, where they held us until 22:30, despite the needs of a two-and-a-half-year-old child. It's absurd to treat a child this way."

LGBT festival to return

The Gay Pride Festival is returning to Newcastle on 17 - 19 July.

Belinda Carlisle and 1990s girl band B*Witched are among the acts announced so far for the event, organised annually

by the charity Northern Pride. Last year more than 65,000 people went to the festival on the Town Moor.

People attending Gay Pride

Also expected to perform are Lucy Spraggan, Kitty Brucknell and Joseph Whelan, as well as actress and singer Heather Peace, who most recently starred in BBC drama Waterloo Road.

Dry and clear night

Paul Mooney

BBC Weather presenter

After a fine evening the night will stay dry and mostly clear. Some mist and fog may reform again in the countryside with a risk of ground frost by dawn in prone places such as Morpeth.

Weather forecast

Minimum temperature: 3C (37F).

Check the forecast near you.

Latest on stolen floodlights

Rebecca O'Neill

BBC Newcastle

New LED floodlighting put up at Penshaw Monument costing £20,000 has been stolen over the weekend. They'd been in place less than 24 hours.

Penshaw Monument

So what happens next? I've been to the monument to meet Graham Carr from Sunderland Council.

Watch the video.

Engineers in 1978

Tyne and Wear Metro

tweets: Ahead of work on the QE2 bridge in May, here's a #ThrowbackThursday of engineers in July 1978.

Engineers in 1978

NUFC v Swansea news conferences

BBC Sport

Garry Monk says he is looking forward to the Premier League game at St James' Park on Saturday.

"We've done well there in recent years, and it's a great place to play your football. The pitch is great and the crowd are great, but it is a tough place to go," he said.

"Newcastle will want to bounce back from recent results. They are a really talented side with good attacking players, so we will be aware of that.

"They have strength in wide areas and are a very mobile team, but we will prepare to try and exploit their weaknesses."

Family pays tribute to Ryan Charlton

Mr Charlton's family released a statement saying he was a "funny, happy boy" and his death has left a "huge hole in our lives".

They added: "Ryan was always making people laugh with his silly faces and voices.

A1 Angel crash

"He was loved and treasured so much by his family and friends. We have had our world turned upside down and our hearts ripped out, life will never be the same again for us."

A1 Angel crash death man named

A man who died after the car he was travelling in overturned on the A1 near the Angel of the North has been named by police.

Ryan Mark Charlton, 23, from the Low Fell area of Gateshead, was pronounced dead in hospital after the crash in the early hours of Sunday.

Ryan Charlton
Northumbria Police


31-year-old man arrested in connection with the collision has been released on police bail.

Fine, dry and sunny

Keeley Donovan

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

It will be a fine, dry and sunny afternoon for many. With light winds it will feel pleasantly warm in the sunshine. Meanwhile, there maybe some mist lingering around the coast, where it will feel a little cooler.

Weather forecast

Maximum temperature: 19C (66F).

Check the forecast near you.

Sunderland face relegation battle

Adam Johnson is Sunderland's current joint top scorer with Connor Whickham with five goals each this season.

Stadium of Light
Getty Images

The Black Cats are currently 16th in the Premier League

with six games to go. They are only one point clear of the relegation zone, and face a battle against the drop into the Championship.

Johnson's playing history

The winger, who has played 12 times for England, was initially suspended and then reinstated by his club after being arrested at his mansion in leafy Castle Eden, County Durham.

Born in Sunderland, Johnson began his career at Middlesbrough before moving to Manchester City and then Sunderland for £10m in 2012.

After his bail was previously extended by police, the decision was taken to allow him to return to play for Sunderland while the investigation continued. The club has yet to make a statement following the charges.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: Sunderland player Adam Johnson has been charged with sexual activity with a child.
  • BBC Tees: Plans for a potash mine near Whitby are a step closer.

Due in court next month

Fiona Trott

BBC News, Newcastle

Adam Johnson made no comment to the waiting media when he met detectives at Peterlee police station.

He left after 20 minutes and the force confirmed that he'd been charged with three offences of sexual activity with a child under the age of sixteen and one offence of grooming.

The winger was suspended by Sunderland Football Club shortly after his arrest on 2 March this year, but then returned to the squad about two weeks later following talks with his representatives and the Professional Footballers Association.

Mr Johnson is due to appear before Peterlee Magistrates Court on 20 May.

'Right to fair trial'

The statement from Gerry Wareham continues: "May I remind all concerned that the defendant has a right to a fair trial. It is very important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.

"I would also remind people that the complainant in this case is entitled to lifelong anonymity under the law. For these reasons, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further."

'Realistic prospect of conviction'

Gerry Wareham, CPS Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North East, continues: "We have reviewed the available evidence in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and concluded that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to charge Adam Johnson with one offence of meeting a child following sexual grooming, contrary to Section 15 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and three offences of sexual activity with a child, contrary to Section 9 of the Sexual Offence Act 2003. The alleged offences date from 30 December 2014 to 26 February 2015."

Alleged offences against 15-year-old

Gerry Wareham, CPS Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North East, said: "Following an investigation by Durham Police, I have today authorised police to charge Adam Johnson, aged 27, with four offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The offences are alleged to have been committed on one girl aged 15 at the time."

Adam Johnson

Johnson appears at police station

Adam Johnson answered his police bail earlier today dressed in a dark tracksuit. He was accompanied by his lawyer but made no comment.

Adam Johnson

Johnson initially suspended

Sunderland AFC initially suspended England and former Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson pending the outcome of the police investigation, but this was lifted on 18 March.

Johnson to appear at court

Adam Johnson, 27, was arrested on 2 March and was charged after he answered his police bail today at Peterlee police station.

Adam Johnson

He will appear at the magistrates' court in Peterlee on Wednesday, 20 May.

BreakingJohnson charged with sexual activity with child

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has been charged with three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 and one of grooming.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 15:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: There's been another fire at a stables in Sunderland - the second in a week - and this time police say they think it's arson.
  • BBC Tees: The lawyer representing a Teesside woman who is facing the death penalty for drug smuggling in Indonesia says the original case against her was full of irregularities.

Johnson leaves police station

After about 20 minutes, Adam Johnson left the police station, again without making any comment. He got into a waiting Range Rover and left with his lawyer.

Adam Johnson

Adam Johnson's career so far

Born in Sunderland, winger Adam Johnson joined Middlesbrough's youth academy and made his senior debut at the age of 17, in a 2005 Uefa Cup game.

He was loaned out to Leeds United then Watford, returned to Middlesbrough and then in 2010 made a £7m move to Manchester City.

In 2012 he signed for Sunderland on a £10m deal. He has also represented England at under-19 and under-21 levels, and at senior level 12 times. His last England appearance was in a friendly win over Italy in August 2012.

BreakingFootballer Johnson answers bail

Annette Bartholomew

BBC News

Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson has arrived at Peterlee police station to answer bail

after he was arrested on suspicion of having sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl. He attended with his lawyer and did not comment.

Adam Johnson

We'll have the latest on any developments as we get it.

Teesside group win folk award

Sharuna Sagar

BBC Look North

The Young'uns - a folk trio from Teesside - were named Best Group at the

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in Cardiff.

The group started life in Stockton and over the last 10 years have grown into an internationally renowned act.

The Young'uns

They have a sell out show at Sage Gateshead on Saturday, performing at Glastonbury with Billy Bragg and are due to tour Canada in August.

See a list of all of the winners here.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: There's been another fire at a stables in Sunderland - the second in a week - and this time police say they think it's arson.
  • BBC Tees: Redcar and Cleveland Borough Councillors are meeting to discuss whether to approve the development of a billion-pound potash mine near Whitby - which will have a pipeline to Teesside.

Cops with cameras

Durham RPU

tweets: Assisting BBC Look North with footage for regional news to be shown Tuesday 5th May 2015 #teamC/D!!

Police car with camera
Durham Constabulary

'I've got to come up with a formula'

BBC Sport

John Carver says he is well aware of the challenge posed by Garry Monk's Swansea for Saturday's match against Newcastle at St James' Park.

"Garry Monk has made a very good transition from player to manager and he's taken Swansea on to another level," said Carver.

"Swansea will keep the ball so we will have to be patient at times, but I've got to come up with a formula to get three points."

St James' Park
Getty Images

'The time for talking is over'

BBC Sport

John Carver's Newcastle side have been dragged back into relegation danger after last week's 3-1 home loss to Spurs. They are not in full-blown panic just yet, with seven points separating them and the bottom three. But Carver is clearly not underestimating how big a win would be for United on Saturday...

"We need a win. It's so important for everyone and may just lift that bit of gloom that's over the city at the moment," he said. "The time for talking is over. We have to go out on the pitch and deliver. Actions speak louder than words."

John Carver
Getty Images

NUFC news conference on now

Newcastle v Swansea, Saturday, 15:00

BBC Sport

John Carver is currently speaking to the media ahead of Newcastle's game with Swansea on Saturday. The manager has confirmed that Jonas Gutierrez and Siem de Jong will be in the squad for the match.

Gutierrez was left out for the home loss to Tottenham last Sunday for "selection reasons", with rumours suggesting a fall-out between him and Carver.

Siem de Jong
Getty Images

De Jong suffered a collapsed lung in February but has played two reserve games recently, with Carver saying in his press conference: "Siem de Jong will be in the squad and be involved. Some of his play in the Under-21s at Aston Villa was excellent."

Police 'not linking fires'

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

I've just spoken to Northumbria Police and they say inquiries are still being carried out into

Monday's fire at the stables in Coxgreen Road in New Penshaw where five horses were killed.

Fire at stables

They're working to find out the cause of Monday's fire so they aren't linking the two fires at the moment.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: There's been another fire at a stables in Sunderland - the second in a week - and this time police say they think it's arson.
  • BBC Tees: Redcar and Cleveland Borough Councillors are meeting to discuss whether to approve the development of a billion-pound potash mine near Whitby - which will have a pipeline to Teesside.

Cleared of two charges

Graeme Finlay told his trial at Teesside Crown Court that the incident on a cruise ship off Lanzarote had left him feeling "deeply ashamed" and he had not meant to cause the couple any harm.

After deliberating for less than an hour, the jury found him not guilty of unlawfully wounding Mr Phillips and not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to Mrs Phillips.