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  1. Updates on Tuesday 29 March 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Live updates for the North East have now finished for the day. 

We'll be back from 08:00 on Wednesday with more news, sport, weather and travel - we hope you can join us then.

If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet usemail us, or contact us via Facebook.  

Weather: Frost or fog patches likely tonight

Kay Crewdson

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

Clear spells and isolated showers, these perhaps wintry over the Pennines. 

It will be another chilly night, with frost or fog patches likely, especially in the countryside.  

Watch below:

Weather: weather_northeast.avi

Check the forecast where you are here.

Man shot by firearms officers named locally

A 24-year-old man who was shot by a firearms officer after being told to "put the gun down" before being shot in South Shields has been named by locals.

Residents have named the man as James Wilson, also known as Cornet, who is believed to have been shot once in the chest. 

Armed police were called to Frenchman's Way at about 01:00 after receiving reports a man was holding a handgun. 

Investigators from the Independent Police Complaints Commission have been working at the scene.

Frenchman's Way

Travel: A1 partially blocked due to animals on the road

BBC Travel

Frenchman's Way in Harton, South Shields, is closed in both directions between the Amble Avenue junction and the B1301 Cheviot Road junction, because of a serious police incident. Also affecting Norham Avenue South between Coquet Avenue and Farne Avenue.  

And the  A1 in Middleton Tyas is partially blocked southbound between Scotch Corner and Catterick North because of animals on the road.  

Get the latest travel news for Tyne and Wear and Teesside.

Durham Police facing court action for 'imprisoning' Liverpool fans

Durham Police are being taken to court over allegedly 'imprisoning' Liverpool fans on a coach coming back from a game, The Liverpool Echo reports.

Four forces are facing a lawsuit by the Spirit of Shankly Liverpool Supporters’ Union (SOS) fans’ group, who claim they were denied access to motorway service stations for comfort breaks as they travelled back from Sunderland in March 2011.

Morphine taken in Northumberland house burglary

A cache of medication has been taken during a burglary in Northumberland.

A house was broken into in Sycamore Street in Ashington between Wednesday and Sunday.

A quantity of morphine and dihydrocodine was stolen. 

Police are reminding people not to take any medication which is not prescribed for them.

'Not possible' to tell dumped Gutierrez to his face

The ex boss of Newcastle United who dumped a player over the phone said he would have preferred to tell him to his face. 

Jonas Gutierrez, 32, is suing Newcastle for disability discrimination over the way he was treated by the club following his cancer diagnosis in October 2013.  

Jonas Gutierrez
Getty Images

John Carver told the hearing Newcastle's managing director, Lee Charnley, asked him to speak to Gutierrez and Ryan Taylor to tell them they were being let go, but could not get hold of Gutierrez.

"I spoke to Ryan Taylor, he told me he was on a coaching course in Northern Ireland and when I mentioned that I was also trying to get in touch with Jonas he stated he was also on the course and did I want to speak to him," said Carver. 

 "I said I did and I explained he would not be getting a new contract. Jonas took this news calmly and didn't raise any issues." 

Gutierrez later said the club made him feel like "they did not care" after releasing him over the phone. 

"While I would have preferred to give Jonas [and Ryan] this message face to face, it was not possible in the circumstances as I had been asked by the club to deliver the news as soon as possible," added Carver.

The tribunal continues.

Woman and daughter suffer 'serious' leg burns in grass fire

A woman and her daughter suffered serious leg burns when a grass fire got out of control in Northumberland, police say. 

The pair were walking in Simonside Hills on Friday when they were injured getting caught up in reportedly "controlled" burning near Dove Cragg. 

They were taken to hospital with serious but not life threatening injuries, police confirmed. 

Northumbria Police is investigating with the Forestry Commission, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service and Northumberland National Parks. 

Missing 15-year-old from Teesside 'may be in Huddersfield'

A 15-year-old girl missing from Teesside may have travelled to Huddersfield, Cleveland Police believe. 

Connie Baldwin-Stenton was last seen in Stainton Way in Stainton, Middlesbrough, yesterday, at about 17:00. 

She is about 5ft 5in, with straight, brown shoulder length hair. 

Connie Baldwin-Stenton
Cleveland Police

Woman in court over 'missing man' murder

A woman has appeared in court charged with murdering a North Tyneside man who disappeared more than a month ago. 

The body of James Prout, 43, was found near his home on Sunday. He had not been seen since early February but was only reported missing on Good Friday. 

Anne Corbett, 25, of Percy Main, also charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, appeared before North Tyneside Magistrates' Court. 

She was remanded in custody to appear at Newcastle Crown Court on 31 March. 

Three other people, also charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, were remanded in custody.

Myra Wood, 49, and Kay Rayworth, 55, from Percy Main, are due to appear before Newcastle Crown Court on 31 March. Zahid Zaman, 42, also from Percy main, will appear at Teesside Crown Court on 26 April. 

Man shot by police still in a serious condition

A man who was shot by armed police after apparently being spotted with a handgun in South Shields remains in a serious condition inhospital.

The 24-year-old is believed to have been shot once in the chest after firearms officers were called to Frenchman's Way at 01:00.

Investigators from the Independent Police Complaints Commission have been working at the scene of the shooting, which has been cordoned off, since the morning.

Neither Northumbria Police nor the IPCC have named the man, but the watchdog said he remains in a serious condition. 

It was understood he is being treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. 

Scene of shooting

Former footballer 'Gazza' hurt after lapse into drink

Former Newcastle and Boro midfielder Paul Gascoigne says he is "back on track" after suffering "one blip" in his struggle with alcoholism.

Gascoigne, 48, was pictured with cuts to his face and being accompanied by a police officer on Sunday.

"I'm not perfect and don't want to be either but I am trying my best always," Gascoigne said on Facebook.

In June, Gascoigne said he was glad when told he was an alcoholic at the age of 33.

Paul Gascoigne
Getty Images

Carver 'better players available' that ex-player Gutierrez

Former Newcastle United boss John Carver has told a tribunal that he left ex-player Jonas Gutierrez out of the squad.

The 32-year-old is suing Newcastle for disability discrimination over the way he was treated by the club following his cancer diagnosis in October 2013.  

But Carver has told a tribunal that he didn't think the player was good enough.

"My opinion was that Jonas should not be offered a new contract as there were better players available to take the club forward," said the 51-year-old.

Getty Images

Hartlepool boss urges team 'break records'

Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett has urged his side to maintain their current form and "break records".

Pools beat Leyton Orient 2-0 to go six games unbeaten in League Two and have kept a clean sheet in their last four.

Hignett's side are 14 points clear of 23rd-placed York City with have two games in hand, and only need eight more to be certain of staying up.

"I've said to them, let's see how high we can go and how far we can push ourselves," he told BBC Tees.

Craig Hignett
Rex features

Hospital A&E still busy days after 'over-indulge' Easter

A hospital A&E department is still busy days after it warned chocolate egg eaters to stay away. 

The warning was issued on Facebook after a number of people went to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough with stomach aches caused by overindulgence.

A spokesman for the department said he was 'sorry to sound like a broken record' but the unit was still busy after the Easter weekend. 


Carver 'chose not to pick Jonas Gutierrez for Newcastle'

Ex-Newcastle boss John Carver insists the club's board did not tell him to leave Jonas Gutierrez out of the side.

Gutierrez, 32, is suing Newcastle for disability discrimination over the way he was treated by the club following his cancer diagnosis in October 2013.

The Argentine claims Carver did not start him to avoid triggering a 12-month contract extension.

Jonas Gutierrez
Getty Images

"All selection decisions were taken independently by me," Carver told an employment tribunal.

"The board were not even made aware of my thoughts on team selection until a couple of hours before the match.

"Even if the board had wanted to prevent me from selecting any particular player, including Jonas, it would have been very difficult for me to find an alternative first-team player because of injuries."

Arrest after motorcyclist dies in collision

A motorcyclist has died in a crash in County Durham.

A Kawasaki ZX-6R and a Vauxhall Meriva car collided just after 07:00 on the A693 between Pelton and Beamish.

The motorcyclist, a 29-year-old man from Chester-le-Street, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the car, a 45-year-old woman from Stanley, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, Durham Police confirmed.


Tata to decide fate of UK steelworks

The fate of thousands of British steel workers could be decided today, when the board of the Indian firm Tata meets in Mumbai. 

 The firm - which has sites in Hartlepool and East Cleveland - announced in January it was shedding more than a thousand jobs at its British plants, including 60 in Hartlepool. 

Last year almost 3,000 jobs were lost in Redcar following the closure of the SSI steel works. 

Business Minister Anna Soubry says the government did its best to try to save the plant.

Army captains aims for run record in riot gear

Russ Ward

BBC Newcastle

Busy Easter for emergency air ambulance service

Van firm 'dropped' after patient records stolen

A courier firm has been dropped by a hospital trust after one of its vans was stolen containing patient records. 

Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust said the van had not been locked properly and went missing with 143 records belonging to Royal Victoria Infirmary patients and Freeman Hospital in Fenham in February.

The records were also held electronically and patients were told of the theft.

A hospital spokeswoman said: "The courier company was in breach of laid down standards by leaving the vehicle unattended and in a less than secure setting.

"The contract with the courier company was promptly terminated."

Gateshead draw with Lincoln

BBC Sport

Gateshead drew 1-1 yesterday with Lincoln City in the National League.

Gateshead goalkeeper Sam Russell made saves from Alex Simmons and Jack Muldoon before Luke Waterfall headed in eight minutes before half-time.

The Tynesiders equalised on 78 minutes when substitute Danny Johnson ran on to a long ball to slot past Paul Farman.

The Imps almost won the game at the death when Alan Power's effort from 30 yards just missed.

Man suffers serious head injury after 'dispute' with youths

A man is in a serious condition after a night out in Chester-le-Street.

The 54-year-old victim, was out in the town on Saturday evening with his wife and friends when he became involved in a dispute with a gang of youths on Front Street near the Queen's Head pub, police say. 

The man was assaulted and fell to the ground, officers said. A 16-year-old youth was later arrested and bailed.

Insp Paul Gray said: "An investigation is ongoing and we are following up a number of potential leads. 

"If there is anyone who was in the area on Saturday night and may have witnessed what happened, I would urge them to come forward and help our inquiries."

Child suspects arrested in gun crime probes

Children as young as 10 were among hundreds of youngsters arrested for suspected gun crimes in the last three years, new data has revealed.

More than 1,500 children were held over alleged firearm offences between 2013 and January 2016.


But in the North East there were only a handful of arrests - Durham Constabulary said a 17-year-old girl was arrested for possession of an imitation firearm in 2013. 

The force did not reveal if any children were charged. 

Northumbria Police said eight boys were arrested for suspected firearm offences in 2015, compared with five in 2014 and 25 in 2013. 

Another boy was arrested in January 2016 and two girls in 2014.

Hospital roof-climbing teenagers jailed for hurling stones

Two 16-year-olds who climbed on to the roof of a Newcastle hospital to throw stones have been jailed. 

Northumbria Police said that officers were called after a gang of four climbed on to the city's General hospital in Wingrove Avenue so they could hurl stones at passing vehicles.

Newcastle General Hospital

A force spokesman said they were eventually brought down and arrested for causing a disturbance - 19-year-old man, two 16-year-old boys and a 14-year-old boy. 

The two 16-year-olds were given 16-month jail sentences and the 14-year-old a 12-month youth rehabilitation order. 

The 19-year-old man will appear at Newcastle Crown Court on 4 April for sentencing. 

Armed police shouted 'put the gun down' before shooting man

Armed police shouted "put the gun down" before shooting a 24-year-old man who was holding a handgun in South Shields, a resident says. 

Officers were called to Frenchman's Way shortly after 01:00 where the man was shot once, reportedly in the chest, then taken to hospital. 

Scene of shooting

A local father, who did not give his name, said his girlfriend heard police shout: "Put the gun down," and she heard a bang, which she thought was a firecracker at first. 

The man said: "I came out and there were police with guns walking up and down in body armour, like they were securing the area. 

"I thought they were looking for a gunman. Police were working on the man for about 10 minutes, giving him oxygen. Then they let the ambulance in and after about five minutes they took him to hospital." 

Libraries close as book borrowing rates plummet

Book borrowing in Newcastle has fallen by 43% in the last two years, a BBC investigation into the library service has revealed. 

The fall in the use of the service is also forcing budget-hit councils to close branches. 

● Sunderland has closed nine libraries and two mobile services, half its total service points, but volunteer numbers rose from 19 to 53. 

● Newcastle saw the second biggest drop in the country for book borrowing, down 43% over two years. 

Also in the 10 areas with the biggest falls in borrowing - Redcar and Cleveland, Sunderland and South Tyneside feature. 

Library books

Thousands of library staff axed as volunteers fill the gap

Almost a third of library staff in the North East have lost their jobs, new figures show.

A BBC investigation has found that almost 8,000 jobs in UK libraries have disappeared in six years.

Think Stock

The investigation also found that:

Jobs: 27% of the jobs in libraries in the North East have gone. There were 1,625 in 2010 and there are 1,179 now. 

Volunteers: Volunteer numbers have risen 23%, from 432 in 2010 to 533 now. 

Closures: 16 libraries and three mobile services have gone. 

Motorbike and car crash causes traffic disruption

BBC Travel

A crash involving a motorbike and car is causing disruption in County Durham. 

Motorists are being warned the A693 in Pelton is closed and there is heavy traffic westbound between the Ouston Lane junction and the Green's Bank junction. 

Meanwhile traffic is crawling along on the A184 eastbound in Dunston, Gatehead between the A1114 junction and the A189 Redheugh Bridge junction.  

Samurai sword and knives seized in burglar crackdown

A samurai sword and knives have been seized and more than 30 suspected burglars arrested in a string of raids in Newcastle and Gateshead.

Burglary raids
Northumbria Police

Northumbria Police said 29 men and two women have been questioned after raids in Benwell and Byker in the last four weeks. 

Officers also found a cannabis farm and a large amount of cash, and warned more raids were planned. 

Woman charged with murder of 'missing man' James Prout

A woman has been charged with murdering a man who had not been seen by friends or family for more than a month.

Police searching for James Prout, 43, found a body near his Tyneside home on Sunday. He had not been seen since early February but was only reported missing on Good Friday.

Anne Corbett, 25, of Percy Main, North Tyneside, is charged with murder.

She has also been charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, along with three other people.

Zahid Zaman, 42, Myra Wood, 49, and Kay Rayworth, 55, all from Percy Main, are due in court today, with Ms Corbett.

James Prout
Northumbria Police

Weather: Frosty and chilly with sun and scattered showers

Kay Crewdson

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

A frosty start in places, then sunny intervals and scattered showers. 

Showers are likely to turn heavier in the afternoon, with a risk of hail and thunder, and perhaps snow over the Pennines. 

Feeling chilly, despite lighter winds.  

Kay Crewdson

South Shields street cordoned off after man shot by police

Police have issued a statement after a man was shot and injured by armed officers at 01:00 this morning in South Shields.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Armed officers attended and made contact with the man, during which the man was shot by police.

"A section of Frenchman's Way has been cordoned off while inquiries into the incident are carried out.

"It has been referred to the IPCC. This is a matter of course in any incident resulting in serious injury following police contact."

Shooting in South Shields

Man shot and wounded by armed police

A man has been shot and injured by armed police in South Shields.

Northumbria Police were called to Frenchman's Way at about 01:00 after reports of a man being seen in the street with a handgun.

The 24-year-old man received a single gunshot wound. He was taken to hospital but his condition has not been revealed and few details are available.

The force has referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

South Shields