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  1. Updates on Thursday 21 April 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Updates for the North East have now finished for the day. 

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

If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet us, email, or contact us through our Facebook page.  

On Look North: Family desperate to bring daughter home from Egypt

A Teesside family are desperately trying to arrange for their daughter to be flown home from Egypt, after she was involved in a horse riding accident.

And celebrations to mark the Queen's birthday. We're live at two locations where beacons will be lit to mark the occasion.   

Join us on BBC One at 18:30 for these and all our other stories

Weather: Remaining dry but temperatures dipping

Remaining dry into the evening and overnight, with a light northeasterly breeze. 

Temperatures will dip under further clear spells, perhaps leading to some mist and fog patches, and a touch of frost around rural parts by dawn. 

Minimum Temperature: 2C (36F).

weather graphic

Care worker jailed for stealing thousands of pounds

The Northern Echo


A care worker has been jailed for pocketing thousands of pounds belonging to some of the "most vulnerable people in society".  

Westgate Road reopens after four-car collision

Sunderland fans snap up tickets for crunch Watford clash

Suspect sought after Ashington sex assaults

Police have appealed for information after two sexual assaults in Ashington. The first happened on Station Road at 20:00 on Monday when a 32-year-old woman was approached by a man riding a mountain bike. Police said he touched her inappropriately as he passed. The second incident, also on Station Road, happened at 22:00 the following day when a 27-year-old woman was also approached by a man on a bike. He asked for the time, touched her inappropriately and made off. He is described as being of large build and was wearing an electric blue tracksuit and a camouflage snood. Officers said he spoke with a "squeaky voice".

Travel: Newcastle's Westgate Road closed after collision

BBC Travel

More on the collision in Newcastle city centre - 

BBC Travel says A186 Westgate Road is closed and there is slow traffic westbound between the B1307 St Nicholas' Street junction and the Orchard Street junction, because of an accident involving four cars.

More details on the Tyne & Wear travel website.

Travel: Four-vehicle collision in Newcastle city centre

Thousands raised for Egypt crush woman

More than £8,000 has been raised in two days to help a Teesside woman who could be paralysed after being crushed by a horse in Cairo.

Olivia Fairclough, 31, from Eaglescliffe, requires urgent surgery on her back amid fears she may never walk again.

Her family are trying to raise £32,000 to pay for treatment and her transport home.

Her brother Trevor said they were in a "blind panic"

Olivia Fairclough
Fairclough family

Q&A: Police and crime commissioners

Elections for police and crime commissioners will take place across most of England and Wales on 5 May. 

Here is a guide to what PCCs do and how the system, introduced in 2012, works.  

Police and crime commissioners graphic

Woman punched and kicked nurses treating her brother at hospital A&E

The Gazette


  A woman kicked and punched three nurses in a vicious assault at a hospital A&E.  

Natasha Louise Close
The Gazette

Victoria Wood's brother says her work will last for many years

The brother of comedian, singer and writer Victoria Wood - who has died after a short battle with cancer - said he believed her work would continue to be enjoyed for many years.

Chris Foote Wood, 75, from Darlington, said he left the family home in Bury, Lancashire, when she was only five and they were not close growing up. He said he had not known of her illness.

"I think it is a great loss to the world, because Victoria was always moving on, always looking to do something new, she had so much breadth of talent, whatever she turned her hand to became a success," he said.

Chris Foote Wood

"There was a lot more she would have done, had she lived.

"At least she has been able to leave us all these wonderful shows, stories, sketches and songs and they will continue to be enjoyed for many, many years."

Jesmond and Heaton householders warned over sneak thief danger

Householders in Jesmond and Heaton are being warned to be on their guard against sneak thieves.

Northumbria Police said there have been "a number of recent incidents" including one in which a 94-year-old woman in Heaton had her purse stolen from her handbag in the middle of the day. She was inside her home and had left the door unlocked. Officers are calling on people to make sure their homes are secure at all times.

Helen Bailey disappearance: Police investigate possible sightings

Police searching for missing Northumberland-born children's author Helen Bailey say there have been a number of possible sightings.

The 51-year-old, who wrote the Electra Brown series for teenagers and now lives in Royston, Hertfordshire, was last seen walking her dog near her home over a week ago.

Hertfordshire Police said they are now extending their searches for the writer to less used walking routes.

Helen Bailey
Herfordshire Police

Football: Sunderland midfielder believes they can win last five games

BBC Sport

Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole thinks they can earn maximum points from their remaining games and avoid relegation from the Premier League.

The Black Cats beat relegation rivals Norwich on Sunday to move one point from safety with five matches left, but still have to play Arsenal and Chelsea at the Stadium of Light.

"I'm seeing five games left and I think we can win every one of them," he said.

"It would be unbelievable if we did but that is what we are aiming to do."

Lee Cattermole in action against Norwich
Getty Images

Football: Gateshead boss has decided on next season's squad

Matthew Raisbeck

BBC Newcastle Sport

Gateshead boss Neil Aspin says he's decided which of the current squad he wants to keep and who he is going to release.

The club will publish its retained list in the week after the season ends.

Aspin said: "Things never happen quickly when it comes to signing players." But the Gateshead manager has identified a number of targets...  

Video: Queen's visits to the North East

To mark the Queen's 90th birthday, we've put together a video of some of her visits to the region over the years - you can watch it here.

The Queen in Newcastle

Some people have been sharing their memories of those visist including Les White who writes: "I remember in 1967 going to Jarrow to see the Queen arrive to get on a train at Jarrow railway station, armed with my ISpy book of car registrations only to be amazed that the Queen's car didn't have one. Happy Birthday."

Travel: Newcastle's Blackett Street closed

CCTV released in Eldon Square theft probe

Police have released a CCTV image of a man they'd like to speak to after hundreds of pounds of clothes were stolen from a shop in Eldon Square.

Hollister theft suspect
Northumbria Police

About £450 of items were taken from the Hollister store on Tuesday, 29 March.Officers say the man was in the shop at the time of the theft and may be able to help with enquiries.  

£1m lottery ticket remains unclaimed in Durham

The Chronicle

A Durham lottery ticket holder is just days away from missing out on becoming a millionaire.  

£20 notes
Adam Gault

Travel: Metro services not running to usual timetable

Weather: Remaining sunny with cloud increasing later

It will be another dry day with pleasantly warm sunny spells. The sunshine may become hazy at times later as cloud increases from southwestern parts. 

weather graphic

Maximum Temperature: 16C (61F).  

Middlesbrough's Aimee Wilmott selected for 2016 Rio Olympics

Middlesbrough swimmer Aimee Wilmott has been named in the Team GB swimming squad for this summer's Rio Olympics.

Aimee Wilmott
Getty Images

The 23-year-old was selected for the 2012 event in London and has also competed in the World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

World champions Adam Peaty and James Guy head the list of swimmers who will be going for gold in August.

Arrest after gang attack Gateshead man in his home

A man suffered head injuries when he was attacked by a gang of men in his Gateshead home.

Aboout 18:20 yesterday, the group - all wearing hooded tops and face coverings - broke into a flat in West Lea, Winlaton.

They assaulted the occupant, a 29-year-old, and stole a number of items before fleeing in silver car.

It is believed there may have been five offenders in total and some of the group were armed with metal objects that were used to assault the victim. He required hospital treatment.

A black Asus tablet and a gold saddle ring which has blue tape wrapped around it were among the items taken. A 24-year-old man has been arrested and police said they believe those involved are known to each other.

Billionaire backs management buyout of Tata Steel

Welsh billionaire Sir Terry Matthews has given his support to the proposed management buyout of Tata Steel's operations in the UK.

Sir Terry Matthews

Tata's Port Talbot chief Stuart Wilkie is heading the move.

Neath Port Talbot council chief executive Steve Phillips confirmed he and a number of business associates, including Mr Wilkie, met Sir Terry this week.

Tata Steel directly employs 15,000 workers in the UK and supports thousands of others, across plants in Teesside, Port Talbot, Rotherham, Corby and Shotton. Its UK operations are losing about £1m a day.

You can read the full story by clicking here.

Graphic showing number of people employed across the UK by Tata Steel

Travel: Accident closes A693 in Beamish

BBC Travel

An accident has closed the A693 in Beamish and there's slow-moving traffic between the Green's Bank junction and the roundabout junction.

Two cars were involved and a diversion is in place.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on the roads with BBC Travel.

Travel: Overhead line fault causes Metro delays

Farne Islands rangers 'hoping to see more puffins'

Rangers on one of Britain's most important seabird colonies are hoping for a more successful summer after flooding wreaked havoc last year and led to a large drop in the number of chicks fledging.

Thousands of puffins and other birds have returned after winter to the Farne Islands, which sit just off the Northumberland coast.

Last year storms and torrential rain flooded a huge number of puffin burrows, causing chick productivity to halve. But the team from the National Trust, who look after the islands are hoping for better luck this year.

Ranger Lana Blakely said: "At this time of year we'll see the puffins coming back, it'll gradually build up until we have thousands on the islands like we do now.


"They'll come on, clean out burrows, reaffirm their bonds and you'll see a lot of bill clicking, and they'll also go off for days on end feeding. And as they get closer to their laying date they'll be staying more and more on the islands, getting ready for that time."

There are about 40,000 breeding puffin pairs on the Farnes, which the National Trust describes as the "jewel in its wildlife crown".

Newcastle University brain cells research 'may help Parkinson's sufferers'

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

Scientists in the North East are working to develop a drug that could help stop brain cells dying in people who may later be diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

The loss of nerve cells in the brain is what causes symptoms of the condition to develop, such as shaking, stiffness and problems sleeping.

More than 5,000 people are currently living with Parkinson's in our region. Dr Amy Reeve has received almost £250,000 to fund her research at Newcastle University.

Mark Knopfler and Brian Johnson also on musicians' rich list

More now on the Sunday Times Rich List of the top 50 music millionaires in the UK and Ireland.

Brian Johnson on stage

We told you earlier Sting sits comfortably at number 10 with £185m, but he's not the only well-known North East figure included.

Mark Knopfler, former frontman of Dire Straits, is at 31 - one place behind Adele - with a declared personal wealth of £75m.

And Dunston-born AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson, pictured, is not far behind. Johnson, who's just had to pull out of the band's world tour because of fears about his hearing, has a £65m fortune and that puts him at 36.

Stockton woman Olivia Fairclough 'needs urgent treatment if she is to walk again'

BBC Tees

The family of a Teesside woman who's in hospital in Egypt with serious spinal and rib injuries after an accident involving a horse say she needs to come back to the UK as soon as possible.

Olivia Fairclough, from Stockton, was working at stables near Cairo when she was crushed by a horse last week.

Her brother Trevor says her insurance policy had lapsed and is trying to make arrangements for her to be flown home. He told BBC Tees she needs urgent treatment if she's to stand a chance of walking again.

"She needs to have the surgery, we need to get her flown back straight away. This is where the blind panic is coming from right now.

"It's recommended she gets back to the UK directly after surgery within 72 hours before any complications, such as infection, set in."

Photos of the Queen in the North East from the Northern Echo archive

The Northern Echo


Fascinating photos of the Queen in the North East taken from the Echo's archives  

The Queen in the North East
Northern Echo

Ashington Leisure Centre hires security guards after vandalism

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

A Northumberland leisure centre has had to enlist security officers to patrol the premises following "unacceptable" behaviour from youths at the site.

Richard Anderson, acting manager of Ashington Leisure Centre, issued a letter to users of the facility explaining the decision and says the aim is to stop the problem before it worsens.

"It's more younger teenagers who are causing a bit of trouble," he said. "There has been a little bit of vandalism within the centre and they have set fire to a table within the library. There's also been a little bit of vandalism on the outside of the centre as well."

Sting '10th wealthiest UK musician', says Sunday Times Rich List

BBC Entertainment and Arts

Britain's richest musicians have been named by the Sunday Times and North East-born Sting makes it into the top 10 with £185m.

Getty Images

The newspaper's annual Rich List names the top 50 music millionaires in the UK and Ireland and Sir Paul McCartney tops it with £760m.

Lord Lloyd-Webber is second with £715m while a £500m fortune puts Irish rockers U2 third.

Adele has been named Britain's richest ever female musician, with £85m. That puts her 30th on the list.

Lindisfarne and John Reid Road roundabouts in South Tyneside set for major upgrade

The Chronicle

A major commuter route in Tyneside is to be improved to help reduce accidents and ease congestion.  

The Chronicle

Metro delays due to line fault

Hartlepool beacons to be lit in Queen's 90th birthday celebration

Jonathan Swingler

As you'll no doubt already know, the country is celebrating a very special birthday today - the Queen's 90th.

A number of events are planned across the nation to mark the event and Hartlepool's two coastal beacons will be among more than 1,000 lit. In case you're wondering, they're gas now, not kerosene. Health and safety!  

Seaton Carew beacon

The Prince of Wales will invite The Queen to light the first beacon at Windsor Castle and that will be followed by the lighting of a number of beacons along the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park and then the others throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK overseas territories and Commonwealth countries.

People are invited to gather at 19:15 at the Town Moor beacon on the Headland and at the beacon on the seafront at Seaton Carew (pictured).

Weather: Dry with warm, sunny spells

It's set to be another dry day with pleasantly warm sunny spells although the sunshine will perhaps becoming rather more hazy at times later, as cloud increases from the southwest. Winds will be mainly light.

Weather map

It should stay dry this evening with any cloud tending to clear, giving some long clear spells, with a chilly end to the night.