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  1. Updates on Tuesday 31 May 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 finished for the day but we'll be back from 08:00 on Wednesday with the latest news, sport, weather and travel. 

We hope you can join us then.  

If you'd like to get in touch you can Tweet @BBCNewsNEemail, or contact us via our Facebook page.  

Darlington Civic Theatre closing for £12m refurbishment

Stuart Whincup

BBC Look North

I've been filming at Darlington Civic Theatre as it prepares to close for 18 months for a £12m refurbishment - the final show is tonight.

Watch my full report on Look North on BBC One at 18:30.

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Weather: A cloudy, murky evening

Outbreaks of rain, which could be heavy in places.

It will remain rather cloudy and murky, especially across coastal areas, with mist, occasional drizzle, and hill fog likely.  


Former Physio looks to Euro 2016

A look back at the Durham Tees Valley Air Show

For those of you who missed the long-awaited Durham Tees Valley Air Show over the weekend, here are a couple of reminders.

Red Arrows
Cpl Michael Strachan

A display by the Red Arrows was one of the highlights of the event.

Royal Military Police display
Cpl Michael Strachan

And the ground events included a demonstration by the Royal Military Police of how they protect VIPs and high-ranking officials.

Neither public nor convenient - nowhere to spend a penny

Newcastle is one of 10 areas in the UK without any council-run public toilets.

There is no legal requirement for authorities to provide such facilities, so they are often closed down when budgets are squeezed.

In some areas the disused facilities find new life as a shops, wine bars, and in one case, a dog grooming parlour.

However, plans to convert the iconic underground loos in Newcastle's Bigg Market (pictured below) into other uses have not, as yet been realised.

Bigg Market toilet

Service commemorates bomb crate victims

A memorial service has been held to remember the lives of four people - two of them children - who died when a schoolgirl fell down a bomb crater in Newcastle.

On 5 May 1941 a bomb damaged homes on Tarset Street above the Ouseburn Valley but no-one was killed or injured. 

However, three weeks later on 31 May, seven-year-old Irene Page fell into the crater, and was suffocated by gas fumes.

Three would-be rescuers, 12-year-old Ernest Smith and volunteer firemen John Tulip and George Wanless, also died.  

Chronicle report of tragedy
NCJ Media

The service was held at St Ann's Church on Breamish Street.

Watch the full report on Look North on BBC One at 18:30.

Beached whale 'probably hit by boat'

A sperm whale found dead on a Teesside beach is thought to have been hit by a boat out at sea.

An area of Marske beach has been cordoned off to allow experts to dispose of the carcass.

Marske whale

By coincidence, it is five years to the day since a sperm whale was beached just up the coast at Redcar.

It was alive when stranded, but died despite a rescue bid to keep it wet until high tide.

Andros Townsend 'gutted' about missing out on Euro 2016 squad

Earlier England's Euro 2016 squad was announced and Newcastle midfielder Andros Townsend was one of those to lose out.

He tweeted his reaction:.

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Cricket: Nottinghamshire draw with Durham after poor weather halts play

Martin Emmerson

BBC Newcastle

Durham's match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge was brought to an end earlier.

With no sign of the weather improving and little chance of a result, the umpires decided enough was enough at tea.

Both sides take 12 points from the encounter and Nottinghamshire's Brendan Taylor takes with him a match to remember. The former Zimbabwe skipper scored two hundreds.

Trent Bridge

Liam Fee murderers sentenced in July

The two women convicted of murdering Liam Fee will be sentenced on 6 July.

Rachel and Nyomi Fee had subjected the two year old to an escalating pattern of cruelty before he was found dead at their home in Fife.

Liam Fee's father, Joseph Johnson, was in tears at the verdict and had to be consoled by friends.

The pair, originally of Ryton, were also found guilty of the physical and psychological abuse of two other boys.

Nyomi (left), Rachel and Liam Fee

Driver, 94, seriously hurt in bollard collision

An elderly woman is in a critical condition after the car she was driving hit a road sign in Durham.

The 94-year-old suffered serious internal injuries when her Smart Fortwo collided with a "keep left" bollard in the central reservation.

Durham Police has appealed for witnesses to the incident outside the Gilesgate Moor Hotel at 20:00 on Saturday.

Para sailing silver medal for Sunderland man

A sailing team skipped by a Sunderland man gained a silver medal at the Para Sailing World Championship in the Netherlands at the weekend.

John Robertson, along with Stephen Thomas and Hannah Stodel, won the final Sonar race but had to settle for second overall because a third-place finish for the United States was enough to claim gold.  

Silver medalists
Jasper van Staveren

After the result, at Medemblik, he said: "It would have been nice to have had a gold but to have a silver at this stage of the game is pretty good actually. 

"The way we sailed was really quite good as well, so we're pretty chuffed." 

Woman assaulted and robbed in block of flats

A woman was robbed and punched in the face after another man sexually assaulted her in the communal area of a block of flats.

The victim was first pinned against the wall in Collingwood Mansions, North Shields, by a man who touched her inappropriately.

She pushed him away and a second man then stole cash from her wallet and punched her in the face.

Northumbria Police has appealed for information about the incident between 22:00 and midnight, Saturday into Sunday.

County Durham bridge demolition work

Jobs lost during Darlington Theatre restoration

More than 70 workers at Darlington Theatre have been made redundant as a result of its year-long restoration programme.

The council said that with no suitable alternative jobs it was unable to hold on to staff for such a lengthy period.

However, they would be able to re-apply for new posts in readiness for its reopening.

Model of refurbished Darlington Theatre
Darlington Borough Council

Following the £11.7m refurbishment, The Grade II-listed building will reopen as the Darlington Hippodrome.

Newcastle's Andros Townsend not included in England Euro 2016 squad

The England squad for Euro 2016 has been announced and Newcastle midfielder Andros Townsend has missed out along with Leicester's Danny Drinkwater.

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Whale washed up on Marske beach

Liam Fee injuries 'similar to car crash'

Liam Fee suffered injuries similar to those seen in road crash victims, the trial was told.

A pathologist testified that in the hours or days before he died he had suffered fractures to his upper arm and thigh, and more 30 external injuries, most of them "in keeping with blunt force trauma".

The court was also told that mobiles belonging to Rachel and Nyomi Fee, who are originally from Ryton, were used to carry out internet searches including "can you die from a broken bone" and "will a hip fracture heal on its own".

Liam at nursery
Crown Office

Couple blamed other child for Liam death

Rachel and Nyomi Fee told police that another child was responsible for Liam's death.

The pair, who are originally from Ryton, claimed he had been acting in a sexualised way towards the boy, and blamed him for the death.

Initially the child told police he had "strangled" the toddler by putting his hands over his mouth.

However, the investigation revealed that Liam had died after suffering a ruptured heart, and during a series of recorded interviews with the child, and another boy, the full picture of the abuse they had suffered began to emerge.

Chldren's charity describes Liam Fee case as 'horrific'

The NSPCC has described the Liam Fee case as "horrific".

Following the conviction of Rachel and Nyomi Fee, the children's charity said: "Liam and the other children in the household were the subject of the most horrific and long-term abuse by a couple who should have loved and nurtured their family, but who instead brutally murdered a child in their care. 

"Everyone who has followed this case will have been deeply affected by the accounts of neglect, cruelty and violence inflicted on Liam during his short and tragic life."

Rachel and Nyomi Fee

Liam murder pair abused two other children

In addition to the murder charge, Liam Fee's mother and her partner were found guilty of assaulting and neglecting him.

This included failing to get him proper medical attention for a broken leg and a fractured arm, in the period leading up to his death.

They were also convicted of a string of abuses against two other young boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The trial was told that one was imprisoned in a home-made cage and another tied naked to a chair in a dark room where snakes and rats were kept. 

Liam Fee murder trial: Guilty verdicts following seven-week trial

Two woman who have been found guilty of murdering the two-year-old son of one of them were also convicted of a ctalogue of abuse against two young boys.

Liam Fee was found dead at a house in Fife in March 2014.

His mother, Rachel Fee, and her partner Nyomi Fee, denied murder but were found guilty following a seven week trial at the High Court in Livingston. The pair are originally from Ryton.

Liam Fee

BreakingPair guilty of Liam Fee murder

Two woman have been found guilty of murdering the two-year-old son of one of them.

Liam Fee was found dead at a house in Fife in March 2014.

His mother, Rachel Fee, and her partner Nyomi Fee , originally from Ryton, denied murder but have been found guilty.

Tributes to County Durham death crash driver

A driver killed in a crash in County Durham will be remembered for his "outgoing care-free personality", his family has said.

Wayne Seal was driving a Ford Fiesta which was involved in a collision with a Skoda Fabia at Cockfield, near Bishop Auckland.

The 46-year-old, from Newton Aycliffe, died at the scene, early on Sunday.

Wayne Seal
Durham Police

Mr Seal's brother, Garry, said: "Wayne will be sadly missed by his family and many VW enthusiast friends. Rest in peace."

Arrest after Newcastle dancefloor attack

A man has been arrested after another man was attacked in a Newcastle club.

The 24 year old was struck a number of times on the head on the dancefloor of the O2 Academy early on Monday.

Northumbria Poice said the 34-year-old held on suspicion of wounding has now been bailed pending further enquiries.

Councillors fail to back campaign to save library

The Northern Echo


As few as three councillors have pledged their support to The Northern Echo’s campaign to save Darlington's central library from imminent closure.

Darington central library
Northern Echo

Liam Fee jury resumes deliberations

Jurors in the Liam Fee murder trial have returned for a third day of deliberations.

Liam's mother, Rachel Fee and her partner Nyomi Fee deny murdering the two-year-old in a house in Fife in March 2014.

The pair, who are originally from Ryton, blame his death on another child.

Liam Fee

Man seriously injured in baton attack

A man suffered serious injuries when he was struck on the head with what is thought to be a baton.

The 37-year-old was attacked from behind outside the Jolly Potter in Sunderland just after 01:00 on Sunday.

He was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital and later transferred to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary, where his condition is described as stable.

Northumbria Police said there were a number of people on the street at the time, and appealed for witnesses.

Arrest after football tournament assault

A man has been arrested in connection with an assault at a football tournament.

Police were called to Gateshead Redheugh football club in Forge Road on Saturday, after a 54-year-old man suffered an eye injury when he was struck in the face.

The 32-year-old man was arrested and later bailed pending further enquiries.

Ginola home after heart surgery

Former France winger - and Newcastle United star - David Ginola is back at home following his quadruple heart bypass operation.

He required the procedure after going into cardiac arrest playing football in the south of France on 19 May.

David Gonola

The 49 year old tweeted: "Home at last! Thanks so much to all of you for your incredible messages of love and affection!"

Hunt for balaclava-clad rapist continues

Police are continuing to search for a man who raped a teenage girl in Newcastle.

The 16 year old was walking along a disused railway track in the Lemington area on Friday night when she was grabbed and assaulted.

Her assailant is described as dressed in black and wearing a balaclava.

Cricket captain hits milestone at Chester-le-Street

BBC Sport

Chester-le-Street was the setting for a cricketing landmark on Monday, when Alistair Cook became the youngest player to score 10,000 Test runs.

The 31-year-old - or to be precise, aged 31, five months and five days - hit the milestone on the fourth day of the second Test against Sri Lanka at Durham's ground.

Alistair Cook
Getty Images

Cook went on to make 47 not out as England won the Test by nine wickets.

Travel: Traffic mostly running smoothly

BBC Travel

The Whit Week holiday seems to be having an effect on the region's travel, with no major problems reported.

There are, however, warnings of congestion on the A690 in Durham due to the roadworks between the Gates and Gilesgate roundabouts. 

More traffic information on the BBC Travel website for Tyne & Wear, and Teesside.

Weather: A cool, cloudy and windy day

It will be a cool, cloudy and windy day, with outbreaks of rain spreading west from the North Sea.

These could be heavy during the morning, but becoming lighter later.  


Motorist killed in head-on collision

A motorist died and another person was seriously injured in a head-on collision in County Durham.

Police said a Ford Fiesta and a Skoda Fabia collided on Lands Road in Cockfield, near Bishop Auckland, at about 00:25 on Sunday.

The driver of the Fiesta, who has not been named, died at the scene.