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  1. Updates on Tuesday 5 July 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage throughout the day

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

That's all of today's live updates - Thank you very much for joining us.

We'll back bright and early tomorrow at 08:00 with more news, weather, travel and sport stories.

You can get in touch with us at anytime on Twitter, Facebook, or via email at

Weather: A dry night

BBC Weather

Remaining heavy showers will die away during the evening to leave a dry remainder of the night with clear spells.

Winds will fall light to give a small chance of a few mist and fog patches locally by dawn.

Weather graph

Check the forecast where you are.

Couple jailed for 'harrowing' child abuse

A couple have been jailed after committing a series of sexual assaults against two girls.

Shane Cunningham, 56, and his wife Dawn, 46, were jailed after a jury at Newcastle Crown Court found them both guilty of sexual offences against children. 

Cunningham was handed a 16-year sentence for an "extended campaign of sexual assault" over several years, which amounted to more than 400 incidents.

His wife was given a four-year sentence for gross indecency and indecent assault, which included forcing a young girl to perform a sex act on her.

Judge Tim Gittins condemned the pair for their denial of guilt, telling them: "You made your victims relive these events by continuing to claim your innocence, claiming your victims were lying and their statements were fantasy... One victim's statement gave a harrowing account of years of abuse."

Fresh information released following death of prisoner Robert Chapman

The Gazette


An inquest has been opened into the death of Teessider prisoner Robert Chapman.

Chapman, locked up for a terrifying home invasion, died while behind bars at HMP Northumberland on Friday night.

BreakingNissan says it is 'monitoring' UK after EU referendum

Car giant Nissan says it is continuing to "monitor the situation in the United Kingdom and the European Union" since the Brexit vote.

The Japanese firm, which has a major plant in Washington, says that like other multinational companies "we are able to seize opportunities, mitigate risks and continually adapt to changing situations".

Chancellor George Osborne toured the plant last year:

Taxpayers' money used in Nissan deal

Teesside cabaret artist is Absolutely Fabulous

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

A cabaret artist from Teesside has made it to the big screen - by appearing in none other than the ultimate fashionista film, The Absolutely Fabulous movie.

La Voix, from Eaglescliffe, was approached by Jennifer Saunders herself, after appearing on Britain's Got Talent two years ago.

Feeling jealous yet?

Well, not only did she get to work with the queens of glam, but in the past she has also worked closely with Mickey Rooney, Sir Ian McKellen and Ruby Wax.

Cheers to you, sweetie darling.

La Voix with Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley
La Voix the show

County Durham 'sees 85% drop in youth crime'

Youth crime in County Durham has fallen by 85% in less than a decade, with the number of child offenders more than halving since 2010, the council says

On 13 July, councillors will be asked to approve how the County Durham Youth Offending Service (CDYOS) plans to further reduce criminal behaviour in the coming year.

Councillor Ossie Johnson, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for children and adult services, said: “This last year just eight young people received a custodial sentence - that’s over 80% less than five years ago - while since 2007-08 the numbers sentenced or cautioned in the county has fallen by more than four fifths, and reoffending by almost 75%.”

In 2015-16, 161 young people entered the justice system for the first time - a 16.6% reduction year-on-year.

Junior doctors reject new contract

Junior doctors and medical students in England have voted to reject the contract that has been offered to them by the government.

British Medical Association members voted 58% to 42% against accepting the deal.

BMA leaders had urged members to accept the terms, which were announced in May after talks with the government resumed following six strikes.

BMA junior doctor leader Johann Malawana immediately resigned.

In October 2015, up to 4,000 people, many of them doctors, marched through Newcastle in protest against the proposed new contracts for junior doctors.

People protesting

BreakingNorthumberland surface mine plans approved

Proposals for a surface mine at Highthorn near Widdrington, Northumberland, have been given the green light by the county council. 

A meeting took place today to discuss plans to mine three million tonnes of coal.

Following the council's strategic planning committee's decision to go ahead, the plans will now be passed to the Secretary of State for his consideration.

The proposals, from Banks Mining, would see the creation of a surface mine to extract coal, sandstone and fireclay, and includes plans for restoring the site once work is complete.

Extraction would take place over five years with total operations lasting seven years, taking into account the time to set up the site and complete restoration.

The company believes the scheme will create at least 100 full-time jobs. You can view the plans here.

'More than a quarter of household waste in County Durham is food'

Two thirds of adults have thrown food away in the past month and only one in three said it was because it was past its use by date, research by the Food Standards Agency has revealed.

Christine Ditchburn, food safety manager with Durham County Council Neighbourhood Services, said: “26% of all household waste in County Durham comes from food waste. If every person or household in the county could reduce this then it would have a big impact not only for us but for the environment too.”

fruit in supermarket
Getty Images

Lindisfarne facts after archaeologist makes find

After an amateur archaeologist unearthed what is believed to be evidence of one of England's earliest Christian monasteries in a dig on Lindisfarne, here some facts about the place:

  • Connected to the mainland by a tidal causeway, and cut off twice every 24 hours
  • Home of the 1,300-year-old Lindisfarne Gospels
  • Northumberland's patron saint, St Cuthbert was an abbot of its monastery
  • Famous for its mead, a honey-based liqueur
  • Its castle featured in two films directed by Roman Polanski

  The dig team has made a 3D interactive image of the find.  

Pendant containing ashes stolen in Middlesbrough

A property was burgled on Dovedale Avenue in Grangetown, Middlesbrough, sometime between Saturday 25 June and Tuesday 28 June.

A large quantity of jewellery was stolen, including a gold chain with pendants containing ashes.

In addition, burglars took two gold rings, a gold engagement ring with three diamonds, a silver ring with three diamonds, and a gold watch, among other items,

Electrical goods were also stolen, including a black Acer laptop,  a 3DS console with games, and a white iPad.

Dovedale Avenue

What actually is the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war?

The official report into the UK's involvement in the 2003 Iraq War will be published tomorrow - nearly seven years after the inquiry was first announced. 

In case you're not too sure what it's all about, here's a video that explains it quickly:

Travel: Fuel spillage near Middlesbrough

BBC Travel

Guisborough Road in Nunthorpe in Middlesbrough has been closed at the Stokesley Road junction because of a fuel spillage.

You can check the latest travel updates for Teesside and Tyne and Wear.

Protest outside Northumberland County Hall

A protest outside Northumberland County Hall is taking place today against plans to mine three million tonnes of coal at Highthorn surface mine, near Druridge Bay.

Protesters, including the leader of the Green Party Natalie Ben, have gathered prior to the start of a meeting to discuss this plan. 

BBC news correspondent for the North East, Mark Denten, is attending the meeting:

View more on twitter

Lindisfarne monastery evidence found by amateur archaeologist

Some more on the story we brought you earlier that an amateur archaeologist has unearthed what is believed to be evidence of one of England's earliest Christian monasteries in a dig on Lindisfarne.

The rare grave marker, thought to be from the mid 7th-8th Century, has been described as a "stunning find".

A £25,000 project off the north-east coast was crowd-funded by 200 donors, including 60 who took part in the dig.

Name stoneImage copyrightDIG VENTURES Image caption The stone was found by a member of the public who had contributed to the crowd-funded dig
Dig Ventures

Faith school transport cost cuts approved

Plans to withdraw discretionary transport to faith schools have been approved by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.

This comes as a result of the £26.3m council cuts by 2020.

A review was undertaken of the service, which identified there were more cost-effective and sustainable alternative options available.

A six-week consultation was carried out with parents of pupils who attend St Joseph’s Primary School in Loftus and Sacred Heart Secondary Catholic Voluntary Academy.

Sacred Heart has now agreed to continue with a similar arrangement with a coach provider, and St Joseph’s has agreed to add a second minibus to its fleet. 

The council has agreed to assist with the costs of a vehicle in the first year.

Sunderland extend deal with shirt sponsor

In other football news, Sunderland AFC have extended their deal with shirt sponsor Dafabet until the end of the 2018-19 season.  

The Black Cats originally announced their link-up last summer.

Sunderland confirming the deal

Coloccini hailed as 'firm friend and colleague' after NUFC exit

Newcastle United have paid tribute to Fabricio Coloccini after he left the club after eight years.

MD Lee Charnley said: "It is rare in football these days that a player gives such length of service to one club.

"In the eight years he has been with us, Colo has become a firm friend and colleague to many players and staff, past and present, who I know will miss him. 

"We wish him all the very best for his future career."

Fabricio Coloccini leaving Newcastle for Argentine side

Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini is moving back to Argentina to join San Lorenzo.

The Magpies have cancelled his contract "by mutual consent".

Coloccini joined United from Deportivo La Coruna in August 2008 and was made captain in 2011.

He made 275 appearances for the team in all competitions, scoring seven goals.

Fabricio Coloccini
Getty Images

BreakingNUFC captain Coloccini leaves Newcastle United

Fabricio Coloccini has left Newcastle United.

More to follow.

End of life ambulance transport service 'will reduce 999 delays'

The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) has confirmed that its End of Life Transport provision will not impact on 999 emergency response.

Following the success of a pilot scheme, terminally ill patients will be taken to their preferred place to die - whether it be home, hospice or hospital - in dedicated vehicles with specialist technicians, trained in end-of-life care.

NEAS has in the past been criticised for failing to meet 999 response times, but said the provision was separate.

It said: "Rather than detracting from the frontline, this service actually supports it by reducing the number of last minute calls to 999, which would have resulted in an emergency ambulance and where a patient would have been taken to hospital." 

Cricket: Durham v Hampshire

Martin Emmerson

BBC Newcastle

Durham trail Hampshire by 339 runs with eight wickets remaining.

This is the sixth time this season that Keaton Jennings has reached 50 for Durham in the championship, and the 25th in his 1st class career.

Kiribati becomes 166th nation to be represented at the Great North Run

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Kiribati has become the 166th nation to be represented in the Great North Run.

The Great Run Company is attempting to secure a participant born in every one of the 193 UN areas to make this year’s event.

So far Uzbekistan, Suriname, Vanuatu and Myanmar are among the nations who have been recruited, with 27 remaining. 

Here's some key info about the latest addition:

  • Kiribati is an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean which straddles the equator and the International Date Line.
  • It is the only country on the planet that is situated within all four hemispheres.
  • It has a population of 103,000 and its currency is the Australian dollar.


You can find out more about Kiribati on our country profile page.

Attempted robbery at Middlesbrough cash machine

A 55-year-old man was victim to an attempted robbery at a cash machine outside Sainsburys at Vaughan Shops in Netherfields, Middlesbrough.

The incident took place at about 01:10 on Saturday, 25 June, when the victim was approached by a man who demanded money from him and waved a wooden object at him.

The victim was then hit with the wooden item. He sustained minor injuries to his arm but did not receive medical treatment.  

A second man then took the victim’s bike, but it was later found on Fosdyke Green.

It is believed that the two male suspects may have been with a group of six males and females who were in the area at the time of the incident.

Vaughan Shops in Netherfields, Middlesbrough.

Newcastle man put into induced coma

A man was put into an induced coma after injuring his head in a fall.

The Great North Air Ambulance was called to Sunderland on Friday at about 16:25, where the man had fallen over and suffered a serious head injury. 

The 26-year-old was put into an induced coma by the trauma team with assistance from North East Ambulance Service paramedics.

He was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary by road ambulance and he arrived in a stable condition.

Air Ambulance
The Great North Air Ambulance Service

Rare Anglo-Saxon grave marker found in monastery search

An update on a story we brought you earlier:

Experts have been digging on Lindisfarne, off the Northumberland coast, trying to find evidence of the earliest monastery on the island where the famous Lindisfarne Gospels were created.

Although the monastery was replaced, the site of the original has long eluded experts, but excavators have now discovered a very rare Anglo-Saxon grave marker.   

The small, round-headed sandstone marker, commonly known as a name stone, has been dated to the mid-7th to 8th Century AD - the same time as the original monastery was built. 

The face of the stone is carved and some letters are clearly visible.

Experts are still deciphering the text, but it appears the name of the monk commemorated on the stone ended with the letters "frith", which is a common element of Anglo-Saxon names.

Press Association

Founded by King Oswald in 635 AD, the monastery was attacked and destroyed by the Vikings a century later.

Following their latest discovery, archaeologists believe they are one step closer to unravelling a 1,000-year-old mystery from early English Christianity.

A ghoulish tour of medieval punishments

Bethan Bell

BBC News Online

The Oxfordshire town of Thame has announced it is considering bringing back stocks as a tourist attraction, but which other settlements have kept their instruments of medieval correction? 

Stocks date back to at least the time of the Black Death in the 14th Century. Labourers were banned from leaving their homes to find better wages elsewhere and those who broke the law were put in stocks.

Every town or village was required by law to have a set. But being put in the stocks was a fairly minor punishment.

Click here to take a tour England's harsh past, including Northumberland's Winter's Gibbet, where a man was suspended in chains after being hanged in Newcastle in 1792 for the murder of an old woman.

Winter's Gibbet

Next stage of Coast Road scheme to begin

The second stage of a major road improvement scheme is to begin in North Tyneside.

The council is investing £7.2m into the Coast Road to make the road safer and improve journey times.

The first phase involved creating two eastbound lanes along Beach Road to the A192 Tynemouth Pool roundabout, and a new footpath and cycleway.

The second phase, which is due for completion early next year, will see the Billy Mill roundabout replaced with a junction with traffic signals.

This video shows the future traffic movements during the morning peak before and after the work:

View more on youtube

Newcastle and Gateshead wins World Transplant Games bid

NewcastleGateshead has successfully won a bid to host the World Transplant Games in 2019.

NewcastleGateshead hosted the most successful British Transplant Games ever in 2015 and subsequently launched a bid to host the World Games in summer 2019.

An initial bid document was submitted earlier this year and the destination was shortlisted alongside Houston, Texas.

People taking part in the games in 2015
NewcastleGateshead Initiative

The World Transplant Games are a series of sporting events and activities that will take place at indoor and outdoor venues in the very heart of the city.

The games will run from 17-24 August 2019 and are expected to attract up to 3,000 participants (competitors and supporters) from more than 60 different countries around the world.

Hundreds of babies born drug-dependent

Almost one in 500 babies in hospitals in England is born dependent on substances their mother took while pregnant, a BBC investigation has found.

Of 72 NHS hospital trusts who responded to a Freedom of Information request, the average rate for babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome was 0.2%.

It is caused by women taking legal and illegal drugs while pregnant.

The investigation shows that about 0.4 babies born at North Tees University hospital between 2011 and 2015 were drug dependent.

A newborn baby

Ancient monastery found on island near North East coast

Archaeologists working on the island of Lindisfarne have found evidence of what they believe is the earliest monastery built there.

The dig was made possible through crowd funding. 

The team is led by Lisa Wescott Wilkins, who said one of the highlights was finding a beautifully-sculpted Anglo-Saxon name stone from the mid-seventh to eighth century.

She added: "It was a spectacular moment and even better for us is that the find was actually made by one of the members of the crowd-funded dig, so It wasn't found by one of the team leaders or experts, it was found by a member of the public."

Teenager sexually assaulted behind Bishop Auckland supermarket

The Northern Echo


A teenager has been sexually assaulted on a footbridge behind a Bishop Auckland supermarket.

An 18-year-old woman reported that she was grabbed from behind between 15:30 and 16:00 on Sunday.

The woman had been walking along a footbridge between Asda and the railway lines when the incident happened.

Teachers strike takes place today

A national strike by teachers is taking place today.

The National Union of Teachers voted to take industrial action because of cuts to school budgets and what it claims are worsening terms and conditions for staff. 

Our reporter Russell Ward is at Harton Technology College in South Shields, where staff have started to gather:

View more on twitter

Donald Bell: The first footballer to win the VC

Donald Simpson Bell was an "outstanding" footballer but left it behind to join up when World War One started. He used his athleticism to save many lives when he knocked out a machine-gun post but was killed a few days later when he attempted similar heroics once more. He became the only professional footballer to win a Victoria Cross during the conflict.

When World War One broke out, Donald was playing football for Bradford Park Avenue.

He was a talented all-rounder but chose football after working as a teacher. He signed as a professional for the Yorkshire team having played as an amateur for Crystal Palace, Newcastle United and Bishop Auckland.

In 1914, he wrote to the directors at Bradford: "I have given the subject very serious consideration and have now come to the conclusion I am duty-bound to join the ranks."

Donald Bell

Read the rest of this feature here.

CCTV images issued in bid to solve 37 crimes across Teesside

The Gazette


Here's today front page - and a link to our the story.

Front page
The Gazette