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  1. Updates Wednesday 27 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 it for today - thank you for joining us. 

We're back with more updates through the evening on BBC Tees and BBC Newcastle, online and on Look North.

We'll be back from 08:00 with more news, sport, weather and travel from across the North East. 

Fancy getting in touch? If so, you can contact us on TwitterFacebook, or via email at

Weather: A warm evening

BBC Weather

A fine evening with some warm sunshine. Staying dry overnight, with some clear spells at first and only light winds. Cloud will tend to thicken from the west by dawn.  

Weather graph

Check the weather where you are.

Flood repairs start in Northumberland town

Work to repair flood defences in a Northumberland town, which were damaged during the winter storms, is due to start next week.

Repair work at Haydon Bridge will be carried out by the Environment Agency in two phases.

The first phase starts next week and includes: 

  • Erosion repairs on the River Tyne. 
  • Repairs to the erosion on the north and south banks, using some of the gravel within the river channel. 
  • Repairs carried out to the damage beneath the flood wall at Temple Houses to ensure the integrity of the wall.  

Middlesbrough priest speaks after Rouen attack

BBC Tees

Churches are being advised by counter terrorism officers to review their security following yesterday's attack in Rouen in France in which an 86-year-old priest was killed.

Religious leaders there have called for greater measures to be put in place at centres of worship.

Middlesbrough Priest Father Paul Farrer doesn't think it's necessary.

He said: "It doesn't sit right to increase security, we're supposed to be open and willing to meet people where they are - but we hope we are meeting people that value what we do and the fact that we're trying to live life by what we believe and in a way that helps other people."

Four Lane Ends station closed

Primary school burgled

A primary school was burgled in Houghton le Spring over the weekend.

It happened between 16:00 on Friday and 07:30 on Monday at Shiney Row Primary School in South View.

The burglars used a steel trolley from the school to steal IT equipment.

Some of the items taken included projectors valued at £1,000 each, a Panasonic sound system, a Panasonic mixing system and a Panasonic monitor.

It's thought the offenders left the school via the fields at the back in Shiney Row.

Teesside sex offender sentenced to extra two-and-a-half years in jail

A Bishop Auckland man has been sentenced to an extra two-and-a half years in prison after the Attorney General said his original sentence was unduly lenient.

Leonard Garnett, 58, was originally jailed for five years with an extended licence period of one year for a historical child sex offence at Teesside Crown Court in May. 

The Court of Appeal today increased the sentence to seven-and-a-half years with the same licence period.

Durham and Yorkshire to play for 109-year-old trophy

To mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, Durham and Yorkshire County Cricket Clubs will battle for a 109-year-old trophy.

The Lahore Trades Cup is in the Durham Light Infantry collection, which is looked after by Durham County Council and the DLI trustees.

The teams will be playing for vital points in the Royal London One-Day Cup, but the presentation of the trophy to the winning captain will add extra spice to the fixture.

The teams will face each other at the Emirates on Sunday 31 July.  

The Lahore Trades Cup

Woman ran over in Middlesbrough

A Land Rover hit a pedestrian at the junction of Park Road North and Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough, police said.

The incident happened on Saturday at 15:25.

The 23-year-old female pedestrian was taken to James Cook Hospital where she was treated for a broken foot.

Drugs raids conducted across the North East

Raids have been carried out across the region to target suspected drug dealers.

In total, 11 people have been arrested and more than 10 properties were targeted as part of the action by Durham Constabulary.

Homes were raided in South Hetton, Haswell, Ryhope, South Shields, Shildon, Hartlepool, Peterlee, Shotton Colliery and Bishop Auckland.

All those arrested were held for conspiracy to supply class A drugs and are currently being interviewed by detectives.

Police kicking a door

Man who sent death threat to MP has done it before

A man who admitted sending death threats to an MP has previously been jailed for threatening another MP, it can be revealed.

John Nimmo, 28, from South Shields, sent two emails to Luciana Berger where he told her to "watch your back Jewish scum".

The second message to the 35-year-old Labour MP for Wavertree also included a picture of a large knife.

This came just three weeks after MP Jo Cox died after being shot and stabbed following a constituency meeting.

Nimmo was previously jailed in 2014 for eight weeks for sending abusive messages on Twitter to feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez and MP Stella Creasy.

John Nimmo

Parents to swim the Channel for primary school

Four Durham parents are swimming the English Channel in the first week of August to raise money for primary school sports.

Members of the team all have children at Neville’s Cross Primary School and are using the swim to raise funds for an all-weather sports pitch in the school’s grounds.  

The parents have been in training for over a year and have enjoyed involving the children in their preparations.

The children have been carrying out challenges based upon the 21 miles across the Channel.

For example, one class will be standing in 21 buckets filled with different content such as baked beans and custard, and another year group have been challenged to fundraiser £21 each. 

So far, the children have raised over £1000 in their own sponsored events.

The team
Neville’s Cross Primary School

Four sentenced for joy ride

Four people have been sentenced for going on a joy ride across North Tyneside, in which they nearly killed a pensioner in a hit and run.

Three men have been sentenced for stealing a car before leaving a trail of destruction across North Shields in April last year.

They took the vehicle from the West End of Newcastle before driving to North Shields where they collided with the 72-year-old and left him for dead.

The four sentenced

All of those involved were under the influence of drink and drugs.

Colin Gorman, of Mill House, Newcastle, admitted aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving, failing to provide a breath specimen, failing to stop and having no licence or insurance.

He was jailed for 15 months and banned from driving for four years.

Gary Shackleton, 29, of Canning Street, Benwell, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to two charges of aggravated vehicle taking and was jailed for eight months.

Louis Jardine, 23, of Aden Place, Slatyford, Newcastle, admitted two counts of aggravated vehicle taking and was given nine months suspended for a year.

Jade Stewart, 21, of Gill Street, Benwell, admitted two counts of aggravated vehicle taking and was given a 12-month community order with a two-month curfew. 

Pensioner to climb mountain in memory of his wife

A pensioner is fundraising for the region’s air ambulance by climbing the highest mountain in Wales in memory of his late wife.

George Wood is planning to celebrate his 73rd birthday by trekking up Mount Snowden, on 11 August, raising vital funds for the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Mr Wood, of Birtley, near Gateshead, will be joined by friends on the three-day journey.

The trio are taking on the challenge in memory of Mr Wood's late wife Doreen, who passed away two years ago after an illness.

Mr and Mrs Wood had been on holiday in Wales when the initial idea was born.

Mr Wood had been reminiscing about scaling the mountain on a training exercise with the army on his 19th birthday.

George Wood

Man admits sending death threats to MP Luciana Berger

A man from South Shields has admitted sending death threats to Liverpool MP Luciana Berger.

John Nimmo, 28, of Moreland Road, pleaded guilty at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court this morning to two counts of sending a message causing anxiety or distress.

He was remanded in custody to appear before Newcastle Crown Court on 24 August.

John Nimmo

EFL Trophy draw announced with SAFC v Pools

BBC Sport

The draw for the EFL trophy has been announced today.

Sixteen Category One academies were invited to play against League One and League Two clubs as part of a one-season, 64-team competition trial.

Sunderland's under-21s will face Hartlepool, Rochdale and Notts County.

Middlesbrough are in Northern Group G and will play against Scunthorpe, Cambridge and Shrewsbury.

Newcastle rejected the invitation to take part.

Dangerous driver jailed for nine years over fatal crash

A man from Newcastle has been jailed for nine years after pleading guilty to causing the deaths of two men by dangerous driving.

Jason Maher, 34, was driving down the middle of Blackburn Road, Sheffield, when he smashed head-on into a Peugeot 206 on 20 December 2014.

Two 19-year olds - Liam Parker, from Sheffield, and Joshua Fothergill, from Rotherham - who were passengers in the Peugeot died in the crash.

Maher, of Ashover Road, Newcastle, was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court.

Jason Maher

North East Paralympians selected for Rio

The British Paralympic Association has announced that 41 athletes have been added to the line-up for track and field events in Rio.

Among the 21 returning Paralympians are two local athletes: Jade Jones from Middlesbrough and Stephen Miller from Cramlington.

Jade is a wheelchair track athlete and Stephen is a Paralympic gold medallist.

Jade and Stephen
Getty Images

Former Boro player auctioning shirts for charity

Former Middlesbrough and England player Dave Thomas, who won eight international caps throughout the 70s, is auctioning his old football shirts.

He is doing this to support the Guide Dogs charity.

Dave is registered blind himself after glaucoma robbed him of his peripheral vision.

But after being on a waiting list for seven months to be given a guide dog, he decided to raise money for the charity.

Our reporter Louise Hobson has been to his home in Teesdale to find out more: 

View more on twitter

Newcastle United reject idea of playing Under-21s in EFL Trophy

BBC Sport

Newcastle United have rejected the chance to play their Under-21 team in the EFL Trophy.

Sixteen Category One academies were invited to play against League One and League Two clubs as part of a one-season, 64-team competition trial.

Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have also declined the invitation.

Premier League champions Leicester and their predecessors Chelsea are among those to have accepted the invite.

Six Championship academy teams will take the places of the rejected teams.

Norwich City, Brighton, Derby, Wolves, Blackburn and Reading have all put teams forward to play in the competition in 2016-17, which has undergone a revamp from the knockout stages of previous years.

Rafa Benitez

Drone delivery for your Amazon shopping?

Kristie Kinghorn

BBC Newcastle

Sitting in your home, you've just made an order off Amazon. Expecting it to arrive in your arms in a few days via your postman, you'll get a surprise when it is in fact an unmanned aircraft at your door... 

The government's getting together with Amazon to start testing flying drones that can deliver parcels to your door.

Hundreds of robotic aircraft will buzz around Britain's skies and when it reaches your address, will land vertically onto a special landing mat at your front door.

The company claims it'll eventually mean small parcels will arrive at your house within 30 minutes, but would you use it?

Postal deliveries: A drone's eye view

Cathedral awarded funding to explore damp in crypt

St Nicholas' Cathedral has been awarded £25,000 to investigate the "long-standing" damp problems in its ancient crypt.

The grant is part of £14.5m made available by the government to mark the centenary of World War One.

The crypt is believed to have been constructed at some point in the 14th century as a charnel house where human bones were stored. 

It fell out of use and was re-discovered and opened up in 1824.

1934 architects plan showing detail of the crypt including medieval window above the altar
St Nicholas' Cathedral

Man stabbed outside Newcastle pub

A man was stabbed in Newcastle last night.

Police were called to Grainger Street at 20:15 and found a man in the street outside the Mile Castle pub had been stabbed and suffered a leg injury.

He has been taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary for treatment.

Entrance to Mile Castle pub

Hartlepool man flies to Mexico to combat MS

BBC Tees

Many of us fly around at what feels like a hundred miles an hour in this day and age -  but imagine going from fit and healthy to not being able to walk. 

That's exactly what it felt like for Eric Thomson when five years ago he was diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS.

He was also told by medics that his life was only going to get worse. 

But being the forever optimist - the 50-year-old from Hartlepool didn't settle for that outlook, and looked into treatment which took him to Mexico for a pioneering treatment which involves taking stem cells from his body, treating them and putting them back in again.

Speaking about life after his treatment, Eric said: "I've been able to drive my car short distances, I've been able to walk, I can click my fingers - which is something that my wife is getting sick of now."

Eric Thomson

Weather: Cloudy but dry and warm

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

Any rain in the south will clear away early on, leaving a dry day. 

Often rather cloudy, although it will feel rather warm where cloud breaks to give some bright or sunny spells. 

A gentle westerly breeze in the afternoon.  

Weather forecast

GSK: UK still 'attractive' post Brexit vote as it invests £275m

Some early breaking news for you - GlaxoSmithKline is to invest £275m to expand its UK manufacturing sites, saying the country remains "an attractive location" despite Brexit.

The pharmaceutical firm, whose chief executive Andrew Witty backed the Remain campaign, said the UK's skilled workforce and competitive tax system helped drive the decision.

The firm said it expected its investment to create new jobs.

The investment will be spread across three of its UK manufacturing sites: Barnard Castle in County Durham, Montrose in Angus, and Ware in Hertfordshire.

GlaxoSmithKline currently employs 16,000 people in the UK, 6,000 of which are employed in manufacturing.

GlaxoSmithKline building

Welcome to our live coverage

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Good morning. Welcome to BBC Local Live.

Here with you throughout the day to bring you the latest news, sport, weather and travel news.

Fancy getting in touch? You can contact us on TwitterFacebook, or via email at