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  1. Former senior clergyman guilty of indecent assault
  2. Man sought by police after Kelloe stabbing
  3. Rugby player on trial charged with sex offences
  4. 'Persistent problems' in Durham's probation work
  5. Updates on Thursday 4 August 2016

Live Reporting

By Ana Guerra-Moore

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage throughout the day

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Thank you very much for joining us. We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel updates at 08:00 tomorrow.

In the meantime there will be updates tonight here online, on BBC Newcastle and BBC Tees and on Look North.

If you would like to get in touch with us you can on TwitterFacebook, or via email at   

Sir Ian McKellen fears being caught short on stage

When actors and actresses come to the region we obviously want them to be as comfortable as possible.

But Sir Ian McKellen is a little concerned that his new play No Man's Land - which is coming to Newcastle after opening in Sheffield - has a lot of drinking and no option for a loo break.

He told BBC Radio 4 Front Row: "My character never leaves the stage for two hours and he drinks an awful lot - and I tell you when you drink at this rate, you simply have to go and pee."

Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart

Weather: Breezy and possible thunder

BBC Weather

Early cloud will break and some some sunny spells are likely.

However, cloud will soon build again, with scattered showers likely to develop. These could be heavy, thundery and prolonged. 

It'll stay breezy.  

Weather graph

Addicted to the internet?

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Ever found yourself glued to your phone? Yep, me too - and we're not alone.

More than 250,000 people across Tyneside and Wearside have felt so "hooked" on their digital devices they needed to take time away from the internet, says a report from the communications regulator, Ofcom.

Worryingly, Alan Batey, who used to be in charge of computer crime at Northumbria Police, says the internet has many dangers regardless of how long you're on it. 

An iPhone
Getty Images

Problems range from "the likes of phishing emails - where they try to capture your bank account details - to websites which might download something onto your computer allowing people to then access" it, he says.   

Zach Kibirige trial begins

Newcastle Falcons player Zach Kibirige has appeared in court charged with four counts of rape and three other sexual offences.

The 21-year-old from Melbourne Street in Newcastle denies all the charges.

Kibirige told his victim "you know you want it - tell me you don't want this"  as he sexually assaulted her, prosecution lawyer Chris Smith told Newcastle Crown Court.

But "she didn't want it and she couldn't tell him", he said. 

Zach Kibirige
Getty Images

"Sometimes when you're frightened it's impossible to shout out. Fear takes hold," Mr Smith said. 

"The bigger, faster and stronger professional rugby player wasn't listening.

"He used fear and force to get what he wanted and then he left."

The trial continues. 

Fire fighters rescue dog from gate

Fire crews are often handy with their kit in unexpected situations, aren't they? 

A dog got stuck in a gate in Jarrow but, thanks to Tyne and Wear Fire Service, it was free and and wagging his tail soon afterwards.

Firefighters used Holmatro spreaders, normally used in car crashes, to prise open the bars on the gate.

Jay stuck in the gate
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

Jay the dog - unharmed - was then reunited with his relieved owner.  

'Throwing stones at cars and buses could kill', police warn.

Children throwing things at moving cars and buses have prompted police to warn they could kill or injure someone or cause a crash.

There have been at least seven reports of it happening on Stanhope Street in Newcastle in the past few months, Northumbria Police said.

Insp Alan Davison said: "It may be fun and games to these kids but it's putting lives at risk and anyone found doing this face being arrested and having action taken against them.

"What these people who are doing this don't realise is that, by throwing stones at cars and buses, they could end up causing a crash and that someone could end up killed."

Newcastle Falcons respond to Kibirige trial

Newcastle Falcons have released a statement following the news player Zach Kibirige has been charged with sex offences.

The team has announced that an internal investigation is to take place once legal proceedings are completed.

They added: "During this period Zach has continued to train with the club and has received appropriate support, but has been unavailable for any playing, commercial or community duties.

"Neither the player nor the club will be making any further comment on this matter."

Zach Kibirige
Getty Images

Ministry of Justice responds to Durham probation report

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has responded to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation’s inspection report on adult probation in Durham.

The report is mostly positive but says that some improvements are needed.

The MoJ said “public protection and reducing re-offending will always be" its priority.

“Early indications show that the performance of the new probation service is continuing to improve and work is already under way to address any concerns," a spokesman said.

Church of England response to indecent assault verdict

In response to the conviction of former County Durham archdeacon Granville Gibson for indecent assault, the church has offered an "unreserved apology to all the survivors and those affected by" the news.

The Right Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham said: "We commend the bravery of those who brought these allegations forward, acknowledging how difficult and distressing this would have been.

"We are profoundly sorry for the abuse perpetrated by Mr Gibson and remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure the wellbeing of children, young people and adults, who look to us for respect and care."

Granville Gibson

The diocese will commission a "full and independent review" which should report over the next few months, he said. 

Mr Gibson (pictured) was found not guilty of one serious sexual offence and four counts of indecent assault.

Cricket: Somerset v Durham

BBC Sport

Durham are playing Somerset in the County Championship at Taunton today.

The home side are batting first.

Live commentary here.

Kelloe stab victim named

A County Durham man who died in Front Street, Kelloe, has been identified as 32-year-old Dale Arnold, police have confirmed.

Mr Arnold died of stab wounds yesterday, a short time after being taken to James Cook Hospital.

A post mortem examination is due to be carried out later today.

Police are continuing to search for a man believed to have been involved in an altercation in Front Street just before 14:00.

Former archdeacon guilty of indecent assault

A former senior clergyman accused of historical sexual offences has been found guilty of two counts of indecently assaulting young men, but cleared of five other charges.

Granville Gibson was a vicar at St Claire’s Church in Newton Aycliffe in the late 1970s and early 80s when the offences were alleged to have taken place.

Granville Gibson

It took a jury six hours to find him guilty of indecently assaulting, on church property, an 18-year-old and a 26-year-old man who had been working there in a junior role.

The former archdeacon, now 80, was found not guilty of one serious sexual offence, two counts of indecent assault against a boy and two other charges of indecent assault against an 18-year-old.

Travel: A695 Blaydon eastbound closure warning

People are trying to cross the busy A695 Blaydon highway after a crash closed the footbridge over the road this morning, council officials have said.

Engineers are trying to work out how to put up temporary fencing to stop pedestrians getting onto the main carriageway, which is "extremely dangerous".

The only safe crossing point is via the light-controlled pedestrian crossing at the entrance to Morrison's car park, then under the flyover to the level crossing on Tyne Street, a spokesman said.

EFL 2016-17: Championship, League One & League Two preview

BBC Sport

The Football League has a new name, new managers and an influx of new players for 2016-17.

A near 10-month slog for promotion spots, play-off places and survival begins on Friday when Fulham host relegated Newcastle in the Championship's opening fixture.

So why does this season of the rebranded EFL promise to be one of the biggest and best ever?

Click here to find out.

Meet the 'new' Championship managers

Hartlepool health officials pledge £10,000 to provide defibrillators

Hartlepool Mail


A scheme to install lifesaving defibrillators across Hartlepool has received a boost after town health officials pledged £10,000 to provide more of the machines.

Hartlepool’s Public Health department has allocated the funding to identify where the equipment needs to be installed and respond to public requests. 

Defibs4Hartlepool members, Middleton Grange Shopping Centre security staff Adam Goodwin, left, and Ray Hughes, right, with centre manager Mark Rycraft, with a defibrillator
Hartlepool Mail

Rugby player on trial charged with sex offences

A Newcastle Falcons rugby player is due to stand trial after being charged with serious sex offences.

Zach Kibirige, a winger for the Falcons who has played for England, is due to appear before a jury later.

The 21-year-old from Melbourne Street in Newcastle denies four offences of rape and sexual assault.

Zach Kibirige
Getty Images

'Persistent problems' in Durham's probation work

Durham's probation work is "good" and leadership "strong" but there are some shortfalls, a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation says.

The report identifies a "persistent problem" in the overall standard of pre-sentence reports which led in many cases to "poorly focused proposals and inappropriate sentences".

Inmate looking through bars
Getty Images

Andrew Neilson, director of campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, says the privatisation of the service has led to increased risk to the public and former offenders being let down.

“The break-up of the public probation service, with a large part of it handed to 21 private companies, was supposed to turn people’s lives around, reduce re-offending and make us all safer," he said.

Jamaal Lascelles becomes Newcastle captain

Defender Jamaal Lascelles has been appointed Newcastle United's new captain.

The 22-year-old wore the armband for all five of the Magpies' pre-season friendlies, and will now lead the club into their Championship campaign, which kicks off at Fulham on Friday night.

Jamaal Lascelle
Getty Images

Lascelles joined United in the summer of 2014 from Nottingham Forest, where he had come through the youth set-up to start his career.

The defender is happy with manager Rafa Benitez's decision, saying that "it's an unbelievable feeling" and calling it "the biggest moment" in his career.

Two arrested after car is damaged

A car parked outside the Leeds Hotel in Stockton was damaged in an attempted break-in, police say.

A 32-year-old man arrested on suspicion of attempted theft and criminal damage and a 27-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of attempted theft have been released on bail. 

Police want to speak to a woman with a suitcase who they believe may have seen the incident.

Leeds Hotel

Newcastle baby death: Murder suspects bailed

Two people arrested on suspicion of the murder of a 13-week-old boy have been released on bail.

The 34-year-old man and a woman, aged 30, were arrested after the baby from Newcastle died on Monday.

Forensic team investigation

The boy from Velville Court was taken to hospital on Friday with injuries police described as "non-accidental".

Northumbria Police said the pair were released on bail pending further inquiries.

Ben Stokes out of rest of Test series with calf strain

BBC Sport

England's Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the rest of the four-Test series against Pakistan with a right calf strain.

The Durham County cricketer was injured while bowling in England's 330-run series-levelling win at Old Trafford in the second Test.

The all-rounder was replaced by Steven Finn for the third Test at Edgbaston, which started on Wednesday.

Ben Stokes

Stokes is hoping to be fit for the one-day series against Pakistan, which begins on 24 August.

He told BBC Test Match Special: "There was a possibility of being fit for the last Test but rather than risk more damage we decided to take it easy."

Can scarecrows frighten off development plans for green spaces?

The Shields Gazette

More scarecrows have appeared in a village as residents make their voices heard in protest at proposals to build on green spaces.

Residents living in Shearwater and White Rocks Grove, in Whitburn, have come together and made their own scarecrows to adorn their properties in the hope it will raise awareness of their concerns over South Tyneside Council’s Strategic Land Review.

Shields Gazette

Death of North Tyneside man is 'unexplained'

A man has been arrested in connection with the death of a man in Wallsend, North Tyneside.

The 28-year-old was taken to hospital from a property in the Bewicke Road area on Tuesday but later died.

Police are trying to find out what happened and say his death is being treated as unexplained.

A 35-year-old man has been arrested and is being questioned by police.

Travel: A695 Blaydon eastbound closed

BBC Travel

The A695 Blaydon Highway in Blaydon, Gateshead is closed eastbound between Blaydon Roundabout and the Tundry Way junction.

It appears a vehicle has hit a bridge.

Diversions are in operation. Traffic is being sent down the parallel service road.

Kelloe stabbing: Manhunt after fatal street attack

A manhunt is under way after a man was stabbed to death in a street in County Durham.

The victim, believed to be in his early 30s, was attacked shortly after 14:00 BST in the village of Kelloe.

Durham Police said they are trying to trace a man believed to have been involved in the incident on Front Street.

A police helicopter is at the scene and witnesses have reported seeing armed officers.

Forensic police investigate

Weather: Clouds and heavy showers

BBC Weather

Definitely not beach weather today:

Early cloud will break and some sunny spells are likely. However, cloud will soon build again with scattered showers likely to develop.

These will possibly be heavy, thundery and prolonged during the late afternoon. It'll be breezy but the winds won't be as strong as yesterday.  

Welcome to our live coverage

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Morning. Welcome to BBC Local Live - back in the newsroom today.

Did you enjoy our live coverage from the beach yesterday?

Well we've put away our bucket and spade now, but we'll still bring you your latest news, sport, weather and travel updates as usual.

If you'd like to get in touch and share your views, you can find us on TwitterFacebook, or you can send us an email at