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  1. Former police legal boss unfair dismissal claims dismissed
  2. Funeral director found guilty of sexually abusing boys
  3. Newcastle Falcons' Zach Kibirige ignored 'no sex' plea
  4. A man is arrested over Kelloe stabbing death
  5. Updates on Friday 5 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

Our live coverage is now over for this week - thank you for joining us. 

We'll be back on Monday with more news, sport, weather and travel updates.

In the meantime there will be updates tonight and throughout the weekend 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   

Enjoy your weekend.

Weather: A dry but cool night

BBC Weather

A few showers are possible during the evening, but these will quickly pass.

The rest of the night will stay dry, with clear spells and light winds, but it'll feel cool.

Weather graph

88-page ruling dismisses ex-police legal boss tribunal claims

The judgement in the employment tribunal of former police head of legal services Denise Aubrey has been published - and it runs to 88 pages.

Ms Aubrey had claimed unfair dismissal, harassment and discrimination but Judge Forrest has dismissed her claims.

His judgement outlines all the evidence considered and points out "extensive" documentation was provided by all parties, including six lever arch files, which became seven by the first week of the hearing in North Shields.

Denise Aubrey

Ms Aubrey was sacked from Northumbria Police for gross misconduct in 2014.  

Nissan investment on hold worries

In response to Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn saying investment in the company's Sunderland plant depended on the outcome of Brexit talks, the leader of Sunderland City Council said he fears manufacturing in the North East would not be a priority during negotiations.

Paul Watson said Nissan was in Sunderland "because it wants and needs to be in the European market" and uncertainty over UK and European Union trade deals was a threat.

Nissan technicians work on a Qashqai car on the production line at the company"s plant in Sunderland
Reuters/Nigel Roddis

The North East Chamber of Commerce echoed his call for government action to ensure the region does not lose out as a result of any new arrangements.

"Nissan is a huge player in the region and makes up a huge part of our exports and we need to see long-term investor confidence in the North East and to be seen as a desirable location for exporters," a chamber spokesman said. 

Funeral director found guilty of sex abuse

Phil Connell

Look North, Teesside Crown Court

A funeral director from Hartlepool has been found guilty of sexually abusing five boys over a 22-year period.

Gerald Martin, 66, of Valley Close, Hartlepool, will be sentenced in the next few weeks.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Martin was seen as an upstanding member of the community and, for a time, had been captain of the local boys' brigade. 

Gerald Martin

Kibirige alleged victim 'only wanted a cuddle'

Rugby player Zach Kibirige and a woman accusing him of rape swapped almost 1,000 Whatsapp messages before meeting for the first time at her house, a court has heard.

In a message sent that evening, the woman had outlined in capital letters she wanted "JUST cuddles", to which Kibirige replied: "Sure."

However, the complainant said that he subjected her to a series of sexual offences over a period of about an hour.

Zach Kibirige
Getty Images

The court has heard that the woman sent Kibirige a message as he made his way home, with reference to being "bucked and ditched", adding "that was not OK" and "I only wanted a cuddle".  

The defence lawyer suggested she had spoken about it being a possible one night stand.

Sobbing, the woman told the court "I was in a state of shock. I hadn't processed what had gone on".

The trial continues. 

Former Northumbria Police legal boss claims 'fail and are dismissed'

A former police head of legal services has lost her claim for unfair dismissal, harassment, victimisation and discrimination.

Denise Aubrey was sacked from Northumbria Police for gross misconduct in 2014.

The now 54-year-old was accused of gossiping about alleged affairs between senior officers.

We'll bring you more as we have it.

Denise Aubrey

Prince Harry praises Stockton pub

BBC Tees

Prince Harry has recognised the work of a Stockton pub in remembering war veterans.

The Don Bar is collecting memorabilia from families of soldiers and has spent the last 18 months hanging 70,000 poppies.


Prince Harry has sent the owner, Julie Cooper, a letter thanking her for the support she gives.

Ms Copper told BBC Tees she is honoured to be able to create a safe place for veterans, but has been left overwhelmed by the response.

A695 Blaydon Highway closed tomorrow

Police are appealing for help tracing the flat-bed truck that hit and damaged the Blaydon bridge on Wednesday.

Sections of the road over the A695 Blaydon Highway had to be closed and repairs could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, police said.

The damaged part of the bridge will be removed tomorrow, meaning the road will be closed to all traffic from 05:30.

Work is expected to take most of the day with diversions in operation.

Rugby player 'left marks on woman's neck'

A woman accusing a professional rugby player of rape told police he left red marks on her neck, Newcastle Crown Court has heard.

The woman also said her legs were left bruised after the attack at her home, which she said was carried out by Newcastle Falcons and England under-20 winger Zach Kibirige.

The 21-year-old denies four counts of rape, attempted rape, sexual assault and assault.

Zach Kibirige
Getty Images

A video of the woman's interview with a detective was played to the court, in which she claimed the incident in November left her with "red marks, like finger marks" on her neck.

She told the officer: "It looked like a handprint." 

Mr Kibirige told police the midnight encounter was unplanned but consensual.  

Bat-carrying group threaten and injure man in Sunderland

A group carrying a baseball bat threatened residents at a home on Gisland Street, Sunderland, police have said.

The incident happened just after 20:00 on Tuesday.

The men arrived in the street in a dark coloured Ford Mondeo, made threats and drove off, leaving one man slightly injured.

Gisland Street

Deaths spark South Tyneside 'bad heroin' warning

Two deaths have been linked to what police believe to be a batch of "bad" or highly pure heroin circulating in the South Tyneside area.

A man's body was found at an address in Hebburn on Sunday and another in South Shields on Thursday.

Work begins to remove asbestos from Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels

Work to remove asbestos from the Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels has started.

The restoration of the tunnels, which connect Howdon and Jarrow, is seen as a "positive step forward" by the principle engineer for the tunnels, Alastair Swan.

Both tunnels were also closed for refurbishment in 2013, but the discovery of the asbestos contamination and corrosion delayed the project. 

The tunnels are expected to re-open in Spring 2018.

Tyne Tunnel

Kelloe death arrest update

In the last few minutes Durham Police have released a statement.

The force says the man arrested on suspicion of the murder of Dale Arnold, in Kelloe on Wednesday, is 19.

He was arrested in Ushaw Moor, is now in police custody and will be questioned later today.

Arrest made after Kelloe death

A man has been arrested in connection with a fatal stabbing in Kelloe, County Durham on Wednesday.

Dale Arnold, 32, (pictured) died in Front Street shortly before 14:00. 

It’s thought a knife of some kind was used but no weapon has been recovered, police said.

Dale Arnold

Woman injured after hit and run in Wallsend

A 35-year-old woman was left with serious facial injuries and lacerations on her body when she was hit by a car on Churchill Street, Wallsend, police say.

It happened in the early hours of this morning. The woman was helped by members of the public, who called an ambulance.

The driver got out of his car and made a call before driving off towards Howdon, police said.

The car is described as small and green, possibly a Ford Fiesta, and the driver is said to be in his 20s.

Jobseeker is rewarded for helping others to get into work

Sunderland Echo


A man who turned to a job club for help to find a new career is now helping others as they set out on their own search.

Alan Bennett, from Horden, originally hoped to simply improve his CV and take part in job search activities but staff of East Durham Trust were quick to spot his potential.

Alan Bennett, a volunteer at Communiuty House, Yoden Way , Peterlee, receIves a certificate and a gift, for his work as a volunteer, from MP for Easington Grahame Morris (right) and Malcolm Fallow Chief Executive of the East Durham Trust (left)
Sunderland Echo

Cricket: Somerset v Durham

Day two of Somerset v Durham has started.

Here's BBC cricket commentator Martin Emmerson with a match preview:

View more on twitter

You can follow the latest match updates here.

Wallsend teenager missing

A teenage girl from Wallsend has been reported missing.

Chloe Kidd, 15, from Norfolk Gardens in Wallsend left home last Sunday and hasn't been seen since.

She was last seen wearing black leggings and a jacket with a purple hood and was carrying a black and white bag.


Man reported as owner of killer dog

A 44-year-old man has been reported to the police as the owner of a dog who attacked a Yorkshire Terrier in Hartlepool on Tuesday.

The man is accused of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control and is due to appear at Teesside Magistrates Court.

Jack, the dog that died, was said to be oldest in the country

Hartlepool Mail

Learn Portuguese for Rio, Britons urged

Francesca Williams

BBC News

Britons "should give Portuguese a go" as the Olympics get under way in Rio de Janeiro, urges the British Council, which has discovered many of us didn't even realise Portuguese was the official language of host country Brazil.

Now, I know most of us will be experiencing the Olympics from the comfort of our own armchairs but there's no harm getting into the spirit of the thing.

So, repeat after me: Olá (That means hello. So far so good.)

Leonardo Espindola carries the Olympic torch on its way to Rio

And then you can try: Você pode me dizer onde o voleibol de praia é favor. We think that's asking where the beach volleyball is, but we're at the mercy of a search engine translate function so don't take our word for it. Who knows where you might end up.  

Rural crime cost drops in Northumberland

The cost of rural crime to Northumberland's economy in 2015 was 64% less than the year before, NFU Mutual's annual rural crime report has revealed.

Police commissioner Vera Baird has praised Northumbria Police's work with local communities to tackle rural crime and said the commitment to tackling this type of crime must continue.

"We need to build on this and I can assure local residents that I will continue to ensure the chief constable places tackling rural crime high on the force's agenda," Ms Baird said.

Red squirrels return

The number of red squirrels in Northern England has increased over the past year, Red Squirrels Northern England (RSNE) has found in its annual red and grey squirrel survey.

In 2015, a higher number of grey squirrels were found in this part of the country for the first time since the surveys began.

Red squirrel
Getty Images

This year, however, red squirrels have once taken over and been detected in more sites than greys.

Factors such as wet weather and a lack of natural foods favoured by grey squirrels, like beech nuts and acorns, in autumn 2015 are likely to have influenced the result, RSNE said.

Missing teenager urged to make contact

A teenager has gone missing from the Middlesbrough area.

Demi-Leigh Ivison - also known as Lee or Lee Robinson - was last seen on Saturday wearing a lime green body warmer, black trousers and an oversized hoody.

The 17-year-old is known to have connections in the Middlesbrough, Darlington and Carlisle/Cumbria areas.

Demi-Leigh Ivison

Two arrested after 'unexplained' Wallsend death

A man who died after being found at Bewicke Road in Wallsend on Tuesday has been identified as 28-year-old Andrew Keenan.

His death is currently being treated as "unexplained".

A 35-year-old man who had initially been arrested in connection with the death remains in custody.

Police have also arrested a second man, aged 30, who also remains in custody.

Renault-Nissan 'reasonably optimistic' over Brexit

The chief executive of Renault-Nissan has told the BBC he is 'reasonably optimistic' that the UK will be an important partner with the European Union, despite its vote to leave.

Carlos Ghosn said investment in the Sunderland plant, which employs 6,700, depends on the outcome of UK-EU talks on Brexit.

Renault-Nissan 'reasonably optimistic' over Brexit

In November, Mr Ghosn warned Nissan would reconsider investment in the UK if Britain voted to leave the EU.

"We are reasonably optimistic at the end of the day common sense will prevail from both sides," Mr Ghosn said.

Newcastle Falcons' Zach Kibirige ignored 'no sex' plea

A professional rugby player raped a woman several times after ignoring her demands to "pack it in", a jury has heard.

Zach Kibirige, 21, who plays for Newcastle Falcons, was invited to the woman's house to "watch a film and have a cuddle".

Zach Kibirige
Getty Images

But once there he "used fear and force to get what he wanted", his trial at Newcastle Crown Court has been told.

He denies four counts of rape, attempted rape, sexual assault and a further assault charge.

The trial continues.

Weather: Mosty dry and bright

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Our Weather Watchers have been capturing some lovely scenes across our regions this Friday morning.

Dan from Seaham took this beautiful picture.

Sunset in Seaham
Dan Seaham Harbour Lad

As for your weather forecast - it sounds like a promising day:

It will be a dry and bright start, with spells of warm sunshine. 

Although it should stay mostly dry, some cloud will build during the day, and this could bring one or two showers.  

Weather graph

You too can become a Weather Watcher - we'd love to see your pictures. 

Welcome to Friday's live coverage

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Morning. Welcome to BBC Local Live. 

We'll be here until 16:00 today, bringing you the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates throughout the day.

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