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Summary

  1. Updates on Tuesday 7 March 2017
  2. Safety and overcrowding concerns art Durham Prison
  3. Woman died after upside down heart valve operation
  4. People urged to be vigilant after woman abducted and raped

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Russ Ward

BBC Newcastle

That's all from us for today - thank you for joining us.

You can still catch up with the latest news throughout the night on  BBC Tees ,   BBC Newcastle ,   Look North  and online.

If you'd like to get in touch or share your North East pictures with us, you can do so on   Twitter  ,   Facebook  , or via   email at northeast.locallive@bbc.co.uk  .

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00, have a good evening.

Getting chirpy in the sun

A robin making the most of the sunshine and beautiful clear light near Holywell Pond today was captured by Jim Jones

 Have you got any photos you'd like to share with us? In that case you can tweet them to  @BBCNewsNEemail them,  or contact us via our  Facebook page .

The spring Robin
Jim Jones
Spring Robin

Scooting woman in her 80s gets police escort

A woman in her 80s was escorted home by police after she was spotted on her scooter on a busy road close to the A1.

A concerned motorist flagged down passing police officers close to junction 59 of the A1(M) after becoming worried that the pensioner would drive onto the motorway. 

Durham police officers found the woman on the A167 near Darlington and that she was safe and unharmed. 

Batten down the hatches for a night of heavy rain

Cloudy with rain spreading east overnight, this turning heavy at times with a strengthening breeze, especially over the Pennines and Cheviots. 

Drier conditions developing around dawn as westerly winds ease, although some hill fog will linger.  

Check out the weather near you.

Weather graphic
BBC

Abusive caller threatened to cut call handler's throat

An abusive caller threatened to cut a North East Ambulance Service call handler's throat, BBC analysis  found.

Figures obtained by the BBC under Freedom of Information laws revealed hundreds of verbal attacks in the past three years including threats to kill, racist and sexual slurs.

The union Unison has urged the government to bring in tougher punishments to deter abusive callers.

The Home Office said sufficient laws were already in place.  

Redcar rape arrest man, 31, released without charge

A man arrested in connection with the rape of a mother who was kidnapped with her toddler has been released without charge. 

The woman aged in her 30s and her child  were abducted by two men  from Redcar seafront at lunchtime on Friday.

Cleveland Police said the pair were taken about four miles to Longbeck Lane, near Yearby, where the woman was raped by both men.

The force confirmed the arrested man had since been released without charge. 

Redcar seafront
BBC

MPs are fed the facts about holiday hunger

Healthy living researchers from Northumbria University are telling MPs the facts about the scale and effect of children's holiday hunger.

Research fellow, Dr Pamela Graham and PhD researcher Emily Mann, are presenting findings to an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) of MPs on the extent of children going without meals and the impact it has on their life choices.

Over the next six weeks the APPG on Hunger will probe the impact of hunger on children’s mental, physical and academic development  then think of a way to tackle the problem. 

Greta and Pam
Northumbria University

Dog wardens to get new powers

County Durham dog wardens are getting new powers from June.

There will be fixed penalty fines for owners who let their dogs stray, fail to put them on a lead or whose pets get into designated play areas.

Dog groups and county councillors
BBC

Billingham gets all jazzed up for live music event

BBC Radio 2 music show Friday Night is Music Night will record a one-off programme in Billingham.

The live programme will head to The Forum on Wednesday, 29 March.

Internationally-acclaimed singer, pianist and songwriter, Joe Stilgoe, will host the evening and perform with the BBC Big Band. 

 He will introduce a number of world-renowned performers including jazz legend Madeleine Bell and British singer and pianist Anthony Strong.

Among the music, classic songs from music legends will be performed including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. 

The show will be recorded and broadcast on BBC Radio 2 later in the year.

Joe Stilgoe
BBC
Joe Stilgoe

Couple asked for cigarette 'witnesses in sex attack inquiry'

A couple who were asked for a cigarette in Sunderland may be key witnesses in a sex attack inquiry. 

Police said a woman was attacked in Newbold Avenue in the early hours of Sunday, 26 February around the time the couple were approached by a man in Newcastle Road in the city. 

Northumbria Police want the couple to get in touch as soon as possible. 

Police jacket
Police

Students volunteer to support crime victims

Sunderland university students are learning more about the effects of crime and anti-social behaviour first hand, by becoming community volunteers.  

Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Bird recruited students from local universities to be trained as Anti-Social Behaviour Victim Volunteers.

They will provide support ove rthe telephone or in person to low and medium risk victims. 

Those taking part are all full-time students studying criminology, social work and psychology.

Vera Baird
BBC

Have you seen this man police want to quiz over shop ram-raid?

He is known under two different names and police think he was involved with a ram-raid on Screwfix DIY store in Darlington a few months ago. 

View more on twitter

Cyclists urged to use head-cam footage to trap reckless drivers

A new campaign to protect cyclists and get dangerous drivers before the courts has been launched. 

Northumbria Police's Operation Cadence is encouraging cyclists to send head-cam footage to the police so that drivers who risk lives can be caught in the act. 

Police say statistics show that 12 per cent of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents are cyclists, with hundreds more minor accidents taking place every year. 

Check out the video on Youtube

View more on youtube

North East Ambulance Trust recorded 10 abusive calls

Analysis by BBC News has found the North East Ambulance Service recorded 10 abusive calls to control room workers over the last few years.

The BBC asked all 10 ambulance trusts in England, the Welsh Ambulance Service, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the Scottish Ambulance Service about abusive calls recorded in the years 2016-15, 2015-14, 2014-13.  

West Midlands Ambulance recorded the most with 1,924 instances. The North East trust recorded 10 including a threat to cut a call handler's throat.

Table of abusive calls to ambulance trusts
BBC

Rape arrest in mother kidnap inquiry

A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of rape after a woman and her toddler were bundled into a car in Redcar and the mother was raped, Cleveland Police have said.  

Vehicle crush warning in insurance crackdown

This driver's lost his van after trying to hoodwink police!

View more on twitter

Tyneside schools praised for progress

Three primary schools in South Tyneside are in the top 3% of schools in England for making good progress.

Marine Park, Seaview and Ridgeway primary schools have been recognised by the Minister of School Standards for making significant progress between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in English reading, writing and mathematics.

Six cars damaged in 10-minute vandalism spree

Six cars parked on a Newcastle street were damaged during a 10-minute vandalism spree. 

Police said a man kicked and damaged the wing mirrors of the cars which were parked on Mitchell Avenue, Jesmond, on the afternoon of 1 March.

The culprit was described as white, with a medium build, in his mid 20s and with facial hair. He was wearing a green hooded top with the hood up and baggy jeans.

Missing Middlesbrough teenager 'may be heading to Bradford'

A 15-year-old girl who's gone missing from her home in Middlesbrough may be on her way to West Yorkshire, police believe.

Saba Hussain
Cleveland Police

Saba Hussain, who is described as vulnerable, is about 5ft 6ins tall, with thick brown hair, thick glasses and a lip piercing.

She's believed to be wearing a black polo top, white skinny jeans and dark trainers.

It's believed that Saba may now be heading to Bradford by bus or train, and anyone with information about her whereabouts is being asked to contact police.

Thug attacked cat and left it to die in a wheelie bin

Hartlepool Mail

Newspaper

A cruel thug fatally injured a cat and then dumped it alive in a wheelie bin to be taken away by refuse collectors,  a court has heard.

Police hunting rapists warn public to be alert

Police in Redcar are reassuring people that incidents like the one where a mother was raped after she was forced into a car with her toddler are extremely rare, but they have urged people to be extra vigilant. 

Officers are scouring CCTV footage from across the town to find the two men in a dark coloured saloon who abducted the woman and her child on Friday lunchtime.

The woman in her 30s was taken to the Yearby area and raped.

The victim and her child were released near Kirleatham Hall several hours later.   

Durham University professor cancels US visits over Trump travel ban

A Durham University professor has cancelled all of his planned business and social trips to America in protest over President Donald Trump's travel bans. 

President Trump has signed a new executive order  imposing a 90-day ban on travellers to the US from six mainly Muslim countries.  

The previous order, which was blocked by a federal court and remains on hold. It was presented as a means to strengthen national security against terror threats.

Professor of philosophy Stephen Mumford says he will not visit or attend conferences in the US because that could be seen as tacit approval for what he sees as an unfair policy. 

Professor Mumford says that he has received widespread support for his stance.

Prof Stephen Mumford
University of Nottingham

Travel: Still long delays on A19 soutbound

Daughter's life 'destroyed' after heart valve operation error

The daughter of a woman who died after surgeons inserted a heart valve upside down says her life has been "destroyed".

Sheila Hynes, 71, suffered massive internal bleeding during what should have been a routine operation at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital in April 2015.

An inquest will be held later this year. Her family has begun legal action

Mrs Hynes' daughter, Jan Hopper, said: "My life has been destroyed by what happened to my mother.

"My mother was the picture of health that week and I can remember saying to her 'mum, you look absolutely stunning'."

Sheila Hynes' family
Adrian Don/PA Wire

Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has admitted the error.  

Sunny spells through the morning, then hazy cloud.

Lisa Gallagher

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

It will be a fine morning with sunny spells.

Though the afternoon it will turn hazier under high cloud, before breezy winds and rain arrive later in the evening.  

Weather
BBC

Severe accident: A167 Tyne And Wear southbound

BBC News Travel

A167 Tyne And Wear southbound severe accident, near B1318 Claremont Road.

A167 Tyne And Wear - One lane blocked and queuing traffic on A167 southbound near the B1318 Claremont Road junction, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Travel: A19 southbound in Sunderland blocked by multi-vehicle accident

Gilly Hope

BBC Travel

The A19 southbound is blocked and there is slow traffic due to a multi-vehicle accident between the A690 Durham Road / B1286 City Way (Herrington Interchange) and B1404 Seaton Lane.

There is congestion on the A19 to A1231 Wessington Way. Lane one (of two) is blocked. Ambulance and fire services are at the scene. 

Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage

It's a beautiful morning in Newcastle - cold and crisp. One of our team took this photo on the walk into work of the sun shining through trees. Hope it's nice where you are too.

We'll be here until 18:00 bringing you news, sport, weather and travel from across the North East.

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

sun shining through trees
BBC