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  1. Wednesday 26 April 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Our updates here have finished for the day, thank you for joining us. You can still find the latest news on BBC TeesBBC NewcastleLook North and online.

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

You can get in touch using TwitterFacebook, or via email.

We'll leave you with this lovely photo of spring fields near Lanchester taken this morning by Phil Dent.

Spring fields near Lanchester
Phil Dent

Minute's applause in honour of Ugo Ehiogu at tonight's derby game

Nick Barnes

BBC Newcastle's Sunderland commentator

There will be a minute's applause at tonight's derby match in honour of ex-Boro defender Ugo Ehiogu. 

Ehiogu, 44, died after suffering a cardiac arrest at Tottenham's training centre last Thursday. 

Both Middlesbrough and Sunderland are battling against relegation from the Premier League.

Kick-off is at 19:45.

Ugo Ehiogu playing for MFC
Getty Images

Weather: A cold start to the night with rain later

Bright spells this evening before dusk with any showers dying out. A cold start to the night with clear spells. 

Cloud amounts will increase from the north after midnight with outbreaks of light showery rain developing. Minimum Temperature: 3C (37F).

FA rejects Darlington Football club's appeal

Darlington Football Club's exclusion appeal has been rejected by the FA. 

The club was denied a play-off place as their ground did not meet seating requirements.

View more on twitter

Steve Cram "incredibly proud" as daughter prepares to represent Great Britain

Josie Cram, daughter of North East athlete Steve Cram, is due to represent Great Britain later this week.

The 27-year-old is currently a successful club athlete with Morpeth Harriers and will compete in the ETU Duathlon European Championships after qualifying last October. 

She said: “I’m really excited to be pulling on GB kit for the first time in an international championship and looking forward to representing the North East over in Spain." 

The ETU Duathlon European Championships will be held on 29 and 30 April in Soria, near Madrid.

Josie Cram and her 2017 Stockton Dualthlon trophy
Right Lines
Tees-Wear derby win 'can be start' of survival
Before the Tees-Wear derby, Middlesbrough boss Steve Agnew feels his side's recent form has been a "massive disappointment" while Sunderland manager David Moyes thinks a win can be the "first part" of survival.

'Heartbreaking scene' after swans attacked in Middlesbrough park

A male swan has been killed and a female is receiving treatment following an attack late last night at Albert Park in Middlesbrough. 

The male swan was found dead at the edge of the lake in the park this morning and all eggs in the swans' nest were smashed. It appears the swan suffered a broken neck.

It's thought that metal fences, put up to protect the birds, were thrown at the pair and their nest.

RSPCA inspector Krissy Raine said: “I can’t imagine what would possess someone to do such an evil thing.

"It was an absolutely heartbreaking scene. The male seemed to have suffered a broken neck. The female was in distress on the water and when I picked up one of the smashed eggs she came over to me and started nuzzling at the remains."

the site of the attacked swan nest

Swans, their nests and eggs are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.  

Bradley Lowery too unwell to appear as mascot at tonight's derby

Hartlepool Mail


Bradley Lowery will not be able to lead out Sunderland for the team's game against Boro tonight because he is unwell.

The Blackhall Colliery youngster, who is due to turn six next month, has been treated for neuroblastoma for the second time after the cancer returned last year.

Bradley Lowery and his mum
Hartlepool Mail

Family of Alice Ruggles to set up fundraising trust

The family of murdered Alice Ruggles have set up the Alice Ruggles Trust to raise money for good causes. 

The trust will also provide training and education about issues like stalking. Her family have released a statement encouraging other victims to speak out about stalking and harrassment. 

Miss Ruggle's mother,Dr Sue Hills, a teacher at a a girl's school in Leicester, will be running the Great North Run this year to raise money for Women's Aid. 

Alice Ruggles was 'life and soul of the party'

Alice Ruggles had an her infectious love of life, friends and colleagues said.

The 24-year-old was murdered by her ex-partner Lance Corporal Trimaan "Harry" Dhillon, 26, and he has today been jailed. 

Miss Ruggles studied at Northumbria University and afterwards took a job at Sky in Newcastle. 

Her boss Paul Lynch said she was "the life and soul of the party" and she was promoted from handling calls to the specially-created role of office co-ordinator. Colleagues remembered her for her for her smile, her friendliness and her wit.

Alice Ruggles drinking from a coconut
Family Photo

But friends said a change came over her after she met Dhillon and the prosecution during the trial at Newcastle Crown Court  placed the blame firmly on her ex and his controlling ways. 

Alice Ruggles' family urge other victims to speak out

The family of Alice Ruggles released a statement after her ex-boyfriend Trimaan "Harry" Dhillon was convicted of her murder in which they said her loss would stay with them for the rest of their lives. 

In a statement made through the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which helps people avoid becoming victims of violence, they urged other victims of stalking to speak out. 

He mother Dr Sue Hills said: "I just keep thinking I can't believe we didn't identify the signs of stalking but you just don't know when it's going on.

"I would like what happened to Alice to encourage others to seek support if they are worried about someone's behaviour."

Dhillon, 26, has been jailed for a minimum of 22 years after being found guilty of murdering Alice Ruggles.

Northumbria Police deny they could have prevented murder of Alice Ruggles

Following the conviction of Trimaan "Harry" Dhillon Northumbria Police have denied that they could have done more to prevent him from murdering ex-girlfriend Alice Ruggles. 

Ms Ruggles, 24, has previously reported to Northumbria Police that she felt "harrassed" by Dhillon making a police statement on 2 October in which she said he sounded "crazy" on voicemails, and described him as obsessed.

The court heard she felt  "palmed off" and was asked if she wanted Dhillon arrested but she decided not to take that step. 

Det Ch Insp Lisa Theaker, of Northumbria Police said: "Alice spoke to a number of police officers and she spoke to Victims First and we went through a risk assessment. And as a result of that we would not have been able to predict at that stage that he would go on to murder Alice." 

Following the murder the case was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, who sent it back to the force for an internal investigation. 

Alice Ruggles murder was an act of 'utter barbarism'

A judge who jailed a soldier for a minimum of 22 years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend said it had been an act of "utter barbarism".

Lance Corporal Trimaan "Harry" Dhillon, 26, had denied the murder of Alice Ruggles, 24, in Gateshead in October but was found guilty after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

Judge Paul Sloan QC told Dhillon said: "Not a shred of remorse have you shown from first to last - indeed you were concentrating so hard on getting your story right when giving evidence you forgot even to shed a crocodile tear."

Miss Ruggles' family wept and hugged each other when a jury found him guilty.

There was no visible reaction from Dhillon.

BreakingSoldier jailed for minimum of 22 years for ex-girlfriend's murder

Alison Freeman

BBC Look North

Lance Corporal Trimaan Dhillon has been jailed for life with a minimum of 22 years for the murder of Alice Ruggles.

More to follow.

Alice Ruggles murder: Flatmate's 999 call

Police have released the 999 call made by Alice Ruggles' flatmate after she found the 24-year-old's body in their Gateshead home.

In the last hour Alice's ex-boyfriend, Trimaan Dhillon, has been convicted of her murder.

Warning: May be upsetting

View more on twitter

Alice Ruggles murder: Soldier convicted of killing after 90-minute deliberation

The jury of eight women and four men took 90 minutes to reach a unanimous verdict - L/Cpl Trimaan "Harry" Dhillon murdered his ex-girlfriend, Alice Ruggles.

Dhillon, who was based at barracks in Edinburgh, broke into Miss Ruggles' Gateshead flat on 12 October last year and cut her throat.

Alice Ruggles
Family Photo

The court heard Dhillon, who's 26, stalked Alice in the weeks before her death and had been aggressive, controlling and manipulative throughout their short relationship.  

L/Cpl Trimaan "Harry" Dhillon
Northumbria Police

BreakingEx-boyfriend guilty of Alice Ruggles murder

Alison Freeman

BBC Look North

Lance Corporal Trimaan "Harry" Dhillon, 26, has been convicted at Newcastle Crown Court of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Alice Ruggles, after he stalked her and then cut her throat open from ear to ear.

We'll have more on this shortly.

Joey Barton banned from football for 18 months

BBC Sport

Former Newcastle United player Joey Barton has been banned from football for 18 months after admitting an FA charge in relation to betting.

The charge covered 1,260 wagers placed on matches between 26 March 2006 and 13 May 2016.

Barton, who played for the Magpies between 2007 and 2011, was also fined £30,000 and warned about his future conduct.

The 34-year-old plans to appeal against the length of the suspension.

Joey Barton
Getty Images

Appeal to trace missing 12-year-old Hartlepool boy

An appeal has been launched by Cleveland Police to trace Jack Kearns, 12, who was last seen in Hartlepool at 13:00 on Sunday.

He is about 5ft 1ins tall with short, light brown hair and a slim build. He is believed to still be in the Hartlepool area.

Jack Kearns
Cleveland Police

General election dates for your diary

BBC Politics

Following the final PMQs of the current parliament, here's a handy little guide to all the general election-related deadlines over the next six weeks:

Election deadline infographic

MP calls on Prime Minister for 'special deal' to protect Nestle jobs

Richard Moss

Political Editor, BBC Look North

At Westminster, it's the final Prime Minister's Questions before the general election in June and York MP Rachael Maskell has raised the proposed 298 job losses announced by Nestle on Tuesday.

With workers in Newcastle and York set to bear the brunt of that move, she asked for meeting to strike a "special deal" as the government did with Nissan last year.

In response, Theresa May said it is a "worrying time" for Nestle workers in York and Newcastle and added the Business Secretary will be speaking to Nestle later today.

Liberal Democrats confirm Sunderland Central candidate

Richard Moss

Political Editor, BBC Look North

The Liberal Democrats have confirmed local councillor Niall Hodson will be their Sunderland Central candidate in the 8 June general election. 

Labour MP Julie Elliott currently holds the seat with a majority of 11,179.

The dealine for potential MPs to submit their application forms is 11 May. The Lib Dems came fifth in the area in the 2015 election.

Newcastle and West Ham raids relate to 'suspected £5m fraud'

Dan Roan

BBC Sports editor

HMRC says raids at Newcastle United and West Ham related to a "suspected £5m Income Tax and National Insurance fraud".

As we told you earlier, HMRC deployed 180 officers across the UK and France, and several men working within professional football have been arrested.

Business records, financial records, computers and mobile phones had also been seized.

St James' Park
Getty Images

Jury to start deliberating in trial of soldier accused of murder

Alison Freeman

BBC Look North

The jury has been sent out to start deliberations in the trial of a soldier accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend. 

L/Cpl Trimaan Dhillon, 26, is accused of killing Alice Ruggles at her flat in Gateshead. 

Miss Ruggles had her throat cut last October and her body was found by her flatmate.  

Mr Dhillon denies killing the 24-year-old and says Miss Ruggles fell on the knife during a row.

Teesside's first special needs free school given go-ahead

BBC Tees

Teesside's first free school for children with special needs could open as early as September next year.

The Department for Education has given Tees Valley Education the go-ahead to build the school. However, there is no confirmation as to where it will be built. 

It comes as MPs say the government is spending "well over the odds" on free schools.

Katrina Morley, chief executive of Tees Valley Education, says: "The level of children with significant and complex special educational needs is rising in the area and therefore in order to meet this needs we've worked with our partner local authorities to put in an application for a free school for this specific need." 

Teachers to strike over academy plan for Sunderland primary school

Teachers at Highfield Community Primary School, in Sunderland, are due to strike tomorrow over a proposal to turn the school into an academy.

Members of the trade union NASUWT say are concerned for their health and well-being if the governing body goes ahead with forming a partnership between the school and Valley Road Community Primary School as part of the Iris Trust.

The teachers believe turning the school into academy "will result in adverse management and working practices, job security and changes to pay and conditions of service". 

Further strike action is planned throughout next month.

Lee Charnley 'taken away' as part of HMRC investigation

BBC Sport

Sources have told the BBC that Newcastle United's Lee Charnley was taken away from the club by officers.

Several arrests have been made as part of the HMRC probe into suspected income tax and National Insurance fraud, although it has not been confirmed whether Mr Charnley was one of them.

Mr Charnley (pictured below left) became managing director of Newcastle in April 2014. 

West Ham have also been targeted by investigators.

Lee Charnley (left) with club owner Mike Ashley
Getty Im
David Moyes

Sunderland manager David Moyes is charged by the Football Association after telling BBC reporter Vicki Sparks she might "get a slap".

Read more

Newcastle United and West Ham in HMRC tax probe

More now on the breaking news that HMRC has raided a number of premises in the north east and south east of England as part of a probe into suspected income tax and National Insurance fraud.

BBC Sports editor Dan Roan says West Ham are one of the clubs involved, and BBC Newcastle understands Newcastle United's St James' Park was also targeted.

"Several men" have been arrested, HMRC says. We'll have more as the story develops.

View more on twitter

BreakingSt James' Park raided in HMRC tax fraud probe

BBC Newcastle

Newcastle United's St James' Park is among premises raided by HMRC as part of its investigations into suspected income tax and National Insurance fraud.

"Several men" have been arrested across the UK, HMRC said in the last few minutes.

A spokesman said: "180 HMRC officers have been deployed across the UK and France.

"Investigators have searched a number of premises in the North East and South East of England and arrested the men and also seized business records, financial records, computers and mobile phones." 

Middlesbrough v Sunderland: Crunch clash for relegation-threatened clubs

Steve Bower

Match of the Day commentator

"It's already been a big week for North East football with Newcastle sealing promotion to the Premier League on Monday.

"It's not such a positive outlook for the region's other major clubs, though, with Middlesbrough and Sunderland staring relegation in the face.

"They'll face off at the Riverside tonight. Pride would always be top of the list when Teesside meets Wearside, but given the current predicaments of both, it takes on even greater significance in this fixture.

"Both need the greatest of great escapes to stay in the Premier League, but even going down fighting is looking less and less likely.

Middlesbrough's Adam Forshaw and Sunderland's Steven Pienaar challenge for the ball
Getty Images

Woman stopped from boarding train due to mobility scooter

BBC Tees

A woman from Redcar says she was left embarrassed after being stopped from boarding a train because of her mobility scooter.

Gillian Cockburn wanted to travel on a Northern train to visit her husband at James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, at the weekend.

The 70-year-old claims she was told she couldn't get on unless she dismantled the scooter.

In a statement, Northern said that due to the restricted movement of scooters they can't be taken on board unless they can be folded. They went on to say their crews are happy to assist anyone travelling alone.

Arriva train strike to go ahead on Friday

There will be a 24-hour strike on Arriva Trains North on Friday as part of an ongoing dispute over the role of guards.

The action by the RMT union revolves around the staffing for new trains due to come into service in 2020.

A spokesman said the union was "angry and frustrated" that Arriva had "rejected" a proposal to invite Transport Department officials to join three-way talks in an attempt to reach a solution.

It is that flagrant disregard for the safety issues at the heart of the dispute which leaves us with no option but to press ahead with the campaign of strike action."

Mick CashRMT general secretary

Weather: Wintry showers, then a cold day with sunny spells

Lisa Gallagher

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

It will be cloudy at first with showers, wintry at times, especially around the east coast.

This will give way to sunny spells but it will remain cold in a northerly wind, which will ease throughout the day.


Hearing will rule on Newcastle bus lane fines

A special hearing later will look into the status of a controversial bus lane in Newcastle city centre.

It follows a large number of appeals to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. More than 90,000 drivers have been fined after cameras were installed on John Dobson Street a year ago.

An adjudicator is set to inspect the signs, and the subsequent ruling - relating to a small number of cases - could be used to make decisions on the rest. 

John Dobson Street bus lane

Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage

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