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  1. Tuesday 2 May 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Through the day: BBC North East Live

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

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

Investigation continuing into brawl at UKIP rally

Police say investigations are continuing into a fight between two women ahead of a planned speech by UKIP leader Paul Nuttall in Hartlepool on Saturday.

Mr Nuttall was due to speak at a pub in the town as part of the party's general election campaign.

But police had to be called when the women began fighting outside the venue.

Women fighting at UKIP rally in Hartlepool

Mr Nuttall - who was forced to cancel his speech and switch venue - said neither of the women were UKIP members and blamed the incident on "hard-left activists". 

Cleveland Police said the two women had been released pending further investigations. Neither has so far been charged.

Train maintenance workers vote for strike

Workers at a rail maintenance company have voted to go on strike in a dispute over pay. 

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at Arriva TrainCare - which has five depots, including one in Gateshead - backed walkouts by 96%. 

The RMT has accused the company of refusing to hold pay talks because it says it is not the recognised union for workers. 

Train being repaired
Arrive TrainCare

General secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT members at Arriva TrainCare have delivered a massive yes vote for action and the company should wake up and take notice of the anger amongst their workforce over the pay issue. 

"Our members are entitled to be represented by the union that they are members of so we can get on with our job and negotiate decent pay and conditions on their behalf."

Delta platform arrives for recycling

First glimpse of the Delta platform. 24,000 tonnes of top sides to be recycled by @AbleUKLtd near #Hartlepool

First glimpse of the Delta platform. 24,000 tonnes of top sides to be recycled by @AbleUKLtd near #Hartlepool

Woman falls off horse and down a 30ft slope

A woman who fell off a horse and then down a 30ft (9m) slope in Northumberland is recovering in hospital.

The Great North Air Ambulance attended the incident at Wooler and treated the woman, who is in her 60s, at the scene before airlifting her to hospital in Newcastle.

She suffered head, pelvis, hip and leg injuries, which are not thought to be life threatening.

GNAAS in Wooler, Northumberland

Work to revamp Listed Durham bridge

A major refurbishment of Durham’s Grade I Listed Old Elvet Bridge has begun.

The work includes the waterproofing of the bridge deck, realignment and replacement of paving, and the creation of loading bays on the approaches to the bridge.

Old Elvet Bridge, Durham
Durham County Council

It is part of a £1.8m project by Durham County Council to revamp roads and footpaths in the city centre over the next two years.

The council said it expected the work on the bridge to be completed in time for the Durham Miner's Gala in July.

Force urges support for knife amnesty

Cleveland Police hopes its latest week-long knife amnesty will be as successful as last year's.

The force collected 106 knives and bladed objects in 2016.

New figures show that during last year knife attacks resulted in 381 people injured and included eight attempted murders, 39 threats to kill and 96 robberies.

Cleveland Police knives amnesty 2016
Cleveland Police

A spokesman said: “Knives and sharp objects can be deadly in the wrong hands and this campaign is a way to encourage people to surrender their bladed or offensive weapons anonymously.

“Last year’s amnesty was extremely successful and this year we would like more people to hand in their sharp objects and knives safely in the designated knife bins.”

The amnesty runs until 8 May, with stations at Middlesbrough, Kirkleatham, Stockton or Hartlepool taking part.

Teenager critically ill after 'taking LSD'

A teenager is in a critical condition in hospital after taking what police believe to be LSD.

The 17-year-old was at an address in Prudhoe, when he became ill on Moday.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "We're carrying out inquiries to establish exactly what has happened and to locate the source of this batch of LSD. 

"However, we want to remind and warn people of the dangers of taking illegal drugs, or indeed any drugs that have not been prescribed to them."

'Deadly spiders' force family from home

Brazilian Wandering Spiders on a banana

Police told the family to leave the house in County Durham straight away.

Brazilian Wandering Spiders on a banana

'Deadly spiders' force family from home

Police told the family to leave the house in County Durham straight away.

Read more

Staying dry, but rather chilly

The rest of the day will remain mainly dry, with variable cloud cover.

However, brisk or strong northeasterly winds will make it feel chilly, especially near the coast and over the hills.


Youngsters ask Tees Valley mayoral hopefuls 'why should we stay?'

BBC News has been on the road, finding out the views of young voters ahead of the elections for the first metropolitan mayors in England on 4 May.

According to a group of students from Middlesbrough College one of the issues the successful candidate for Tees Valley would have to address is a brain drain from the area.

Of the 10 questioned, only one wanted to build a career and life locally, the others believed the good opportunities existed elsewhere.

Listen to what they had to say.

Middlesbrough College students

Newcastle United's Jamaal Lascelles to undergo groin op

Newcastle United has confirmed that Jamaal Lascelles is set to undergo a groin operation that will rule him out of Sunday’s season-closer at home to Barnsley.

The defender, who has captained the Magpies to Premier League promotion this season, missed Friday night’s victory away to Cardiff City in preparation for his operation and is now due to return for pre-season training at the start of July.

Jamaal Lascelles

Former football agent sentenced for knife attack at wife's home

The former agent of footballer Andy Carroll slashed his wife's sofa with a 10-inch knife as their two children barricaded themselves in a bedroom, a court was told.

Peter Harrison, 57, burst into the Gateshead home of his estranged wife Wendy last July, despite a police warning not to contact her.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Harrison, of Evergreen Close, Hartlepool, stabbed at the sofa, saying she loved it more than him.

He admitted one charge of harassment, and was handed a nine-month jail term suspended for 18 months, plus an indefinite restraining order regarding his wife.

Peter Harrison

Judge Stephen Earl said: "I have seen the level of damage you caused in the house. 

"You felt she loved those inanimate things more than you so it was your way of taking out your frustrations on something. 

"The level of fear that it caused is incalculable. The one place someone is entitled to feel most safe is in their own home." 

Durham's Mark Wood ordered to rest

Martin Emmerson

BBC Newcastle

Final stage of platform decommissioning

Brent Delta

The Brent Delta platform, which was separated from its legs, arrives in Teesside to be scrapped.

Brent Delta

Final stage of platform decommissioning

The Brent Delta platform, which was separated from its legs, arrives in Teesside to be scrapped.

Read more

Cheryl and Liam Payne 'name baby son Bear'

Geordie-born Cheryl and Liam Payne have reportedly named their baby son Bear. 

The new parents decided the name suited their new arrival a few days after he arrived on 22 March.

Liam Payne and Cheryl

The Sun said the baby has his father's surname, with a source quoted as saying: "Cheryl and Liam wanted to get to know their baby before deciding on a name. 

"They didn't have the name Bear before the birth. But they'd been thinking of a name since meeting him and they just felt it suited him." 

Cheryl, 33, and Payne, 23, have been keeping a low profile since their first child was born. 

Liam Payne with newborn baby

However, shortly after he arrived they both shared an image (above) on social media showing the One Direction star cradling their baby. 

Teenagers charged after nine-hour police stand-off

Three teenagers have been charged with a string of offences following a nine-hour stand-off with police in the Westerhope area of Newcastle over the weekend.

Officers in riot gear attended the scene in Buxton Gardens on Sunday after reports of missiles being thrown from the roof of a building.

Northumbria Police said no-one was seriously injured but it caused a "significant amount of disruption and damage". 

Two of the males - both aged 16 - were arrested following the incident. A 17-year-old male was taken to hospital for treatment to minor injuries sustained in a fall, and later arrested.

They are due to appear before magistrates in Bedlington charged with affray, criminal damage, theft from motor vehicle, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. 

Stockton-born Paralympic champion Susie Rodgers retires from swimming

Tributes to TY McGurk sports shop founder Tom McGurk

The Shields Gazette

Tributes have been paid to the founder of a North East sports shop business who could sell “ice to the Eskimos”. 

Tom McGurk, who ran TY McGurk, has died at the age of 91 after a short battle with septicemia and pneumonia.

Tom McGurk
Shields Gazette

Concern for missing Northumberland teenager

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing Northumberland 17-year-old.

Reece Wilson (pictured), from Juliet Street in Ashington, has not been seen since 18 April, Northumbria Police said.

Reece Wilson
Northumbria Police

He is described as white, 6ft 2in tall, of slim build and with short brown hair.  

He was last seen wearing a grey tracksuit bottoms, a green jacket, and Nike trainers.

Newcastle sign Warriors lock Cavubati

Tevita Cavubati
Tony Marshall

Newcastle Falcons sign lock Tevita Cavubati from Worcester Warriors for the 2017-18 Premiership campaign.

Tevita Cavubati

Newcastle sign Worcester lock Cavubati

Newcastle Falcons sign lock Tevita Cavubati from Worcester Warriors for the 2017-18 Premiership campaign.

Read more

Shop selling fake tobacco closed down

A Hartlepool shop has been closed down after council bosses took action over the sale of counterfeit tobacco.

Baltic Mini-Market in Oxford Road was closed following a 10-month undercover investigation by the town's trading standards department.

Baltic Mini Market

A trading standards spokesman said: “These premises have shown a continued disregard for the law. As this was causing a nuisance for the local community, powers to close the premises were used."

The three-month closure order makes it a criminal offence for anyone, other than the owner, to enter the premises.

New domestic abuse project launched in schools

Sunderland Echo


Schools across Sunderland will be taking part in a new domestic abuse scheme.

Each of the city’s schools will be getting involved in the project, which offers help to all young people affected by violence in the home.

Niqab attacker due to be sentenced

A man who admitted pulling a niqab off a woman and subjecting her to a tirade of racial abuse is due to be sentenced later.

Peter Scotter (pictured) shouted "you are in our country now" when he attacked his victim, who was with her young son, at a Sunderland shopping centre last July.

Peter Scotter

The 55-year-old, of Beach Street, Roker, Sunderland, admitted racially aggravated assault by beating and racially aggravated harassment.

A previous hearing was told he had 66 previous convictions and was warned he was facing a jail sentence.

Both offences were based on Scotter's hostility towards a particular religious group, namely Islam, the court heard.

Youths warned about jumping into sea

Almost 30 youths were warned after they were seen jumping into "large breaking waves" at a Tynemouth beauty spot.

Police and Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade member said some of the group were drinking alcohol and could have suffered serious injuries or worse in the incident at Browns Bay on Monday.

Coastguard officials received reports from the public at about 16:20 that the youths were acting in a "potentially dangerous" manner.

No-one was reported hurt.

Lambing event is a huge success at nature reserve

Hartlepool Mail


Thousands of visitors flocked to a nature reserve to see new-born Spring lambs.

Managers at RSPB Saltholme are celebrating the successful return of its Lambing Live event which attracted in more than 8,500 people in just over a fortnight.

Hartlepool Mail

20 years since Tony Blair's landslide victory

It is exactly 20 years ago that then-Sedgefield MP Tony Blair romped to a landslide victory in the 1997 general election. 

His New Labour brand helped the party return 418 MPs at the 1997 poll and saw Blair installed in Downing Street, replacing John Major. 

Tony Blair in 1997

He was the only Labour leader in the party's 100 year history to win three consecutive elections. 

During his time as Sedgefield MP he lived in the former mining village of Trimdon and held his victory celebrations at Trimdon Labour Club.

In an interview with the BBC last month, Mr Blair said he had not ruled out a return to politics. 

He currently heads The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. 

Rider killed in motocross crash named

A rider who died at a motocross event in County Durham at the weekend has been named by police.

Thomas Brown, 27, from Barnard Castle, was killed when he crashed at the event at Low Hardwick Farm, near Sedgefield on Sunday.

Thomas Brown
Family photo

Mr Brown worked on his family’s farm and had been involved in motocross since the age of eight. 

His mother, father and his two sisters said they are ‘devastated’ by what happened.

The other rider who was injured on Sunday, a woman aged 30 from the Sedgefield area, remains in hospital, but her injures are not thought to be life-threatening.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Three arrested over castle fires

Three teenagers have been arrested in connection with fires at Skelton Castle on 21 April and another at an address in Saltburn the same day.

The three males, aged 13, 17 and 19 have been released from custody with no bail conditions while inquiries continue, Cleveland Police said.    

Report finds a quarter of North East rental properties are not up to scratch

The Journal


A massive £217m is being handed over in rent for sub-standard properties in the North East.

According to a worrying new report from housing charity Shelter, a quarter of all private-rented properties in the region are not good enough.

The Journal

A19 now clear after earlier two-vehicle collision

Deadly spiders found in family's bananas

Helen Richardson

BBC Newcastle

A County Durham woman found hundreds of tiny tropical spiders in a banana she was eating. 

Gemma Price from Annfield Plain was advised to leave her house immediately and was forced to stay away for three days while specialist pest controllers treated the property.

They told her the spiders were probably Brazilian Wandering Spiders (pictured), which are said to be the world's most deadly species.

Mrs Price's seven-month-old son Leo was sleeping next to her at the time.

Brazilian Wandering Spider
Science Photo Library

She said: "I had brought a banana up to my bedroom and opened it and I think I must have broken an egg sack because hundreds of these tiny spiders went everywhere.

"They handed on my arm and I just started thrashing. They went all over the bed and some on Leo's cot.

"I called the police and they said I should evacuate the property straight away. Luckily my mam lives across the road."

The banana was bought at the Stanley branch of ASDA, who said such incidents were extremely rare and that checks on stock are regulalry undertaken.

The company said it organised a specialist team of pest controllers to attend Mrs Price's house. 

Weather: Overcast for much of the day

BBC Weather

It's set to be overcast through the day with mist and cloud on hills, but staying mainly dry with just the chance of a light afternoon shower.

If you're near the coast, it will feel cool with brisk north-easterly winds.

It will be mainly dry through the evening and night with variable cloud cover.

You can find the latest forecast where you are with BBC Weather.

Weather forecast, Tuesday

Probe into death of rider at motocross event

Investigations are continuing into the death of a man at a quad and motocross event in County Durham.

The male rider, who has not been named, came off his bike at the privately-run event next to Low Hardwick Farm, near Sedgefield, on Sunday afternoon.

Scene of motocross death

A woman in her 30s was also seriously injured about an hour afterwards, at which point the event was closed down.

The man was taken by air ambulance to hospital in Middlesbrough, but was confirmed dead shortly before arrival.

Giant platform due to arrive on Teesside

Colin Briggs

Look North

Part of a giant North Sea oil platform is due to arrive on Teesside to be decommissioned.

The top section of Shell's Brent Delta platform is being taken to Able UK in Hartlepool for dismantling

Brent Delta

The process will take about a year, with almost all of the structure being recycled. 

Able has invested almost £30m in developing a specialist dock to be able to undertake the work. 

The 24,000-tonne platform was lifted on to a huge purpose-built ship for its journey to Hartlepool from its working location 115 miles (185km) off Shetland.

Welcome to our live coverage

Well, it's back to work for those of us lucky enough to have had yesterday's bank holiday off so welcome to BBC Local Live. 

We'll be with you throughout the day to bring you the latest news, weather, sport and travel updates from across the North East.

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.