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  1. Updates on Wednesday 12 July

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

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

To keep up with what's happening overnight, head to BBC Tees, BBC Newcastle, Look North, and online.

You can tweet your photos to @BBCNewsNE, email them, or contact us via our Facebook page.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00. Have a great evening.

27th Middlesbrough Mela begins on Saturday

Middlesbrough's Mela is taking place this weekend.

It's now in its 27th year. Centre Square will be transformed for the event on Saturday and Sunday.

Sponsors of this year's Middlesbrough Mela
Middlesbrough Council
Sponsors of this year's Middlesbrough Mela

Unison is very proud and honoured to be able to sponsor Middlesbrough Mela again. It is a fabulous family event celebrating Middlesbrough’s culture and diversity."

Dawn NicholsonUnison Area Organiser for Middlesbrough

“I have attended the Mela for over 20 years, and have always been astounded at the vibrancy and creativity of the event."

Barry CoppingerCleveland Police and Crime Commissioner

BreakingThree held over man found injured in field

Three peoiple have been arrested after a man was found injured in a Northumberland field.

Two men, aged 29 and 33 and a 29-year-old woman were held over the attack in Cresswell on Monday.

The victim remains in a life-threatening condition.

Teenager charged over rape in Ashington

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with rape after a woman was attacked in her own home in Ashington.

The attack happened in the North Seaton area at 01:50 last Wednesday.

Police say the boy is due to appear at South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court tomorrow.

Pub offering free parmos - with a catch

A Stockton pub is offering free food to customers who are over 25st.

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Double jeopardy killer Billy Dunlop cleared of child sex offences

A Teesside man has been cleared of carrying out historical rapes and sexual assaults against two girls under the age of sixteen.

Billy Dunlop, who's originally from Billingham, is currently serving a life sentence in Frankland prison for the 1989 murder of Julie Hogg.

A jury at Teesside Crown Court took two-and-a-half hours to acquit the Frankland Prison inmate of all charges.

Billy Dunlop
Undated police handout

Corbyn 'Traingate' CCTV did not breach data law

A train company which released CCTV footage of Jeremy Corbyn looking for a seat did not break data protection law, a watchdog has ruled.

The Information Commissioner's Office found Virgin Trains East Coast should have taken better care to obscure other passengers' faces, however.

The footage showed him bypassing seats.

So-called Traingate rolled into action when the Labour leader claimed he could not find a seat on the London to Newcastle train in August last year.

Mr Corbyn was filmed walking past, reserved, but empty seats
Virgin Trains
Mr Corbyn was filmed walking past, reserved, but empty seats
BMX rider Stephen Murray talks life 10 years after his accident
Stephen Murray was one of the best in the world in his chosen sport - BMX dirt jumping.

Latest figures show drop in unemployment in the North East

BBC Newcastle

The number of people out of work in the North East has fallen again.

For the three months to May, it fell by 5,000 compared with the previous quarter, leaving a total of 78,000 people out of work.

It's a rate of 6% - that is still the highest rate in the country.

UK unemployment fell by 64,000 to 1.49 million in the three months to May, official figures show.

Durham Police is looking for 80 new recruits to join the force.

Durham Police is starting a recruitment drive tomorrow for new recruits.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to join the country's best performing police force and make a real difference in your community. I would encourage anyone who has the passion, dedication, professionalism and courage to go the extra mile to provide the best possible service to the people of County Durham and Darlington to apply."

Chief Constable Mike BartonDurham Police

"Policing is a great career, with good long-term prospects for the right people."

Ron Hogg, Durham Police and Crime CommissionerDurham Police

Applications for the position open tomorrow and the deadline is Friday 28 July.

Multi million pound refurbishment for Globe Theatre in Stockton

BBC Tees

The Globe Theatre in Stockton is getting a £15m restoration to turn it into the largest venue of its kind between Newcastle and Leeds.

View more on twitter

The art deco listed building closed 20 years ago - but the plans would see it reopen in 2019, with a capacity of 3,000. It hopes to attract big names from music and comedy.

It'll be managed by ATG, which runs the Sunderland Empire as well as venues in London and New York.

Stockton Council is investing more than £10.5m, and £4m is coming from a lottery grant. The council says the investment will boost the area.

Sixteen-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of rape in Ashington

BBC Newcastle

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of rape after a woman was attacked by an intruder in her own home in Ashington, Northumberland.

It happened in the North Seaton area at 01:50 last Wednesday.

An investigation was launched and police say the 16-year-old is currently in custody.

Newcastle and Gateshead gearing up for Great North Run

The preparations for the Great North Run are already under way.

An 'n' and a 'u' have been put on the side of the Tyne Bridge.

The biggest half marathon in the world, The Great North Run takes place in Newcastle and Gateshead on Sunday 10 September.

The Tyne Bridge
The Tyne Bridge

And with only two months to go you can follow the countdown on Twitter:

View more on twitter

Boxing coach honoured for bridge attack bravery

BBC Tees

A North East boxing coach who was at the Westminster Bridge attack has been honoured by the World Boxing Council for his bravery.

Tony Davis (pictured centre), who coaches in Darlington as well as the GB team in Sheffield, was in London at the time for a conference.

After seeing the attack, Mr Davis decided to run towards the scene where he tried to help fatally injured PC Keith Palmer for around three-and-a-half minutes before the paramedics arrived.

Tony David, centre
Getty Images

BreakingDaniel Johnson found guilty of murder in Sunderland

Megan Paterson

Reporter, BBC Look North

Daniel Johnson, 20, has been found guilty of murdering David Wilson in Sunderland in 2014.

Johnson called police for a lift home after the stabbing.

Former childhood home of former Prime Minister back on the market

Anyone interested in buying the Grade II listed Windlestone Hall in County Durham, which goes up for sale next week with a guide price of £400,000, is invited to a viewing of the premises today.

Windlestone Hall in County Durham
Windlestone Hall in County Durham

The house was the birth place in 1897 of Sir Anthony Eden, who entered parliament as a Conservative MP in 1923.

He later served as a cabinet minister before serving as prime minster from 1955 to 1957.

Sir Anthony Eden
Getty images
Sir Anthony Eden

Widow welcomes contaminated blood inquiry

A Newcastle woman who lost her haemophiliac husband when he was given contaminated blood has welcomed a promised inquiry, but has also called for a full police investigation.

Carol Grayson, 57, lost her husband Peter Longstaff in 2005 after he contracted HIV and hepatitis C.

She wrote an MA thesis at Sunderland University on the global blood trade, which won an award, and which traced infected donors to Arkansas prisons.

Carol Grayson

Reacting to the Prime Minister's announcement of an inquiry, she said: "I'm pleased that an inquiry has been announced and I'm grateful to politicians that have stuck with us for so long.

"This cover-up has been going on for almost three decades and I've been largely ignored.

"I would like the inquiry to cover all the evidence that we've already covered, which includes complaints we've submitted to official bodies, including the General Medical Council (GMC) and the government.

"I uncovered documents years ago showing that the government knew about this."

She said her husband would have been pleased with the announcement of an inquiry but would have urged caution.

"Alongside this inquiry, there needs to be a complete police investigation. I also want the inquest into my husband's death to be re-opened."

Retired firefighter faces cycling challenge

A retired firefighter is taking part in the amateur stage of the Tour De France with four members of the South Shields Velo CC cycling club.

Barry Marshall is taking part in the challenge on Sunday to raise money and awareness for the One Punch Campaign.

The South Shields Velo CC cycling club
Club photo

On December 23 2015, Barry's friend and fellow cycling club member Steve Willey was standing at a bus stop with his wife Paula when he was attacked.

He was left in coma for more than a year after being struck once and falling and hitting his head on the floor.

Steve Willey with his wife Paula
Family photo

Anthony Brew, Christine Marshall, Janet Ross and Bryan Ross will join Barry to do L'Etape du tour - a replica of stage 18 of the 2017 Tour De France.

Barry describes it as the hardest fitness challenge in the world, but has ample motivation:

Steve was the victim of an unprovoked ‘one punch attack’. Steve was stood with his wife when someone full of drink and drugs punched him once causing Steve to fall and hit his head on the way down. He ended up in a coma for over a year.”

Barry MarshallSouth Shields Velo CC team

Group claim sex abuse by 'Barclays doctor'

More than 100 people who say they were sexually assaulted by a Tyneside doctor carrying out medicals for Barclays Bank have brought a damages action at the High Court.

The 130 claimants - mostly women - were examined between 1968 and 1984 when Dr Gordon Bates carried out unchaperoned pre-employment checks of prospective employees at his Newcastle home.

A posthumous police investigation begun in 2012 - three years after Dr Bates's death at the age of 83 - concluded there would have been sufficient evidence to pursue a prosecution if he had not died.

There were 48 criminal acts reported and a further 77 inappropriate medical examinations recorded. More complainants came forward and proceedings were issued against Barclays in 2015.


At a hearing in London to decide whether Barclays was vicariously liable for any assault carried out by Dr Bates, Lord Faulks QC said his relationship with the company was neither one of employment nor "akin to employment".

Lawyers for the group say Dr Bates used a Barclays template for his medical examinations for which he was paid.

They say that, because he was the doctor chosen by Barclays for all the relevant examinations in the North East, and prospective employees were not given a choice of doctor, this provided further evidence of integration.

The hearing was told the claimants were vulnerable teenagers, with many of them 16 or younger.

Barclays has denied negligence.

The judge reserved her decision to a later date.

RSPCA wants all air gun owners to have a licence

Over the last five years there have been more than 200 air gun attacks on animals in the North East, figures show.

Gull recovering from air gun injury

Cats and birds tend to be the most targeted.

X-ray of gull's airgun injury

The RSPCA is calling for air gun owners to need a licence, but the government says there are already laws in place for people who are cruel to animals .

Thieves steal man’s mobility scooter

The Shields Gazette

A man who suffers with mental health problems has told of his devastation after his "lifeline" electric scooter was stolen.

Davey Donaldson, 44, was left stunned when his silver Sakura scooter was taken from outside his friend Wayne Riley’s home in Highfield Road, South Shields, early yesterday morning.

Shields Gazette front page
Shields Gazette

Man found in field has 'life-changing' injuries

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

A man found seriously injured in a field in Northumberland remains in a serious condition in hospital.

The un-named man was found by a member of the public in Cresswell with "potentially life-changing" injuries.

Det Ch Insp Andy Fairlamb from Northumbria Police said: "At present the man's injuries are unexplained and we're appealing to the public to help us piece together the chain of events that led to the incident.

"We're looking to speak to anyone who was in the Cresswell area on the evening of 9 July, or the morning of the following day who saw anything suspicious.

"But we're particularly keen to trace a male and female who were seen in a blue, small people carrier at around 20:00 on Sunday.

"They were parked in the hardstanding on the road to Lynemouth. We believe they could have seen something that could assist our investigation."

Umpires with umbrellas

The T20 Blast group game between Northamptonshire and Yorkshire is abandoned without a ball being bowled because of rain.

Read more

Ashley £14m lawsuit drawing to close

A High Court trial featuring Newcastle United owner and Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley is expected to conclude later.

Investment banker Jeffrey Blue says Mr Ashley promised to pay him £15m if he used his expertise to increase Sports Direct's share price to £8 a share during a night of heavy drinking at a London pub four years ago.

Mike Ashley

He says Mr Ashley paid only £1m and he wants £14m damages.

Mr Ashley denies the claim and says Mr Blue is talking "nonsense".

Mr Justice Leggatt started overseeing the trial last week and finished hearing from witnesses on Monday.

The trial has already been told that Mr Ashley drank heavily on the night in question and later vomitted into the fireplace of the pub.

Lawyers are due to outline closing legal arguments and the judge is expected to deliver a ruling later in the year.

Fine and dry with long sunny periods

Lisa Gallagher

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

Any early mist patches will be short-lived with most parts having a bright start to the day.

While some cloud will develop, all parts will see lengthy sunny periods.

Weather map

The wind will be mainly light northerly, with maximum temperatures reaching about 17C (63F).

Clear skies should stay with us into the evening, but some odd mist patches could form well inland.

Check the forecast where you are.

Severe disruption: A194 Tyne And Wear southbound

BBC News Travel

A194 Tyne And Wear southbound severe disruption, before A194.

A194 Tyne And Wear - One lane blocked and heavy traffic on A194 Leam Lane southbound before the A194(M) junction, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe accident: A1(M) County Durham southbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) County Durham southbound severe accident, after J63 for A167 affecting J65 for A194.

A1(M) County Durham - Queuing traffic on A1(M) southbound after J63, A167 (Chester-le-Street), because of an accident involving three vehicles. Congestion to J65 A194(M).

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

Welcome to our live coverage

Morning. Welcome to BBC Local Live. We'll be with you throughout the day to bring you the latest news, weather, sport and travel updates.

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

To start us off here's a scenic view of Craster Harbour in Northumberland taken by David Thompson from Morpeth. Proof if it were needed that the weather looks to be improving.

Craster Harbour
David Thompson