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  1. Updates on Tuesday 24 May 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Updates for the North East have now finished here for the day - thank you for joining us. 

We'll be back from 08:00 on Wednesday with more news, sport, weather and travel updates and hope you can join us then.

In the meantime there will be updates online, on BBC Newcastle and BBC Tees and Look North tonight and over the weekend.

If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet usemail us, or contact us via our Facebook page.   

Hartlepool United: James Martin and Ben Pollock sign professional deals

BBC Sport

Hartlepool United have signed centre-back Ben Pollock and full-back James Martin on undisclosed terms following successful trials.

Ben Pollock

18-year-old Pollock (pictured) has signed his first professional contract after being released by Newcastle United's academy earlier in the year.

Martin, 17, was on scholarship at Scottish side Queen of the South.

Central defender Pollock is the son of former Middlesbrough midfielder Jamie Pollock, and had spells with Boro before his move to Newcastle.

Weather: Cloudier overnight

BBC Weather

Staying generally fine and dry overnight with clear spells initially.

Gradually turning cloudier from the east overnight with the odd spot of drizzle possible over hills.

Breezy near coast.  

No new inquest on woman who killed herself before false rape claim trial

The father of a trainee accountant who killed herself days before she faced court on suspicion of making a false rape claim has lost his legal battle for a fresh inquest into her death.

Eleanor De Freitas
Family Photo

David de Freitas wanted a new investigation into the decision to prosecute 23-year-old Eleanor De Freitas (pictured), who had bipolar disorder and left notes saying she was frightened of going to court.  

Two judges at the High Court in London expressed their "deepest" sympathies to her family, but rejected his case as "unarguable".

Ms de Freitas had told police she had been raped by 35-year-old Alexander Economou, who then brought a private prosecution for making false claims, which was taken over by the CPS. 

Mr Justice Nicol announced that the inquest into Ms de Freitas's death was "lawfully conducted". 

Cannabis school children given 'very frank conversation'

The head teacher of a Northumberland primary school says two eight-year-old children caught with cannabis in the playground have been spoken to.

Police were called when the year four pupils at Bedlington Station Primary, in Northumberland, were found to be in possession of the drug.

Head Carl Sutherland said a "very frank conversation" had taken place between the school, the children and their parents.

A member of our staff became aware of two pupils with a suspicious substance in the playground, which they confiscated. We immediately called the police who came in and took possession of the substance. No attempt was made to consume any substances on school grounds."

Head teacher Carl Sutherland

Cricket: Durham pass 100

Martin Emmerson

BBC Newcastle

Durham pass 100.

Now 105-4. Jennings 60, Collingwood 5. So 129 more needed.

Patel back into the Warwick attack to replace Wright.  

Cricket pitch

Air ambulance to carry plasma on board

As of today, the Great North Air Ambulance Service will carry defrosted Fresh Frozen Plasma (known as FFP) on board its aircraft.

A box of blood and plasma

The charity says it already carries red blood cells on board, meaning they can give blood transfusions to patients. 

But studies suggest up to 30% of trauma patients with severe bleeding are no longer able to form blood clots normally by the time they arrive in A&E.

So the air ambulance says it has decided to "take it one step further" by carrying plasma, which provides vital components to help blood clots form.

It says it's one of the first air ambulance charities in the UK to carry plasma onboard.

CCTV image released after elderly woman robbed in South Tyneside

Police have released this CCTV image after an 84-year-old woman was robbed in South Tyneside over the weekend.

CCTV Image
Northumbria Police

Police say the woman was using the cash machine at the HSBC in Fowler Street in South Shields when a man tried to take the money as it came out of the ATM.

A witness chased the man, who made off without any cash.

The woman was left shaken, and officers are keen to trace the man in the pictures.

Travel: A167 partially blocked due to accident

BBC Travel

Katherine Street in Darlington is partially blocked in both directions between the A167 North Road junction and the Edmund Street junction because of an accident.  

Get more traffic information on the BBC Travel website for Tyne & Wear and Teesside.      

BreakingFire extinguished at Newcastle's Swing Bridge

Firefighters have extinguished a blaze at the Swing Bridge in Newcastle.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service says the fire involved approximately 25 square metres of wooden staves on a pontoon underneath the bridge.

They say it was quickly contained, and it is not yet known how the fire started. 

Cricket: Tea and Durham are chasing 238 to beat Warwickshire

Bedlington Station Primary School pupils caught with cannabis

Two eight-year-old school children have been caught with cannabis in their playground.

Police were called when the year four pupils at Bedlington Station Primary, in Northumberland, were found to be in possession of the drug.

Head teacher Carl Sutherland said a "very frank conversation" had taken place between the school, the children and their parents.

Northumbria Police said it would not be taking any further action.

Bedlington Station Primary

Weather: Warm in the sunshine

BBC Weather

The rest of the day will be dry with sunny spells and variable amounts of cloud. 

Feeling quite warm in sunshine away from the coast where there'll be a cool onshore breeze.

Check the forecast where you are.

Weather graphic

Overnight road resurfacing in Spennymoor next week

Overnight road resurfacing work is to be carried out at Spennymoor next week.

The council says the work will require road closures of all approaches to a roundabout, which will prevent access to the A688 via the A167 Thinford Roundabout, the B6288 roundabout and Green Lane.

Diversion routes and signs will be in place.

Nine North East murders which have gone unsolved for more than a decade

Sunderland Echo


Man 'exposes self' to 19-year-old

A man exposed himself to a 19-year-old woman who was "shocked and ran off", police say.

It happened last Tuesday near to Havelock Place and the junction with Elswick Road, and the man "made off unseen".

The offender is white, in his 40s, with short dark hair.

The man did not attempt to touch the woman.

Liam Fee murder trial: Two accused had 'common criminal purpose'

The prosecutor in the Liam Fee murder trial has told the jury the two accused acted together with a 'common criminal purpose'.

Rachel and Nyomi Fee, both originally from Ryton, deny murdering two-year-old Liam in March 2014 and abusing two other boys.

In his closing speech, Alex Prentice QC described it as a "circumstantial case".

Rachel and Nyomi Fee

He urged the jury to find the couple guilty of all of the charges against them.

Mr Prentice told the jury it was a "harrowing case" and said they would need to be made of "granite" not to be moved by what had been heard. But he said sympathy should play no part in their judgement.

Liam Fee

Swing Bridge on fire: When was it built?

In case this fire does turn out to be worse than it appears, here's some Swing Bridge history.

Designed and constructed by Sir W.G. Armstrong and Company Limited, of Elswick, Newcastle, the bridge was first used in 1876.

The bridge is operated by hydraulic engines and has swung hundreds of thousands of times over the years to allow vessels to pass through.

Inside the bridge, the machinery is in immaculate condition and that is testament to the hard work of the team who work there.

Pontoon under Swing Bridge on fire

Here's a closer photo. The flames are on the pontoon under the Swing Bridge on the River Tyne.

View more on twitter

Photos show fire underneath Swing Bridge

ITV reporter Kris Jepson is at the fire under the Swing Bridge on the River Tyne:

View more on twitter

BreakingCrews tackle fire on pontoon on River Tyne

Two Fire Crews and the Fire Boat are dealing with a fire on a pontoon underneath Swing Bridge

Football gossip: Fischer Middlesbrough bound?

BBC Sport

Dutch newspaper Der Telegraaf is reporting that Ajax's Danish winger Viktor Fischer is talking terms with Middlesbrough.

Ajax's Danish
Getty Images

Cyclist hit by car in Northumberland left with 'life-threatening injuries'

A 62-year-old cyclist has been left with "life-threatening injuries" after being hit by a car in Northumberland.

Police say it happened on the roundabout on Northumberland Road in Tweedmouth near to Farm Foods yesterday afternoon.

The cyclist was taken to Newcastle's RVI by air ambulance. The road was closed for about three-and-a-half hours.

Football: The true extent of Sam Allardyce's impact on SAFC

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

The Chronicle focuses on Sam Allardyce's impact at Sunderland in the sports science department, and how that led to far fewer injuries in the second half of the season after an injury-hit first few months.

Not only injury free, Big Sam managed to get his relatively old team much fitter than they have ever been.

A well-researched read right here.

Sam Allardyce
Getty Images

BreakingMan arrested following stabbing in Shildon

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a stabbing in Shildon on Sunday.

The incident left a 44-year-old man in hospital, where he remains in stable condition, after suffering "a number of stab wounds to his body". 

Yesterday evening, police detained a local man aged 49 on suspicion of attempted murder.

He is currently in custody.

Cricket: Warwickshire vs Durham day three

The Warwickshire v Durham match has begun, and you can listen live here.

At the moment, Warwickshire lead by 144 runs with eight wickets remaining.

Here's a preview with a bit of background from ahead of the match:

View more on twitter

Chris Swailes: From heart surgery to Wembley win with Morpeth Town

BBC Sport

Two years on from heart surgery and having come back from retirement twice, Morpeth Town's Chris Swailes is celebrating his third FA Vase win and a little slice of history.

The 45-year-old became the oldest goalscorer in a Wembley final as he helped the Highwaymen of Northern League Division One to a 4-1 win over Hereford FC on Sunday.

"A couple of years ago I couldn't have imagined me doing that," Swailes told BBC Newcastle.

"I couldn't breathe on the pitch and had to come off to be rushed to hospital. It was very scary. It was atrial fibrillation that I had so I had heart ablation surgery."

BreakingJonathan Woodgate to leave Middlesbrough

Boro icon Jonathan Woodgate is leaving the club, it has been announced.

He and Damia Abella will join Rhys Williams as the out of contract senior players who are exiting the Riverside Stadium.

The club said Woodgate, who made 112 appearances for his hometown club, made a return last summer after initially being released, but was restricted to just one appearance last season against Burton Albion in the Capital One Cup.   

It has already been announced that Williams is set to return to Australia to join Perth Glory.  

Jonathan Woodgate
Getty Images

Loan players Tomas Kalas, Gaston Ramirez, Ritchie de Laet, Kike Sola and Michael Agazzi have returned to their parent clubs.

Andros Townsend off to Sporting Lisbon?

BBC Sport

Newcastle winger Andros Townsend has been linked with a move to Sporting Lisbon, according to Portuguese newspaper Record.  

Record newspaper

Sunderland man wins £1m on scratchcard

A man from Sunderland will be celebrating £1m scratchcard win today.

Kenny Ashton's lucky moment has come along just days before his new baby is due to be born.

Kenny Ashton

Travel: A19 also blocked due to accident

BBC Travel

Seems there are a lot of problems on the road this morning - the A19 in Gateshead is partially blocked and there's very slow traffic northbound between Lindisfarne Roundabout and Tyne Tunnel because of an accident.

Keep up to date with all the latest traffic news on the BBC Travel website for Tyne & Wear and Teesside.   

Travel: Slow traffic on A1 because of accident

BBC Travel

One lane is closed and there's slow traffic on the A1 Western Bypass northbound in Birtley between the A1(M) J65 junction and the A167 Durham Road junction, because of an accident.  

Get more traffic information on the BBC Travel website for Tyne & Wear and Teesside.    

Your pictures: Sunset over Whitley Bay

Thank you to PA photographer Owen Humphreys for this picture of the sunset over St Mary's lighthouse at Whitley Bay.

Sunset over Whitley Bay
Owen Humphreys/PA

If you have any pictures you'd like us to see, you can tweet usemail us, or contact us via our Facebook page.   

Peanut curry death: Teenager speaks of almost dying

A teenager has spoken of the moment she suffered a severe reaction after eating a curry that contained peanuts.

Newcastle University student Ruby Scott said she could barely breathe and was rushed to hospital after having the takeaway from a restaurant in Easingwold, North Yorkshire.

Just weeks later Paul Wilson, 38, died when eating a curry from another restaurant run by the same man.

Owner Mohammed Zaman has been found guilty of manslaughter over the death of Mr Wilson.