The latest news, sport and weather for the North East and Cumbria.
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That's all from the BBC News at Six, so it's goodbye from me,
Hello and welcome to Wednesday's Look North.
A call for longer prison sentences for people found guilty
The people who do these kinds of acts have no place
in our community and it's really important we send that message out,
The clamp-down on drivers with no vehicle tax.
The DVLA launches a blitz to catch those evading
Winter warmer - the free weekly meals for elderly
and vulnerable people to stop them becoming undernourished.
The weather might be relatively mild at the minute but we have still
managed to find you some icy conditions.
In sport, Middlesbrough announce their second signing
Newcastle hope to join Boro in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Whatever happens Sunderland have missed out on a home tie
with Bristol City after slumping to another defeat at
They say their officers deal with unimaginable cruelty.
Animals being scalded with boiling water, stabbed, shot and poisoned.
Now the RSPCA says a new study reveals eight out of ten people
in the North East want to see longer prison sentences for people guilty
The current maximum sentence is just six months.
The findings have been welcomed by one MP, who next month tables
a private Members' Bill in Parliament calling
We must warn you, you may find the content at the beginning of
Filmed on a mobile phone, this footage sparked outrage.
Too horrific to broadcast, it shows the Frankish brothers
repeatedly throwing their dog down the stairs and stamping on it.
The dog later died but, remarkably, the brothers avoided jail.
This shocking case led the Redcar MP Anna Turley
She wants longer prison sentences for those guilty of animal cruelty.
I think it is about sending a message that this is abhorrent
and society as a whole rejects this, and they say people who do these
kinds of acts have no place in our community and it is really
important that we send that message out, and that deterrent.
The current maximum sentence in England for animal cruelty is six
months in prison and a fine of up to ?20,000.
Now a survey commissioned by the RSPCA shows eight out of ten
people in the North East want to see the Government introduce longer
prison sentences for the most serious animal cruelty offences.
And 59% of those questioned wanted to see sentences in excess of two
Last October, RSPCA officers discovered a small dog that had been
buried alive at Kirkleathem woods near Redcar.
It had a five-inch nail hammered through its head.
While shocking, officers say such cruelty is not uncommon.
I dealt with a horrible case where some young men
were setting their dogs on badgers and deer and foxes,
like wildlife in the local area, and they were filming it
while they were doing it and I had to obviously review all of that
footage and it is just unimaginable cruelty that those animals
Every day the RSPCA says its officers deal with animals
who have been stabbed, shot and poisoned.
Now the charity says it's time those guilty of such horrendous
cruelty were punished with longer prison sentences.
A Hartlepool man who killed three members of the same family
in the 1980s has lost a human rights challenge against his
Arthur Hutchinson was jailed in 1984.
He broke into the home of Basil and Avril Laitner in Sheffield hours
after their daughter's wedding and murdered them
He also raped a teenage girl at the scene.
The European Court of Human Rights dismissed Hutchinson's claim
that the punishment amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment.
Three people who were convicted over the death of a Newcastle man
with learning difficulties are to have their sentences reviewed
James Wheatley was jailed for life in December last year
But prosecutors argued that the sentences handed
to Wheatley's girlfriend, her mother, and another man,
Nicola Lawrence was jailed for four years, Julie Mills eight years
and Barry Imray three years for their parts in Lee's murder.
There'll be a hearing at the Court of Appeal in March.
A desperate plea for new information has been made by the family
of an 83-year-old man who was killed in a hit-and-run accident
as he walked home from visiting his daughter's grave 25 years ago.
Charles Trueman died in hospital from his injuries after being hit
by a car on Station Road in his hometown of Hexham
His Children say they've never got over the tragedy and hope this
New Year will bring them the closure and answers they need.
Demolition work's due to start this week on a row of houses
on a North Tyneside estate after they were affected
by subsidence thought to be caused by former mine works.
Five houses in Bayfield, on West Allotment, are being knocked
down after cracks started to show and the buildings shifted.
Home owners affected have been given the market value for their homes
by the Coal Authority and most people moved out by
More houses are suffering from subsidence, although
The authority says it's been working closely with those affected.
More than 100 cars have been clamped on Tyneside over the past two days
as the DVLA mounts a blitz on people who haven't paid their vehicle tax.
And people who've failed to pay for the clamp to be removed
within 24 hours have seen their cars removed from the street.
If they're not reclaimed, they'll be sold or scrapped.
Adrian Pitches has been out on patrol with the DVLA hit squad.
This car is not where its owner left it.
Now the car has been seized and the owner will have to pay
Obviously, most people are disgruntled.
A lot of people realise that they should have
It isn't the first course of action, it's the very last course of action.
They will have had these reminders, so the message is that it is very
important that you keep DVLA up to date with your current
address so they don't find themselves in this position.
The DVLA enforcement vans are on our streets
year-round but they've brought in reinforcements for
The vans are equipped with automatic number plate recognition cameras.
If a vehicle has not been taxed, the van driver is alerted
Last year, more than 10,000 motorists in the North East
were issued with penalties for nonpayment of vehicle tax.
A further 1,700 vehicles were clamped or seized.
The majority of vehicles that actually come into this pound,
they are not collected by their keepers.
So that's a good story for road safety because many of them
But we dispose of them in three ways.
If the vehicles are capable of going back on the road,
Otherwise, they are dismantled and sold for parts or they're scrapped.
So it's all good for the environment.
There was a predictable spike in nonpayment of vehicle tax
after paper tax discs were abolished two years ago.
But the DVLA says the payment rate has now returned
to the normal level and in 2017, 80% of people pay their car tax
online rather than at the Post Office.
Unemployment in the north east fell by 1,000 between September
The fall takes the number of those without a job to 87,000,
Meanwhile in Cumbria, 4,430 people claimed Jobseekers'
Allowance in December, a very slight rise
However, North Yorkshire saw a larger rise of about 240,
to stand at 4,235 people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance.
The North East still has the highest rate of unemployment in the country.
A Government minister visiting Tyneside today says they're
focussing on helping the region's young people into work.
Of course we recognise we always have to do more,
and so here in this region, particularly with young people,
we've been working closely with schools, piloting having
Job Centre Plus advisers, our work coaches actually
going into schools so, before young people leave school,
making sure, if people are unemployed in the early days
when they leave school, they're getting all the support
to get work experience placements, and we'll be working
closely with businesses, particularly the Tees Valley
for example, to encourage more businesses to get those places,
what we call set to based work academies were businesses themselves
are running training courses and showcasing,
if you like, their industry to young people to make sure
For Labour, Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald says the Conservatives
have given tax breaks to millionaires and slashed
corporation tax while neglecting the steel industry and failing
to invest in the jobs, skills and infrastructure
He said Middlesbrough needed a government prepared to implement
an industrial strategy and invest to grow key industries and create
a high skill, high wage economy, something only Labour could deliver.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance has unveiled its second
The ?6 million aircraft will be based at RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk.
The charity's other new helicopter came into operation in September
last year and is based in West Yorkshire.
You're watching Wednesday's Look North.
Plenty still to come tonight including the latest
We've also news of a royal visit to the region.
Keeping warm and well nourished this winter -
the scheme in Darlington to help elderly and vulnerable people.
And join me out and about on the ice, albeit man-made ice, for your
full regional forecast later. The demands facing the National
Health Service over the winter months are rarely out
of the headlines at the moment. But now a scheme launched
in Darlington might just help Age UK and the local health trust
are giving vulnerable older people a free weekly meal to try to keep
them well and stop them Peter Harris has been to see
the scheme in action It's a square meal but the nutrition
served up here might just help the NHS as well as the older people
who come for the weekly free lunch served up
at Darlington Fire Station, as part of an effort to keep
the elderly fed and well. By bringing people here,
we are trying to get people to be more socially engaging
and interacting as well as providing a nutritious meal and monitoring
their weight and trying It's believed there are thousands
in Darlington alone who are undernourished,
and the health trust is trying to identify them to make sure
they take advantage of this service. Now, what they're running
here isn't directly connected Are you finished
with your food, there? But as well as bringing
people in here, giving them something to eat,
making sure they get well fed, while they're here, they can also
check on their weight and that can be referred back to their GP and it
might make a contribution in keeping some older people out
of the hospital wards. The main priority for everybody
who works in health and social care is to keep people in their own homes
with their own families If we can do that, it prevents some
of the pressures on our NHS and particularly our A departments
which are rather If you can just take yourself
onto the scales for me. The weekly sessions also mean weight
can be monitored week by week. Undernutrition is a big problem
in the UK and it's often overlooked and it's a problem for our most
vulnerable patients, so often people who are older,
who potentially have got other illnesses happening,
and it is often seen as growing old, you lose weight because you're
getting older, and it Actually, if you are losing weight,
that can have a big implication on your health and your
quality of life. And, for the old folk, of course,
clubs like this are a chance to get You must be about 15 stone
and now after all that. Yeah, I put on a bit
today, so it's good. A warning's been issued for people
to only use mobile phone chargers issued with their devices
after a house caught The mobile phone caught
fire within 20 minutes of being put on to charge
with an incompatible lead. The warning is being given by Tyne
and Wear Fire Service The phone and charger were tested
by Gateshed Council which found the phone caught fire
after overheating and melted Fortunately no-one
was hurt in the fire. Prince Andrew paid a visit
to Sunderland this afternoon as it hosted a regional heat of The Duke
of York's Pitch at The scheme founded by The Duke
supports Entrepreneurs across the UK and helps develop their business
ideas by putting them in contact with potential
supporters and investors. The three winners from today
will now compete to win the chance of pitching their idea to judges
at St James's Palace. We want to raise awareness
about entrepreneurs and start-up businesses around the UK
so we will be conducting, we are conducting Pitch tours
around the countryside, about 6-8 per year,
and it's very important to the North East gets,
as it were, its profile raised and that businesses
from here are shown and showcased. A Cumbrian charity is hoping locally
brewed beer can help raise enough Eden Mencap currently rents
a building in Penrith but it can't make improvements to the facilities
unless it owns So the group's taken
to the brew house to try This is the start of a hoppy IPA,
crafted and brewed by Eden Mencap. It is a beer that aims to be more
than just refreshing. Vanya Yam is the name of our beer
and in Cumbrian dialect, We're almost home because we're
buying our own building, so it's the key link
to having that home. So every time you buy our beer,
you are contributing to the longevity of people
with learning For 30 years, Eden Mencap has been
helping people learn new skills, make friends
and build independent lives. The charity specialises
in empowering people Having a permanent home
for its members will Having that building means that
we've always got a home, we've always got something we can
use, we've always got a permanent base that guys come
to recognise where they are. It means we can establish
lots more things there, we don't have to worry about moving
in the next three years And we can start evolving projects
that meet the community needs much more because we have our own home
and we know we are always So far, a third of the ?200,000
asking price has been raised. The idea of making more money
from beer came from Mencap staff who have helped members
get stuck in. We've been out a few times before
Christmas and we've learnt about the process and it means
when we've been back at the building we've been able to put some photos
up and actually go through the whole process so the guys are learning
the whole brewing process and that It means that it's a totally
new activity for the guys as well As well as the learning, there's
been plenty of bar room banter too. We're a small brewery and often
times it's just me here on my own, so to have company is nice
and they're so full of joy and enthusiasm
for the project, it's been great. Vanya Yam will have its first
official supping in March, when raising a glass will hopefully
raise enough money to buy Now it is time for sport. You have
breaking news. Let's start with Middlesbrough's
second signing of the January transfer window and,
looking at early postings on social Boro have tonight signed striker
Patrick Bamford from Chelsea for an undisclosed fee
on a 4.5-year deal. The 23-year-old returns to Teesside
after impressing during a loan spell two seasons ago,
when he scored 19 goals and helped Aitor Karanka's side reach
the Championship play-Off final. Emilio Nsue has left Boro
for Birmingham by the way. Newcastle can join Middlesbrough
in the fourth round of the FA Cup with victory this evening
in a third-round replay. Sunderland, though, have missed out
on a home tie against Bristol City. The Black Cats crashed out
of the competition last night after suffering a hugely
disappointing 2-0 defeat at Burnley. Burnley and Sunderland know each
other pretty well now. This was their third meeting
in less than three weeks. Ex-Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton
was back at Turf Moor on a night when the visitors' boss rested star
striker Jermain Defoe. It was nearly all Burnley
in the first half, as it had been during the 4-1 victory on New Year's
Eve. Sunderland keeper Vito
Mannone had to be alert But he was beaten on the stroke
of half-time by this glancing In the second half, Sunderland
tried to up their game - Seb Larsson sensing a half-chance
to catch the keeper off his line. But in truth, Sunderland's
experimental back five didn't look comfortable all night and it was no
surprise when their nemesis This free kick from Seb Larsson
nearly provided the Black Cats with a consolation they probably
didn't deserve after a tame With all his injuries
and despite a minimal budget, David Moyes desperately needs some
new faces in this month's transfer window for his threadbare squad
to have any decent chance So Sunderland are out but,
as I mentioned, Newcastle have a great chance to join
Middlesbrough in round four. Tonight the Magpies are at home
to Birmingham City in a third-round replay, looking to earn themselves
a trip to Oxford United. However the focus of the manager's
press conference was not on the match but on his transfer
policy, and his relationship with the club's owner,
as Jeff Brown reports. If there were fans,
and others around the club, who questioned the summer signing
of 33-year-old Daryl Murphy, the Irishman has given his
answer in recent weeks. First the goal which ultimately
earned United their second And then the weekend
winner at Brentford, which took Newcastle back to the top
of the Championship. The suggestion is that Rafa Benitez
has managed to soften a policy which saw the club only signing
players with a sell-on value. People think that I like to sign
old players and it's not the case. Our team is one of the youngest,
or in the middle in terms of average age, in the division
so I like to sign young players to develop them, to improve them,
and at the same time to sign So you need a player like Murphy,
he can make a difference, so he has to be an important player
for us during the season, so we will try to do the same
and I am confident we can sign Benitez hopes to bring
in a couple of new faces before But the reappearance of owner
Mike Ashley at recent games has prompted the question -
who has the final say? It's a cheeky question
that the final say is simple to say so what I need is to be sure
we have the list of players I would like to sign
and after it is yes or no, it depends on a lot of things,
but it is not a problem. The question now is we are working
very hard, I am confident we will do well and we will sign what we need
and hope fully before the end of the window you will ask me
about the new signing or whatever. So the message is -
watch this space. And if you're not going to the game,
you can see highlights of tonight's replay on a special FA Cup Match
of the Day, here on BBC One, straight after our late
news bulletin, at 10.45. City of York Council has defeated
a legal challenge that it's claimed could have further delayed
York's Community Stadium project. A planning judge at London's High
Court dismissed a challenge brought by rival cinema operator Vue
Entertainment. Vue was contesting the authority's
decision to approve plans for a larger cinema on the stadium
site at Monks Cross There's still no timescale
on when the new complex Finally from me, the cricket world
is mourning the death, at the age of 76, of Yorkshire
bowler Peter Kippax. The leg-spinner played
for his native county for 14 years, But for 15 years he played
for Durham, in their Minor Counties heyday, before moving
across to join neighbours I am hoping that we can get through
the weather forecast because you are on an ice rink.
If you are hoping for some Torvill and Dean moves then you will be
disappointed. The Brownies from Chester-le-Street will be throwing
some fancy shapes. Things are relatively mild January as things
stand. I felt slightly milder weather might because in problems
with the ice rink but apparently they have special chillers. One
thing about this plank of -- blanket of cloud is it means the
temperatures are pretty flat. An awful lot of cloud tonight, maybe
the odd spot of drizzle, poor visibility on high ground
especially. But we should be frost free. Only the odd break in the
cloud. South-westerly breeze. A bit of a grey and murky and misty start
tomorrow. Should be mostly dry and we should see some breaks in the
cloud, the exception not the rule. Temperatures tomorrow around 8-9. We
maintain that very light south-westerly breeze. The pressure
sequence, the breezes coming round to the high-pressure anticyclone
which is keeping things settled. It looks like the high-pressure will
start to decline but it will hang on through the weekend probably to keep
things settled and keep the Atlantic weather fronts at bay. For the next
few days, Thursday and Friday, a lot of cloud, generally dry and
temperatures in single figures. For the weekend, a subtle change takes
place, the cloud will become more broken underneath the centre of the
high-pressure so we should see a little more brightness through the
day but clearer skies overnight could allow the temperatures to drop
cold enough for a touch of frost. Brighter skies for many on Saturday
and Sunday but paying the price with colder overnight temperatures. You
can keep up-to-date with the BBC weather app and the BBC local radio
station. Sorry, no fancy moves tonight but lots of people are
enjoying the ice rink here. I can't believe he didn't even trip
up once. We were all looking for it.
It spoiled the fun bit! Hello. I hope you're well.
I really do.