11/05/2017 Look North (North East and Cumbria)

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In tonight's headlines: Guardians of children or vigilantes?


We meet the paedophile hunters who claim they've caught dozens


of would-be sex offenders while staying on the


A West Cumbrian council pledges to shake off the title of fattest


Our political editor heads to a record shop of all places


to explain why our region is a key Election battle ground.


The plaques to recognise the contributions of


I retired 11 years ago and never expected anything like this.


I never expected to be remembered, really.


In sport, Middlesbrough have begun planning for life


And will the Eagles be celebrating trophy number 25


after their Play-Off final showdown at the 02?


They call themselves "paedophile hunters."


Their mission: to snare child abusers and have them jailed.


But it's getting results and it's going to continue.


Because last month in a landmark case at Newcastle Crown Court,


a judge ruled this type of evidence is acceptable to gain a conviction.


That's delighted two of the country's leading paedophile


hunter organisations who are based in the north-east.


For this exclusive report, Andrew Hartley's been to meet


Don't start turning on the tears with me...


Because if there was a real child to meet you here tonight,


Darren Heywood from Stockton had thought he was meeting


For 16 days he had been grooming her and another girl


He had really been talking to this man.


What we are doing is making a difference.


Joe Jones is a full-time activist with Guardians of the North.


Joe claims his crew of undercover volunteers has caught more than 80


would-be sex offenders in the year since the group was set up.


We have got people serving prison sentences.


Carly, not her real name, is also a member.


We have agreed to hide her identity because of fears for her safety.


Today she has agreed to show me how they operate on Facebook.


Within minutes, Carly has five adults chatting on line.


Oh, they are nice clothes that you've got on.


Children will think that this person is just being nice and friendly.


This one that's talking at the minute, he is putting,


Obviouslly, I have told him the area I am from.


Another chat gets much more sinister.


To say it was graphic, was a bit of an understatement.


Some people say what you are doing is entrapment.


It's not because we give them every opportunity


Are you, as some people allege, vigilantes?


No, because a vigilante takes the law into their own hands.


Whereas we gather the evidence and everything we gather


That evidence includes videos like these.


We have been sitting here waiting for you since five o'clcok.


Once cornered, the police are called.


The would-be paedophile arrested and evidence


Many of those caught by Guardians of the North end up here,


Newcastle Crown Court and are jailed.


You would think the police would appreciate their work.


The body that represents the country's top police officers


says the activities of groups such as Guardians of the North can put


And in a statement, Northumbria Police urged members


of the public not to take the law into their own hands.


What would you say to the claim that your activity is actually


hindering the police investigation, that you actually do not know


If we knew that was the case, we would not carry


We would tell the police what was going on.


We inevitably know if there's an investigation going on or not.


Meanwhile, at Durham Crown Court, it is time for Darren


There too is Joe who is hoping Haywood will go to prison.


Heywood admits a charge of inciting a child to sexual activity


We are glad this man is off the streets.


Child abuse has dominated the headlines in recent years


and many now believe there is a need for urgent action.


Guardians of the North say it's simply acting on that demand.


We saw Guardians of the North in action there -


but they're not the only group of so-called paedophile hunters


The other group - perhaps the better known -


And it was the evidence of Dark Justice that was the centre


of the landmark ruling you mentioned in the introduction to my report.


Defence lawyers at Newcastle Crown Court argued that cases against two


men "caught" by the group should be dropped due to the way the evidence


Had he decided that I am going to rule against Dark Justice than


similar cases around the country would have collapsed. Instead, what


has happened is that Dark Justice, Guardians of the North and other


like-minded groups are free to continue their activities. Guardians


of the North tell me tonight that in the last fortnight alone, no less


than four people have gone to jail as a direct result of the evidence


that they have brought. So, like their methods or not, be simple fact


is they are getting results. Andrew, thank you very much.


Police have named a man found dead in Newcastle.


Officers were called to Joan Street in Benwell early


yesterday after reports of concern for the welfare of two men.


The man who died was 21-year-old Paul Brettwood.


A 29-year-old man who was arrested has since been released.


A man has died after a crash between a taxi and a bus in Gateshead.


It happened on the Redheugh Bridge last night.


A 36-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.


The driver of the second vehicle, a 53-year-old man, was taken


His condition is serious but not life-threatening.


The Mayor of Copeland, the West Cumbrian district once


dubbed 'the fattest in England,' says the council is doing


In 2014, more than three quarters of those who lived


Although that figure has dropped, the borough has signed up


to a county wide programme to improve fitness and well being.


Whitehaven, the main town in Copeland, enjoys


But in 2014, it's idyllic facade hid an embarassing secret.


Too many people here were overweight or obese.


For mayor of copeland Mike Starkie, tackling poor


We are getting out into the primary schools and talking about healthy


eating. I think just by highlighting the issue and making people aware of


some of the things that caused the issue and some of the things that


can possibly solve it, will go a long way to improving matters.


It's easy to eat on the move here, convenience is everywhere.


These people think that plays a part in poor diet.


People my age have all the time in the world but the young ones do not


have the time. There are a lot of restaurants in Whitehaven. We did


not have taken with. Fish and chips was all we could get.


it's not about intervening in the market, but encouraging


You cannot play God. You cannot make choices for people and the reality


is the types of foods that are sold in these fast food outlets, you can


go into the supermarkets and by those foods much cheaper out of the


freezer. It is about education. It believes it can encourage


a leaner, fitter future. Some good news now for a young


Northumberland woman bedridden with a potentially fatal condition


who we've featured on Look North. 27-year-old Melanie


Hartshorn has EDS - a rare degenerative syndrome -


which means that if she moves She's been desperately trying


to raise the ?80,000 needed to pay for life


saving treatment. Well, in the last few hours, she's


managed to achieve her target - just in time to have urgent surgery


booked by her specialist An investigation's underway


after Whitby's swing A gate was crushed as


the bridge swung open to let harbour traffic


through last night. It's likely to be closed to road


traffic until Saturday Well, if you fancied


standing in the General Nominations closed at four


o'clock this afternoon And Cumbria and the north-east


will be one of the biggest battle grounds this time -


more tightly contested than it Here's our Political Editor Richard


Moss with a run-down Amazingly back in fashion,


after being written A bit indeed like the Conservatives


in the region after But it seems the Tories seem to be


staging a revival. Seats are in play that have not been contested since


these records were first flying off the shelves 20 or 30 years ago. It


is time for a countdown of our top ten contest. Sedgefield.


Blair's lair of course and Labour since the 30s.


Last election's tightest fight, now looks a long shot for Labour.


Mellow Yellow Lib Dem for decades but got the blues in 2015.


And they may yet linger a little longer.


But the Conservatives could pogo into pole position this time.


The 78 was the format of the future when Labour last


A Tory win here and it looks like a landslide.


We have reached the top five. At five, Darlington.


They hang monkeys, but they? At four, it is Hartlepool.


The mouthful that is Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland.


Now though Ukip are gunning for Labour's.


Don't count out the Conservatives though.


And it is Copland. Next voters might wonder why it they are back at the


ballot box. Find out whether the Conservative revival matches the


vinyl on June the 8th. How about a comeback for shaking Stevens? No?


Suit yourself. Richard "Fluff Freeman"


Moss is with me now. You ran through your top


ten, but are there more That Conservative revival does mean


there are some seats you would not have thought we'd been in play a


couple of years ago. Outside that top ten there is Tynemouth. A Labour


majority there of 8240. Stockton norms. That GE 's mayoral event last


week a week up. Seats like North West Durham which has a majority of


10000 and Newcastle law to back north. The Conservatives might have


a sneaking chance because Ukip votes might slip down but also they think


Theresa May is quite popular. There are some not standing, are at there?


We have had nominations coming through. Ukip have decided to stand


aside in Tynemouth, Berwick, Liverpool south and Bishop Auckland,


to pave the way for Tories who are up against Labour in those seats.


The Green Party are also standing down in five seats now. They are not


standing candidates in Bishop Auckland, Workington, Carlisle and


also in Hartlepool. They want to help remain supporting Labour MPs


hang on when those seats back. There is no progressive alliance between


Labour and the Liberal Democrats. They will stand in all seats in two


against each other. Thank you. Interesting times.


It has been home to some of the world's best musicians. From Bowery


to with this. But now at Middlesbrough's town hall is being


transformed. All this will become this. New buyers, coffee shops and


restaurants. Improvements it is claimed will make this the jewel in


Middlesbrough's town. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It


is the biggest music venue in the area. It has nearly 130 years of


history of gigs. Fantastic comedy shows, live music, classical music,


going all the way back to the 1890s. The building's past hidden from


public view will also be restored, including the old court room and the


police station, along with its cells. Complete with the original


graffiti scrawled on the doors. A lot of it has been hidden away.


People have seen it on behind the scenes tours in the past. Now we're


going to open it up coolly for the public to appreciate the heritage of


Middlesbrough town hall. It is hoped the transformed town hall will


reopen next April. If it's good enough for Hollyrood,


It's good enough for Four more plaques honouring "local


heroes" from Tyneside have been unveiled in a burgeoning 'Walk


of Fame' along the Tyne riversides. And today most of the latest


nominations for hero status were on hand to see their names


revealed in bronze. Gerry Jackson is


on the Quayside now. So where do we look


for the plaques, Gerry? Just as in Hollyrood, the on the


ground. A lot of these plaques are down on buildings. As of today,


there are 33 of these plaques spread between both sides of the river


between the swing Bridge and the millennium edge. Robson Green is an


established Hall of Fame member. Let's find out who the new ones are.


Time was you lived, you died and if you had been especially


memorable they might put up a plaque to remind people who


Now here, if you fit the bill, they will create a plaque, as they


For the last four years, Gateshead and Newcastle have


set these bronze plaques into pavements around


Today the actor Tim Healey, broadcaster Mike Neville, former


AC/DC front man Brian Johnson, and historian John Grundy were the


I am very lucky because this is just my hobby.


If you find a hobby that you get paid for and you never have to go to


Across the river, practically under the Tyne Bridge, one symbol of the


I never expected anything like this. I never expected to be remembered,


really. Even I started calling myself... To get an award like this.


It is a wonderful thing to happen. Just yards on, Brian Johnson


couldn't make it today but his family dead. We are really proud and


dad is really proud and thrilled. We are really happy we could come and


be here today on his path. Thank you. I bet he has told you some


stories about growing up around here. Yes, none I could repeat. Back


to the Newcastle side and a fitting end to our circuit with the man who


knows every inch of it. You have commentated on the architecture


around here and now you're literally part of it. This area and


this place is the heart of the city and the city is right in my heart as


well. It is a place of historic significance and tremendous beauty.


I really do feel so lucky to be a permanent part of it now. Now, you


might think this is the great and the good backslapping. Not


necessarily so, because all of these people were nominated by us. If you


go to the website on your screen now you can see the whole of the Hall of


Fame on the walk of Fame and you can find out later this year who you


might be able to nominate for 2018. Right be second time. Well done.


Time for sport and news from Sunderland.


The Sunderland manager David Moyes has requested a personal


hearing after responding to a Football Association charge


over his post-match "slap" comment to a female BBC


The Scot, who's 54, had been given an extra week


He'll now attend a hearing at which he can explain his remarks.


Middlesbrough, like Sunderland, have already been relegated


from the Premier League with matches to spare.


The club's been taking stock of a hugely disappointing season


with big lessons to learn after an all too brief return


We have to be more creative and we have to take more risks and create


more chances and score more goals. Understanding your playing at the


level of opposition that are better defenders from the wiki came from.


Yes, we must be better and we must continue as a club to think we have


one aim next season and that is to move back very, very quickly to the


leak that we have just put in all season.


Work on a new three-thousand seat arena for the Newcastle Eagles


basketball team will start this summer.


The ?6 million stadium is expected to open in the west


of the city at the start of the 2018-19 season,


But first, there's the small matter of this Sunday's BBL Play-Off final


against league winners Leicester Riders at


A Newcastle win would mean two trophies apiece


It's British basketball's showpiece occasion.


A trophy last won by the Eagles in their clean-sweep season of 2015.


A record crowd of more than fifteen thousand is expected


to watch the showdown between the country's top two.


Newcastle struggled to get past Worcester to book


their place in the final Leicester have lost just


I would like to say we're underdogs because we do well as underdogs.


Leicester are on a roll. Let's go in under the radar. That is the best


way. I do not care what he thinks or says at this point. I do not know or


care what anybody thinks. We are in the final and that is all that


matters. It is a one off game and anything can happen. It is going to


be tough and physical. I do not know about points being scored but you do


not know what will happen in a final, especially these two teams.


This afternoon, Rahmon Fletcher was named the league's most valuable


player for a second season running - and his presence will be vital


if the Eagles are to add to the single trophy they've


Victory would give the Eagles their 25th trophy in the last 13 seasons


It's the 27th domestic final for these serial cup winners


And more than one third of those have been against


Newcastle have won one more of those finals than Leicester.


Probably - just don't ask Fab Flournoy.


Live coverage on the BBC sport website.


In cricket finally, a thumping win for Yorkshire in the 50 overs


One Day Cup last night with an unbeaten 152


In reply to the 297 all out, they are struggling at 16. It broke the


box window, nearly hurting our colleague. He lives to live another


day. You will dine out on that. It has been perfect Cricket weather


today. It has been a gorgeous day but nothing lasts for ever. We have


been saying all week the weather is set to change. Let's enjoy the


weather while we can. Today's weather pictures. A beautiful shot


across the lake district. A lot of hazy sunshine there. Temperature


wise, quite a spread. Parts of the north-east hung onto Cloud and an


easterly breeze. Just made it into double figures. Carlisle hit 20


Celsius. As we head into tomorrow, it is all set to change. More cloud


on the whole. Some rain for some of us. It does state mild because it is


humid and unsettled weather coming up from the south. That is the start


of the unsettled weather today. The showers on the radar chart earlier


today further south, while we stayed fine in the north. That is what is


heading our way tomorrow. It stays fine and dry this evening. Cloud


will spill in to some areas. Largely dry. Milder night than the last few.


Temperature is no colder than seven Celsius. A breeze. Tomorrow, on the


whole, a lot more cloud around than recently. Not overcast and if few


bright spells at first. Outbreaks of rain spreading out from the


south-west. It will not rain everywhere all the time but catch


some of those showers and there could be the odd rumble of thunder


as well. Quite a wide range of temperatures. That north easterly


breeze. The 11 Celsius through the afternoon. Whitehaven, sheltered


from the north easterly breeze. 20 Celsius. As it turns south easterly


further south, we will start to see things turning market across the


north Yorkshire coast and mist might spread northwards. That is the way


it is looking for tomorrow. Low pressure area and that system


bringing as range. It hangs around for a time on Saturday and another


front comes through on Saturday night. Leaves behind Sunny spells


and scattered showers for Sunday and more wet and windy weather spreads


in from the west on Monday. It will not rain everywhere but most of us


will see rain at times. The gardeners will welcome that.


Saturday sees some showery outbreaks at times. Temperatures into the high


teens with a brisk, south-westerly wind for the first part of the


weekends. Sunday, the showers fewer between. Highs of 16 or 17 Celsius.


Come Monday, the cloud with thicken up and more persistent outbreaks of


rain eventually spreading in from the west and use other late wind.


Holding the temperature is up in the mid-teens. That is how it is looking


in the next few days. Paul and I will be back with the late news but


let's enjoy some of the sunshine until then. Goodbye.