23/01/2017 Look North (North East and Cumbria)


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23/01/2017

The latest news, sport and weather for the North East and Cumbria.


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A gang of fake builders from Hartlepool who targeted elderly

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people, conning them out of thousands of pounds,

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another, an 87 year widow, was pushed to the ground

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In most cases, the gang took money without doing any work at all.

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Tonight, three of them are in prison

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Sunderland's suburbs, many elderly residents call this home.

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One criminal gang called it an opportunity.

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These men were part of it, they posed as builders

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pressurising vulnerable people into handing over

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thousands of pounds for work

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that wasn't needed and rarely carried out.

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Often using this red van they targeted pensioners,

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including a former miner from Ryhope.

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75-year-old George Metcalfe who, over a period of weeks, withdrew

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?30,000 from his bank account, his life savings were wiped out.

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And then the gang turned up here on Newlands

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Avenue in Sunderland to the home

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Joan was knocked over and fractured her head

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A neighbour phoned her that it was ten

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hours later so you can imagine she had lain

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in this little kitchen for

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ten hours screaming for help and it was only purely by chance

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-- a neighbour found her but it was ten hours later.

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She died three months later in hospital.

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Today, three members of the gang were sent to prison.

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Philip Orton for three years, nine months

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and Scott Greathead for two and a half years.

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The judge, Paul Sloan QC, said the three men in court

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today could not be held criminally responsible for Mrs Barnett's death.

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Another man, Levi Gales who was 44, was charged with her manslaughter

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A statement by one of Joan's neighbours was

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read out by a police officer outside court.

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After the incident in August 2014, we visited Joan in hospital

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who just seemed to have lost all interest in life.

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She was no longer the chatty, happy person I've come

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One member of the gang Michael Gales is still

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The judge adjourned his sentence until he is recaptured.

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Mark Denten, BBC Look North at Newcastle Crown Court.

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Meanwhile, County Durham Police are hunting three men,

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who attacked a pensioner and stole his life

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It happened in the village of Coronation, near Bishop Auckland,

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from where Alison Freeman sent this report.

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Well, police have described this as a terrifying and horrendous

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attack on an elderly man at his own home.

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Officers said they were called here to Coronation near Bishop Auckland

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just after half past eight on Saturday night.

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The 77-year-old victim had gone outside to his coal shed

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when he was tackled by three men wearing face coverings.

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They took his coal shovel from him, hit him

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over the head with it before dragging him inside the house,

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pinning him down and searching his belongings.

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They eventually fled with his life savings.

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Now, the victim did have to go to hospital

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where he was treated but fortunately his injuries weren't serious.

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Earlier today, we spoke to one of the victim's relatives who lives

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in this same street and he described how quickly it all happened.

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He just said he didn't know, he just said

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they were just over the wall and they were on top of them

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I mean, the man's 77 years old with three young lads

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on top of him, what chance has he got?

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He's got heart problems as well,

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They took down to hospital and he was there overnight.

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But shocking, you know, we don't expect it to happen around here.

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I used to know everyone who lived in every house

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Durham Police won't say exactly how much money was stolen,

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they will say it's a substantial amount and it was the man's

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life savings and they are warning people

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really not to keep large sums of cash in their own homes.

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Durham Police did however tell us what an impact this whole event

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Absolutely terrifying, he's alone in his own home,

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the place, the one place you're supposed to feel safe

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and comfortable in and this type of thing takes place.

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He's too old to really put up much of a fight, of course there's

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been three other people involved so it's an absolutely terrifying ideal

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and something which no one should have to go through.

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I've spoken to him every day since this has taken place

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several times and he's just devastated at the moment.

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He's just really struggling to come to terms with it.

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He's got a great family behind him though and

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Tonight, the police are saying they just want to hear from anyone

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who knows anything so they can catch the men responsible.

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This is Alison Freeman for BBC Look North, in County Durham.

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A woman has died following a crash involving a coach and a car,

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It happened just off the northbound side of the A19,

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The woman was taken to the James Cook hospital

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The driver of the coach, which was empty at the time,

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The police are warning there's no place to hide this week for any

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drivers tempted to use their mobile phones at the wheel.

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Unmarked police cars have been on the roads of County Durham,

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Teesside and North Yorkshire today looking for motorists

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In March, the penalty gets tougher, with offenders facing a ?200 fine

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and six penalty points on their licence.

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It was built in 1770 to produce flour for families in York.

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Now, nearly 250 years later, Yorkshire's only working windmill

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And the team of people who've restored it want to increase

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It was once one of hundreds of mills in Yorkshire.

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only one left that's working, found in the middle of Windmill Rise,

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Lots of orders this week so we'll have to do some milling.

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For a small team of volunteers, the windmill's become

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Before they arrived, it was derelict and neglect,

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though in 2012 it was restored to its former glory,

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thanks to ten years of hard voluntary work.

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There were times when we thought we're never going to get that work

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Yes, there was a real heart in mouth periods during that time.

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The mill now makes and sells around 30 bags of flour a week.

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To secure its long-term future though,

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an appeal has been made for more volunteers.

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a chance to learn skills that have been passed down over

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I mean, we've done the hard work by getting the mill restored but it

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makes it almost harder to keep it in the decent condition.

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It's one thing getting the money to do it in the

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first place but continuing with the income is important from our point

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of view and volunteers are key to that.

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We would still love anybody who's got the time and the physical energy

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because it is quite a physical job to come and get

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And take over from us old ones who are beginning to

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For anyone interested in volunteering, there are two

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open days at the mill this weekend.

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A chance to learn something new while preserving

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A report into severe flooding in York during Christmas 2015 has

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concluded the decision to open the Foss Barrier was the right one.

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More than 600 properties were flooded but a review

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panel found the action was the best option available.

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The report makes 85 recommendations for ways the city can better

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protect itself in future, including installing sirens

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Time now to get the weather prospects for the week ahead.

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It is cold. Colder still later in the week. Plenty of whether

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happening over the coming week and we start off with a cold night

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tonight. With some patchy frost and some patchy fog to watch out for as

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well. As we head to the middle part of the week, the winds start to

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freshen up, making it feel bitterly cold before things got acquired down

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again by the weekend. Overnight tonight, there will be some patchy

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frost and fork. Most of the fog patches which could to North

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Yorkshire, that is where they will be most likely. Further north and

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west, a bit more cloud coming in from the north-west. Listing

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recaptures a couple of degrees, keeping places frost free. --

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lifting temperatures. A toss of crotch under those clearing skies.

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-- a touch a frost. There will be Cindy is profiles after the frost

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has cleared, chilly, for five Celsius. Mulder north and west,

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damages up to eight Celsius along the Scottish Borders. As we head

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into tomorrow evening and tomorrow night, the odd spot of rain in the

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west. Some clear spells further east but I think that all be enough cloud

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and another of the southerly breeze to keep most places frost free as we

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head into Wednesday morning. When state itself, a breezy, cold field

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of things but the cloud will be broken. Some good sunny spells.

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Before the car comes from the west. Most places dry and generally up to

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six and seven do the afternoon. -- before the cloud comes from the

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west. The middle part of the week, the isobars on the chart tightening

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up, increasing, the wind strengthening and third Thursday we

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are dragging in a really cold south-easterly wind off the

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continent and it will feel cold in that wind. Friday, the Windstar so

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come back to a more southerly direction and things look to quieten

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down by the time we get to the weekend itself. The first day, a lot

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of dry weather to be had. That cold south-easterly wind, the

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temperatures will struggle. Some eastern areas struggle to add it up

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to freezing. Only three or four Celsius at best. Friday sees the

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temperatures recover slightly, a mostly dry picture, to up to five to

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seven Celsius. I will leave you for the

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For the weekend we will have dry weather with sunny spells and it

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will be a little bit milder. Good evening. We are continuing to

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see huge righty in the weather. Getting the detail right is proving

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to be a challenge. This was in Pembrokeshire and other parts of the

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UK were gloomy throughout the day. The fog is thickening up right now.

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Particularly pool on the M5 in south-west England. Very foggy

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across parts of the West Country. This fog is tending to spread its

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way further eastwards. Some fog as well across parts of Yorkshire.

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Northern Ireland and Scotland are mild but damn. This is how we will

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start the

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