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A gang of fake builders from Hartlepool who targeted elderly
people, conning them out of thousands of pounds,
another, an 87 year widow, was pushed to the ground
In most cases, the gang took money without doing any work at all.
Tonight, three of them are in prison
Sunderland's suburbs, many elderly residents call this home.
One criminal gang called it an opportunity.
These men were part of it, they posed as builders
pressurising vulnerable people into handing over
thousands of pounds for work
that wasn't needed and rarely carried out.
Often using this red van they targeted pensioners,
including a former miner from Ryhope.
75-year-old George Metcalfe who, over a period of weeks, withdrew
?30,000 from his bank account, his life savings were wiped out.
And then the gang turned up here on Newlands
Avenue in Sunderland to the home
Joan was knocked over and fractured her head
A neighbour phoned her that it was ten
hours later so you can imagine she had lain
in this little kitchen for
ten hours screaming for help and it was only purely by chance
-- a neighbour found her but it was ten hours later.
She died three months later in hospital.
Today, three members of the gang were sent to prison.
Philip Orton for three years, nine months
and Scott Greathead for two and a half years.
The judge, Paul Sloan QC, said the three men in court
today could not be held criminally responsible for Mrs Barnett's death.
Another man, Levi Gales who was 44, was charged with her manslaughter
A statement by one of Joan's neighbours was
read out by a police officer outside court.
After the incident in August 2014, we visited Joan in hospital
who just seemed to have lost all interest in life.
She was no longer the chatty, happy person I've come
One member of the gang Michael Gales is still
The judge adjourned his sentence until he is recaptured.
Mark Denten, BBC Look North at Newcastle Crown Court.
Meanwhile, County Durham Police are hunting three men,
who attacked a pensioner and stole his life
It happened in the village of Coronation, near Bishop Auckland,
from where Alison Freeman sent this report.
Well, police have described this as a terrifying and horrendous
attack on an elderly man at his own home.
Officers said they were called here to Coronation near Bishop Auckland
just after half past eight on Saturday night.
The 77-year-old victim had gone outside to his coal shed
when he was tackled by three men wearing face coverings.
They took his coal shovel from him, hit him
over the head with it before dragging him inside the house,
pinning him down and searching his belongings.
They eventually fled with his life savings.
Now, the victim did have to go to hospital
where he was treated but fortunately his injuries weren't serious.
Earlier today, we spoke to one of the victim's relatives who lives
in this same street and he described how quickly it all happened.
He just said he didn't know, he just said
they were just over the wall and they were on top of them
I mean, the man's 77 years old with three young lads
on top of him, what chance has he got?
He's got heart problems as well,
They took down to hospital and he was there overnight.
But shocking, you know, we don't expect it to happen around here.
I used to know everyone who lived in every house
Durham Police won't say exactly how much money was stolen,
they will say it's a substantial amount and it was the man's
life savings and they are warning people
really not to keep large sums of cash in their own homes.
Durham Police did however tell us what an impact this whole event
Absolutely terrifying, he's alone in his own home,
the place, the one place you're supposed to feel safe
and comfortable in and this type of thing takes place.
He's too old to really put up much of a fight, of course there's
been three other people involved so it's an absolutely terrifying ideal
and something which no one should have to go through.
I've spoken to him every day since this has taken place
several times and he's just devastated at the moment.
He's just really struggling to come to terms with it.
He's got a great family behind him though and
Tonight, the police are saying they just want to hear from anyone
who knows anything so they can catch the men responsible.
This is Alison Freeman for BBC Look North, in County Durham.
A woman has died following a crash involving a coach and a car,
It happened just off the northbound side of the A19,
The woman was taken to the James Cook hospital
The driver of the coach, which was empty at the time,
The police are warning there's no place to hide this week for any
drivers tempted to use their mobile phones at the wheel.
Unmarked police cars have been on the roads of County Durham,
Teesside and North Yorkshire today looking for motorists
In March, the penalty gets tougher, with offenders facing a ?200 fine
and six penalty points on their licence.
It was built in 1770 to produce flour for families in York.
Now, nearly 250 years later, Yorkshire's only working windmill
And the team of people who've restored it want to increase
It was once one of hundreds of mills in Yorkshire.
only one left that's working, found in the middle of Windmill Rise,
Lots of orders this week so we'll have to do some milling.
For a small team of volunteers, the windmill's become
Before they arrived, it was derelict and neglect,
though in 2012 it was restored to its former glory,
thanks to ten years of hard voluntary work.
There were times when we thought we're never going to get that work
Yes, there was a real heart in mouth periods during that time.
The mill now makes and sells around 30 bags of flour a week.
To secure its long-term future though,
an appeal has been made for more volunteers.
a chance to learn skills that have been passed down over
I mean, we've done the hard work by getting the mill restored but it
makes it almost harder to keep it in the decent condition.
It's one thing getting the money to do it in the
first place but continuing with the income is important from our point
of view and volunteers are key to that.
We would still love anybody who's got the time and the physical energy
because it is quite a physical job to come and get
And take over from us old ones who are beginning to
For anyone interested in volunteering, there are two
open days at the mill this weekend.
A chance to learn something new while preserving
A report into severe flooding in York during Christmas 2015 has
concluded the decision to open the Foss Barrier was the right one.
More than 600 properties were flooded but a review
panel found the action was the best option available.
The report makes 85 recommendations for ways the city can better
protect itself in future, including installing sirens
Time now to get the weather prospects for the week ahead.
It is cold. Colder still later in the week. Plenty of whether
happening over the coming week and we start off with a cold night
tonight. With some patchy frost and some patchy fog to watch out for as
well. As we head to the middle part of the week, the winds start to
freshen up, making it feel bitterly cold before things got acquired down
again by the weekend. Overnight tonight, there will be some patchy
frost and fork. Most of the fog patches which could to North
Yorkshire, that is where they will be most likely. Further north and
west, a bit more cloud coming in from the north-west. Listing
recaptures a couple of degrees, keeping places frost free. --
lifting temperatures. A toss of crotch under those clearing skies.
-- a touch a frost. There will be Cindy is profiles after the frost
has cleared, chilly, for five Celsius. Mulder north and west,
damages up to eight Celsius along the Scottish Borders. As we head
into tomorrow evening and tomorrow night, the odd spot of rain in the
west. Some clear spells further east but I think that all be enough cloud
and another of the southerly breeze to keep most places frost free as we
head into Wednesday morning. When state itself, a breezy, cold field
of things but the cloud will be broken. Some good sunny spells.
Before the car comes from the west. Most places dry and generally up to
six and seven do the afternoon. -- before the cloud comes from the
west. The middle part of the week, the isobars on the chart tightening
up, increasing, the wind strengthening and third Thursday we
are dragging in a really cold south-easterly wind off the
continent and it will feel cold in that wind. Friday, the Windstar so
come back to a more southerly direction and things look to quieten
down by the time we get to the weekend itself. The first day, a lot
of dry weather to be had. That cold south-easterly wind, the
temperatures will struggle. Some eastern areas struggle to add it up
to freezing. Only three or four Celsius at best. Friday sees the
temperatures recover slightly, a mostly dry picture, to up to five to
seven Celsius. I will leave you for the
For the weekend we will have dry weather with sunny spells and it
will be a little bit milder. Good evening. We are continuing to
see huge righty in the weather. Getting the detail right is proving
to be a challenge. This was in Pembrokeshire and other parts of the
UK were gloomy throughout the day. The fog is thickening up right now.
Particularly pool on the M5 in south-west England. Very foggy
across parts of the West Country. This fog is tending to spread its
way further eastwards. Some fog as well across parts of Yorkshire.
Northern Ireland and Scotland are mild but damn. This is how we will