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 of England.


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Hello and welcome to the lunchtime Look North.

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Police hunt three men after a pensioner

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was brutally assaulted in his own home in

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And jail for the callous bogus callers, whose

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knock on the door lead to an elderly woman's death.

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Durham Police are hunting three men, who attacked a pensioner

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It happened on Saturday night in the village of Coronation,

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Alison Freeman joins us for there now.

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Police are describing this as a terrifying and horrendous attack on

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an elderly man in his own home. Officers were called here just after

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8:30pm on Saturday evening. The 77-year-old victim had simply gone

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out to his call shed when three men wearing face coverings tackled him.

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The shovel from him and hit him over the head with it. They then dragged

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him into the house, pinned him down and searched his property. They fled

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with his life savings. The victim had to be treated in hospital, but

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fortunately his injuries were not serious. Today officers have

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described the impact of that attack on him.

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He is alone in his own home, the one place

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you're supposed to feel safe and comfortable in and this type of

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He's too old to put up much of a fight and there were

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So, it's an absolutely terrifying ordeal and

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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 is just devastated at the moment.

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He is just really struggling to come to terms with it.

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He has a great family behind him, though.

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Police are saying that people should not keep large sums of money in

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their own home for their own safety. Their priority is putting as much

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effort as possible to catch these three men.

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Three men who were part of a fraud gang targetting vulnerable elderly

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people across the region have been given jail sentences.

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In one case, a pensioner was robbed of his life savings.

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Our news correspondent Mark Denten is outside Newcastle Crown Court.

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The judge passing sentence this lunchtime describes this as a

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despicable case of criminal conduct. This was a gang travelled around the

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north east deliberately targeting vulnerable people, especially

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pensioners, posing as builders, but actually carrying out virtually no

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work. In one case as you mentioned a former miner lost nearly all his

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life savings, ?30,000. Today three of the gang, Lee Davidson, Philip

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and Scott were jailed for five years, three years nine months and

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2.5 years respectively. Speaking outside court, the detective said

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those sentences handed down a clear message. They send out a clear

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message that we will relentlessly pursue offenders. This is a humorous

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crime that has taken almost two years to bring these offenders to

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justice. Highness crime. As we had justice. Highness crime. As we had

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in court today, this was widespread fraud. There were some individual

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cases we have heard about, but this was the gang operating right across

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the region. That is correct. We believe they have operated across

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the region and possibly even in Scotland, so I would appeal from

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anyone who sees these photographs of these individuals involved, worried

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and let us know if they think they might been victims of this crime as

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well. One victim of the gang, Jonah Barnett who was 87 was knocked over

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in the gang entered her home in Sunderland. She died three months

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later in hospital. Another man who was 44 was charged with

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manslaughter. He has since died. And one more member of the gang

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described as one of the leaders of the whole enterprise, he is still on

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the run and police are hunting for him.

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One in five children in the North East, and more

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than one in ten in Cumbria, is brought up in a home

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Tonight on BBC One Inside Out looks at how, in extreme cases

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over the winter months, some families are being forced to

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Kirsten O'Brien visits Durham, where there's a scheme

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through the county's network of 27 food bank to provide longer term

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It came about because we found people who were coming to the food

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bank weren't just in crisis for food, they also needed money

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And in some cases, couldn't even cook the food that we gave

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them, because they had no gas or electric.

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We are able to put them forward for a voucher, so they've

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then got fuel to be able to heat and cook the food that we give them.

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And you can hear from Energy UK, the organisation representing energy

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suppliers, whether it's prepared to roll out the scheme nationally

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on tonight's Inside Out on BBC One tonight at 7:30pm.

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A leisure centre closed by council cuts in the deprived west end

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of Newcastle could reopen this summer and be run

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The Friends of Elswick Pool have presented a business plan

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to the City Council and hope to become a successful trust,

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like the one that has run Jesmond Pool in the city

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It's only been closed for 15 months, but green algae already clouds

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However, a community group plans to clean up the pool and re-open it

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by the end of the summer, if the City Council

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There is so much about the pool that was really great before.

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So, we had the steam room, sauna, swimming

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lessons, women only, but there is so much more

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When we did community consultation, people overwhelmingly

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said that they wanted things like a soft play

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So, we are really listening to the community and we want to be

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The man who has helped community groups in both Jesmond and Fenham

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to run their own pools is now advising the Elswick group.

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And he sees a bright future for the site.

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It's a very, very good building, Elswick Pool.

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And if I think of the ones I have looked at around the country,

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It's a modern pool, has fantastic facilities,

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but it needs a little bit of work to get it back before we

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can open doors and let people in for a swim.

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Newcastle City Council says it's worked with the Friends for a year

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now and is committed to the pool's reopening, but only when a long-term

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And hot on the heels of its five BAFTA nominations,

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the Newcastle-based film, I, Daniel Blake has picked up

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At the Critics' Circle Film Awards last night,

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It was a very cold and frosty start this

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morning, but that didn't stop our weather watchers from getting out

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This picture taken from Margo in Cumbria earlier on, showing

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the sunshine just trying to poke through the clouds with the frosty

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Now, through this afternoon, it is actually going to

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There will be some sunny spells to be had as well.

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You can see from the satellite picture, most

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of the cloud is actually across parts of Cumbria, whereas the

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north-east is seeing those spells of sunshine.

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And that's the way it's going to continue through the rest

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It is going to be feeling cold, though, the

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temperature only reaching a high of around six Celsius at best.

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As we go through this evening and overnight, we are

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expecting another widespread, sharp frost.

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We could well see some practice of freezing fog forming

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once again across parts of north Yorkshire.

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For all parts it's going to be called, though.

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Temperatures dipping just above freezing.

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Then produced the morning, he called,

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Watch out for those patches of fog once first thing.

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Generally, though, there should be some sunny spells

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across more eastern parts, but for Cumbria we will start to see

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a weather front pushing in, which will introduce more in the way

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of cloud and there will be a fewer outbreaks of rain, mostly on

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Temperatures tomorrow will get up to a high of around eight

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Celsius, that's 46 in Fahrenheit, and it will be much breezy tomorrow

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As we head through the rest of the week, we keep that breeze.

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There should be some decent sunny spells on both Wednesday and

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Thursday, but it is going to be turning colder as we head towards

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That's all from the lunchtime team for now.

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We'll be back at 6:30pm this evening.

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