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


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Hello and welcome to the lunchtime Look North.


Police hunt three men after a pensioner


was brutally assaulted in his own home in


And jail for the callous bogus callers, whose


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


Durham Police are hunting three men, who attacked a pensioner


It happened on Saturday night in the village of Coronation,


Alison Freeman joins us for there now.


Police are describing this as a terrifying and horrendous attack on


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


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


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


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


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


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


fortunately his injuries were not serious. Today officers have


described the impact of that attack on him.


He is alone in his own home, the one place


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


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


So, it's an absolutely terrifying ordeal 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 is just devastated at the moment.


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


He has a great family behind him, though.


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


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


effort as possible to catch these three men.


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


people across the region have been given jail sentences.


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


Our news correspondent Mark Denten is outside Newcastle Crown Court.


The judge passing sentence this lunchtime describes this as a


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


north east deliberately targeting vulnerable people, especially


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


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


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


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


2.5 years respectively. Speaking outside court, the detective said


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


anyone who sees these photographs of these individuals involved, worried


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


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


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


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


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


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


the run and police are hunting for him.


One in five children in the North East, and more


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


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


over the winter months, some families are being forced to


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


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


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


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


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


them, because they had no gas or electric.


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


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


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


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


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


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


of Newcastle could reopen this summer and be run


The Friends of Elswick Pool have presented a business plan


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


like the one that has run Jesmond Pool in the city


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


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


by the end of the summer, if the City Council


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


So, we had the steam room, sauna, swimming


lessons, women only, but there is so much more


When we did community consultation, people overwhelmingly


said that they wanted things like a soft play


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


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


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


And he sees a bright future for the site.


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


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


It's a modern pool, has fantastic facilities,


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


can open doors and let people in for a swim.


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


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


And hot on the heels of its five BAFTA nominations,


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


At the Critics' Circle Film Awards last night,


It was a very cold and frosty start this


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


This picture taken from Margo in Cumbria earlier on, showing


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


Now, through this afternoon, it is actually going to


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


You can see from the satellite picture, most


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


north-east is seeing those spells of sunshine.


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


It is going to be feeling cold, though, the


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


As we go through this evening and overnight, we are


expecting another widespread, sharp frost.


We could well see some practice of freezing fog forming


once again across parts of north Yorkshire.


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


Temperatures dipping just above freezing.


Then produced the morning, he called,


Watch out for those patches of fog once first thing.


Generally, though, there should be some sunny spells


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


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


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


Temperatures tomorrow will get up to a high of around eight


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


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


There should be some decent sunny spells on both Wednesday and


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


That's all from the lunchtime team for now.


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


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