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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.