• Cook jailed for swindling firm

    A FORMER cook broke down before magistrates as she was sentenced to three months in prison yesterday. Lesley Emerson, 33, of Valley Terrace, Howden-le-Wear, County Durham, betrayed the trust shown in her by a Bishop Auckland catering company when she

  • Rob comes through the trial of his life

    IN his mid-20s, Rob Edwards was among Britain's top motor cycle trialists, number one rider for a Spanish works team and winner of 20 national events including the celebrated Scott - up and over Swaledale - and the British Experts. His trials, however

  • Campaign launch to attract postal voters

    A COUNCIL has launched a campaign to encourage electors to register for postal votes to increase voter turn-out. Chester-le-Street District Council is hoping recent changes in the law that lift restrictions on postal voting will lead to a turnout higher

  • New fines and bin collection plans to clean up the streets

    A FOUR-DAY week for refuse collectors and on-the-spot fines for litter-droppers are two initiatives being introduced by a council reported to have some of the dirtiest streets in the country. Earlier in the year, Stockton Borough Council was voted second

  • Petition plea on dust nuisance

    ELDERLY residents on a Newton Aycliffe estate say dust from a pile of ash at a neighbouring factory is making their lives a misery. About 90 people in the Clarence Green area have signed a petition complaining about the heap at the Plasmor factory, just

  • Tonight, Matthew . . . I'm going to be pampered

    SOME star treatment will be dished out on Mother's Day at an event dedicated to pampering. The National Railway Museum, in York, is offering make-over demonstrations from cosmetics experts. Visiting mothers will also have the chance to win tickets to

  • Sport complex honours Boro Golden Boy

    THE late, great Wilf Mannion would approve of what has been done in his name. A £1m sports and recreation complex has been opened just yards from the back lanes where the Boro's most capped player first dribbled a ball. Flooding last year delayed plans

  • Man is quizzed over death mystery

    A MAN is helping detectives with their investigation into the mysterious death of 34-year-old family man Paul Simpson. The local man, in his 20s, was being held at Darlington police station last night. Officers involved in the case have also revealed

  • Quakers stadium expands

    THE design of the main stand at Darlington Football Club's new stadium is to be altered so escalators can be installed between floors. The club has already submitted several amendments to its original planning application for the stadium to replace its

  • Maintenance vehicle raided

    THIEVES broke into a Vauxhall Vectra being used as a motorway maintenance inspection vehicle on the A68 interchange of the A1 at Darlington. The broke into the car between 1.15pm and 1.30pm on Tuesday, and stole a rechargeable torch, flashing orange beacon

  • Unlawful killing verdict on toddlers in police car crash

    TWO toddlers who died when travelling in a police car were unlawfully killed, an inquest found yesterday. Neza Price, four, and sister Claudette, two, suffered head injuries when the police car was involved in a collision with a Renault people carrier

  • Date set for arts showcase launch

    AN arts centre giving North Yorkshire's leading craftspeople the chance to showcase their work is to open next month. The venue, at Thornton-le-Dale, near Pickering, has been designed to allow businesses and artists to have their work displayed and sold

  • Inquest opens on widow, 81

    AN 81-year-old woman died instantly when she was in collision with a car as she crossed a Bishop Auckland road, an inquest heard yesterday. Widow Jennie Dargue, of Dorset Place, Henknowle, suffered multiple injuries in the accident in Woodhouse Lane on

  • Proud Production

    GIRLS at a Darlington school are preparing to raise the curtain on their annual dramatic production. Bronia Walker, a teacher at Polam Hall School, has adapted Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for the stage, and tickets to see her version of the classic

  • Filtronic says troubled plant is still on track

    MOBILE phone components manufacturer Filtronic last night pledged to stick by its troubled North-East microchip plant. The West Yorkshire group sparked fears earlier this year when it revealed that the former Fujitsu plant in Newton Aycliffe was costing

  • Parents in appeal for heart donation to save their child

    AS the parents of a baby girl appealed for a transplant which could save her life, the queue for hearts and lungs in the region has reached record levels. Amanda and Mark Dale, from Stoke-on-Trent, have been told that a heart transplant at the Freeman

  • Straw vows crackdown on killer drivers

    THE Home Secretary has rejected calls from grieving North-East families for a new offence of "vehicle homicide". But Minister Jack Straw told the parents of drink-driver victims Susan Briggs and Angela Ovington that the Government is planning stiffer

  • Power games and the right to be heard

    IN 1974, I was representing Great Britain in an eight nations water polo tournament in what was then West Germany. Spain, Italy, Turkey and Russia were all there and most of the players knew each other moderately well as we knocked around on the international

  • Getting the British Bulldog spirit

    THERE is quiet in the classroom. The teenage boys are absorbed in their work, carefully plucking off tiny pieces of wing and propeller, figuring out which bits to attach to their emerging model aeroplanes and tanks. Every so often, they check the diagrams

  • Businessman hails decision over fuel

    A SERVICE station has been given permission to continue selling alternative fuel. David Hutchinson, co-manager at Mickleton Service Station, in Teesdale, County Durham, was celebrating the decision yesterday. He feared the garage would close if councillors

  • Charity forced to shut up shop

    A COMMUNITY will lose its link with a popular charity this spring. The Alzheimer's Society will be shutting up shop in Colburn next month when the lease on its premises comes to an end. "We always knew the owner had other plans for the shop and we would

  • Don't do it, Prime Minister

    VOTERS in Tony Blair's own North-East constituency last night told him that he should not hold a General Election on May 3 because of the foot-and-mouth crisis. In a poll carried out yesterday evening by The Northern Echo in Mr Blair's Sedgefield heartland

  • Half-built stadium won't distract us, says Thorpe

    England go into today's opening one-day international determined to focus on the challenge of taking on Sri Lanka rather than be distracted by the building site which passes for the newly-built Dambulla International Stadium. The tourists trained at the

  • Letters

    ROLE MODELS IN English politics there are no credible statesmen. There is a high percentage of non-Englishmen in government and young men are sadly falling behind young women in every way. Sharon Griffiths (Echo, Mar 14) pointed out that men need a male

  • Shoptalk

    IF you've always wanted the perfect house, then think small. Very small. Once upon a time doll's houses were for children. Now they're for grown ups, and it's easy to see why. For most of us, it's the closest we'll get to the Georgian rectory, the perfect

  • Call centre dials up charities cash

    STAFF at an east Durham call centre said a resounding Pants to Poverty when they raised £5,165 for Comic Relief. Employees at the Orange Communications Centre, in Peterlee, joined in activities from space hopper races and Weakest Link competitions to

  • Put country before club, pleads Becks

    David Beckham has urged Liverpool fans to put club prejudice to one side and not hurl abuse at him and his Manchester United teammates during England's World Cup qualifier with Finland at Anfield tomorrow. Beckham, who has spelled out his desire to be

  • Woman 'had drugs in bra'

    A young mother was caught with 12 wraps of cannabis resin stuffed down her bra when police raided her home. Officers also found cannabis hidden in various parts of Dawn Peters' home during the raid, on September 27 last year. The 23-year-old mother-of-one

  • I have sold out my mate to save myself - Duberry

    Leeds United footballer Michael Duberry told his trial yesterday that he was prepared to sacrifice his popularity at the club to save himself from a conspiracy charge. Duberry, 25, has given evidence that fellow defender Jonathan Woodgate, who comes from

  • Lottery cash boost for new bowls club pavilion

    ONE of the area's oldest bowling clubs has been awarded a grant of £112,829 to build a pavilion. Pelton Fell War Memorial Park Bowling Club, at Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, was awarded the money by National Lottery agents Sport England. Club members

  • Club faces legal action over unpaid wages

    THE deadline arrives today for the owners of the Newcastle Jesters ice hockey club to open talks with union executives about the ongoing pay saga. The club's players and staff were due to be paid on February 28. Last week, the Ice Hockey Players' Association

  • Mum's the word online

    MOTHER'S Day won't go by unnoticed on the Internet this Sunday. Whether you're a mum looking for some fun or a son or daughter looking for a gift, the Internet can help you out for Mother's Day. If you are a mum looking for the chance to chat to other

  • Millions more callers keep Orange bright

    THE future is continuing to look bright for mobile phone Orange after the company announced a doubling of its UK customers in the past year. Orange said its customer base had jumped 68 per cent to 30.5 million in announcing its latest group results and

  • Officer's smart cricket move

    A CRICKETING copper has upped stumps and travelled half-way round the world for some top class competition. Detective Inspector Neil Fox, from Cleveland Police, was so determined to make his mark in an international tournament in Australia that he joined

  • Woman 'woke to find rapist'

    A man has denied having sex with a young mother who said she woke up in her home to find him raping her. Terence Clark, 41, is accused of attacking the woman after turning up at her house looking for a party in the early hours of October 11, 1999. The

  • Scheme will keep tabs on offenders

    PERSISTENT young criminals in the North-East will be placed under intensive supervision and surveillance as part of two new pilot schemes. The three-year Home Office programmes will target the three per cent of young offenders who commit about 25 per

  • Mini railway takes new line to brighter future

    A scheme to move a North-East tourist attraction was approved by councillors yesterday. The miniature railway that winds its way through Valley Gardens, Saltburn, in east Cleveland, has been affected by flooding and a number of other problems during the

  • Civic leaders in protest at court closure plans

    COMMUNITY leaders are opposing plans to close Bishop Auckland and Consett magistrates courts by the end of the year. The County Durham magistrates courts committee is consulting police, councils and the Crown Prosecution Service about the proposal. The

  • Trapped songbirds seized in house raid

    WILD songbirds and trapping gear were seized in a joint RSPCA and police raid on a house in a North-East village. Uniformed inspectors from the charity found a greenfinch, a siskin and a linnet in Byers Green, near Bishop Auckland. A middle-aged man is

  • Grow up and get a life!

    O THE delights of Wacko Jacko! Did you see the pictures of him talking to the students at the Oxford Union? The idea that Oxford university gives ear to a pathetic clown like Michael Jackson encapsulates just what's wrong with higher education today.

  • Lord Sawyer heads forum for learning

    THE establishment of a regional education forum has taken a major step forward following the appointment of Lord Sawyer of Darlington as its chairman. The Regional Education Forum, a joint initiative between the North East Regional Assembly and One NorthEast

  • In praise of two brave ladies

    HANNAH Hauxwell, for whom it was famously too long a winter, is in hospital after breaking her left hip in a fall whilst hanging out the washing. Hannah, 73, is believed to have lain for some time before being discovered in the garden of her home in Cotherstone

  • Dale holds its breath as disease marches another step nearer

    THE scourge of the countryside has moved a step nearer to a part of the region clear of confirmed foot-and-mouth cases. The North-East's latest confirmed case of the disease is at Toft Hill, on the Teesdale side of Bishop Auckland, bringing the toll in

  • Auction firm forms link with Sotheby's

    A SPECIALIST auctioneer in the region has joined forces with Sotheby's to give collectors more opportunity to buy and sell toys. Vectis, of Teesside, and Sotheby's, in London, will share their experience to create a service for collectors. From May, the

  • Choir date is a classical coup for church fundraisers

    VILLAGERS secured a coup by obtaining the services of an internationally famous choir to perform a fundraising concert for their church. But such was the popularity of the acclaimed Gonville and Caius College Choir from Cambridge University that organisers

  • Hospital helpers sought

    VOLUNTEERS are needed to help run an essential service in North Tees General Hospital. The book trolley service will start its rounds in May, taking books to patients. Stockton Borough Council is working with the town's Voluntary Development Agency to

  • Bonus for young football fans

    YOUNGSTERS attending this Saturday's match-day experience at Darlington Football Club will also receive a free ticket to an international match. The match-day scheme, which operates at every Quakers home game, is open to boys and girls aged between six

  • Outcry as residents quizzed on shake-up

    A ROW is erupting in Eston Town Hall over the future direction of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. The council has introduced a new structure as part of Government legislation to modernise local government and currently operates under a leader and

  • Manager steps down

    DOCTORS' surgery staff say farewell tomorrow to a woman who has been a friend to thousands of patients over 35 years. Heather Cruddas is retiring from the practice at Stanhope in Weardale, where she has served as receptionist, secretary and, more recently

  • Familiar course for hero Tanni

    PARALYMPIC star Tanni Grey-Thompson, will be competing closer to home this weekend in one of her favourite competitions. Tanni, who lives in Redcar, Teesside, with husband Ian, is taking part in the Redcar half marathon on Sunday for the fifth time. She

  • Helicopter rescues injured trawlerman

    A MAN is recovering in hospital after he had to be airlifted from his fishing boat in the North Sea. The trawlerman was rescued from his vessel, Sonderborg, five miles north-east of Hartlepool at 3.15pm on Tuesday, by a helicopter from RAF Boulmer. He

  • 'Grumpy Kevins' are little darlings

    THE image of teenagers as obnoxious and grumpy is far from a truthful reflection of modern youth, according to research published today. Constant temper tant-rums and fights with parents are mainly confined to media stereotypes such as Harry Enfield's

  • Quakers beat deadline for Naisbett

    Darlington yesterday added a new goalkeeper to their squad for the relegation run-in. With the threat of on-loan Peter Keen being recalled by Carlisle at any time, Quakers signed former Sunderland trainee Phil Naisbett on a free transfer. Naisbett, 22

  • Wonderland auction may raise £2m

    A COLLECTION of photographs, papers, books and personal items belonging to the real Alice in Wonderland is set to fetch up to £2m at auction. The archive was amassed by Alice Pleasance Liddell and her family over several generations, and sheds new light

  • Eddery cautioned

    As they get older, they nearly always get wiser, and so it seemed as Right Wing won the Doncaster Mile, the feature race on the opening day of the turf Flat season. The seven-year-old, who has never been the most straightforward of animals, looked ill

  • Former soldiers in mission to boost morale of teenagers

    FORMER soldiers are capturing the imagination of teenagers in a pioneering scheme in the region's schools. The Skill Force team is a partnership between the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Education and Employment. Four schools in Newcastle

  • Teacher 'bit nose of football opponent'

    A STAFF football match between two teams of school teachers ended in bloodshed after one of the players bit through an opponent's nose, a court heard. Steven Langley said his nose was left bleeding and badly deformed after he was attacked by Calvin Roger

  • Shearer heads for USA

    NEWCASTLE United skipper Alan Shearer has flown to America in a desperate bid to find a solution to the long-term knee problem which has cast a shadow over his future, writes CLIVE HETHERINGTON. Shearer admitted he was "destroyed" when he broke down in

  • Keegan offers words of advice for Sven

    Kevin Keegan believes Sven-Goran Eriksson will need to call on all his experience if he is to make a success of the England job. Eriksson's predecessor resigned as coach minutes after the end of England's World Cup qualifying defeat by Germany at Wembley

  • Family bids farewell to murdered playboy

    THE funeral of murdered playboy Peter Beaumont-Gowling will be held today, close to the flat where he was shot dead. The service will take place at St George's Church, in Jesmond, Newcastle, at 10.30am. His family have asked for strict privacy at a later

  • Officer's smart cricket move

    A CRICKETING copper has upped stumps and travelled half-way round the world for some top class competition. Detective Inspector Neil Fox, from Cleveland Police, was so determined to make his mark in an international tournament in Australia that he joined

  • Celebrity couple look forward to the patter of tiny boots

    WHEN Christian Karembeu left Spanish giants Real Madrid to join Middlesbrough FC last year, he could hardly have imagined the stir that his arrival would cause on Teesside. Almost immediately, the player's supermodel wife, Adriana Sklenarikova, was quoted

  • Why I don't want to go back to school

    THE story of four-year-old Amber Pask who, because she suffers from a rare, life-threatening nut allergy, is only allowed to attend school if her mother is constantly by her side, struck a chord with me this week. I have a son who suffers from a similar

  • Morrison's happily tots up 50,000 extra customers

    Supermarket chain Morrison's emerged as one of the big winners in the battle for customers last year. Delighted management announced yesterday that it had gained more than 50,000 customers in the past 12 months. The Bradford group, which operates 110

  • Collections launched to curb waste

    EURO-STYLE recycling came to North Yorkshire yesterday, as residents were urged to get behind a new green initiative. Hambleton District Council launched a £16,000 kerbside recycling scheme in Thirsk, in an effort to reduce the amount of waste being sent

  • Man 'wanted to destroy restaurant' over debt

    A MAN who ran amok in a Chinese restaurant in retribution for an unpaid debt was jailed for eight months yesterday. Wain Yang Tang told customers to leave before throwing paint and creosote round the Jumbo Buffet, in Durham. Staff believed the liquid

  • Judges for environmental competition announced

    The judges have been announced for Making A Difference, The Northern Echo's community environmental competition. Making A Difference, which pays tribute to community groups in the region who are improving their local environment, was launched for its

  • Mini railway takes new line to brighter future

    A scheme to move a North-East tourist attraction was approved by councillors yesterday. The miniature railway that winds its way through Valley Gardens, Saltburn, in east Cleveland, has been affected by flooding and a number of other problems during the

  • Scheme will keep tabs on offenders

    PERSISTENT young criminals in the North-East will be placed under intensive supervision and surveillance as part of two new pilot schemes. The three-year Home Office programmes will target the three per cent of young offenders who commit about 25 per

  • Entertaining the carers

    YOUNG carers who look after sick or elderly relatives are being given the chance to enjoy themselves. Youngsters across Durham and Derwentside will be treated to a "fun fest'' at Belle Vue Leisure Centre, in Consett, on Saturday. They will get the chance