• Taming a girl with 99 convictions

    A TROUBLED teenager responsible for a reign of fear in a city became one of the first girls in the country to be given an anti-social behaviour order yesterday. Marianne Cullerton, 17, has run up 99 convictions since 1999, including 42 in 123 days from

  • Knifed rapist gets £12,000 after attack

    A prisoner serving life for a series of rapes has been awarded £12,000 after suing the Home Office over his treatment in jail. David Stenning, 44, who was jailed in 1994, was barricaded in his cell and tied to a chair by attempted murderer John Purkiss

  • Doctor cleared of misconduct

    A doctor yesterday spoke of his relief after he was cleared by the General Medical Council of making unwanted advances to a single mother after treating her daughter for whooping cough. Dr Harpreet Singh, 33, said after the hearing: "I am very happy,

  • Bindaree can leap to Aintree victory

    BOLD-JUMPING Bindaree (3.45) has an outstanding chance to lift this afternoon's John Hughes Memorial Chase run over the National fences at Aintree. The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained chaser, provided he is operating on a left-handed track, has a reputation

  • Match and rail ban for soccer hooligan

    A SOCCER hooligan has been banned from all football grounds, and had restrictions placed on travelling on the rail network. In what is being heralded as a landmark case, Kenneth Adrian Kipling will not be allowed to travel on the railways when Darlington

  • Councils win backing in watchdog row

    FOUR borough councils have been cleared of wrongdoing over the dissolution of a race watchdog. The Cleveland Racial Equality Council (REC) folded in 1999 when the local authorities of Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, and Hartlepool withdrew

  • Sign language school launched

    DEAF people in a rural community are to be given a helping hand with the launch of a new sign language training centre. The first sign language course will start at the Leap Adult Basic Education Centre, in Barnard Castle, in May, giving deaf people and

  • Appeal follows violent assault

    Police are appealing for witnesses after a man suffered a fractured cheek bone and jaw after an attack outside Pzazz restaurant in Homeside, Sunderland in the early hours of Sunday. The 28-year-old man, who has not been named, was hit once in the face

  • Tiger steady away as DiMarco sets the pace

    ONE of the maxims of golf is that it is ''not how, but how many'' and American Chris DiMarco hammered home the point with a brilliant seven-under-par 65 on his Masters debut at Augusta yesterday. DiMarco, possessor of one of the ugliest putting grips

  • Former rugby star hit bouncer

    A FORMER rugby league star floored a pub bouncer by getting in the first blow because he feared 6ft 4in tall heavyweight was about to hurt him, a court heard yesterday. But Lea Tichener, who turned out for York Wasps 99 times before his retirement last

  • Pledge of help

    AGRICULTURE Minister Nick Brown yesterday pledged extra help to fight foot-and-mouth in the region, after claims the battle was being lost in the North-East through lack of resources. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tony Blair will today hit the tourist trail

  • Sportsman in sea drama

    AN experienced water sportsman was involved in a drama yesterday after being blown out to sea. Lifeboat crews and the Redcar Coastwatch watched anxiously from the shoreline as Colin Baldwin, from Boldon, South Tyneside, battled to get his kite board upright

  • Get on course to aid research into cancer

    BREAKTHROUGH Breast Cancer is holding a fundraising walk at a North-East racecourse next month. People are being invited to walk around the jumps at the Gosforth course, Newcastle, to raise funds for breast cancer research. As well as the walk, there

  • Eight arrests in swoop on car clocking operation

    POLICE and trading standards officers have smashed a big car clocking operation in the North-East. Eight people were arrested after a series of raids saw 63 cars, which may have had more than 3.5 million miles removed from their odometers, seized at four

  • Putting the 'e' into election

    WITH election fever bursting out all over, politicians' minds should now be turning to how they harness the power of the Internet. While all the major parties want to be seen to be a part of the online world, none have yet demonstrated any great ability

  • Inquest told of pistol tragedy

    AN expert told an inquest yesterday he was surprised that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had not recalled all 30,000 9mm pistols issued to the armed forces before a volunteer soldier was killed in a shooting contest. The hearing, in Richmond, North Yorkshire

  • Man had drug-fuelled sex with under-age girls

    A MAN who had drug-fuelled sex with two under-age girls was sentenced to a year in jail yesterday - after the judge heard that he had not corrupted them. Both the girls which Paul Christopher Holt, 33, met were regular users of cannabis, while the older

  • Magpies in profit thanks to Bobby

    BOBBY Robson's transfer dealings have helped get Newcastle United back into the black. The sale of high earners as part of his overhaul of the squad he inherited from Ruud Gullit has reduced the wage bill by 14 per cent and cut the club's player trading

  • Addict broke into home of grandmother

    A DRUG addict resorted to burgling the home of his own grandmother to help to fund his heroin addiction, a court heard. Less than a week after Graeme Park was thrown out for drugs misuse, last October, a neighbour saw him climbing through a first floor

  • MP fights latest nightspot plans

    MP Gerry Steinberg is opposing the latest plan to turn a disused cinema into a nightspot. He has lodged an objection to Worcestershire firm Tribecka Estates' planning application for the Palladium, in Claypath, Durham City. The company hopes Durham City

  • Hope's school wish granted

    BRAVE Hope Elliott will celebrate her sixth birthday at her Wearside home today. Hope, who is recovering from a major operation to repair severe facial malformation caused by a rare condition, is "doing very well", says her mother Bernadette. The best

  • Top tennis tips from a coach to the stars

    A TENNIS coach, who counts Sean Connery and Sting among his former pupils, is planning a comprehensive teaching programme for people of all ages and abilities in Newton Aycliffe. Ian Wilkinson, a teacher at Greenfield Community and Arts College, will

  • Woman spared jail following shoe attack

    A SINGLE mother was spared prison after a court heard that she acted out of character by attacking another woman with a shoe. Andrea Largue struck the victim on the head and face with the shoe heel, in the dance floor attack at a Consett pub, last July

  • Call to halt gangs drinking

    ANGRY residents of a Harrogate suburb are demanding police action to stop gangs of teenagers drinking, taking drugs and causing vandalism. People living close to a playing field at the end of Charles Avenue, Bilton, have met local councillors and police

  • Monitoring station steps up battle against pollution

    A COMMUNITY'S battle against its reputation for smog moved forward a step yesterday when its latest air quality monitoring station was launched. Middlesbrough Borough Council's third station was unveiled in the town centre by councillor Ken Hall, commissioner

  • Pupils say farewell to headteacher

    PUPILS are saying farewell to their headteacher, who is stepping down this week after 14 years in the post. Heather Eaton, 51, is retiring from St Oswald's Infant School, in Durham, tomorrow. She said: "I have loved it here with the wonderful, family-orientated

  • You just can't beat the roar of the crowd

    From the most avid to the most slouch-like; from the noisiest to the quietest and from the most travelled to the stay-at-home; football attracts many different types of supporters. At different times in my life I have been all these. Sadly, now I have

  • Heroin addict gets five years jail for muggings

    A MUGGER who attacked two women to fund his heroin addiction was jailed for five years yesterday. One of Clive Marriott's victims was a 77-year-old pensioner. The the other, a 57-year-old woman, was now afraid to leave the house alone, Teesside Crown

  • Teachers given full marks

    INSPECTORS have praised the high quality of teaching at a Newton Aycliffe school. Staff at Horndale Infant and Nursery School are celebrating after an excellent report from the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). The inspectors commented on good

  • Council lets public decide

    REDCAR and Cleveland Borough Council wants the public to decide on three options for its future structure. Leaflets are being delivered to more than 60,000 homes this week. They invite residents to choose either a leader and a cabinet, mayor and cabinet

  • Contaminated land strategy is reviewed

    A REVISED strategy to deal with contaminated land in Darlington has been published. It sets out the way in which Darlington Borough Council will inspect and identify sites where land contamination could pose an environmental risk. The first part of the

  • Teenager's guilt over school blaze

    A TEENAGER accused of starting a fire at a school was found guilty by a jury yesterday. Teesside Crown Court heard how the youngster, who cannot be named, and his friend, had made makeshift torches with pieces of paper, which they set on fire in a hut

  • Week to wait for water test results

    IT COULD be as long as a week before Environment Agency experts can be sure whether water downstream from a contaminated burial site is safe. Samples from Houselop Beck, which runs through farmland between Tow Law and the River Wear, west of Wolsingham

  • This Lady was a tramp

    SHE was described by the Daily Telegraph as a wandering lunatic, attended by the Co-op butcher from Consett and the porter from Blaydon railway station, who launched a colourful 20-year claim to one of the North-East's wealthiest estates. "She did not

  • Staff win skills grant

    TECHNOLOGY company staff who recorded outstanding results in a pioneering skills boosting project have been rewarded with a £2,000 grant. Workers at electrical component-makers Mechetronics, in Bishop Auckland, started a lifelong learning course by achieving

  • Despair as family watch healthy livestock burn

    HUNDREDS of slaughtered animals were dumped on pyres yesterday as the foot-and-mouth epidemic continued to leave communities devastated. The harrowing scenes at Buckshead Farm, at Evenwood, County Durham, were mirrored at farms across the region as government

  • £150m wiped off value of football clubs

    THE region's top football clubs have seen up to £150m wiped off their stock market values after predicted increases in profitability failed to materialise. Since 1997, Newcastle United has seen its value in the City fall from about £200m to £50.85m, while

  • Some doubt

    POLLS should always be regarded with suspicion. For example, do we really believe that Labour, despite all of its recent difficulties, is really 19 points in front of the Tories as all the polls suggest? This would mean an even bigger Labour majority

  • Lottery windfall aids youth sport

    YOUNGSTERS can look forward to a bumper year of sports activities after a £100,000 National Lottery windfall. The initiative known as Active Sports is a five-year programme aimed at children in Hartlepool who want to improve their sporting ability. The

  • Quakers set to reward Tait and Bennett with new deals

    Darlington are to offer their management team of Gary Bennett and Mick Tait new contracts at the end of the season. Bennett and Tait complete their present deals when the season finishes and Quakers are to move quickly to tie them to the club once they

  • George has found a fan in Oprah

    WHEN a self-styled king of football met the queen of chat shows there was an instant spark of friendship. No stranger to mixing with the rich and famous, Darlington Football Club's ebullient chairman George Reynolds scored an instant hit with the legendary

  • Letters

    RAY MALLON I WAS once sympathetic towards Ray Mallon, but his recent Thursday columns have begun to worry me. The article (Echo, Mar 22) was worse than usual. He tells us that, in an enormous exhibition of power, the Government decided to slaughter 300,000

  • Gunners shoot down flying fans' hopes

    DEVOTED soccer fans have travelled 21,000 miles following their team - and still have not seen them play. The Newcastle United-mad Americans, who have travelled thousands of miles to see their heroes, will complete an unwanted hat-trick on Saturday. The

  • Defiant display pleases Houllier

    LIVERPOOL produced a defiant defensive display in the splendour of the Nou Camp to blunt Barcelona and take a 0-0 draw back to Anfield. Gerard Houllier's men now stand without sight of their first European final for 16 years after an effective performance

  • Selective education opportunity

    RIPON will have another opportunity to vote on selective education later this month. The issue split the community last year, when opponents of the 11 Plus exam sparked the country's first formal ballot on the subject. They were subsequently defeated

  • It's not over yet as Lisa owns up

    "AND now the moment everyone's been talking about," announced the BBC man. No, not the date of the General Election or the end of the of the foot-and-mouth crisis. What the nation wanted to know was Who Shot Phil? The answer, revealed last night on BBC1

  • Holiday activities laid on for children

    YOUNGSTERS are being promised a bumper programme of activities during their Easter school holidays. Hartlepool Borough Council play schemes, for children aged five to 11, will run from Tuesday, April 17 to Friday, April 20, at five venues. These are Friarage

  • Hunt on for post office raiders

    A 61-year-old sub postmistress stood up to two masked robbers. The raiders, one of whom had a grate wrapped in a T-shirt, the other a metal bar, made off with a substantial amount of cash from the New Herrington post office, in Houghton-le-Spring, Wearside

  • £1bn wind farms project hailed as a coup for region

    A GOVERNMENT pledge to spend £1bn on 18 offshore wind farms, including one on Teesside, was last night hailed as a coup for the region. In a drive to safeguard the environment, the Government has put forward the plan to quadruple the amount of electricity

  • Anonymous caller alerts police to death

    POLICE are investigating a possible burglary at the house where a retired hairdresser was found dead. But they insist there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Linda Allen, 79, at her home in Wheler Street, Houghton-le-Spring, Wearside

  • I'm sorry for rail crash man, says driver's widow

    THE widow of a train driver killed in the Selby rail disaster has spoken of her sorrow for the man at the centre of the police investigation. But Mary Dunn said she could never face meeting him in person. Mrs Dunn's husband, Stephen, 39, died when the

  • Fears as smoke billows over farmsteads free from disease

    VILLAGERS fear that burning 400 cattle on an infected farm could spread the disease to healthy animals. Residents have watched in horror as a pile of cattle carcasses has grown only yards from their homes at High Etherley, near Bishop Auckland, County

  • Industrial output shows slowdown

    INDUSTRIAL output slowed during February as new figures provided more evidence the global economic slowdown was hurting UK business. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed overall production slipped 0.3 per cent during the month and

  • Charity success honoured

    THE National Glass Centre, in Sunderland, hosted a reception in honour of the Sir Tom Cowie Fund. Sir Tom Cowie set up his fund at the Community Foundation (then the Tyne and Wear Foundation), in 1993, with a gift of shares now worth more than £1m. The

  • £170,000 grant for ME group

    A NORTH Durham charity which supports people with ME has received a £170,500 grant. ME North-East, in Chester-le-Street, which was formed last year, received the grant from the National Lottery's Charities Board. The award will fund a three-year project

  • Arcadia opts for simpler life by selling five chains

    TOP Shop to Dorothy Perkins retail group Arcadia is in talks to sell five of its 14 fashion chains after a strategic review of the business. The group is in discussions to sell off Warehouse, Principles, Racing Green and Hawkshead to a management buy-out

  • Calling the boys from the Somme

    AT 7.30am on July 1, 1916, whistles blew along the lengths of the British trenches on the Somme. Thousands of men climbed out of their trenches, poured over the top and rushed into the morning mist - and headlong into the German shellfire. By nightfall

  • Refuse service costs cut

    REFUSE collections are being reorganised to cut costs. Operating new routes, altering the method of collection and changing collection days will save Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council £200,000 a year. The changes, introduced this week, will mean different

  • Guards enforce town hall ban

    PRIVATE guards have been hired by a council to prevent an asthmatic grandfather attending meetings. Chris Snowdon has been barred from Middlesbrough town hall for refusing to stand for the mayor. He is now challenging council chief executive John Foster

  • I was bullied into crime - says robber

    A TEENAGER claimed he was bullied into carrying out a robbery at a convenience store. Richard Thompson, 18, threatened a lone female assistant with a claw hammer, demanding money from the till, at Somal's, in Ouston, near Chester-le-Street. Durham Crown

  • Primary school in sporting appeal

    A VILLAGE primary school has started a big fundraising effort to improve its recreation and administration facilities. High Coniscliffe C of E Primary School, near Darlington, which has 89 pupils, has set a £5,000 target in the hope of doubling it with

  • Foundation aims to ease suffering

    FARMERS whose livelihoods have been affected by the foot-and-mouth outbreak are to receive help. The County Durham Foundation has set up an emergency relief fund, which will support farmers with grants, counselling and advice services. Grants will be

  • First step to musical stardom

    TALENTED young musician Marcus Sims has his sights set on Hollywood. The 11-year-old, from Darlington, wants to move to the US when he is older, to further his music career. Marcus, who lives in Abbey Road, has taken his first steps to stardom after winning

  • Go-ahead likely for homes plan

    PLANS to increase the size of a housing development could win permission despite traffic safety fears. Persimmon Homes North-East already has approval to build 60 homes on land south of Castlehills, Castleside, near Consett, County Durham. Now it is asking

  • Pupils recruited for park litter clean-up

    SEAHAM Town Council is holding a litter picking session today, in the town park, for 14-year-olds from Seaham School. Officials hope that not only will the park look better, but the youngsters will learn to drop their drink cans and crisp packets in litter

  • Premier event for Playhouse

    The UK premiere of a new show by international theatre artist and film-maker Robert Lepage is being staged in the North-East, next week. Northern Stage will present the solo performance, the far side of the moon, from Thursday to Saturday, at Newcastle

  • Grant for holiday activities

    A PROGRAMME of activities aimed at reducing crime in east Gateshead will be launched this weekend. Gateshead youth offending team (Yot) has received £4,000 from the Youth Justice Board for its Splash! project. It aims to involve youngsters in activities

  • The longest night for Woodgate and Bowyer

    LEEDS United stars Jonathan Woodgate and Lee Bowyer last night faced an anxious wait to discover if they have been convicted of a savage attack on an Asian student. Fellow Leeds player Michael Duberry was yesterday cleared of accusations that he tried