• Sex attack on pensioner in her home

    A PENSIONER has been sexually assaulted in her home by a teenage intruder. Police hunting the attacker, who was aged between 15 and 17, described the assault as "sickening". The burglar forced his way into the 79-year-old's home in Hardwick, Stockton,

  • Water mains end city pub plan

    A POPULAR Durham landmark doomed to demolition looks like it will now be around for many years to come. Brown's Boathouse, the home of rowing boat hire near Elvet Bridge in the city, was destined to make way for a £3m pub able to hold hundreds of drinkers

  • £5,000 to smoke out cigarette thieves

    A reward of more than £5,000 has been offered in an effort to help catch thieves who stole 700,000 cigarettes in a raid on a North-East factory. The burglars took less than ten minutes to get in and out of the British American Tobacco (BAT) factory in

  • Fatal crash 'was due to driver error'

    NOVICE driver Christopher Bieda told police he lost control of his car after swerving to miss a rabbit which ran into his path. "I just wish to hell I had hit it now," he told a police officer investigating a crash in which his rear seat passenger, Helen

  • Youths in court over attack on refugee

    Two youths and a teenage girl have appeared in court in connection with an attack on a Kosovan refugee. The attack, which left the refugee fighting for his life with multiple fractures of the skull, two days ago in Middlesbrough. Paul Lee Waugh, 20, Lee

  • Rural crisis affects school results

    SCHOOLS in areas recognised as being badly hit by the foot-and-mouth crisis have achieved worse than usual GCSE results, according to performance league tables published today. The Department for Education and Skills has given some schools the initials

  • Vital helicopter is moving base

    OWNERS of an aviation museum were celebrating a major coup last night after being offered a vital role in the work of an airborne 999 crew. The Yorkshire Air Ambulance - a 140mph helicopter with a three-strong team of paramedics - has suffered problems

  • Anti-ageing cream stolen

    POLICE are appealing for information after items including powerful anti-ageing creams were stolen from a cosmetic clinic. The thefts occurred at the offices of Laser Care, in Middlesbrough General Hospital, sometime between 3pm on Saturday and 6.30am

  • Villagers remain opposed to conservation area status

    A DALES village is maintaining its vehement resistance to designation as a conservation area, despite another meeting with national park chiefs. A meeting in September was told Reeth had no wish to be included in the growing number of communities awarded

  • Probe after guinea pigs abandoned

    THE RSPCA has launched an investigation after 16 guinea pigs were found crammed in cardboard boxes in a garden. The animals, ranging from babies to adults, were discovered by a family living at Gilmonby Road, in Middlesbrough, after the boxes were dumped

  • Cancer victim remembered

    A PROMISE made to a dying cancer victim was fulfilled when nearly 60 horses turned out for a memorial ride. The four-legged foray, through Hamsterley Forest, will become an annual event in memory of 23-year-old breeder Andrew Moody, from Escomb, near

  • Shipyard housing scheme approved

    A FORMER riverside shipyard is to be turned into a housing development despite objections from local people. The Whitehall shipyard was the largest of the old Whitby shipyards. Conservationists said the derelict Grade II listed warehouse and former night

  • Drug abuse suspected in tragedy

    A TEENAGER collapsed and died after apparently sniffing lighter fuel in her bedroom. Police have now launched an investigation after paramedics were unable to revive 16-year-old Julie Day. The youngster was discovered in the bedroom of her terraced home

  • Internet shaming for school

    A NORTH-EAST school has been named and shamed on the Internet for failing to submit its accounts to the Charity Commission for scrutiny. Gateshead Jewish School was one of four charitable causes to be placed in the commission's website. And it could face

  • Praise for joint crime initiative

    A PARTNERSHIP working between Durham Constabulary and Darlington Borough Council has been praised by Government inspectors. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) described the Youth Offending and Community Safety Service, in Darlington, which

  • Pork firm reports sizzling sales surge

    HALF-year profits at pork group Cranswick have soared after a surge in demand for gourmet sausages. Cranswick, which owns Thornaby, Teesside, sausage company Lazenby's, said its quality hams and sausages, aimed at the delicatessen market, had been the

  • Revamp will involve demolition

    PLANS to redevelop the headquarters of one of Ripon's main employers have been submitted. A redevelopment plan for the headquarters of a plumbers' merchants and builders' centre in Ripon, employing nearly 500 people, has been tabled. Wolseley Centers

  • Three are questioned over fight

    POLICE were last night questioning two young men and a teenage girl over a town centre fight in which a refugee was critically injured. The men, aged 20 and 18, and the 17-year-old girl, all from Middlesbrough, were said to be helping police with their

  • Supermarket chain buoyed by increase in sales

    THE UK's second-biggest supermarket chain, Sainsbury's, took another step along the road to recovery as it reported a three per cent increase in first-half profits. Underlying pre-tax profits increased to £309m in the six months to October 13 as it reaped

  • Final preparations for light extravaganza

    YOUNG people have been putting the finishing touches to Japanese lanterns in preparation for Darlington's annual lantern parade. More than 300 children from six primary schools have been making lanterns for tonight's parade. The theme this year is Japan

  • Disabled badge misuse warning

    DRIVERS who misuse disabled parking badges face fines of up to £1,000 in a campaign being launched next Monday in Darlington. The badge scheme allows disabled drivers access to reserved parking places in Darlington town centre, but Darlington Association

  • Group plans action to fight council's home closure plan

    AN ACTION group has been formed to fight for Thornaby's four old people's homes to remain open, after it was announced two were under the threat of closure. The group, which involves residents, families, staff and trade unions, has vowed to fight Stockton

  • HIV-scare family get move offer

    A FAMILY whose two young children were scratched by used drug needles have been offered a move from their council home. The youngsters, aged three and five, have been tested for the Aids virus HIV after they found the needles near their home in Howard

  • Mowbray fires up third bakery

    A pork pie company is cooking up 30 jobs with the opening of a third bakery. Vale Of Mowbray, at Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire, has invested £2m over the past two years to increase the capacity of two existing bakeries and build a new one. Its pies and

  • Art of the spoken word

    THE most promising wordsmiths in Redcar and Cleveland are being sought for a spoken word competition, organised by Cleveland Arts. The City Learning Centre for Redcar and Cleveland is hosting a performance, poetry and spoken word competition for young

  • Call for people to open their homes

    A CHARITY for homeless people in east Cleveland is asking people to open up their homes for a couple of nights. Nightstop is a charity based in Redcar, but covers the whole of the east Cleveland area, as well as Middlesbrough, Stockton and Billingham.

  • What now for Tony Blair?

    GEORGE Bush and Tony Blair must be feeling pretty pleased with themselves. They are on the verge of winning the first stage of their war against terrorism. The Northern Alliance has done all the donkey work and, before the Taliban has finally capitulated

  • Flood of cheap steel is threat say unions

    UNIONS say they have grave concerns over the threat to Corus caused by an increasing flood of cheap steel products from outside the European Union. The steelmaker, formerly British Steel, which this year cut 1,000 jobs in the North-East, could be hit

  • Plans to make station more user-friendly

    AMBITIOUS plans to make a rundown railway station more attractive to visitors have been unveiled. A Friends of Malton Station Society is to be set up, with responsibility for keeping the area well maintained. Civic leaders have welcomed the move, which

  • Cash lift for organic project

    A PROJECT to teach young people about the benefits of organic and community gardening has been awarded an £18,000 grant. Brandon Allotments Ltd was set up by allotment holders to develop a derelict area of land as a community resource, promote organic

  • Toddler badly hurt in crash

    A THREE-YEAR-OLD boy is fighting for his life after being involved in a road accident on Tuesday evening. The boy suffered serious head injuries in the accident, which happened near the village of Great Stainton, County Durham, at about 7.45pm. He was

  • Stripping fire crew turn up heat for fund

    STRIPPING firemen helped to raise thousands of pounds for charity last week. Firefighters from Cleveland performed a real-life Full Monty show at the Chicago Rock Caf in Hartlepool and showed six packs to be proud of during a dance performance. The 30

  • Relatives and friends mourn teenage boy

    A heartbroken father has paid tribute to his teenage son, who tragically died during a school lesson. Jamie Bucknell, 14, collapsed and died in front of shocked classmates at Huntington School, in York, last week. Hundreds of relatives and friends packed

  • What now for Tony Blair?

    GEORGE Bush and Tony Blair must be feeling pretty pleased with themselves. They are on the verge of winning the first stage of their war against terrorism. The Northern Alliance has done all the donkey work and, before the Taliban has finally capitulated

  • Pension book and £10 taken by walk-in thief

    A PENSIONER was recovering from shock last night after a walk-in theft at her home. The 81-year-old woman was in her house, in Manor Wood, Coulby Newham, in Middlesbrough, when a young man knocked on the door and claimed he knew her. She let him in, and

  • Thug who shot ponies showed no emotion during trial

    Vicious thug Mark Telford was condemned as "sick and twisted" yesterday as he was convicted of using two show ponies as target practice for his crossbow. He fired lethal 18-inch bolts at the ponies because he was angry after a drunken row with a friend

  • Jobs joy as engineers secure grant

    ENTERPRISE grant support of £75,000 has helped Hydram Engineering to broaden its customer base, creating 11 jobs and securing 68 existing ones. The DTI grant will help Hydram, of Ferryhill, County Durham, install high-tech equipment, including a laser

  • Business focus to art on show

    AN exhibition promoting the relationship between art and business has been launched. Cleveland College of Art and Design and Teesside University organised the display, Teesmade 2001, to change perceptions, stimulate business activity and develop links

  • Man On The Hill ready to peak at Sedgefield

    DUAL course winner Man On The Hill (3.10) makes plenty of appeal in the W. A. Stephenson Memorial Novices' Chase at Sedgefield. Not too many horses improve after leaving Martin Pipe, but there's always an exception to the rule and Man On The Hill has

  • Trust backs green projects

    NORTHUMBRIAN Water Environmental Trust has made a grant of £150,000 to three community foundations in the region, to help support grassroots environmental improvements. Green Scheme, managed by Cleveland Community Foundation, County Durham Foundation

  • Gordon steps down to prove worth

    MIDDLESBROUGH'S Dean Gordon will join Cardiff City today on a month's loan after being told he has no future at the Riverside. The surprise move to the ambitious Second Division club follows six days of negotiations and Gordon is keen to make the most

  • Rush for Harry toys could leave children feeling less than magic

    HARRY would not be happy - and mere muggles could be left facing heartbreak at Christmas. Because a mysterious spell appears to have been cast over this year's craze for anything to do with the young wizard. Toy shops are reporting that popular Lego versions

  • US-style mayor gets a 'no'

    CITY Labour leaders were celebrating last night after a postal ballot rejected a US-style elected mayor. The party, along with its Liberal Democrat opponents on Durham City Council, had campaigned against the idea of a powerful council boss chosen by

  • New plea over body in case mystery

    DETECTIVES investigating the murder of a woman whose body was found in a dumped suitcase were following up several new leads last night. The discovery was made in a hedge near the village of Askham Richard, near York, on Sunday. A nationwide search has

  • Whatever happened to the lovely Pat?

    THE somnolent parish of Lynesack and Softley, of which few may hitherto have heard, comprises the west Durham village of Butterknowle and sundry hamlets thereabouts. There is Wham, for example, and the area known colourfully as Slack Bottom. It was in

  • Gas canisters smuggling case to be dropped

    THE case against an Army sergeant accused of smuggling CS gas into the country is to be dropped, The Northern Echo has learned. Michael Grundy, 36, was stopped at North Shields International Ferry Terminal with 957 canisters of the gas on November 27

  • Charity appeal takes off

    A CHARITY appeal was launched with the release of 300 balloons from the Gateshead Millennium Bridge yesterday. Several charities, with the help of the Stanley Lions Club Trust Fund, have joined forces to create the North-East Community Golden Jubilee

  • Basketball marathon charity boost

    PUPILS at a Newton Aycliffe school have raised more than £150 for charity with a 24-hour basketball marathon. The event, at Woodham Community Technology College, raised money for BBC Television's Children in Need appeal. It was organised by year 11 student

  • Anti-stab vests for hospital guards

    stab-proof vests are to be issued to hospital security guards to protect them from violent patients and visitors. In what is thought to be the first initiative of its kind in the region, South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust will distribute 40 to 50 vests to

  • In tune Anna rewarded with maximum grade

    TALENTED young musician Anna Whitehouse hit the right note when she sat her first GCSE a year early. The 15-year-old from West Rainton, who attends Durham Gilesgate Sports College and Sixth Form Centre, was given a 100 per cent mark for her solo and ensemble

  • Police give more details on body-in-a-suitcase mystery

    Police investigating the body-in-a-suitcase mystery yesterday released more information in the hope it may lead them closer to the killer. The remains of a diminutive woman, no more than 4ft 11ins tall, were found on Sunday, dumped in a hedge on a country

  • Club bids to cash in on national stadium shambles

    AN amateur football club hopes it may succeed where a bid to build a multi-million pound flagship stadium for the country has floundered. The differences between the proposed multi-million pound replacement for Wembley Stadium and a new football ground

  • Companies save Santa's town tour

    THE annual Christmas Eve tour of Newton Aycliffe by Father Christmas has been saved by two local companies. A shortage of vehicles meant Santa's visit to every street in the town was in danger of being cancelled. But after an appeal in The Northern Echo

  • Reward for dedication

    A GUISBOROUGH man has been awarded a top prize for his dedication to the British Horse Society. Dr John Sugden received the Bodynfoel Award - for the person who has done the most to promote the British Horse Society - at the group's annual awards ceremony

  • Breathing space for hockey firm

    The parent company of Newcastle Jesters, the ice hockey team which has been stripped of its North-East franchise, yesterday won further breathing space in its battle against High Court moves to have it wound up. Two weeks ago, the High Court, in London

  • Two in court over house burglaries

    A MAN and a woman from Derwentside have appeared before magistrates charged with house burglaries in Wolsingham, Weardale. Lousie Kennedy, 20, of Dunn Street, Annfield Plain, was given conditional bail by Sedgefield magistrates yesterday on two specimen

  • Day of activities is planned for disabled youngsters

    AN activity day for disabled children and young people is being held near Durham this weekend. The Children's Network event, organised by Durham County Council social services department, takes place at the Deerness Valley Sports Centre at Ushaw Moor

  • Union's anger over decision to close NSK steering plant

    CAR PARTS manufacturer NSK has confirmed that it plans to close its County Durham steering column plant. As revealed exclusively in The Northern Echo yesterday, the plant, in Palmer Road, Peterlee, east Durham, will be closed in the early part of next

  • Potash mine to get gas-fired energy centre

    A NATURAL gas-fuelled energy centre is to be set up at the region's deepest potash mine. Cleveland Potash, based at Boulby, on the A174 between east Cleveland and Whitby, has been granted planning permission by the North York Moors National Park Authority

  • Care home criticised after man drowned

    A CARE home where staff left a resident suffering from cystic fibrosis, epilepsy and diabetes to take a bath unsupervised, was criticised at an inquest yesterday. The hearing in North Yorkshire was told how Mark Beckett, 27, had used an emergency call

  • Fishing for ideas to revive village

    RESIDENTS in a fishing village on the North Yorkshire coast are being urged to come forward with ideas about how more than £1m can be spent in their community. The Single Regeneration Budget money for Staithes and Hinderwell amounts to £1.1m, but with

  • Writers pen a tale for charities

    THREE young writers from the North-East will see their work appear in a book for charity. The stories by ten-year-old Rebecca Lister, of Wearview, Beck Baxter, 14, of Redcar, and Heather Darwent, 12, of Yarm, are among the 100 top stories from more than

  • Hear All Sides

    Letters from The Northern Echo THE ARC I WAS interested to see the comment by your Entertainment Editor (Echo, Nov 14) that the closure of Stockton's Arc "threatens the whole future of the theatre on Teesside". This year, Middlesbrough Theatre has hosted

  • Search for pub raider

    DETECTIVES are hunting a burglar who has been raiding Darlington pubs to steal cash from gaming machines and pool tables. Six pubs in the town have been raided since Saturday night, when the thief struck at four pubs in the town. During the course of

  • Support for business with new manager

    HELP is at hand for businesses in Chester-le-Street and Sacriston. Chester-le-Street District Council has appointed a commercial manager for the area to support local businesses and develop their commercial needs. Christine Davies will build links with

  • Council housing service attacked

    INSPECTORS have slated a council's housing repairs and maintenance service in a damning report published today. Wear Valley District Council came under fire from the Audit Commission, which says the authority is unlikely to improve on its poor score of

  • Call for environment cash

    AN opposition councillor is to call for a fairer distribution of money for environmental improvements. Councillor Ben Ord is to submit a motion on the issue to a meeting of Sedgefield Borough Council tomorrow. At present, people can request money for

  • Heart op waiting times to be slashed

    THE crusade against heart disease moved up a gear last night as the Government announced a £300m programme to slash waiting times for heart operations ahead of schedule. As The Northern Echo exclusively revealed earlier this month, thousands of extra

  • Whatever happened to the lovely Pat?

    THE somnolent parish of Lynesack and Softley, of which few may hitherto have heard, comprises the west Durham village of Butterknowle and sundry hamlets thereabouts. There is Wham, for example, and the area known colourfully as Slack Bottom. It was in

  • Hockey team gets reprieve

    The parent company of Newcastle Jesters Ltd, the ice hockey team which has been stripped of its North-East ice hockey franchise, yesterday won further breathing space in its battle against High Court moves to have it wound up. Two weeks ago the High Court

  • Man arrested after daylight sex attacks

    A MAN has been arrested following two indecent assaults on students in daylight. The 30-year-old man, from Durham City, was seized yesterday morning, but after questioning was released on bail pending further enquiries. Both attacks happened in the city

  • School stays shut due to gas leak

    A SECONDARY school will remain closed for a second day after a gas leak was discovered on Tuesday. Staff at Carmel College in Darlington smelt gas outside at the school late on Tuesday afternoon and called Transco. The 1,065 pupils at the school did not

  • Darlington put striker Mellanby's return on hold

    Darlington's leading scorer Danny Mellanby is still at least a week away from full fitness as he battles to recover from a knee injury. The 22-year-old striker, with five goals to his name, damaged medial ligaments against Hull City last month and hoped

  • Rail drivers' action threat over move to veto pay rise

    WEARY North-East rail passengers were last night facing more disruption with the threat of industrial action by train drivers. The threat was made by the union Aslef after it emerged rail chiefs could veto plans by troubled Arriva Trains Northern to increase

  • Mountaineers aim to peak in time for cracker of a Christmas

    TWO North-East students will not be sitting down to a traditional lunch on Christmas Day - instead they hope to be celebrating at the summit of South America's highest mountain. Students Philip Lofthouse and John Moffett, of Sunderland University, set

  • King: a man in love with himself

    WITH his trademark colourful spectacles, lopsided smile and string of bubblegum rock hits, Jonathan King has been one of the pop industry's larger-than-life characters throughout the last four decades. His first hit, Everyone's Gone to the Moon, came

  • Comment from The Northern Echo - Saving lives, not dogma

    WHEN The Northern Echo launched its Chance To Live campaign, we knew its aims were long term. Realistically, we could not expect years of under-funding and neglect to be put right in a matter of months. Steadily, and surely, the level of treatment for

  • Next stop, a prime spot near Parliament

    A FORESTRY worker's career reached new heights yesterday when he oversaw the felling of a towering spruce tree set for a star billing at the Houses of Parliament. The order capped a 38-year career for Forestry Commission works manager Derek English, of

  • Frail sex attack victim fights back

    The frail 87-year-old victim of a brutal sex assault in her own home yesterday waived her right to anonymity saying: "I want people to know who I am and what this man has done." Widow Frances Doran was attacked in her ground floor council flat as she

  • Schwarzer's boost for Boro boss

    MIDDLESBROUGH goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer claims he is in no rush to leave the club. This week the Australian, currently preparing for his country's World Cup second-leg play-off with Uruguay on Sunday, talked of his intentions to play in Europe at club

  • Council housing service attacked

    INSPECTORS have slated a council's housing repairs and maintenance service in a damning report published today. Wear Valley District Council came under fire from the Audit Commission, which says the authority is unlikely to improve on its poor score of