• Warning over data protection fraudsters

    A VIGILANT businesswoman has foiled confidence tricksters who are attempting to deprive the region's businesses of thousands of pounds. Christine Bewley, director of Aycliffe Fabrications, received a letter from an organisation calling itself Crown Data

  • 26/02/03

    FIREWORKS: THE RSPCA is requesting that all those in support of tighter restraints on the use of fireworks should write to their MPs urging them to back a Private Member's Bill to control these explosives. Fireworks cause huge distress and injury to animals

  • MA in computer games launched

    Computer game buffs will now be able to turn their love of Tomb Raider's Lara Croft into a professional qualification. From September this year, students will be able to analyse the cultural impact of computer games as part of a one-year MA in Video Games

  • Russia honours Kursk 'friends'

    TWO North-East men were honoured by Russia yesterday for their role in the salvage of the sunken submarine Kursk. Malcolm Dailey, from Stockton, Teesside, and Captain Alexander Macleod, from Amble, in Northumberland, were two of three British men honoured

  • Raffle offers match day to remember

    ORGANISERS of the Ann Teasdale Appeal are raffling VIP tickets for a clash between two North-East football rivals this weekend. Mrs Teasdale's supporters hope to raise £20,000 so she can receive urgent medical treatment in the US. The young mother, from

  • Echo Memories: Impartial wisdom of first town clerk

    Echo Memories delves into the political turmoil of the late 1860s and manoeuvreings to break the stranglehold on Darlington held by the Pease and Backhouse families THE late 1860s made up the most torrid period in Darlington's political history. After

  • Echo Memories: Bakehouse Hill's link to South Villa

    FOR much of last year, Echo Memories was poking its nose into Bakehouse Hill, in Darlington's Market Place. At the start of this year we found ourselves poking around in the undergrowth of the forbidding Harewood Grove. The two areas, naturally, are related

  • Call for tougher sentencing on killer drivers

    A SENIOR North-East police officer is calling for tougher sentences for drivers who kill. Chief Superintendent Bob Pattison, head of operational support at Northumbria Police, wants a change in laws dealing with motorists who cause death or serious injury

  • Shearer keeps Champions League dream alive

    Alan Shearer claimed all three goals as Newcastle United helped themselves to a 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Wednesday night. The Magpies now have a great chance of progressing to the last eight after Group A rivals Barcelona

  • Trust is hailed for hospitals equality

    HOSPITAL bosses on Teesside are leading the way in wiping out prejudice between staff and patients. North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust has been recognised for its work in promoting equality in its hospitals and has been selected to host a Government

  • Judge claims CCTV is "useless"

    A senior judge rang a radio phone-in to tell listeners that CCTV is "completely useless" and wastes "enormous" sums of public money. Now the comments of Judge Peter Fox QC have been condemned an "irresponsible" and "an encouragement to commit crime."

  • Sir Bobby hails his team the greatest

    SIR BOBBY ROBSON last night handed his young Newcastle United squad the ultimate accolade when he acclaimed them as the best he has worked with in 35 years in management. On the eve of the crucial Champions League clash with Bayer Leverkusen at St. James

  • Father-to-be is denied visa to live with wife

    THE husband of a North-East woman who is due to give birth in 12 weeks has been refused entry to the UK. Murat Aktas, 27, from Izmir, Turkey, married Elisa Hoy, from Darlington, last summer, and the couple discovered she was pregnant in October. Since

  • Thug receives first-ever ban from housing estate

    A serial thug who bragged to police he was "untouchable" has made legal history by being banned from his estate in the country's first anti-social behaviour order made during criminal proceedings. David Warrener, 20, was arrested 51 times and ran up 46

  • Decision on jobs awaited by union

    BRITISH American Tobacco (BAT) has launched a cost-cutting programme in an attempt to take £200m off operating costs over the next five years. The announcement came on the back of BAT's decision to carry out a share buy-back programme, which could reach

  • What's the point of so many prizes?

    WATCH out for a new disease - Awards Ceremony Overload. Suddenly we seem inundated with prizes - the Baftas, the Brits, the Grammys, the Oscars. Best TV programme, best soap. Everywhere you look, there are people in impossible dresses standing beaming

  • Social worker can keep injury cash

    A SOCIAL worker, badly injured while trying to restrain a violent child in a North-East care home, has fought off a bid to strip him of his £19,000 damages. Dominic Harvey, 39, of Rickleton, Washington, on Wearside, was working at Kyloe House - a secure

  • What's the point of so many prizes?

    WATCH out for a new disease - Awards Ceremony Overload. Suddenly we seem inundated with prizes - the Baftas, the Brits, the Grammys, the Oscars. Best TV programme, best soap. Everywhere you look, there are people in impossible dresses standing beaming

  • Last Night's TV

    Men... they're all just teenage boys at heart - Manchild (BBC2) THIS returning series isn't so much a British male version of Sex And The City as Older Men Behaving Badly. Or, more accurately, Dirty Old Men Growing Old Disgracefully. Dashing Nigel Havers

  • Big payout to make parks safer places

    A HUGE investment to upgrade safety and security in Darlington's parks and cemeteries is planned. Darlington Borough Council proposes to spend £150,000 on an extensive programme of work. The planned improvements include the relaying of footpaths at North

  • Car parts firm closes plant after downturn

    CAR parts manufacturer Calsonic Kansei is closing its plant in Sunderland with the loss of 40 jobs. A further 29 posts are being lost from a sister plant in Washington, Tyne and Wear, where the company employs 200 staff producing exhaust systems. Production

  • Seasonal workers kept on by supermarket

    MORE than 3,000 workers recruited by supermarket chain Tesco for the Christmas period have been employed on a permanent basis. They were among 12,000 temporary staff taken on in October to stack shelves and pack bags over the festive period. Tesco, already

  • Punters losing thousands in betting scam

    HUNDREDS of North-East punters may have lost thousands of pounds after being duped by a horse race betting scam. Fraud officers are investigating an international betting set up, after complaints from people conned into parting with thousands of pounds

  • Plans to revamp '50s ballroom collapse

    Plans to transform a former 1950s ballroom into a North-East music academy have collapsed. Darlington businessman David Cox had hoped to revive the building on the town's Lingfield estate into a live entertainment centre with recording studios, rehearsal

  • Sixth-formers save bus trip from disaster

    TWO quick-thinking teen-agers have been hailed as heroes after they saved their class from certain disaster on a runaway coach. Eighteen sixth-formers were on board the driverless vehicle as it rolled towards a seaside cliff, picking up speed as it went

  • Move to combat cemetery vandals

    SECURITY may be stepped up in two East Cleveland cemeteries after gravestones were vandalised and mementoes stolen. Councillors will tomorrow discuss plans to spend £19,000 a year to pay for security patrols at Eston and Redcar cemeteries. The move follows

  • Tonight, Matthew, you're a star

    Standing ovation at the Civic for cleared presenter After a day when the national media descended on Darlington, television personality Matthew Kelly took the stage last night. Liz Lamb and Entertainments Editor Viv Hardwick report HE was soaking wet,

  • Renewing campaign to have steel beacon on moor

    A PARISH council has renewed its fight to build a beacon at a site on the North York Moors where one has stood since Roman times. For centuries. a beacon was lit at Danby in times of emergency as well as celebrations. During the Second World War it was

  • I'll go to Iraq to find my girl

    A British man said last night he was determined to travel to Baghdad - despite the threat of imminent war - to find the 19-month-old daughter he has never seen. Michael Todd, from York, is travelling to Iraq via Jordan in the next two weeks to look for

  • Friendly centre wins award

    A CENTRE that helps people master computers, the Internet and e-mail has won an award for offering one of the best learning environments in the country. Terminus 2, in Station Street, Saltburn, has won an award for being the most welcoming, best designed

  • Newsagent criticises roadworks

    A NEWSAGENT says his business is being affected by roadworks outside his shop. Durham County Council is spending £100,000 on a traffic improvement scheme in Ferryhill Station. The work involves installing a roundabout near the Eldon Arms pub junction

  • Party opposes war in_Iraq

    LOCAL Labour Party members have expressed opposition to a war in Iraq without international support. Members of the City of Durham Labour Party have unanimously agreed to a resolution stating that the US and UK should not make war on Iraq without the

  • Hogwarts Quidditch recreated

    SCENES from the Harry Potter films and books will be recreated tomorrow. Leisure staff have come up with a version of Quidditch, the favourite sport of Hogwarts' young wizards. Youngsters aged between eight and 16 can take part in the game, at the Centre

  • Zero tolerance crackdown on tax-dodgers

    AN operation to seize and crush untaxed cars in Middlesbrough has expanded. Since March last year, Operation Cube It has been running in the town and has resulted in 314 untaxed, uninsured and un-roadworthy vehicles being destroyed. The operation is an

  • Man charged with deaths is remanded

    A MAN appeared in court yesterday accused of causing the deaths of his best friend and an 81-year-old woman in a car collision on a country lane on Valentine's Day. Colin John Richmond, 45, was remanded in custody by Harrogate magistrates to appear at

  • Quarry firm wins accolade for its work in bird conservation

    A QUARRY firm in Ripon has won an award for its efforts to encourage bird life. Work carried out at Hanson's has been recognised by the British Trust for Ornithology, which hands out annual awards to industrial and commercial sites that are sympathetic

  • Twin dies after car he was driving hits wall

    A 23-YEAR-OLD twin has died after the car he was driving crashed into a wall. Lee Winspear, of Skelton, near Saltburn, was driving a Skoda Favorit on Stanghow Road, between Skelton and Lingdale, when the car veered off the road and hit a stone wall at

  • Dogs in need of a new home

    TWO pets who have been saved from being destroyed are in need of loving homes. The lurcher/husky cross and a terrier were scheduled to be put down when Julie Johnson, from South Church, near Bishop Auckland, stepped in. Julie and her friends have since

  • Stadium Group aims to break China market

    ELECTRONICS business Stadium Group is looking to further growth in overseas markets. The Hartlepool business, employing more than 200 staff, is looking to establish a subsidiary in China, in a bid to claim a foothold in that massive market. The news came

  • Juninho's back with a bang in Boro stroll

    AS Juninho lay prone in the Bradford City goalmouth, the familiar beaming smile lit up his face. His first goal in competitive football after his six-month injury nightmare would not win any marks for artistic impression. But that mattered not one jot

  • Couple celebrate 60 years of marriage

    A FORMER postman and his wartime bride celebrated 60 years of marriage yesterday. Tom Sanderson's is one of the best known faces in Tow Law, where he has lived and worked all his life. He was serving with the Royal Navy on the North-East convoys during

  • Community champion taking a deserved rest

    FOR the past ten years, changing the face of Firthmoor has been Bill Cook's obsession. The 72-year-old has been a leading member of numerous organisations on the Darlington estate and was instrumental in securing Government money to help pay for its regeneration

  • Council tax to rise by three per cent

    EASINGTON District Council is likely to announce a three per cent rise in council tax. It means that residents in Band A properties will pay an extra 25p per month, or £3.03 a year, taking their annual council bill to £103.80. Those with band D properties

  • Cricket team makes it to national final

    YOUNG cricketers have beaten rival schools to secure a place in the finals of a tournament. Pupils at Stanley Comprehensive School have won through to the last 12 in the under-16s six-a-side cricket tournament, held at Headingley, in Leeds, on March 30

  • The bishop and the moral dilemma

    STAFF at Durham Cathedral recently received notification from B&Q - as in B&Q it - that the item they had ordered was available and ready for collection. While wholly unsure what the item might be - reports Newslink, the Durham diocesan newspaper

  • Man accused of beating his lover to death

    A YOUNG woman was beaten to death, suffering "massive injuries" at the hands of her violent boyfriend, a court heard. Newcastle Crown Court heard how Kelly Risborough, 23, died after a "prolonged, violent assault" by Leslie Purvis, who she was living

  • Middlesbrough given millions to fight drugs

    A town on the front line of the battle against crack cocaine has been given a £2.4m boost by the government. Middlesbrough is among 37 crack-blighted urban communities across the country to benefit from measures announced by the Home Office yesterday.

  • Soldier was drugs courier

    AN Army veteran who became a bodyguard and then descended into the world of drugs, has been jailed for three years. Craig Spedding, 29, was in the Coldstream Guards for nine years, serving in the Gulf War, Northern Ireland and Bosnia. He was discharged

  • Protocol prompts fast-track work on dangerous bridges

    Almost two years to the day since the Selby train tragedy, the Government has finally moved to ensure the road bridges which cross Britain's rail tracks are safe. Gavin Engelbrecht reports on the long journey which began in February HIGHWAYS chiefs and

  • Solicitor stole up to £326,000 in aid fraud

    A CORRUPT solicitor was jailed for five years yesterday for a "long-standing, skilful and deliberate" fraud of the legal aid fund. John Tate submitted thousands of bogus green forms claiming fees for work he said he had carried out on behalf of clients

  • Tributes to victim dragged by bus

    A COMMUNITY was yesterday struggling to come to terms with the death of an elderly woman in a horrific accident. Jenny Spedding, 86, was killed as she crossed the road near the exit to the bus station, on Durham's North Road, at about 12.15pm on Monday

  • Role model Shearer

    ALAN SHEARER was last night held up as the shining example for Bayer Leverkusen's World Cup star Oliver Neuville to emulate if he is to derail Newcastle United's Champions League bandwagon. While Leverkusen's caretaker-coach Thomas Hourster insisted Shearer

  • Action on bridge safety at long last

    THE Government last night announced action to prevent a repeat of the Selby rail disaster with a series of sweeping measures to tackle railway bridge safety. Despite widespread concern over the crumbling state of many road bridges over the East Coast

  • High note for teenager

    A TALENTED musician at Aysgarth School, near Bedale, is celebrating a double success. Oliver Phillips gained a music scholarship to Harrow School and had the honour of being selected for the independent prep school's National Concert Band. Oliver's music

  • Hospice plans racetrack trip

    BUTTERWICK Hospice is arranging a night out at Sunderland Greyhound Stadium to raise cash. Tickets cost £10 for the trip, which will include return coach travel to Stockton, admission, racecard, a drink and a pie and peas supper. Places are limited for

  • Couple celebrate as plan for mast shelved after report

    A COUPLE who campaigned against plans for a phone mast, fearing it would affect their daughter's leukaemia, are celebrating success. Hutchison 3G applied to Durham City Council for permission to erect a 20m mast at Low Newton Farm, Brasside, Durham -

  • Suicide verdict on viaduct fall man

    THE body of a man reported missing from home was found at the foot of a North-East landmark several miles away, two days before Christmas, an inquest has heard. Allan Milligan was found lying in a gulley 100ft below the Causey Arch, a former railway viaduct

  • Beer prices up five per cent

    BEER prices in Darlington rose by almost twice the rate of inflation last year, according to an annual survey. The town's branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) recorded 64 prices of 39 different cask-conditioned beers in 19 town centre pubs and

  • Pedestrian hurt

    A 79-YEAR-OLD man suffered serious head injuries after he was involved in a car accident yesterday. The incident happened at about 11am in Glebe Road, Forrest Hall, North Tyneside, when the pedestrian was involved in an accident with a Rover 414 car driven

  • Warnings to drivers over horseriders

    CONCERNS for the safety of young horseriders has prompted warnings to motorists to give them a wide berth. Riders frequently use roads in and around Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, to reach a nearby livery stable and off-road tracks. But a number of incidents

  • EasyJet shares fall

    DISCOUNT airline easyJet saw shares tumble yesterday after revealing it had cut fares to encourage passengers on to its planes amid tougher economic conditions and increased competition. The group, which bought rival Go in May, and opened a hub at Newcastle

  • Teachers' delight after school wins two education awards

    TEACHERS and pupils at a North-East school are celebrating after picking up two national educational awards. Brandling Primary School, in Felling, Gateshead, has won the Government's Investors in People and Basic Skills awards. They recognise the work

  • Mental health campaign to reduce stigma

    PEOPLE on Teesside are being urged to find out more about mental health and learning disabilities. Tees and North-East Yorkshire NHS Trust is launching the Open Up campaign to tackle the stigma and discrimination often attached to mental health problems

  • Impartial wisdom of first town clerk

    Echo Memories delves into the political turmoil of the late 1860s and manoeuvreings to break the stranglehold on Darlington held by the Pease and Backhouse families THE late 1860s made up the most torrid period in Darlington's political history. After

  • Offering support for people involved in arts and drama

    GROUPS or individuals linked to the arts across Richmondshire have somewhere to take their ideas with the launch of an organisation yesterday AiR will be based at The Key Centre, in Middleham, under the guidance of creative director Robin Battersby and

  • Environmental haven the goal of estate's residents

    The regeneration of a Darlington estate will soon be in full swing, with the building of more than 400 homes and a £1m community centre. But for residents of Firthmoor, many smaller projects to improve the environment are just as important. Sam Starngeways

  • Unit closure report

    INVESTIGATORS will deliver their verdict on an NHS decision to close a maternity hospital at public meeting tonight. Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council set up a committee to examine the temporary closure of Guisborough Hospital's maternity unit in November

  • Megan singled out for scholarship accolade

    A YOUNGSTER is the toast of her school after winning a scholarship. Megan Craggs, 11, was put forward for Durham High School's Schroder Scholarship after her teachers at Kelloe Primary School, County Durham, singled her out for her intelligence. She sat

  • Gill's dream career move aided by team

    A FORMER social services worker has realised her dream of starting an alternative therapy business. For more than three years, Gill Cooper, from Easington Colliery, County Durham, has been trying to establish herself as a therapist, particularly helping

  • Protests over plans for mini-store

    PEOPLE have bedecked their homes in banners and posters to protest against plans for mini-store and food takeway near their homes. People living in Collingwood Street, Coundon, near Bishop Auckland, close to where the store and two food outlets would

  • Council tax to rise by 13.9 per cent

    COUNCIL taxpayers in Middlesbrough will have to pay about £20 more every month from April. For a band D property, it will mean an annual bill of £1,085 - more than £100 a month. Mayor Ray Mallon said the rise was necessary to ensure services to the town's

  • Acts of inhumanity much closer to home

    A RADIO 4 programme the other day examined the plight of so-called street children in Central and Latin America. Radio 4, incidentally, is a glory of Britain, one of the few features of our now crumbling and crappy nation of which we can still be proud

  • Confidence rises despite a fall in turnover

    BUSINESS confidence in Darlington rose last month despite turnover falling, the business index for January indicates. Turnover in the whole of the North-East region was down, but confidence and the number of employees rose last month. The index, compiled

  • Shearer won't change style

    NEWCASTLE United skipper Alan Shearer insists he won't forsake the combative qualities that brought him a two-match Champions League ban. The Geordie striker is back for tonight's vital encounter with Bayer Leverkusen at St. James' Park after missing

  • The bishop and the moral dilemma

    STAFF at Durham Cathedral recently received notification from B&Q - as in B&Q it - that the item they had ordered was available and ready for collection. While wholly unsure what the item might be - reports Newslink, the Durham diocesan newspaper

  • Kelly all smiles after the end of his nightmare

    Matthew Kelly got a standing ovation in the North-East last night after appearing on stage for the first time since he was cleared of child abuse. The 52-year-old TV presenter responded with broad smiles and a huge thumbs-up sign at Darlington's Civic

  • Worst-ever tag looms for Wilko

    CRISIS club Sunderland need the equivalent of two more wins to avoid being relegated with the lowest points total in the Premiership's ten-year history. The rock-bottom Wearsiders are currently on 19 points, five fewer than Watford's tally when the Hornets

  • Off the dodgy fence at last

    IT is two years this week since the Selby rail disaster claimed the lives of ten passengers and left us all with nightmare memories of rescuers clambering over tragically twisted metal. Finally, the absurd and infuriating financial wrangle which increased

  • Bed sharing a factor in cot death

    A study by North-East cot death researchers has found important differences in the way breast-feeding and bottle-feeding mothers sleep with their babies. They hope their findings could lead to new guidelines for bed-sharing and a reduction in cot deaths

  • The invention that sank without trace

    Robert Hey died half a century ago, cursing the British Admiralty for fiddling him out of a fortune and a knighthood. Steve Parsley examines the Richmond inventor's claims to an escape device for submariners, a cure for skin cancer and an easy-to-open

  • Conlon admires leaders Pool

    Darlington striker Barry Conlon has labelled rivals Hartlepool as deserving champions this season - but warned the runaway leaders to expect a derby backlash on Saturday. The big Irishman is still struggling to come to terms with September's 4-1 drubbing

  • Resolute Stone Cold

    WETHERBY, with its giant fences and testing uphill finish, is not a course for wimps or horses with a fainted-hearted disposition. Given the stern nature of the track, it's not surprising that from a results' point of view the venue suits those individuals