BRITISH cruise passengers rescued from the wrecked Costa Concordia spoke of their horrific ordeal after returning home on January 16, 2012.

Mandy Rodford, 45, relived her nightmare and said she thought her life was over when the luxury Italian-owned vessel smashed into rocks then began listing into the Mediterranean.

Mrs Rodford and her husband, John, 46, from Kent, were celebrating their fourth wedding anniversary and had only been aboard seven hours before disaster struck.

She said: "I just thought my life was over, getting in that water. I thought, if I don't die from the swimming part, I'm going to die from the shock of having to get in it."

Because the ship had listed at such an angle, the lifeboats could not be winched down.

The bodies of two elderly passengers were found in part of the submerged restaurant taking the death toll to five – with 15 people still missing.

The then-Foreign Secretary William Hague confirmed that all the Britons on board – 23 passengers and 12 crew – were safe and well and being helped by officials to return home.

A gruesome mystery that had police baffled for more than three decades was on the verge of being solved in January 2012.

Permission was granted for the exhumation of a woman whose naked and skeletal remains were found buried in undergrowth at a North Yorkshire beauty spot in 1981.

Despite an extensive 18-month inquiry at the time that stretched across Britain and abroad, police had never been able to discover who she was or how she died, But in 2012, detectives hoped that, by using the advanced DNA techniques that have been developed in the intervening years, they will finally be able to put a name to her.

The remains were found near the top of Sutton Bank on August 28, 1981. Forensics established she was between 38 and 40 years old, was 5ft 2in and had dark hair.

Football fans continued to dig deep in their efforts to save Darlington FC.

The club faced extinction after being placed into administration by former chairman Raj Singh. It was feared The Northern Echo Arena could be locked within a couple of a weeks, bringing an end to an association with the town stretching back 128 years.

The previous week, supporters raised £8,000 online for the club's players, many of whom had not been paid. The fund had been set up by the Darlo Uncovered website to get £150 to pay for a pre-match meal, but reached four figures within hours.

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