ON May 9, 2017, police confirmed a drive-by shooting was linked to an ongoing feud in the Traveller community which saw violent incidents take place across Darlington and County Durham.

The Northern Echo:

A woman was arrested in connection with the attack on Saturday, May 6, when a shotgun was fired into the side of a car parked in a quiet Darlington street.

Durham Police said the incident was linked to a long-running feud that involved the horrifying theft of skulls of teenage boys from a graveyard; petrol bomb attacks and a series of ram raids.

A spokesman for the force spoke out to reassure Darlington residents that the latest incident was a targeted attack that was being taken seriously.

He said: “We’re obviously taking this very seriously, as it was a gun fired in the middle of a street on a Saturday afternoon.

“Thankfully, no one was in the street at the time and this was clearly an attack on property as it was fired at the unoccupied car.

“We would like to reassure residents of Darlington that we believe this to be a targeted attack on a specific vehicle linked to an ongoing feud in the Traveller community.”

Meanwhile, Conservative leader Theresa May drove her new battlebus into the heart of Labour territory on May 12, 2017 and ended at a truck depot in Darlington in a sign of growing confidence that her party can win seats in the North-East for the first time in a generation.

The Northern Echo:

“This election is not about who people might have voted for before,” she said in a keynote speech in the traditionally marginal Tynemouth seat. “It’s about who they want to see leading this country over the next five years.”

She urged voters to put aside their tribal loyalties, saying: “We respect that parents and grandparents taught their children and grandchildren that Labour was a party that shared their values and stood up for their community.

"But across the country today, traditional Labour supporters are increasingly looking at what Jeremy Corbyn believes in and are appalled.”

Finally, a diabetic schoolboy who collapsed in the street was saved by two passing health workers who stuffed Milky Bar Buttons into his cheeks.

Fourteen-year-old Robert Youlton was lying on the pavement in Chester-le-Street town centre after his blood sugars became dangerously low at lunchtime on Friday, May 5, 2017.

The Northern Echo:

Fortunately for him, an off-duty paramedic and a nurse, Amy Kirton and Lisa Gerrett, out shopping with their young sons in pushchairs, were passing – and had only just bought the sweet white chocolate treats.

Robert’s friends told the crowd gathered around him he was a diabetic and the pair sprang into action.

Mrs Gerrett, 37, a paediatric nurse at Sunderland Royal Hospital, said: “When we got there he was unconscious and was starting to fit. People were panicking, but Amy assessed him really quickly.

“We knew he was diabetic and Amy said ‘right, get some sugar’, so the first thing we thought of was the Milky Bar Buttons we had in the pushchair.

“He was unconscious, so he could not swallow them.

"Normally you would use dextrose gel or Lucozade, but we knew they would just dissolve in his mouth if we put them in his cheek just to get his sugars up. The cheek just absorbs it.

“He could have quite easily have gone into a diabetic coma.”

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