TEN years ago, this week, the family of a man who killed a customer outside their North-East pub saw its opening hours dramatically reduced.

Durham Police were monitoring the Beehive, in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, before Maurice Rowell, 27, killed Stephen Wilson, 48, early on August 10, 2009.

A police application to revoke the licence at Durham County Council’s Spennymoor offices failed - but did result in several changes.

As well as closing three hours earlier at weekends, the licensing committee decided that a licence holder must be present at all times after hearing Rowell’s sister, Rachel Rowell, the designated premises supervisor, had left when Mr Wilson was hurt.

Mr Wilson died of injuries resulting from a single punch, and police solicitor Stephen Mooney said there had been 17 assaults reported in and around the pub between January 2009 and November 2010.

Meanwhile, the wife of a bomb disposal expert killed in Afghanistan led emotional tributes to her husband as hundreds of family members, friends and comrades gathered for his funeral.

Warrant Officer Class 2 Charlie Wood, from Middlesbrough, died after being caught in a blast on December 28, 2010, only days after organising Christmas dinner for his men.

His wife, Heather, paid tribute to him at a full military funeral at St John the Evangelist Church, in Middlesbrough.

“Charlie Henry Wood was the most wonderful, thoughtful and caring man I have ever known." She said: “He was always the life and soul of the party.”

“There are no loose ends - no words unsaid. I know exactly how much he loved me and he knew how much I loved him. Until we meet again, sleep tight Mr Wood.”

The hearse, draped in a Middlesbrough FC scarf, paused at the Riverside Stadium and a childhood home in Ayresome Street, Middlesbrough, before arriving at the packed church.

Floral tributes spelling out son, husband and hero travelled with the coffin.

Meanwhile, the simmering row at the heart of the Church of England over women clergy boiled over as a North-East congregation announced it planned to defect to the Catholic church.

The congregation at St James the Great, in Darlington, was preparing to hold a public meeting in February 2011 to discuss entering the Ordinariate - a special branch of the Catholic church for Anglicans who convert to Catholicism.

The meeting would be addressed by Father Keith Newton, former Anglican bishop of Richborough who, with two other ex-Church of England bishops, was ordained as a Catholic priest earlier in January 2011 and made head of the Ordinariate.

The Ordinariate was proposed in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI as a refuge for disaffected Anglo-Catholics.

It would allow them to retain some Anglican traditions and also allow married Anglican priests to convert without having to be celibate.

St James the Great, in the Albert Hill area of Darlington, had been an Anglo Catholic church for more than 100 years. But its priest, Father Ian Grieves, said the church was looking to split, chiefly because of plans to ordain women bishops.

He said Anglo-Catholics had lost their “honoured, respected and permanent place” within the Church of England.

The Catholic church was expecting about 50 priests and about 30 groups, totalling approximately 500 people, to defect.