FIVE years ago this week, two people had been charged after a 15-year-old boy was shot in the head while riding pillion on a motorbike.

A 39-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm following the incident in Hewitt Avenue, Sunderland.

The injured boy was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, after being shot in the head, Northumbria Police said at the time.

The rider of the motorbike was not injured.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "Police investigating an incident where a 15-year-old boy was shot on Hewitt Street in Sunderland on Wednesday evening have tonight charged two people.

"Steven Thompson, 39, who lives on Hewitt Avenue, has been charged with attempted murder, possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, possession of a firearm and perverting the course of justice.

"A 16-year-old teenage boy, who lives in the Sunderland area but cannot be identified for legal reasons, has been charged with possession of a firearm and perverting the course of justice."

Both had been remanded in custody to appear before South Tyneside Magistrates Court on Friday morning.

Also that week, the owner of Britain's oldest dog had spoken of his disgust after the man in charge of a terrier which mauled his beloved pet to death was penalised just £185.

Ray Bunn, whose Yorkshire terrier Jack hit the headlines in 2015 after reaching the age of 25 – 117 in dog years – called for the "savage" animal to be destroyed before it killed a child.

Jack was being carried by Mr Bunn's friend along Hartlepool Marina when a Patterdale and Lakeland terrier crossbreed jumped up and sank its teeth into the tiny dog.

Mr Bunn, who had returned to his car to get a lead, said: "It just came out of nowhere. I was punching it, hard, but it wouldn't release its grip. It just mauled him to death.

"Jack was screaming and making a terrible noise throughout the attack. Then he just turned his head towards me, closed his eyes and rolled over, almost giving a sigh as he did so.

"He was still breathing – just – so we took him to the vet. But it was too late."

Meanwhile, reports were increasing across the North-East of pranksters dressing up as clowns and jumping out to scare people.

A teenage victim of one of the frightening episodes revealed how she "feared for her life" when she was chased down the street by a trickster.

She was among a number of victims in Newcastle, where one person had already been arrested.

Thought to be inspired by a craze in America, the practical joke hit Newton Aycliffe, and saw children targeted.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Grant Urquhart, of Northumbria Police, said at the time: "Carrying out these type of pranks may seem harmless but they can be very upsetting to the people they are targeting."