LOOKING back to the week that was May 6 to May 12, fifteen years ago...

A TERRIFIED woman woken in the middle of the night by strange noises was confronted by a 5ft snake in her bathroom, in May 2009.

Gee Ruzvidzo, from the Thorntree area of Middlesbrough, said she was reeling from the shock of her startling discovery.

Read more: What lies behind mysterious mask in family picture?

She said: "There is nothing worse than living in your own house, but being petrified of going to bed.

"I keep wondering how long it had been living here. I do not know how it got into the house. We had suffered from mice, but then they all disappeared.

"It could have been in my five-year-old daughter's bedroom all this time. It could have killed her."

Ms Ruzvidzo, 27, stirred from her sleep just before 2am after she heard bathroom toiletries rattling.

When she walked in, she saw the black and yellow striped reptile stretched out along the windowsill with its head up looking at her.

Screaming, she ran back into her bedroom and called for her partner, Romeo Munhupedzi, who watched the snake while she called the emergency services to Birkhall Road.

Initially believed to be a neighbour's missing corn snake, it was later identified as an American bull snake.

A 71-year-old sailor returned to port after an epic two-year round-the-world journey, in May 2009.

Jeffrey Allison accomplished his dream when he arrived back in Hartlepool.

Mr Allison said he was pleased to be back on dry land having overcome a number of setbacks during his journey.

Read next:

He set sail on June 10, 2007, aboard The Lucky Dragon, and returned in his new yacht Eshamy. He took the loss of his first yacht in the Bering Sea in his stride.

"When I set off, I planned to take the unusual route and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure, " said the retired mining engineer, from Middleton Tyas, near Richmond, North Yorkshire.

"There are things that have happened throughout the trip, but when you have seven or eight plans you usually get through, although it did get worrying sometimes when I was down to just one or two left."