A NORTH-EAST sailor has been presented with a medal for 15 years service with the Royal Navy.

Petty Officer (Weapon Systems) Neil Watson, 33, from Darlington, was given his award by Lady Sandra Robertson, wife of Lord George Robertson, former Secretary General of Nato.

He is a torpedo instructor on the nuclear deterrent submarine HMS Vengeance, in charge of weapon stowage compartment operations.

He is also responsible for embarking and discharging the Spearfish torpedoes, one of the world's most advanced homing torpedoes.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: "The long service and good conduct medal is awarded to naval ratings with 15 years' exemplary service from age 17-and-a-half, or from the date they joined up."