TWO colleagues at a housing office became parents within 28 minutes and 28 miles of each other.

Paul Mullis and Angela Wood joined the finance department of Durham Aged Mineworkers' Homes Association in Chester-le-Street last year.

When Angela and Paul's wife Victoria became pregnant around the same time, they never dreamt their babies would be born so close together.

Mrs Wood's 8lb 12oz daughter Hollie was the first to arrive at the University Hospital of North Durham, at 1.45am.

Twenty-eight minutes later and 28 miles away at the Queen Victoria Hospital in Gateshead, Toby was born, weighing 7lb 14oz.

Hollie is the first child for Mrs Wood and her husband Trevor, although he has two sons Nolan, 17, and Jordan, 19, from a previous marriage.

Mrs Wood said: "Having her is like a dream come true because we've been trying through IVF treatment for some time. She is our little miracle."

For chartered accountant Mr Mullis and his wife, who live in High Spen, Toby is their third child, joining Anastasia, three, and Ethan, one.

Paul, 35, who is the association's head of finance and administration, said: "We both joined the association last year, Angela in January and me in July and are part of a small team. We're delighted with our new additions, who knows, they may become firm friends when they're older."