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County Durham businessman jailed as part of Operation Sanctuary

Gurhan Sayan. Credit: Northumbria Police

A businessman from Chester-le-Street has become the first to be sent to prison as a result of Operation Sanctuary, a major Northumbria Police investigation into allegations of a series of sexual offences.

Gurhan Sayan targeted his victim in Newcastle city centre when she stumbled and lost her shoe. The 28-year-old woman, who had been drinking, could not remember how she got into his car, but woke to find she had been driven some distance from the city centre.

She was then attacked inside the vehicle. At Newcastle Crown Court today Guhan Sayan was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison. He was also given a 10-year Prohibition Order, banning him from transporting females he does not know in his car. He'd pleaded guilty to an sex assault charge at at earlier hearing.

Virgin Money to create 200 jobs after Osborne's visit

George Osborne speaking at Virgin Money's site in Newcastle.
Can I help you? The Chancellor was shown the ropes at Virgin Money's branch in Newcastle city centre.
The Chancellor chatting to Virgin Money staff.
Something to smile about: Virgin Money has announced it will pay the Treasury a further £154.5 million.

Virgin Money has announced that it will create 200 new jobs, 120 of which will be based in the North East.

The announcement was made earlier today when the Chancellor, George Osborne, visited Virgin Money's site in Gosforth, Newcastle. The visit also included a tour of the bank's high street branch in Newcastle city centre.

Virgin Money bought Northern Rock from the Government in 2011. As part of that deal, Virgin Money will pay a further £154.5 million to the Treasury.


Pedestrian dies after Chester-le-Street crash

A pedestrian has died after a crash in Chester-le-Street late last night.

The man, in his 40s, was walking westbound along the B6313 road at Bluehouse Bank at about 11.30pm yesterday (Thursday 24 July).

He was involved in a crash with a Ford Transit Tipper vehicle. He suffered a fatal head injury and was confirmed deadat the scene. The van driver, a local man in his 30s, was not injured.

Members of the public can contact Durham Police by calling 101.

Family raise questions over daughter's death

Violet Herdman
Violet Herdman who died from whooping cough Credit: Family photograph

A mother whose young daughter died from whooping cough wants to know why she wasn't given a vaccine for the disease while she was pregnant.

Violet Herdman was only five weeks old when she died. Her parents Emma Sharp and Colin Herdman from Pegswood near Morpeth say they found out after Violet's death that pregnant women should be vaccinated.

The NHS Choices website says that the vaccine has been used routinely in pregnancy since October 2012. During that year 14 babies died from whooping cough before the vaccine was introduced during pregnancy.

Solicitors representing Violet's parents say the family has been left devastated and they hope Northumbria Healthcare Trust will work with them to provide answers which will help Emma and Colin come to terms with what has happened.

We are in touch with Violet's parents and are already fully investigating the circumstances surrounding their daughter's death. This investigation is ongoing and it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.

– Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Police release 'selfie' taken on stolen mobile phone

Police investigating a phone theft in Newcastle have released a 'selfie' of a man they want to speak to.

Selfie taken on phone
Selfie taken on phone

A number of images were uploaded to the phone and a comment mentioned Aberdeen.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.

"A number of enquiries have been carried out and we now have an image of a man we need to contact.

"We're keen to speak to the man in the image as it's believed they may have important information about the theft or the whereabouts of the stolen phone.

"They may have come into possession of the phone in good faith and I'd urge them or anyone who recognises them to contact police as soon as possible so they can help with our enquiries."

– PC Emma Tatusko


Weather: Today

Today's forecast Credit: Catherine Smith

Another warm and sunny day for most areas, once mist and low cloud recedes back to coastlines.

Some low cloud may be reluctant to clear some eastern areas. Light winds. Maximum temperature 24 °C.

Man dies in Gateshead lake

A man has died after going into a lake at Gateshead.

At 3:26pm today (July 26) police received a report expressing concern for a man aged in his twentie who had waded into a lake at Watergate Park at Sunniside.

Emergency services attended the scene and extensive searches were carried out. He was brought out of the water and taken to the RVI where he was pronounced dead at 6pm.

He has been identified as a 24-year-old local man. There is not believed to be any third party involvement and a report will be prepared for the Coroner.

Northumbria Police Chief Superintendent Gordon Milward said: "This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of this man at what must be an incredibly difficult time for them.

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