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Sunderland AFC sign Sebastian Coates

SAFC have announced on their Facebook page that Sebastian Coates has returned from Liverpool for an undisclosed fee.

Coates played 13 times for the Black Cats on loan last season, helping them stay in the Premier League.

The 24-year-old Uruguay international, who has been playing at the Copa America, is Dick Advocaat's first signing as Sunderland head coach.

They said:

Sebastian Coates has made his move to the Stadium of Light from Liverpool FC permanent!

Welcome back, Sebastian!

– SAFC

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Former Sunderland Ladies boss 'proud' of England North East five

Former Sunderland Ladies boss Mick Mulhern says he's proud of the five North East girls in the England Women's squad who have made it to the Women's World Cup Semi-Finals in Canada.

The Lionesses face Japan tonight in the second Semi-Final at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. Captain Steph Houghton, from Durham, Jill Scott, from Sunderland, Lucy Bronze, from Northumberland, Jordon Nobbs, from Stockton and Carly Telford, from Newcastle, could all feature.

Mulhern, who stepped down from his role as Sunderland Ladies manager in November 2014 after spending 15 years with the club, also had some advice for his former players.

Lightning strike shatters roof and windows at Gateshead school

Front Street Primary School, Whickham Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
Smashed window at Front Street Primary School Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A primary school was evacuated at 15.47pm this afternoon after a lightning strike hit its roof.

Front Street Primary School in Whickham was hit by lightning during this afternoon's earlier downpour.

There are no reported casualties at this time.

Two appliances from the Tyne and Wear fire service attended and one remains dealing with the ongoing situation.

More follows.

Fire engines and police on Prince Consort Road, Gateshead Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue service were also called to a house fire on Prince Consort in Gateshead at 16.01 pm this afternoon.

There are no reported casualties at this time but we will update you with more information when we get it.

Thunder strikes! The North East's hottest day of the year gets fed up and cools down with a downpour

Finchale Abbey, County Durham Credit: Stephen Shears
Wardley, Tyne and Wear Credit: Anthony Goodfellow
Stanley, County Durham Credit: Debbie Todd
Lightning over Tyneside Credit: @darrenturner66
Thunder and lightning in Durham Credit: @tynenick
View of lightning from Wallsend looking towards Newcastle Credit: Victoria Clemitson

It's been the hottest day of the year so far, and possibly the wettest.

This afternoon a storm hit the region after we've enjoyed glorious sunshine for the last couple of days.

Lightning in Bensham Credit: Calvin Lees
Lightning in Durham Credit: @bectoriax

Fear not, the sun will be back - catch Ross with the weather after 6pm tonight to find out what the next few days have in store for us. Check out this video from outside our newsroom of the rain and thunder:

Family of a North Yorkshire woman killed by her gardener in Turkey 'relieved' at life sentence

Anne Bury Credit: Family photo

A gardener who shot dead a woman from North Yorkshire at her family villa in Turkey has been jailed for life.

Anne Bury, from Swainby, was killed by Veli Acar hours after she had celebrated her 56th birthday with members of her family.

Acar also shot Anne's mother Cecilia, from Marton on Teesside - and her son Alex, leaving them badly injured.

Acar had admitted killing Anne when he appeared in court in Fethiye in September 2013. He said he had been in a relationship with her - a claim her family denied.

After sentencing, they issued this statement:

"We are relieved that the court case in Turkey has finally reached its conclusion and that justice has been done. The facts are that Anne’s murderer stole into the family villa in the middle of the night while they slept. He shot and killed defenceless Anne in cold blood and left her 87-year-old mother and 25-year-old son for dead. Although Anne was not able to give evidence and defend her reputation in person, she did leave behind irrefutable documentary evidence which showed that there was no romantic relationship between her and her killer. This evidence also showed that shortly before she was killed, Anne had discovered the dishonest and deceitful nature of her killer and that, on account of this, she intended to terminate his appointment as her property manager. We also know that Anne’s killer was aware of what she intended to do, and believe that Anne was killed in order to prevent her from doing so. We remember Anne as a caring, compassionate, considerate and trusting woman.... Although justice has been done, nothing can bring back Anne or restore the grievous mental and physical wounds inflicted by this evil man. We would like to thank the Mayor and the wonderful people of Dalyan and of Mugla (where Cecilia and Alex received medical treatment). Anne fell in love with Turkey and its people and it is such a dreadful shame that the actions of one person now blight all the happy memories we have of spending time there. We are grateful too for the love and support we continue to receive back home in the UK."

– Family statement

Solicitors Beder Law in Fethiye in Turkey told ITV News Tyne Tees Veli Acar was given a life sentence for murder.

He also received a 5-year sentence for entering Anne Bury's home without permission and with force.

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A potential witness described as a 'girl in a purple dress' wanted by police in North Yorkshire

A witness described as a woman or girl in a purple dress is wanted by police in North Yorkshire after four assaults took place on Monday.

The assaults happened in and around Leyburn market place between 4pm and 10.30pm on Monday 22 June 2015.

The victims include three boys, two aged 17 and one aged 16, and an 18-year-old man, who were attacked at separate times, in separate locations. Although no serious injuries where sustained, all the victims were understandably distressed.

Police are linking all the assaults and are appealing for anyone who was in the market place in the area of the Golden Lion, the Bolton Arms, the nearby car park and Low Lane to come forward with any information.

One of the victims had his 12-week-old Border Collie puppy with him at the time of the assault and it is believed that the puppy was kicked during the incident. Police believe that a woman or girl wearing a purple dress was in the area at the time and may have witnessed this incident. Officers are specifically appealing for this woman to come forward, if this is you or you know who she is , the police would very much like you to come forward with any information.

Anyone who was in the market place and witnessed any of the incidents, or has any other information, is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for the Investigation Hub at Northallerton or email InvestigationHubNorthallerton@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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