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£900 fines for dropping cigarette butts and a beer bottle

Fines for discarded cigarette butts. Credit: Ken Lennox, PA Wire

Six people have been fined a total of more than £900 after tossing away their rubbish in various places throughout County Durham.

All the defendants failed to appear at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (May 5) where they were found guilty in their absence of discarding litter.

The court heard how neighbourhood wardens from Durham County Council spotted five of the defendants on separate occasions dropping a cigarette butt and one defendant was seen dropping a beer bottle.

The offences took place in Stanley town centre, Chester-le-Street town centre, Consett town centre, Reynolds Close, Stanley, and Front Street, Consett, between December 2014 and January 2015.

On each occasion, the culprit was approached by a neighbourhood warden and handed an on-the-spot fixed penalty notice of £80 – or £50 if paid within 10 days.

None of the fixed penalty notices were paid.

26-year-old Michaela Graham of Tunstall Grove, Leadgate, Consett; 50-year-old David Holland of Hartington Street, Consett; 52-year-old Burnett Rankin of Beechwoods, Chester-le-Street; and 26-year-old Paul Willis of Coronation Street, Blackpool, were all fined £200 by magistrates.

41-year-old Leanne Bunting of Roseberry Street, Stanley, and 23-year-old Kyle Greener of Poplar Street South Moor, were both handed fines of £55.

Each defendant was also ordered to pay costs of £130 and a £20 victim surcharge.

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Work stops on vast housing development in North Yorkshire

Work has stopped at the Sowerby Gateway Housing development near Thirsk. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Work has stopped on a development of 925 homes in North Yorkshire after a construction firm went into administration, with the loss of 87 jobs.

Southdale were the contractors on the vast Sowerby Gateway Housing development near Thirsk, by Mulberry Homes.

Mulberry say work has been put on hold while they find a replacement contractor.

There are also two building projects on Tyneside affected - 88 homes for South Tyneside Council due to start this month, and 49 bungalows for the elderly for the St Mary Magdalene and Holy Jesus Trust in Newcastle.

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Have you seen Anthony Knox?

Police are appealing for help in locating a missing Newcastle man.

77-year-old Anthony Knox was last seen at an address in Woodburn Avenue, Newcastle, at around 8am today (May 6).

He is described as 5ft 10in tall, of medium build and he walks with a limp. He was last seen wearing a brown fleece jacket, brown cords and glasses.

Mr Knox suffers from dementia and has not taken his daily dose of medication.

Police: help find missing Newcastle woman

Joyce Ndora

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing 20-year-old Newcastle woman.

Joyce Ndora, from Deepdale Crescent, Kenton has not been seen since Thursday, April 30.

Police are concerned for her welfare and are carrying out enquiries to locate Joyce.

She is described as black, average build with long black hair. She was last seen wearing a blue jacket, jeans and carrying a black handbag.

Officers are appealing for Joyce to make contact with them, or anyone who knows where she is or has seen her to call police.

Volunteers needed for summer reading challenge

Young volunteers are needed help run the Record Breakers Summer Reading Challenge 2015 in Middlesbrough libraries during the summer holidays.

The event is for primary school-aged children and encourages them to read six books in their summer break.

Middlesbrough Libraries are looking for volunteers aged 15 to 24 to help sign up children and help them choose books.

Organisers says it is a great opportunity for volunteers to improve communication skills, meet new people, gain work experience, all while making a difference to a child’s future.

Find out more about Summer Reading Challenge volunteering here

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