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Xmas burglar walks into police trap

A Newcastle burglar has been jailed after being caught on camera in a Christmas police sting. Gary Liddle, 28, of Clara Street in Benwell, broke into the 'home' in Jesmond - set up by Northumbria Police to catch burglars in the city. The house had been rigged with hidden cameras. A bike and smart phone were stolen from the property. They were fitted with trackers and recovered by police.

Liddle was arrested after the break-in on December 19, and appeared at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court on Monday, December 22. He was jailed for 18 weeks after pleading guilty to burglary and a separate theft from a motor vehicle offence.

Liddle had no idea this house wasn't lived in and was being monitored by police. There could have been a young family in the house, or an elderly resident, who would have been terrified by the thought someone had been in their home... He had a complete disregard for whoever was in that house and their property. Not to mention he was breaking into a home so close to Christmas - potentially ruining someone's festive season.

– Chf Insp David Felton, Northumbria Police

Cuppa for the builder? Not likely!

Tea break Credit: ITV News

People in the North East are the least likely in England and Wales to offer workers who've come to their house a cup of tea or coffee.

New research by AA Home Membership suggests the tradition of offering a tea break is dying out. 78% of people under 35 said tradespeople should take responsibility themselves for having enough food and drink to last them throughout the day.

But it may be dependent on age because 59% of people over 65 still think a tradesperson should be rewarded with a warming cuppa for doing a good job. The top spots in the country for workers having a brew made for them are the West Midlands and Wales. Householders there said they had made more than 12 brews for people doing jobs for them in the past two years.

In the North East it was only eight cups and in Yorkshire 10.

  • West Midlands 12.5 cuppas
  • Wales 12 cuppas
  • East Midlands 11.5 cuppas
  • South West 11.5 cuppas
  • South East 11 cuppas
  • Yorkshire and Humberside 10.5 cuppas
  • East of England 9.5 cuppas
  • North West 9.5 cuppas
  • London 9 cuppas
  • North East 8 cuppas

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Met Office issue weather warning for ice

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice in the North East of England. That means drivers, particularly, should be wary on the roads, especially on high ground.

Ice is likely to form on untreated surfaces... The public should be aware that icy surfaces are possible, especially on side roads and pavements, and should take care.

– The Met Office

Northumberland bootleg warning

Northumberland County Council’s Public Protection Service has warned residents and shop keepers to look out for cheap illicit vodka on sale in shops and pubs.

Some ‘vodka’ which was tested was found to contain industrial alcohol.

36 bottles were seized recently from a pub in Ashington and more than 100 bottles have been found in different shops across the County in recent months.

This is a widespread problem and Trading Standards Officers have found illicit and counterfeit vodka in a number of shops.

The sellers have bought the bottles from unauthorised sellers and have no paperwork to show who they bought it from. The fact that we are finding industrial chemicals in the samples tested shows that it is not even vodka. We suspect that industrial alcohol is being diluted and then sold as vodka.”

– Philip Soderquest, Head of Public Protection Northumberland County Council

We need retailers to protect their customers by refusing to buy in products like this. They don’t know what’s in it and are trusting that it is safe to drink. Our message is that people just can’t be sure and shouldn’t buy it.

– Cllr Dave Ledger, Policy Board Member for Public Protection

South Tyneside teenager sets up anti-bullying charity

16 year old Callum Carr has taken a stand against bullies... by setting up his own charity. South Tyneside Against Bullying helps people in the area who are affected at school, online, at work, or even at home. The inspiration came from hearing about a teenage girl who committed suicide after being bullied. Callum, who is also a volunteer police cadet in his spare time, has big plans for the charity.

In the future, I hope to achieve a bigger team of professionals with the charity to get the organisation out there to the wider public and to make sure we are helping those teenagers and families who are suffering from bullying.

– Callum Carr

Callum's achievement in setting up this charity is testament to the exceptional individual he is. He is an asset to the cadet scheme and this is a great example of the great work the young people get involved in to support and help out in their local communities.

– PC Alicia Swindells, South Tyneside cadet leader
Callum is trying to make a difference Credit: Northumbria Police

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Police give Christmas panto present

Domestic violence charities in Newcastle have received a gift of real Christmas cheer... tickets to the pantomime, courtesy of Northumbria Police. The force was given tickets to Cinderella by the Tyne Theatre as a thank you for their hard work on Sunday's derby day. Officers have donated them to the women's refuge charities they work with.

It is very generous of the theatre to offer us tickets to this year's panto and we thought it a good opportunity for us to share that generosity and goodwill with the charities we work closely with. We hope the refuges' residents and their children have a fantastic time.

– Sgt Graeme Barr, Northumbria Police

We wanted to say thank to the officers who were in position around the theatre on derby day. From our point of view, the police operation could not have been better and a large number of our patrons made comments concerning how safe they felt with officers around the theatre. We wanted to say congratulations.

– Maxie Peters, Show Director

Chloe Beaney hoping to be home for Christmas after heart transplant

14-year-old Chloe Beaney had her life-saving transplant at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
The teenager is hoping to be home in time for Christmas. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A teenage heart transplant patient from Cramlington in Northumberland is hoping to be home in time for Christmas.

14-year-old Chloe Beaney had her life-saving transplant at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital in November. She has been been recovering well and could be heading home later today.

Man charged with attempted murder after Newcastle crash

Newcastle Credit: ITV

A man has been charged with attempted murder and dangerous driving after a car hit a post and a woman was found injured.

Pervaiz Mirza, 44, of Shrewsbury Close, Newcastle, appeared before Newcastle Magistrates' Court today (December 24).

A car hit a post on the central motorway in the underpass at the Jesmond exit on December 22. A 50-year-old woman was found inside the vehicle with serious injuries.

Jesmond underpass Credit: ITV
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