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Inmates sunbathed on prison roof

Two inmates climbed onto the roof of a juvenile prison to go sunbathing - and came down five hours later when they felt cold.

William Palmer and Jonathan Knox took a hammer from a workshop and went to the top of Deerbolt Young Offenders' Institution in County Durham.

Emma Atkinson, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court on September 22 that £10,000 of damage was caused on April 7.

A specialist negotiator and five other officers were drafted in from Doncaster to help at Barnard Castle.

"He asked why they were up there and they said they were fed-up of being in prison and it was a nice day.

"The negotiator asked if they were cold because it was by now night-time, and it seems that's the reason they surrendered.

"They appear to have spent their time on the roof sunbathing, wandering around bare-chested and using a hammer to cause damage."

– Emma Atkinson, prosecuting

The pair gave themselves up at 9pm.

Police, fire crews and ambulances were at the scene, and "considerable disruption" was caused, the judge said.

The 21 year olds from North Wales, were said to have been angry about cuts to their family visits.

Knox was also angry that an application to attend his grandmother's funeral was knocked back on the day of the service.

"He has been in and out of prison since he was 14 and has never had any trouble in any other jail.

"He insists he had been nothing but a model prisoner throughout his time, but he was put on closed visits without explanation.

"What caused him the most concern was his grandmother - who had brought him up - died, and he was told he could not go to the funeral."

– Andrew Teate, defending Knox

"He's also been to a number of prisons without difficulty until he went to Deerbolt. "He says he had a bed and a toilet and his only cellmates were the mice. He said a warden said he wouldn't put his dog in there."

– Yvonne Taylor, for Palmer

They admitted a charge of criminal damage and had ten months added to their sentences.

Palmer is serving eight years for robbery and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and Knox three years for burglary.

"Whatever grievances you might have had is not great mitigation for this protest and damage.

"For your own reasons, which have been explained to the court, you decided to make your way up onto the roof.

"You spent five hours on the roof, engaged in either sunbathing or damaging the various fixtures and fittings up there."

– Judge Peter Armstrong

Greggs one of the best places to work in UK

Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Greggs is one of the friendliest places to work in the UK, a new study has shown. The chain ranked sixth out of 25,000 companies.

Jobs website Glassdoor, who conducted the survey, said comments it received about the winners included praise for managers, a friendly atmosphere, staff discount, subsidised canteens and different time-off options.

Joe Wiggins, of Glassdoor, said: "When it comes to finding a new job we all have our own priorities, whether it's better pay, career progression or seeking out a certain company culture."

"Retail is the UK's biggest employer, so the atmosphere at work potentially impacts millions of people on a daily basis."

"It's no coincidence that this list is packed with some of the UK's most popular high-street retailers, because clearly camaraderie is easily forged amongst people working on the front line in customer-facing roles"



Children in foster care 'disrupted by repeated moves'

Action for Children says more long term foster homes are needed Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A charity says the lives of many North East children in foster care is being disrupted by repeated moves to new homes.

Action for Children says in our region, almost a quarter of fostered children were placed with new carers at least twice over a year.

It says this cycle is disruptive and can heighten behavioural and emotional problems.

'For children in care, moving home is not just about leaving a house. It means leaving a family, friends, school and everything that's familiar to start again."

– Sue Atkinson-Milmoor, Action for Children North East

Action for Children says its figures come from a Freedom of Information request to local authorities, focusing between April 2014 and March 2015.

Not all councils responded. From those that did, the charity calculates that 2,903 foster children were in care across the North East during that period. 675 were moved twice or more within that time.

Today, Action for Children launches a new fostering campaign, urging people to consider giving a home to children in need.

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