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Seven fire engines called to large fire at farm near Bishop Auckland

Firefighters found several tractor tyres alight. Credit: County Durham & Darlington Fire & Rescue Service.

Firefighters are battling a large fire at a farm near Bishop Auckland.

They were called to the scene at 12.53pm this afternoon (Wednesday 9th July). On arrival at Little Gordon Farm near the village of Cockfield, they found several tractor tyres alight.

38 firefighters and seven fire engines are currently battling the blaze. People in the vicinity have been warned to stop smoke entering buildings by keeping windows and doors shut.

Burglar back in prison after 15 years on the run

Michael Sheridan had been on the run for 15 years.

A County Durham man who was on the run for 15 years is back behind bars tonight. 39-year-old Michael Sheridan fled the country to Ireland after walking out of an open prison in 1999. He had served just three and a half months of an eighteen-month sentence for burglary.

Police on Wearside caught up with him by chance after being called to a domestic incident in Washington. After background checks, police discovered he had been on the run for 15 years. He pleaded guilty to escaping and was jailed for 8 months.


Bus ban for teen who hurled porridge at driver

A bowel of porridge, like this one, was hurled at a bus driver. Credit:,

A teenager has been banned by a bus company after attacking a driver with a bowl of porridge.

Joshua Vickers, 18, tried to board an Arriva vehicle whilst carrying a steaming tub of the breakfast cereal and was refused by the driver.

Vickers hurled the bowl at the driver and it splattered against the protective window of his bus, magistrates were told.

Vickers, of Middleston Street, Darlington, threw the porridge tub at the protective window the driver sits behind.

Vickers went on to launch several verbal attacks on the driver and is now banned from all Arriva buses, the court heard.

The latest incident came on Tuesday, June 17, when Vickers attempted to board the 14B at about 2.50pm at the Tubwell Road bus stop in Darlington.

The prosecutor said Vickers threw a punch at the driver which connected with the man’s shoulder and, after getting off the bus, threw a can of energy drink at the door.

Vickers admitted using threatening or abusive words and behaviour.

Steph Thompson, in mitigation, said Vickers had been attempting to travel to his girlfriend’s house.

She said: “Mr Vickers would claim the driver provoked him but he knows that does not excuse his childish behaviour.”

Magistrates gave Vickers an 18 month community order with supervision and ordered him to pay £50 compensation to the driver and a £60 victim surcharge.

Back-street tattooist's work left mother in tears

A mum from Darlington has spoken out about an unlicensed tattooist after being unhappy with his work.

Angela Lewis, 51, wanted a tattoo of her date of birth in small Roman numerals across her collar bone but instead received a large and unsightly version more than 4 inches in length.

This tattoo was not what Angela Lewis had in mind. Credit: Angela Lewis

"My friend's daughter and husband had used him before and were happy with his work so I wasn't worried.

"I feel very embarrassed now but there's nothing I can do, I can't afford to have it covered up."

Jason Wilkinson, of Herbert Street, Darlington, appeared before Darlington magistrates after Ms Lewis made a complaint against him. She paid £30 for the tattoo.

Ms Lewis had the tattoo last year and cried when she removed the bandage and saw his work so reported him to Darlington Borough Council.

Wilkinson was fined £145 with £100 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

CPS to decide whether to seek retrial of headteacher

A jury at the trial of a headteacher accused of sex offences against a 13-year-old boy has failed to reach a verdict.

Anne Lakey, 54, was accused of six counts of indecency and indecent assault relating to incidents that are alleged to have taken place in the late 1980s.

But the jury of five men and six women failed to reach a verdict on their third day of deliberations at Durham Crown Court.

They were discharged by Judge Christopher Prince, bringing the eight-day trial to an end.

The Crown Prosecution Service is yet to decide if it will seek a retrial.


Jury continues to consider verdict in Anne Lakey trial

Anne Lakey, 54, denies the charges against her.
Anne Lakey, 54, denies the charges against her. Credit: ITV News

The jury in the trial of a County Durham headteacher accused of indecently assaulting a boy in the 1980s will continue to consider its verdict today.

Anne Lakey, from Stanley, denies four counts of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child.

The alleged victim was 13 or 14 at the time. He was not one of her pupils.

Jury out in Anne Lakey trial

Anne Lakey, 54, denies the charges against her.
Anne Lakey, 54, denies the charges against her. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The jury has been sent out in the case of Anne Lakey, a headteacher from Stanley who was accused of indecently assaulting a boy, aged 13 or 14, in her home in the 1980s.

Ms Lakey denies all the charges against her.

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