Woman, 75, beaten and robbed in Durham

A photo released by Anne Anstey's family shows her injuries after she was grabbed from behind, thrown to the floor and punched in the face.

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Man dies in car crash after police pursuit in County Durham

A man has died after the car he was in crashed on the outskirts of Consett late last night,following a short pursuit by police.

The incident started just after 11.50pm on Monday 23 June when police received a report of two men behaving suspiciously in the area of the Tesco Extra store on Genesis Way in Consett. It was believed the men were in a black VW Bora Sport that had driven off from the area.

The vehicle’s details were circulated and within minutes it was spotted by an officer in a Vauxhall Astra who indicated for the VW to stop. It did not do so and the officer pursued the car.

Then, at 12.02am the vehicle was found to have collided with a lamppost containing power cables as it headed down Ebchester Bank (the B6309), close to St Mary’s convent.

The passenger in the car, a man thought to be in his 40s, was confirmed dead at the scene. The driver, believed to be in his 30s, was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle with minor injuries. The road was closed to traffic until approximately 6am.

Durham Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

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New charge for car charge

Durham County Council is introducing a fee for drivers of electric cars to use its chargepoints, to try to stop people hogging the spaces.

Until now, charging an electric car has been free, and any electric car can occupy a space as long as it is plugged in, even if it already has a full battery.

From now on, it will cost £1 per visit to use the standard parking sites and £5 to use a rapid charging point at Belmont park and ride.

The new fee introduced to stop space-hoggers

Tsunami worker receives £400k settlement for trauma

A police trainer has received a £400,000 settlement because he developed post-traumatic stress disorder after helping in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami.

David Collins, from Consett, Co Durham, worked 16-hour days running a mortuary, which he said became a "production line of bodies".

The tsunami on Boxing Day in 2004 killed 228,000 people around the Indian Ocean Credit: PA

For two weeks, Mr Collins, 45, was working with a police team who were not forensically trained, so he had to do most of the work photographing and fingerprinting bodies as well as storing them. He then worked another four weeks with more specialist support but altogether had only three days off.

He said: "Nothing prepared me for my time out there. It's a horrible image but it was like a production line of bodies that we were working on 16 hours a day and while I didn't realise it at the time, it had a massive impact on me psychologically."

When he returned to Britain, Mr Collins did not receive any de-brief from his employer, the National Police Improvement Agency. He developed mental health problems and had to leave his job.

He has won a settlement with his former employers after they admitted they breached the duty of care they owed him, by not referring him to occupational health.

David Collins went off sick from work in 2011 and has not been able to return Credit: PA

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Investigations underway into Darlington fire

Homes badly damaged by fire in Darlington Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Investigations are underway after a house was destroyed by fire in Darlington.

It happened on Saturday yesterday afternoon in Aldborough Walk.

No-one was injured.

The blaze broke out while the fire service was on strike, though officers say the response was unaffected.

Investigation are underway to determine how the fire started Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Little girl believed drowned on holiday

A young girl from the North East reportedly drowned in a hotel swimming pool in Cyprus.

The girl - who is yet to be named - is understood to be from the Darlington area.

It has been reported that the youngster died in a swimming pool in holiday accommodation in the resort of Protaras in Cyprus.

She is thought to have been on a family holiday.

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