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'Ratboy' in prison again

A notorious criminal who was dubbed 'ratboy' when he was a youngster has been jailed again at the age of 34.

Local press on Tyneside gave Anthony Kennedy the nickname after he hid in ventilation shafts in Newcastle's Byker Wall when on the run from care homes and the police.

He ran up a number of convictions when he was a youth but vowed to go straight after saying he 'found God'.

But he has been jailed for three years at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting two counts of burglary.

Kennedy, from Blyth broke into two homes in one night in May.

It was said in court that he committed the crimes after drinking and taking medication.

It was thought he had turned his life around six years ago after he settled down with his partner and fathered two children.

He kicked heroin and started going to church regularly.

Laitner family statement

"Whenever even the name Arthur Hutchinson rears its ugly head it does nothing but create fear and distress to the victims of this heinous crime.

Let the human rights judiciary members be thrust into our position for just a day and maybe they would understand this.

We are confident that justice will be done and, more importantly, be seen to be done so that this matter be finally put to rest."

– Laitner family statement

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Former police officer charged with nine counts of rape

A former Cleveland Police Officer has been charged with nine counts of rape and other sexual offences.

The 37 year old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been remanded in custody and will appear at Teesside Magistrates' Court next week.

A spokesman for the force said:

"A man has now been charged with nine counts of rape and a number of other sexual offences and is currently remanded in custody pending a further court hearing."

Reece Elliott pleads guilty to making facebook threats to kill

A man from South Shields has pleaded guilty to making threats to kill over facebook.

Reece Elliott, from the town, made threats against 200 children in a school in Tennessee, causing thousands of children in the area to miss school.

Father-of-one Reece Elliott, 24, of Fossway, South Shields, South Tyneside, went on a tribute site for a 17-year-old Tennessee girl who was killed in a car accident and left a series of messages under an assumed name.

Sensitivities were heightened in the US following the Newtown shooting which saw 20 children and six adults shot in an elementary school, 3,000 pupils in the Warren County area missed school the next day, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

"My father has three guns. I'm planning on killing him first and putting his body in a dumpster then driving to school and I'm going tokill hopefully at least 200 people all before killing myself."

– One of Reece Elliott's Facebook post

Teenager in court charged with rape

A teenager has appeared in court charged with the kidnap and rape of a 15 year old.

Abdul Miah, 19, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court for a brief hearing where no pleas were entered.

The charges arose from a single incident on December 18 which involved a 15-year-old girl in Elswick, Newcastle.

He was charged with rape, kidnap, false imprisonment, robbery, making threats to kill and possessing an offensive weapon.

Another hearing will take place in two weeks and Miah was remanded in custody until that time.

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Teenager in court charged with rape

A teenager has appeared in court accused of raping a 15-year-old girl.

Abdul Zalah Miah, 19, was charged with three counts of rape, kidnap, false imprisonment, making threats to kill, robbery and possession of an offensive weapon,

The incident took place on Tuesday evening, December 18.

Miah, of Hull Street, Elswick, Newcastle spoke only to confirm his name while appearing at Newcastle Magistrates Court on Christmas Eve,

No application was made for bail.

Miah was remanded in custody and is set to appear at Newcastle Crown Court on January 4.

Teenager charged in connection with rape

A teenager has been charged in connection with a rape of a 15-year-old near Elswick Road, Newcastle.

The incident happened on Tuesday, December 18.

Abdul Zalal Miah, 19, of Hull Street, Elswick, Newcastle, has been charged with kidnap, false imprisonment, three counts of rape, making threats to kill, robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

He will appear before Newcastle Magistrates on December 24.

Man sent to prison after killing his estranged partner

A 47-year-old man has been jailed for life after stabbing his estranged partner to death in October.

Graham Gibson was told he must serve at least a seven and a half year prison sentence after stabbing 50-year-old Christine Henderson to death with a foot-long kitchen knife.

Gibson will only be released when the parole board no longer considers him a danger to the public.

Christine Henderson met Graham Gibson on an online internet dating site, and they lived together in Kent Avenue in Hartlepool until June when the couple split up.

Mrs Henderson had moved in with a friend in Middlesbrough, but continued to be hounded by Gibson with phone calls, texts and Facebook messages over the days after the break-up.

A week after Christine Henderson ended their 18-month relationship Gibson repeatedly stabbed her to death.

Winterbourne View: man from Middlesbrough jailed

A nurse from Middlesbrough has been jailed for six months for neglect relating to patients at the Winterbourne View Care Home near Bristol.

Six of the 11 care workers who admitted a total of 36 charges of neglect or abuse of patients have been jailed.

Nurse Kelvin Fore, 33, from Middlesbrough, was jailed for six months for wilfully neglecting patients. Ringleader Wayne Rogers, 32, who admitted nine counts of ill-treating patients, was jailed for two years.

The abuse was uncovered by a BBC Panorama programme.

Judge Neil Ford QC said there was a "culture of cruelty" at the care home.

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