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Paedophile jailed for 17 years

Stephen Wilkes

A man has been jailed for 17 years for sexual offences involving a child which took place over a decade. 34-year-old Stephen Wilkes of Monkside, Cramlington in Northumberland was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court today (May 9).

He had been found guilty of ten counts of indecent assault, gross indecency and sexual activity involving penetration with a child at Newcastle Crown Court on March 14.

This was an historic case of offences starting in 1994 when the young girl victim was three years old.

Wilkes also pleaded guilty in August to possessing an indecent moving image of a child on his computer.

Detective Sergeant Phil Mordue, of the Rape Investigation Team, said:

"We want to reassure people we take all allegations of child sexual abuse, current or historic, very seriously and have specially trained officers able to deal with sensitive issues in confidence."

Count down until super hospital opens its doors

A new super hospital is set to open its door to patients next June and when it does, it will be a British first.

It will be the first to be fully staffed by specialists for emergency care to patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Today, the medical director of NHS England, Sir Bruce Keogh, visited the site near Cramlington for an official ceremony and to see the progress on a facility which he believes will be the future for A&Es.

Katie Oakes was there for us.

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Topping-out ceremony at new hospital

Artists' impression of how the new hospital in Cramlington will look. Credit: ITV

NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh will lead a 'topping-out' ceremony at a hospital being built near Cramlington which is considered a British first.

When it opens in 2015, doctors at the specialist emergency care centre will treat patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Concern for missing Northumberland woman

Police hope members of the public may have seen Joan Head Credit: Northumbria Police

Concern is growing for a woman who has gone missing in Northumberland. Joan Head left her home in Romsley Close in Cramlington on the afternoon of Saturday 15th February.

The 62 year old went out in her car between 2:15pm and 2:30pm and has not been seen since.

Her family and police are growing concerned for her whereabouts due to her state of mind.

Police hope someone may have spotted her car - a silver VW Polo, with the registration NX05 XDS.

Mrs Head tends only to travel short distances so police say it is possible she is still in Northumberland or North Tyneside.

Teenage girls attacked in Cramlington

Northumbria Police have extra officers in and around Cramlington after two teenage girls were attacked.

Between 7:30pm and 7:45pm on Monday, January 13th, two girls aged 14 and 16, were walking on a cycle track which runs past Shanklea primary school.

They were approached by a man, possibly holding a knife, as they neared the school where he walked alongside them before grabbing one of them.

The girls manage to attract attention from a passerby and the man fled off. The teenagers were unharmed but shaken.

"This is clearly a disturbing incident for the girls. We are speaking to witnesses and doing all we can to identify this man."

"I'd appeal for anyone who was on the cycle track near to Shanklea primary school on Monday evening and who saw anything suspicious to get in touch. If anyone thinks they saw the man we have described, or the two girls, or any suspicious people or vehicles in the area then I'd ask them to contact us as soon as possible."

– Chief Inspector Peter Reeve, Northumbria Police

"We are particularly keen to speak to two men who the victims passed and who they saw carrying squash rackets, these two men may have seen something and could have important evidence."

"We also want to hear from anyone who might have seen a dark Renault Clio parked in a cul-de-sac of a nearby housing estate near to the school where the incident happened. "We have extra officers in the local area today speaking to people and carrying out enquiries. We are speaking with the victims and offering them support."

– Chief Inspector Peter Reeve, Northumbria Police

The offender is described as white, around 5ft6 to 5ft 8ins tall, of skinny build and in his early 20s.

Enquiries into the incident are ongoing and police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them on 101 ext 69191

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Northumberland man named in list of most wanted

Keith Turner

Keith Turner, 60, from Northumberland, was released on licence in 1993 after serving 20 years in jail for the manslaughter of his mother and sister at their home in Cramlington.

He got a job working for a charity in Slough in 1998, but two years later was arrested on suspicion of issuing himself four cheques worth a total of £10,000. He failed to appear in court to face charges.

Northumbria Police: "Sentences should act as a warning"

"These sentences should act as a warning to anyone thinking of committing burglary in Cramlington that if they are caught they face going to jail.

"We take a tough line on burglars. They prey on the vulnerable and look for opportunities to get inside people's homes and steal their valuables, and we are committed to taking action against them.

"Johnson was arrested as part of a pro-active operation, which we ran in Cramlington. We had intelligence on who was committing burglaries in the area and when we arrested him we seized items of stolen property that we were able to return to the elderly victims.

"Fyfe is a known burglar in the Cramlington area and I hope the sentence handed to him reassures the public that an active and prolific criminal is now behind bars.

"We will always do all we can to take action against burglars but we need the public to help us deter thieves. Lock your home up at night and when you are out.

"Make sure windows, doors, garages and sheds are all secure and that there are no easy ways for someone to get inside your house. A little crime prevention can really help avoid becoming a victim of crime."

– Cramlington Neighbourhood Acting Inspector Mick Aspey.

Two men jailed for burglaries in Cramlington

Two men are starting jail terms for burglaries in Northumberland.

Keith James Johnson, 27, of Ealing Square in Cramlington, appeared at Magistrates' court charged with two offences of burglary on September 17.

He was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison after pleading guilty to two burglaries of elderly people's outhouses in Nelson Village on September 2.

John Fyfe, 48, of Arcot Avenue, Nelson Village, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on September 18 charged with one offence of burglary.

He was sentenced to three years and six months in jail after pleading guilty to the burglary that happened on April 24.

Fyfe stole a bike from outside the house before returning, breaking inside and stealing jewellery.

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