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Police investigate Northumberland rape

Police are appealing for information after a report of a rape in Northumberland.

The incident is believed to have happened some time between 11pm on Thursday, July 31, and 4am on Friday, August 1, in the vicinity of Forum Way, Cramlington.

Northumbria Police say the investigation is at an early stage and specially trained officers are supporting the 39-year-old victim.


Time capsule marks one year to new hospital opening

A time capsule will be buried at the site of the new Specialist Emergency Care Hospital at Cramlington to celebrate a year to the opening of the new hospital.

Ten members of staff including doctors and nurses will bury the time capsule containing items such as a pack of swabs for screening MRSA and a staff magazine.

“I wanted to show clinicians of the future how they have been actively fighting to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance to ensure that antibiotics will work for future generations”

– Consultant microbiologist Dr Bryan Marshall

“This ceremony marks a year to go to the opening of the hospital and a new era in emergency care. This is an exciting time for everyone at Northumbria Healthcare."

– Medical Director David Evans

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.


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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