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Woman arrested on suspicion of theft from teachers' pension fund

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of theft after allegations more than £350,000 has been taken from teachers' pensions funds.

A 44-year-old member of staff from Capita, which looks after investments and pensions at its offices in Darlington, was arrested at her home last week.

Capita's offices in Darlington Credit: ITV News

She has been interviewed and is on police bail till October.

Capita says there has been no impact on individual members of the teachers' pension scheme and the value of the fund won't be affected.


County Durham & Darlington NHS Trust apologises after misdiagnosing man who later died

Darlington Memorial Hospital is one of the hospitals the trust operates Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A North East NHS Trust has apologised to the wife of a man who was misdiagnosed twice and ended up dying of a blood clot that medical staff missed.

The apology comes after the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman released a report detailing 121 complaints made to the NHS and government departments across the UK – five of them in the North East.

The man, who was treated by the County Durham & Darlington NHS Trust, was misdiagnosed with cancer when he actually had a blood clot. He was then misdiagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, leaving the blood clot untreated.

He died in hospital a week later.

A spokesperson from the trust said:

“We carried out a thorough investigation. This highlighted areas for learning and action plans were put in place which included making changes to our education programme.”

– County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust

Complaints were also made against Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust, which were upheld by the Ombudsman and North Tees and Hartlepool, which were not upheld.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Julie Mellor said:

Often people complain to us because they don't want someone else to go through what they or their loved one went through. This report shows the types of unresolved complaints we receive and the human cost of that poor service and complaint handling.

Many of the complaints that come to us should have been resolved by the organisation complained about.

– Julie Mellor, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Hear ye! Hear ye! Town criers assemble in Darlington

Town criers from across the country have assembled in Darlington this weekend for the town's fourth open championships.

Competitors were tasked with trying to 'out-shout' each other in front of a panel of judges and a crowd. Each crier gave their own traditional public announcement on why their home town is the best place to visit.

The competition was organised by Darlington's town crier, Peter Stemmer who began volunteering in the role eight years ago.

The event was part of a weekend of summer market celebrations that will end on Sunday afternoon with performances from Freddie Mercury, Katie Perry, Lady GaGa, Pink and Michael Jackson tribute acts.


Police investigate after teenage girl is filmed

Do you recognise this man?

British Transport Police believe he may have information relating to an incident which took place at Darlington railway station, and on board a train travelling between Darlington and Durham.

Do you know this man? Credit: British Transport Police
He may have vital information about this incident. Credit: British Transport Police

“The incident took place on Sunday, 14 June, initially in the waiting room at Darlington station just after 11.30am, then on board the 11.40 service between Darlington and Durham.

“A 16-year old girl from Middlesbrough was in the waiting room when she noticed a man was taking her photo and filming her, which understandably made her feel extremely uncomfortable.

“She then boarded the train. The man followed her and stood directly opposite whilst continuing to take photos and videos of her.

“The victim attempted to move carriages but was again followed by the man. At this point she turned around and challenged him about his behaviour. The man alighted from the train at Durham and ran off.

“BTP is determined to stamp out such behaviour. The victim was extremely brave in challenging the man and I would like to commend her for her actions and thank her for coming forward and reporting the incident to us."

– PC Tony McGhin, British Transport Police

Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting reference PSUB/B5 of 2/7/2015.

Memorial gardens plan to remember Darlington teacher

Tim Matthews

A memorial garden is planned by students in tribute to their teacher, who died in a fire at a house in Darlington last Friday.

Tim Matthews was a drama and media studies teacher at Egglescliffe School near Stockton, where he taught for 13 years.

As sixth formers continue to sit their A Level exams today, dozens of flowers and messages have been tied to the railings outside of the school.

And among the messages - perhaps one most fitting for a teacher - 'Without your guidance I wouldn't be where I am today.'

One of the many messages left for teacher Tim Matthews. Credit: ITV News

Flood risk of supermarket trollies dumped in river

Before the operation began. Credit: The Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has fished seven supermarket trollies out of a small stretch of a river in Darlington.

A team was dispatched to the River Skerne at Mill Lane, Haughton Green, to remove a fallen tree and shopping trollies from the water.

Lodged downstream of the footbridge over the River Skerne – they were deemed a flood risk after blocking the flow of the river.

The timber was winched from the river and a chainsaw was used to cut it up, before a total of seven trollies were removed.

The willow tree and all the debris caught up in it was creating a blockage which is ultimately deemed a flood risk. We winched the tree free and then followed up by removing the shopping trollies – we thought there were only two or three but in total removed seven altogether."

– Andy Foster, the Environment Agency
And afterwards. These trollies were causing a flood risk. Credit: The Environment Agency
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