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Body found after Darlington explosion

A body has been found following an explosion in Darlington. Emergency services were called to Lewes Road just before 3am on June 12. A house was on fire and a body was discovered upstairs. Several neighbouring properties have been evacuated and the road is cordoned off.

"A joint investigation is under way involving the police and Fire and Rescue. At this stage it would be premature to speculate on the cause."

– Supt Kerrin Smith

Police appeal over Darlington sex attack on student

Geneva Woods in Darlington. Credit: ITV News

Detectives are continuing to appeal for information from the public after a 19-year-old man was sexually assaulted in Darlington on Friday morning.

The victim, a student, was making his way through the Geneva Woods area of the town on his way to college.

He had just passed under a railway bridge - known locally as 'Skinny Bridge' - when he was approached by two men, thought to be aged in their 30's.

They dragged him to the ground and carried out the assault on the teenager, before making off.

The victim was left badly shaken but not physically hurt and he is being supported by specially-trained police officers.

Skinny Bridge in Geneva Woods. Credit: ITV News

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Man, 19, sexually assaulted in Darlington woods

Detectives are appealing for information after a 19-year-old man was sexually assaulted in a Darlington nature reserve yesterday morning.

The incident happened at around 8.10am on Friday 5th June as the victim was making his way through the Geneva Woods area of the town on his way to college.

He had just passed under a railway bridge - known locally as ‘Skinny Bridge’ - when he was approached by two men, thought to be aged in their 30's.

They dragged him to the floor then carried out the assault on the teenager, before making off from the area.

Durham Police say the victim was left badly shaken but not physically hurt and he is being supported by specially-trained police officers.

The woods are very popular with dog walkers and we would ask anyone who might have seen or heard anything unusual to contact us. We carried out extensive enquiries in the area yesterday, during which time the woods were cordoned off. I would like to reassure local residents that at this stage we believe this to be an isolated incident,”

– Det Sgt Phil Collingwood, Durham Police

Anyone with information is asked to contact Darlington CID on 101 or Crimestoppers, 0800 555111.

Duncan Bannatyne's former finance director charged with fraud and money laundering

Dragons' Den star Duncan Bannatyne at a charity event in 2013. His former finance director has now been charged with fraud and money laundering. Credit: PA

A finance director who worked for Dragons' Den star Duncan Bannatyne's group of companies, which are based in Darlington, has been charged with fraud and money laundering totalling almost £8 million.

The Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed that Christopher Watson has been charged in relation to allegations of fraudulent activity between July 2008 and July 2014. The allegations are about electronic transfers from company accounts to his personal accounts and those of his own business.

Mr Watson is due to appear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court, County Durham, later this month.

"These sums of money were allegedly used to gamble, settle personal debts, and to buy and renovate properties."

– Spokesperson, Crown Prosecution Service

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Darlington votes counted again after court ruling

Votes in a council election in Darlington have been again, almost two weeks after the result was originally declared.

A judge today ordered sealed ballot papers to be re-opened to allow an investigation into the result for the Hurworth ward.

It was because of concerns that more than 500 postal votes had not originally been counted.

So all of the votes for that ward were recounted this afternoon - and nothing changed.

Here's an explanation from our reporter Jonny Blair:

Election votes to be counted again in Darlington

Votes will be counted again in one Darlington ward. Credit: PA Wire

The votes cast in a local election in Darlington will be recounted in Darlington this afternoon, almost two weeks after the original result was declared.

The re-inspection is being held for the Hurworth ward after it emerged some postal votes may not have been included in the final count.

Permission to legally re-open the sealed ballot papers had to be granted by a judge.

The recount will start at 4,30pm today at Darlington Town Hall.

Missing man 'at considerable risk'

Peter Lamb

Durham Police are searching Middleton St George and surrounding areas for a missing man.

Peter Lamb, 76, is considered to be at significant risk due to a medical condition. He was reported missing from his home and was last seen at 11.45pm on May 19.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.

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