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All Blacks coach impressed by North East sports venues

New Zealand boss Steve Hansen has praised the sporting facilities available to his side in preparation for their Rugby World Cup match in Newcastle.

The All Blacks have been training at Darlington Mowden Park ahead their game against Tonga at St James' Park on Friday night.

Speaking at New Zealand's Team Announcement today, the Head Coach was very complementary about his team's training base and Newcastle's host venue.


86-year-old woman had £2,000 stolen while shopping

Police want to speak to these men in connection with the incident Credit: Durham Constabulary

An 86-year old woman had £2,000 stolen from her handbag while shopping in Darlington.

The victim was in Wilkinsons in the town centre at around 10.30am on Monday 21st September when she was approached by two men. One of the men started a conversation with her.

When they had finished talking, the woman realised the money was missing from her bag.

We are keen to identify the men in the CCTV images as we would like to speak with them in relation to this incident. This was clearly a very distressing experience for the elderly lady and with this in mind I would urge anyone with information about these men to contact police immediately.

– PC Grace Holohan

Travel update: Delays on Virgin Trains East Coast

There are severe delays on Virgin East Coast Trains due to a signalling problem at Darlington.

There is currently no service between York and Newcastle. It it not known when normal service will resume.


Father of twins: ‘I had to prise the dog’s mouth open to save my daughter’

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The father of the three-year-old girls attacked by a dog outside a primary school in Darlington has described the moment he realised what was happening. 33-year-old Christopher Redshaw said that he and his wife were walking their children to school when he noticed that his daughter ‘was being carried away by the dog’.

Mr Redshaw then describes how he had to prise the mouth of the dog open to save his daughter.

Twins Candra and Lilly were released from hospital earlier today and their injuries are not life threatening. However, Christopher has said that Candra has had the hair ripped out from the back of her head because of the attack.

Headteacher: 'This was a horrible incident'

The head teacher of Red Hall Primary School, where three-year-old twin girls Candra and Lilly were attacked by a dog, has said that it was a 'horrible incident' and that they are supporting the family.

This was a horrible incident that happened outside our school and we will be supporting the family in any way we can. We are a close knit school community and my staff, including our counsellor and family support officer, will be available to discuss any concerns our pupils or their families have following what happened.

– Julie Davidson, Head Teacher Red Hall Primary School

Two three-year-olds attacked by dog outside school

A street view of Headingley Crescent near the location of the attack. Credit: Google Maps

Two three-year-old girls and a man have been attacked by a dog outside a school in Darlington.

Twins Candra and Lilly Redshaw were walking to Red Hall Primary School on Headingley Crescent when the attack happened, just before 9am this morning.

A dog, believed to be a Staffordshire bull terrier, is thought to have escaped through the front gate of a nearby property and attacked the girls.

One of the children suffered a bite to the lower back while the other suffered a head injury after she was pulled to the ground by the hood.

They were taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital for treatment and have since been discharged.

Parents Tracy and Chris say that the girls are very lucky that the girls didn't suffer serious injuries. Lily also suffers from Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects growth.

A 33-year-old man also suffered bites to his left hand. The dog has since been taken to be destroyed.

The keeper of the dog, a 44-year-old woman, has been arrested on suspicion of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control and is helping police with their inquiries.

Neighbourhood Inspector Caroline Dawson has said:

Obviously this was a truly terrifying incident for those involved. It is the last thing you expect to happen at the school gates and was very distressing for anyone in the area at the time.

I would like to reassure residents that this was an isolated incident and the dog involved has been taken to be destroyed.

My officers will be in the area at home time to make sure people feel safe and anyone who needs help or support gets it. I hope the two girls and the man who were attacked get the care and attention they need and make a speedy recovery while our investigation into what happens continues.

– Caroline Dawson

Dementia patients 'at risk' at Darlington care home

Credit: PA

A care home has been accused of putting dementia sufferers at risk and failing to protect their dignity after it was placed into special measures.

Darlington’s South Park Care Centre was branded inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which highlighted one incident in which a person had taken soiled clothes off in their bedroom and was found shortly afterwards wandering the corridor without trousers.

Managers of the the nursing home, which looks after dementia sufferers and other vulnerable people, say it is now improving after staff and management dedicated themselves to turning matters around quickly.

Addressing a catalogue of failures at the centre, the report said people’s dignity and privacy was not always respected on the nursing unit.

On another occasion, a person was found slumped forward and “drooling onto a rug on their knee” in a room with open windows and leaves blowing around the bedroom floor.

Although praised for being caring, staff were criticised for failing to ensure medications were dispensed correctly, care plans followed and the nutritional and hydration needs of clients met.

A lack of appropriate staff training was also highlighted.

Ron McNamara, group chairman of home operators Roseberry Care Centre, said problems arose shortly after the company took over the care centre.

He said there had been an over reliance on agency staff after a number of nurses left within a matter of weeks.

He said:

“This undoubtedly had an effect on our ability to maintain the quality of service we had worked so hard to achieve.

We have improved the environment for people who have dementia and increased staff training and development.

We are confident that the measures taken have addressed the main concerns raised in the report.

I am satisfied that the service users in our care are now receiving the correct level of care to meet their individual needs and that the measures taken to resolve issues at the home have been very effective.

– Ron McNamara

Experienced nurses and other staff have been recruited since the inspection and an interim visit from the CQC found improvements had been made.

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