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Drug dealer shuns community work "because of diabetes"

A diabetic drug dealer completed just two hours of unpaid work in six months because he said he needed access to a fridge.

David McNiece was given a community order and told he must carry out 75 hours of work by a judge last September after he admitted selling cannabis.

The 30-year-old told probation officials his diabetes meant he was unable to carry out his unpaid duties as he needed a cool place to store his medication.

Organisers then arranged work in a charity shop, where a fridge was available for him to use, but he still failed to turn up for his shifts.

McNiece, of Malvern Road, Washington, was back at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday (May 8) to be re-sentenced and faced an immediate jail term.

The judge gave him a second chance and deferred sentence for six months.


Full report: New diabetes team in Durham

Today is World Diabetes Day and, here in the North East, health experts are warning about some of the hidden dangers of the disease.

Foot infections and ulcers are common among diabetic people. If left untreated, problems can spread quickly – toes and feet may have to be amputated.

Our reporter Jonny Blair joined a group in Darlington trying to reduce the number of people needing amputations. His report contains images some viewers may find upsetting.


Diabetes study for Newcastle researchers

Researchers from Newcastle university are launching a £2.4m study to discover whether a low-calorie diet can send type 2 diabetes into remission.

They aim to give a definitive answer on whether consuming just 800 calories a day can reverse the disease, linked to obesity.

In the UK, around 3.8 million people have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, with type 2 accounting for about 90% of cases.

This figure includes around 850,000 people who have type 2 diabetes but do not know it. As many as seven million more people are at high risk of developing type 2.

"We are exploring uncharted territory and along the way there will be challenges, details to unravel, and other questions to ask.

But I believe this study will lead to a quantum leap forward in our understanding of how best to manage type 2 diabetes."

– Professor Roy Taylor, lead researcher at Newcastle University

Washington diabetes patient sets up support group

People are being invited to help form a voluntary group set up by a diabetes patient in Tyne and Wear to support others who have the condition.

George McLaughlin, who lives in Washington, decided to organise an initial meeting of the group after visiting his diabetes nurse.

People are invited to attend the meeting at Washington Leisure Centre, The Galleries, to learn more about diabetes and how to better manage the condition.

The meeting will also be an opportunity to meet other people with diabetes and share ideas and experiences.

"I was telling my nurse that I had joined Diabetes UK as a support member and she came up with the idea of having a support group for Washington.

"We are hoping enough people come forward so that we can set up a committee and hold regular meetings to help people with diabetes in the area."

– George McLaughlin

Dr Rahul Nayar, consultant diabetologist at Sunderland Royal Hospital, will offer information and advice about diabetes and answer questions.

It is hoped that this will be the first of a number of regular events for people in Washington living with diabetes.

The meeting will take place on June 6.

"Voluntary groups and volunteers are the backbone of our charity. They work tirelessly to increase awareness of diabetes, support local people with diabetes and raise vital funds to help us care for, connect with and campaign on behalf of people with, or at risk of developing, the condition.

"I wish George every success with getting a support group off the ground in Washington."

– Rose Lee-Gough, volunteer development officer for Diabetes UK Northern and Yorkshire

Campaign launched to highlight Type 1 diabetes in children

The charity Diabetes UK has begun a campaign to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes in children after a report suggested most parents cannot recognise the symptoms.

Children in Carlisle have been learning to watch out for potential signs such as wanting to drink more, feeling tired and getting thinner.

Children in Carlisle made signs to highlight the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in children Credit: ITV

As many as one in four children and young people are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when they are in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – a life-threatening condition that requires urgent medical attention.

For children under five years old, it is as many as one in three.

By diagnosing Type 1 diabetes in children earlier, this means that early treatment can prevent children from suffering from DKA at all.

If your child has any of these signs and symptoms, you should take them straight to the doctor and insist on a test for Type 1 diabetes there and then.

You can find more information about Type 1 diabetes in children on this website:

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