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Large stockpile of wood seized in effort to stop unauthorised bonfires

Officers from Northumbria Police have seized a large quantity of wood from a house in Elswick, as part of efforts to stop unauthorised bonfires.

Neighbourhood Officers who have been working with Newcastle City Council removed a large stockpile of wood from an address in Sovereign Court.

"This year once officers became aware that wood was being stored at this location, not only causing an eyesore but potentially a fire risk to other residents, we took action with our partners at Newcastle City Council to prevent an illegal bonfire taking place."

– Neighbourhood Sergeant Graeme Donachie

Police say they were forced to take action once the wood started to pile up because "residents in this area have lit a large unofficial bonfire in the street causing anti-social behaviour and disruption to others" in previous years.

"Officers will continue to patrol this area in the run up to Bonfire Night and will work with the local authority to clear away any piles of wood , or other material which are being stockpiled for unofficial bonfires.

"We want residents to have a safe and enjoyable Bonfire Night and are encouraging people to attend organised displays, rather than run the risk of having a bonfire at home.

"Anyone with concerns of unauthorised bonfires or any bonfires/fireworks which may pose a risk to others should contact police."

– Neighbourhood Sergeant Graeme Donachie

Murdered man had been "abusive for years"

A jury has been told that a pensioner whose body was found in a freezer in Newcastle had been abusive to his partner for years.

The body of Peter McMahon was discovered at a flat in the Elswick area of the city last December.

His girlfriend Sharon Swinhoe, and her friends Joseph Collins and Ronald Douglas, are accused of murdering him and concealing his body.

Giving evidence today, Sharon Swinhoe claimed that Peter McMahon had regularly assaulted her, and on one occasion had locked her in her house, although no charges were ever brought.

All three deny murder and the trial continues.

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Full report: Man jailed for raping 15-year-old girl

It has been described as one of the most horrifying attacks of its kind that Northumbria Police has dealt with.

A 15-year-old girl making her way home from a youth club was raped repeatedly for an hour and a half.

The man responsible, Abdul Miah from Newcastle, was jailed for 12 years today, May 10 and told he will spend the rest of his life on the sex offenders register.

Watch Kenny Toal's report here:

Northumbria Police urge victims of rape to come forward after 15-year-old attacked

"Rape is a hugely traumatic experience but we want people to know help is always available and we'd urge people to come forward and report it.

"As well as our dedicated Rape Investigation Teams, we work with partners and our two Sexual Assault Referral Centres in Sunderland and Newcastle to provide the utmost support to victims.

"We also have a number of Independent Sexual Violence Advisors available – who provide a link between the victim and the police – from the initial call to the end of a court case.

"They can also help the victim link in with other agencies and welfare support.

"Our aim continues to be to give more victims the confidence to come forward and report they have been raped in the knowledge that their case will be fully investigated by a dedicated team of detectives."

– Newcastle Area Commander Chief Superintendent Gary Calvert

Police say teenager's sentence "reflects seriousness of crimes"

"This sentence reflects the seriousness of the crimes he committed and I hope it gives some closure to his victim.

"Rape is a hugely traumatic experience but we want people to know help is always available and we'd urge people to come forward and report it.

– Newcastle Area Commander Chief Superintendent Gary Calvert

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Northumbria Police: Attack has "caused great concern in local community"

"This was an horrific attack on a young woman which caused great concern in the local community.

"Miah's actions had a profound effect on his victim and I wish to acknowledge the victim's bravery in coming forward in what must have been a very difficult set of circumstances.

"The community is very much better off with this criminal behind bars, he acted in a vile, cowardly manner, threatening a young woman and carrying out an prolonged assault on her."

– Newcastle Area Commander Chief Superintendent Gary Calvert

Teenager jailed for raping 15-year-old girl at knifepoint

A teenager has been jailed for 12 years after raping a 15-year-old girl at knifepoint in Newcastle.

Abdul Miah, aged 19, from Elswick, Newcastle, told his victim he would kill her if she fought back.

The attack took place in December last year, when the girl was raped on an area of waste ground between Park Close and Gloucester Terrace in Elswick.

The girl was making her way home from a youth club.

Teenager admits knifepoint rape in Elswick

A teenager has admitted raping a 15-year-old girl at knifepoint in Newcastle.

19-year-old Abdul Miah appeared at the city's Crown Court via video-link and pleaded guilty to three counts of rape and one of robbery.

He attacked his victim on waste ground in Elswick on 18 December.

He denied kidnap, false imprisonment, making threats to kill and having an offensive weapon but admitted carrying a bladed article.

Katherine Dunn, prosecuting, said those not guilty pleas were acceptable as it was not in the public interest to make the victim go through a trial.

The judge told Miah:

"The pleas have been accepted so there will be no trial in respect of those counts in which you have pleaded not guilty.

"I am told there is no issue in relation to the facts of the case as described by the complainant and you will be sentenced on that basis. As you will understand, these are very serious crimes that you have committed and admitted."

– Judge James Goss, the Recorder of Newcastle,

He adjourned the case to allow for reports to be prepared in relation to the risk Miah poses, and other matters.

Miah was remanded back into custody and will be sentenced next month.

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