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Man found tied up in van in rural Northumberland

The police have released more details about the circumstances in which a man was found in the back of a van in rural Northumberland.

Earlier this week the Northumbria force released that information and said where the discovery had been made.

They have now revealed that the man had been tied up, but could not remember how it had happened.

Police are appealing for information.

The incident was reported to the police at 3.38pm on Monday, January 2nd.

The van was parked next to Low Leam Farm in West Woodburn between Otterburn and Bellingham.

On Friday morning a police spokesman said:

"The man was found with some ties to his ankles and wrists but was in a confused state and unable to say how this had happened. The van was not damaged and had not been in a collision, and is being forensically examined. Officers are working with the victim to establish the full circumstances of what has occurred and are keen to speak to anyone who may be able to help police with their enquiries".

The man, aged 29 and from the Durham area, was taken to Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care hospital in Cramlington as a precaution with a minor injury.

He apparently does not recall anything after 2.30pm on New Year's Day when he was driving in the Durham area.

The van, a purple Mercedes Vito 109 CDI Compact panel van, registration NJ54VFB, had been spotted travelling northbound on the A1 on Monday, January 2nd at 6.15am.

The van was then seen parked at the site in West Woodburn sometime around 7.30am the same morning.

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North East athlete takes on a train ... and wins!

A North East athlete has taken on an ambitious challenge to inspire others to get active. Lea Stephenson, a fitness instructor from Hexham, made a video of himself racing a Tyne and Wear Metro train, getting off at one stop and then racing it to the next one.

Lea Stephenson after he finished his challenge Credit: Lea Stephenson

The challenge for Lea, who's a 400 metres runner for Tynedale Harriers, was to get back on the train before it left the next station which was 715 metres away. And he made it with time to spare completing the challenge in 2 minutes 10 seconds. Watch highlights of his run here.

Hexham shoppers warned after purse thefts

Police are advising shoppers in Hexham to be on their guard after a spate of purse thefts.

Three thefts have been reported to police since November 19.

The first incident happened in Abbey Shop on Beaumont Street between 10am and 10.30am. A 72-year-old woman was shopping and noticed her purse had been stolen.

A short time later, a 68-year-old woman was shopping in M&CO on Fore Street when she found her purse had been stolen from her bag.

The third theft happened on November 22, when a 63-year-old woman was browsing in the Cancer Research Charity Shop in Priestpopple. A woman engaged her in conversation, while she was distracted her purse was stolen.

"It only takes a second for an opportunist thief to strike and they will take advantage of insecure bags to steal valuables."

– Neighbourhood Inspector Pam Bridges

Police are reviewing CCTV and additional police patrols will be tasked to the area.

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A69 at Hexham to close this evening after rush hour

Credit: PA

The A69 at Hexham will close after this evening’s rush hour to allow a HGV which overturned earlier today to be recovered.

Currently one of two lanes is closed following an incident at Bridge End roundabout which happened at around 2.30pm. The lane will remain closed during this evening’s rush hour.

Highways England say the complex recovery of the HGV will start at 6.30pm and will require the HGV to be put back upright before it can be recovered. Some of the safety fence was also damaged in the incident and will need to be repaired.

Authorities say the road will reopen as soon as the recovery has taken place and it is safe to do so.

Traffic will be diverted via the A6079, the B6318 and the A68 to rejoin the A69 at Stagshaw. Clearly signed diversions will be in place.

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