Live updates

Houghton war memorial damaged

Police are appealing for witnesses after a war memorial was damaged in Houghton.

Police believe the damaged was caused by an air weapon. It happened at the memorial on Easington Lane Access Point on Brick Garth, Easington, between Monday, September 29 - October 12.

The memorial has been damaged where the lettering is

"This is an upsetting crime. For someone to take what appears to be 'pot shots' at a war memorial is a particularly callous act. The damage to the memorial is not just costly to repair, but more than that is the emotional upset of this act.

"We are appealing for witnesses to this incident. We'd like to hear from anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area to contact police. These sorts of crime also affect the wider community, especially as we're now coming up to Remembrance Day, and the focus is once again on those who died serving their country."

– Houghton Neighbourhood Inspector Lisa Musgrove
Houghton war memorial

Robbery at Houghton caravan site

Police are appealing for information after a robbery in Houghton.

The incident happened between 7.50pm and 8pm on Monday, 6th October, at Grasswell Caravan Site in Blind Lane.

Three men went into a chalet on the site wearing balaclava's and shouted at occupants . It's thought the men may have had weapons with them.

One of the residents in his 60's activated the alarm and the men made off empty handed in a 4 x 4 Type vehicle. No one was injured in the incident.

Detectives are carrying out enquiries and asking any witnesses to come forward.

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Elderly woman hit by bike dies from her injuries

The scene of the crash in Houghton Credit: North News

An elderly woman has died in hospital almost a week after she was hit by a high powered motorcycle on Wearside.

The crash happened on South Hetton Road in Houghton-le-Spring at 12.14pm on Tuesday, May 20th.

A pedestrian, a woman in her 70's, was taken to hospital by air ambulance.

Earlier this morning, Tuesday May 27th, she died in hospital.

Police say next of kin are being spoken to and her identity will be released later.

There were two people on the motorbike - the rider and passenger. Both were taken to hospital and released after treatment. Police are continuing to carry out enquiries to establish what happened and are asking any witnesses to contact them.

Houghton burglar jailed for four years

A burglar who broke into a house in Houghton has been jailed for four years.

33-year-old Paul Jeffrey Robinson, of Shields Place, broke into a house on Sunderland Street, at the end of August this year.

"I welcome this sentence which sends a clear message that we will target those people who think it is acceptable to break into people's homes and steal their property.

Burglars cause people a lot of heartache and have a complete disregard for their victims and their property.

We will continue to arrest those suspected of being involved in burglary in the area and seek to put them before the courts."

– Sunderland Superintendent Jim Napier

MP chairs dementia debate at Houghton school

A school in Houghton is hosting a Parliamentary-style debate on dementia which will be chaired by Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson.

Bernard Gilpin Primary School is just one of 21 schools nationwide that has been selected to promote awareness of the disease as part of the Prime Minster's Challenge on Dementia campaign.

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Further death in accident

A fourth person has died after a road accident last month that already killed three.

The accident happened on April 25 near to Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham when a Renault Scenic was hit by a lorry driving in the opposite direction.

Margaret Reed,74, was taken to James Cook hospital with serious injuries but today died.

Three people - Robert Reed, aged 75, Natalie Simpson, 18 and her 14-month-old daughter, Destiny - all died in the crash.