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Police appeal to find man who missed court hearing

Police are asking for the public's help to trace a man they want to find after he failed to appear at a court hearing.

Officers are carrying out enquiries to trace Wayne James Stuart - alias Wayne Gaffing, 32, of no fixed abode.

Wayne James Stuart (alias Wayne Gaffing). Credit: Northumbria Police

He was due to appear at Newcastle Crown Court on March 6th but failed to turn up to his hearing. A warrant has been issued by the court.

  • Anyone who knows of his whereabouts are asked to call police on 101.


Teen admits to Newcastle park rape

A teenager has admitted to raping a woman in a park in Newcastle.

The victim was a attacked as she walked through Exhibition Park in the city centre in the early hours of June 21.

Bobby Barclay, 18, of Edgeware Road in Gateshead, pleaded guilty to a single charge of rape at Newcastle Crown Court. Barclay will be sentenced in September after the preparation of reports, which will include an assessment of dangerousness.

Man facing long jail term after he admits raping woman

A man has been told he faces a substantial jail term after admitting raping a woman.

Gareth Butler was due to face trial when he pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court to committing the offence in October last year.

The 26-year-old also admitted two charges of actual bodily harm at a previous court hearing.

He was also charged with three other offences of common assault, which the judge has now ordered to lie on file.

You have come to your senses and pleaded guilty to this offence of rape.

You must appreciate that you face a substantial period in custody."

– Judge Jeremy Freedman

Butler, of Nidderdale Avenue, Houghton Le Spring, will be sentenced on March 17.


Abuse charges against social worker dropped

The trial of a senior social worker accused of sex attacks on vulnerable boys has been thrown out of court.

Brian Tansey was accused of five counts of abuse at Washington Hall residential school on Wearside and targeting another count during a trip with a different school.

The case against the 69-year-old was dropped at Newcastle Crown Court on its second day due to inconsistencies in the first alleged victim's account of what happened in the witness box.

Judge Brian Forster entered a not guilty verdict against all six charges Mr Tansey had faced and denied.

Judge Forster said the "right decision" had been made in the light of the difficulties.

The judge commended those concerned in Operation Viola, which the case was part of, which saw two social workers jailed for a total of almost 40 years for attacks on boys in similar circumstances.

John Duncan, 61, was sentenced to 24 years for abuse at schools, including Feversham, and Kevin Brown, 58, was jailed for 14 years for sex attacks at

Nine jailed after North East's 'biggest-ever' drugs bust

Nine men are beginning prison terms after what has been called the biggest ever drugs bust in the North East of England. Heroin and amphetamines worth £55m were seized along with almost half a million pounds in cash.

The man at the very top even pretended to run a charity as a cover for the money he made.

Doctor jailed for fake qualifications

A Tyneside doctor who lied about his qualifications and hid criminal convictionson applications for NHS jobs has been put behind bars.Bai Kabia, who qualified as a medic in Russia, claimed to have worked inhospitals which had never heard of him.

He also claimed fraudulently to have a masters degree.

Mr Recorder Ben Nolan QC branded the fraudster a "master of nothing" andjailed him for 15 months.The 46-year-old, of Hathersage Gardens, South Shields, pretended to be amember of professional organisations and wrongly claimed to be registered with theGeneral Medical Council on his applications.

Kabia denied fraud charges in relation to each one, but after a week-longtrial last month, he was unanimously found guilty of all charges at Newcastle Crown Court.

Man devoted to wife who tried to kill him

A man who avoided being strangled to death with a cravat by his wife when an online shopping delivery arrived has said that he remains "devoted" to her.

Christine Houston, 66, was interrupted while trying to murder her husband in May 2012 when she was suffering from a psychotic episode.

But her husband Stewart said that her true character was "as gentle as a lamb" and that he remained forever in debt to the care she had given to him.

He suffers from muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair. He was left with blood spotting behind his eyes and marks to his neck after the attack.

The killing bid has been linked to "carer's fatigue", where someone snaps through the pressures of caring for a loved one.

She pleaded guilty to attempted murder at their home in Chester-le-Street and was held in a secure mental hospital. Today, she was sentenced her to an indefinite hospital order.

On the 26th May your husband called the police and reported that you had tried to strangle him on that occasion with a cravat.

You said that you had wanted to kill your husband but as you didn't have a gun and you didn't like knives, strangling was all you could think of.

Your husband still loves you and wants you to receive help.

– Judge Paul Sloan
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