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Crime Commissioner awarded honorary degree

Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Northumbria University, forty years after graduating from its predecessor with her first law degree.

Vera Baird honorary degree
Vera Baird returned to her alma mater to receive an honorary doctorate in Civil Law Credit: Northumbria University

Vera Baird was Vice-President of the Student Union at Newcastle Polytechnic, before embarking on a career as a barrister.

She went on to become Labour MP for Redcar in 2001 before being elected as Northumbria's first Police Commissioner.


Great North 10k underway

Great North 10k runners passing the Tyne Bridge Credit: ITV

Thousands of runners are taking part in this year's Bupa Great North 10k.

The course passes iconic landmarks on the Newcastle Gateshead quayside, including the Sage and the Millennium Bridge before crossing the finish line inside Gateshead International Stadium


Newcastle degree for Roxy Music singer

Bryan Ferry in ceremonia robes at Newcastle University. Credit: PA

Legendary singer Bryan Ferry has received an honorary degree from Newcastle University as he was made an honorary Doctor of Music from the university where he graduated in Fine Art in 1968.

His band Roxy Music went on to became one of the most influential of the 1970s, producing classic albums such as For Your Pleasure and Avalon.

Dr Ferry returns to Newcastle for a second degree Credit: PA

Police say student death not suspicious

Police have now confirmed that the death of student Sijabuliso Nkala, who died in the Walker area of Newcastle yesterday, is not being treated as suspicioius. A spokesman says enquiries into the man's death have been carried out and police believe there was no third party involvement in the death.

“I would also like to thank all the people who contacted police following our appeal for information yesterday. "A report is being prepared for the coroner.”

– Detective Supt Roger Ford, Northumbria Police

Mr Nkala studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Newcastle University and living in the Jesmond area.

"This very sad news of the death of Sijabuliso Nkala, third year Electrical Engineering student, has come as a terrible shock to us all. "Affectionately known as Jabu, he was a very modest young man who spoke well of everyone. Around the School, he always had a smile on his face and a positive attitude towards academic work. He showed initiative in his approach to coursework and was extremely polite and hardworking. He was a focused individual who will be remembered for his smile and his enthusiasm."

– Professor Barrie Mecrow, Newcastle University

Sijabuliso Nkala's body was found next to the Coast 2 Coast cycle path in Walker.He died from a puncture wound to his chest.What caused the wound remains unexplained.

Newcastle student stabbing: police statement

The man found dead on the Coast to Coast Cycle Route was a Newcastle University student.The 24-year-old, who was found at 11am this morning with a stab wound to the chest, was cycling at the time of the incident.

"We are treating the man's death as unexplained and an investigation is underway to find out how exactly he has died."The victim is a 24-year-old student who was studying at Newcastle University and who was living in the Jesmond area."He is a black male, around 6ft tall, bald and of a heavy build."Enquiries indicate that the man was on the cycle path from around 9am on Thursday morning and we want to hear from anyone who might have been in the area and who might have seen this man to come forward and speak to us."

– Detective Supt Roger Ford, of Northumbria Police
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