Live updates

Police warn public: Don't take "Pinkies"

Northumbria Police have issued a warning about dangerous tablets circulating in the Blyth area. The tablets - known as "Pinkies" - may be either illegal drugs or unprescribed medicine. The warning by Det Supt Lisa Orchard follows the deaths of two men in the past week. A woman is also in a serious condition in hospital. It's not yet known whether any of the three had taken so-called Pinkies.

To see Det Supt Orchard's warning click below.

'No refund' for some Tom Jones concert-goers

The moment before the lights went out on Sir Tom Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

One of the companies which sold tickets for the Sir Tom Jones concert in Alnwick, has told its customers it will not be offering refunds.

The gig at Alnwick Castle, on 8th August, ended early because of a power failure. Around 7,500 people were in the audience.

The Teesside-based organiser, Loose Cannon, has since apologised for what happened, blaming the power cut on the failure of two generators which it says were provided by a contractor. Loose Cannon says it will not discuss the issue of compensation until more facts are known.

Now the ticket sales company Ticketmaster has e-mailed its customers to say it will not be offering a refund on the grounds that the 'majority' of the concert went ahead. Ticketmaster stresses that proceeds from ticket sales have now been passed to its clients and are no longer in its control.

Below is the full text of the e-mail from Ticketmaster to customers:

Loose Cannon have confirmed that the majority of the set did go ahead.

As a ticket agent, we sell on behalf of the event organisers, so now that the event’s passed the funds from ticket sales have now been forwarded to our clients and are no longer under our control.

We do understand that the main act started a little later than planned, and the end of the show was abrupt because of the power failure, so we’ve been liaising with Loose Cannon on your behalf regarding this matter – however, on this occasion we wouldn’t be in a position to offer a refund for your tickets as the majority of the event did go ahead.

As outlined in our previous response, if you’d like to discuss any other issues regarding the event, we’d recommend that you contact the event organisers directly by emailing

I’m sorry again that we can’t help you further with this, but I trust that Loose Cannon will be able to fully address your concerns.

– Ticketmaster
Sir Tom entertains the crowds in Alnwick Credit: Jane Coltman, Northumberland Gazette


Girl, 16, raped on cycle path near Ponteland

A man has been arrested on suspicion of raping a 16-year-old girl on a cycle path in Northumberland.

Police say the victim was walking along the track, between Ponteland and Darras Hall, when she was approached by a man and allegedly raped at 9.30pm yesterday (Thursday).

Officers believe the incident happened at the rear of Oaklands on a path which runs between Eastern Way and Old Station Court.

A man, aged 20, has been arrested on suspicion of rape.

A section of the cycle track is cordoned off by police today while forensic enquiries are carried out.

A full investigation is underway into this incident and we are appealing for anyone who might have been out on the cycle track between Ponteland and Darras Hall on Thursday evening and who might have seen anything or anyone suspicious. The victim and her family are being given support and assistance by specialist officers and we have extra officers in the local community to speak to and reassure the local community. I would urge anyone with any information that could help us to get in touch as soon as possible."

– Superintendent Peter Bent, Northumbria Police


Load more updates