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Mother jailed for taking poison to terminate pregnancy

A woman from County Durham who took poison she bought on the internet to terminate her unborn son has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Natalie Towers wept in the dock as she was jailed this afternoon. Credit: Durham Police

Natalie Towers, 24, of Adams Street, Shildon, collapsed wailing in the dock at Newcastle Crown Court when she was sentenced to serve two years and six months behind bars.

Mr Justice Jay said: "This offence does involve extinguishing life about to begin."

He gave her credit for admitting the charge of administering poison with intent to procure a miscarriage while 32-34 weeks' pregnant at a previous hearing, but said an immediate custodial sentence had to be passed and it could not be suspended.

The judge told her: "Despite attempts made by the paramedics and hospital, the child could not be saved. "Both paramedics were obviously distressed by what they saw. "I am satisfied the baby was already dead when delivered.

Towers, who has a child from a previous pregnancy which she concealed, wept throughout the sentencing hearing.

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Air rifles, cross bows and knives stolen in Shildon

Police are appealing for help to trace burglars who stole 15 air rifles, two cross bows and knives valued at £10,000 during a raid on a house. An empty house was targeted on Byerley Road, in Shildon, County Durham between February 8 and February 9.

Offenders accessed the house, near the junction with Middleton Road, through a window. They found keys to open locked cabinets holding the weapons.

“Clearly in the wrong hands this extensive collection of weapons could potentially be very dangerous indeed.

“It comprises up to 15 high-powered air rifles and a similar quantity of ornamental and hunting knives, as well as crossbows.

“Every room in the house was ransacked during the burglary and it is believed the thieves targeted it deliberately. During the search they were able to locate keys to the gun cabinets.

“I would urge anyone who is offered weapons for sale to contact us. Most of the stolen items are unique and easily identifiable, and therefore, can be traced back to the owner.”

– Detective Sergeant Simon Cowan

Durham Police have not ruled out the possibility burglars knew about the weapons and deliberately targeted the house.

“We’re always concerned when we know that weapons are circulating and that they may end up in the wrong hands.”

– Police spokesperson

Anyone who can help should contact 101.

Two dogs shot dead in County Durham

Two dogs have been found dead after they were both shot in the chest in County Durham.

The young adult lurchers, one male and one female, were found by residents on December 7 in Shildon.

Police officers were called to help one of the dogs at Roseberry Terrace. The second dog was found already dead outside the Hallgarth Surgery, in Cheapside.

The RSPCA were called and discovered that both animals, believed to be aged around one or two years old, were dead. A single air-gun pellet was found in both of the animals' lungs.

FA Cup draw delivers potential North East clash

Gateshead could have a potential North East derby match with Shildon in the FA Cup First Round.

The Heed will travel to Dean Street to face Shildon if the County Durham side can overcome Norton in Wednesday's fourth qualifying round replay.

The remaining First Round ties involving North East clubs are as follows:

  • Basingstoke or Harrow Borough v Spennymoor Town or AFC Telford
  • Blyth Spartans v Altrincham
  • Hartlepool United v East Thurrock
  • Norton or Shildon v Gateshead
  • York v AFC Wimbledon

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Famous locomotives side by side in County Durham

The 'big six' Class A4 locomotives side by side in County Durham Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Six of the world's most famous locomotives have gone on display together in County Durham.

They are on show for the next week at Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon.

This is the culmination of events to mark Mallard's record-breaking run Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The engine Mallard is taking pride of place, at the conclusion of events to mark the 75th anniversary of its record breaking run.

In 1938 Mallard became the world's fastest steam locomotive when it reached a speed of 126 miles an hour on the East Coast Main Line.

Mallard was reunited with its five sister locomotives, known as the A4 Class, as part of the anniversary commemorations.

Two of the engines were brought from North America and will shortly be returning home at the end of their two year UK visit.

The event is being called the 'Great Goodbye' and will continue until 23rd February 2014.

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