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Decision expected on South Shields' market square

South Shields' historic market square. proposal Credit: South Tyneside Council

A decision is expected this morning on the latest phase of the development of South Shields' historic market square.

Councillors are recommended to approve the proposals for a new library, digital media centre and rooftop restaurant.

Accidental death recorded in tragic kayakers inquest

The families of three men who died whilst kayaking on the River Tyne are calling for warning signs to be placed on a section of the River in Northumberland.

A coroner has recorded verdicts of accidental death for the three men - Brothers Darren and Mark Thorpe, from South Shields, and their cousin Gavin Bradley, from Jarrow, died last May.

Kenny Toal was at today's inquest:

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Host gets broken cheekbone for asking guest to leave

A host has had his cheekbone broken by a guest he had asked to leave his house party for making a rape related joke.

John Barrow had asked Daniel Burnett to leave his home when he made an offensive comment about it being "rape night" to a woman.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 37-year-old householder got a hard punch to the face in response.

Mr Barrow said he felt something "cave in" as a result of the blow and medics at hospital confirmed his cheekbone had been fractured.

Burnett, of Belsay Avenue, South Shields, who was "extremely drunk" while celebrating his birthday that day, has been jailed for 12 months.

The 28-year-old had pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm at an earlier hearing.

Judge John Milford QC told him: "You were a guest at his house, you were drunk, you behaved in an inappropriate way and he wanted you out of the flat. He escorted you to the top of the stairs on the landing, whereupon you punched him in the face, a single blow, which took him completely by surprise and was with such ferocity it fractured his cheekbone."

Family pays tribute to 'amazing husbands' following inquest

The family of three men who died while out kayaking have paid tribute to them. Brothers Darren and Mark Thorpe, from South Shields, and their cousin Gavin Bradley, from Jarrow, died in May. At the inquest into their deaths coroner recorded a verdict of accidental deaths.

"I would like to thank everyone that was involved in the search for Darren, Mark and Gavin, and for the great efforts that were made to find them.

"Since this tragic accident occurred, our lives have been turned completely upside down. A part of us died that day, alongside our amazing husbands. We will never recover, or be the same again.

"Our lads would never have knowingly put themselves in danger. They were decent, hardworking, family men, just wanting to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the countryside, on a much deserved day off work. They were always sensible and had necessary equipment.

"We really hope that changes can be put in place to prevent such future tragedies happening again, and to save other families from the heartache we are suffering.

"Four lives have been taken in the space of three years, on that same stretch of river."

– Family statement

Coroner records accidental death in kayakers inquest

An inquest resumed into the death of three men who died while kayaking on the River Tyne in Northumberland. Brothers Darren and Mark Thorpe, from South Shields, and their cousin Gavin Bradley, from Jarrow, died in May.

The coroner recorded the verdict of accidental death in all three cases. The river levels at the time were higher than the men had experienced previously. The coroner added that the men did not show any signs of bravado and that the men took their safety seriously.

Thirty tonnes of water passes over the weir at Riding Mill every second an expert said it was impossible to get out of this.

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South Shields dancer crowned Mr Gay World

A dance teacher from South Shields has been crowned Mr Gay World at the competition in Rome. Stuart Hatton competed after winning Mr Gay UK. He is the first UK contestant to win Mr Gay World. Before flying out, Stuart said it would be hugely important to him to take the title. Now, he leaves Italy a winner.

Stuart Hatton Credit: Terry George

"I am overwhelmed to be Mr Gay World and the first ever winner to be from the UK. I am now able to use my voice to help those in countries around the world who have no voice or equality rights such as people in Malaysia and Iran. My plans are to show the world that it doesn't matter if you are gay or if you are straight, if you have brown eyes or if you have green eyes, we are all the same. We are all human and all gay people around the world deserve the same human rights as each other. This is just the beginning."

– Stuart Hatton, Mr Gay World
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