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Dementia sufferer left locked in a bus

A dementia sufferer forgotten by charity staff was left in a locked bus in the cold for 45 minutes.

The woman, believed to be in her 80s, had to bang on the windows to get attention after she was left in a depot by Alzheimer's Society staff.

Two people have now been suspended by the charity.

The bus had been parked at about 4:15pm by a charity worker at the Middlefields depot in South Shields. She was found by South Tyneside Council staff at 4:50pm. The woman was returned home at 6:30pm.

An initial report into the circumstances of what happened has now been completed, and the Alzheimer's Society is carrying out an investigation.

Alzheimer's Society takes the well-being and safety of everyone using our services very seriously.

On this occasion mistakes were made that led to this very unfortunate incident.

We have apologised whole-heartedly to the individual and their family that in this instance we fell below the standard of care and support that we usually deliver in the care of our vulnerable service users.

We are sorry for the distress that this has caused to the family.

– Helen Foster, the Alzheimer's Society regional director for the north

From the moment we became aware of this incident, we took action and continue to take the matter extremely seriously.

'We have been in communication with the Alzheimer's Society from an early stage and have urged them to identify exactly what went wrong on this occasion and to review procedures in consultation with our officers.

'Our priority is to ensure that users of services funded by the Council are well looked after and safe.

– South Tyneside Council


Woman robbed in South Shields

Police are appealing for information after a robbery in South Shields.

Around 1:30pm today (Monday, 13th October) a woman, in her car, was approached by a man while parked in Harton Lane.

The man got into her car through the passenger side door and punched the woman twice, in the body and the arm, before stealing an amount of cash.

The offender was wearing a grey / black coloured tracksuit, a black cap and a scarf around his neck and lower face.

After grabbing the money he fled the car.

Anyone who knows any further information should contact the police.


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:

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
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