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Fourth case of Legionnaires' disease suspected at South Tyneside Factory

A suspected fourth case of Legionnaires' disease has been identified at a factory in Boldon, South Tyneside.

Evidence suggests that the latest case acquired the infection before the control measures were put in place at the factory during the weekend of the 17th May.

The suspected case was treated in hospital but has since been discharged and is recovering at home.

The first three confirmed cases are people who have worked at the Faltec Ltd factory in South Tyneside and the fourth is a resident whose garden overlooks the factory boundary.

Dr Tricia Cresswell of the North East PHE Centre said: ‘We are working closely with South Tyneside Council and the HSE to investigate potential sources of infection and the company is co-operating fully with the investigation.

She added that a range of actions have already been taken by the company to treat and disinfect possible sources of the infection, including cooling towers and other water systems.

Legionnaires’ disease does not spread from person to person and can only be contracted from the source of the contaminated water.

Staff have been advised to contact their GP if they develop a chest infection or other respiratory symptoms.

Amanda Healy, Director of Public Health for South Tyneside Council said:

Our first priority is to protect the health of factory workers and local residents. We are not aware of any new cases infected since the factory took action to treat and disinfect water sources,but we are continuing to work closely with HSE and PHE to confirm and control any possible sources of infection on the factory site.

– Amanda Healy, Director of Public Health for South Tyneside Council

Police eliminate Tipu Sultan witness from enquiries

Police who released CCTV images of a person they would like to speak to in relation to the murder of South Shields man Tipu Sultan have now identified the witness.

Following a reconstruction on last night's Crimewatch programme, a juvenile has since come forward to identify themselves as the person in the footage.

They have been spoken to by police and eliminated from their enquiries.

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A19 closed as caravan on fire in West Boldon

The A19 is currently closed as the police and the fire service are responding to reports of a caravan on fire in West Boldon.

Police were informed of the blaze at around 12.30pm this afternoon. The caravan is near the Testos Roundabout in West Boldon, South Tyneside.

Both the northbound and southbound lanes of the A19 are currently closed in the area and motorists are advised to expect delays.

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Bedlington rapist jailed for eight years

Christopher Rosean. Credit: Northumbria Police

A rapist has been jailed for eight years for a terrifying attack on a woman in her home.

The victim, who cannot be named, was so traumatised by her ordeal at the hands of Christopher Rosean, who threatened her with a knife, she could not face going back to her house, in South Tyneside, where it happened.

Her fear was so intense she had a panic alarm fitted in her home in a bid to help her feel safe before Rosean was convicted and put behind bars.

Rosean, 41, of Bishops Meadow, Bedlington, denied two rape charges, relating to the same attack, during a trial at Newcastle Crown Court but was found guilty by a jury.

His denials meant his victim had to relive the nightmare of what happened to her from the witness box.

Judge Penny Moreland said Rosean must register as a sex offender and have no contact with the victim, both orders last a full lifetime.

The judge told Rosean: "She was utterly terrified.

"You used violence to an extreme extent, causing her to be utterly terrified of you.

"It took place in her home and she has been unable to return to that home.

"What you did has had a significant impact upon her.

"She is frightened and scared and you have damaged her self confidence by your offending."

The court heard the victim's work and family life have been hugely effected by her ordeal at the hands of Rosean, who originally comes from America.

Prosecutor Gavin Doig told the court: "This has had a significant impact on her, she had difficulty sleeping after the event and no longer felt safe in her own home."

Tipu prayers a statement of community strength

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Prayers have been said in the car park of a community centre on Wearside as hundreds gathered to pay their respects to Tipu Sultan, who was murdered in South Shields.

Syed Khalid Miah Olid, chair of the management committee at the Sunderland Bangladeshi Community Centre, said that prayers are not usually said outside in this way, but they did so to make a statement.

He said they wanted to show community strength, but also to encourage anybody with any information to come forward.

Tipu was killed from single gun shot outside the takeaway where he worked in South Shields on Tuesday, April 7.

Mr Miah Olid said he had been to see Tipu's family. He said his children still have no come to terms with their father's death and still think he is going to come home and take them to the park.

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