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Woman dies in Stanley house fire

A woman has died in a house fire in Stanley, County Durham.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service responded to a report of a house fire in Tweed Terrace, just before 9pm on February 29.

The fire did not involve neighbouring properties.

A joint police and fire service investigation is now being carried out.

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Post office armed robbery in Stanley

A post office has been targeted in an armed robbery in County Durham.

It happened at 7 the Nisa store on Park Road in Stanley.

Northumbria Police said a quantity of cash was handed over by a cashier after they were threatened with what was thought to be a firearm and the robber then escaped.

A man, aged 20, has been arrested and is being questioned.

Jailed headteacher 'a dirty pervert' says victim

Anne Lakey arriving at court for sentencing today. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Victims of headteacher Anne Lakey have spoken of the lasting damage they have suffered after being abused by a woman twice their age.

Statements were made on their behalf at Teesside Crown Court in which they expressed their anger at what happened to them in the late 1980s when they were inexperienced teenagers.

The younger victim said: "As a kid I thought it was great what was happening but now I see it was what it was - wrong. I think Anne is a dirty pervert.<

"I was underage, it was not like I was 13 and she was 15 or something, we weren't even the same generation. She was old enough to be my mother."

He was angry people thought she was a respectable woman.<

"She is supposed to be a great teacher," he said. "What sort of great teacher has sex with a 13-year-old?"

The other victim said: "The offence against me happened when I was a young impressionable 15-year-old boy. At the time I didn't realise what I was doing and the consequence of having a sexual relationship with Anne Lakey."

It had a negative impact on this phase of his life, he said, and he felt "robbed" of that time when he should have been "interacting" with girls his age.

He added: "I realise I was a victim of sexual exploitation and feel a sense of shame I allowed myself to be in that position.

"I realise Anne Lakey manipulated me and caused me to tell lies to my parents, something I deeply regret."

Headteacher 'manipulated youthful naivety' for sex

Commenting on the sentencing of headteacher Anne Lakey for eight years, the Crown Prosecution Service released a statement praising the victims, and expressing hope that they would now find closure.

“I would like to praise the bravery of the two victims in this case, who have been instrumental in helping us to build a robust case against Anne Lakey. Mrs Lakey manipulated the youthful naivety of both of these young men for her own sexual gratification. By persisting with her denial of guilt throughout both the investigation and prosecution of this case, she has prolonged the process for both victims.

“I appreciate that this outcome will involve mixed emotions for the two victims of Mrs Lakey’s actions but I would hope that the sentence passed upon her today brings a measure of closure for both of them.

“I hope that this case provides further reassurance to anyone who has been victim of sexual offences, no matter how much time may have passed, that police and prosecutors will continue to work together to bring those responsible to justice.”

– John Dilworth, Crown Prosecution Service
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