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Tyne Tees Weather - Saturday

Waves blowing at at Blyth Credit: SUE RUTHERFORD

Starting mild but wet and windy, with gales in exposure as occasionally heavy rain sweeps eastwards. Gusts 50-60mph.

Remaining windy, but becoming brighter and fresher into the afternoon, with blustery showers possible (more likely in the west).

Away from the wind and showers, it will feel warm, with highs to 13°C.

Rescued angler: 'All I could think about was my 8 year old son, Billy'

Michael Soley (centre) with Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crewmembers Andy Johnson and Clare Gibbin. Credit: Hartlepool RNLI

Angler, Michael Soley, from Darlington, has paid a visit to Hartlepool RNLI lifeboat station to thank the volunteer crew members who rescued him after he was knocked over by a large wave and dragged into the sea.

Michael and his father and brother had decided to have an afternoons fishing at the South Gare pier in Redcar on Saturday.

We hadn’t started fishing when a first wave came over the pier and was washing around our ankles. Then we heard a loud thud and this huge wave came over us and knocked us off our feet. The others managed to catch hold of something but I got swept off the pier and into the sea. I tried to swim back to the pier but couldn’t fight the sea and I started to panic. I heard someone shout ‘lay on your back’ which I tried to do but I was getting hit from all sides by the waves. The tide pulled me from the South Gare pier towards Redcar shoreline and then out to sea. I remember laying in the water looking up at the sky and everything was going all peaceful and my eyes were shutting. All I could think about was my 8 year old son, Billy. He was supposed to be coming with us but decided to stay at home and play computer games with his friend. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw the lifeboat I can’t remember what happened next but I woke up in hospital with heat packs all over me.‘I am so grateful to the RNLI lifeboat crews from Hartlepool and Redcar and I owe my life to them. I can’t thank them enough they were brilliant."

– Michael Soley

We were out training on our new Atlantic 85 ‘Solihull’ when we heard the call. We got to the scene in less than five minutes and saw Michael in the water. We later found out that he had been there for about 25 minutes. We had to go passed him and then approach him bow into the wave. As we approached Michael he was not responding and a big wave hit us and knocked three of us off our feet and onto the deck of the lifeboat. We quickly got back up and threw a line to Michael and shouted for him to grab the rope. Somehow he managed to do that and we pulled him onboard. He was given initial first aid and taken to a waiting ambulance by the Harbourmasters office on the River Tees which took him to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough. This is the sort of rescue our volunteer crewmembers train for every week so we can help save lives at sea. We were all pleased to welcome Michael and his family to Hartlepool lifeboat station and we are pleased that this time everything has ended well."

– Mike Craddy, Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crewmember

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Police: Dark Justice sting was too risky

Northumbria Police say they do not condone the actions of 'Dark Justice' - the group which has brought a paedophile to justice by tricking him online.

John Rudd, 57, from Stockton, was jailed for a year today and placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for ten years after admitting a charge of attempting to meet a child after secular grooming.

He'd been snared by Dark Justice, after members of the group posed as a 14 year old girl online, and arranged to meet Rudd.

The say Dark Justice should have carried out such an operation themselves.

We note the sentencing today at Newcastle Crown Court. We'd like to make it clear that Northumbria Police does not advocate people carrying out such 'investigations' themselves. There are many risks associated with this - these groups are not aware of full details of the person they are dealing with, they have no way of safeguarding potential child victims and their actions could jeopardise ongoing police investigations, not to mention the risks posed to themselves. They can also lead to the diverting of significant resources into protecting suspects, which would be better invested in investigating and prosecuting suspected offenders. We have specialist officers who are trained to deal with and investigate this type of crime working alongside partner agencies - I'd urge people to leave it to the police. Cases involving child sexual abuse have a huge emotional impact on not only victims and families, but also on the general public who may not be directly involved and we understand the desire to protect children. However, we would urge anyone with information on crimes of this nature, online or otherwise, to contact police. We rely on the assistance of the public in preventing and detecting crime. Working closely with communities is a vital way in which we gain information, and their active engagement in fighting crime and bringing offenders to justice."

– Detective Superintendent George Duff, Northumbria Police

Caught on camera: the moment John Rudd is confronted by paedophile-hunters 'Dark Justice'

This is the moment that John Rudd realised that the 14 year old girl he thought he was meeting on the Millennium Bridge turned out to be members of paedophile-hunting group Dark Justice.

'You can hide but the police are on their way' he is told.

Thanks to their efforts, Rudd, from Stockton-on-Tees, was today jailed for one year and placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for ten years.

Paedophile jailed after 'Dark Justice' sting on Tyneside

John Rudd. Credit: Dark Justice

A man who thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl but was being tricked by a group of internet paedophile hunters has been jailed for a year at Newcastle Crown Court.

John Rudd, 57, from Appleton Road, Stockton, Teesside, contacted a fake profile set up by the group Dark Justice, and arranged a meeting even after being told the "girl" was under-age.

When Rudd travelled to Newcastle for the illegal rendezvous, he was shocked to find two men in their 20s armed with a video camera waiting for him on the Millennium Bridge.

Rudd was arrested minutes later, and Dark Justice made statements to the police.

The sex offender was charged with attempting to meet a child after secular grooming.

He admitted the offence and was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court, just yards from where Dark Justice's sting operation took place in November.

Judge Penny Moreland jailed him for a year and placed him on the Sex Offenders' Register for 10 years.

The vigilantes, who describe themselves as concerned citizens, set up a profile on the site Badoo in the name Donna.

When Rudd was caught, Dark Justice filmed him saying: "I just feel stupid."

Dark Justice revealed outside the court that members wear bullet-proof vests for their meetings.

They hope publicity might make paedophiles reconsider trying to meet children, and raise awareness among parents.

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