Live updates

Lorry driver in fatal roundabout crash named

A lorry driver who was found unconscious at the wheel of his vehicle and later died has been named by police.

Geoffrey Nicholson swerved into a grassed area at the Pattinson Road roundabout on the A195 in Washington, Wearside.

Northumbria Police believe the 62-year-old, of Lorne Street, Haltwhistle, had fallen ill at the wheel on 3rd October.

He was later pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.


Man raped in Washington park

Police are appealing for information after a man was raped in Washington.

The incident happened around 11pm on Monday, 6th October, near the wooden climbing wall in Glebe Park off Abbey Road.

The man, who is in his 20s, was approached by an unknown man.

Officers are carrying out enquiries into the incident and asking anyone who has any information to contact them.

Extra officers are in the area carrying out patrols.

Detective Inspector Dave English "We're carrying out enquiries into the incident and asking anyone who may have information, whether they were in or around the park on Monday night or know who is responsible, to get in contact.

"This was a distressing incident for the victim and specially trained officers will be offering him support throughout out the process.

"We understand the local community may be concerned and extra officers will be in the area carrying out patrols to offer reassurance."

Washington meningitis survivor was in a coma for 9 weeks

A Washington Meningitis survivor is warning the public to know their symptoms during Meningitis Awareness Week (15th - 21st September).

Vivienne Bellfrom Washington said: “ I contracted meningococcal septicaemia in May 2008. The doctor said I was 97% dead when I was taken to hospital. I was in a coma for 9 weeks, I had my fingers amputated in August and my legs amputated in November and I finally went home on 24th December! I'm supporting Meningitis Awareness Week as everyone needs to know the symptoms so they can seek medical help fast.”

Know the symptoms

Meningitis and septicaemia can be hard to recognise at first. Symptoms can appear in any order, but the first symptoms are usually fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell, just like many mild illnesses.

Not everyone gets all the below symptoms. Septicaemia can occur with or without meningitis and in some cases of meningitis, a rash may not appear at all.

The two below images show ticks to demonstrate symptoms that are more specific to meningitis and septicaemia and are less common in milder illnesses.

Meningitis and septicaemia symptoms Credit: Meningitis Research Foundation
Meningitis and septicaemia symptoms Credit: Meningitis Research Foundation


Collabro head to Newcastle for album signing

Collabro Credit: PA

Britain’s Got Talent winning musical theatre group Collabro will head to Newcastle this afternoon to sign copies of their first album ‘Stars’. The album also includes covers of John Legend’s ‘All of Me’, ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen and title track ‘Stars’ of Les Miserables.

It will be particularly important for Jamie Lambert who is from Washington. Today, he'll sign copies of the album at HMV in Gateshead. The singers only together for a month prior to their BGT audition.

Burglar back in prison after 15 years on the run

Michael Sheridan had been on the run for 15 years.

A County Durham man who was on the run for 15 years is back behind bars tonight. 39-year-old Michael Sheridan fled the country to Ireland after walking out of an open prison in 1999. He had served just three and a half months of an eighteen-month sentence for burglary.

Police on Wearside caught up with him by chance after being called to a domestic incident in Washington. After background checks, police discovered he had been on the run for 15 years. He pleaded guilty to escaping and was jailed for 8 months.

Family of drowned girl call for water safety in schools

The family of a teenage girl who drowned in the River Wear last year has backed calls for lessons about water safety to be made a priority in schools.

Tonibeth Purvis jumped in to try to help her friend Chloe Fowler, who had got into difficulty near Washington, but both girls drowned.

Tonibeth's grandmother Tracy Gregory said she had the best of intentions, but did not know how to save herself.

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