Sky News has admitted illegally hacking into the emails of John Darwin, the man who faked his own death in a canoeing accident off Seaton Carew.
The broadcaster says it authorised a journalist to access Darwin's Yahoo! account because it was 'in the public interest'.
It says the evidence it discovered was handed to police, who used it in the successful fraud prosecution of Darwin and his wife Anne in 2008. They were both jailed after claiming thousands of pounds in life assurance payments in the scam.
Sky News is part of BSkyB, which is 39% owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. His now-defunct newspaper, the News of the World, is being investigated over allegations of illegal phone hacking.
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The constituency of Washington and Sunderland West includes the UK's largest car plant, which was opened by Nissan in 1984.
This seat was formed prior to the 2010 General Election, taking in Sunderland city centre and the Ryhope area to the south.
The constituency of Stockton South includes relatively affluent areas like Yarm and Eaglescliffe.