Christian Skjaerstad is a neighbour and childhood friend of Alexander and Thomas Hunter.
He says the 21-year-old's were normal boys, and was shocked to hear about the scam.
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Police and paramedics are set to go on shift together, as part of a joint operation to keep partygoers safe during the busy festive period.
Police have released CCTV images after thieves stole a safe and cash from a country hotel in North Yorkshire.
The mother of a Gateshead man murdered five years ago says she is heartbroken after her husband died before their son's killer is found.