Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex has been the guest of honour at a ceremony at Newcastle's Exhibition Park in celebration of Armed Forces Day.
The Countess presented army medics with medals in recognition of their service in Afghanistan, including members of the Territorial Army's 201 (Northern) Field Hospital who spent three months there earlier this year. Lieutenant Colonel Mark Townend said it is a proud day.
More top news
Kerrie Gosney brings you Saturday night's forecast
Showers becoming heavy and thundery Saturday afternoon. Drier for a large part of Sunday
Robert Hodgson, from Stanley, County Durham, committed the offences on the girls, aged as young as five or six, up to the age of 13.