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Murderer wins High Court battle

A prisoner serving a minimum 25-year term after being convicted of murdering a Gateshead policeman has won a High Court fight with the Ministry of Justice.

Paul Weddle was jailed in 1994 for the murder of Sergeant Bill Forth. Weddle claimed that Justice Secretary Chris Grayling was failing to provide him with the "means to demonstrate reduced risk" so that he could progress to a lower security category.

Lawyers representing Mr Grayling disputed the claim but a High Court judge ruled in Weddle's favour. Weddle said Mr Grayling was failing to provide courses in prison through which he could demonstrate a reduced risk.

Stockton a ‘hotspot’ for young unemployed

With double the national average for young people, who fall into the category of NEETS (not in education, employment or training ), the town’s Labour MP Alex Cunningham has called for extra measures to tackle the problem.

Mr Cunningham told ministers, at this afternoons social welfare question time in the Commons, that Stockton needed real resources. The Employment Minister Chris Grayling insisted that unemployment in the North East is a top priority for ministers.

He then listed a number of initiatives, from the Regional Growth Fund to Local Enterprise Zones which he claimed are targeted at the region.