Live updates

18 phones recovered in Middlesbrough after reports of Saturday night Diamond Strip thieving spree

Nearly 20 phones have been recovered from a property in Middlesborough after partygoers reported them stolen from Newcastle City Centre.

Police received a number of reports of mobile phone thefts, mainly around the Diamond Strip area of Newcastle, on Saturday night.

Using the app Find My Phone, a number of phones were tracked to an address in Middlesborough. Officers found 18 phones and arrested six people.

Police continue to appeal for witnesses and urge anyone who may have been in the area at the time and saw anyone acting suspiciously to contact them.

Officers are also trying to return the phones to their rightful owners and ask anyone who may have lost a phone in the area on Saturday night to contact them.

This is a timely reminder to people the value of having tracking devices for your phones as this has certainly assisted in tracing the phones. I also urge people to be vigilant when on a night out. Sadly there are people who will target people on a night out so just be sure you don't leave your bag unattended and keep your belongings safe.

– DI Steve Wouldhave


Man jailed for filming in court

Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A man who photographed and filmed court proceedings on his mobile phone has been jailed.

Jack Towes from Middlesbrough was sent to prison for three months after pleading guilty at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester.

Towes was watching a family member’s court appearance and was seen by a court usher to use his mobile phone to take still images and video footage of the courtroom and trial from the public gallery.

He was arrested at the scene and initially attempted to deny the phone was his, before eventually accepting guilt.

Unfortunately cases such as this are becoming more and more commonplace.

Towes cannot even plead ignorance in this case, as part of the video footage taken on his phone involves him pointing the camera at the sign which explicitly forbids cameras and recording equipment in the court building.

He showed complete disregard for these laws, flouting them openly and flagrantly in front of staff members.

I hope that this sentence sets an example for others, and that in future people will think twice about using their mobile phones to record or photograph court proceedings.

– Constable John Ennis, Court Officer