North East suspects held in 'inadequate' cells

Detainees awaiting court hearings are being held in "deplorable" or "poor" cells according to a HM Inspectorate of Prisons report. Four crown courts and 12 magistrates courts in Teesside, Durham and the Northumbria force area were visited.

Inspections found that women and children were being held too closely to men and religious needs were not being met. In some courts pregnant women had to sit on hard benches for several hours, while there was limited provision for those with disabilities or faith-related needs,

HM Courts and Tribunals Service said improvement work was being carried out to be completed by the end of the financial year.