Thursday, 31 October 2013

Former Cleveland police officer has admitted committing seven rapes

A FORMER North-East policeman on trial for sex offences has already admitted carrying out seven rapes, a jury heard yesterday.

Prosecutor Christine Egerton told the court that Wayne Scott, formerly of Stockton, had pleaded guilty to seven charges of rape against another woman.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that Scott was on remand in prison over the original allegations when he was interviewed in relation to three further allegations of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault between June 2006 and December 2007.

The 37-year-old, who was a serving policeman at the time, denies all three of the latest charges.
Jurors heard a transcript of the police interview when Detective Constable Kimberley Davies, of Cleveland Police, gave evidence.
During the interview, he denied attempting to rape the victim in his home.
Scott also told officers that he would describe himself as highly-sexed but had never forced himself on anyone.

He accepted that on the night he is accused of attempted rape and sexual assault, he did try to pull down the alleged victim's jeans but he told officers that when she asked him to stop he did so.

The defendant denied pinning the alleged victim to the floor and said that she did not scream for help.
 He said: "I can say it here and say it proud I have never raped (the alleged victim)"
In a second police interview, Scott denied raping the victim in his car or that he drove away at speed threatening to crash the car after the alleged incident.
Earlier yesterday, a former work colleague of the alleged victim told the jury that she was visibly upset when she told her what had happened.
She said: "She was crying and shaking.
"She said something had happened, that she had been forced upon.
"Something horrendous had happened to her, something had happened which she wasn't expecting and it was horrendous."

When the next witness was giving evidence, Scott sat in the dock crying, with his head in his hands.
The witness recounted a confrontation between the alleged victim and the defendant.
She said she overheard the victim saying "after you had forced yourself on me a couple of weeks ago... when you tried to rape me".

Tim Roberts, cross examining the witness, put it to the witness that the victim never used the word 'rape'.
She replied: "Yes she did."
The trial continues

Article from the Northern echo

Owl centre celebrates re-opening after last month's floods

Kirkleatham Owl Centre is back up and running as normal after it was forced to close when it suffered severe damage in last month's floods
Staff and volunteers at Kirkleatham Owl Centre are celebrating its reopening after being hit by last month's flood .

Several birds were killed during the September 6 deluge which saw the Redcar centre flooded for the first time in its 23-year history.
Since then, staff and volunteers have been busy repairing fences and aviaries damaged by the storm water .

Visitors saw manager Craig Wesson feed the centre’s meerkat troop and crowds of parents and children watched flying displays by beautiful barn owl Bizzy and hilarious antics by Chop Suey, the runner duck.

The owl centre was left with thousands of pounds worth of damage, including to aviaries and the sad loss of a number of birds, as a result of the huge flood of September 6.
Now, after weeks of hard work, and “overwhelming” backing from the public - the centre is back operating as normal.

Craig said: “I’m really delighted to see everything running smoothly once again.
“There are about 80 birds now of various species like owls, vultures, ibis and many more.
“It’s great to see people visiting from the summer time and some new faces too. It’s encouraging.”

He said staff and volunteers still have much work to do, including some big building projects over the winter.

But he is so thankful for the “huge support” from local community members who have provided supplies of animal feed and cleaning equipment – and much more.

“The support’s been overwhelming and made us all realise how much people care about the owl centre,’’ he said.

The facility, which has been a visitor attraction for more than 20 years, continued to carry out
rehabilitation work with sick and injured wildlife despite the temporary closure.

It now has a full programme of events planned for the half-term break and will be open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 4.30pm and during the winter the same times, from Thursday to Sunday.
Stephen Beedle, 46, from Guisborough, visited with wife June, son Matthew, nine and daughter Emily. The family is a keen sponsor of some of the birds.

Matthew said: “We’ve been here lots of times, but never get tired of it. We love the birds and it’s great to see them back.”

Volunteer Penny Curtis, 37, of Great Ayton, said: “It’s wonderful to see the centre open again - and so many people here enjoying it.”

Article from the Gazette Live

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Pink fundraisers make a splash for charity double

Dozens of fundraisers braved the icy waters of the North Sea as they made a splash for charity
A group of fearless adrenaline junkies dressed themselves in an array of outfits for the Pink Dip in Redcar on Saturday.

Then yesterday, fundraisers taking part in a sponsored boot camp at Marske cooled off after their efforts with a dip in the sea.

Both events were held to raise money for cancer charities.

The Pink Dip at Redcar was founded in 2005 by breast cancer survivor Sharyn Clarkson.
Since then, it has raised nearly £20,000.
Last year, about £3,000 was raised by the hardy dippers. And with the current running total since 2005 hovering around £19,000, the £20,000 barrier is expected to be smashed.

Article form the Gazette Live

GMB union: Tata job cuts have 'come straight out of the blue - Redcar Jobs

Steel being rolled in the Teesside Beam Mill Tata
Steel being rolled in the Teesside Beam Mill Tata
Union officials have said that 500 job cuts announced at Tata Steel earlier today have come "straight out of the blue".

As reported, about 40 jobs are at risk at its  Redcar  and  Skinningrove  plants because of weak demand in the construction industry.

About 340 jobs could be affected in Scunthorpe and 90 in Workington.
And David Hulse, national officer of the GMB union, said: "This terrible news has come straight out of the blue.
"It is a shock to the workforces in Scunthorpe, Workington and Teesside.
"GMB is bitterly disappointed as earlier this year we saw 1,000 people leave the company and everyone involved has worked hard to make all-round improvements.
"GMB will insist on no compulsory redundancies and to bring the number of job losses down."

Article form the Gazette Live

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Marske sunrise by the amazing voice of Georgina Anderson

Helen Anderson has shared this amazing video of Marske Beach at sunrise with the Redcar Blog. Please share this with as many people as you can in support of Georgina Anderson who has incurable cancer. Show your support for this amazing 15 year old with an amazing talent.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Thousands of region's poorest households facing council tax legal action, Redcar included

GOVERNMENT welfare reforms have left more than 10,000 of the region's poorest households facing legal action for non-payment of council tax.

An investigation by The Northern Echo has revealed that one in three people in some areas of the North-East asked to pay council tax for the first time - or paying increased tax - have been issued with a court summons.

Local authorities last night blamed the Government for the problem while advice charities urged anyone slipping into debt to seek help immediately.

Responses to a freedom of information (FoI) request submitted by Labour and obtained by The Northern Echo highlight the scale of the debts caused by the Government's decision to cancel council tax benefit.

Councils were forced to implement their own council tax support system, with most in the region opting to offer some discounts to claimants, but still asking residents, including the unemployed and disabled, for a contribution.

Darlington Borough Council, along with Stockton and Middlesbrough, are asking residents who previously received a full discount to pay 20 per cent of their bill.

Other authorities, including Hambleton and Richmondshire, in North Yorkshire, as well as Hartlepool and Sunderland, are asking for 8.5 per cent of the full levy.

Darlington sent 6,558 people a council tax bill for the first time, or an increased bill, in April.
Of these, 2,281 have received court summonses for non-payment.

Sunderland has 19,500 new or increased council tax payers - and has issued 5,719 summonses, while Hartlepool has begun court action against 1,878 people out of around 6,000 former recipients of 100 per cent council tax benefit.

Elsewhere in the region, Redcar and Cleveland Council has issued 1,252 summonses to residents previously exempt or in receipt of a discount on their council tax bill.
Once councils have issued summonses they can go to court seeking a liability order, allowing bailiffs to recover the debt.

Councillor Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Council, said the changes implemented by the Government had left many people "high and dry", but the authority had to pursue debtors.
"This isn't of our making, but we have to get on with it.
"We need people to talk to us. We will do everything we can to come up with an agreement - we don't want people running up debts, especially with payday loan companies, or not being able to sleep at night."

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of Hartlepool Council, said his authority was also doing everything it could to help those struggling to pay the tax, including offering one of the most generous council tax support schemes in the region.

"It is a repayable debt, but we have a mechanism in place offering lots of different options, such as weekly payments and direct debits."
Sunderland City Council said it had received £2.8m less from central government as a result of the changes to the council tax benefit system.

Coun Mel Speding, cabinet secretary, said: "The City Council could not afford to make up the whole shortfall so it devised a scheme which it believed was fair as possible to residents."
Several councils were unable to provide the requested information, while data is still awaited from other authorities in the region.

Despite criticism from the Government, Durham County Council decided to protect discounts received by former council tax benefit claimants.
Dawn Gill, advice service manager at Darlington Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), said the service had seen a substantial increase in the number of people issued with a liability order since April.
"I would advise people if they are struggling not to bury their heads, but to seek advice from their local CAB."

The Department for Communities and Local Government said councils accounted for a quarter of all public spending and are forecast to spend £102bn this year - £4bn more than last year.
A spokesman added: "This Government's carefully considered reforms are helping councils to deliver sensible savings while protecting front-line services and achieve greater financial independence through new incentives that reward councils that support local economies."

Article from the Nortthern Echo

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Middlesbrough Ian Ord dressed as armed cop to raid home hoping to find drug dealer's cash

Ian Ord raided home posing as policeman armed with fake sub-machine gun and shouting 'armed police' to make his crime appear like legitimate operation

Ian Ord
Ian Ord
A Teesside criminal who raided a home posing as a policeman armed with a fake sub-machine gun has been jailed for six years.

Bogus bobby Ian Ord smashed his way into the home with a hammer hoping to find a drug dealer’s cash stash in the loft.

He was dressed as a police officer, sporting a stab vest and shouting “armed police” to make his crime appear like a legitimate operation.

He carried an imitation gun described by one witness as “like a sub-machine gun”.
When caught Ord, 37, from Middlesbrough, said he thought the house was empty, Teesside Crown Court heard yesterday.

Instead, the new occupant came home to find his living room window broken and Ord inside.
Ord attracted the attention of neighbours and left the County Durham house pointing the weapon at shocked and distressed bystanders before jumping into a getaway car.

He was already on bail at the time, having been arrested from Heathrow Airport for international money laundering.

He’d used a passport carrying his photograph - but his brother’s name - to travel to Colombia.
There, he received 13 money transfers totalling £18,504 between April and September 2011.
He was extradited to Germany, then went to Italy and Cyprus, where he was jailed for trying to board a flight to Budapest with a false passport under a different name, and was finally extradited back to England in May 2012.

Ord, of Harford Street, Middlesbrough, admitted aggravated burglary from March 28 this year.
He also admitted making an untrue statement to obtain a passport and possessing criminal property.
He had 92 previous offences including imitation firearm possession, burglary, arson, assault, GBH with intent, deception and escaping from custody, and had served long prison sentences.
His barrister Sarah Barlow said he had memory and vision difficulties and headaches from a severe head injury.

She said his most serious offending was when he was a youth, with nothing similar this century.
Judge George Moorhouse jailed him for six-and-a-half years.
Ord’s younger recruit Jonathan Fleming, 21, of Staintondale Avenue, Redcar, also admitted the aggravated burglary. He was jailed for four years for his “subordinate” role.

Fleming, whose only previous crime was stealing some scaffolding, said he didn’t know what was going to happen until he was in the car en route.
He bought the claw hammer on the way, and knew Ord had the firearm.
Peter Makepeace, for Fleming, said he was a “perfectly decent citizen” living a quiet life but was exploited and victimised.

A psychologist said his “dependence personality disorder” made him compliant, easily led, suggestible, vulnerable, unsophisticated and naive.
The Muslim convert showed remorse, behaved impeccably and helped others with literacy in jail.

A third man in the dock, 19-year-old Jonathon Barker, helped Ord by washing the car to get rid of evidence afterwards.

Barker, of Blackthorn Close, Redcar, admitted assisting an offender, his first-ever conviction.
Ian Mullarkey, representing the teenager, said he too was naive as he got “unwittingly involved” and felt bullied, petrified, panicked and isolated.

He said Barker was relieved to be caught, ending his ordeal, and deeply regretted his actions.
The court case took a psychological toll on the hard-working apprentice engineer and charity worker, whose family supported him.
Judge Moorhouse said Barker acted under duress and gave him a one-year custodial sentence suspended for two years with 150 hours’ unpaid work and six months’ supervision.

Article from Gazette Live

Monday, 21 October 2013

Tony Mowbray parts company with Boro after poor start to the season

EXCLUSIVE: Tony Mowbray parts company with Boro after a poor start to the season; assistant Mark Venus takes temporary charge
Tony Mowbray has tonight parted company with Boro. His assistant, Mark venus, will take temporary charge of the club.

A poor start to the current campaign coupled with the club's woeful form over the second half of last season has led chairman Steve Gibson's to make a decision he thought long and hard about..

Boro have won just three league fixture out of 12 so far this season and were eliminated from the Capital One Cup at the first round stage by League Two strugglers Accrington.

Saturday's 3-2 defeat at rock-bottom Barnsley proved to be the last straw for Gibson, was was believed to be close to sacking Mowbray in the week preceding the crucial

Gibson's search for a replacement to take the club out of the Championship is already underway and an appointment is expected to be confirmed sooner rather than later.

Mowbray , 49, spent almost three years in charge of the club he supported as a boy and captained with distinction in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He was appointed in October 2010 as a replacement for current Scotland boss Gordon Strachan, who resigned with Boro languishing fourth from bottom of the Championship following a poor start to the season that had seen the team pick up 11 points from 11 games.

Mowbray's backroom team included assistant manager Mark Venus, first team coach Mark Proctor and goalkeeping coach Stephen Pears.

With a minimum of fuss, in his first season he guided the team back to the safety of mid-table, taking a creditable 51 points from the remaining 35 fixtures.

His first full campaign in charge saw Boro mount a genuine challenge for promotion before Christmas but a New Year slump left the club in seventh place overall, just one spot below the play-off zone.

Given Mowbray's financial restrictions – he had virtually no transfer kitty due to the hefty contracts handed out to Strachan's signings – it was widely believed he'd done a good job with the resources at his disposal.

It was a similar story last season, Boro started well and were briefly top in November but another New Year slump saw the club drop to 16th, their lowest league finish since 1990.
Middlesbrough v Accrington
  Boro only won three of their final 21 fixtures, picking up just 12 points out of a possible 63.
The club, it must be noted, did do relatively well in the cups under Mowbray, taking Sunderland to an FA Cup fourth round replay in 2012 and losing to Chelsea in the fifth round earlier this year.
They also reached the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup last season before losing narrowly at Swansea.

Mowbray also completely overhauled the Boro backroom team, building an extensive scouting network headed by Gary Gill and pushed hard for more fitness and conditioning staff to ensure the players stay fitter for longer.

A summer overhaul saw the remaining big earners from the Strachan-era depart and Mowbray was able to bring in his own signings as the chairman loosened the purse strings.

But a failure to address an error-prone defence meant Boro were unable to capitalise on generally decent early season performances and Gibson finally decided it was time for a change.

Article from Gazette live:

Man dies after being hit by train near Marton Station in Middlesbrough

Paramedics, fire and police rushed to the scene - near Marton station and Park End estate - at 3.45pm on Saturday, but he was pronounced dead at the scene
Emergency crews on the scene after a man was killed after being hit by a train on the tracks close to Marton station
Emergency crews on the scene after a man was killed after being hit by a train on the tracks close to Marton station
A man died after being hit by a train on the line near Marton Station in Middlesbrough.
Police officers from the Cleveland force, British Transport Police and Cleveland Fire crews were called to the incident at 3.45pm on Saturday, just north of the railway station near the Park End estate.

Several police cars and paramedics - as well as a private ambulance - congregated in the Marton Station car park just off Ladgate Lane.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. His death is not being treated as suspicious.
Northern Rail confirmed someone had been hit by a train and services along the line between Nunthorpe and Middlesbrough ceased until 5.45pm.

A spokeswoman for British Transport Police, who could not confirm the man’s age, said: “British Transport Police officers were called to the line near to Marton train station on Saturday, October 19, after a report of a person being struck by a train.

“Officers from British Transport Police and Cleveland Police attended the incident, which is being treated as non-suspicious, arriving at 15.50 hours.

“Paramedics also attended, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Emergency services at the scene after a man died on the railway line near Marton
Emergency services at the scene after a man died on the railway line near Marton
Ian McPherson
 She added the train involved was a Northern Rail service from Nunthorpe to Hexham.
A full report is being prepared for the coroner, who has been informed.
A mum from Park End, who asked not to be named, said she was aware of other accidents involving trains along the line in the past.
“I’ve heard of some accidents on the track around here, but not a lot,” she said.
“It’s a terrible shame.”

Another woman said she didn’t know exactly where the incident had occurred, but had seen the police helicopter hovering overhead on Saturday.

A Northern Rail spokeswoman said any traumatic incident which affects employees triggers a chain of care.
“This includes thorough training and awareness to prepare our employees as well as counselling after an incident has happened,” she said.

“We also work closely with the Samaritans, providing a call-out service for people in distress. We make sure there is post-incident support available for everyone, both employees and customers and develop links with mental health services.”

Article for Gazette Live

Monday, 7 October 2013

Redcar Lifeboat called out to rescue boy, 11, from rising tide

Youngster is taken to hospital as a precaution after getting into difficulties at Redcar West Scar
Redcar RNLI

The Redcar Lifeboat  had to be rescued from the sea after getting cut off by the tide.
The 11-year-old was caught out on rocks off Redcar West Scar.

Dave Cocks, deputy launching authority for Redcar RNLI, said: “Fortunately he did all the right things, waving his arms in the air and shouting for help.”

The child was spotted and Redcar’s inshore lifeboat was called out just before 12.30pm today.
With the water quickly rising the boy was rescued from the rising tide.

An ambulance and police also attended.

Dave said: “We were a little bit concerned as he had been in the water for at least 15 minutes so we called the ambulance.”
Cold and upset by his ordeal the boy was taken to hospital as a precaution.

Article from Gazette Live

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Redcar motorbike driver sent pedestrians jumping out of way as he raced from police

Aaron Smith made his 25th court appearance after speeding off from chasing police amid heavy, slow-moving traffic and numerous pedestrians
Teesside Crown Court
Teesside Crown Court
A manic driver who sent pedestrians jumping out of his path as he raced a motorbike away from police is behind bars today.

“It was a miracle nobody was killed,” said Judge Michael Taylor.

He jailed the banned motorist with a penchant for tearing around the streets on stolen motorbikes.
Drunken Aaron Smith, 22, attacked the owner of the recently bought £1,600 KTM motorbike on Scott Street, Redcar.

He sped off from chasing police amid heavy, slow-moving traffic and numerous pedestrians, Teesside Crown Court heard yesterday.

He narrowly missed vehicles he overtook and rapidly turned in front of a police car.
Pedestrians crossing a residential side street had to jump out of the way to avoid being run over, said prosecutor Martin Robertshaw.
Smith lost control and came off the bike, which slid towards oncoming traffic.
Smith himself rolled and crashed into a plastic bollard on a traffic island, with such force that the bollard was flung into the air.

The joyrider remounted the damaged bike and carried on his “manic” ride, briefly out of the police’s sight.

He eventually dropped the vehicle in the middle of the road in the Cedar Grove and Laburnum Road area and ran to a nearby house where he was arrested on the late afternoon of June 15.
Smith, of Laburnum Road, Redcar, admitted dangerous driving, vehicle taking, common assault and driving while disqualified.

This was his 25th court appearance after a long record, mainly of vehicle crime.
Just a fortnight before the latest escapade, magistrates gave him a 20-week suspended prison sentence for a similar incident of aggravated vehicle taking.

His barrister Nigel Soppitt said Smith came across as “a very likeable young man”.
He said Smith accepted he was “wholly reckless” and showed a total disregard for other road users.
Not wearing a helmet, he “stuck out like a sore thumb”
Judge Michael Taylor told Smith: “You drove in the most foolhardy and dangerous manner.
“There were numerous pedestrians about and you were weaving in and out between pedestrians and motor vehicles.”

He said magistrates were brave to give Smith a suspended sentence in May, and that made his latest crimes more serious.

He added: “’Ive got no choice other than to lock you up today.”
He jailed Smith for 60 weeks and banned him from driving for two years.

Article from Gazette Live