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  1. The Ashington to Newcastle passenger line is due to reopen in the next few years, our 10 images recall the line as it was in the 1950s
  2. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A caring and much-loved great-great-grandmother has enjoyed birthday greetings from over 3,000 people as she turns 100. Former care assistant Rosie Cochrane entered her second century on January 21 this year. Although lockdown means the celebration, from her assisted living home in Bedlington, wasn't quite what she might have planned before the pandemic, granddaughter Christine Logan was determined to ensure 'Granny Rosie' was showered with love on her special day. Northumberland County Council fostering team manager Christine said: “Growing up I would watch her and my mam care for others, and just knew I wanted to do the same. "She has always put others first and cared for others where she can, be it family, friends or through her work. She is a real inspiration and it is because of her I chose my career path and have also fostered to help others in any way I can. "It has been a really difficult time not being able to see her. She loves to get her nails and hair done, go shopping and travel. But we know we must do all we can to keep her safe and ourselves right now.
  3. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A speeding danger driver who led police on a chase around residential streets has been jailed. Keith Wilson panicked when police tried to stop him because he knew he had no licence or insurance. For 20 minutes he sped around the streets of Bedlington, Northumberland, trying to outrun officers at up to twice the 30mph limit. Police deployed the force helicopter to keep track of him until he finally gave up, dropped the keys out of the window and stopped. Now the 23-year-old, of Hollymount Avenue, Bedlington, has been jailed for six months after admitting dangerous driving, failing to stop and having no insurance or licence. Newcastle Crown Court heard it was just after 7.30pm on Saturday, December 12 that Wilson was spotted by police driving fast in a silver Audi A4.
  4. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A major Northumberland road was closed due to a four-vehicle collision on Wednesday. Police closed the A189 southbound between Bedlington and Ashington while the vehicles involved were recovered. Emergency services were called at around 8am to reports of a multi-vehicle crash. Northumbria Police said no-one is believed to have been seriously injured but paramedics treated three people at the scene. A spokesperson for the force said: "Shortly before 8am today (Wednesday) we received a report of a four-vehicle collision on the A189 southbound near the Bedlington turn-off. “Emergency services are currently at the scene but thankfully nobody is believed to have been seriously injured. The road has been closed and a diversion in place as a clean-up operation continues.
  5. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A man has appeared in court accused of attempted murder after a council worked was allegedly attacked while mending a window. Bradley Fenwick was charged in connection with the incident, which happened in Alnwick on Boxing Day. The 27-year-old came before South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court last week. The case was sent to Newcastle Crown Court, where he will appear on January 25. Mr Fenwick, of Brook Court, in Bedlington, was remanded in custody until his next hearing. Northumbria Police appealed for witnesses after the incident, which happened on Cedar Grove, at around 10pm.
  6. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A man has appeared in court accused of breaking a New Year's Day reveller's jaw during a suspected attack. Lee Sweeney is alleged to have punched the male victim outside a pub in Bedlington, in Northumberland, and left him needing surgery. The 22-year-old was in the dock at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court on Tuesday to face an allegation of inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent on Steven Smith. Sweeney, of Station Road, in Bedlington, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address and to enter a not guilty plea during the short hearing. The court heard that the alleged assault happened outside a pub in Bedlington on New Year's Day 2020. Mr Smith was left with a cut on his head, which needed gluing, and required surgery to his broken jaw.
  7. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news Repeated road menace David Morrison has been jailed after ramming police cars in a desperate bid to evade justice. The 32-year-old already had four previous convictions for driving while disqualified and five for drink driving and was banned from the roads. But after stealing petrol from a garage in South Gosforth, Newcastle, he sparked a police chase in the Longbenton area after refusing to pull over in a Saab 93. Newcastle Crown Court heard he had been banned at the end of July and a previous disqualification period had just ended. But on September 30, he spent almost £70 on petrol at the Shell garage before making off without payment. A member of the public followed him and flagged down police to alert them.
  8. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A dangerous driver who was already banned from the roads almost knocked over a pensioner during a police chase at more than twice the speed limit. Elias Gray should not have been behind the wheel at all but was spotted by police in Ashington, Northumberland driving too fast. Officers activated their blue lights and sirens to indicate for him to pull over but he accelerated away at speed. Matthew Collins, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court: "He failed to stop and began driving and not only at speed but with considerable danger to both pedestrians and other road users. "He drove down the centre of North Seaton Road, forcing vehicles on both sides of the carriageway to take evasive action." The court heard Gray reached up to 70mph on North Seaton Road, which has a 30mph limit.
  9. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news She had the world at her feet. But Marsha Heslop's family and friends are grieving after the "beautiful" hairdresser from Bedlington, Northumberland, died aged 27. What started as twitching in her right foot ended in seizures while on holiday with her partner. She spent four weeks in Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) before she died on November 21. Her death has sent shockwaves through the community. A fun-loving and kind soul, those who knew her best say life will simply never be the same again.
  10. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news Controlling Peter Adams splashed out beyond his means on himself while keeping a tight grip on what his wife was allowed to buy. Adams met his future wife through their Jehovah's Witness faith when she was 17 and he was 28 and they began dating when she turned 18, a court heard. But their marriage turned sour, with Adams exerting "complete control of the family finances" and his partner only allowed to use a card to do grocery shopping. Meanwhile "due to the excessive spending of the defendant on himself", debts of £10,000 were accrued in both of their names. Newcastle Crown Court heard he was out most evenings and would eat in restaurants without his wife and child. And after one argument he locked her in their home and when she tried to climb out of the bathroom window, he prevented her from doing so.
  11. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A man has been diagnosed with long Covid - despite not even knowing he had had the virus eight months ago. Dean Dobson first started feeling unwell in February, when the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK was still just in double figures. The 29-year-old was sent home from work after becoming dizzy and struggling to breathe - and while a doctor mentioned that “people were panicking about coronavirus,” he was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection. Dean, from Bedlington, Northumberland, continued to struggle with dizziness, breathlessness and exhaustion in the months that followed. While going between GPs, ENT consultants and a private neurologist, he was told the problem could be vertigo, an ear infection or neurological problems. Finally, in October Dean saw that as a health worker he was entitled to a Covid-19 antibody test.
  12. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A boy racer “came close to almost killing” a family of three after he shunted their car into a bush while speeding towards them “like a bullet,” a court heard. Stephen Hill drove on the wrong side of the road and narrowly missed hitting a police car as he hit estimated speeds of up to 80mph on busy Northumberland streets. The 20-year-old, who was 19 at the time, left a family with “whiplash type injuries” after crashing into them at speed in Bedlington. The victim, who had been out with his partner and 17-year-old stepdaughter, said they had been left “traumatised” by the collision and that was “still in pain” more than six months later. Now Hill has avoided being locked up after a judge was moved by the victim’s generous letter asking for him to be “rehabilitated”. Prosecutor Ellen Wright said Hill was spotted by two police officers on May 9 driving a white VW Golf “at a high speed” and crossing the road onto the wrong side.
  13. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A man has appeared in court over an alleged assault in Bedlington at the weekend. Police received a report of an assault at an address on Stakeford Lane at around 2.30pm on Saturday. Emergency services attended the scene and a 23-year-old man was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police have said that a 48-year-old man and a 20-year-old man were arrested in connection with the incident. However, the 48-year-old man was released with no further action. The 20-year-old man has been charged with a section 19 assault and appeared at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
  14. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A serial shoplifter has been locked up after stealing hundreds of pounds worth of food from a shop he was already banned from. Curtis Telford, 21, was released from prison in October following a conviction for a knife point robbery at the Co-op Store, Guide Post, Choppington. Telford, previously of Ashington, was banned from entering the store again and warned he would wind up back behind bars should he breach the order. But he ignored the instructions, stealing nearly £400 worth of meat from the store as well as coffee and shampoo. He also targeted three other stores in the area. Officers reviewed CCTV from all the shops, quickly identifying Telford as the prime suspect.
  15. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A learner driver who was involved in an horrific motorbike crash just minutes into his first lesson died as a result of a tragic accident, an inquest heard. Darren Jobling, 50, was killed after being flung from his bike and crashing into a tree on Front Street West in Bedlington on July 29 last year. A hearing at Newcastle Civic Centre heard no reason could be found as to why he rapidly accelerated and lost control of his Yamaha 700cc bike, after being described as a "smooth and competent" driver. His bike was found 30 metres further down the street where it had ploughed into a parked white Kia Sportage. Emergency services, including the air ambulance, were called to the scene at about 12.15pm and he was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, where he died around four hours later. His family said he has been a "huge miss" and thanked emergency services who tried to save his life.
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