A man's pleaded guilty to standing up while driving across the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle
Man Denies Hartlepool Murder
A man has appeared in court, where he's denied murdering a former foster carer from Hartlepool who looked after dozens of children.
79 year old Norma Bell, was found dead at her home in Westbourne Road, Hartlepool, following a fire in April.
Gareth Dack, 32, of Windermere Road, Hartlepool, appeared at Teesside Crown Court to deny murder and a separate charge of arson being reckless as to endangering life.
He was remanded in custody ahead of a trial starting on August 22nd.
Mrs Bell had fostered more than 50 children.
UPDATED 5th April 2016
A murder investigation has been launched after a 79-year-old woman was found dead in her Hartlepool home following a report of a house fire.
Mother-of-three Norma Bell, who also cared for more than 50 foster children, was due to celebrate her 80th birthday next month.
Police confirmed Ms Bell had died before the fire began at her house in Hartlepool, where she had lived for 27 years.
Announcing the investigation, Cleveland Police appealed for anyone who might have seen something or anyone with private CCTV to come forward.
Described by her family as ``a loving and caring person'', a statement said:
``To lose her in this manner is heartbreaking. We would urge anybody with information regarding the death of our mother to come forward and speak to police.
``We also ask for privacy at this sad time to allow us to come to terms with this huge loss.''
Police were called to the house fire on Westbourne Road at around 8.25am on Sunday morning.
Detective Superintendent Alastair Simpson said:
"Our thoughts are with Norma's family and friends at this incredibly distressing time."
"We now know, following a post mortem examination held yesterday, that Norma died prior to the fire in her home and we have launched a murder investigation."
"Officers are carrying out a number of lines of inquiry including house-to-house and CCTV inquiries. Neighbourhood officers will provide a high profile presence in the area and will continue patrols to provide some reassurance to those living in the local community."
``Whilst it is too early to say what the motive is or whether the suspect was known to Mrs Bell, I would remind anyone in the local area who may have an elderly or vulnerable relative or neighbour to check on them. Check that there is nothing out of the ordinary in relation to them or their property.''
A bottle of flammable liquid's been thrown through the window of Sunderland pub Oddies, in what police believe was an arson attack
The Government has announced it's spending £71.6m on projects to grow the North East's economy.
A man has been killed and another is recovering in hospital after a car flipped in an early-morning crash on Scotswood Road in Newcastle
Most Viewed Pictures On Heart
Recently Played Tracks
To listen live, choose your preferred location:
Deposit £10 to get a £40 Welcome Bonus - That's £50 to play bingo, slots and more!*
Over 50 tracks to make you feel-good. New album out now...
Find your local four day weather report here.
Make Heart the soundtrack to your day and you could be a winner with great prizes up for grabs throughout the day.