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LAVENDER: Defendant Stanley Simpson denies prosecution suggestion during Durham Crown Court trial that he was in the equivalent of a "lavender marriage", while allegedly abusing boys.

Man accused of abusing boys denies relationship with woman was a 'lavender marriage'

Alison Morgan and Sue Walker walk through the Congburn Arboretum, which will open to the public for charity. Picture: TOM BANKS (55129041)

Woodland walk for charity next weekend

Nine-year-old Ellie Blake, of Chester-le-Street, who has raised cash for homeless people by organising a wear a hat to school to day. Picture: TOM BANKS (55126884)

How Ellie used hats to help the homeless

ACCOUNT: Accused Stanley Simpson told Durham Crown Court he can't understand why five men and two women would accuse him of abusing them when they were younger.

Man accused of serial child sex abuse tells court he is, "honest, soft-hearted and caring".

Keith and Sharon Rochester, of Houghton-le-Spring (55059748)

Cuban holiday maker’s condition has deteriorated

Horseowner Pauline Bell, from Crook, who fosters ponies for the RSPCAs Felledge Equine Centre, pictured with with former foster ponies Bill and Toby (54757437)

Horse owners urged to offer rescued ponies a stable future

Durham County Council is holding a boundary review about a new community council for Pelton Fell

Residents asked about proposed new council for Pelton Fell

There's still time to enter this year's The Northern Echo Schools Awards

Nomination window extended for The Northern Echo Schools Awards 2016

A First TransPennine Express

Storm Henry causes problems for First TransPennine Express passengers at Newcastle, Chester-le-Street, Durham, Northallerton and Darlington

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Cash awards will be on offer to the winners of annual music contest

Annual search for talented musicians underway

SLEEP-OVER: Durham Crown Court trial told defendant Stan Simpson would share bed with nine-year-old boy sleeping over at their home.

Woman saw ex-partner in bed with boy, abuse trial told

Lee Bartlett, of Witton Gilbert, who went missing on Christmas Eve, has been found dead in Chester-le-Street

Man who disappeared at Christmas found dead hours after party

Laura-Jane Hardman, 17, from Pelton, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, will be studying at the Performers’ College, near Basildon, in Essex

Laura-Jane hopes college place will lead to West End shows

Charity fund raiser Joseph Beck, of Sacriston, is presented with his personalised pie by John Green, Taylors Butchers at Framwellgate Moor (53905135)

Great-grandfather presented with personalised pie for fund raising efforts

A lorry blown over during a previous storm

Severe weather warning issued for 70mph winds

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COMPLAINT: Durham Crown Court told first complaint over alleged activities of defendant Stanley Simpson was made to police, on New Year's Eve, 2005.

Man reported sexual abuse after hearing his attacker was seeking to adopt or foster a child, trial told

Sport

Sunderland's Jermain Defoe (right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with team-mate Lamine Kone during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture: PA

Sam Allardyce can smell team spirit in Sunderland's push to stay up

Six wins: Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce is banking on a run of wins after heartening displays against Liverpool and Manchester City

Sam Allardyce targets the six wins to keep Sunderland up after Liverpool point

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Walk-out: The Kop end after fans walk out on 77 minutes in protest over ticket prices during the Premier League match at Anfield witH Sunderland

Jermain Defoe proving he can fire Sunderland to safety as a lone striker after Liverpool strike

Clinical: Jermain Defoe celebrates his equaliser with Lamine Kone

Allardyce thinks mood at Anfield paved way for Defoe's Sunderland equaliser against Liverpool

Top man: Liverpool's James Milner congratulates man of the match Roberto Firmino after his goal

Match ratings: Liverpool 2 Sunderland 2

Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates his winner as Newcastle beat West Brom 1-0

Newcastle United 1 West Brom 0

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Sidelined: Duncan Watmore was forced off after suffering this knee injury for Sunderland

Liverpool 2 Sunderland 2

Praise: Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren received some words of encouragement from Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park on Wednesday

Steve McClaren keen for Newcastle to do a 'Wigan' after chat with Roberto Martinez

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Old boss: Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp will meet up with Jan Kirchhoff again today

Impressive Sunderland man Jan Kirchhoff reflects on life under Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola - plus that horror show

All eyes: Liverpool's Emre Can (left) and Sunderland's Fabio Borini battle for the ball at the Stadium of Light in December, with Jurgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce looking on from the touchline

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce wishes Jurgen Klopp well after 'soft German' jibe

RETURN: Steven Taylor is expected to play for the first time since August. Picture: OWEN HUMPHREYS/PA

'We tried for left-backs' insists Newcastle boss as he looks for Baggies boost

Missing: Chancel Mbemba will be missing with an ankle problem

McClaren pinning faith on 'decent' Newcastle line-up despite injury problems

HONEST ASSESSMENT: Sam Allardyce has pulled no punches while describing Sunderland's current league position

Sam Allardyce: 'We're in a **** position" - but we can get out of it'

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Rob Elliot was Newcastle's stand-out performer in their 3-0 defeat at Everton

Rob Elliot hoping Newcastle's transfer-window feelgood factor survives their Goodison Park thrashing

National Sport

Reece Topley is on a roll with England

Reece Topley reveals England determination not to let South Africa off the hook

Chelsea's Kurt Zouma is almost certainly out for the rest of the season with a knee injury

Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma out for six months

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning only threw for 141 yards in Super Bowl 50

Peyton Manning to take time on retirement decision after second Super Bowl win

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England's Billy Vunipola is loving life under Eddie Jones

Billy Vunipola feeling the love at the heart of Eddie Jones' new-look England

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