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Wearside cocaine conspirators to pay back over £300,000



Kenneth Hunter and William Trott (Credit: Northumbria Police)

Two Wearside cocaine conspirators have been jailed for supplying drugs and ordered to pay back hundreds of thousands of their ill-gotten gains.

Kenneth Hunter and his associate William Trott were convicted in 2019 after a long-running investigation identified them as central figures in a plot to supply cocaine and amphetamine.

Investigations into their finances, which were culminated in two hearings, discovered that the pair had significantly benefitted from criminal activity.

The double act have since been ordered to pay back more than £300,000.

Trott, formerly of Hedworth Terrace, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on 11 February, with Hunter, formerly of St Paul’s Drive in Houghton, appearing on 25 February.

Following the hearings, Detective Sergeant Amber Renton from Northumbria Police’s Crime department said: “As part of our commitment to tackling serious and organised crime as part of Operation Sentinel, we will continue to pursue offenders after they’ve been convicted to make sure they are stripped of any ill-gotten gains under the Proceeds of Crime Act.”

A judge issued Trott a benefit order totalling £77,940 with £3,470 set as the available amount.

Hunter was issued with a benefit order of £241,653 with £24,800 set as the available amount.

Officers from Northumbria Police uncovered the pair’s illicit empire when disqualified driver Trott was caught behind the wheel of a car in Shiney Row.

A search of his home followed the arrest and led detectives to two kilos of cocaine and 12 kilos of amphetamine.

His associate Hunter was later arrested and during a search of his home, officers found a receipt for a speedboat which was quickly tracked down and seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act, along with several other vehicles.

£19,500 speedboat seized (Credit: Northumbria Police)

The pair later appeared at Newcastle Crown Court where they pleaded guilty and in May 2020, they were jailed for a combined total of 14 years and an investigation into their finances was subsequently launched.

The rulings mean that Trott must pay the available amount immediately and Hunter within three months – and whenever they come into money in the future, their benefit orders will be revisited until the amounts are paid in full.

Detective Sergeant Renton added: “This result sends a strong and clear message to those involved in drug supply – crime does not pay. I hope this shows our hardworking communities that those breaking the law and living in big houses, driving expensive cars or funnelling cash made in illicit ways will not get away with it.

“I would like to thank our team of financial investigators, whose detailed and thorough work ensures those committing crimes do not continue to benefit from their illicit activity. I also want to take this opportunity to ask the public to work with us – and report anything suspicious to us.”



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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United



North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.


Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.


It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..


“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”


Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.


What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.


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Sunday for Sammy Concert Cancelled For 2023 Due To Cost of Living



A popular charity concert will not be held in 2023 due to the cost of living crisis.

Sunday for Sammy, which is held in memory of North East actor Sammy Johnson, is a biennial event aimed at benefitting young performers.

The long-running event has featured the likes of Joe McElderry, Johnny Vegas, Brenda Blethyn, Denise Welch, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Mark Knopfler, Jill Halfpenny and Ant and Dec.

Tim Healy, who hosts Sunday for Sammy, said: “We’ve had lots of enquiries over the recent months asking when the next Sunday for Sammy will take place.

“We are very much aware at the moment that people are struggling with day-to-day living costs and are watching their pennies. Everything is becoming more and more expensive and that includes the cost of putting on a show the size of ours.”

He added: “We can’t in good conscious put on a show that we aren’t sure people can afford to be tickets for. It would be wrong to risk your money you have generously given us.

“So sadly we have decided that there won’t be a show in 2023. We’re going to wait until the time is right.”

Often dubbed The Geordie Command Performance, the shows, which have been running for more than 20 years, are held in memory of Geordie actor Sammy Johnson, who died in 1999.

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STACK Newcastle Bosses Scrap Plans For Christmas Pop-Up Venue



The owners of STACK have confirmed that there won’t be a pop-up version in Newcastle this Christmas, as plans have been shelved.

At the end of September it was reported that STACK’s owner, Danieli Group, were hoping to bring the brand back to the heart of Newcastle after its Pilgrim Street site was demolished earlier this year, after becoming a firm favourite with locals and visitors since 2018. The pop-up, close to the Crowne Plaza hotel in the Stephenson Quarter, looked set to be a massive draw before STACK makes its permanent return to the city next year, was planned to feature a number of shipping container bars, a new take on its famous Hadrian’s Tipi, street food vans, a stage and large screen, all on one level.

But, it has now been announced that the proposed STACK festive pop-up won’t be happening anymore. Confirming the decision, Neill Winch, CEO of Danieli Group said that while it was sad news that the pop-up would no longer take place, it meant the company can forge ahead with the Worswick Chambers plan.

He commented: “We know how much people miss not having a STACK in Newcastle so we are concentrating our efforts on creating what will become a flagship site back where STACK first began,” he said.

“Work is well underway on the scheme with a view to being open in winter 2023.”

In recent weeks it has announced new developments in Lincoln, Durham, Bishop Auckland and Carlisle.

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