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Puppy wrapped in bag and set on fire in Newcastle

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Police are appealing for information after the body of a dog was found in Newcastle.

At around 4pm on Wednesday afternoon (March 15) police received a report from the fire service of a fire in some woods to the rear of Mead Walk in the Walker area of the city.

Officers attended and found the body of a puppy. It is believed the dog had been wrapped in a bin bag and the bag had been set alight.

It is believed the puppy had already died when the bag was set alight and a joint investigation between police and the RSPCA is now underway to establish the circumstances around the incident.

Northumbria Police Neighbourhood Inspector, Paul Duncan, has appealed for any witnesses to get in touch if they saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area yesterday afternoon.

He said: “This incident took place in the middle of the day and we believe members of the public in the area would have seen those responsible.

“It is a very distressing incident and we need to understand what has happened to this young dog.

“A joint investigation is ongoing with the RSPCA to establish the circumstances behind the incident and we are appealing for witnesses.

“An incident like this is likely to cause anger and distress to our local communities and I want to reassure local residents that we are treating this matter seriously”.

“If anyone has any information that may help our investigation then we would ask them to get in touch by calling us on 101.”

RSPCA inspector Cathy Maddison said a vet had examined the remains of the dog and found a microchip that has led investigators to believe the dog was a three-year-old Shih Tzu called Charlie.

She said: “This is a really shocking and upsetting discovery. The fire service were called yesterday, but they had no idea the horror they would discover once the fire was put out.

“At this stage we don’t know whether the dog was alive or not when the body was set on fire, which is horrific.

“A vet has examined the remains and it seems that the dog is an entire male Shih Tzu crossbreed, approximately three years old, with cream and tan markings.

He did have a microchip which tells us his name was Charlie, but unfortunately it does not have any further details.

“There are still many unanswered questions and we are keen to find out what happened, so we are asking anybody with any information to contact us or the police as soon as possible.”

Station Manager Jeff Boath, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This was initially reported as a fence on fire. However, on extinguishing the fire it was discovered that a small dog had been set on fire inside a plastic bag.

It is believed that the dog was deceased prior to the fire being started.”

Anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area on Wednesday afternoon, or has information that may help police, should call officers on 101 quoting log 690 15/03/17 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

They can contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018, leaving a message for Inspector Maddison.

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Dangerous prisoner fails to return after attending family funeral

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Police are appealing for help in tracing a Hollesley Bay prisoner who has absconded.

34-year-old Aaron Johnson was reported missing to police at 11.15pm  last night, Friday 17 August,.

Johnson had been granted a special purpose temporary licence to attend a funeral yesterday but failed to return to the prison as arranged. He was last seen in West London.

Johnson is serving a 9 year sentence for robbery, wounding and assault.

He is described as black, 6 feet tall, of medium build, and had a beard. He was wearing a black jacket,  blue jeans, white t-shirt and trainers.

Members of the public are advised not to approach him.

Anyone who believes they may have seen Aaron Johnson or who has any information regarding his whereabouts, is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting CAD 480 of 17 August.

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Scott Findlay subjected young mother to harrowing sex attack & punched her while she cradled 6-week-old baby

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A MAN who raped a young mother and repeatedly punched her as she cradled a six-week-old baby in her arms has been jailed.

Scott Findlay subjected his victim to a “prolonged and harrowing” attack in front of her two young children.

Today, at York Crown Court, Judge Simon Hickey sent the 27-year-old, from Ferryhill, in County Durham, to prison for 15 years for offences including rape, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and threats to kill.

The court heard that the victim pleaded with Findlay, who was armed with a kitchen knife, for her children to be prevented from seeing the attack.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Constable Katrina Meisuria, of Durham Constabulary’s Safeguarding Unit, praised the victim for her courage in giving evidence.

She said: “Scott Findlay subjected his victim to a prolonged, harrowing and violent attack in front of her two young children.

“It took great bravery by the victim to provide evidence at court reliving those events again.

“There is no doubt these crimes have had a life-changing effect on the victim and her children, but the conviction will provide the family with the opportunity to move forward”.

In a statement released through the police, the victim said: “This has been an extremely difficult time for me and my family.

“The incidents occurred only six weeks after the birth of my daughter who was in my arms as Scott Finlay repeatedly punched me about the head and my seven-year-old looked on in terror begging for him to stop hurting his mammy.

“No child should ever have to witness such an attack”.

She added: “My family and I are pleased with the outcome and relieved it is finally over and we can move forward to rebuilding our life”.

After a four-day trial at Durham Crown Court in May, a jury found Findlay guilty of three counts of rape, one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one count of making threats to kill.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and criminal damage.

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Man attacked staff with a traffic cone at petrol station

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Police are appealing for information after a man was assaulted with a traffic cone at a petrol station in Newcastle.

At around 12.05pm on Monday afternoon police received a report that a staff member at the Shell garage on the Great North Road in Gosforth had been assaulted with a traffic cone.

The male offender had filled up a motorcycle with fuel but was challenged by staff when it appeared that he would not pay for the fuel.

He became aggressive and then assaulted the staff member with a traffic cone before fleeing the scene on foot in the direction of The Three Mile Inn.

The victim of the assault was later taken to hospital with a suspected broken nose and cheekbone. It is also believed the motorcycle the offender left at the garage was stolen.

Enquiries into the incident are ongoing and police are now appealing for help from the public to identify the offender.

He is described as wearing all black with a white motorcycle helmet that had the visor down.

Officers also want to speak to any witnesses to the incident as there were a number of people on the garage forecourt who police have still not spoken to.

They are also keen to speak to any motorists who may have dash-cam footage showing the motorcycle in question.

Anyone who knows the man, or witnessed the incident on Monday, is encouraged to contact police on 101 quoting log 423 13/08/18 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

You can also email the OIC on [email protected] or report online at www.northumbria.police.uk/contact.

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