This week’s top 10 stories from Sunderland

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A TROUBLING murder trial, a brave teenager who fought a thief and goings on at the Stadium of Light are among the stories which got web whiskers twitching this week.

Here’s our top ten web stories of the past

1) Jonty Hall was beaten with a bat and stabbed with a fork over a grudge, court told
Monday saw the trial begin of the two men charged with the murder of Jonty Hall. Opening evidence to the jury described some of Hall’s injuries, which jurors were told were dealt out over a 20-year-old grudge.

2) Victim cried ‘I’m sorry’ as he was beaten to death, court told
Day two of the Jonty Hall trial would have made no more easy listening for jurors, who were told how the victim cried: “I’m sorry” as he was beaten and cut.

3) Sunderland boss Poyet hopes Scocco can get up to speed
Gus Poyet admitted that January arrival Nacho Scocco is finding English football tough, but said the club was making every effort to get him up to speed.

4) Ill wind blows to pile pressure on Sunderland’s Norwich trip
Our sports reporter Chris Young gave his verdict on Sunderland’s performance against Crystal Palace, and what lies ahead at Norwich.

5) Jozy Altidore’s ‘better attitude’ is a boost as Fletcher’s injury woes continue
Poyet told our sports team how Altidore’s performance against Crystal Palace came as a welcome boost after a recurrence of Steven Fletcher’s ankle injury.

6) Judge praises Sunderland teenager who fought Christmas present thief
Echo readers joined a judge commending 13-year-old Joshua Saddler for his efforts to fight off a thief.

Judge Roger Thorn QC recommended Josh for an award as culprit Gareth Lumsden appeared in court.

7) Cattermole is keen to stay and keep learning at Sunderland
Lee Cattermole looked like he may be heading to Stoke in January, but the deal was never done.

Speaking for the first time on the situation, Cattermole said he was keen to stay at Sunderland – having learned more under Poyet’s leadership than he had in the whole of the rest of his time at the club.

8) Paedophile filmed children on the Metro
News that Robert Hart secretly filmed children on a train having already been subject to a sexual Offences Prevention Order for previous offences was met with the reaction one would expect.

District Judge Roger Elsey decided he could not give Hart a severe enough punishment, so sent his case to Newcastle Crown Court for sentencing.

9) Danny Graham has ‘unfinished business’ at Sunderland
Unsuccessful Sunderland striker Danny Graham raised eyebrows when he said he wished to return to Wearside to prove his worth under Gus Poyet.

SAFC bought the striker for £5million, but player failed to score and was sent out on loan to first Hull then Middlesbrough.

10) Controversial referee Kevin Friend appointed for Liverpool vs Sunderland
Echo readers were less that impressed with news that Kevin Friend would referee at Liverpool vs Sunderland.

The ref became no friend of Wearsiders last year when he handed Black Cats defender Wes Brown a controversial red card in a Premier League match against Stoke – and it wasn’t the first time SAFC fans had felt aggrieved over his decisions.