Top ten Sunderland stories of the week

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UNDERTAKER upset, Metro plans, a rampant flasher and more woes for Sunderland AFC were among stories getting you clicking this week.

Here are our top ten news and sport stories from the past seven days:

1) Seaham man charged with indecent assaults and flashing incidents in Sunderland

A string of sexual assaults and flashing incidents shocked Sunderland, with families fearing for their loved ones.

A man has been charged with 11 crimes and is awaiting an appearance at Newcastle Crown Court.

2) Sunderland’s Thai Manor shut over deadly fire safety breaches

A popular restaurant in Sunderland, news that Thai Manor had been shut down after a number of fire safety breaches left customers stunned.

Staff living in the cellar, fire doors padlocked and smoke alarms taped-up were among contraventions found in a spot check by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Services.

3) Sunderland funeral director wrongly denied grieving family the chance to say goodbye

The loss of a loved one is hard enough for anyone, but a family’s grief was made worse when a funeral director denied them chance to say goodbye – wrongly claiming a mum’s body was infected.

4) Police search for Sunderland flasher who exposed himself to teenage girls

Thousands of Echo readers help spread the message after flashings in Sunderland. As above, a man has now been charged in connection with the incidents. Thanks for your help in passing on the witness appeal!

5) Travel firm brothers smuggled £3million of heroin in secret chamber on coach

Brothers Gary and Glen Wheatley, who operated G&G Travel in Hetton, hid 12 kilos of high-grade heroin in a secret chamber they had built into one of their coaches.

The coach was full of unsuspecting tourists when they were caught, and an innocent pensioner was arrested.

6) “No hunger, no fight and it’s looking like not much hope”

This piece by our sports writer Chris Young on Sunderland’s loss to Norwich struck a chord with Echo readers, scores adding their own remarks on a disappointing game for their team.

7) Body found on beach in search for missing teacher

News that body had been found on Blackhall Rocks came as grim news to friends and family of Mark Bushnell, who had been missing since March 9. The body was later identified as his.

8) Sunderland recall Wickham from Leeds United

After Sunderland’s 2-0 defeat at Norwich, Poyet wasted no time in recalling young striker Connor Wickham from his loan spell at Leeds.

The Black Cats boss said if Sunderland were in a lower league, he would have used a loan to inject some vitality into the squad, but billed Wickham as being “like a new signing.”

9) Witness tried to stop Jonty Hall murder, court told

As the grizzly trial of Jonty Hall murder trial went on, witness Colin Brown told jurors how he tried to stop the killing.

10) Plans to extend Metro to Doxford Park, Ryhope, Washington and Seaham

Plans to extend the Metro system to Doxford Park, Washington, Seaham and the MetroCentre seem like an answer to many transport problems - and there have been many calls for such a move in the past.

Spirits were dampened a little, however, when it was made clear that such a project would require significant Government funding and even then would not be finished until 2030.