One of the North-East’s best-known investigative journalists, Patrick Lavelle of the Sunderland Echo, has surprised colleagues by quitting to become a media lecturer.
Lavelle, 44, the Echo’s assistant editor and head of content, is to join Sunderland University in January as a lecturer in journalism.
Asked about his decision to leave the Johnston Press evening, Lavelle said: “There are a number of reasons, some I would rather not go into. But I’ve enjoyed my time at the Echo, it has given me opportunities I would never have been given otherwise. I hope to maintain strong links with the paper.”
Lavelle has won a string of awards and is the current holder of the Ted Cordner award for investigative journalism.
He turned one of his investigations into “Wearside Jack” – the hoaxer who claimed to be the Yorkshire Ripper -into a book called In the Shadow of the Ripper .
Lavelle began his career on the Hexham Courant , was crime correspondent for the Northern Echo and has a degree in criminal justice studies and criminology