A FATHER from Haydon Bridge has told of his horror after his young daughter almost died after choking on a sweet.

Following a family shopping trip to the MetroCentre, Lilly Bird, who attends Shaftoe Academy Trust in Haydon Bridge, was enjoying a bag of sweets in the back of her parent's car when she started choking.

A sweet lodged in her throat left the six-year-old struggling to breathe for around 20 minutes.

Members of the public rushed to help the family, before paramedics arrived on scene within minutes.

She was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, where she miraculously coughed up the sweet and began breathing again.

"There must have been 30 or 40 people who stopped," Lilly's dad Steven said. "I'd like to thank all the members of the public who helped, I want to thank everyone who was there.

"If this had happened anywhere else, I think we would have lost her."

Read more in this weeks' Hexham Courant.