And here's to 2015! May it be all we wish it to be...
Normal service will resume on Friday.
Mitchell, a trained drone pilot who is also one of the few journalists with approval from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to commercially operate Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA), said he did not need to advise air traffic control as he was operating a drone weighing under 7kg at the time.
“I identified myself to police officers at the scene and said that I would be putting a drone up,” he said.Which is exactly what he's supposed to do. Remember all the pants-wetting the police were indulging in earlier over the fears of unlicensed folks getting their hands on these things?
“Twenty minutes later, while I was flying it a sergeant arrived and shouted ‘get the drone down now’. I said that I couldn’t talk as I had it in the air. All three of them then came at me, ripped the controller from my hands and slapped cuffs on me.”
“All three of them tried to bring it down. They were passing the controller between them but it was all over the place.”/facepalm
Mitchell, who trades under the name of Aerial-News, said that the officers from Surrey police told him that he was being arrested for a breach of the peace. He said that he was released after nearly five hours in custody with no further action taken.
However, his drone was still in the possession of Surrey police.And is probably being flown around the Surrey Police canteen right now. Or maybe having its film tampered with?
He intends to lodge complaints with the Independent Police Complaints Commission and CAA this week.It does rather make you wonder what it was he filmed police doing at the scene that they didn't want filmed, doesn't it?
"The arrest was made following complaints from local residents and others in the vicinity of the tragic incident in which a woman and two young children sadly lost their lives. Detective Chief Inspector Antony Archibald, said:
“While in attendance, concerns about the behaviour of a man were raised to officers from people who believed he was acting in a disrespectful and intrusive manner.
“At the time of the arrest, the main focus for officers and fire crew at the scene was to conclude the initial forensic investigation and to allow the dignified removal of the bodies of those who had sadly died.
“This was a deeply distressing incident which has devastated the community and the impact will be felt for some time. The thoughts of all at Surrey Police are with those affected by the fire.”
The arrested man was taken to Salfords Custody Suite but once the risk of the breach of the peace had ceased he was released from police custody. An item which was confiscated from him during the arrest is now in the process of being returned.Translation: "We stopped a journalist doing his job in a lawful manner because an identity group complained and we have to pander to them no matter what, or we'll never climb the greasy pole, will we?"
"Greenpeas have not only walked over them, they have spread graffiti on them. Graffiti nobody can see unless they have a non-Greenpeas-approved satellite camera.
This means that other people will now have to further damage the lines by walking over them to get rid of the Greenpeas shite.
And this irreparable damage is all to further their cause of not damaging the planet.
Sometimes you come across such a density of stupid it has an event horizon."
Martin Deahl, 58, who was part of the same volunteer group as the victim and sat next to her on the plane home from Africa, said: ‘The precautions and checks at the airport were shambolic. There seemed to be too few staff and too few rooms or places to put us in.....maybe because it's expensively trained staff think nothing of gallivanting off to Third World hellholes while British people languish in A&E for hours?
‘When I heard the news about Pauline, I thought it was a false alarm. I thought she had a fever due to something else. [Ebola] cannot be spread by airborne contact so as long as there was no touching, then there should not have been a problem,’ he said.
‘But most of us went out into the community. Some went for a morning run. I went to church myself on Christmas morning and I have no doubt Pauline probably contracted the virus doing something similar.’Jesus Christ!
Barrister Tony Davis, representing Mr Potts, told the court that all 14 of his dogs were seized after the incident.
Should Mr Potts be convicted some of the dogs involved are likely face a destruction order. Mr Davis told the court:
“It’s now been possible to identify which of the 14 dogs impounded by police were present at this incident and, therefore, I’m making an application to have seven returned as they cannot be put under any ‘suspicion’.
“Therefore, it would lift the threat of them facing a destruction order.”They surely can’t be returned to the defendant?
Mr Potts’ bail conditions forbid him having control of any dogs, so if Mr Davis’ application succeeds, the defendant’s father has agreed to look after any of the dogs if they are released.I’m sure he’s much more capable…
The RSPCA is hunting the sick individuals who dumped a horse so poorly and emaciated it could no longer stand in a south Essex park.How awful! Any clues..?
The piebald mare was found collapsed and unable to get up in Wick Country Park, in Wickford.Hmmm...
Thames Gateway says...
I wonder who nearby has horses like that...and are perhaps not subject to the usual checks of officialdom due to the need 'not to stir things up'.It's a puzzle indeed.
According to council insiders, bin lorry crews have been given lessons since the tragedy on how to stop vehicles in an emergency.
The training sessions were allegedly given for refuse workers who do not normally drive.
A local authority source told The Sunday Post that if they had pulled a handbrake on the dashboard it would have stopped the lorry.
He added: “It's as simple as showing staff where it is and how to pull it. But very few of the non-driving staff, if any, knew about it.”Remember, folks, the sort of councils that demand residents shut down fountains over the minuscule risk of Legionella, interfere in every aspect of private industry, and worry about the lampost-damaging qualities of wool don't bother to teach all their employees how to potentially halt a runaway multi-tonne vehicle.
Councillor Peter McDonald, who initially treated it as a joke, now says he wants it back and is threatening to involve the police unless the culprit owns up and returns it.
To make the situation even more bizarre, he says he's had a private meeting with Simon Mallinson, the council's legal chief, who said some staff found the cut-out "offensive" and that it should not be allowed on-site.Stop! My sides!!
Edward Leo, who runs Combat-UK in Broadwater Crescent, Stevenage, dressed up a spare female mannequin with a red and white trimmed suit, black sunglasses and replica gun and placed it in the window several weeks ago.
Mr Leo said: “At no time have we had a member of the public or customers raising any concerns regarding our Santa.
“At Combat-UK we embrace Christmas and Santa in his many forms.”Well, we can't let that stand, can we? Surely the local paper can dig up some prune-faced old biddy to purse her lips disapprovingly?
Rita Brian of Bragbury End told the Comet she did not find the joke funny.
The 65-year-old said: “The shop has always grated on me, but this Santa in the window is totally inappropriate. I know there is a school nearby and children have to walk past the shop every day.
“I have no problem with army surplus goods, it is just the weapons.”Bah humbug, Rita!
Householders will have to wait another 16 months for an emergency power cuts helpline promised almost a year ago, Labour revealed on Saturday.I think someone needs to explain the definition of 'emergency'...
Thousands of people faced power cuts last winter as a result of severe storms and flooding that affected large parts of the UK in December and January.
One problem the crisis highlighted was the absence of a single emergency number for customers to use if they want to find out how long power cuts will last, regardless of where they live or which energy company is involved.
Following a meeting with power companies in January, Ed Davey, the energy secretary, announced the government would look into setting up such a helpline.It seems like a relatively simple thing to do, doesn't it?
“It is totally unacceptable that a year after they promised to set up a 999-style blackout hotline there is still no number for households to call – and at the current rate there won’t be one next winter either,”
Flint said. “It only takes three years to build a power station, so there’s no reason why it should take so long to get a helpline up and running.”Well, quite. So why the hold up?
A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said the ENA was in the lead on this issue and that setting up a three-digit helpline took time because it involved negotiating with the EU.What..?! Why? I mean, for the love of God, what business is it of the EU? Must they have a finger in every pie?
An ENA spokesman said it had always intended an April 2016 launch and this two-year process compared favourably with the nine years it took to set up non-emergency numbers for the police and NHS.*speechless*
Relatives and charities are calling for disabled adults with difficult behaviour currently sectioned under the Mental Health Act to be released to receive better treatment more cheaply at home or in the community.What sort of ‘difficult behaviour’..?
Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Mencap, said there “can be no excuses” for carers using hospitals as long-term homes for learning-disabled adults with challenging behaviour.Oh, right, now it’s ‘challenging behaviour’! Make up your minds.
Kevin Healey, who campaigns for better rights and treatment for people with autism, said: “These cases are appalling. We’re in the 21st century now but it’s like we’re living in the 1940s when autism was newly discovered.
“Society institutionalises it. These people need a unique care package. They should be integrated into society, not locked away.”Funny, but there’s a lot of people saying the exact opposite, pressurising for special treatment to be separate from society, even if just for a while!
A "sickening" online video for a £47m Deptford development has provoked a furious response for…Oo-er!
… portraying much-needed new homes as investments rather than places for people to actually live.Ummm, what?
The scheme is the latest in a string of major housing developments - including Kidbrooke Village and Eltham's Grove Place - being marketed to foreign investors in places like Hong Kong, who often let the properties out or even leave them vacant before flogging them off at a hefty profit.Oh my god! I didn’t realise that people could do such a thing with property they legally own!
The video was hastily pulled from one website after an angry online response, with Deptford artist Maria Livings writing: "The idea that this project is being sold to investors and that the coolness of artists is being touted as the reason why property prices are about to hurtle still further up is completely sickening.
"None of the interesting, creative people who have contributed to the vibrant culture of the area are able to afford to buy a home and their work spaces are being eliminated wholesale as developers buy up all the land to create yet more unaffordable housing."Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
And Deptford resident Dan Strange, from the Defend Council Housing group, contrasted the video with council housing shortages and the high level of deprivation in parts of SE8, saying: "I was absolutely shocked by the clear speculation behind the project.
"No one is surprised but of course it's a loss for the people of Lewisham. It's clear the vast majority of people won’t be able to afford these flats."I’m not sure that fewer of the ‘vibrant culture’ types could really be seen as a loss, per se…
Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock said: "It's a problem across the whole of London. We've seen it trickle down from properties along the riverfront right through the city. I think most of us aren't very happy about it."*shrugs* Personally, I could care less.
"We remain grateful to the many members of our community who recognise the work that we and our partners do to support those facing complex issues, particularly at this time of the year.”Thus spake Jeremy Jones, chief executive of Arc Light.
Mr Johnson said: “I’m fully relieved it’s not coming back to the village, and I have the police to thank for that.
“PC Sarah Ward arranged that, and if not for her, then I would not have been able to keep my sheep safely. I’m very surprised magistrates said they didn’t have powers to keep it away from the village, that shocked me, but I’m grateful to the police for arranging for it to be rehomed, they’ve been brilliant.”Sadly its new home isn’t 6 ft under…
Mr Johnson said he was happy to see an end to the matter, but was not confident he would benefit from the compensation.
He said: “I thought the sentence was rather light, £150 for each of the offences, not each of the animals. The interesting thing was they added it to funds he already owed the court, which means I’m only going to get one ninth of £25. It’s going to be about five years before I see the money repaid.”Oh, I bet it’ll be longer than that.
In a pre-sentence report, the Essex Probation Service said Gilbert was deemed such a risk to the public, that without completing an intervention programme in prison, he was at risk of killing someone.I find it rather difficult to believe that that’s guaranteed to stop him, frankly…
The court heard that Rhuebell had grown up in care and had 45 convictions for 92 offences.*sighs*
Tom Quinn, mitigating, read out character references from more than 30 members of Laidlaw’s friends and family who expressed their shock at the attack and described him as a usually kind man.
The court heard he helped deliver his baby after his partner went in to labour unexpectedly.*nonplussed face*
You don’t want me to spoil your Christmas dinner with articles about injustice and exploitation.No, George, we don't.
So during the festive season I tell winter’s tales instead: strange, true, but without political intent.*hollow laugh* Really..?
Pushing shit with a squeegee all day long, knowing that as soon as I left a pen it would start to fill up again, is not a formula for job satisfaction.Oh, I don't know. Are you really doing anything different today? The pigshit at least probably smelled sweeter...
This is when you’re faced with the question that you should have squared up to 20 years ago: how do you formulate an anti-consumerist worldview that doesn’t involve becoming a killjoy? How do you eschew consumption while still maintaining your spiritual hollowness? The people buying the plastic have annexed the space “fun”, while the people with the baby in the manger have appropriated “thought”. I have no ideological home in this season. But I do love the drinking.The NuPuritans won't like that!
You’re rushing off to the toy shop for that special present to make any child jump for joy.*nods happily*
But wait a minute. How prepared are you?Hmmm, let's see.
Have you read the report Toy Related Deaths and Injuries 2013, from the US-based Consumer Product Safety Commission? Or did you see the latest research from the BMJ on the health risks of Nintendos? Or the report this month from Clinical Pediatrics showing that the rate of toy-related injuries among children and adolescents increased by 40% between 1990 and 2011?...
No one wants to be an elf and safety bore and wrap our children in cotton wool but shouldn’t we try to be responsible Santas?FFS!
So the only thing left to worry about is cooking the turkey thoroughly and pacing the drinking. Happy healthy Christmas.*guzzles neat gin*
The most senior judge in England and Wales today said men who prey on vulnerable young girls for sex will be dealt with “severely”, as he dismissed appeals from four paedophile groomers.If they think their punishments are too harsh, they can always depart for the sharia law-governed country of their choice…
Assistant Chief Constable Wayne Mawson, Local Policing Commander for the West, said investigations into what caused the crash were ongoing.
'We can however confirm that this is not a terrorism-related incident,' he said.I can see why he felt the need to say it, in view of recent incidents in France, but still, I can remember a time when the first thought on anyone's mind would have been 'driver must have been taken ill at the wheel'.
As the row over the decision to axe Burger King from a Southampton hospital rumbles on, the Daily Echo went to test how healthy the alternatives are.Heh! *settles in with popcorn*
On close inspection, we discovered a range of healthy meals on offer, including chicken pasta, vegetarian stroganoff and a wrap and burrito counter. There is also a dedicated salad bar with nutritional information around each ingredient, plus a fresh fruit and yoghurt counter throughout the day.
Bosses also provide comment slips for customers to feed back information, with a display board indicating what changes have been made as a result.So, all hunky dory?
But while Burger King provides a calorie breakdown for all of the items on its menu, it was difficult to find the same level of detail in Spice of Life. For example, there did not appear to be anything informing customers of how many calories were in the main meals on the menu and staff were unable to tell us when asked.SNORK!
And although there were plenty of healthy options, pizza was also on offer alongside plenty of sugary drinks, crisps, confectionery and a traditional ‘fry-up’ breakfast.Now, yes, I know, there's nothing 'unhealthy' about either, and calorie breakdowns are a nonsense, but hey, it's nice to see them hoist by that petard they force on everyone else, isn't it?
Southampton Healthwatch, which represents patients’ views in the city, has backed the plans to axe Burger King, while Hampshire GP and television presenter Dr Hilary Jones also supported the move as a way to reduce obesity. The full details of the plans have yet to be released, leaving it unclear whether another food outlet or shop will replace Burger King, if the unit will disappear altogether or if it will be used for another purpose.So, patients are really, really keen to get rid of Burger King, are they? Or just maybe, that group doesn't represent patient's views at all.
Chairman of the bench Karen Hopwood said: “You failed to secure the dog appropriately and by your own admission she has a problem with other female dogs.
“Witnesses said that the incident was terrifying and they were shocked by the level of aggression, but probation expressed concern about your thinking skills and level of acknowledgement of responsibility.
“You admitted that she did not like other dogs and sometimes ran away, and we feel that a conditional destruction order is not appropriate.”So the dog gets the big sleep, and the owner is outraged:
Speaking after the sentencing Gayle told the Daily Echo that he thought Roxy should not be put down.
He said: “I think it’s unjust and it’s the dog’s first offence. For a first-time offence with a dog I’ve got a five-year ban and a £700 fine.”Well, there’s a first time for everything.
A man phoned police after his neighbour…Broke in? Threatened him?
… posted a giant photo of a grinning Sir Cliff Richard in the window overlooking his dining room.I…
James Maltby said the image of the beaming pop star was “creepy” but police told him they could not do anything about the picture – because it was not a zombie.Say what..?!?
“They said if it was a picture of a zombie they could do something about it, but because it is a picture of a face they cannot.”Really? A picture of a zombie would be illegal? What else is illegal, the Loch Ness Monster? Bigfoot?
The neighbour, James Dean, said he was “surprised to find myself amidst a most bizarre misunderstanding” and the image was posted by a “comrade” as a “comical greeting”.*baffled face*
A radio show poll on whether two turkeys should be ‘kept’ or ‘cooked’ has been condemned by the RSPCA.Oh..?
Harriet Cawley, a spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: “We do not see the entertainment value in killing an animal for this purpose.
“We would strongly urge the radio production team to rethink this stunt.”Well, OK then. What happens if they do?
The turkeys, named Sage and Onion, are the only two of the 300-strong gang yet to be killed from Callow Farm in North Oxfordshire.
Last night around two-thirds had voted in favour of saving the turkeys.Ah. Right. If they do rethink it, Sage & Onion will get the chop like the rest of their mates.
Queen guitarist and RSPCA vice-president Brian May tweeted he was “disgusted” by the stunt.OK, Brian, but that’s because you’re a moron.
Restaurant Chapter One, in Locksbottom, is serving the controversial 'delicacy' as part of its festive menu.
On Christmas Day, customers can enjoy a starter of 'Terrine Of Chicken and Foie Gras with Pickled Winter Vegetables & Truffle Mayonnaise', and diners on New Years Eve can expect a main consisting of 'Fillet of Beef with Pan Fried Foie Gras, Spinach & Truffled Madeira Sauce'.I must admit, I'm not a fan of this, it's too rich for my taste. But each to his own.
However, Bromley-based animal rights group Passive Pressure Animal Welfare Group is less than impressed. The group held a protest in the form of a candlelit vigil outside the restaurant, on Sunday November 23.
Armed with placards and signs, the group says this will not be the last if the eatery continues to serve this "unethical delicacy".Christ, you don't get me picketing veggie restaurants, do you? Why not just not eat it yourselves?
Fellow campaigner and Bromley North resident, Sara Charania, 37, added: "Chapter One have been asked by the public politely to remove this from their menu, they have seen footage of how it is produced.
"They know production is banned in the UK and yet they seem to still want to import it all in the name of profit whilst knowing what miserable existences these helpless birds have."The restaurant, for once, isn't backing down (yet!) and attempted to appease these loons by displaying the sterling ethical standards of their product.
The restaurant sources its fois gras from supplier Fine France, and a spokesperson for Chapter One said: “Ethically, they [Fine France] object to the industrial methods of obtaining foie gras which are demeaning to the welfare of the birds. They only source and will only ever source traditional Foie Gras rather than the industrial machinery.
“Their products are definitely ethically produced, with a full-respect of traditions, birds and nature.
“Ducks and geese, being migratory birds, have a natural tendency/instinct to gorge on food prior to starting migration.”It'll be in vain, though. These people can't be swayed by reason.
An IT expert who worked for some of Britain’s top law firms died after taking seven times the “normal” recreational amount of ecstasy at an illegal rave in an abandoned police station, an inquest heard.Thus proving intelligence in one field isn’t necessarily carried over to any other…
Imdre Valiokaite, a friend of Mr Carlton-Smith, said: “He didn’t take drugs regularly — only at raves. We were on the stairs and a man in a hood asked if we wanted some coke. Max took off with the guy and that was the last time I saw him.”Wait, wait…
The coroner said he would write a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May to advise on more stringent powers for police to shut down illegal raves.
Recording a narrative verdict, he said: “He had taken MDMA at an illegal rave and had collapsed after being in a drug-induced trance. He did not immediately receive medical aid. He died at 6.23am. His death was a drug overdose.”I expect the police will be delighted to have the powers to ‘shut down illegal raves’, with all the resultant drain on manpower that will entail, all because some idiot wanted to score illegal drugs.
Max’s mother Linda Carlton-Smith said: “This will not bring Max back, but I hope the report will help save the lives of other young people and mean his death was not in vain.
“I hope in future the organisers would be less greedy and have proper health and safety and security in place. As for the man who sold the MDMA he took, which he took on top of the MDMA he had brought with him, how can you live with yourself?”Well, love, he’s a dealer in illegal drugs, so expecting him to have a social conscience is like expecting illegal rave organisers to be clued up on the latest requirements for legitimate businesses.
Beggars bother us apparently. They bother shopkeepers and residents. They are not good for business. They annoy us when we are only trying to spend our hard-earned money. We know what they need, even if they don’t. They are often difficult people to help.What’s your next column going to be about, then? How water is wet, and the sky is blue?
I don’t kid myself here, but what is the point of further criminalising them?What’s the alternative, if they are doing something criminal?
The demand to arrest beggars is said to be because some are aggressive and intimidating. But surely this is an attempt to cleanse and hide the increasing numbers.No, it might just be because some are aggressive and intimidating. Even Sigmund Freud had to agree that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar…
As we load up for Christmas, it really would be nicer not to encounter these hopeless, zoned-out specimens. They are the cities’ human graffiti, reminding us that inequality is not some abstract notion. But is it really the job of the police to arrest them, fine them and call this “help” ?Yes, if they are doing something arrestable.
Antisocial behaviour is not sitting by a cash machine asking for spare change.It can be. If people want to use a cashpoint without being hassled for change by a worthless drunk or drug addict.
Are we to accept this, as well as the notion that food banks are necessary in a very rich country? To see this as inevitable strikes me as the most antisocial behaviour of all.Food banks aren’t necessary. They are a calculated political pressure point and we can all see through them. Mainly thanks to people like you constantly harping on about them.
Andrew Smith, of Campaign Against the Arms Trade, said: “On Remembrance Day, the Tower of London was a focus for remembering the horrendous loss of life in the First World War.
It is disturbing that just weeks later it can play host to the very arms companies which profit from perpetuating war and conflict today.
It is crassly insensitive and in extremely bad taste that this historic monument would do this so soon after providing such a high-profile focal point for Remembrance Day.”Riiiiight. You're really 'concerned' aren't you? Really upset at the 'offence' caused to the Remembrance Day event.
The event was organised by the LCCI’s defence and security committee group, whose members include representatives of BAE Systems, Britain’s largest defence company, as well as French-owned Thales and Lockheed.
In a statement, the LCCI said: “This event is attended by those who work or have an interest in the defence and security industry, including MoD and military personnel.Venues are chosen based on considerations including cost, availability, their relevance to the sector and on feedback from our members.”
In a statement, HRP said: “As an independent charity receiving no Government or Crown funding, we rely on income generated by commercial activities to care for the palaces and keep them open for people to enjoy.
“Our events policy states that we will work with clients who appropriately reflect the status and dignity of the palaces. In our judgement, the decision to host an event by the London Chamber of Commerce is consistent with this policy.”Mine too. So take your oh-so-fake 'concern' and shove it!
Camille Cosby has broken her silence to portray her husband Bill Cosby as…A monster, surely..?
… a victim of media misrepresentation, invoking Rolling Stone’s disputed story on rape at the University of Virginia.Ooooh…! Good for her!
… but in a statement released Monday afternoon to CBS Evening News she asked the provocative question: “Who is the victim?”How very dare she! Doesn’t she know that it’s always, always the accuser?
The public defiance of a wife standing by her husband in the wake of allegations of sexual impropriety is hardly unfamiliar.
But Camille Cosby’s attempt to overtly connect the news media’s coverage of the accusations against Bill Cosby to Rolling Stone’s <>troubled portrayal of an alleged gang rape on the campus of UVA is likely to raise eyebrows.Is it really?
Cosby said in her statement: “The story was heart-breaking, but ultimately appears to be proved to be untrue. Many of the media were quick to link that story to stories about my husband – until that story unwound.”Indeed so. It's almost as if there's no journalistic standards anymore, isn't it?
A source said: “The plane was taxiing down the runway but we managed to turn it round. This was a big decision to take because of all the disruption it caused.
But we had to stop her going. It has probably saved her life.”It’s nice that you can inconvenience an entire plane full of people so you can pat yourselves on the back & bask in the adulation of the left-wing, but seriously, what loss to the UK would she have been..?
Mr Justice Keehan, in the High Court, said he was "extremely surprised" at the secretive stance taken by West Midlands Police, which claimed the men could face retaliation if they were named. The force is still refusing to formally release photographs of the gang despite the judge’s forceful comments about the way officers had approached the case.Oh, and it gets better!
Police had also argued that there was a risk innocent members of the public would be mistaken for members of the gang and attacked.As you can imagine, that cut even less ice with the by now irascible judge:
"The surest way of eradicating or ameliorating the risk of misidentification is ensuring the fullest possible details of each of the (men), including photographs, are made public and given wide coverage by the media,” the judge said. "I am not satisfied that there is any credible evidence that there is a risk to the life of any respondent to these proceedings.
"Publicity about these (men) may cause embarrassment, distress or anxiety to the respondents or to members of their respective families and friends.
"Such would not have occurred if they had not engaged, as I have found they did, in the sexual exploitation of a vulnerable young female."Quite. These are consequences.
After two months of living in limbo in Calais and half a day hanging inches from death, Ahmed Osman must have felt that his 3,000-mile journey from Eritrea to join his older brother Jamal on English soil had finally come to a happy end.Well, in a way, it did, especially if you ask the poor bloody taxpayer…
At Kings Lynn County Court, police investigators said no blame could be attached to the coach driver, Mr Evans.
Checks on the vehicle at Calais by British border officials had also failed to find any sign of Ahmed hidden in the bowels of the coach.Keeping our borders safe, there, lads!
An Eritrean friend, who declined to be named, said: “We all come here for the same purpose - to leave behind a terrible war, a terrible place for somewhere safe where we can live with peace and respect. That is all we seek and, as you can see, we will take any risk to achieve it.”But you were presumably safe the minute you left. Why travel through all those European countries to get to the UK?
A Bournemouth woman who ‘glassed’ a stranger in a nightclub has been given a second chance after breaching the conditions of a suspended sentence order.There’s a shocker, eh?
On Friday, the 21-year-old- who lost her job as an estate agent over the attack - admitted three breaches of the order, in that she had demonstrated “unacceptable behaviour” during unpaid work assignments on three occasions – on September 12 and twice on October 3.But she’s a victim, poor dear! Don’t worry, the judge will ensure that you don’t have to face the consequences of your actions:
The judge said he had borne in mind details of Thomas’ past which had not been read out in court to spare her embarrassment, but that he would not allow the court to be influenced by the “public response to the original sentence” .Perish the thought!
The details of the behaviour which incurred the breaches were not heard, but Tom Evans said in mitigation that there were “contributory factors” including “press reports” of Thomas’ original sentencing which left her “feeling like she couldn’t breathe”.Blimey, I need an even smaller violin!
He said her mother had suffered a stroke on one of the days when a breach occurred, and that she was afraid she might have cancer. “She accepts her behaviour was unacceptable,” he said.
“As is clear from her letter, she says there was no excuse for her behaviour.”But you’ve just given a couple anyway! What, is it a purely reflex action for defence briefs now?
Last night, police were still trying to trace the owners of the two dogs – both of whom locals say are often seen hanging around in the area.And no doubt would be well-known to local police? If the ‘neighbourhood team’ designation they often have meant anything at all…
A police spokesman said: "A number of witnesses have come forward with information and their statements are being taken and a number of other enquiries are being carried out.
"Investigating officers are aware that a number of concerns have been raised in relation to other matters involving individuals in the area. These have been and are being investigated and any possible links to the recent incident will be explored."Is it me, or does it sound like the sort of bland, reassuring (without promising any action) sort of statement that we’ve come to expect from so many crimes that the police feel it’s beneath their dignity to have to do something about..?
Senior Labour councillor Nick Peel said the campaigners have lost sight of who the ‘real enemy’ is.
Labour has pledged to abolish the under-occupancy charge if they win the next general election, and in August 2013 Bolton Council passed a motion - with the backing of Conservative councillors - calling for the hated policy to be scrapped.
“Cliff marched through Bolton town centre with these people against the bedroom tax and was proud to do so”, Cllr Peel said.
“The cause has been taken over by the hard left, whose fight is always with Labour, not the Tory government.
“Not one of the protestors mentioned the Tory government, who are behind the introduction of the bedroom tax.
“But that is what we always get with the Trots – they don’t challenge the Conservatives, they just hate Labour.”*gets biiiiiig bag of popcorn*
Mohammed Afzal, defending, said in his short life Abdul had experienced a number of set backs including the death of his father who had been killed by his father’s cousin.Oh, well, that makes it quite understandable that when you can’t get your benefits you threaten your pregnant wife in front of your two year old daughter after drinking two bottles of vodka…
Mr Richard Quinn, representing Botham, said his client was drawing sketches in the city, inviting passers by to give him coins at the time of the incident.*sighs*
“I know he’s said he’s sorry, I just hope he will comply. I hope he will be honourable and do the right thing.”Well, there's probably more chance of that than there is of the authorities using the new powers they've granted themselves properly, anyway...
Both Ms King and Mr Wright were both initially held on suspicion of manslaughter but in April were released without charge.
Addressing the hearing, Det Insp Peter Simm said he released Ms King because "I was of the opinion she was a victim herself of what happened that night".
"She was a very young mother who cared deeply for her child," he said.Just not deeply enough not to shack up with the first unsuitable chav with a potential killer ‘pet’ she came across.
The coroner said he had considered whether a verdict of unlawful killing could be returned by reason of gross negligence manslaughter, but that needed to be looked at with foresight rather than hindsight and required a gross breach in duty of care, which amounted in law to a criminal act.
He also needed to consider whether there was an obvious and immediate risk of serious injury to Ava-Jayne, he said.
As a result, he said, he shared the view expressed by the Crown Prosecution Service that the facts did not amount to gross negligence.Really? You mean, despite all the previous case histories and sorry tales, bringing a baby into an environment such as this one didn’t present ‘an obvious and immediate risk of serious injury’?
Vandals twice trashed a memorial to a young man only a month before the second anniversary of his death in a car accident.Oh, my goodness! In which graveyard or cemetery did this awful thing occur?
Flowers and ribbons placed in memory of Jay Aaron Ansell were found strewn across the floor by his family.
They found a plaque hanging “in loving memory” of the 20-year-old thrown in a ditch and damaged.Ah. Never mind. Not a memorial at all, just another of those tacky litter ‘shrines’ that get put up where someone hit a tree.
The family reported the damage to the police, who are investigating.Wha..?
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Flowers and ribbons which had been put round the tree had been scattered. The plaque had been damaged, taken off the tree and thrown into a ditch.
"Extra tributes were put out and within an hour of that happening they had been scattered around again.
“We are looking for a dark blue Ford Focus seen going in the direction of Burgess Hill.”
Anyone with information should call 101, quoting serial 672 of 9/12, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.I’m sorry? Just what on earth is the ‘crime’ here? Disturbing some litter?
The first driver, Khader Ahmed Sharif Abdi admitted the charge before Bristol magistrates and was given a conditional discharge, and ordered to pay a contribution to the prosecution costs.
The second driver, Sheikh Omar Mohamed, was found guilty by Bristol magistrates and fined a total of £340.The penalty for a second offence should be removal of their licence. For 20 years.
Chief Inspector Nick Aldworth of the Metropolitan Police told the EU Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment sub-committee that drones, known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (or RPAS) in Blighty’s official parlance, had been used maliciously in the country, but the cops only really found out about it from the internet.I wish I was surprised at that, I really, really do!
“Certainly we are looking at the emergence of this technology, that we believe undoubtedly creates opportunities for negligent, reckless or malicious use,” he said.
“We’ve seen some behaviour and examples across the world that we would seek to enforce against, and some of that has occurred in the UK," he added.And just how are you going to 'enforce against it'?
...although laws exist that can cover drone offences, it’s not easy to catch the perpetrators.
Answorth said even if you happened to notice a drone outside your window and called the police, unless they showed up immediately, it would be pretty tough for them to figure out who the pilot was.Well, so much for that!
"I'd love to be able to afford some vegetables, I really would," says 20-year-old Yasmin.
"Being a qualified cook, I'd love to make myself a nice risotto or something. But I'm not rich; I'm not posh. I can't afford nice food."Oh, wait…. *rummages*
For the last year Yasmin has been living at the YMCA in Burton-upon-Trent. She is one of an estimated four million people in food poverty - without enough money to make healthy eating choices.
The counter-intuitive reality - particularly for poorer women - is perfectly illustrated by what she says next.
"I've gained loads of weight since I've lived in the YMCA because when I'm not eating my body stores the fat and makes me fatter. And then when I am eating, it's just stuff like rice and cheap stodgy stuff. You can't afford to eat nicely," she says.You mean…rice like that healthy risotto you were desperate for, in just the other paragraph..?
Adam Sapwell had taken the axe to confront a pub landlord he wrongly believed had been having a relationship with his ex-partner, Worcester Crown Court was told.
The former landlord of the Albion pub in Bath Road, Wesley Joyce, had gone out for a jog after football training when Sapwell approached him at about 7pm on July 20 this year, Lynette McClement, prosecuting, told the court. Sapwell had previously threatened to attack him and he confronted him outside the Hand in Glove pub in College Street. Mr Joyce saw him reach under his jacket and take out an axe and was forced to dodge as Sapwell swung it at him, hitting a road sign.
Sapwell then ran off, still carrying the axe, towards the Vue cinema in Worcester, dodging traffic, with Mr Joyce and another man chasing him. He turned and threw the axe towards Mr Joyce, who restrained him with the help of others against a white van. He then bit Mr Joyce on the hand, causing marks and breaking the skin.The everyday story of underclass folk...
Sapwell, aged 29, of Liverpool Road, Ronkswood, Worcester, had previous convictions for violence, the court heard. He pleaded guilty to affray and having an offensive weapon. The injury was said to be part of the affray and a separate charge of assault was ordered to lie on the file.Wha..?
James Burke, defending, said it appeared Sapwell only had the axe to cause fear and did not intend to cause injury with it. He said Mr Joyce had realised he wasn't going to use it and had chased after him.
Sapwell had been in jail before but had now reformed and had become a hard-working man, finding jobs with a travelling funfair and as a labourer as well as seasonal work. He had spent four months in prison on remand.Oh dear, how sad.
Judge Toby Hooper, QC, said Sapwell had dangerously thrown the axe away and it could have gone anywhere, causing members of the public to be afraid. He said Sapwell had shown he was capable of hard work and now had a young child with his partner. He was given a 16 month sentence suspended for two years with supervision on each charge to run concurrently.
He was also ordered to attend a reducing violence programme.You know what reduces violence, judge? Banging up violent scumbags!
…it was Gove who paved the way to erode confidence in the arts, and he remains the inspiration for my effort to better advocate the arts to government.
This is why I intend to stand as an independent candidate in Surrey Heath, the constituency for which Gove is currently a member of parliament, in next year’s general election.So says ‘Bob and Roberta Smith’ (no, not two people, just the affectation of British contemporary artist Patrick Brill).
In my manifesto I will argue that:
• No school should be allowed to offer a curriculum without art, music, drama, dance and design at GCSE and A-level.
• Ofsted must include arts subjects as part of its assessment of schools. No school can possibly be considered “outstanding” unless it offers art, music, drama, dance and design.
• All children must study at least one arts subject at GCSE.
• Postgraduate training for art teachers should be enriched, not eroded.
• All primary-level teachers must be trained in art, craft and music.
• “Artist educators” should be supported – that is, professional artists who teach while also developing their own art practice.Oh, my…!
I would like to establish an artistic community in Surrey Heath based on the principles of Black Mountain college in upstate New York. The latter, an experimental school which operated from 1933-57, was a centre for innovation which encouraged artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns to reinvent American modernism, a kind of American Bauhaus which led to a renaissance in design.I give it three months before they are reduced to cannibalism…
The owner of a north London bar cancelled an international company's Christmas party after organisers asked if it was a gay venue.Yes. That’s all. Just asked. Are they not entitled to do this?
The company, which Proud is not naming, wrote: "We have our Christmas staff party booked for next Friday at Proud.
"Some of our staff have been told that Proud is a gay bar, is that correct?"
The email continued: "We need to know as it's against some people religion (sic) so we will need to make them aware."They weren’t planning to cancel their booking, just let their staff know in case they’d rather not attend. And so they wouldn’t have to face a stroppy employee claiming their own religious rights had been ignored. That’s all.
Proud responded to the request within hours to tell the company that their party would be cancelled. He wrote: "I think we best cancel your visit. We are pretty gay and a lot of gay stuff happens here.
"Gay drinks, gay food, gay loos etc..."
He added: "Sorry to disappoint. Booking cancelled."Good grief!
He told BuzzFeed the cancellation would cost him thousands of pounds if another company does not book the venue.Here’s hoping he doesn't. After all, his precious principles are worth a little sacrifice, aren't they?
He added: "I was relieved to get that email because I wouldn’t have wanted those people in my venue anyway.
"I think some people think homophobia is a thing of the past – there were a lot of people out there who think it’s a fair question. A lot of people think you can justify homophobia using religion."It IS a fair question, you moron! Acting like you’ve done is hardly going to foster tolerance, now, is it?
A small water feature funded by a sheltered housing residents’ bingo winnings is the second in the city which could be filled in amid fears about...Ickle children falling in?
Joyce Hutson, 77, is leading the charge to protect the feature in Elwyn Jones Court, which was put in by the council about a year ago.
She said: “Everything is getting out of hand with this council. Enough is enough.
“It’s only a little one with water trickling over the side.”Well, quite!
The council said no decisions have been taken and that a report will be produced once risk assessments have been carried out.
It has also said the action only concerns water features in housing schemes and not public fountains.How fortunate. And how ludicrous...
Green Councillor Alexandra Phillips, deputy chairwoman of housing, said: “These legionella concerns are legitimate, and legally the council must make sure residents are safe.
“Officers are looking into the options available if residents would like to keep their water features,”I think you should make the effort. We'll need somewhere to drown you all when we finally come to our senses...
A leading Birmingham criminologist was bombarded with vicious hate mail and violent threats just days after publishing his research into online Islamophobia.Gosh! What are the odds..?
Mr Awan said: “My research attempted to show how hate groups on the internet, especially Twitter, were using this space to intimidate, cause fear and make direct threats against Muslim communities.
“That has particularly been the case since the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich last year. ”Funny how that sort of thing happens, isn’t it?
“So it’s quite ironic that I became a victim of this type of abuse after I discussed my findings on a popular internet forum earlier this month. ”I think you need to re-look up the word ‘ironic’, mate.
The research paper, titled ‘You’ve Got Hatemail’ involved the monitoring of the use of three separate hashtags #Muslim, #Islam and #Woolwich.
Mr Awan said: “The most common reappearing phrases were racist insults or remarks referring to terrorism and grooming.”Heh! That all you got?
A man was arrested after a funeral wake erupted into violence which spilled out onto the street.
The 29-year-old was held after the punch-up in Glack Road, which happened at 6pm last Tuesday. It involved members of the same family who came to blows after a relative was laid to rest.Reading this story, however, leads us to this in the 'Stories you might have missed' category:
A newlywed couple whose nuptials were rocked by accusations of cheating sacrificed their honeymoon - to appear on the Jeremy Kyle show.So, the protagonists are unemployed and a full-time mum. That's the 'Jeremy Kyle' guests AND audience right there!
In July, Hassan Mohammed Ibrahim was murdered in York Road, with the suspects largely originating from outside the borough. After the latest horror attack, in St Ann’s Road, residents fear a gang turf war could be breaking out.Wonderful diversity and enrichment, making its way to a little seaside town near you…
It comes after a recent high-profile drugs bust, where 47 people were arrested in a huge police operation and removed from the streets of Southend. The suspects all live outside Southend.Shock, eh? Not.
Labour’s Ian Gilbert, deputy leader of the authority and also ward councillor for Victoria, said: “Clearly, this is an extremely distressing incident and it will deeply distress the community. ”Actually, so long as they stick to killing each other, and not innocent people, I couldn’t care less.
Ms Beaven, who has another son, five-year-old Tommy Duffell, and lives with her partner Charlie Lugg, has made a formal complaint against the officer.Time to bring back one of my mother’s favourite phrases, ‘No better than she ought to be’…
Gray's Farm Primary Academy declined to comment.What could they say? Certainly, the commenters aren’t quite so reticent.
“I can’t even answer my telephone, any more. If it’s an unknown number, if it rings early in the morning, or I don’t know who it is. I can’t even open my own front door. It’s not the same front door, as the one I sat with my back to, morning and afternoon, cowering as bailiffs battered on the other side of it. It’s not the same phone number. It’s not the same front door. I’m not in debt. There are no more final demands, no more red capital letters, no more threats. But … I can’t even open my own front door.”That’s Foodbank Queen Jack Monroe, whinging about how tough life is when you’re in debt due to your own bad life choices.
I gave evidence at the all-party parliamentary group inquiry into hunger and food bank use in the UK a few months ago…Hmm, round about the time she was filming adverts for Sainsbury’s & giving speeches at the Labour Party Conference, then?
I often miss interviews, because a certain broadcasting corporation calls from unknown or withheld numbers, and I just can’t bring myself to answer them.Interesting! I for one would love to know who they are so I could thank them for (inadvertently) not cluttering up the schedules with yet more of her…
In a letter this month, DI Julian King, of Sapphire, the sexual offences investigation unit, said: “I stand by my decision in that I do not believe that Eleanor should ever have been prosecuted for PCJ [perverting the course of justice].”And that was based on…?
She (Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions) dismissed the concerns of police officers about pursuing De Freitas for allegedly making up the complaint.
She said the police were not in a position to give a view, as they “never undertook an investigation into the alleged perverting the course of justice nor did they consider all the material provided to us by the private prosecution”.Oh. Right. Nothing.
The director of public prosecutions said that she was satisfied that her lawyers had taken the necessary steps to assure themselves De Freitas’s mental health problems had been properly considered.
She said medical experts provided by De Freitas’s legal team found that she was fit to stand trial.
“We do not take on these kind of prosecutions lightly, but the medical evidence provided to us could not justify dropping such a serious case,” she said.Just so. There’s no escaping the fact that the CPS are on the ball (for once) no matter how much the accuser’s family may care to whinge about it:
De Freitas’s father, David, said CPS lawyers had never met or interviewed his daughter about her allegations – and that perhaps explained the discrepancy between their view and that of the rape investigators.What would that have shown? Did he expect that they too would be unaccountably swayed by the fact that she was young, blonde and pretty, and so shouldn't face any consequences for falsely accusing someone of rape?
He said: “We are disappointed that even in light of the subsequent tragedy, the DPP is digging her heels in and standing by this prosecution. We are disappointed that she does not acknowledge there are lessons to be learnt from what happened to Eleanor.
“The failure to take on lessons has disastrous implications for trust in the Crown Prosecution Service if they are concerned about encouraging rape victims to come forward. I spoke out in the first place because I was concerned that other vulnerable women and their families should not go through what we have been through.”But clearly not at all concerned about what men falsely accused of this heinous crime can go through.
Victim Support, Justice for Women and the charity Inquest have raised concerns about the decision to prosecute De Freitas.Well, of course. After all, they seem to be picking losers right across the board lately, so what’s one more?
On the first day of Freshers’ Week, Lancaster University’s students’ union president got a message that police were photographing two posters in her office window. One said “Not for Shale”, the other: “End Israel’s attacks on Gaza”.
“A union officer asked [the police] why the photos were being taken and was told that I was potentially committing a public order offence,” says Laura Clayson, 24.Oh dear. Were you scared and intimidated?
Clayson, who is also an environmental activist, was even more worried when the officer said he “knew of my ‘history’ … I felt like the whole incident was an intimidation tactic, reinforced by this reference to my past.”Gosh! You must have felt a bit like the poor bloody working stiffs who have to pass the gauntlet of yelling rent-a-mob protestors, then? I wonder if you learned anything from that?
It’s the sort of incident, with overtones of surveillance and threat, that concerns both students and academics. And now the home secretary, Theresa May, has said that under the terms of the new counter-terrorism bill, universities must have “due regard … to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”, or they could face court orders compelling them to do so. Many academics are worried that this bill is expecting too much of universities, and could clash with one of their guiding principles: to encourage the free expression and analysis of ideas, no matter how unpleasant.Oh, if only universities still did that. Instead, these days, they mostly seem to cower behind ‘free speech zones’ and worry about ‘trigger words’, as David Thompson so masterfully points out.
Dr Simon Mabon, director for politics and international relations at Lancaster, says: “A university is supposed to be a forum where people can develop critical tools that enable them to criticise the orthodoxy, and that can lead into some unpalatable areas. Then we would engage with them, in lectures and in seminars where students are challenged by other students and their tutors … I don’t think it’s the government’s place to tell universities what can and can’t be talked about.”Well, why shouldn’t they have a go? You seem to be letting the students tell you what should and shouldn’t be discussed, after all?
May’s bill aims “to have a chilling effect – that is one of its objectives,” says Cardiff University’s Prof Michael Levi, a criminologist who has studied the financing of terrorism. “One of the things this will lead to is more intensive monitoring of societies within universities.”About time, frankly.
There is, Feldman points out, no right to unfettered freedom of expression – but judging when to curb it is a delicate matter. And legislation is rarely delicate or subtle. “I might run around campus nude, and say it’s my right to express myself. But that’s not acceptable. If someone wants to take an immoderate position on Israel or Palestine, should I accept that the same restriction applies? Throwing bombs is obviously not acceptable, but trafficking ‘unacceptable’ ideas, what about that? They are just ideas.”And when you take that attitude about all such ideas, I’ll take you seriously.
Ms Finn told BBC London 94.9 how she had been on a bus with her son just minutes before the attack - but Eamonn decided to get off and walk alone due to heavy traffic.
She said the teenager was approached by three males, who were holding an unknown weapon.
They chased him down the street before slashing him across the neck.
Ms Finn said her son “glanced at them and they became immediately aggressive and confrontational towards him”.Ah, London’s rich diversity again. Those little scallywags. But not YONA, actually:
The suspects have been described as black and/or Hispanic males.Wait, what? Do we have ‘Hispanic’ here as a descriptor?
Church of England leaders will praise the Government on Tuesday over its introduction of the bedroom tax, which they claim shows “a high regard for the lives of the poor benighted taxpayer forced to subsidise benefit monkeys’ spare rooms for far, far too long”.OK, I admit, I changed that a bit…
At the General Synod in Westminster, they will debate whether the Church should hold an inquiry into the impact of the policy.Hold an inquiry by all means.
… with a national shortage of one and two bedroom properties, many families are unable to move and have growing rent arrears as they are charged extra to stay in the same place.Or…they could get a job & stop living off others? You know, pay their way like the rest of us have to?
The Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, is one of several senior clergy expected to support an inquiry into the policy. He said: “At the heart of the Christian faith is we are called to care for the poor. In my experience a lot of people affected by the bedroom tax are disabled people and a lot are children.
“We have a responsibility to shout about the stuff that everyone seems to have forgotten. ”God, I wish I could forget!