Police Taser race group founder in the face

Media captionRace group founder Judah Adunbi Tasered in face by police

A founder of a group improving race relations with police was Tasered in the face by officers who mistook him for a wanted man for the second time.

Footage filmed by a neighbour shows Judah Adunbi, 63, outside his Bristol home when he is stopped by police.

Mr Adunbi refused to give his name and after a dispute was Tasered in the face by officers who tried to arrest him.

The incident, which Mr Adunbi said left him “scared for his life”, has been referred to the police watchdog.

Mr Adunbi, the founding member of an independent group between the police and prominent members of the Afro-Caribbean community, said he was “terrified” by what happened.

“When the Taser hit me I thought it had killed me,” he said.

“I thought I was dying and I was thinking ‘my children and my grandchildren need me’.”

It is the second time Mr Adunbi has been mistaken for the same man.

In 2009 he won a wrongful arrest case against Avon and Somerset Police and was awarded compensation.

He said: “[The police] claim they are looking for an individual…they know who the individual is so why go as far as accuse any black man in the street with dreadlocks.”

Police confirmed that a Taser was not used in that incident.

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Judah Adunbi was tasered in the face as officers tried to arrest him

A neighbour of Mr Adunbi filmed the second incident, which took place outside his home in the Easton area of Bristol on 14 January.

The video shows the two officers approaching Mr Adunbi while returning from a walk with his dog. They give the name of the wanted man and ask if that is him.

When he says he is not that man, they ask for his name, which he declines to give.

Mr Adunbi says he refused because he is “not a criminal” and was “just going about my business”.

Officers tried to arrest him as he walked into his back garden and then Tasered him.

“I collapsed… I was paralysed and she [the police officer] had the audacity to tell me to get up,” he said.

Mr Adunbi was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary and then to Patchway police station, where he was interviewed and charged with a public order offence and assaulting a police officer.

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Judah Adunbi says he declined to give his name to police because he is “not a criminal” and was “just going about my business”

Those charges have since been dropped.

According to Avon and Somerset Police guidelines “you do not have to give your name, address or date of birth to the police if you’re stopped and searched unless you are being reported for an offence.’

The National Police Chiefs’ Council – which represents senior police – say that “officers who are trained and equipped with Taser must decide on the most reasonable and necessary use of force in the circumstances.”

Mr Adunbi, who was the former chairman of the race relations group, said what happened to him was “disgraceful”.

He added race relations in the city were “getting worse” and called for the police and community groups to “sit down around the table and sort this out”.


Ch Supt Jon Reilly said: “After reviewing what happened, we voluntarily referred a complaint about this incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

He added he had met Mr Adunbi and had a “constructive conversation”.

He said: “We’re aware of concerns within the local community and we take these concerns very seriously.”

An IPCC spokesperson said: “We are independently investigating a complaint about an incident in Easton on 14 January where a man was Tasered.

“The IPCC investigation follows a referral from Avon and Somerset Police and is in its early stages.”

It said it was going to review the “body worn video of the officers involved, checking for any CCTV evidence and conducting house to house enquiries as part of the investigation”.

An appeal has also been made for any footage filmed by members of the public.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-38691162

Leonne Weeks: Man charged with murder of 16-year-old

Leonne WeeksImage copyright
Leonne Weeks

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A post-mortem examination found Leonne Weeks died as a result of multiple stab wounds

A man has been charged with the murder of 16-year-old Leonne Weeks whose body was found on a path near Rotherham.

Leonne’s body was discovered on a pathway off Lordens Hill, in Dinnington, on Monday at 10:55 GMT.

A post-mortem examination found she died as a result of multiple stab wounds.

Shea Peter Heeley, 18, of Doe Quarry Lane, Dinnington, is due to appear at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.

For live updates and more news from across Yorkshire

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Leonne Weeks’ body was found on a pathway off Lordens Hill, Dinnington, on Monday

Det Ch Insp Martin Tate, of South Yorkshire Police, said the force was still appealing for witnesses “particularly anyone who was in Dinnington on the evening of Sunday 15 January, into the following morning and who saw or heard anything suspicious”.

A 26-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender was released on Wednesday night pending further inquiries.

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Floral tributes were left in memory of the teenager near to where her body was found

Following her death, Leonne’s family said: “We are devastated at the loss of our beautiful daughter and sister Leonne.

“She was very much loved and will be missed by all of us.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-38695127

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry: ‘Widespread abuse’ in children’s homes

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The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) studied allegations of abuse in 22 homes and other residential institutions between 1922 to 1995

Children’s homes run by some churches, charities and state institutions in Northern Ireland were the scene of widespread abuse and mistreatment of young residents, a report has found.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) studied allegations of abuse in 22 homes and other residential institutions between 1922 to 1995.

These were facilities run by the state, local authorities, the Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland and the children’s charity Barnardo’s.

The largest number of complaints related to four Catholic-run homes.

There was also sexual abuse carried out by priests and lay people.

The chair of the inquiry, Sir Anthony Hart, recommended compensation, a memorial and a public apology to abuse survivors.

He said a tax-free lump sum payment should be made to all survivors, including in homes and institutions that were not covered by the inquiry.

Media captionHIA: Government-funded compensation recommended for victims

He added that 12 people who had given evidence had since died and it was only “just and humane” that their spouses or children should receive a payment of 75% of the total lump sum.

The payments will range from £7,500 to £100,000.

Sir Anthony also recommended that a permanent memorial be established at Stormont and a commissioner for survivors of institutional abuse be appointed.

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Three senior care staff at Kincora were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys

Setting out the findings of his report, the retired judge said the largest number of complaints received related to four Sisters of Nazareth homes.

It found nuns had physically and emotionally abused children in their care.

Sir Anthony said it was not uncommon for children to have Jeyes Fluid, a brand of disinfectant, put in their baths.

Many of the incidents relating to sexual abuse were known by members of the clergy who did nothing to stop them.

‘Deepest regret’

In a statement, the Sisters of Nazareth apologised to anyone who had suffered abuse while in their care.

“It was always the desire of the order to provide a safe place for children and when we failed on any occasion, we want to express our deepest regret,” the order said.

“This has been a traumatic time for those survivors and victims who have come forward, however, we sincerely hope it has also been an opportunity to find some relief.”

The HIA heard evidence from hundreds of people who spent their childhood in residential homes and institutions.

Sir Anthony Hart’s recommendations

  • Compensation to survivors of abuse, including in homes/institutions not covered by HIA inquiry, and relatives of deceased
  • Permanent memorial erected at Stormont
  • Public apology to survivors
  • Establishment of a commissioner for survivors of institutional abuse
  • Specialist care and assistance tailored to needs of victims

A total of 493 applicants engaged with the inquiry, in one form or another, and while the majority were seen in Belfast, others were seen in the Republic of Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and Australia.

Outlining the social and economic background to institutional care in Northern Ireland, Sir Anthony said for “many years the financial circumstances and living conditions were very poor”.

Media captionHIA: ‘No evidence security agencies complicit in Kincora abuse’

He said the extreme violence and civil disorder in the 1970s and 1980s did not leave those responsible for child care unscathed.

“These factors are largely forgotten today, although there were many failures. Those failings must be examined against the backdrop of the political, social and economic circumstances at the time.”

He then turned his attention to the former local authority-run Kincora Boys’ Home in east Belfast.

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The HIA heard evidence from hundreds of people who spent their childhood in residential homes and institutions

Sir Anthony said the inquiry had “stripped away decades of half truths masquerading as facts, in relation to Kincora and what state agencies did or did not do about (the abuse there)”.

“Thirty-nine boys were abused at some point during their time at Kincora,” he said.

Three men, William McGrath, Raymond Semple and Joseph Mains, who were senior care staff at Kincora, were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys.

Sir Anthony said when the police became aware in 1974 of complaints against McGrath, the investigation was “inept and inadequate”.

Media captionHIA: ‘Children raised in bleak lovelessness’ in Sisters of Nazareth homes

He said a proper investigation into McGrath may have meant the children who were abused after 1974 could have been spared.

Sir Anthony said that the boys were let down by those three individuals, who committed sexual abuse “of the gravest kind” to teenage boys in their care.

He added that the majority of the young boys at Kincora between 1958 and 1980, who gave evidence, said they were not sexually abused during their time there.

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Fr Brendan Smyth was eventually convicted of dozens of offences against children over a 40-year period

Sir Anthony also found no evidence that security agencies were complicit in the abuse that took place at Kincora.

The HIA inquiry found that the Norbertine Order failed to take steps to expel Fr Brendan Smyth, the Northern Ireland-born cleric who was eventually convicted of dozens of offences against children over a 40-year period, from the priesthood.

The Irish Norbertines said in a statement that they recognised the “tragic harm and hurt” caused to innocent children by Fr Smyth.

Media captionCatholic church leader says reparation and outreach needed for abuse survivors

They said they “again unreservedly apologise most sincerely for the hurt and harm caused to so many young people, while also accepting that our management of the man concerned (Smyth) and the accusations presented to us was grossly inadequate.”

The inquiry also heard from adults, who as children, were sent from Northern Ireland to live in Australia.

Sir Anthony said the HIA inquiry was the first in the UK to look at the child migrant scheme and said some of those who were sent away had been abused before they (left) and others believed the scheme itself was abusive.

‘Widespread abuse’ in children’s homes

Sir Anthony said they had been unable to establish exactly how many children were sent to Australia, but at least 138, under the age of 13, were sent and, possibly as many as 144.

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, “apologised unreservedly” to all those who had suffered in church-run institutions.

Media captionHIA: Abuse victims group says report is vindication

“I am ashamed and I am truly sorry that such abuse occurred, and that in many cases children and young people felt deprived of love and were left with a deep and lasting suffering,” he said.

‘No one would listen’

Margaret McGuckin, who has been the public face of the campaign for survivors of historical institutional child sex abuse, said it was what they had “waited for for a lifetime”.

“Today we are believed. As young children we tried to complain about our abuse and no one would listen,” she said.

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Jon McCourt urged Northern Ireland’s political representatives to deliver on the HIA report and “not let us down”

“In particular, the religious orders and these holy devout Christian people disbelieved us and even bullied us more for daring to complain, today we have been vindicated.”

Jon McCourt from the Northwest Survivors group in Londonderry, said Sir Anthony Hart had listened and that political representatives now had to listen.

“We want the rest of the delivery of what the HIA report entails,” he said.

“Don’t let us down now.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-38685157

British paedophile Paul Charles Wilkins jailed in US

Paul Charles WilkinsImage copyright

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Paul Charles Wilkins was sentenced at the Federal Courthouse in Los Angeles

A paedophile who travelled to the US from Britain to have sex with boys has been sentenced to 13 years in a federal prison by a Los Angeles Court.

Paul Charles Wilkins, 70, of Littleport, Cambridgeshire, flew to California in January 2016.

He was caught in an undercover sting and faced several charges, but under a plea agreement pleaded guilty to taking pornographic images into the country.

He was also ordered to pay a $25,000 (£20,400) fine.

Wilkins, who holds dual UK and US citizenship, was jailed for 56 months in the UK in 2011 for possessing indecent images of children.

He was on probation when he left the UK on 31 January last year, travelling to California to “engage in illicit sexual conduct” with two boys aged 10 and 12, US officials said.

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Wilkins was arrested after paying an undercover officer to arrange for him to have sex with a boy in Palm Springs

Wilkins had set up an online site enabling him to arrange to meet boys, and had made the journey to the US after a man apparently offered him sex with his two sons.

When that plan failed to materialise, Wilkins fell prey to a sting operation set up by undercover agents.

They contacted him via the online group administered by Wilkins, and used by people with a “sexual interest in children”.

He paid one of the agents $250 (£204) for sex with a nine-year-old Mexican boy in Palm Springs.

But the boy did not exist and Wilkins was arrested on 11 February after handing over the money for his “share” in the child.

Wilkins initially denied four charges of travelling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, attempted sex trafficking of children, possession of child pornography and transportation of child pornography.

In September he pleaded guilty to the latter charge under a plea agreement with the US Attorney’s Office.

“This defendant persistently engaged in the sexual exploitation of children,” said United States Attorney Eileen M Decker.

“Today’s sentence ensures that children will be protected from his abhorrent conduct for many years.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-38587916

First British holidaymakers return from The Gambia

Holidaymakers returning from The GambiaImage copyright

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Returning holidaymakers described what it was like in The Gambia

The first flights carrying British tourists evacuated from The Gambia have arrived back in the UK.

Thomas Cook will run 11 flights, including nine extra departures, to evacuate people over the next two days.

The Foreign Office has advised against all travel to the capital Banjul and against all but essential travel to the rest of the West African country.

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has missed the deadline to hand over power, despite threats of military action.

Two Thomas Cook planes returned to Manchester airport on Wednesday night, and another was due back in the early hours of Thursday.

Two additional flights were also expected to land at Gatwick.

Four additional flights, as well as a scheduled one, will land in the UK on Thursday, returning about 1,000 customers to Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham airports.

Thomas Cook said it had brought back 1,038 customers from The Gambia on Wednesday.

  • UK holidaymakers forced to rethink breaks

Returning holidaymakers have been speaking about the situation in the country.

Sara Wilkins, from Shropshire, said: “Last night it all got a bit too serious – all the restaurants shut down, all the shops shut down – and it got really scary.

“The local people were crying and worried about their children, and they’ve got no work now because there’s no tourists, so I don’t know how they’re going to survive.”

“We’re just relieved to be back.”

What is happening in the Gambia?

The president of the Gambia, Yahya Jemmeh, is refusing to step down after losing the country’s election last month.

Adama Barrow, who beat him, was due to be inaugurated on Thursday. But Mr Jammeh claimed there had been “extraordinary” foreign interference in the election and has now missed the deadline to remove himself.

This has led to growing political unrest in the country.

Senegal has moved troops towards the Gambian border in an effort to force Mr Jammeh to accept electoral defeat and step down.

The threat of military action is supported by Nigeria and other states in the region.

At least 26,000 Gambians have sought refuge in Senegal this week amid fears that violence could erupt. Mr Barrow has also gone to the country.

Mr Jammeh has ruled The Gambia since taking power in a coup in 1994.

Alan Harper, from Warrington, said: “We went out on a trip on Monday and the Gambian people getting on the ferry were carrying all their possessions.

“It was a real struggle to get on the ferry. Everybody was just fleeing. We thought then that something was seriously wrong.

“We went out on Wednesday night to a Chinese restaurant and they said, ‘We’re closing within the hour,’ so we had to have our main course and get straight out.

“All the Gambian people who worked there were coming straight out because they were frightened to death. They were hurrying home.”

Media captionBritish and Dutch tourists at Banjul Airport describe panic after they were told to leave The Gambia

Gambian Ebrima Jagne, a textile engineer who works in Burnley, Lancashire, arrived at Manchester airport on one of the flights, but was concerned for his wife Haddytouray and their three-month-old daughter, Ajiamina Jane, whom he is trying to get out of the country.

He said everyone in the country felt “unsafe” and “on edge… because you don’t know what’s going to come next”.

“I cannot get my daughter out,” he added. “I’m desperate. It’s not easy at all when I leave my wife there and daughter.”

Hotel ‘chaos’

Other passengers described the rush at hotels to get them out.

Pensioner Sue Thrower, from Doncaster, said she found out about the evacuation through someone she met on holiday.

“If it hadn’t been for that young woman of 28 with her smartphone talking to her mum back home, we wouldn’t have known we had to pack after breakfast this morning and be ready.”

Ralph Newton, from Nottingham, said: “We didn’t get communication until this morning [Tuesday], 9am, you’ve got to leave, the reps are coming at 10am.

“No reps came, the coaches came and then it was just a bit of chaos, but they did their best at the airport.”

But Hilary Cox, who returned home to Kensington on Thursday morning having cut short her holiday by one day, said some people were refusing to leave.

“On Tuesday rumours started about tourists being told to fly back home,” she said. “Our hotel reception was heaving.

“There was a lot of humour and a lot of tension. Nobody was frightened. Some people who were booked out for two or three months were refusing to go.”

“The only evidence that something was up was the back gate to the beach was locked. I was told there were soldiers patrolling the beach. There was a much higher military presence.”

‘Too much uncertainty’

Arlene Robertson is still stuck in the Gambia and told BBC Radio Scotland there were few people left in her hotel and staff were not showing up for work.

“I want to stay because it’s beautiful, but the atmosphere and the current situation is horrible. At least I would have liked to enjoy my holiday, but I can’t stay, there’s too much uncertainty and I’m concerned about my family worrying about me and about my own safety as well.

“There’s two of us in the hotel and they have no milk left, they have no breakfast,” she said. “Most of the staff have left as well, some have families and have gone to Senegal already.”

Thomas Cook is now offering free amendments or cancellations for holidays to The Gambia up to and including 31 January.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38672441

Theresa May will tell world leaders UK is ‘open for business’

Theresa MayImage copyright

Theresa May will tell leaders the UK is “open for business” when she speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

At the gathering of business and government leaders in Switzerland, the PM is also expected to warn about those “left behind” by globalisation.

Her trip comes after EU leaders said reaching a trade deal with the UK would be “very difficult”.

The European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, said Brexit would be bad for the UK and the EU.

In her speech, Mrs May is expected to say the global elites need to tackle the backlash against globalisation, liberalism, and free trade.

She will argue for reforms, so the global economy creates wealth for all, rather than a privileged few.

In the Sun newspaper, Mrs May writes that she wants “a Britain – and a Brexit – that works for ordinary working people”.

But the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, France’s Mr Moscovici, told the BBC that Brexit was not a positive move.

“You cannot have all the advantages of being the member of the club when you’re out of the club,” he said.

“I think that our British friends, who invented clubs, can understand that.”

Meanwhile, Chancellor Philip Hammond warned the EU that the UK would have to find ways to stay competitive if there was no “comprehensive trading relationship” post-Brexit.

He said: “Our first obligation of government is to make sure that our people are able to maintain their standard of living.”

Analysis – By Dominic O’Connell, Today business presenter

Theresa May may receive a warmer reception from Davos delegates than many expect.

Patrick Thomson, a fund manager at JP Morgan Asset Management who specialises in sovereign wealth funds – those giant international investors that put the nest eggs of whole countries to work – says that they are positive about the UK’s prospects.

For them, Brexit is a short-term issue.

“You have to remember these are intergenerational investors – that’s the time horizon they have, and they are upbeat about the UK, which still has many attractions for them, including ease of investment and rule of law,” he said.

That’s the kind of response that will be music to Mrs May’s ears – sovereign wealth funds have been the biggest investors in UK infrastructure in recent years, and her plans to breathe new life into Britain’s roads, railways, schools and broadband networks rely on their support.

Johnson’s WWII comment ‘an embarrassment’

On Wednesday, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson warned the EU not to penalise the UK for Brexit.

He said: “If [French president] Monsieur [Francois] Hollande wants to administer punishment beatings to anybody who chooses to escape, rather in the manner of some World War Two movie, then I don’t think that is the way forward.

“I think, actually, it’s not in the interests of our friends and our partners.”

Downing Street later said Mr Johnson “was not in any way suggesting anyone was a Nazi”.

But Labour said the “wild and inappropriate comment” would not “improve the climate for negotiations”.

On BBC Newsnight, former World Trade Organization director general Pascal Lamy said of Mr Johnson’s comments: “It’s a clear embarrassment for all these high-flying diplomats in the Foreign Office and they deserve all our compassion.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38669531

Footballers Goodwillie and Robertson ruled as rapists

David Robertson and David GoodwillieImage copyright
SNS and Ciaran Donnelly

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David Robertson (left) and David Goodwillie had claimed the sex was consensual

A former Scotland international footballer and his ex-teammate have been ruled to be rapists and ordered to pay £100,000 damages despite never facing a criminal trial.

Denise Clair, who was left “devastated” by a Crown decision not to prosecute, sued striker David Goodwillie.

She also sued Goodwillie’s then Dundee United colleague David Robertson.

She claimed they raped her at a flat in Armadale, in West Lothian, after a night out in Bathgate in January 2011.

It was the first civil rape case of its kind in Scotland.

Ms Clair, who previously waived her right to anonymity, said she could not remember what happened after being in a Bathgate bar and woke up in a strange flat the following morning.

The 30-year-old originally sought £500,000 in compensation, but damages were later agreed at £100,000 in the civil action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

‘Persuasive and compelling’

The mother-of-one maintained she was incapable of giving free agreement to sex because of her alcohol consumption, but Goodwillie, 27, who now plays with Plymouth Argyle, and Robertson claimed that intercourse had been consensual.

A judge said: “Having carefully examined and scrutinised the whole evidence in the case, I find the evidence of the pursuer (the woman) to be cogent, persuasive and compelling.”

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Ciaran Donnelly

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Denise Clair waived her right to anonymity

Lord Armstrong said: “In the result, therefore, I find that in the early hours of Sunday 2 January 2011, at the flat in Greig Crescent, Armadale, both defenders (the footballers) took advantage of the pursuer when she was vulnerable through an excessive intake of alcohol and, because her cognitive functioning and decision-making processes were so impaired, was incapable of giving meaningful consent; and that they each raped her.”

The judge said he found neither Goodwillie – who also played for Aberdeen and Blackburn Rovers – or Robertson to be credible or reliable on the issue of whether they had a reasonable or honest belief that she was consenting.

He rejected evidence relied on by the players that Ms Clair was not particularly affected by alcohol and was no more drunk than anyone else in the company they had been in that night.

‘Woman needed ambulance’

Lord Armstrong said that prior to the incident the victim had enjoyed life, but her life changed following the decision not to proceed with a prosecution.

Lord Armstrong said: “She found that decision difficult to understand and had felt that she had not been believed.”

“She felt that her life had been destroyed by something which had happened although, because of her lack of memory, she was not fully aware of what it was that had caused that effect,” he said.

Goodwillie had gone to join Robertson in Bathgate after the pair had played for Dundee United against Aberdeen on 1 January during which Goodwillie scored an equaliser.

He maintained that he did not think Ms Clair was too drunk to consent to sex.

However, a security firm employee working at the nightclub told the court that she had been in need of an ambulance.

Gayle McGregor said: “She wasn’t in control of herself. Her eyes were rolling in her head. She couldn’t stand up straight. She couldn’t speak to me properly. She wasn’t compos mentis.”

In the action it was said the players offered her a lift home in a taxi, but the driver was requested to drop all three at the flat in Armadale.

A Plymouth Argyle spokesman said: “We note today’s judgment from the Court of Session in Edinburgh regarding David Goodwillie.

“We await the full report, which we will consider in detail before making any comment.

“Until such time, David Goodwillie will not be selected to play for Plymouth Argyle.”

The Crown Office said it stood by its previous decision not to prosecute the footballers.

A spokesman said: “As Lord Armstrong stated in his judgement, the standard of proof to be satisfied was that of the balance of probabilities which is a less onerous requirement than the standard in criminal cases, which is beyond reasonable doubt.

“Further, there is no requirement of corroboration in civil cases unlike in criminal cases.

“This case was looked at very carefully by Crown counsel who concluded that there was insufficient evidence in law to raise criminal proceedings. As a result no proceedings were instructed.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-38651041

May’s Brexit speech: Sturgeon says second referendum ‘undoubtedly’ closer

Media captionNicola Sturgeon says a second independence referendum is more likely given Theresa May’s plan for a hard Brexit

Nicola Sturgeon said that plans to take the UK out of the EU’s single market brought a second Scottish independence referendum “undoubtedly” closer.

The first minister was speaking after Prime Minister Theresa May outlined her government’s thinking on Brexit.

Ms Sturgeon, in a BBC interview, agreed that another vote on independence was “all but inevitable”.

She believed that Scotland should be able to choose a “different future” to the one outlined by Mrs May.

The Scottish government has repeatedly raised the prospect of a vote on independence if Scotland’s membership of the single market was threatened by a so-called hard Brexit.

  • May: UK must leave EU single market
  • The most important words May will ever deliver?
  • Brian Taylor on the prime minister’s speech
  • Theresa May’s Brexit plans: What we know

It has set out proposals aimed at keeping Scotland in the trade bloc even if the rest of the UK leaves.

Scottish voters backed remaining in the EU by 62% to 38% in last year’s referendum, while the UK as a whole voted to leave.

In an interview with BBC Scotland following the prime minister’s statement, Ms Sturgeon said the move away from the single market “undoubtedly” brings an independence referendum closer.

And when asked by Political Editor Brian Taylor if a second vote was “all but inevitable”, the first minister replied “I think that is very likely the case”.

‘Democratic principle’

The first minister said “there comes a point of democratic principle” where if there are to be “fundamental changes” then people should be offered a different choice.

She added: “What I’ve heard today from the PM is an inability to engage in discussions that further compromise.

“I will continue to act in an orderly and reasonable fashion. I said I would exhaust all options, and that’s what I will do. But we are going to have to see some give from the UK government.

“I am not prepared to allow Scotland’s interests to be simply cast aside. I’m not prepared for Scotland to be taken down a path which I firmly believe to be damaging not just to our economy but to the very kind of society that we are.”

The prime minister spoke to Ms Sturgeon ahead of her speech, which confirmed that the UK would leave the single market while seeking the “freest possible trade in goods and services” with the EU after Brexit.

Media captionTheresa May was setting out her 12 objectives for the Brexit negotiations

Speaking in London as she outlined her 12 objectives for the Brexit negotiations, Mrs May said the Scottish government’s proposals would be considered as part of the Brexit process.

And she made clear that she wanted a “customs agreement” with the other 27 member states of the EU as part of efforts to ensure Brexit leads to tariff-free trade and “the freest possible trade in goods and services between Britain and the EU’s member states”.

The prime minister also said she wanted the UK to be able to negotiate trade deals with other countries around the world as part of plans to create a “truly global Britain”.

But she added: “What I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market. Instead we seek the greatest possible access to it through a new comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement.

“That agreement may take in elements of current single-market arrangements in certain areas.”

Analysis by Brian Taylor, BBC Scotland political editor

When Theresa May talks of heeding the voice of the people in this matter, supporters of the SNP say: “Which people?”

Remember that the Scottish government’s policy paper, delivered in December, had broadly three tranches. One, the UK should stay in the single market. That is bust after today.

Two, the UK should assist Scotland to stay in the single market as part of a special deal, possibly emulating Norwegian membership of the European Economic Area. Three, if one and two fail, then a further referendum on independence should be considered.

To be clear, Mrs May went out of her way to stress the role of the devolved administrations in formulating the overall deal which will accompany the UK’s departure from the EU. She emphasised this point repeatedly. In the audience, the Scottish Secretary David Mundell nodded appreciatively.

But there was no talk of a special deal for Scotland. Quite the reverse. The talk was of the UK as a whole seeking negotiations. The talk was of the UK as a whole leaving the EU and the single market. The talk was of the UK as a whole seeking to build new global links.

Indeed, Mrs May stressed that nothing must be done which would jeopardise trading links within the UK – within what she called the “precious union” of the United Kingdom.

Read more from Brian

When Mrs May’s spokeswoman was asked later if there was still scope for Scotland to stay in the single market, she replied: “The PM was very clear – we are leaving the single market.”

In her speech, the prime minister urged people across the UK to “face the future together, united by what makes us strong”.

Mrs May said: “We will put the preservation of our precious union at the heart of everything we do.

“Because it is only by coming together as one great union of nations and people that we can make the most of the opportunities ahead.”

Mrs May also said she wanted to maintain the common travel area between the UK and Irish Republic, to continue the “practical” sharing of intelligence and policing information with Europe and to take control of the immigration rights for EU citizens in the UK.

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At last year’s referendum, voters in Scotland decided by 62% to 38% to stay in the EU. The UK as a whole voted by 52% to 48% to leave

And she promised that there would be a vote on the final Brexit deal in both the House of Commons and House of Lords.

The Scottish government led a Holyrood debate on Scotland’s future relationship with Europe on Tuesday afternoon, with MSPs eventually supporting a motion endorsing single market membership.

The motion from Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell sought to have parliament note the Scottish government’s Brexit plans ahead of talks with the UK government on Thursday.

Backed by 86 members to 36, it also noted “the detrimental social and economic impact on Scotland and the UK of losing their current place in the European single market”.

‘Contradictory and dangerous’

By endorsing the motion, parliament agreed that “in the event that the UK government opts to leave the single market, alternative approaches within the UK should be sought that would enable Scotland to retain its place within the single market, and the devolution of necessary powers to the Scottish Parliament”.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer said Mrs May’s speech had been “confused, contradictory and dangerous” and made a second independence referendum “look unavoidable”.

But the Scottish Conservatives called on the Scottish government to work with other parts of the UK to get the best possible deal, instead of “continually pitting themselves against the UK government”.

The party’s economy spokesman Dean Lockhart said: “Together, we represent the financial hubs of London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, a significant number of world-class universities and global leadership and expertise across many different sectors.

“With these strengths there can be no doubt that we’ll be in a better position if we negotiate as one team.”

Scottish Labour’s Kezia Dugdale said Mrs May’s speech was “designed to appease the right wing of the Conservative Party”, saying the Tories had “put the union at risk”.

She added that a second independence referendum was “the wrong reaction”, instead calling for constitutional reform including a “new Act of Union”.

And Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie called for a referendum on the final terms of the Brexit deal, saying he was not going to give up on keeping Scotland in both the EU and the UK.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-38642213

Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Media captionTheresa May confirmed that the final deal would be put to the vote in Parliament

Theresa May has said the UK “cannot possibly” remain within the European single market, as staying in it would mean “not leaving the EU at all”.

The PM promised to push for the “freest possible trade” with European countries and warned the EU that to try to “punish” the UK would be “an act of calamitous self-harm”.

She also said Parliament would vote on the final deal that is agreed.

Labour warned of “enormous dangers” in the prime minister’s plans.

And the European Parliament’s lead negotiator said there could be no “cherry-picking” by the UK in the talks.

Mrs May used her much-anticipated speech to announce her priorities for Brexit negotiations, including maintaining the common travel area between the UK and Irish Republic and “control” of migration between the UK and the EU.

Negotiations are set to begin after notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is served by the end of March.

It was not her intention to “undermine” the EU or the single market, Mrs May said, but she warned against a “punitive” reaction to Brexit, as it would bring “calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe and it would not be the act of a friend”.

She added: “I am equally clear that no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain.”


By Laura Kuenssberg, BBC political editor

Since the referendum she and her ministers have simply refused to be so explicit.

For months, some ministers have privately whispered about complex solutions that might keep elements of membership – the choices not being binary, mechanisms that might give a sort of membership with a different name.

Well, no more. The simple and clear message from Theresa May’s speech this morning is that we are out.

Read Laura’s blog here

The prime minister had some strong words of advice for the EU and its treatment of member states, arguing it could “hold things together by force, tightening a vice-like grip that ends up crushing into tiny pieces the very things you want to protect” or “respect difference, cherish it even”.

But the most keenly awaited part of the speech dealt with the UK’s post-Brexit trading relationship with the rest of Europe.

Any agreement with the EU must “allow for the freest possible trade in goods and services”, Mrs May said.

“But I want to be clear: what I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market.

“It would, to all intents and purposes, mean not leaving the EU at all.

“That is why both sides in the referendum campaign made it clear that a vote to leave the EU would be a vote to leave the single market.”

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EU leaders have warned that the UK cannot access the single market, which allows the free movement of goods, services and workers between its members, while at the same time restricting the free movement of people – and the PM has pledged to control EU migration.

Mrs May also indicated the UK’s relationship with the customs union – under which EU countries do not impose tariffs on each other’s goods, while all imposing the same tariff on goods imported from outside the EU – would change.

Media captionSome of the headlines from Theresa May’s vision for future UK-EU relations

She said she did not want the country to be “bound” by the shared external tariffs. Instead, the UK would be “striking our own comprehensive trade agreements with other countries”.

To the 27 other EU member states, she said: “We will continue to be reliable partners, willing allies and close friends.

“We want to buy your goods, sell you ours, trade with you as freely as possible, and work with one another to make sure we are all safer, more secure and more prosperous through continued friendship.”

Mrs May, who backed Remain in the referendum, called for a “new and equal partnership” with the EU, “not partial membership of the European Union, associate membership of the European Union, or anything that leaves us half-in, half-out”.

“We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries. We do not seek to hold on to bits of membership as we leave.”

When asked about the prime minister’s promise of a Parliamentary vote following Brexit negotiations, her spokeswoman said: “You can regard it as binding.”

Pressed on what would happen if MPs or peers rejected any deal, she replied: “Either way, we will very clearly be leaving the EU.”

Until now, Mrs May had revealed little of her strategy for the talks, which could last up to two years – or go on longer if all 28 EU members think this is necessary.

Responding on Twitter, Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chief negotiator, welcomed Mrs May’s “clarity”, adding: “But the days of UK cherry-picking and Europe a la carte are over.”

In a reference to Mrs May’s warning that the UK could “change the basis of Britain’s economic model” if denied single market access – taken to mean lowering corporation tax to attract businesses – he added: “Threatening to turn the UK into a deregulated tax heaven will not only hurt British people – it is a counter-productive negotiating tactic.”

Mr Verhofstadt added that the views of people who voted Remain must be taken on board.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn argued that the prime minister still needed to “be clearer” about her long-term objectives, and that she she wanted to “have her cake and eat it” over the single market.

He added: “I think we have to have a deal that ensures we have access to the market – we have British jobs dependent on that market – that’s what we’ll be pushing for.”

Mr Corbyn also said: “There are enormous dangers in all of this and when she talks about future trade arrangements, all she said was that Donald Trump said we’d be first in the queue – first in the queue for an investor protection-type treaty? I don’t know exactly what she has in mind on that.”

Media captionThe PM’s speech was about an “extreme version of Brexit” says the Liberal Democrat leader

After Mrs May’s speech, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “Ripping us out of the single market was not something proposed to the British people. This is a theft of democracy.”

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall said he feared a “slow-motion Brexit”, adding: “We want this done quickly.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claimed leaving the single market would be “economically catastrophic”.

She hinted at a second independence referendum, saying Scotland – which voted against Brexit – should have “the ability to choose between that and a different future”.

In a statement, the Irish government said the UK’s “approach is now firmly that of a country which will have left the EU but which seeks to negotiate a new, close relationship with it”.

It added it was “acutely aware of the potential risks and challenges for the Irish economy” but also of “the potential economic opportunities that may arise”.

Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator, tweeted: “Ready as soon as UK is. Only notification (that is, invoking Article 50) can kick off negotiations.”

What questions do you have about Theresa May’s speech?

Send them in using the form below:

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38641208

Breast cancer patients’ distress at withdrawal of Kadcyla

Bonnie Fox

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Bonnie Fox says she was “completely devastated” on finding Kadcyla was no longer available on the NHS

Terminal breast cancer patients have spoken of their distress after learning that a life-extending drug they had been told would be available to them looks set to be withdrawn.

National advisory body NICE is reviewing drugs made available through the old cancer drugs fund, and has rejected Kadcyla for use on the NHS.

It believes the price per patient set by manufacturer Roche is too expensive. Roche says discussions are continuing.

One patient said the move felt “cruel”.

In clinical trials, Kadcyla – £90,000 at full cost per patient – was shown to extend terminal breast cancer patients’ lives by an average of six months, and to dramatically improve quality of life when compared with other treatments.

It is used to treat people with HER2-positive breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and cannot be surgically removed.

‘Extra milestones’

Bonnie Fox, who is 39 and from Croydon, south London, told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that she had been informed by her oncologist that the drug would be available to her when her current drug became ineffective.

She said when she had discovered the drug was no longer routinely available on the NHS, she had been “completely devastated”.

“I’m really dependent on those extra years… they could [help me achieve] extra milestones with my son, help me see him get to school,” she said.

“To have that suddenly taken away feels so cruel. You know that drug is there, and you know that drug is good.”

Patient Gill Smith said had been assured by her oncologist that Kadcyla would be available when she needed it.

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Gill Smith says she was told the withdrawal of Kadcyla was “unthinkable”

“[My oncologist] said if Kadcyla were ever going to be withdrawn, they’d be chaining themselves to railings… it was unthinkable it would be no longer available.”

The drug had been available through the old cancer drugs fund since 2014.

That was a ring-fenced fund set up by the government to help people in England access costly cancer drugs not routinely available on the NHS.

Call for review

But that fund was closed in March 2016 and replaced with a new approach to the funding of cancer drugs, which includes the so-called new-look cancer drugs fund.

Dr Mei-Lin Ah-See, a consultant in clinical oncology at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, criticised the failure of NICE – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to approve the drug for routine availability on the NHS.

She said it “not only comes at the expense of survival for our patients, but would come at the price of toxicity”, as alternative drugs result in greater side-effects for patients.

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Dr Mei-Lin Ah-See worries about the toxicity of other similar drugs

She said the UK Breast Cancer Group – a group of senior medical and clinical oncologists specialising in breast cancer treatment – would be writing to NICE to request that the decision should be reviewed and an accommodation found to keep the drug available for NHS patients.

Carole Longson, of NICE, said the watchdog “knows how important it is for people with breast cancer that they have access to life-extending treatments, but the reality is the cost of this drug is too high relative to those benefits for it to be recommended for routine use”.

A NICE spokesperson added: “NICE would like to be able to support the routine use of Kadcyla on the NHS and we are open to an approach from Roche with ideas about how they can make this happen.

“They have been in touch with us and we are arranging a further meeting with them, during the consultation period.”

Richard Erwin, general manager for Roche UK, said: “This is not the end of the line for patients.

“We want to get back round the table with NICE to turn this preliminary decision around and ensure we all do the right thing for patients and their families.”

Watch the Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News channel.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38611680