Myles Bradbury: Victim ‘destroyed’ by Addenbrooke’s abuse doctor

Posted by Warren Fyfe on December 13, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

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Myles Bradbury was sentenced to 22 years in prison for abusing child patients

The mother of a child abused by a paedophile hospital doctor says her son has been “destroyed” by what happened.

Myles Bradbury was jailed for 22 years in December 2014 after admitting abusing 18 victims at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

The hospital has agreed a number of payouts with Bradbury’s victims.

Speaking publicly for the first time, the mother of one victim said her son had had to be taken out of education and feared he could kill himself.

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Addenbrooke’s Hospital has paid out hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation to Bradbury’s patients and their families

She says her son, now a teenager but was aged between 10 and 12 when he was abused, had to be taken out of education completely a few years ago and now spends most of his time in complete seclusion.

“Myles Bradbury destroyed our beautiful boy’s life,” his mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said.

“So much so that I can’t see any way that he’ll ever recover.

“He is so bad that we live in fear of him committing suicide.

“We have to watch him 24 hours a day. The first thing on we do every day when we wake we check to see that he is still alive. If he is a bit late getting up we are worried that he will have done something terrible.

“It is completely heartbreaking. He hides away pretty much all day and refuses to leave the house.

“Whilst he has us around I hope he will be OK, but I feel that if we were not around, he’d do something awful.”


Bradbury, of Herringswell in Suffolk, admitted 25 offences, including sexual assault, voyeurism and possessing more than 16,000 indecent images.

The blood cancer specialist used a spy pen to take pictures of his victims.

That device was found to hold 170,425 images of “boys partially clothed… none indecent”, Cambridge Crown Court heard at the time of his sentencing.

The images of his victims, some of whom had haemophilia, leukaemia and other serious illnesses, were gathered at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Renu Daly, of Hudgell’s solicitors, said although some claims have been settled with the hospital, eight cases relating to child victims were ongoing, including some in which the victims suffered “catastrophic psychological injuries”.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-42336139

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Rebellion threat to EU Withdrawal Bill

Posted by Warren Fyfe on December 13, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

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The government is facing the threat of a defeat by rebel backbenchers when MPs vote on its flagship EU legislation.

Led by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve – a Conservative MP – the rebels want to insert a legal guarantee that MPs should get a vote on any final Brexit deal before it is finalised.

The amendment, which will be backed by Labour, will be debated later.

Brexit Secretary David Davis has written to Tory MPs but Mr Grieve said it was a “dialogue of the deaf”.

The government has no majority in the Commons and is vulnerable to a revolt by its MPs.

Ahead of the vote, Mr Davis wrote to all Conservative members on Wednesday morning promising “a meaningful vote” on Brexit.

He said there will be a vote in Parliament “as soon as possible” after an agreement with the EU is reached, adding: “Our entire approach to the bill has been to listen to MPs.”

The UK is due to leave the EU in March 2019, and the EU Withdrawal Bill is a key part of the government’s exit strategy.

Its effects include ending the supremacy of EU law and copying existing EU law onto the UK statute book, so that the same rules and regulations apply on Brexit day.

The bill is currently making its way through Parliament, where MPs from across the House of Commons have been trying to amend it.

So far it has emerged unscathed, but on Wednesday several rebels are lining up behind Mr Grieve’s bid to ensure a “meaningful vote” on any final deal agreed with Brussels.

Who will blink first?

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg

For vulnerable governments, losing is potentially much more dangerous than the odd defeat for governments who are secure in the level of their support.

It’s in that context that the government faces a potential defeat on Wednesday on the Withdrawal Bill and must weigh up its best course of action.

The legislation has been grinding its way through the Commons for weeks. Tory rebels have threatened to vote against the government on a few different occasions.

This time however, with the rebellion led by one of the most unlikely troublemakers, the former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, they really do mean business.

And while the government today has sought to say ministers are listening, government sources say they are looking to do what they can to make peace – as things stand, it’s feasible that the prime minister will be beaten in the Commons on Wednesday. Yes, a possible defeat on the eve of the European Council.

Read the rest of Laura’s blog

The government has already offered a take-it-or-leave-it vote on the final deal reached with Brussels and to enshrine the withdrawal agreement in a new Act of Parliament.

But Mr Grieve said the bill as currently worded would allow ministers to “circumvent” this agreed process and implement the agreement themselves without consulting MPs.

“This in no way prevents Brexit from taking place,” he told Sky News. “This is all readily curable but the government needs to listen.”

He added: “I have no desire to defeat my government. I am not a rebel. I don’t want to do that but the government needs to listen to what is being said and at the moment my impression of the last few days is that it seems to be a bit of a dialogue of the deaf.”

But Conservative Eurosceptics have reacted angrily to the threatened revolt.

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said: “There comes a moment when really grandstanding has to stop. Tying the government’s hands in the way that he would wish to tie them so early on is quite wrong.”

But Labour, which has tabled a similar amendment, signalled its backing for the change in the bill’s wording.

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Speaking during a visit to Paris on Tuesday, Theresa May said there were MPs “looking for reassurance” about the EU bill, adding that “of course we’ve been listening and talking to those colleagues”.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42329118

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Alabama election: Democrat Jones defeats Roy Moore in Senate upset

Posted by Warren Fyfe on December 13, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site
Media captionWhat the Alabama upset will mean for Donald Trump’s agenda

Doug Jones has become the first Democrat in 25 years to win a US Senate seat for Alabama after a bitter campaign against Republican Roy Moore.

His unexpected victory deals a blow to President Donald Trump, who backed Mr Moore, and narrows the Republican majority in the Senate to 51-49.

Mr Moore has so far refused to concede, saying “it’s not over”.

He fought a controversial campaign, in which allegations surfaced of sexual misconduct with teenage girls.

Mr Moore, a firebrand conservative who has said he believes that homosexual activity should be illegal, has repeatedly denied the claims against him.

The contest was for the seat vacated by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this year.

A flawed candidate – or an anti-Trump wave?

Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

Alabama will have a Democrat in the US Senate.

It’s an outcome that seemed all but impossible a year ago and still seemed unlikely even as voters headed to the polls on Tuesday.

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Supporters of Doug Jones celebrate at the election night party in Birmingham, Alabama

The ramifications of this unexpected victory are clear.

The Republican majority in the Senate will narrow, considerably improving the chances Democrats could gain control of the chamber in the 2018 mid-term elections.

It could also be seen as a rebuke of President Donald Trump, who gave full-throated support to Roy Moore even when other leaders in his party were hesitant.

After winning governor races in Virginia and New Jersey in November, some Democratic supporters will be hoping that an anti-Trump electoral wave is forming.

But Moore was such a flawed candidate that it may be too early to tell.

  • Read more from Anthony

Why hasn’t Roy Moore conceded?

Mr Jones won with 49.9% of the vote, to Mr Moore’s 48.4%. All votes from precincts around the state have been counted.

The margin of victory is well above the half a percentage point which would have triggered a recount.

Media captionRoy Moore: “It is not over”

But Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, quoted by the Washington Post, said a recount could still be ordered if a review of write-in votes and overseas ballots narrowed it to within this range.

Overseas ballots can continue to come in until the seventh day after the election, ie 19 December, the Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program says.

There was a total of 1.7% of votes for write-ins, where voters wrote in names of candidates who did not appear on the ballot paper.

Even if the final result is outside the 0.5% margin, either candidate can request a recount if they are prepared to pay the costs.

Mr Moore, a 70-year-old former judge, told his supporters it was not yet over.

“We’ve been painted in an unfavourable and unfaithful light,” he said. “Realise that when the vote is this close that it’s not over.”

Although Mr Moore did not concede, President Trump congratulated Mr Jones in a tweet shortly after US media declared him the winner, adding that “Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time”.

The Senate seat will come up for re-election in November 2020.

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Who is Doug Jones?

Mr Jones told his supporters in a victory speech that the “entire race has been about dignity and respect”.

“This campaign has been about the rule of law. This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency and making sure everyone in this state, regardless of which zip code you live in, is going to get a fair shake in life,” he said before the crowd erupted in cheers.

Media captionDoug Jones: “We have shown America the way”

The 63-year-old is a former lawyer known for helping convict two Ku Klux Klan members who bombed a black church in 1963 in Birmingham, killing four girls. He has never held elected office.

  • Who is Alabama Democrat Doug Jones?

Mr Jones’ victory has been credited to an unusually high turnout of black voters. Exit polls also suggest 56% of women voted for him.

Why was Roy Moore so controversial?

The former judge has made headlines for a series of incendiary remarks over the years, including his belief that Muslims are not fit to serve in Congress.

  • Things Republican Roy Moore believes

But it was allegations of sexual misconduct made by several women, some when they were teenagers, that dogged Mr Moore’s campaign and drew national attention to the special election.

One accuser alleges Mr Moore molested her when she was 14 while another claims he sexually assaulted her in a car while she was a teenager.

The claims against Mr Moore came amid a wave of allegations of sexual misconduct against prominent figures that has led to the resignation of three politicians.

What effect will the election have on the Senate?

The election will reduce the Republican majority in the Senate to 51-49.

However, Luther Strange – the Republican appointed to replace Mr Sessions as an interim senator in February – is likely to remain in the seat until early January.

This means the party will still have time to pass its tax-cut bill and vote on any year-end budgetary resolutions, but after that the window for legislative success narrows considerably, says the BBC’s Anthony Zurcher.

After Mr Jones takes his seat, the Republicans can only afford to lose one vote – in the event of a 50-50 split Vice-President Mike Pence will have the casting vote.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42333712

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Skin betting: ‘Children as young as 11 introduced to gambling’

Posted by Warren Fyfe on December 12, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site
Media captionUniversity student Ryan Archer’s love of gaming spiralled into gambling when he was 15

About half a million children and young people gamble every week, a Gambling Commission report is expected to show.

The regulator has warned that children as young as 11 are using so-called skin betting websites, which let players gamble with virtual items as currency.

The items won – usually modified guns or knives within a video game known as a skin – can often be sold and turned back in to real money.

The Gambling Commission is releasing its annual survey on Tuesday.

It is estimated that half of the UK online population – more than 30 million people – play video games.

  • Valve ordered to tackle ‘skin betting’
  • ‘Remove gambling ads appealing to children’
  • Some students ‘have £10,000 gambling debt’

The Gambling Commission said it had identified third party websites that enabled players to gamble their skins on casino or slot machine type games and then these could later be sold and turned into real-world money.

It said cracking down on the industry was a top priority.

‘Struggle buying food’

Bangor University student Ryan Archer’s love of gaming spiralled into gambling when he was 15 and he became involved in skin betting.

Four years later he has lost more than £2,000.

“I’d get my student loan, some people spend it on expensive clothes, I spend it on gambling virtual items,” he said.

“There have been points where I could struggle to buy food, because this takes priority.”

Ryan wanted to build an inventory of skins, but when he could not afford the price tag attached to some of them he began gambling on unlicensed websites to try to raise money.

He said: “It’s hard to ask your parents for £1,000 to buy a knife on CSGO (the multiplayer first-person shooter game Counter Strike: Global Offensive), it’s a lot easier to ask for a tenner and then try and turn that into £1,000.”

In CSGO, players can exchange real money for the chance to obtain a modified weapon known as a skin and a number of gambling websites have been built around the game.

“You wouldn’t see an 11-year-old go into a betting shop, but you can with this, there’s nothing to stop you,” Ryan said.

What is skin betting?

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Skins modify the look of a gun

Skins are collectable, virtual items in video games that change the appearance of a weapon – for example, turning a pistol into a golden gun.

Sometimes skins can be earned within a game, but they can also be bought with real money.

Some games also let players trade and sell skins, with rarer examples attracting high prices.

A number of websites let players gamble with their skins for the chance to win more valuable ones.

Since skins won on such a website could theoretically be sold and turned back into real-world money, critics say betting with skins is unlicensed gambling.

Sarah Harrison, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, said: “Because of these unlicensed skin betting sites, the safeguards that exist are not being applied and we’re seeing examples of really young people, 11 and 12-year-olds, who are getting involved in skin betting, not realising that it’s gambling.

“At one level they are running up bills perhaps on their parents’ Paypal account or credit card, but the wider effect is the introduction and normalisation of this kind of gambling among children and young people.”

Earlier this year, the Gambling Commission for the first time prosecuted people for running an unlicensed gambling website connected to a video game.

Craig Douglas, a prominent gamer known as Nepenthez, and his business partner Dylan Rigby, were fined £91,000 ($112,000) and £164,000 respectively after admitting offences under the UK’s Gambling Act.

The men ran a website called FUT Galaxy that was connected to the Fifa video game and let gamers gamble virtual currency.

‘Huge emerging issue’

Ms Harrison said the regulator was prepared to take criminal action, but said the “huge issue” also required help from parents, game platform providers and payment providers.

Some games providers have put more safeguards in place, but many of the sites are based abroad.

Vicky Shotbolt, from the group Parentzone said: “It’s a huge emerging issue that’s getting bigger and bigger, but parents aren’t even thinking about it.

“When we talk to people about skin gambling, we normally get a look of complete confusion.”

She called on regulators to take more action over the issue.

The Office for National Statistics will publish the research, carried out by the Gambling Commission.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42311533

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Trump UK visit expected in new year, US ambassador says

Posted by Warren Fyfe on December 12, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

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Woody Johnson said the US president was not “namby-pamby” about voicing his opinions

The US ambassador to Britain said he expects Donald Trump to visit the UK in the new year despite his recent Twitter row with Theresa May.

Woody Johnson told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme that the disagreement was “probably misinterpreted”.

Mrs May had said Mr Trump was “wrong” to share videos posted by the far-right group Britain First, prompting an online backlash from the US president.

Mr Johnson said Mr Trump’s relationship with the UK was still “very very good”.

He said Mr Trump had not yet set a date for the visit – which would see the president being hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle.

“Absolutely, I think he will come,” he told Today.

“It hasn’t been officially announced, but I hope he does.

“I think it’s a very very good relationship,” he said.

Speaking of Mrs May’s visit to the Oval Office in January, he said: “The prime minister was his first visitor, the first official foreign leader to visit.”

There were calls for a reciprocal visit to be abandoned, after Mr Trump retweeted three anti-Muslim videos last month.

When a Downing Street spokesman said he had been “wrong” to do so the president hit back, telling Mrs May to focus on “destructive” terrorism in the UK.

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Former NFL tycoon Mr Johnson said he was “familiar with these kinds of emotions people have” from his background in sport.

He accepted there “may be disagreements” over how Mr Trump says or does things.

He said that Mr Trump was not “namby-pamby” about expressing his views, adding: “Maybe he’ll ruffle feathers – there’s no question that maybe some feathers were ruffled.”

Mr Johnson, who took up his post in September, responded to comments from Twitter users at the time of the row, writing of a “long history” of “speaking frankly” between the US and UK.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42319018

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UK snow: Ice warning as commuters face delays

Posted by Warren Fyfe on December 12, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

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Drivers and commuters are facing difficult journeys in icy conditions across parts of the UK, following another night of sub-zero temperatures.

The Met Office has extended yellow warnings for snow and ice until 11:00 GMT and the AA warned driving could be “hazardous”.

Hundreds of schools are to stay closed for a second day.

A low of -13C (9F) was recorded on Monday night in Shawbury, Shropshire – the coldest night of the year so far.

The Met Office’s warning covers Wales, parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and much of England – including the Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, London, the South East, East, South West, the North East and North West.

It said: “There will probably be icy stretches on untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths with some injuries possible from slips and falls.

“Some roads and railways are likely to be affected with some journey times taking longer.”

BBC Weather’s Carol Kirkwood warned it would be a cold start to the day, with many areas seeing frost, lying snow, ice and freezing fog.

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The Met Office’s yellow weather warning for snow and ice on Tuesday

AA president Edmund King said: “We expect Tuesday to be extremely busy as temperatures plummet overnight, causing even more hazardous conditions on already wet and slippery roads.”

It had its busiest day of the year on Monday, with about 25,000 calls from motorists.

More than 350 schools in the West Midlands and more than 300 schools in Wales have said they will shut.

On Monday, more than 1,000 schools were closed – about 600 of which were in Wales.

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Sunrise at a frosty Chew Valley in Somerset

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Many schools will stay shut on Tuesday giving children another day to play in the snow

The deep freeze also left thousands without power. There were 220 homes still without supply in the West Midlands early on Tuesday.

National Rail is telling travellers to check with train operators before heading out following a day of delays.

Chiltern Railways, Arriva Trains Wales and Greater Anglia were reporting major delays on Tuesday morning.

Eurotunnel said services were running with delays due to “extreme weather conditions”, with waits of six hours for passengers departing from Calais and five hours from Folkestone.

It recommended customers cancelled or changed their travel plans.

Media captionThere will be lying snow, ice and freezing fog for many during the morning, the BBC’s Carol Kirkwood says

A low of -11.6C (11F) was recorded on Sunday night in Chillingham Barns, Northumberland, with Saturday’s temperatures dipping to -12.4C (10F).

Forecasters said temperatures will slowly warm during Tuesday but freezing fog patches are expected to linger in areas.

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Heathrow Airport in London is telling passengers not to travel to the airport if their flight is cancelled, after crews and aircraft were left out of position by the weather.

PO ferries are delayed by up to three hours because of the weather. Travellers are being told to check in and will be put on the first available sailing.

The TUC called on employers not to force staff to make dangerous journeys “for the sake of presenteeism” and to give staff advice on what to do if the weather or lack of public transport kept them away.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42318755

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NHS trust boss quits over funding fears

Posted by Warren Fyfe on December 11, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

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Lord Kerslake said “our problems lie in the way that the NHS is funded and organised”

Lord Kerslake has resigned as the chairman of a major London hospital trust because of NHS funding problems.

The former head of the civil service says the government is being unrealistic about the challenges facing the health service.

He announced he was stepping down as chairman of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on Sunday.

NHS Improvement described the hospital’s financial performance as “unacceptable”.

A spokeswoman added: “It is the worst in the NHS and continues to deteriorate.”

In a statement, Lord Kerslake said of his decision to quit: “I do not do this lightly as I love King’s but believe the government and regulator are unrealistic about the scale of the challenge facing the NHS and the trust.

“I want to pay tribute to the staff and their excellent patient care.”

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King’s College said Lord Kerslake had led the hospital “through a challenging period”

The peer also paid tribute to the “world-class” care given at the hospital, especially after the Westminster and London Bridge terror attacks, in a self-penned Guardian article.

He added: “There are undoubtedly things that I and the trust could have done better, there always are, but fundamentally our problems lie in the way that the NHS is funded and organised.”

Analysis: BBC health correspondent Hugh Pym

Lord Kerslake’s comments come after the board of NHS England said targets for waiting times could not be met next year even with the extra money allocated in the Budget.

Coming from a figure with such high level Whitehall experience the latest criticism of the government’s handling of the NHS carries some weight.

King’s College Hospital has been in long-running discussions with the regulator NHS Improvement about reducing its deficit.

It’s understood that it was close to being put into a financial special measures regime in which NHS Improvement staff would work alongside hospital management.

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the resignation was “embarrassing for the government”.

King’s College Hospital described Lord Kerslake as a “passionate advocate and champion” of the trust who had a “heartfelt commitment to staff and patients”.

It added that he had led King’s “through a challenging period which has also seen some notable successes, our response to three major incidents in London, the launch of the helipad and delivering some of the highest patient outcomes of any Trust in the UK”.

NHS Improvement said it respected Lord Kerslake’s decision to step down and would “replace him with a highly experienced new chair to take charge of the trust’s position”.

A Department of Health spokeswoman added: “We know that King’s NHS Foundation Trust faces huge financial challenges and we will support them to tackle these issues and continue to deliver high quality care for patients under a new chairman.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42304490

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Young women on sexual harassment in the workplace

Posted by Warren Fyfe on December 11, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

Two in five British women, and a fifth of men, have been sexually harassed at work or a place of study, a BBC survey has found.

These women told the BBC about their experiences of sexual harassment at work.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42286562

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UK snow: Widespread travel delays and school closures

Posted by Warren Fyfe on December 11, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site
Media captionThe forecast is for icy conditions on Monday

Motorists are being warned of “treacherous” road conditions as snow turns into ice across parts of the UK.

Hundreds of schools across England and Wales will be closed on Monday as the wintry conditions persist.

Efforts have continued overnight to reconnect power to thousands of homes cut off after snow and high winds affected supplies.

Temperatures have been between -1C and 1C in built-up areas, but as low as -10C in more rural areas.

The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings of ice for Wales, the Midlands and the South East.

It also warned of more wintry showers and icy conditions across the west of Scotland and Northern Ireland until 12:00 GMT.

There is also the risk of up to 5cm of additional snow on higher ground in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, but it is not expected to settle at lower levels.

The Met Office said: “Some injuries are possible from slips and falls on icy surfaces and there will probably be some icy patches on untreated roads and cycle paths.”

The RAC has predicted 11,000 breakdowns on Monday, which is 20% higher than the seasonal norm.

This follows the AA reporting a 40% increase in call-outs on Sunday after up to 30cm (12in) of snow coated parts of the country.

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A car turns around after a fallen tree blocks the A40 near Sennybridge, Wales, on Sunday

AA president Edmund King said he witnessed numerous crashes on Sunday as drivers were “caught out” by the icy conditions.

“Drivers do need to adjust more to the conditions by slowing down and keeping a good distance,” he said. “Winter tyres also help drivers to keep a grip.”

Pete Williams, the RAC’s road safety spokesman, said: “I think the big thing is people are not going to leave enough time.

“Journeys will take two to three times longer. It’s going to be treacherous driving conditions.”

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Heavy snowfall hit Sutton Coldfield

National Rail said travellers should check with their train operators before heading out.

Chiltern Railways, the Cross Country network, Great Western Railway, Virgin Trains and the West Midlands rail network will all be affected.

In Calais, hundreds of Eurotunnel passengers faced a cold wait as services to the UK were delayed overnight. The company said the wait was five hours, but some on social media said they had waited much longer.

Eurotunnel says services are now back to normal, although weather conditions remain “very challenging”.


Airports have also been affected, with dozens of flights cancelled from Heathrow on Monday after crews and aircraft were left out of position by Sunday’s problems.

Passengers are being advised to check their flight’s status before they set off for the airport.

Travel expert Simon Calder said 50,000 British Airways (BA) passengers were stranded at airports in the UK and around the world.

BA said additional staff were re-booking customers onto the next available flights and offering hotel accommodation.

But Twitter user Emma Hawkins said that – 20 hours after her cancelled flight – she was unable to rebook through the company’s website and phone lines “are just [a] recorded message that hangs up on you“.

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Meanwhile, thousands of homes were left without power after being hit by the weather.

Western Power Distribution said 99,500 customers were cut off on Sunday across the East Midlands, South Wales and the South West.

By Monday morning , 6,500 homes were still without power.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks also said they had brought power back to 48,000 homes, but 800 remained cut off in Oxford and Wiltshire on Monday.

Media captionScenes of fun and frustration over wintry showers

More than 400 schools are closed in Wales and in Birmingham, the city council has shut all of its local authority-run schools.

Buckinghamshire County Council and Shropshire Council said the majority of their schools will shut down, 250 are closed in Gloucestershire, and there are widespread closures in Denbighshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire.

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Some ventured out in the snow at Richmond Park, London

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Joe Marler of Harlequins played through the snow during the European Rugby Champions Cup match

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Some people took a more relaxed approach to the snow, like this family in Derbyshire

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And one skier took advantage of the weather in the Peak District

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Alex Taylor

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42305301

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‘My dad was controlling but I didn’t think he could kill my mother and sister’

Posted by Warren Fyfe on December 10, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

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Luke and Ryan Hart

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Claire Hart was shot with daughter Charlotte days after leaving her husband

Luke Hart could never have foreseen his “controlling” father would kill his mother and sister in July 2016.

Claire Hart, 50, was shot dead outside a swimming pool in Spalding, Lincs, with daughter Charlotte, 19, days after finally moving out of the family house.

Luke and the other surviving brother Ryan say dangers can easily be missed.

They spoke as figures showed more than 113 women in England, Northern Ireland and Wales in 2016 were killed by men – two thirds a current or ex-partner.

The Femicide Census figures, based on information from police and media reports, found 85 of the 113 women killed by men last year were in their own homes.

There were 100 woman killed by someone they knew – including 78 by an existing or former partner.

According to the figures, more than three quarters of women who were killed by a former partner were killed within the first year of separating from them.

‘Willing to kill us all’

Lance Hart, 57, shot his wife Claire and daughter Charlotte with an unregistered single-barrel shotgun before turning the weapon on himself.

Claire had left her husband, moving out of the family’s home in Moulton four days earlier.

Luke, 28, and his brother Ryan, 27, both engineers, were working abroad at the time of the killings but had helped their mother and sister find a new rented house a few weeks before.

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Luke and Ryan Hart

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Luke with his sister Charlotte

“I don’t think anything could ever, no matter how bad it was, lead you to expect what happened,” Luke said.

“The second we stepped out of line, he was willing to kill all of us and I don’t think anyone appreciated that.”

  • Killer father was ‘like a terrorist’

In a newspaper interview earlier this year, the brothers talked about how their father “rationed” Claire’s supermarket job wages.

Recalling growing up, Luke said: “Our father didn’t need to hit us. He generated enough fear in ways that were subtler.”

He added: “People fail to appreciate that many victims of abuse are just incredibly resilient people dealing with the traumas of their lives the best way they can.

“A lot of education needs to be done in terms of abusive behaviour and also the way people will respond to abusive behaviour. I didn’t understand them myself, none of us did.”

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Luke and Ryan Hart

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Ryan with Charlotte

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, a total of 601 homicides – cases of murder, manslaughter and infanticide – were committed in England and Wales in 2016.

Figures for 2016 have not been published in Northern Ireland but there were 17 homicides in the year to the end of March 2017 and 21 in the previous 12 months.

The Femicide Census says the total number of killings of women by men in 2016 is thought to be higher than the 113 it recorded because a number of cases are still under investigation and police forces did not provide some details to its freedom of information requests.

New measures

The figures were compiled by academic Karen Ingala Smith and the domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid who say they make clear the “disparity in the sexes of the victim and perpetrator” was not always clear from official crime data.

Ms Ingala Smith, chief executive of the organisation nia, which campaigns to end violence against women, said: “By breaking the barriers through which we contextualise violent crime, we’re able to build a different picture, a broader picture, about what causes and influences violence.”

Katie Ghose, chief executive of Women’s Aid, called on the government to provide a “long-term and sustainable funding model for a national network of refuges… [to] ensure that every woman can safely escape domestic abuse”.

The Home Office said the number of refuge spaces available in England has increased by almost 10% since 2010 to 3,810 this year, while local authorities are overseeing new schemes that allow victims to remain in their homes.

A spokesman added: “This government is determined to ensure that anyone facing the threat of domestic abuse has somewhere to turn to, and that perpetrators are brought to justice.”

He said domestic violence prosecutions have increased by 26% and convictions by 33% since 2010 in England and Wales, while the government’s approach will be transformed by measures in the draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42270719

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