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Manchester Airport pipe bomb plotter Nadeem Muhammad jailed

Nadeem MuhammadImage copyright GMP
Image caption Muhammad was jailed for 18 years at Manchester Crown Court

A man who tried to smuggle a pipe bomb on to a plane at Manchester Airport has been jailed for 18 years.

The “crude improvised explosive device” was found in Nadeem Muhammad’s luggage as he passed security on 30 January to try to board a plane to Bergamo, Italy.

Police initially failed to detect the device was “potentially viable”.

Muhammad, 43, of Bury, denied possessing explosives with intent to endanger life but was found guilty by a jury at Manchester Crown Court.

He was attempting to board a Ryanair flight when the item was discovered and told airport officials someone else had put it in his luggage.

A forensic examination of the device later found it contained nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose, which led to Muhammad’s home in Italy being searched.

After being questioned by Italian police, he was released and boarded a flight back to the UK on 12 February and arrested by UK officers shortly after landing.

Muhammad, of Tinline Street, Bury, was born in Pakistan and holds an Italian passport.

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Man weeps after appearing in court over shooting incident

A MAN charged with three offences following a shooting at a pub in Bradford over the weekend cried as he was taken down at court yesterday.

Tobias Conway-Graham is charged with possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, violent disorder, and possession of an offensive weapon.

The charges relate to an incident at the Sycamores pub in Norman Lane, Eccleshill on Saturday, August 19.

The 26-year-old, from Telford, Shropshire, appeared in the dock at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court dressed in a blue tracksuit.

The court heard how Conway-Graham was part of a group of men who entered the pub shortly after midnight on Saturday, carrying a baseball bat.

No pleas were given to any offences at the hearing.

Prosecuting, Nadine Clough said CCTV from the pub showed the defendant became involved in an altercation with the DJ at the pub, before another man, wearing a motorcycle helmet, entered carrying a shotgun, shooting the ceiling before all the men fled the scene.

She said Conway-Graham is being charged with possessing the shotgun on joint enterprise.

Defending, Shazad Dad said his client accepted being at the pub with a baseball bat, but argued the joint enterprise charge could not be proved “in a month of Sundays”.

Miss Clough asked for the court to remand Conway-Graham in custody over fears regarding to witness interference, but Mr Dad argued his client has a young family in Telford and works as a builder, with his only ties to Bradford being that his parents and sister live in the city.

He asked for conditional bail to be granted, barring his client from contacting people involved in the case, entering West Yorkshire, and with a curfew.

Chairman Vicky Reynolds said the case was a “very serious matter” and due to fears over interference with the case ordered Conway-Graham to be remanded in custody, due to appear at Bradford Crown Court on Wednesday, September 20.

She also made it known to the court she wished for the defendant to be held at a prison nearer to his family instead of HMP Leeds in Armley.

As he was led away, a weeping Conway-Graham told his mother, who was present in court, “I love you”.

Seven other males aged between 18 and 41 were arrested in connection with this incident, and were released pending further enquiries.

Detective Inspector Andy Farrell, of the Firearms Prevent Team, said: “We are continuing to appeal for witnesses to this incident.

“Anyone who saw anything suspicious or who may have information which may assist this investigation is asked to contact the team on 101, quoting log 18 of 19 August.”

Traveller family lose battle to stay on site built on Green Belt land without permission

A CONTROVERSIAL travellers’ site built without permission on the Green Belt has been denied permission to stay.

A tense meeting saw the Bradford Planning Panel almost split down the middle when they voted on the matter, deciding by a whisker to go against their officers’ recommendation and refuse the retrospective plan.

Now traveller Samantha Freeman, who had told councillors that her family “just want a place to call home”, will have to either move away and put the land back how it was or lodge an appeal with the Government.

The site, in Low Lane, Queensbury, features a static caravan and a touring caravan behind high gates. The retrospective application had sparked a major outcry, with more than 200 objections but also a handful of supportive comments.

The meeting heard the family living on the site had six children.

Planning officers had recommended granting them temporary permission to stay for four years only.

They said the development of the Green Belt was unacceptable, but they also had to weigh up the children’s right to a stable upbringing and school life.

They said a shortage of space at the district’s official travellers’ sites was not due to be rectified for another four years, and had recommended that the family get temporary permission to stay for this period only.

Ms Freeman told the panel her family had bought the site in May last year and she had moved onto it in August last year.

She said she wanted her children to use the Low Lane site as a base, “as well as having a traveller life”.

“Being a mother, I want them to have an education and want them to fit in with the local community,” she said.

Ms Freeman said she thought the reaction to her planning application had got “out of hand”.

She said people had put up posters with “luminous yellow writing” saying how to object.

She said: “I didn’t retaliate. I thought, ‘Everyone’s got the right to say how they feel’.”

“It was awful. It was atrocious, the way that people were judging me and my children and talking about us, when they didn’t even know us.”

When asked what her plans would be once a four-year permission expired, she said: “To be honest, I don’t know. I would like to stay where I am.”

Objector Glen Powell, who lived nearby, said he wanted to distance himself from some of the written comments from other objectors, which he called “xenophobic”.

He said his main concern was the inappropriate development in the Green Belt, describing the site’s new, high gate, fence and CCTV cameras as giving “the impression of a fortress”.

He said he also believed that Ms Freeman had previously lived in a house, which suggested to him there were other ways for the children to get a stable education.

Ms Freeman confirmed she had lived in a house in the past, but said this was “three years ago and I wasn’t there very long”.

The panel was given legal advice that people could still be classed as gypsies and travellers if they had lived in houses, provided they still intended to live a nomadic lifestyle.

All three Queensbury ward councillors had objected to the plan.

Councillor Lynda Cromie (Ind, Queensbury) spoke at the meeting, saying the family should have been “moved off when they arrived”.

She said: “I think it’s Bradford Council who are wrong for letting these people think they might be able to stay there this long.”

Panel chairman, Councillor Shabir Hussain (Lab, Manningham) said in his 12 years on planning panels, he had never known a case like this.

He said the high fence at the front of the site looked “absolutely awful”.

Panel member Councillor Michael Stelling (Lib Dem, Bolton and Undercliffe), said: “Even though I like to support the travellers’ community, in this case I can’t because that is completely inappropriate.”

Cllr Hussain suggested the family be given three, rather than four, years to remain on the site, but this suggestion was defeated four-to-three when it was taken to the vote.

The panel then voted four-to-three to refuse the plan outright.

Cllr Hussain said Ms Freeman was entitled to appeal the decision if she wanted to. She declined to speak to the Telegraph & Argus after the meeting.

Record number of weekly passengers for airport

A RECORD more than 120,000 passengers used Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) in one week.

This record (pictured) was set during the week commencing August 7, and was then equalled the following week, between August 14 and 20.

LBA has now welcomed two million passengers since April 1, this year; higher than the numbers recorded for the same period last year.

David Laws, LBA chief executive, said: “It has been a fantastic summer season here at LBA and these passenger figures show how the airport is going from strength-to-strength.

“We now have the widest choice of flights available from LBA.

“It is that, coupled with the focus on further improving the passenger experience, that has sparked this growth.

“There is a rising demand for air travel across the Yorkshire and Humber region.”

Firefighters tackle kitchen blaze at Bradford pub

FIREFIGHTERS are currently dealing with a fire at The Crown pub, in Great Horton Road, Bradford.

Details are few at the moment, but it is expected to cause severe traffic delays.

The fire, which firefighters said started in a kitchen area, now appears to have been brought under control.

Four fire engines and a police car are at the scene.

A fire service spokesman said: “Crews are currently in attendance at a public house in Great Horton Road, Great Horton, Bradford.

“Time of call was 16.17 and four fire engines are there.

“It’s a fire in the kitchen area. Firefighters are currently in firefighting mode.

“Crews from Odsal and Bradford were first on scene. No current reports of any anyone being injured by fire.”

Boris Johnson: Libya is terror fight front line

Boris Johnson meets Fayez SarrajImage copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Johnson met Libyan unity government prime minister Fayez Sarraj (right)

Libya is the front line in Europe’s struggle against illegal migration and terrorism, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says.

On a visit to the capital Tripoli, Mr Johnson pledged more than £9m to help tackle people trafficking and terrorism.

He agreed with Libya’s prime minister that the EU should do more to help tackle the migration crisis.

It was Mr Johnson’s second trip to Libya this year.

The North African country has been beset by chaos since Nato-backed forces overthrew long-serving ruler Col Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011, with rival governments forming and fears about the presence of so-called Islamic State (IS).

In the latest reported violence, the spokesman of Libya’s self-styled army in the east of the country said 11 people had been killed at a checkpoint they controlled in southern Libya.

‘Threat to UK’

Ahead of Mr Johnson’s visit, Fayyez Al-Sarraj, the head of Libya’s UN-backed unity government, issued a warning that Europe faced a growing risk from terrorists unless it did more to help his country stem the massive tide of illegal migrants.

The UK foreign secretary said some of those who passed though Libya were already radicalised or could be involved in terrorism.

“Libya is the front line for many challenges which left unchecked can pose problems for us in the UK – particularly illegal migration and the threat from terrorism,” he said.

“That’s why it is so important that we work with the Libyan government and our partners to help bring stability to Libya, stopping it from becoming a fertile ground for terrorists, gun-runners and people traffickers in close proximity to Europe.”

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption £4 million will be spent removing landmines in the former IS stronghold of Sirte

The aid package includes £4m to support the removal of mines and improvised explosive devices, particularly in the city of Sirte, a former IS stronghold from which the militants were removed by Libya’s military earlier this year.

Mr Johnson also said Britain would help establish a form of electronic border to the south of Libya and offered more help to its coastguard.

He agreed with Mr Al-Sarraj that the EU should be doing more to help tackle Libya’s migration crisis, and also met the new United Nations special representative in Libya, Ghassan Salame, urging the international community to unite around a new UN plan expected soon.

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.

Cyclist Charlie Alliston guilty over pedestrian’s death

Kim BriggsImage copyright Met Police
Image caption Kim Briggs died after being injured while crossing Old Street in Shoreditch in February

A cyclist who knocked over and killed a 44-year-old woman in east London last year has been cleared of her manslaughter.

But Charlie Alliston, 20, was found guilty of causing bodily harm by “wanton or furious driving”.

Alliston was riding a fixed gear bike with no front brakes when he hit mum-of-two Kim Briggs as she was crossing the road in her lunch break.

She suffered serious head injuries and died a week later in hospital.

Alliston later went online to defend himself following the crash, claiming Mrs Briggs was at fault before deleting the comment when he realised how serious her injuries were.

He told the Old Bailey his comments had been stupid and not thought through.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Charlie Alliston went online to defend himself following the crash

Alliston was riding a fixie – a fixed-wheel bicycle with no front brake used by track racing cyclists – across a junction on Old Street, Shoreditch, last February when he said he saw HR consultant Mrs Briggs step out into the road while looking at her phone.

He told the court he shouted to warn her and slowed down to between 10 and 14 miles an hour.

Alliston said he shouted again and swerved to avoid her but Mrs Briggs stepped back into his path.

He claimed he was not aware a brake was a legal requirement to ride on the road and said even with one he wouldn’t have been able to stop in time.

But crash investigators who studied CCTV of the incident concluded Alliston would have been able to stop and avoid the collision if the bike had been fitted with a front brake.


What is wanton and furious driving?

Image copyright Commentaries on the Laws of England
Image caption The law explained in the Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in 1867

Alliston, now 20, was charged with an admittedly archaic offence – but it is the closest to dangerous driving a cyclist can be charged with.

Unlike a dangerous cycling charge, causing GBH by wanton and furious driving takes into account injury.

It may sound slightly eccentric, but perhaps it is down to its wording which was coined in 1861.

Introduced under the Offences Against the Person Act, the charge was created to deter people from driving horse carriages recklessly.

It is now used when it is not possible to prosecute under the Road Traffic Act 1988 – ie, when the vehicle in the crime was not mechanically propelled – and in cases of serious injury or death caused by a cyclist’s actions.

It carries a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

Previous successful prosecutions under the offence include those against cyclists Darryl Gittoes and Darren Hall, who both knocked down pedestrians who later died.


Judge Wendy Joseph QC ordered a pre-sentence report, but made it clear she was considering a jail sentence for Alliston.

She said: “I have not seen one iota of remorse from Mr Alliston at all at any stage.”

He is due to be sentenced on 18 September.

In a statement read in court, Mr Briggs paid tribute to his “wonderful” wife, with whom he had a daughter aged 11 and a son aged 14.

He said: “She was quick to smile, slow to judge and even slower to anger.”

The case has raised questions about safety and responsibility on the road.

Mrs Briggs’ family said they plan to campaign for tougher cycling laws to protect pedestrians.

Mr Briggs described the trial as “gruelling and painful”.

He added: “Out of this senseless carnage, I shall try to bring change to the law and change to attitudes.

“Perhaps in this way I can honour my wife.”


What are the laws for riding ‘fixies’?

Image caption Source: Cycling UK

Alliston’s fixed-wheel track bike is the sort more commonly seen at an Olympic velodrome, being raced at great speeds.

In evidence, he told jurors he had no idea there were regulations that “fixies” have to have front brakes for use on the road.

The Pedal Cycle Construction and Use Regulations 1983 states a fixed wheel bicycle must have a front brake in addition to the rear fixed wheel before it can be lawfully ridden on a public road.

A fixed-wheel counts as a rear brake, however it needs a calliper on the front to legally ride it on a public road.


Labour MP faces backlash over women-only carriages idea

Model posed photo of woman staring out of a train carriage windowImage copyright Getty Images

Women’s rights groups and Labour colleagues have criticised a shadow minister for saying female-only train carriages should be considered.

Chris Williamson said they were an “idea worth exploring” to reduce sexual offences and create “safe spaces”.

But Labour’s former transport secretary said it was an “absolutely crazy idea”, while another of the party’s MPs said it “normalised attacks“.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn floated the policy in 2015, but later dropped it.

Mr Williamson, shadow fire minister, highlighted figures from the British Transport Police showing 1,448 sexual offences on trains had been reported in 2016-17, compared with 650 incidents in 2012-13.

The MP for Derby North told the BBC‘s Victoria Derbyshire show: “I’m not saying we should go down this road at all, I’m merely suggesting that we consult on it.”

He said it was about being able to offer “that safe space for people if they wanted it”.

While Mr Williamson said better security and more guards were needed to tackle the problem, he agreed there should be a “push for behaviour change”.

‘Not the answer’

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Labour’s former Transport Secretary Lord Adonis dismissed the idea, saying women would find it “grossly insulting”.

“The idea that they would be herded into separate carriages when the point at issue is a very tiny number of men who don’t behave properly.”

Countries including Japan, Brazil and Mexico have tested women-only carriages and the UK has had ladies-only compartments before.

About 100 still existed on services between London and Essex when the decision was made to phase them out altogether in 1977.

Several female Labour MPs have been vocal in their criticism of the idea they could make a comeback.

Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy tweeted: “Can we make all carriages safe for all passengers rather than restricting where we can go?

“[It] doesn’t keep women safe to restrict their movements – it normalises attacks. We need to be clear they [the attackers] are problem, not women’s seating plans.”

Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, said the policy was an “absolutely terrible idea”.

She tweeted: “Also, men should be incredibly annoyed by [the] suggestion they can’t control themselves.

“Sexual violence isn’t about urges, it’s about power. If you take your feminist cues from Saudi Arabia, you’ve gone wrong.”

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The Women’s Equality Party said it had not changed its opinion since the Labour leader first proposed women-only trains.

Laura Bates, from Everyday Sexism, a website which documents instances of daily discrimination, told Victoria Derbyshire she would “never suggest segregation is the answer”.

“It has to be about sending a clear message that this issue, which is already so normalised in our society, can be further normalised by the idea that women should simply go somewhere else.”

Campaign group End Violence Against Women expressed concern the policy does “nothing to tackle perpetrators”.

“And what happens when a woman doesn’t opt to use a segregated carriage – is she somehow to blame if she is then attacked?”

Mike Whelan, general secretary of train drivers’ union Aslef, said “gender apartheid” on public transport was not the answer and it was up to operating companies “to make sure every space is safe”.

Leaders call on Government not to derail Northern Powerhouse promise

NORTHERN political and business leaders have joined together calling for Government investment to make the promise of a “Northern Powerhouse” a reality.

Delegates at the Northern Transport Summit in Leeds were discussing the need for a 21st century transport system to link northern cities.

Today’s event was held after a series of rail links in the North, Wales and Midlands were downgraded last month at the same time the Government was announcing its backing for a new £30 billion Crossrail 2 scheme in London.

This is on top of a £15bn Crossrail scheme currently underway in the capital and due to open in December next year.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council Leader and chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said after the meeting: “Today was a really good example of how northern business and civic leaders are increasingly coming together to make our voice heard about the need for more transport investment in the north.

“The growth potential is huge in places like Bradford and it was good to speak with Andy Burnham, who led the event, about how all the great cities of the north can join together to make the case to Government.”

Among the speakers was Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham who also urged the Government to “play your part of the bargain” in the promised Northern Powerhouse.

He said: “We are patriotic people in the North. We are proud of our capital city. We want it to have a 21st century transport system but it is not too much to ask the same for ourselves.

“The truth is we are London-centric as a nation. Too centralised. Devolution in the region is beginning and I think this could be a change for the better but it is up to us to grab the opportunity and fill that space with our passion to improve the North of England. To improve the prospects of life chances of people who live here.

But Mr Burnham said partnership with Government was essential, adding: “Because we can’t do it on our own. We will do our bit and will get our own act together.

“The message should go out today that the North is getting organised and we are getting serious. It is not a threatening message. It is about saying to the Government ‘now you play your part of the bargain’.

“We will develop a plan. We are going to need your backing to make it real. After all, you did promise us a Northern Powerhouse.”

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling caused an uproar among delegates by arguing that while improving northern transport links was one of his “biggest priorities” they must be “designed and managed by the North itself”.

Attendees claimed it was an “abdication of responsibility” by the minister while others said his remarks showed “quite clearly his particular contempt for the North of England.

The summit called on the Government to honour in full commitments already given to deliver improvements to rail services across the North, prioritise its manifesto commitment to deliver new west-east rail infrastructure across the region and to set out a fairer distribution of transport funding across the country.

Youngsters cook up a treat at Jamie’s Ministry of Food

JAMIE’S Ministry of Food in Bradford has been cooking up a way to keep youngsters busy over summer.

The community teaching project, at John Street, has seen children aged eight to 14 making a variety of recipes from Jamie Oliver’s collection, including salmon tikka and Spanish tortilla, with ingredients sourced locally from the Oastler market.

“This has been our busiest ever summer for kids cooking. By the time the sixweek break has finished, the Ministry of Food will have cooked more than 180 meals,” said said project manager Soraya Overend. “We’ve had to put on extra classes because our first sessions sold out so quickly. It’s great to see so many kids excited about learning to cook healthy and nutritious meals for themselves.”

Sarah Sheffield, mum to nine-year-old Elliott, added: “It’s great to learn a life skill that perhaps we don’t get time to teach at home. This will hopefully lead Elliott on to making tasty, healthy meals in adulthood.”

* Ministry of Food courses, for both adults and children, continue in September. Call (01274) 435279.