Category Archives: Liverpool Echo

The best selfies so far with the Baltic Triangle Liver Bird Wings

Dozens of people have been visiting the latest interactive art mural in Liverpool this week.

Thanks to artist Paul Curtis people now have the chance to transform themselves into the famous Liver Birds in the city‘s Baltic triangle.

Located on Jamaica Street, the new mural has seen a wide variety of people posing for the perfect selfie, in what has been described as “the best place to take your new profile picture.”

It is one of the most “Instagramable” spots in the city and has become a social media sensation.

Here are some of the best pictures we have seen at the site so far.

Flying police horses

These images of two Merseyside Police horses at the mural has gone viral since first being posted.

After the picture was shared online Angie Kenny tweeted: “Police horse went by our house before in Mossley Hill and my little girl asked where have his wings gone after seeing this picture today.”

Little cherub

This baby got their wings nice and early by posing with mum at the mural.

We hope to see lots more getting their wings before the mural is removed.

Liverpool newest Liver bird, a painted wings mural by artist Paul Curtis as Ros Hale and family pose for the camera. Photo by Colin Lane

It’s a wonderful life

“Everytime a bell rings, an angel gets their wings”

The creator

Artist Paul Curtis is the man behind the popular mural.

Paul was formerly a geologist who after being made redundant decided to become an artist.

He told the ECHO: “I found the wall on Jamaica Street and asked the owners if I could do something and they said it was fine.

“I was going to do a really big one but the wall owners said it might only be up for the next six months so I did a smaller one.

“When I started designing it, I thought how could I make it unique and settled on the colour and wings of the Liver Bird.

“I wanted to do something people could interact with and make it a bit of fun.”

Paul Curtis is the man behind the amazing new artwork in the Baltic Triangle

Praise from artist to artist

The staff from Splinter Design in the Baltic Triangle have been stopping on Jamaica Street to get their wings

If you had an album, this would be the cover

Rachael, 21, from Liverpool has solidified the mural as the best place to get a new profile picture

*Please send us your selfies from the Liver Birds mural on Twitter or Facebook*


Dramatic moment car screeches off after raid on Park Road pawnbrokers

Dramatic footage shows the moment a car screeched off after a terrifying raid at a Liverpool pawnbrokers.

Police have today launched a fresh appeal for information in relation to the raid – which happened at Brown and Gold pawnbrokers on June 21.

A man used a stick to smash his way into Brown & Gold pawnbrokers next to the Park Road Tesco before he fleeing in a dark blue Ford Focus.

Valuables from the shop window were stolen during the raid, which left shattered glass showered across the pavement.

The car was later found torched on Stonegate Drive in Dingle.

A man seen smashing his way inside the shop was described as in his late 30s to early 40s and wearing a light grey hooded top covering his face and a blue jacket.

One eye witnesses recorded dramatic footage of a dark blue Ford Focus roaring off seconds after the raid. The ECHO has since passed the footage onto police.

A police spokesman said: “The offenders are believed to have left the scene in a blue Ford Focus, which was later recovered nearby.”

No arrests have been made so far.

The same shop had been targeted on June 8, when a blue Toyota was driven through the window.

After smashing the front window two men got out and stole “a number of items” before leaving the scene and driving off in the direction of Isaac Street.

* Anyone with information about the raid on June 21 should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers free on 0800 555 111

Burglar ‘pressured’ into ransacking Walton nursery to clear drug debts

A burglar ‘pressured’ into ransacking a nursery to pay off drug debts was locked up for seven months.

Peter Bennett was part of a two man team who smashed into Rainbow House Nursery, in Walton, leaving broken glass littering the floor of its toddler room.

Bennett and his accomplice made off with iPads worth £956 and iPad covers worth £80, and caused £90 worth of damage to the window.

The 39-year-old, of Selina Road in Walton, pleaded guilty to burglary at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court today and was handed 16 weeks in prison.

However magistrates added 12 weeks after activating a suspended sentence Bennett had received for theft in October last year.

Amanda Cullen, prosecuting, told the court the offence came to light on June 23 when a member of staff at the nursery, on Arnot Street off County Road, turned up for work.

She said: “She arrived at work at 6.45am to find broken glass on the floor of the toddler room. The play area and the office had been ransacked. She found three iPad minis and screen covers had been taken.”

The court heard CCTV showed two males enter the nursery who were identified by police as Bennett and his accomplice.

Rainbow House Nursery on Arnot Road, Walton

He was later arrested and admitted he was the male in the CCTV footage, but claimed he had been forced to take part by men he owed drugs money to.

Paul Kilty, defending, told the court his client had completed a drug rehabilitation order as part of his suspended sentence and was not using drugs at present.

Mr Kilty said: “The reason he became involved in this offence was that he was put under some pressure in relation to drugs debts.

“In order to complete this drug debt he was put under significant pressure, he says he was threatened personally and his family were threatened but he understands this falls short of duress.”

Bennett, who appeared in court via video-link from prison, was ordered to pay £556 in compensation and a £115 victim surcharge upon his release.

*A second man is due to appear in Liverpool Crown Court next month charged in relation to the burglary, along with other offences.

DJ claimed he used knuckle duster to train dogs by hitting them

A DJ caught with a knuckle duster while driving an ex-police car claimed he used the weapon to train dogs by hitting them.

Officers discovered the knuckle duster when they stopped Stuart Forster in his Ford Focus estate on the M56 in Cheshire.

The 31-year-old said he was a dog trainer who used the knuckle duster inside a glove to control misbehaving animals.

But a judge branded him a “pathological liar” and said it was “nonsense” after a dog training expert and jury rejected his explanation.

Ffion Tomos, prosecuting, said an officer pulled over Forster’s car near Frodsham at around 3.10am on January 10 this year.

She said this was for “an unrelated matter”, but when asked if he had anything he shouldn’t, Forster, of The Uplands, Runcorn, said “no”.

The officer searched Forster, who was wearing dark combat clothing, and found the weapon in his jacket pocket.

He explained he “used it for training” and on dogs “if they got out of control” and repeated the claim in an interview.

The house music DJ, who regularly performs at Imagine bar in Mathew Street, stood trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Forster said he worked on a voluntary basis for his dad’s guard dog firm and at a dog training centre in Kirkby.

He said he was qualified in the preliminary training of dogs, many of which were abandoned or from rescue centres.

Stuart Forster, 31, of The Uplands, Runcorn, claimed he used a knuckle duster to train dogs by hitting them
(Image: Liverpool Echo)

Forster said he would hold a dog lead in his right hand and on his left hand wore the knuckle duster, covered with a glove.

He said he would “tap” dogs – not hard – with the gloved weapon on the side of the neck to bring them under control.

However, he was found guilty of having an offensive weapon in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.

Trevor Parry-Jones, defending, said Forster had suffered a serious back injury and was unemployed and receiving benefits.

Recorder David Turner, QC, said: “I take the view he is a pathological liar. There are other features in the case that cause me concern about him.”

The judge said Forster told a probation officer he only trained dogs voluntarily and part-time, but never said this to the jury.

He said: “I was amazed to read he was actually unemployed and receiving benefits.

“He has been presenting himself as a man who can hold off and deal with dangerous dogs that are going to jump at him.”

Mr Parry-Jones said his client was able to work with dogs for short periods, which was different to a full-time job.

But the judge added: “He was convicted quite rightly by the jury, having told lies on oath.

“I find it quite difficult to accept he is a man without means.”

Mr Parry-Jones said Forster was bought the ex-police car by his dad and its blue lights were inoperable.

He said the wires were not connected and no charges were ever brought in relation to the vehicle.

Recorder Turner said Forster was caught with a knuckle duster “with no explanation”.

A knuckle duster owned by Stuart Forster, 31, of the Uplands, Runcorn, who said he used it to hit dogs
(Image: Merseyside Police)

He said Forster claimed he would hit dogs with it to train them, but added: “The expert dog handler considered that to be nonsense.”

The judge added: “I have concerns about you because to some extent I think we’ve only seen a part of the picture here.

“I wondered if it was something more serious, having regard to the way you were travelling in that vehicle.”

The judge said it emerged during Forster’s evidence that his dog training qualification post-dated the offence.

He said: “You were presenting yourself as a person expert in handling dogs, that you assisted your father in his business of providing guard dogs and it was not suggested for one minute that you were in fact on benefits.

“I take the view you’re not telling the truth about your means. I take the view you are working.”

Recorder Turner said Forster had “the luxury of a crown court trial, costing thousands and thousands of pounds”.

He handed him a 12-month community order with 250 hours of unpaid work and said he must pay £1,000 towards prosecution costs.

New footage shows kids DID NOT jump on road sweeper before it began to smoke

A video has emerged that appears to shed new light on an incident in which children were accused of jumping on a road sweeping machine.

The new footage clearly shows the road sweeper topple onto its side after turning a tight corner at speed. Smoke is then seen billowing from underneath it, on St Paul’s Road in Seacombe just after 2pm today

Earlier today an eyewitness told ECHO that he saw “kids jumping on the road sweeper” before watching them “run off”.

In the video which has just come to light, a group of children can be seen standing at the corner of the street and watching but they do not approach the vehicle before it begins to smoke.

The children at the scene at the time of the accident can be seen walking away from the street, having not touched or approached the sweeper at all.

The driver of the Merseytravel vehicle can be seen trying to turn off the engine of the damaged vehicle, which is blocking part of the road.

Merseyside Police said it is looking into the incident.

A spokesperson for Merseytravel said: “We can confirm that the vehicle shown in the video is owned by Merseytravel and was involved in an incident earlier today.

New footage shows that kids DID NOT jump on road sweeper before it began to billow smoke

“The police have been informed and we have already taken action to recover vehicle and clear-up the scene.”

Firefighters were also contacted because of the huge amount of smoke coming from the damaged vehicle – but a spokesperson said they were eventually not required.

He said: “We were contacted about a mini sweeper on fire on St Paul’s Road in Wallasey at 2.21pm today but our assistance was not required in the end.

“The caller informed us that the smoke had dissipated and the fire service was no longer needed.”

Merseytravel operates the Mersey Ferries facility in Seacombe as well as the nearby Spaceport tourist attraction and uses road sweepers to maintain and clean the area.

Homeless hero of Manchester attack charged with theft from a woman injured in the attack

A homeless man who was hailed a hero for helping victims of the Manchester Arena bombing was charged with stealing a bank card from inside the Arena on the night of the attack.

Chris Parker, 33, was believed to have came to the rescue of a number of people in the minutes after the atrocity that killed 22 people.

Although over £50,000 was raised through a GoFundMe campaign to repay Parker, who was living on the streets of Manchester, the MEN has reported that he has now been charged with two counts of theft.

At the time of the attack he attained worldwide attention for running into the arena, just seconds after the bomb exploded, to help those who were injured.

He said he was knocked to the floor when a suicide bomber detonated a device in the venue’s foyer, but immediately got back up and began trying to help the dozens of injured.

Greater Manchester Police have now confirmed that Parker was charged in connection with the theft of a bank card.

Parker was remanded in custody to appear at Manchester magistrates court on Wednesday.

Speaking to the MEN a fortnight after the attack, Parker said: “I’m supposed to be a hero but I’m not a hero, just a normal guy, a normal regular guy. I ran into that Arena that night because I heard kids screaming. I had no choice.”

Chris Parker the homeless man who helped victims of the MEN Arena attacks
(Image: Evening Gazette)

Referring to the moment he tended to a victim, he said: “She was in her 60s and said she had been with her family. I haven’t stopped crying. The most shocking part of it is that it was a kids’ concert.

“There were nuts and bolts all over the floor. I don’t think anything has sunk in yet. It’s just shock.”

Video Loading

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: “A man has been charged in connection with the theft of a bank card.

“Chris Parker (29/02/84), of no fixed abode, has been charged with two counts of theft.

“He has been remanded to appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates on Wednesday 16 August 2017.

Read More

Manchester Arena attack

“The charges relate to a bank card being stolen from the Manchester Arena on the evening of 22 May 2017.”

As a result of his fame and exposure in the media he was reunited with his mother who he had not seen for five years and after talks with council officers was found a home.

The attack at the Arena injured 250 people. Many were left with life-changing injuries after a terrorist detonated a nail bomb just after 10.30pm on Monday, May 22, at the end of the Ariana Grande concert.

Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts slams Sarah Harding after she called rival girl band “slutty”

Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts has thrown shade at Sarah Harding – who is currently grabbing headlines in the Celebrity Big Brother house.

The Runcorn singer, who often champions feminism, shared a picture to Instagram of her friend wearing a cap bearing the slogan “Women in music are dangerously underestimated.”

But it was the seemingly shady caption that caught fans’ eyes – reports the Daily Mirror.

Sarah Harding breaks down! CBB
(Image: Channel 5)

“And that’s why we have to support each other,” Nicole wrote alongside it, followed by a series of fist emojis.

Her former bandmate Sarah recently caused controversy by criticising American girlgroup Fifth Harmony – claiming they use sex to sell records.

In scenes shown on Celebrity Big Brother’s Bit On The Side, Sarah labelled the four-piece “slutty” and bashed them for not performing proper dance routines.

The 35-year-old said they relied on “slut drops and twerking”.

Nicola Roberts arriving at the British LGBT Awards at the Landmark Hotel, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. The awards showcase individuals and organisations who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Picture date: Friday April 24, 2015. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire

In a conversation with Chad Johnson Sarah said: “They all wear next to nothing – all the girl bands do these days. Slutty, slutty, slutty. Sex sells, sex sells.”

Comparing them to Girls Aloud, Sarah added: “We used to have to do proper dance routines. They just do slut drops now.”

Nicola’s jibe will have done nothing to help relations between the ex bandmates, as Sarah told her housemates they are no longer on speaking terms.

Girls Aloud featuring Nicola Roberts from Runcorn second left
Girls Aloud featuring Nicola Roberts from Runcorn second left

Fans of the redhead were quick to comment on what they thought was a sly dig at Sarah, bashing the Work From Home singers on the Channel 5 reality show.

“This tea” said one fan.

“Are you supporting Sarah?” queried another.

And another commented: “Yes Nicola, tell them.”

Readers share their spider horror stories as autumn invasion begins

People from all over Merseyside have noticed that “ spider season “ is well and truly upon us.

Pictures from ECHO readers flooded in after a Liverpool mum found a huge spider “as big as her hand” in her home.

Stacey Pearson said her and her children were left “traumatised” after finding two huge arachnids in the family’s West Derby home.

The mum-of-three managed to take a video of one of the eight-legged critters, after catching it in a glass when it crawled out of her sink.

She also snapped a picture of the second, after it was caught crawling up her seven-year-old son’s bedroom wall.

The mum said: “I had my hand in the sink to do the dishes and the next minute it just came from nowhere.

“It must have come up the drain but honestly I have no idea how it fit through that plug hole.

“The second one I found a week later, my daughter was shouting me from upstairs saying there was a spider in the bath and could I come and get it.”

From the pictures sent to ECHO it is clear that nowhere in the city is safe and that the autumn invasion has begun.

Shaun White sent The ECHO this picture of his most recent “house guest“.

He found the creepy crawley on the stairs in his home in Litherland.

Shaun White sent ECHO this image of his most recent house guest

Kirstie Parry found her cat playing with this massive house spider in Aintree last week.

She said: “It gave me a bit of a shock when I saw it but the cat loved playing with it.“

Kirstie Parry spotted her cat playing with this beast at her home in Aintree

Colette Grainger Thompson spotted this at her work in Knowsley Village.

She wrote on Facebook: “This was in work last week. I had to catch it and put it out the back.“

Colette Grainger Thompson found this massive spider at work in Knowsley Village

This picture below was sent in by Lorraine Fox who said she found this one in her bath.

She said: “The picture doesn’t make it look that big but it’s huge. I can see its eyes. We put it out the window, you could hear it legging it.”

Lorraine Fox sent this image to ECHO to let us know that spider season was truly upon us

“Spider season“ is the time of the year that spiders leave their webs and venture in search of a mate.

This hunt usually leads them indoors to the warmth, meaning our homes often become a breeding ground for the eight legged little monsters.

While there are many methods of removing spiders and even keeping them out of your home, one woman seems to have found a unique way of dealing with them.

Stephen Cull contacted ECHO to share this tip: “Thought for you all. My wife always “hairsprayed” them. It hardens & they’re stuck.

“I get home & just pick ‘em. No mark – even on white paint.”

Furious road rage thug banged woman’s car window until his hands were bloody

A thug “blew his top” and punched a woman’s car window until his fists were bloody in a terrifying road rage attack.

Jonathan McKenny, 38, lost control after a row over Sarah Moran pulling out of a junction.

The incident began as Ms Moran turned from Prescot Road into St Oswald’s Road, Old Swan , on June 29.

Lynn Clark, prosecuting said: “She hears a car beep, looks in her mirror and sees a grey Volvo driven by this defendant. The defendant then overtakes her and slams on in front of her, causing her to also slam on.”

Ms Clark said McKenny’s reverse lights flashed on as if his car was going to collide with Ms Moran’s Fiat, causing her to “panic.”

The court heard Mr Roberts got out of the car and approached McKenny’s Volvo, asking him “what are you doing?” through the window.

But Ms Clark said McKenny claimed that he beeped after being “cut up” before Mr Roberts “gave me the finger” causing him to lose his temper, an account not challenged by the prosecution.

The court heard Mr Roberts returned to the car and they continued their journey, but McKenny pulled alongside them, signalling Ms Moran to pull over.

Ms Clark said McKenny eventually got out of the car at traffic lights on Edge Lane Drive.

She said: “Ms Moran said ‘Oh my God he’s getting out, put the window up’. The defendant went over to Mark’s side and started banging on the window really hard.

“He started pulling on the door handle and banged the window so hard her car was shaking, and she could see he had blood coming from his hands as a result of hitting the car.”

Jonathan McKenny leaves Liverpool Magistrates Court
(Image: LEC)

The court heard the couple attempted to drive away but McKenny caught up again and undertook them, braking in front of them several times.

They called the police and were advised to go straight to St Anne Street Police Station, where they reported the incident.

It later emerged that McKenny had twisted the door handle of Ms Moran’s car, causing £400 worth of damage.

A victim impact statement from Ms Moran stated: “I am scared to drive around the area where the incident took place and I will not go along Edge Lane any more.

“I need have to drive to work on my own as I need to work, but I am nervous and apprehensive throughout the drive.”

McKenny was traced by police and admitted the offence, claiming he was approached first by Mr Roberts who “tried to intimidate me.”

McKenny, of Mayfair Avenue in Huyton, was spared jail at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court today after admitting threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour with intent to cause fear of violence, and criminal damage.

Ms Clark said McKenny, who has 10 previous convictions, had been jailed for nine months in 2010 after assaulting his doctor.

Christopher Mantle, defending, told the court his client admitted he had “completely overreacted” and wished to apologise for his behaviour.

He said: “His reaction to the provocation was completely over the top. He would benefit from some significant intervention in terms of trying to understand his anger.”

District judge Wendy Lloyd, sentencing, said that she had no choice but to accept that McKenny was provoked.

She said: “This must have been a terrifying episode for this couple, and you have demonstrated before, when you assaulted your doctor, that you can blow your top very quickly.”

However Judge Lloyd said intervention from the Probation Service was the best way to “protect the public in the long term” and sentenced him to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.

McKenny was ordered to complete anger management and rehabilitation programmes alongside 120 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to hand over £600 in compensation to Ms Moran, £85 prosecution costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Fire breaks out on board a ship at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead

A fire broke out on board a ship at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead this afternoon.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue were called to Campbeltown Road, Wirral , shortly before 4pm.

Three fire engines attended the incident after reports of a fire on one of the ship’s decks.

The fire was extinguished at around 5pm but fire crews remained at the scene for a short while afterwards to liase with engineers at the site.

It is not thought that anyone was injured in the blaze.

A spokesperson for Merseyside Fire and Rescue said: “Firefighters are currently attending a fire on board a ship at a shipbuilding and repair company on Campbeltown Road in Birkenhead, Wirral.

A fire broke out on board a ship at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead

“Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service was called at 3.48pm and crews were alerted at 3.49pm. They were on scene at 3.58pm.

“Three fire engines attended the incident, which involves a fire on one of the ship’s decks.

“Crews wearing breathing apparatus used a main branch and main jet to extinguish the fire.

“Firefighters then ventilated the area using a PPV fan.

“No-one is reported injured.

“Fire crews are remaining at the scene to liaise with engineers.”