Category Archives: Manchester Evening News

He necked half a litre of vodka on the flight from Malaga – with predictable results

A holidaymaker who necked half a bottle of vodka on board a flight from Malaga was so drunk police had to remove him from the plane.

Bradley Underwood had bought the one litre bottle from the airport in Spain for his son – but while on the short flight to Manchester he drank half of it.

The 58-year-old labourer remained in his own seat on the Jet 2 aircraft on July 28 but crew said he was ‘shouting’ – although he was not aggressive or abusive.

Bradley Underwood bought the vodka for his son – but decided to have a drink himself

When passengers were leaving the aircraft once it had landed, Underwood was not responding to flight attendants.

Prosecuting at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, Kate Gaskell said: “The defendant was sat in his own allocated seat but was not responding to requests from crew members.”

Police were called on board and stated Underwood was slumped in his seat and his speech was ‘slurred’.

They said he was so intoxicated he was ‘struggling to walk’.

He was then arrested.

The court was told that Underwood was extremely embarrassed

Underwood, of Manchester Road, Audenshaw, pleaded guilty to being drunk on a flight.

Mitigating, Daniel David said: “There was very little disturbance caused by this incident and there was no violence and he has shown full remorse for his actions and has co-operated fully with the police.”

He added he had bought the vodka for his son but decided to have a drink.

Mr David added: “He got on the plane and had a drink himself and then he found he had drunk more than expected.”

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Flight madness

Underwood then fell asleep. He said he was extremely embarrassed.

District Judge Mark Hadfield said: “I accept that when passengers boarded the plane you caused no difficulties for them.

“But something had happened on the plane because the crew had asked for assistance from the police.”

“He got on the plane and had a drink himself and then he found he had drunk more than expected.”

Underwood was fined £200 and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Judge Hadfield added that passengers ‘partaking in using their own alcohol on board’ is currently in the public eye.

Arrests for drink related offences at airports and on flights have risen dramatically.

A total of 387 people suspected of being under the influence were arrested airside between February 2016 and February 2017 – up from 255 the previous year.

Ryanair are now calling for a ban on the amount of alcohol passengers can consume before flights to prevent so much chaos in the air.

It also wants to end the sale of alcohol before 10am which would spell the death of the early morning pre-flight pints but potentially lose airport businesses a substantial amount of money.

Ryanair says the Civil Aviation Authority reported a 600% increase in disruptive passenger incidents in the UK between 2012 and 2016, with most incidents “ involving alcohol”.


Celebrity Big Brother: Huge row kicks off in the house after boozy game of spin the bottle

An astonishing row kicked off on tonight’s Celebrity Big Brother following a game of spin the bottle that led to an alcohol ban in the house for the rest of the night, and Sarah Harding and Chad Johnson climbing back into bed together.

Former Girls Aloud singer Sarah demanded that Manchester model Jemma Lucy be removed from the CBB house after the tattooed reality star asked Sarah to kiss housemate Sam Thompson, and when she refused Jemma kicked a table.

Raging at Stockport singer Sarah, Jemma said: “Are you actually p***ying out on that? You’ve got a boyfriend and you’re kissing Chad anyway.”

Earlier in the game Jemma caused Sarah to flinch after kissing American reality star Chad Johnson.

(Image: Celebrity Big Brother/Channel Five)

On Friday Sarah raised eyebrows after she passionately kissed Chad and crawled into bed with him, before deciding they needed to end things because she had been dating someone outside the house.

Sarah stormed into the Diary Room in tonight’s angry scenes and said about Jemma: “She needs to go. If someone says no it gets out of hand. She’s poisonous.”

Big Brother then announced that they were stopping alcohol because of the heated incident.

After confronting Sarah in the garden housemate Jordan Davies sarcastically applauded and said: “Nobody can drink now because of you, so well done.”

A furious Sarah then shut herself in the bathroom and told her concerned friend Amelia Lily to go away.

(Image: Celebrity Big Brother/Channel Five)

Joined in the bathroom by a sympathetic Chad, the pair could clearly be heard kissing.

The “besties” later snuggled up on bed and could be seen embracing and sharing another kiss under the covers.

Evicted housemate Jordan Davies has blasted Sarah in his exit interview saying: “I used to love Girls Aloud but I actually hate her.

She’s meant up be a role model but she’s getting p***ed, kicking off, hiding fags.” He then dismissed her budding romance with reality star Chad as “bulls***”.

Shocked host Emma Willis gasped “those are such harsh words.”

There is going to be a permanent memorial to the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena attack in the city

A permanent memorial to the 22 victims of the Arena attack is being planned – with bosses saying floral inspired tributes could be included following the emotional scenes in St Ann’s Square.

Organisers say it is too early to say what form the memorial will take, but stress that the families of the deceased will be consulted and play an important role.

They will look to experiences in other cities affected by terror, including in Boston where a memorial will be unveiled next year following the attack at the city’s marathon in 2013.

A preliminary meeting of a group behind the plans, formed by civic and business leaders will meet next month to discuss the proposals for Manchester.

Coun Sue Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester council, told the M.E.N it is likely the memorial will be in the city centre.

She said: “We are still in the early stages at the moment.

“It needs to be something that is appropriate and that the people affected are comfortable with, so we need to talk to the families.

“It’s going to take a while and we really need to do it properly.

“We have had lots of suggestions from people, be it statues, plaques, flowers or gardens, especially after the tributes at St Ann’s Square which really resonated with people.

“We’ve also had offers of help from people including sculptors and gardeners already.”

A charitable fund separate from the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund will pay for the memorial.

Mourners congregated in St Ann’s Square in the days and weeks after the attack, on May 22, to pay their respects to the victims.

It became a living memorial with flowers, balloons, shirts, scarves and other items being placed in the square.

They will remain part of Manchester’s history in the future, as curators at the Manchester Art Gallery will preserve the flowers and use them in memorial books for the families of those lost in the atrocity.

Messages and cards left in the square will be kept at Manchester Central Library and John Rylands Library.

Meet Angus – the brave 13-year-old boy with a rare condition that means he’s the size of a toddler

Grinning from ear to ear as he fools around with his older brother, Angus Palmes acts like a regular toddler.

He enjoys crashing around the living room in his favourite toy truck and watching The Jungle Book on repeat.

Except tiny Angus isn’t a toddler. He is a teenage boy, aged 13.

Due to uniquely rare chromosome abnormality that has stunted his growth, Angus – who takes 250 doses of medicine a week – still wears clothes meant for three-year-olds.

His condition is so uncommon, that medics didn’t even have a record of it.

And with a one-in-seven billion chance of developing the condition, mum Tandy believes that the Cheshire teenager is the only person is the world who currently has the condition, which is known as chromosome translocation of 15/22 with partial trisomy of 22q12.3.

When he was born Angus weighed 6lb 7oz. He now weighs 2 stone 2lbs and is 3ft 1in. He stopped growing when he was three.

(Image: Macclesfield Express)

Despite his constant smile, the brave youngster has faced a series of touch challenges in his short life. He beat meningitis aged just two and has recently undergone a series of operations to tackle problems in his digestive system.

In fact, Tandy estimates that Angus has gone under the knife more than 40 times so far – including regular injections of Botox to help strengthen the muscles in his mouth.

But despite running the gauntlet of people staring in the street, Tandy is determined for Angus to live as positive a life as possible.

He’s a regular fixture down at the local cricket club to cheer on eldest sibling Otis, 15 – who stands at a strapping 6ft and dotes over his little brother.

Tandy, 48, from Macclesfield, says: “The odds have been stacked against Angus from the start.

“Otis is a very big lad and people never believe there’s only two years between them.

“Angus is still in clothes for people ten years younger than him. It’s like dealing with a pre-toddler at that stage just before the start walking.

“He’s not completely without motor skills but he can’t talk so he’s devised his own version of sign language.

“It’s a few basic hand signals that he does. Everybody who works with him or knows him knows what they are.

“If he’s happy, he sticks out his thumb and index finger and jiggles them simultaneously.”

(Image: Manchester Evening News)

Angus, who can’t walk unaided, usually gets around in a wheelchair but enjoys ‘bum-shuffling’ around the house.

But his condition also means he faces communication barriers and communicates with his family by movement – although his behaviour can sometimes be challenging.

Tandy says: “He punches himself or rubs himself up against things and make big bruises on his arms. It’s quite hard to watch your own son do that, but it’s his way of communicating.”

She adds: “Everyone in Macclesfield seems to know him but you do get used to people staring unwittingly. Luckily Angus is always so smiley and that engages people to speak to us.

“When people ask me how old Angus is I say 13. They think I mean 13 months.”

When it comes to eating, Tandy has to be wary of Angus’s soya allergy and most meals are reduced to a thick soup, with a feeding tube on hand if required.

He attends Macclesfield’s Park Lane School, which specialises in teaching children with communication difficulties and where teachers and other staff have welcomed him.

Tandy, who chairs the school’s board of governors, says: “He’s been there since he was two-and-a-half and he’ll stay there until he’s 19.

“The kids have their own personal timetables. They have a new thing where all the kids with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) go into one class so they can be taught in a way that’s beneficial to them.

“He absolutely loves school. He loves everything about it. One afternoon a week he goes to Otis’s school for what they call a forest school.

“Otis was always saying ‘I want my brother to go to the same school as me like everyone else’s brothers and sisters do, it’s so unfair’.

“Now he just goes in and absolutely loves it. They’ve got a very good bond.

“Angus will go and sit and watch cricket and, much to everyone’s amusement, when someone gets out, Angus just sits there and laughs his head off.

“Whether or not he understands what he’s watching, I don’t actually know.

“One of his teachers at school wrote in his report: ‘Angus seems to take great pleasure in classmates’ misfortune’. So he’s definitely got that cheeky side.”

When it comes to Angus’s life expectancy, Tandy is blunt: “We have absolutely no idea.

“We genuinely don’t know what he’ll do after school. He will never be able to hold down a job.”

A typical day will see Angus and his mum head to the local park for a walk – where he’s a bit of a local celebrity – before spending the afternoon watching his favourite DVDs.

Tandy says: “He always wakes up with a smile on his face, laughing.

“We usually have breakfast and then we’ll go for a walk or he’ll have a scoot around the house on his truck.

(Image: Manchester Evening News)

“He absolutely loves DVDs. The Jungle Book, Curious George, Fantasia – he’ll watch those over and over again.

“He loves music too. Apparently he’s into heavy rock at school.

“But his absolute favourite thing is swimming. He loves the water and goes walking round the shallow pool, but he knows when he’s gone too deep. It helps him physically too.

“He’s got exercises to do over the summer to help him learn to walk, which he’s never done. I think he’s capable. It just depends on him having the confidence to do it.”

Delving into Angus’s medical history, Tandy reels off hurdle after hurdle that the youngster has faced: “At the minute he has surgery approximately every three to four months because he gets Botox injections in his salivary glands to stop dribbling.

“He was born with several little holes in his heart and something called a hemivertebrae, which means that he’s got some vertebrae in his back that are only partially formed.

“He was also born with talipes (club foot) and chronic gastric reflux, so there’s been a mountain of health issues from the start.

“He’s had open-heart surgery, his feet corrected with something called Ponseti treatment, the fundoplication for his gastroesophageal reflux. You name it, he’s had it.

“He had corrective surgery on the gastric problems in the past few months and that’s been life-changing.”

Doctors only spotted Angus’s chromosome abnormality by accident while carrying out routine checks on the newborn.

Recalling the moment she found out about her son’s life-changing condition, Tandy says: “When they told me, I didn’t really know what it meant.

“They didn’t tell me he was going to be like a child for the rest of his life.

“I remember I was getting the kids out of the car and the geneticist rang me on my mobile.

“They said they found it by accident and unfortunate thing was they had no record of anybody else having it. There’s a few kids that are close but not the same.”

Tandy, formerly a facilities manager in the City of London, now cares for Angus full-time. She split from the boys’ father, 48-year-old James, three years ago.

Through a recent partnership between retail giant Marks and Spencer and disabled kids charity Newlife, Angus now has a new £2,200 portable safety sleeper for the four nights a month he spends at James’s home in Alderley Edge.

Tandy says: “He’s like a baby that’s never grown up. You still have to have a child seat in the car and all your bits to take out with you.

“You just adapt to it and become mega-organised. I accept that his life has limitations. The main thing for me is trying to provide a balanced family life.

“This equipment will really improve Angus’s quality of life and give his dad, myself and those who care for him outside of the home peace of mind knowing he is safe.

“Angus is a really happy little boy. Whenever things are going his way he is delightful. He has this brilliant dirty laugh that is so infectious and always has people smiling.”

I thought ‘monster’ boyfriend was going to beat me to death

A brave woman has spoken out after she was punched, choked unconscious and had her head smashed on the floor by her ‘monster’ boyfriend.

Paige Hegarty thought she was gong to die after Elliot Beckwith left her with a catalogue of savage injuries during what was supposed to be a night out.

The drama graduate from Rochdale has released these shocking photos of her shocking injuries, which included fractures to her cheekbone and eye socket.

This week Beckwith was given a suspended jail sentence for pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to his then partner after a petty row.

Paige Hegarty recovering in hospital

And speaking out Miss Hegarty, 21, urged other victims of domestic violence to speak out.

She said: “I was unconscious, bleeding on the floor. I thought I was dying. I tried to sit up but fell back down. I came out of hospital with a broken eye socket, fractured cheekbone, a deep cut to my ear and multiple bruising.

“I have permanent nerve damage on the left side of my face and am suffering from PTSD.”

Although she has now managed to finish her university course, graduating with a 2:1, Miss Hegarty said the trauma of the attack earlier this year led to her losing her “dream job” as a freelance lighting designer for a theatre company.

Paige Hegarty’s injuries included a broken cheekbone

She is angry that Beckwith escaped a jail sentence, claiming that he was originally charged with GBH with intent only to face the lesser charge of GBH.

Speaking to the M.E.N.’s sister paper, The Huddersfield Examiner, she said: “It was lowered so he could plead guilty and he has not received jail time…this should not be allowed, it happens too many times.”

She now calls Beckwith a “monster” and claims he hasn’t shown remorse.

Miss Hegarty added: “I would say he’s a monster. I hope his life is as bad as he’s made mine.”

Leeds Crown Court heard that Beckwith, 21, launched the attack after they rowed several times over the evening of April 4.

Paige Hegarty suffered an injury to her ear

The final catalyst for the attack was her throwing his phone, breaking it, Carmel Pearson prosecuting told the court.

Beckwith said later he “flipped” and in anger repeatedly punched Miss Hegarty in the face before starting to strangle her, squeezing so tightly she briefly blacked out.

When Miss Hegarty came round, fellow university student Beckwith punched her again before grabbing her hair and repeatedly banging her head on the wooden floor of his room in Leeds Road, Huddersfield.

And when she again woke up Beckwith was sitting beside her. He said he had phoned the police and ambulance adding; “That’s it – I won’t be a teacher now or anything thanks to you.”

Elliot Beckwith

The pair were both in their final year and had been going out for about 12 months.

Miss Hegarty, from Rochdale, described it as a volatile relationship but she wanted to continue out of love for him, the court heard.

She was also scared what he would do if she ended it because he had mental health problems.

After an argument that evening she followed him to a club to sort their problems out. Initially they did make peace but argued again and she had slapped Beckwith and thrown a drink over him because of something he said.

Beckwith then decided to go home alone but she again followed. At his address they argued, she slapped him again and he punched her twice with his clenched fist.

Paige Hegarty was left bloodied and bruised after being attacked by her boyfriend

She went upstairs after him and realised her lip was bleeding. She smashed a mirror before throwing his phone away, breaking it after he tried to call the police.

It was then he launched his violent attack on her leaving her with a fractured cheekbone and eye socket, bruising around her eyes and a tear to cartilage in her ear. She now suffers flashbacks of the events, is awaiting counselling and still has numbness in her cheek.

Christopher Styles representing Beckwith said he had been admitted to psychiatric hospital last year after trying to kill himself and was awaiting further treatment at the time of the assault which he deeply regretted.

Beckwith, now of Lingwell Gate Lane, Lofthouse, Wakefield, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and was given 16 months suspended for two years, 250 hours unpaid work, 20 rehabilitation activity days and a five month curfew from 8pm to 7am.

Recorder Simon Jackson QC said violence against women was unacceptable but he was imposing such a sentence because of his psychiatric problems and need for help and treatment.

The Crown Prosecution Service has been approached to comment.

Homeless Arena bombing hero Chris Parker charged with stealing from a woman injured in the attack

A homeless man who hailed a hero after the Manchester Arena attack has been charged with stealing bank cards from a woman injured in the atrocity.

More than £50,000 was raised through a GoFundMe campaign to help Chris Parker, 33, in the wake of the bombing in which 22 people died.

But he has now been charged with two counts of theft.

Seconds after the explosion, Mr Parker ran into the Arena to help the injured. Mr Parker gained worldwide attention for his actions in the wake of the terror attack.

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.

(Image: Evening Gazette)

However police now say that Mr Parker, of no fixed abode, has been charged in connection with the theft of a bank card from an injured woman, who was one of those injured in the May 22 attack.

He has been remanded in custody to appear at Manchester magistrates court on Wednesday.

Speaking to the MEN a fortnight after the attack, Mr 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.”

Referring to the moment he tended to a victim, Chris 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.”

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, and many were left with life-changing injuries after murderer Salman Abedi detonated a nail bomb just after 10.30pm on Monday, May 22, at the end of the Ariana Grande concert.

Police hunt man wanted for breaching sex offence order

Police are hunting for a man wanted for breaching a sex offence order.

William Millar was released from jail in July after serving a prison sentence for rape.

The 25-year-old, of Poppy Road, Oldham , was released from jail on the condition he followed certain conditions.

Police say he has breached these restrictions, and he is aware that officers are searching for him.

Detectives believe he is staying at different addresses around Manchester.

Anyone who sees Millar should not confront him, but should call police.

A GMP spokesman said: “Officers are doing everything they can to find Millar and are asking for the public’s help.

“If anyone see’s Millar they should not approach him but contact police immediately.”

Anyone with any information, or who sees Millar, should contact police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Four GPs for 15,000 people – inquest into death of tormented man reveals the extent of the NHS crisis

The lack of NHS resources is putting GP surgeries under so much pressure patients are fighting just to get phone appointments – and doctors are being coaxed out of retirement.

That was the assessment of a Greater Manchester medic who spoke about the crisis during an inquest into a man found dead following a struggle with mental ill-health.

A coroner raised grave concerns about under-fire services, claiming the ‘knock-on effect’ of the NHS funding crisis is seen ‘day in and day out’ in courts like hers.

An inquest into the death of Christopher Fairhurst, from Rochdale, heard mental health services are particularly stretched.

The 26-year-old, who had a history of depression, died in December last year from alcohol poisoning.


Coroner Lisa Hamshi recorded a conclusion of misadventure.

She said she was satisfied with the care provided by doctors at Edenfield Road Surgery, but said she was concerned about the strain on surgeries – and a critical shortage of GPs across the country.

The inquest heard the practice serves 14,000 to 15,000 patients, but has been operating for the past few years with four or five GPs.

To cope with demand, the practice needs four more, according to one medic there.

Doctor Joanne Chew said pressure began to mount when three GPs left in 2014.

“We are struggling, we need more money, input and support,” she said.

“We are trying to get GPs out of retirement or put off retirement.

“If we had enough GPs for face to face appointments we wouldn’t have to resort to phone appointments. You can’t rush mental health.

“It was decided to improve access, rather than do traditional face to face appointments we would have a phone consultation with a doctor. A lot of us don’t agree.

“It was like a snowball, we couldn’t keep up with demand. Things have moved on a bit we are still at capacity at the moment.

“Ideally the government would give us a lot more money, we would need another four well-trained GPs.”

Dr Chew said bosses have been looking for a new GP for two years, but have not received a single application.

She said that despite having 14 phone lines, there was a ‘mad rush’ to book appointments when they opened at 8.30am.

Patients, she said, could often be seen queueing ‘35 around the block’.

The hiring of a nurse practitioner, a clinical pharmacist and a GP to do up to 50 phone consultations a day has helped staff cope, but the surgery is still overstretched.

The inquest heard Mr Fairhurst had a history of depression and had previously taken an overdose.

His grandfather Alan Capper said callers to the surgery were often told they were ‘twentieth in the queue’.

Mr Fairhurst’s family earlier raised concerns about his care, but following the coroner’s conclusion, agreed the NHS simply needs more funding.

Coroner Mrs Hashmi is set to send a ‘prevention of future deaths’ form to the Department of Health.

“I find it deeply saddening there is a lack of psychological resources,” she told the inquest.

“We have heard from a GP how under pressure clinicians are. The retention and training of doctors is a problem.

“There are a number of difficulties faced by the public sector in terms of resources.

“The knock-on effect is what I see day in and day out with the job I do.

“Regrettably I see far too many young people in the circumstances of this case.

“I realise how difficult cuts are for those trying to provide care.

“It is not just a job, it is a vocation, art and science.

“I can only hope sooner rather than later public services find themselves in a far better position to help all of the people they aim to help.”


Zahida Baig
Zahida Baig

‘It’s not the doctors, it’s the system’

After the struggles at Edenfield Road Surgery were detailed at Mr Fairhurst’s inquest, the M.E.N. visited at opening time to get the views of patients queuing outside.

Zahida Baig, 72, who is a diabetic, said: “There’s a queue and they will send you home and say a doctor will call you back.

“You stand like a statue, it doesn’t matter how poorly you are. I have been trying to get an appointment for the past couple of weeks.

“The doctors are quite good, they look after you. It is the system.”

Agnes Fetch
Agnes Fetch

Agnes Fetch, 80, said: “It is absolutely ridiculous. The surgery used to open at 8.30am now it is 8am.

“If you phone, you are on for hours as you can’t get through. It is very difficult to get appointments, I came yesterday and couldn’t get one so I came back again today.

“If you do get through it will say you are in a queue of 20 and by the time you get through all the appointments are gone.

“The doctors are brilliant, but it is the worst system ever. The queues are usually down to the shops when the surgery opens, with at least 20 in the queue.”


(Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

“It will get worse, rather than better”

Top medics said chronic underfunding of services is putting junior doctors off becoming GPs, which has lead to a recruitment crisis.

Dr Richard Vautrey, chairman of the GP committee at the British Medical Association (BMA), said: “This underfunding is an issue across the country, which we have warned about for a number of years, which is now coming to fruition.

“There has not been enough investment into general practices by the government.

“Many practices are struggling to recruit and to cope with the rapid increase in workload, there is not enough capacity.

“The pressures GPs are under are seen by junior doctors, and they are deciding to work in hospitals or choosing to work abroad.

“Those GPs that do take on jobs are looking to limit their work to three or four days, which can still be about 40 hours a week.

“The government needs to put its money where is mouth is.

“It will get worse, rather than better, until we see a system change.

“The NHS as a whole is underfunded, but the government has invested more in hospitals rather than GPs, and this trend needs to be reversed.”

Dr Kailash Chand
Dr Kailash Chand
(Image: Manchester Evening News)

Veteran Tameside doctor Kailash Chand, also BMA honorary vice president, said: “The government has starved primary care of funding. We are not getting medical students taking up general practitioner roles.

“Demand is going through the roof, chronic conditions are going through the roof as we have an aging population. We can’t deal with it.

“The real problem is demand and lack of funding and the government is not listening.

“GPs don’t grow on trees, it takes 11 years to be fully-qualified and trained.

“The whole concept of GPs is being undermined. GPs are here to stay, but when you talk to trainees they are being given the impression by politicians the days of GPs are coming to an end and we don’t need them, which is a false impression.

“GPs are the backbone of health care and we need to raise their profile.”

Helplines and websites

Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at

Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.

PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.

Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.

Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts. Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.

The Sanctuary (0300 003 7029) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year, for people who are struggling to cope – experiencing depression, anxiety, panic attacks or in crisis.

This student saw a distressed man on the wrong side of a bridge barrier at 3am – what he did next was remarkable

A heroic student who stepped over the railings of a bridge to save a ‘distressed man in a dark place’ has told how he talked him round and even went with him to hospital.

James Grey was walking home from a friend’s house in the early hours when he saw a man ‘leap over’ the barrier on a bridge in Moss Side.

Without hesitating, the 30-year-old Manchester Metropolitan University student climbed over the barrier to join him and ‘convinced him that the world wasn’t as bad as he thought’.

He then managed to talk the man down from the bridge after ‘sharing some life experiences’ before travelling with him to hospital.

His efforts have now been recognised with a Citizen’s Commendation by Greater Manchester Police’s Chief Constable.

James said the man was in a ‘dark place’ and ‘it was just lucky that I was there as it was a random time of the morning’.

The computer games technology student said: “It was about 3am when I saw him go across the bridge. He looked injured and was clearly in distress and I just wondered – what is this man doing? I tried to get his attention, but initially he wasn’t really talking to me and was looking at the road and positioning himself to jump off.

“After a failed attempt at getting a response from him I decided to climb over the barrier and join him so that we could have a chat.

Hero studetn James Grey has been presented with a Citizen’s Commendation by Greater Manchester Police
(Image: Greater Manchester Police)

“The man was in a lot of distress so I sat with him and found out what had led him to be there. We both shared some life experiences and when the police arrived I asked them to stay away as this appeared to agitate him.

“I convinced him that the world wasn’t as bad as he thought and went to hospital with him.

“The man was in a dark place and I’m just glad I was there at the time. It was just lucky that I was there as it was a random time of the morning.

“Receiving the award is a real honour, however my actions were what I would hope anyone else would do. A man was clearly in distress and needed help and so I took it upon myself to do just that and help.”

The incident happened in the early hours of April 20 this year and as James was speaking to the man a lorry driver slowed down and contacted the police.

James has since been contacted by the man who ‘said thanks’ and said he wouldn’t hesitate to take such action again if it meant he was saving a life.

He was presented with the Citizen’s Commendation award at GMP’s Hough End Complex.

Chief Inspector Laura Marler, from the City of Manchester Division at GMP, said: “James was with a man on the bridge at the time and when our officer’s spoke to him he asked to be given some more time while he spoke to the man.

“While the officers at the scene asked for him to consider his own safety and to talk to him at the other side of the barrier he still insisted on staying where he was as he was sure he would be able to get the man back safely.

“Without his actions I think this story could have had a very different ending, which is why I thought it was important for him to be presented with this award.

“Courageous acts like this don’t happen every day and I know from experience that there aren’t many people willing to risk their own life to save another. I am sure the man he saved is also eternally grateful.”

Helplines and websites

Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at

Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.

PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.

Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.

Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts. Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.

The Sanctuary (0300 003 7029) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year, for people who are struggling to cope – experiencing depression, anxiety, panic attacks or in crisis.

Stephanie Davis’ ex Sam Reece set to make waves on Ex On The Beach

Model Sam Reece is set to make waves when he appears on the new series of Ex On The Beach.

Sam, 24, dated former Hollyoaks star Stephanie Davis until she found love in the Celebrity Big Brother house with Jeremy McConnell last year.

The Manchester-based hunk will face other exes on the hit MTV dating show, which returns at 10pm tonight.

Sam is dating fellow reality star Harriette Harper, and has said their relationship was in early stages when he headed to Bali for the series about a group of single guys and girls enjoying a sunshine holiday in paradise – that is until their exes turn up.

Sam gained the sympathy of viewers as Steph and Jeremy grew closer and closer in the Channel Five reality show house.

But Sam has since moved on with Hariette, who he has known for six years.

Sam Reece arriving at Neighbourhood in Spinningfields
(Image: Jon Baxter)

Last year he dated Taylor Ward, the daughter of The Real Housewives of Cheshire star Dawn Ward. But the pair split after five months, saying they would remain good friends.

Sam tweeted at the time: “Unfortunately me and taylorward16 have called an end to our relationship.. However moving forward, we will remain good friends.”

He later made a surprise appearance on the Real Housewives of Cheshire – at a casting for a top secret new fashion project for Forever Unique boss and Real Housewives star Seema Malhotra.

Sam and his ex Stephanie
(Image: Joel Goodman)

Sam turned up at the catwalk audition in Manchester, which was being judged by Seema and her fellow Real Housewives Stacey Forsey and Dawn Ward who was thrilled to see him

Entrepreneur Dawn leapt up to give Sam a hug when she spied him at the auditions and they were seen catching up on old times.

And Sam fitted the description of someone “David Beckham-esque” for her project.