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Tag Archives: murder

Gaia Pope’s funeral held in Poole

Gaia PopeImage copyright PA
Image caption Gaia Pope’s body was found 11 days after she went missing

A funeral service has been held for Gaia Pope, the teenager whose disappearance sparked a major search in and around Swanage, Dorset.

Her body was found 11 days after she was reported missing on 7 November.

Family and friends attended a private funeral in Poole earlier.

Ms Pope’s cousin, Marienna Pope-Weidemann, said the family wanted it to be “a celebration of Gaia’s life – a safe space after weeks of fear and anxiety”.

The police, coastguard and local volunteers were involved in the search for Ms Pope after she was last seen at an address on Morrison Road on 7 November.

Her body was found close to the Dorset coastal path on 18 November.

Scores of people attended a vigil at Swanage amphitheatre the following weekend, placing flowers and candles.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Gaia Pope’s sister, Clare Pope-Sutherland, and father, Richard Sutherland, attended the vigil in November

Speaking before the funeral, Ms Pope-Weidemann said there would be “lots of colour because that’s what Gaia was to us”.

“The community has been so supportive – you can’t walk down the high street without getting a hug – and people are very respectful, but we feel people are still with us for the long haul,” she added.

Dorset Police is treating her death as “unexplained”, pending toxicology results.

A post-mortem examination did not identify any injuries to suggest the involvement of other people, police said.

Three people arrested on suspicion of murder were later released to face no action.

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Nightclub at centre of murder probe is shut down after firebomb threats to owner

A NIGHTCLUB at the centre of a murder investigation has had its license temporarily suspended at the request of police, after the owner received threats it would be burned down with people inside.

And the owners of the Bijou Nightclub and Cocktail Bar, in Chapel Lane, Bingley, have indicated they will not be reopening it.

An application was made by West Yorkshire Police to Bradford Council for a summary licence review, which was heard by the Bradford Council Licensing Panel on Friday.

It called for Bijou’s licence to be temporarily suspended ahead of a full review hearing, which is expected to take place next month.

The rare application, which can only be made by police, is to fast-track a review of a premises licence where the police consider that the premises are associated with serious crime or serious disorder.

In the application, submitted by Superintendent Daniel Greenwood, it said following the incident on November 25, when James Etherington, 24, was assaulted – and subsequently died from his injuries ten days later – the community has been “very vocal”.

He said: “There have been messages left on social media calling for action to be taken against the club and a petition has also been set up for the closure of the premises.

“Threats have been made to persons and property since the incident, which have included threats to smash windows and firebomb the club as well as attack home addresses.

“Further threats have been received since the death of the victim, including threats the club will be burned with persons inside and that the building would be shot at.

“The premises is located close to the town centre and there are residents living nearby. Any acts of disorder, arson or other violence would have a major impact on those living in the vicinity and put members of the public in harm.”

He requested Bijou’s licence be suspended as there are “genuine concerns that retribution will be sought for the death of the young man the premises would be the centre of the retribution”.

He added the licence holder, Rory Proctor, has informed the police he believes the threats are genuine.

Speaking at the hearing at City Hall, PC Kevin Lord, Bradford District licensing officer, described how Mr Etherington was found lying outside Bijou unconscious and bleeding heavily from his head.

He said Mr Etherington had been ejected from the club and then assaulted and a murder investigation was continuing to establish the facts.

PC Lord said: “There has always been opposition to the club in Bingley since it opened.

“Every time an incident related to or presumed to be related to the premises there has been public outcry.

“The circumstances in this case are quite exceptional, and due to the particular circumstances we believe there is no option but to suspend the licence.”

After deliberating for about ten minutes, committee chairman Councillor Malcolm Slater together with Councillor Brian Morris and Councillor Martin Smith, decided the police’s evidence was “compelling enough to suspend the licence”.

Cllr Slater said: “Having considered the evidence from police, the premises’ licence is suspended with immediate effect.”

Mr Proctor was not present at the meeting.

But a statement on Bijou’s Facebook page states: “Due to the extremely sad news and the tragic outcome of a recent event that has taken place outside the venue, the owners have made the decision to close Bijou Cocktail bar & nightclub.

“The directors feel that given the circumstances and considering the feelings of the family and those closest to them that closing Bijou is the right thing to do.

“The responsibility of the building itself has been handed over to a new agent and what will become of the building in the future is unknown.

“We hope that the police, together with the courts can examine all the evidence and arrive at a conclusion as soon as possible, to serve justice and hold anyone involved accountable for their own actions.

“We as human beings understand that emotions are high, and we will fully support, contribute and co-operate with any future prosecutions should any individual be found to have acted unlawfully. This we can guarantee.

“It goes without saying that we are devastated by this event and that our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time. Thank you.”

VIDEO: Police cordon around houses on edge of Bradford city centre

A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a stabbing at a property on the outskirts of Bradford city centre.

A 41-year-old man is currently in critical condition in hospital after having emergency surgery following the incident

Police were called to an address on Easby Road, in the Morley Street area, at 11:16pm yesterday after reports of an injured man.

When officers arrived they found the man with “a number of stab wounds to his abdomen.”

He was taken to hospital for surgery and is currently in a critical condition.

A 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of Attempt Murder and enquiries remain active and ongoing.

There is a police cordon around a number of properties around the address, opposite the Trinity Green Campus of Bradford College, this morning.

A number of officers and police vehicles remain at the scene.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Ryann Bragg said: “We are currently working to establish the full circumstances leading to this incident and we remain in the early stages of our enquiries.

“Local Neighbourhood Policing Team officers will be patrolling the area speaking to people and providing reassurance.

“I would ask anyone with information or any further witnesses to this serious incident to contact us on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

VIDEO: Attempted murder arrest after man, 41, stabbed in Bradford house

A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a stabbing at a property on the outskirts of Bradford city centre.

A 41-year-old man is currently in critical condition in hospital after having emergency surgery following the incident

Police were called to an address on Easby Road, in the Morley Street area, at 11:16pm yesterday after reports of an injured man.

When officers arrived they found the man with “a number of stab wounds to his abdomen.”

He was taken to hospital for surgery and is currently in a critical condition.

A 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of Attempt Murder and enquiries remain active and ongoing.

There is a police cordon around a number of properties around the address, opposite the Trinity Green Campus of Bradford College, this morning.

A number of officers and police vehicles remain at the scene.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Ryann Bragg said: “We are currently working to establish the full circumstances leading to this incident and we remain in the early stages of our enquiries.

“Local Neighbourhood Policing Team officers will be patrolling the area speaking to people and providing reassurance.

“I would ask anyone with information or any further witnesses to this serious incident to contact us on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Deptford double murder: Strangled father was sex offender

Marie Brown and Noel BrownImage copyright Met Police
Image caption Marie Brown and Noel Brown were found dead on 4 December

A father who was found strangled along with his adult daughter at his London home was a convicted sex offender, police have said.

Noel Brown, 69, and Marie Brown, 41, were found in Deptford on Monday.

Police said a link to the 1999 sex attack was an “obvious line of inquiry” but they had no evidence that revenge was the motive for the murders.

They also revealed Mr Brown’s attacker had tried to dismember his body. No arrests have been made.

Police have stepped up patrols in the area following the murders.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Police say Noel Brown had been to a betting shop on the last day he was seen alive

The bodies were found after Ms Brown’s family reported her missing when she failed to come home after going to check on her father.

Police said Mr Brown had served a long prison sentence for the sex attack.

Det Supt Paul Monk said there were “no signs of forced entry to the property” and police were trying to establish “if the suspects or suspects were known to Noel and if Marie disturbed them.”

Post-mortem examinations found she and her father died as a result of strangulation.

Det Supt Paul Monk said it was “a deeply distressing time for Noel and Marie’s family as they come to terms with their loss.”

He said Mr Brown was “well known and liked locally” and was last seen alive on 30 November in his local betting shop, Paddy Power, in Deptford High Street.

“There has been speculation that his murder was as a result of a large gambling win, however at this time there is no evidence to suggest this was the case,” he said.

Leicester teenage rapist guilty of attempted murder

Police at Victoria Park
Image caption The victim was dragged into bushes near an entrance to the park

A 17-year-old boy has been convicted of attempting to murder a woman he raped and bludgeoned with a paving slab.

Charlie John Pearce searched for internet videos showing the rape of “helpless” women before the attack, Leicester Crown Court heard.

The woman was left with “dreadful” injuries in undergrowth in Leicester’s Victoria Park and was only found when a cyclist saw a pool of blood.

Pearce denied intending to kill the woman, but admitted two counts of rape.

He also admitted causing grievous bodily harm and stealing the woman’s handbag which he later burned.

Pearce – who can be named after reporting restrictions were lifted – did not give evidence in the trial and jurors took three hours to convict him of attempted murder.

More on this and other stories across the East Midlands

Image caption The boy’s defence barrister described at attack as “brutal and gratuitous”

Parents contacted police

The court heard witnesses made 999 calls to report “thudding noises” as the woman was attacked at about 23:35 BST on 3 July.

The woman – who told the court in a statement she remembered nothing of the assault – was found with “truly dreadful” injuries about an hour after the attack.

Gordon Aspden, prosecuting, said CCTV footage showed Pearce – who had been drinking in a pub to celebrate his birthday – carrying a slab or stone while following the victim, as well as capturing him leaving the scene after the attack.

He was also spotted stepping into an alleyway while a police car responding to the emergency calls drove past.

His parents contacted the police following a media appeal, and a “one-in-a-billion” DNA match linked him to the scene.

‘Desolating wickedness’

Mr Aspden said evidence showed the attack was “clearly something that had been festering” in the assailant’s mind for weeks.

“The ugly truth here is that this dangerous young man, for his own selfish reasons, chose to carry out an attack of quite desolating wickedness on a complete stranger and his intention was to rape and kill her,” he said.

Justice Charles Haddon-Cave told Pearce he had been found guilty on the basis of “overwhelming evidence”, and adjourned sentencing in order to receive reports.

“In view of the gravity of your crimes, you can expect a lengthy sentence,” he said.

Sentencing will take place at a later date.

Murdered Suhaib Mohammed ‘collateral damage’ to drug dealers

Suhaib MohammedImage copyright Channel 4
Image caption Suhaib Mohammed died two hours after being shot in the chest

A teenager who was murdered in the UK after moving from Somalia was “just collateral damage” to a drug dealing gang, a senior police officer says.

Suhaib Mohammed, 19, was shot through an open window at a house in Milton Keynes, in September 2016.

Two men were jailed for life in March after being convicted of his murder.

Speaking ahead of a TV documentary about the case, Det Ch Insp Mike Lynch said Mr Mohammed had been “groomed into a life he knew nothing about.”

“This was the tragic case of a 19-year-old brought from Somalia to the UK by his family to make a better life for themselves but, ultimately, he was vulnerable,” he said.

“He was was just collateral damage in the world of organised crime and became wrapped up in something he had no control over.”

Image copyright sbna
Image caption Mohammed Noor (left) and Albert Prempeh should serve a minimum of 30 years, the judge said

Mohamed Noor, 33, and Albert Prempeh, 35, both of Milton Keynes, were sentenced to a minimum of 30 years, following a trial at Luton Crown Court.

Noor, of Radworthy, fired the revolver after Prempeh, from Langland Road, had led him to the house in Osprey Close, Eagleston.

The court heard the pair went to the address to exact revenge on a man known as Hypes, who had robbed Noor earlier and believed to have been involved in a £4,000 bookmaker robbery the previous day.

Prempeh said he had been forced at gunpoint by Noor to go to the house, an accusation Noor denied.

Mr Lynch said: “That was the difficulty of the case – it seemed straightforward.

“But we looked at CCTV and found footage of Prempeh leading Noor to the scene and certainly not under duress”.

The case has been featured in Channel 4 documentary Catching a Killer, to be shown on Thursday, 7 December.

Image copyright Channel 4
Image caption The teenager was shot in the chest through a ground floor window in Osprey Close, Eaglestone

Mr Lynch – who has since retired from policing – said he took part in the programme to show how “emotionally challenging” cases like this are for police staff.

“They have to support families who have lost someone but they have to be impartial and seek the truth, which sometimes causes tension,” he said.

“And there is always a sense of a hollow victory in that no sentence can ever bring someone back”.

Ukrainian widow fights claim she murdered husband for money

Barry Pring and Ganna ZiuzinaImage copyright Family handout
Image caption Barry Pring and Ganna Ziuzina were married in 2007

Lawyers for a Ukrainian widow have told the High Court it is “nonsense” to suggest she was involved in the death of her wealthy British husband “for the money”.

Ganna Ziuzina, 38, wants a ruling that she was not involved in the death of Barry Pring in February 2008.

He died in a hit-and-run in Kiev on their first wedding anniversary.

His family believes his death was deliberate and Ms Ziuzina was involved.

Mr Pring’s estate is worth about £250,000.

More on this story and others from Devon

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Ganna Ziuzina, also known as Anna, met Barry Pring over the internet

Computer technology entrepreneur Mr Pring from Devon died aged 47 without making a will, the court heard.

The family froze his estate to stop his wife getting a share of the cash, claiming she had murdered him in a contract killing.

Ms Ziuzina’s counsel, John McLinden QC, said: “She wants me to say publicly that the family are completely wrong in their belief and sight has been lost that she too has been gravely affected by this tragedy.”

The judge, Deputy Master Stephen Lloyd, said the family’s position was that they “simply want justice for Barry”.

If their belief that he was killed was proved, the forfeiture rule – which stops a person who has unlawfully killed another from benefiting from the death – would “unquestionably” apply, he added.

Image copyright Barry Pring
Image caption Barry Pring’s family say his wife arranged the death as a contract killing

He said that it was time “for the brake to come off” the determination of the forfeiture issue so it could move forward.

Any hearing is unlikely before autumn 2018, the court was told.

Ms Ziuzina, who lives in Marbella and has changed her name by deed poll to Julianna Moore, was not in court in London.

Mr McLinden said: “In order to defend the murder allegation, she was forced to engage with the forfeiture rule which had been raised against her.

“If she had not, she would have been labelled a murderer.

“To suggest she is in this for the money, as opposed to defending the murder allegation against her, is a nonsense.”

Jamal Mahmoud Pentonville prison death: Men not guilty

Jamal MahmoudImage copyright MPS
Image caption Jamal Mahmoud died after he was stabbed at the north London jail

Three prisoners have been found not guilty of killing a fellow inmate in a north London jail after a row over smuggled contraband.

Jamal Mahmoud was fatally stabbed in Pentonville prison in October 2016.

Basana Kimbembi, Robert Butler and Joshua Ratner were found not guilty of murder and manslaughter by an Old Bailey jury.

Kimbembi was found guilty of unlawfully and maliciously wounding and Mohammed Ali with intent to commit GBH.

Man, 23, arrested after woman is shot in face

POLICE investigating a shooting which left a woman with serious injuries to her face have arrested five people including a 23-year-old man from Bradford.

Officers from Lancashire Police were called to a house on Buttermere Avenue in Morecambe on Saturday at about 12.30am where paramedics were treating a 29-year-old woman.

The victim told police she had walked into her living room after hearing a knock at the window and then heard a loud bang.

The window shattered and she was hit in the face.

She is in hospital receiving surgical treatment for her wounds, which are not thought to be life-threatening.

It is believed her injuries were caused by shotgun pellets.

Police arrested a man from Bradford as well as a 19-year-old woman from Lancaster and a 45-year-old man, a 37-year-old woman and a 33-year-old man all from Morecambe, on suspicion of attempted murder.

The suspects have been bailed while officers continue their investigations.

Detective superintendent Simon Giles said: “This was an extremely serious incident and it is only a matter of luck that the victim was not more seriously hurt or even killed.

“While we have made a number of arrests I still need the public’s help to track down those responsible.

“While I do believe this was an isolated incident and there is no threat to the wider community I understand that this may cause some concern and I’d reassure the public that we have a major investigation running in order to locate and arrest those responsible.

“Incidents like this will not be tolerated and extra patrols have been deployed in the affected area.”

Four other men from Morecambe and Lancaster were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and have all been released under investigation.

Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.