Tag Archives: six

Gaia Pope death: Arrested family want police apology

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

A 19-year-old wrongly arrested on suspicion of Gaia Pope’s murder has been “on the verge of a mental breakdown”, his mother has said.

Nathan Elsey was detained alongside his grandmother Rosemary Dinch, 71, six days after Miss Pope, 19, disappeared.

Deborah Elsey said she had “no idea” why her son was a suspect and has called on Dorset Police to apologise.

The force, which has released the pair without charge, said officers would have had “multiple grounds for arrest”.

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Media captionGaia Pope’s father Richard Sutherland said the family would “treasure her always”

Mrs Elsey, a family friend of Miss Pope’s, said her son’s arrest was a “horrendous shock”.

‘Every single emotion’

Her brother Paul Elsey was also arrested on suspicion of murder and later released.

Mrs Elsey said she and the three arrested family members were staying with her brother Greg.

“We’re still not in our homes and still have none of our personal effects. At the very least I’d like an apology,” she said.

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Media captionFamily friend Rosemary Dinch was the last person to see Gaia Pope before she went missing

“We’re going through every single emotion rolled into one – you don’t know what you’re feeling.

“One minute you want to cry for yourself, then you cry for Gaia and her family and then there’s anger for police.”

Miss Pope was reported missing from Swanage, Dorset, on 7 November.

Her body was found on Saturday 18 November in a field near the town.

A post-mortem examination conducted the next day did not identify any injuries to suggest the involvement of other people, Dorset Police said.

On Monday, the force announced Paul Elsey, Ms Dinch, and Nathan Elsey were to face no action.

It is treating the death as “unexplained” pending toxicology results.

In statement the force said: “We appreciate our enquiries would have caused these individuals stress and anxiety, however we have an obligation in any missing person investigation to explore every possible line of enquiry.”

Image copyright PA
Image caption The family say they have not been allowed back in their homes since the arrests

Independent inquiry call into monastery abuse

Caldey Abbey

Victims of historic sexual abuse at a monastery on Caldey Island deserve an independent inquiry, a support group has said.

Six women have been paid compensation in an out-of-court settlement following sexual abuse claims in the 1970s and 1980s by a monk at the abbey.

The Children’s Commissioner is to write to the monastery for an assurance that children who visit the island are safe.

The Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors group want an investigation.

“It is human nature to protect those around you,” said Jo Kind, the Welsh representative of the group which supports women and men who have been sexually abused by members of the Church.

“In order for that to be open and for all of the facts to be found out, there does need an independent inquiry from somebody who is not part of the institution, who can come in with expertise, ask the right questions and find out what happened.”

Dyfed-Powys Police has confirmed it received reports of historical sexual abuse by a monk on Caldey Island.

Father Thaddeus Kotik, who lived on the Pembrokeshire island for 45 years, abused six children in the 1970s and 1980s.

Ms Kind also wants a “full and frank apology” from the abbot and called for a change in the law so reporting of sexual abuse “should be mandatory”.

“That would make it much easier for people to report because victims wouldn’t fear that it would damage their relationship with the institution,” said Ms Kind,

“They would know that they would have to do it.

“There would have been a lot of people who knew about Father Thaddeus, not just on the island but further up in the Cistercian order.

“The people that have been abused in this way deserve and an independent inquiry so the truth of what happened is fully exposed. They need to know who knew what and when.”

Racing driver Tim Sugden talks about his latest project and living life in the fast lane

ICONIC classics – the power and practicality of the reliable ‘Landy’ and the super cool and cute Mini stand wing to wing in Tim Sugden’s Horsforth showroom.

Launched in October, is another turning point in Tim’s glittering motor racing career which is heading full circle.

Coincidentally, the circular ‘purple dot,’ Tim explains racing drivers are clamouring to achieve on race timing screens symbolises success – it is, to put it simply, being the best you can be hence its inclusion in his business branding.

Glancing at the aforementioned wheels in the showroom in Long Row this is evidently the bar Tim has set himself in business as well as on track.

The Morgan parked elegantly in the window is brand new and unregistered; the 1979 MG Midget in pristine condition following its previous pampered existence inhabiting a heated garage in Switzerland; the C reg Mini Mayfair, cherished by one lady owner from new and with only a few thousand miles on the clock and one of the last Land Rovers to roll off the production line are among the prestigious marques Tim has procured through expertise.

Car sales was where it all began which is why his career is now coming full circle. As a young entrepreneur Tim began selling cars to fund the motor racing ambition he had harboured since taking the wheel of his first go-kart when he was 12.

By the age of 19, and with a boost from the Government’s new business start-up scheme, Tim began selling cheap runabouts from two pitches in Lidget Green and Wibsey in his then home city, Bradford.

“They were £500, £600 Allegros; Marinas, Chevettes, Cortinas and old Minis,” recalls Tim.

Years later he was climbing into the cockpits of some of the world’s most iconic wheels, Aston Martins, Ferraris, Porsches and Mercedes, the dream cars young boys pin to their bedroom walls on posters as aspirations of the symbols of success they yearn to own.

By this time Tim was literally living the dream – but it didn’t come easy as anyone wanting to enter motorsport without money will know.

“We didn’t have that sort of money. It is ridiculously hard to get into motorsport,” recalls Tim.

His father, David, who effectively fuelled Tim’s early fascination with cars when he watched Dad’s brief dabble at amateur racing, recalls taking out a three year loan simply to fund a year‘s lease on a racing car while making ends meet on a sales rep’s wage.

“I was 26 and still living at home with my Mum and Dad. I didn’t have a penny to my name,” recalls Tim.

Conscious of his own struggles, Tim’s success has enabled him to establish a scholarship helping young talented drivers to rise through the ranks.

Coaching and motorsport management are other strands to the Purple Dot brand he is busy developing through initiatives such as the Purple Dot branded BMW racing car he runs on the famous Nurburgring racing circuit in Germany.

“Everything I do in motorsport is around the world,” says Tim, who is eager build a ‘car community’ closer to home – hence the opening of the showroom.

While he’s enjoying his success now, Tim recalls the struggles which forced him to briefly park his dream of becoming a racing driver.

It was, he recalls, a contact, he had known previously, who fuelled his enthusiasm to race again after popping in to the car sales pitch he was running.

“He said ‘what are you racing these days?’ I said I had stopped. He asked why and I said because it’s a nightmare. I said I’d put everything into it and got nowhere. He said ‘you shouldn’t give up – you’re really talented, you should keep going.”

Tim took advantage of his wise words. “I could have started building the business up and I could have ended up with a huge car sales business if I’d stuck at it at 20, but I would have always looked back and regretted not trying to make a career out of what I had dreamed of doing,” says Tim.

His lucky break, and the climb to the big-time began when renowned racing car manufacturer, Van Diemen, in Snetterton, Norfolk, loaned Tim a brand new RF87 and racing car engine builder, Scholar, gave him an engine.

Formula Ford beckoned and the offer of a factory drive through Swift catapulted Tim’s career. He spent a season driving for Honda, finishing third in the CRX challenge. Tim recalls it was the first time he’d participated in a race without spending a penny.

“That was a real pivotal moment,” says Tim.

It also paved the way for 1990 – the ‘big year’ when he was selected to drive for BMW’s Junior Team following the company’s talent competition to find young racing drivers.

Tim and two other young drivers were offered four races each. At the end of the year Tim was taken on full-time.

Finally he was entering life in the fast lane – literally. He swapped the unreliable Renault 11 he’d purchased for £75 for a brand new BMW road car and was competing in touring car races garnering significant numbers of spectators.

Three years after driving for BMW, Tim was approached by Toyota before switching to GT racing which saw him take the wheel of a range of sports cars; Ferraris, Porsches to name-drop a few.

He spent six years driving for a team put together by Pink Floyd manager, Steve O’ Rourke, during which he participated in the world famous 24 hour Le Mans FIA World Endurance Championship.

After turning professional Tim’s racing career began to go global. In 2002 he participated in 22 international races with 17 top six finishes, nine podiums and five wins.

According to David, only two British drivers won more international races than Tim during this period – Lewis Hamilton and Alan McNish.

In 2004 Tim competed in 29 races, finished in the top six 21 times; had 13 podiums and five wins.

Chatting about his son’s career, David is naturally proud of Tim’s achievements and the fact that he has ‘stuck at it.’ “It is the hardest thing in the world to do and be paid to do it since he was in his early 20s and that is what makes me proud of him.”

Cars are a shared passion for father and son. “I had always been a car enthusiast and the opportunity to work for Aston Martin was heaven sent,” says David, who worked at the Farsley factory after joining the company in 1956 as a 17-year-old apprentice.

He recalls Tim’s interest developed as a young boy. “Obviously in a family like ourselves people bought him Dinky toys as a child. He always carried one in his pocket.”

Now Tim is stacking them up – models of the super cars he has driven are neatly arranged in a tower on his office desk. A McLaren pencil tin, modelled on a car he once drove and once retailed through Woolworths, has a poignant memory for Tim who recalls signing autographs on the many brandished by fans.

Polished trophies are flanked by the poster recording one of Tim’s many memorable achievements in 2005 as the only second British driver to win the Porsche Cup for 25 years.

His most recent success, bringing his story up to date so far, is with GruppeM, the racing team set up by Kenny Chen in 2004.

Tim, who already had the expertise of setting up and running his own race team for five years, helped Kenny form Gruppe M. He has participated in championships around the world, including Asia and America. More recently, and driving for Mercedes, GruppeM won the Blancpain Asia GT championship this year.

And so Tim’s success continues through motorsport and his new business. “The idea is to build up a car community in this area,” explains Tim, who is also offering track days for those who want to experience life in the fast lane.

Being a racing driver is a natural ability – according to Tim: “It is a real strange blend of qualities. I manage drivers now and it is controlled aggression but it is a rare set of traits,” Tim explains.

“You have to have a good hand to eye coordination and a really good sense of balance and you need to have the ability to stay calm under pressure, your brain has to keep working calmly under pressure because everything is happening so fast,” he says, hinting at the 180mph speeds they regularly reach on the racing track.

Fuelled by his passion, Tim is keen to continue living life in the fast lane. “The main thing is to keep doing what I am doing; keep enjoying what I am doing. My job never feels like a job.”

Teacher turned MMA fighter to be retried over sex charges

TEACHER turned mixed martial arts fighter Brad Conway is to face a retrial on July 30 next year on two offences that the jury could not reach verdicts on.

Conway, 36, was cleared at Bradford Crown Court of six counts of rape, two of sexual assault, two of voyeurism and a single charge of false imprisonment.

The Crown will retry him on single charges of rape and committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence.

Conway, formerly of Wibsey, now of Balmoral Place, Halifax, was bailed until the new trial, which is set to last seven days.

Six sheep stuck on cliff ledge after ‘chase by dogs’

Sheep rescueImage copyright Jersey Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption About 10 sheep were chased off the cliffs at Greve De Lecq

A number of sheep are in a “precarious position” on a cliff ledge in Jersey after being chased by “pet dogs”, rescuers said.

Fire crews are attempting to remove the animals who have been stuck for more than 24 hours.

About 10 sheep were chased off the cliffs at Greve De Lecq at 12:00 on Sunday, they said.

Four of the rare Manx sheep, including one ram, have died after falling and about six remain on the ledge.

Officers said the animals were “clearly in distress” and although they were able to rescue one yesterday, they had to postpone further rescue attempts until Monday.

Image copyright Jersey Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption The sheep have become trapped on a “precarious shelf”
Image caption Six sheep are still stuck on the ledge

A spokesman for the fire service said the dogs were “believed to be with their owner” but added they were not on leads and could not be “brought under control” before they chased the sheep.

Fire crews resumed rescue operations earlier using specialist rope equipment to access the shelf of the cliff where the sheep are trapped.

Watch commander Paul McGrath said: “Jersey Fire and Rescue would like to urge dog owners to keep their pets under control and on a lead when walking near to livestock.

“Although dogs may have only playful intent, livestock and other farm animals often misinterpret this, causing them to flee.”

Image copyright Jersey Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption The animals are being removed “one by one” by fire crews

Local shepherd, Aaron Le Couteur, confirmed the sheep in difficulty were of the Manx Loagtan breed that had been brought to the island by the National Trust for Jersey to help re-establish the population.

British Gas scraps standard tariff for new customers

British Gas vanImage copyright Getty Images

Energy giant British Gas will scrap its standard variable tariff (SVT) price category by April for new customers.

It comes after draft legislation designed to lower the cost of energy bills was published by the government.

The Draft Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariffs Cap) Bill would give energy regulator Ofgem the power to cap SVTs.

Rival energy firm E.On has already said SVTs will no longer be the default option for customers coming to the end of their existing tariffs.

SVTs are usually among the most expensively priced tariffs. British Gas is estimated to have about six million customers on the tariff.


Announcing the change, Ian Conn, chief executive of British Gas parent firm Centrica, said: “We have long advocated that the end of the Standard Variable Tariff is the best way to encourage customers to shop around for the best energy deal.”

Although the development only applies to new customers, Mr Conn said the company was keen to move all its customers off the SVT.

“We will contact all of our customers at least twice a year to encourage them to move away from the SVT,” he said.

British Gas contacted all its SVT customers in the first half of 2017, and it says that 10% switched away from the tariff.

The company has also said it will:

  • Provide new offers “to respond to customers’ changing needs”
  • Proactively offer customers a choice of fixed-term tariffs at the end of their contract
  • Introduce a new fixed-term default tariff
  • Contact customers on legacy Standard Variable Tariffs and offer them better deals
  • Introduce simpler bills for all customers
  • Improve customer service

Mr Conn told the BBC‘s Today programme that it had been working on these proposals “for many months now”.

And he denied that action had been taken because of government threats to impose price caps on the energy market.

“We have been saying for the past 18 months that we need to end ‘evergreen’ contracts – those which don’t have an end date,” Mr Conn said.

He said the new measures announced were “a comprehensive set of actions”.

“But we also need a fairer way to pay for the changing energy system by removing Government policy costs from energy bills,” he added.

Hogwarts Express rescue family reunited with canoe

CanoeImage copyright Jon Cluett
Image caption Mr Cluett said the canoe was left largely undamaged by its ordeal

A family rescued by the “Hogwarts Express” stream train after becoming stranded have been reunited with their lost canoe.

Jon and Helen Cluett and their four young children were staying at a bothy in Lochaber when the boat was swept away by a swollen river.

They were picked up by the train after phoning the police for advice.

But their red canoe went missing until it was finally spotted on the edge of the loch by a passing driver.

Mr Cluett said it was a perfect “happy ever after ending” to get the canoe back.

The Cluetts took their children – aged six, eight, 10 and 12 – to the Essan bothy on the south shore of Loch Eilt during the October half-term.

The bothy can be reached by a 10 minute paddle across the loch.

When their canoe was washed away, they were facing a long walk back to their car across boggy land until the police arranged for the train to pick them up.

Image caption The canoe was spotted on the north edge of the loch by a passing driver

The train, called The Jacobite, is used for excursions on the West Highland Railway Line, crossing the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct that also features in the movies.

Mr Cluett told BBC Scotland: “It’s great to have it back. It’s one of those things – I didn’t realise how much I wanted a canoe until it was taken away from me.

“I left it in my garden for most of the day after getting it back and then went and sat in it to have a coffee.”

The canoe is also largely undamaged, apart from a “small dint”, Mr Cluett said.

Image copyright Jon Cluett
Image caption The Harry Potter train made an unscheduled stop close to the bothy to pick up the Cluett family

It was spotted by a driver last week who reported it to the police. Officers then got in touch with the Cluetts to check it was theirs.

Mr Cluett said the family had been overwhelmed by the support they had received from locals who had gone out looking for their canoe.

“Thanks to all who have been in contact and thanks to all who have been and looked for us” he added.

“It made a great, perfect end to our adventure.”

New portraits released for Queen’s platinum anniversary

body-narrow-width lead”> The Queen and Prince PhilipImage copyright MATT HOLYOAK/CAMERA PRESS
Image caption Winston Churchill decribed the royal couple’s wedding in 1947 as ‘a flash of colour on the hard road we travel’

Three more portraits of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have been released to commemorate their platinum wedding anniversary.

On Monday it will be 70 years since their marriage at Westminster Abbey. The church’s bells will ring for more than three hours to mark the occasion.

The couple will celebrate at a private dinner in Windsor Castle.

Queen Elizabeth is the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum wedding anniversary.

The images are part of a series by celebrity photographer Matt Holyoak, whose first portrait of them was revealed on Saturday.

The Queen wears a cream dress designed by Angela Kelly, her dressmaker for the last 15 years.

Her golden “Scarab” brooch was a gift from Prince Philip in 1966.

Image copyright Matt holyoak/camera press
Image caption The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are the first royal couple to celebrate the milestone

When they married, the monarch was 21 and the Duke a 26-year-old sailor who had served in the Royal Navy.

Winston Churchill summed up the occasion in 1947 as “a flash of colour on the hard road we travel”.

Prince Philip is the nation’s longest serving consort and the Queen its most enduring monarch.

The pair will welcome their sixth great-grandchild in April.

Image copyright Matt holyoak/camera press
Image caption The third image to be released strikes a more formal note

Although the Queen continues with many of her duties as head of state, Prince Philip, 96, has retired from royal duties.

The Royal Mail has issued a set of six commemorative stamps for the occasion that feature the couple’s engagement and wedding.

England reach rugby league cup semi-finals

Highlights: England 36-6 Papua New Guinea
Rugby League World Cup quarter-final
England (14) 36
Tries: McGillvary 2, Walmsley, Currie, Watkins 2, Hall Goals: Widdop 4
Papua New Guinea (0) 6
Try: Lo Goal: Martin

England beat Papua New Guinea to set up a World Cup semi-final against Tonga despite an error-strewn performance.

England built a healthy half-time lead after a double from winger Jermaine McGillvary and Alex Walmsley’s score.

Ben Currie crossed after the break as Garry Lo got PNG on the board, but two tries from Kallum Watkins and a late try from Ryan Hall sealed the victory.

But the winning margin masked a 56% completion rate and an error count of 20 from Wayne Bennett’s side.

McGillvary was one of the bright points in Melbourne – the 29-year-old crossed for two almost identical scores as England found space down the right, taking his tally to six tries for the tournament.

Kato Ottio had PNG’s best chance of the first half but was denied on the hooter for a push on England’s Gareth Widdop.

The full-back, who was commanding at the back, then slipped through a delightful kick which was collected by Currie as England extended their lead in the second period.

When PNG scored through Castleford Tigers-bound Lo, a nervous wave rippled through the stadium, but McGillvary turned provider to set up centre Watkins before his diving effort and Hall’s finish out wide brought up seven tries for England.

England stuttering in attack

Papua New Guinea only scored one try but had a better set completion rate than England

Despite the flattering scoreline, coach Bennett is still waiting for an 80-minute performance from his side.

England’s inconsistency in attack has been a theme of the tournament, with wins against Lebanon and France in the group stage overshadowed by periods of sloppy play.

Against the French they made 13 handling errors, and managed 12 in the first half alone against PNG.

England half-back Luke Gale should have opened the scoring after two minutes when captain Sean O’Loughlin popped out a delicious offload in the tackle, but he failed to offload to the two men outside him.

A host of loose carries and spilled ball from forwards Sam Burgess and Chris Hill added to the error count, which increased further after the break.

James Graham carved open the PNG defence but a forward pass from interchange James Roby squandered another attacking set.

That was a rare mistake from Roby who otherwise put in a controlled performance from the bench and will be pushing for a starting berth ahead of Josh Hodgson against Tonga next weekend.

“I’m very pleased with the win,” Widdop told BBC Sport. “But we need to fix up a lot of areas of ball control – at the moment that is not good enough.”

And Bennett will also be keen to see how stand-off Kevin Brown is after he appeared to be briefly knocked out during the first half – an incident that led to his withdrawal at the break.

Brown knockout spotted by England player on social media

‘The best winger in the world’

McGillvary has scored six tries in the tournament and 11 in his past 10 games

McGillvary has caused quite a storm in Australia. The 29-year-old former warehouse worker has had a remarkable rise in the sport after packing in his job when he was persuaded to join the Huddersfield academy by his cousin, club captain Leroy Cudjoe.

England’s player of the tournament so far, his World Cup looked to be in doubt when he was alleged to have bitten Lebanon captain Robbie Farah during the group game in Sydney.

However, he was cleared and went on to score two tries in England’s final pool match against France.

Another clinical performance followed against Papua New Guinea, and he has now scored 11 tries in his past 10 games. He has also made more metres than any other player in the tournament.

Former England international Jon Wilkin told BBC Sport: “He’s the best winger, for me, in the world at the moment.

“I can tell you from personal experience, he’s probably the most difficult player to handle. I think if he was missing it would genuinely affect how England play.”

Widdop was another highlight for Bennett’s side and despite having few chances to stretch his legs in attack, he was in control at the back, making several telling tackles.

The St George Illawarra Dragon covered all of PNG’s testing grubbers, including anticipating a bounce off the posts and dominating the aerial battle.

With Jonny Lomax now fit after returning from injury, Bennett will have a few selection headaches for the semi-final.

Co-hosts PNG bow out

Papua New Guinea played all of their group games in Port Moresby

The Kumuls have been one of the most entertaining sides of the tournament.

They were unbeaten in the group stages, scoring 24 tries in their opening three matches and conceding just two in reply.

But against England they were rocked by an early injury to influential captain David Mead who looked to have been knocked out while tackling Gale and was unable to return to the field.

Playing outside of PNG capital city Port Moresby for the first time in the tournament, they were unable to unleash their attacking potential against a well-drilled England defence.

They were denied a try at the death for crossing but for the country where rugby league is practically a religion, their impressive run to the quarters will have further fuelled their obsession.

England: Widdop; McGillvary, Watkins, Bateman, Hall; Brown, Gale; Hill, Hodgson, Graham, S Burgess, Whitehead, O’Loughlin (capt). Interchange: Walmsley, T Burgess, Currie, Roby.

Papua New Guinea: Mead (capt); Olam, Ottio, Macdonald, Lo; A Boas, W Boas; Meninga, Segeyaro, Page, Martin, Minoga, Aiton. Interchange: Baptiste, Amean, Albert, Griffin.

JAILED: Man ‘drove like maniac’ while transporting stolen £20,000 road roller

A “MANIAC” driver who jumped six red lights in a stolen Transit van during a seven mile police chase into the centre of Bradford has been imprisoned for 18 months.

Craig Longdon deliberately hit a patrol vehicle and almost collided with a dog van while transporting a stolen £20,000 road roller, Bradford Crown Court was told.

He was pursued late at night from Otley Road, Menston, to Thornton Road in Bradford where he was boxed in down a side street and the keys seized by the police from the ignition.

Longdon, 49, of Chapel Lane, Armley, Leeds, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on October 27 last year and dishonestly handling the Bomag road roller stolen from Gallagher Construction in Leeds at 8pm the same day.

Prosecutor Robert Galley said the Transit van revved hard and reversed into the front bumper of a police car before speeding off on an 11 minute chase at speeds up to 40mph.

It ran six red traffic lights, went the wrong way down a street in the middle of Bradford and forced a pedestrian to jump clear.

Longdon hit another van and a car during the pursuit, the court was told.

He told the police he was asked to drive the van and had gone only a short distance in it when the police approached, but he was seen filling the vehicle with fuel that afternoon, Mr Galley stated.

The van had been stolen from a pub car park a few days earlier and the police were alerted when it was suspected it had cloned number plates.

The court heard in mitigation that Longdon had not reoffended in the 13 months since he committed the offences.

He was asked to drive the van and did not know what was in the back, but conceded he knew or believed it was stolen goods.

Longdon had health problems, including suffering brain seizures that made him unable to carry out unpaid work for the community.

Deputy Circuit Judge James Spencer QC told Longdon: “You drove like a maniac to try to escape.”

Longdon was banned from driving for 21 months and until he takes an extended retest.