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Update: Pint-of-whisky groper faces jail

Friday, 18 November, 2011 2 comments

Katherine Goldberg has been told by a magistrate that she could face 10 years in jail for her whisky-fuelled sexual assault on a male Virgin Atlantic steward.

The 25-yr-old teacher faces a prison sentence despite pleas from her lawyer that it would be in the “public interest” to let her off with a police caution.

Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court decided that Goldberg’s crime was too severe for the maximum 6-month sentence that magistrates can impose. Goldberg will be released on bail for a month before returning to Isleworth Crown Court for sentencing.

Mary Petley, the bench chairwoman, said: “If you were drunk on an aircraft and you were sleeping and snoring a bit we could sentence you here. But this is rather more serious.”

The case stems from an incident on a flight between Johannesburg, South Africa, and London Heathrow in August, when Miss Goldberg made “strong sexual advances” and grabbed “the groin and testicular area” of a male steward. Based on comments left on the Daily Mail website, many believe the jail term to be far too harsh for such an incident.

Previous headlines claimed that Goldberg drank a pint of whisky. While technically accurate, one pint is 568ml of liquid – the approximate contents of a hipflask-sized bottle of the spirit. It is highly unlikely Goldberg was served a pint glass full of whisky.

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Mayor sacks aide over child porn charges

Tuesday, 1 November, 2011 Leave a comment

Walsh: Mayoral appointee of the London Fire Brigade; photo: london-fire.gov.uk/

Boris Johnson has sacked one of his aides after it emerged yesterday that he had been charged with a serious child pornography offence.

Simon Walsh, a barrister from the London fire authority – the cross-party body that controls the London fire brigade – was dismissed after the severity of the charges was realised.

According to Scotland Yard, Walsh is facing two charges: one of possessing an extreme pornographic image which was likely to have resulted in serious injury, and another of making an indecent photograph of a child on a computer, without the child present. Sources said that the Mayor had been concerned at Walsh’s apparent failure to reveal the extent of the charges.

Walsh, 49, of Southwark, is due to reappear at Uxbridge magistrates’ court on November 7, where the case is due to be committed to crown court. He denies the charges.

 

Cancer patient dies following attack in Hillingdon Hospital

Tuesday, 1 November, 2011 3 comments

A cancer patient has died after being attacked by an Iranian illegal immigrant as he lay in his hospital bed.

The illegal immigrant was removed to a nearby detention centre (file picture, courtesy Home Office).

Anthony Wilson, a 78-year-old man from Harefield near Uxbridge, had undergone an operation to remove part of his bowel just four days previously. He was asleep when he was assaulted by an Iranian man who had been brought into the hospital two days earlier complaining of breathing difficulties.

Three UK Border Agency guards, who had been brought in to sit with the Iranian during his hospital stay, had to intervene when the shocking and unprovoked attack on Mr Wilson took place.

The man was removed from Hillingdon Hospital immediately and returned to a nearby immigration removal centre, where he is currently awaiting deportation.

The attack occurred in front of other patients on the ward at approximately 8.20am on October 17. Police were called but the UKBA guards dealt with the incident swiftly.

Mr Wilson, who served in the Army as a teenager after the Second World War, was admitted to hospital on October 11. He had been battling bowel cancer for three months prior to being admitted.

Mr Wilson was pronounced dead at 4.20am on October 18, when police were again called to the hospital.

Following the attack, Mr Wilson’s brother, Jeffrey, 68, told the Mail on Sunday “I have lost my brother, who was my right-hand man. He used to do everything for me and I miss him.

“He went for the operation and got through it and did all right, but someone may have taken his life away from him so I want to know the truth of what happened.”

A post-mortem examination concluded that Mr Wilson had died from septicaemia, but an inquest will be held in order to determine whether or not the attack was a contributory factor.

Doctors had previously informed him of the various risks involved with the invasive surgery, especially because of his age and because he had been fitted with a pacemaker earlier this year. The former engineer decided to go ahead with the operation anyway and had made plans to recuperate at home by his brother’s side.

Jeffrey went on to say: ‘We lived together all our lives, we were best friends and I will miss him. Sometimes we fell out over different things at one time or another, as  brothers often do, but it was a good life together.’

It is as yet unclear whether the attack on Mr Wilson was a factor in his death; Jeffrey insists that his brother was strangled, but the investigation is ongoing.

Hillingdon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust claims the assault “took only seconds and amounted to him [the immigrant] putting an arm round Mr Wilson’s neck.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said they attended the hospital and that the death is being treated as non-suspicious.

A spokesman for the UK Border Agency confirmed that they are in the process of removing the Iranian man: “We are reviewing this incident and, if necessary, will take appropriate action.”

Trick or Treat?

Monday, 31 October, 2011 1 comment

According to a recent survey commissioned by Santander Insurance, 1 in 5 people would support banning Trick or Treating following the riots which swept across London earlier this year. 

Around 22%  of people surveyed believe that the yearly custom should have an outright ban, while 50% said that parental accompaniment should be compulsory in order to control the behaviour of children.

Furthermore, 43% of people would support a ban on people wearing masks which obscure the face over Halloween, and over a third of people asked would support a ban on people wearing hooded tops.

Andy Smith, head of media relations at Santander, said: “The summer’s riots resulted in a huge amount of innocent people becoming victims of crime. Our research would suggest that there is genuine concern about any more criminal damage or anti-social behaviour taking place in the period that surrounds Halloween and bonfire night – a period which many people already find intimidating”.

Are these fears founded or is it a lot of fuss about nothing? We want to know what you think: 

Liquid and Envy nightclub parent enters administration

Friday, 28 October, 2011 1 comment

Luminar Leisure Ltd., the parent company of nightclub chains Oceana, Liquid & Envy, filed for administration on Wednesday.

The UK nightclub chain called in administrators because it was unable to service its debts after bankers Lloyds TSB, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland declined to extend a loan repayment deadline.

Far from striking the end note, Luminar intends to keep their 75 clubs across the UK open indefinitely. The company is keen to dispel rumours about the fate of 3,000 full-time and part-time staff across the UK.

Stephen Lynn, Head of Marketing, said: “Despite Luminar being placed in administration, Liquid on the High Street will continue to trade and provide the clubbers of Uxbridge the best night out for the foreseeable future.”

He added: “There are rumours we are trying to shut the clubs down. The clubs are open and will be trading today, this weekend, and going forward.”

Nightlife: Luminar owns 75 Oceana, Liquid and Envy clubs nationwide. Image credit .Martin., Flickr.

Philip Bowcock, Finance Director of Luminar Group Holdings, issued a statement on Wednesday, October 26 confirming that the banks will not extend their original 3-month waiver on the repayment of an £85million debt facility granted on 11th May. The original repayment deadline was Thursday 27th October.

Without the waiver, Luminar is unable to meet its repayment obligations.

The statement said: “The Directors of Luminar have no option but to take steps to place the Company and certain of its subsidiaries into administration and to request the UK Listing Authority to suspend trading in Luminar’s shares with immediate effect.”

This year Liquid Uxbridge held more student nights, including live DJs and other performers, to appeal to a younger audience. The club’s core market of 18-24 year olds have less spare cash for nights out with rising youth unemployment and less economic security, while students are paying higher tuition fees.

The company recently introduced cocktail bars by the clubs, brought in a wider range of beers and held live music and comedy events in all their venues to appeal to more mature customers, but it didn’t turn the business around. The company said the August riots had a material impact on trading and that profit margins had been squeezed with  more promotions.

Shares in Luminar Group Holdings crashed by 30% at the close of trading on Wednesday, having fallen more than 600p over the past five years.

The company issued a series of profit warnings over the past 2 years. The last came in July when Luminar had a 12% fall in like-for-like sales.

Brunel University students will be pleased to know that Liquid and Envy in Uxbridge says it has no plans to close this weekend and will be going ahead with Halloween celebrations as planned. It is not known what the future of the club beyond the weekend will be.

MPs split over EU vote

Tuesday, 25 October, 2011 1 comment

David Cameron faced what can arguably be seen as the biggest test of his leadership yesterday as a backbench motion calling for a referendum on Europe caused a massive rift within the House of Commons.

The decision of Cameron and Miliband not to allow a free vote within Parliament, opting for a three-line whip in the hope of controlling MPs votes, was met with fierce criticism from both The Commons and the general public.

After a five-hour debate on the pros and cons of EU membership and why the public should or should not be allowed to determine our future within Europe, 483 MPs voted to reject the motion, with only 111 voting in favour leaving a majority of 372 out of a total of 650 MPs in the House of Commons.

This result has sparked uncertainty over the future of several MPs within their parties. Grassroots reaction from Twitter and other social media sources suggest widespread public dissatisfaction with the result of the vote.

Twitter user Edward Butler-Ellis, who tweets under the username @EdwardBE1 and describes himself as an ‘avid Conservative campaigner’ said: “how is the #eureferendum a distraction for parliament? The EU is the single largest influence over the UK, don’t insult us. #referendumNOW

charlotteahenry, a self-described liberal, said: “Fuming about today’s self indulgent antics in Parliament, given what’s going on in the real world. Do MPs still wonder why nobody cares?”

Meanwhile, Labour supporter Shereef Abdallah (@Sheik74Shereef ) said: “Cameron is sleep walking to disaster. Even after the Euro vote, what happens if UK has d.dip recession ? Govt won’t survive till 2015.”

The list of rebels is as follows:

Conservative

Stuart Andrew

Steve Baker

John Baron

Andrew Bingham

Brian Binley

Bob Blackman

Peter Bone

Graham Brady

Andrew Bridgen

Steve Brine

Fiona Bruce

Dan Byles

Douglas Carswell

Bill Cash

Christopher Chope

James Clappison

Tracey Crouch

David T.C. Davies

Philip Davies

David Davis

Nick du Bois

Caroline Dinenage

Nadine Dorries

Richard Drax

Mark Field

Lorraine Fullbrook

Zac Goldsmith

James Gray

Chris Heaton-Harris

Gordon Henderson

George Hollingbery

Philip Hollobone

Stewart Jackson

Bernard Jenkin

Marcus Jones

Chris Kelly

Andrea Leadsom

Jeremy Lefroy

Edward Leigh

Dr. Julian Lewis

Karen Lumley

Jason McCartney

Karl McCartney

Stephen McPartland

Anne Main

Patrick Mercer

Nigel Mills

Anne-Marie Morris

James Morris

Stephen Mosely

Sheryll Murray

Caroline Nokes

David Nuttall

Matthew Offord

Neil Parish

Priti Patel

Andrew Percy

Mark Pritchard

Mark Reckless

John Redwood

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Simon Reevell

Laurence Robertson

Andrew Rosindell

Richard Shepherd

Henry Smith

John Stevenson

Bob Stewart

Gary Streeter

Julian Sturdy

Sir Peter Tapsell

Justin Tomlinson

Andrew Turner

Martin Vickers

Charles Walker

Robin Walker

Heather Wheeler

Craig Whittaker

John Whittingdale

Dr. Sarah Wollaston

Labour

Ronnie Campbell

Rosie Cooper

Jeremy Corbyn

Jon Cruddas

John Cryer

Ian Davidson

Natascha Engel

Frank Field

Roger Godsiff

Kate Hoey

Kelvin Hopkins

Steve McCabe

John McDonnell

Austin Mitchell

Dennis Skinner

Andrew Smith

Graham Stringer

Gisela Stuart

Mike Wood

Lib Dem

Adrian Sanders

Democratic Unionist Party

Gregory Campbell

Nigel Dodds

Jeffrey Donaldson

Dr. William McCrea

Ian Paisley Jr.

Jim Shannon

David Simpson

Sammy Wilson

Green

Caroline Lucas

Independent

Lady Hermon

POSITIVE ABSTENTIONS (Went through both Aye & No lobbies) 2

Ian Stewart (Conservative)

Mike Weatherley (Conservative)


Brunel graduate’s bracelets for Brittle Bones

Wednesday, 7 September, 2011 Leave a comment

A Brunel University graduate who set up an online jewellery shop to help pay off her student debts has been donating part of her earnings to the Brittle Bone Society.

Founded in Dundee in 1968, the Brittle Bone Society is the only UK wide organisation providing support to people affected by the bone condition Osteogenesis Imperfecta or Brittle Bones.  They are a membership-based organisation offering help and support to members. 

Tasha Shackell, 22, who graduated from the Uxbridge-based university in July, was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. She regularly raises money for the Society through fundraisers such as book stalls, christmas markets and carnivals. When she set up her own online shop, she saw an opportunity to help the society even more:

“I started off doing card and jewellery making in my spare time as a hobby but then my friends recommended I sell my products as they are of a high quality, so I started selling products last summer and still do today. I love making these creations and would love to share my jewellery and cards with other people”.

Hoping to pursue a career in psychology, Tasha makes most of her cards and jewellery to order, so it is custom made to the exact specification of her clients: “I had the idea that I would donate some of my earnings from my crafts to the charity so a percentage of anything my customers buy goes to a great cause!”.Tasha is hoping to continue making jewellery and supporting other people with Osteogenisis Imperfecta through her donations. You can visit her website by clicking here.