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Reply with quote  #121 

Police launch appeal to find woman who went missing on way to work

Suzanne Pilley Image 2

POLICE stepped up the hunt for a missing office worker today.

Suzanne Pilley failed to turn up to her work in Edinburgh city centre on Tuesday and concern is growing for the 38-year-old.

Police said it was "completely out of character" for Ms Pilley to lose contact with her family and colleagues.

CCTV footage shows the woman from the Stenhouse area getting off a bus by Jenners in Princes Street four days ago.

She then went into the Sainsbury's supermarket near St Andrew's Square but failed to report to her work in Thistle Street.

Inspector Kevin Greig, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: "It is completely out of character for her not to keep in regular contact with her family and not to let her colleagues know she would not be coming in.

"We would appeal to anyone who has any information or who saw Suzanne as she travelled to the city centre on Tuesday morning to contact us."

CCTV footage of Suzanne Pilley Image 1

Police have distributed posters around the city featuring an image of Ms Pilley getting off the no 4 Lothian bus by the department store at 8.48am.

She had earlier boarded the no 2 service at Stevenson Drive at 8.20am, getting off at 8.32am and changing to the no 4 at Dalry Road opposite Caledonian Terrace.

The missing woman is described as white, around 5ft 4ins, slim, with short, light brown hair.

She was wearing a light blue waterproof jacket, red fleece, light blue trousers or jeans and trainers.

In a direct appeal, Insp Greig said: "Suzanne, if you read or hear this, please make contact with us to let us know you are safe and well.

"This can be done in complete confidence."

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Reply with quote  #122 

Police probe after young man's body found in East Kilbride

POLICE were today investigating the suspicious death of a young man.

His body was found in the Mossneuk area of East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, last night.

A post mortem will be carried out to establish the exact cause of death.

Police said that inquiries were at an early stage but that the death was being treated as suspicious.

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Three thugs 'were like animals' as they hunted down and beat man to death, court hears

THREE men who hunted down a man and beat him to death were yesterday told by a judge they were like "animals".

Craig Dodwell, James McLauchlan and David McKay battered Kieran Crawford, 22, with a metal pole and a brick as he lay defenceless in the street.

Innocent Kieran was also slashed with a knife and his friend Andrew Bain, 29, was mown down by a Land Rover before an attack that Lord Turnbull branded "pack violence".

Dodwell, 20, McLauchlan, 21, and McKay, 24, pleaded guilty to culpable homicide after murder charges were dropped.

Lord Turnbull said: "This was pack violence involving the chasing of young men.

"This is something that would be more associated to animals rather than humans."

Kieran and Andrew had been walking with friends in Glasgow's Germiston last May.

The city's High Court heard that the group were from nearby Royston and it was "unwise" for them to be in that part of north Glasgow.

Kieran and his friends were chased down Forge Street and Dodwell was seen trying to trip him up.

The Land Rover was driven over Andrew's arm before he was attacked and Kieran suffered a sickening assault.

As he slumped over a garden fence, he was hit repeatedly by McLauchlan and another thug.

Unconscious Kieran was rushed to hospital suffering from two stab wounds.

One had penetrated his lung and cut a vital artery. He died that day.

Prosecutor Iain McSporran said there was no obvious motive for the attack.

He added: "It has never been suggested that Kieran Crawford did anything at all to cause any incident or justify or explain any violence against him."

The Crown accepted reduced charges after CCTV footage failed to show who had used a knife.

Dodwell and McLaughlan, both of Germiston, and McKay, of Ruchazie, were remanded i n custody.

An unnamed 14-year-old boy and Steven Gracey, 20, of Germiston, were bailed after admitting assaulting Kieran and Andrew.

All five will be sentenced next month.

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Reply with quote  #124 

Yob batters face of dogwalker with brick on day she was told of her mother's cancer battle

A WOMAN was battered senseless moments after she broke the news of her mother's cancer battle to her dad.

Rossyln Lee, 29, was knocked unconscious by a yob wielding a brick in a vicious unprovoked street assault.

It happened as she left her father's Hamilton home after telling him his ex-wife had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Her parents John and Lesley separated 15 years earlier but remained on friendly terms.

After she walked the short distance to her own house, she encountered a gang of up to 30 people.

A stone was thrown, which narrowly missed her collie dog Angel and brave Rosslyn challenged the gang.

But she was sent reeling and knocked unconscious after one of the cowardly thugs st ruck her FOUR times in the face with a brick, smashing her front teeth.

Stunned residents who heard the fracas on April 25 called for an ambulance and Rosslyn was rushed to Hairmyres Hospital, in East Kilbride.

Yesterday, Rosslyn, who runs a dog g rooming business, said: "I was visiting my dad to break the news about my mum.

"I remember someone trying to attack the dog and I challenged them and told them to leave us alone.

"The next thing I knew a face that looked like a raging beast came towards me. It was all so blurry.

"After I was struck with the brick, people all rushed to help and I was eventually taken to hospital."

Rosslyn lost a tooth in the attack and another eight were broken or damaged. She also suffered blood loss through the retina in her eye.

Rosslyn added: "I have been trying really hard to be strong for my mum. We only found out she had cancer two weeks ago.

"I am determined not to let the attack stop me getting on with my life and being there for my mum."

Mum Lesley, 64, added: "I was so worried about her.

"It was horrible having to see Rosslyn in such a state. She hasn't been out on her own since it happened."

Police have appealed for information.

Detective Cameron Miller said: "This was a particularly nasty and frightening unprovoked attack."

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Reply with quote  #125 

OAP to stand by husband who tried to smother her

A PENSIONER whose husband tried to smother her wants their marriage to go on, a court heard yesterday.

Multiple sclerosis sufferer Phyllis Millar is standing by her husband John, despite her having to fight off his murder bid.

Yesterday Millar, 67, was remanded in custody to await sentence next month after admitting attempted murder.

Leanne Cross, prosecuting, told the High Court in Edinburgh that Phyllis, 65, was now in a care home.

But she added: "She has, however, indicated that whatever happens, she wants the relationship with the accused to continue."

The court was told that Millar, of Ravelston, Edinburgh, insisted he had meant to carry out a mercy killing.

He called police after the failed murder bid to confess and later told them: "She would be dead and out of the way.. not having to put up with her life as it was and my life too."

But his wife, who had known him for 13 years and married him in 2008, was adamant that she had told him she did not want to die. She had been diagnosed with MS 24 years previously.

Miss Cross said that after Millar put his wife to bed last June 28, he asked her if she wanted to live.

She added: "She told him she did want to live, she did not want to die and she was content with her life."

Two hours later, he tried to smother her with a pillow. She could not believe what was happening but managed to fight him off. Paramedics found her distressed and sobbing but uninjured.

Rudi Koos, 81, from Philadelphia, has admitted strangling his wife of 59 years, Waltrud, 75, after he accused her of infidelity and she laughed at him.

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It's enough to make Dixon Of Dock Green blush: Security firms paid £23m to guard police stations

By Rebecca Camber
Last updated at 10:00 PM on 7th May 2010

Old guard: Jack Warner as George Dixon in Dixon of Dock Green

Dixon of Dock Green (played by Jack Warner, above) would be mortified to learn that modern police stations are being patrolled by private security firms

Many will remember George Dixon faithfully standing guard underneath the old blue lamp.

But these days, you are just as likely to see private security staff outside a police station as an actual constable.

Figures have revealed police forces spend £23million on private security to protect their stations and headquarters.

Far from the traditional image of a bobby keeping a lookout on the station steps - memorably portrayed by Jack Warner in the long-running TV series Dixon Of Dock Green - it seems that the safety of our police stations is being left in the hands of civilians.

Guards are being hired by overstretched forces to fulfil the roles of night watchmen, monitoring CCTV, patrolling building perimeters and carrying out security checks.

A third of police forces in England and Wales now employ private firms to look after their buildings, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Last year, 14 police forces hired security staff at a cost to taxpayers of £23million, up £2million on the previous year.

The Metropolitan Police had the biggest bill, spending £10.5million last year on security for its buildings in London.

West Midlands Police has seen spending on private security rise from £1.39million in 2008 to £1.51million last year.

The Leicestershire force's annual bill rocketed by 50 per cent from £138,000 to £207,000.

Last year Sussex Police spent £300,000 to secure just three buildings. The force, facing £35million budget cuts over the next five years, could have spent the £300,000 putting six more bobbies on the beat.

The amounts spent on private security has angered critics.

Matthew Elliott, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'It is hardly encouraging that the police feel the need to spend so much protecting themselves from criminals.

'No wonder the public have such a fear of crime if even the police aren't safe from it. And people are told that police budgets are intended for protecting the public.'

But police chiefs have defended the expense, saying it would be a waste of resources to use highly-trained officers to guard buildings.

Many forces refused to provide details of how security staff were being used, saying it could put their buildings at risk of a terrorist attack.

A Met Police spokesman said: 'Given the nature of the work we do, we have buildings where access must be controlled for security reasons.

'We are always mindful of ensuring that, as with all our external suppliers, we get best value for money.'

The Association of Chief Police Officers said: 'Using police officers to do this type of work would obviously be more expensive and take officers away from the front line, which we know is where the public want them.'

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Reply with quote  #127 

One teenager in five leaving school unable to read or do maths

By Laura Clark

Last updated at 10:11 PM on 7th May 2010

Teenage girl in class

Illiterate and innumerate: Thousands are leaving school without basic skills (posed by model)

One in five teenagers leaves school illiterate and innumerate despite two decades of education reform, research shows. More than 100,000 lack the basic skills needed to function in society.

A study found there has been little or no change in the last 20 years in the proportion of youngsters rendered unemployable because they have such a poor grasp of words and numbers.

About 17 per cent of 16 to 19-year-olds are functionally illiterate, according to the study led by Professor Greg Brooks from the University of Sheffield.

'People at this level can handle only simple tests and straightforward questions on them where no distracting information is adjacent or nearby,' the study said.

'Making inferences and understanding forms of indirect meaning, e.g. allusion and irony, are likely to be difficult or impossible.

'This is less than the functional literacy needed to partake fully in employment, family life and citizenship and to enjoy reading for its own sake.'

Some 22 per cent of 16 to 19-year-olds are essentially innumerate, according to the study. This means they have 'very basic competence in maths, mainly limited to arithmetical computations and some ability to comprehend and use other forms of mathematical information'.

The study adds: 'While this is valuable, it is clearly not enough to deal confidently with many of the mathematical challenges of contemporary life.'

Levels of functional innumeracy are even higher among older age groups, the research claims.

The Tories claim Labour has been too slow to embrace the 'synthetic phonics' method of teaching children to read, which has been credited with virtually wiping out illiteracy where it has been used.

The technique, which involves teaching children the sounds that make up words, was only made mandatory four years ago.

The failure to get to grips with the basics early on is thought to increase pupils' disaffection with school, leading to them becoming alienated and dropping out.

Teachers said a 'long tail of underachievement' had long been a feature of English education.

John Bangs, head of education at the National Union of Teachers, said the Government should offer one-to-one tuition for pupils, support for parents and more training for teachers. But he added: 'There are no magic solutions.'

The study, which analysed decades of evidence, found that the average reading scores for 13 to 19-year-olds improved between 1948 and 1960 but remained 'remarkably constant' between 1960 and 1988.

They rose 'gently' until 2004 before a further plateau. Writing performance has been relatively static since 1979.

The study was published by the Times Educational Supplement as it emerged that one in three primary schools are failing to meet a Labour performance benchmark and facing greater scrutiny from local authorities and Government.

About 6,000 primaries are deemed to be under-achieving or 'coasting' because they are failing to improve results fast enough.

Labour has spent billions on a string of initiatives aimed at raising standards of basic skills. This has included giving teachers extra training in grammar and maths and making them follow prescribed lesson plans.

A 'functional skills' exam for 16-year-olds was devised to tackle employers' concerns, but plans to make passing this a pre-condition of good GCSE results were dropped.

Labour embraced the Conservatives' primary school literacy hour in 1997 and introduced a similar initiative for maths, before extending the drive to secondary schools.

But it dropped the prescribed daily literacy and numeracy hours following numerous updates to the programmes and evidence that test results were stalling.

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Admin says: This news should not really come as any great shock to the nation. What can we expect when our kids are hardly at school, and exams are being made easier every year? Hardly Einstein material is it?

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Reply with quote  #128 

Police hunt for witnesses after teenager is found murdered in woods

A MURDER probe was launched last night after a 16-year-old boy was found dead in woods.

Jack Frew was discovered near a cycle path in Mossneuk, East Kilbride, around 7pm on Thursday.

Police said the popular schoolboy had been the victim of a "violent attack".

A spokeswoman added: "The motivation behind the attack is not yet clear."

Last night, officers appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Another teen, named locally as Craig Roy, was believed to be in a serious condition in hospital.

Jack's parents Robert and Lorraine, 49, who live close by, were too upset to speak about their son's death.

He was a fifth-year pupil at Duncanrig Secondary in East Kilbride - the same year as Craig. Jack was said to be a popular pupil who was known for his love of amateur dramatics. He had starred in a school panto.

Tributes from friends poured on to his Facebook page last night.

And pals left flowers and messages near the spot where his body was found.

One note read: "Rest in peace, Jack. I love you and miss you so much. XXX."

Another said: "I still can't believe I am never going to see you again.

"I will never forget the times we shared. I wish I could have one more big hug and to tell you how much I love you."

Duncanrig pupils were told of Jack's tragic death at an assembly yesterday.

Headteacher George Wynne told the Record last night: "Everyone at Duncanrig is shocked and saddened. We are providing support for pupils who have been very upset."

Local councillor Graham Simpson expressed his horror.

He said last night: "I am extremely shocked.

"Mossneuk is regarded as a very safe area and the incident has sent shockwaves throughout the community."

The police spokeswoman added: "Detectives at East Kilbride would like to speak to anyone who was in the Mossneuk area in the early evening of Thursday, May 6. "In particular, anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious around the wooded area and cycle path near to Wellsley Crescent and Mossneuk Road."

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Reply with quote  #129 

Air stewardess stabbed by neighbour as hero son tried to fend him off loses her fight for life

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 7:04 PM on 8th May 2010


James Killen, 18, who tried to save his mother's life after she was attacked by a maniac

A mother stabbed by her maniac neighbour as her teenage son tried to fend him off died from her injuries in hospital today, police said.

James Killen, 18, went to help his mother Sandra Crawford during the attack at their home in St Albans, Hertfordshire, on April 30.

He was getting ready for school in his bedroom when neighbour Jonathan London burst into the house brandishing a kitchen knife.

The 46-year-old loner stabbed James's mother Sandra Crawford several times before James leapt to her defence.

In the struggle for the knife, London was stabbed and later died at the scene at 8.40am on Friday.

Mrs Crawford, a 53-year-old air stewardess, was flown to hospital for emergency heart surgery.

She suffered multiple upper body wounds in the brutal attack and lost a significant amount of blood.

Police initially arrested James on suspicion of murder after the attack at the family's £600,000 home in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

However, he was released on bail hours later when it became clear that he had been trying to defend his mother.

sherwood road

The crime scene in Sherwood Road, St Albans

Detective Chief Inspector Melanie Burn, who is leading the investigation in to the attack, said: 'This is an extremely tragic case and our thoughts are with Sandra's family at this exceptionally sad and distressing time.

'Our primary concern has been to seek a balanced and fair outcome in this matter.

'The legal process must run its course, however we are hoping to resolve this matter as quickly as possible to allow Sandra's family to grieve and start to rebuild their lives.'

In a statement, Ms Crawford's family said: 'Sandra was a much loved mother, daughter, partner and friend.

'We are currently coping with the traumatic events of her death and we respectfully request to be left alone at this time.'

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Admin says: My heart is breaking for this poor boy who has now lost his mother. I genuinely thought she was going to pull through, and I'm very sad to learn that she had complications and died as a result. I hope the family of the man who murdered her spare a thought for this boy, who although appears not to be facing criminal charges, and quite rightfully so, is now without the mother that he was trying, in vain, to protect. See posts#77 and #81

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Scores injured as Staten Island ferry loses power and slams into New York pier

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 7:06 PM on 8th May 2010 

A ferry with a history of accidents lost power and crashed into a pier in New York seriously hurting at least one person and leaving as many as 36 passengers with minor injuries.

The Andrew J. Barberi hit the pier at about 9:20am local time (13.25 GMT) as it approached the St George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island.

Police and fire department officials say dozens of people had been hurt, but most of the injuries appeared to be minor.

To the rescue: A fireman uses his coat to keep an injured passenger warm after the Andrew J Barberi ferry crashed into a pier injuring at least 37 people

To the rescue: A fireman uses his coat to keep an injured passenger warm after the Andrew J Barberi ferry crashed into a pier injuring at least 37 people

staten ferry

Crash: Some passengers had to be carried away from the scene on stretchers after the accident at around 9.20am

The city's transportation commissioner said the ferry's throttle failed to engage as it came in for a landing.

That meant the crew was unable to use the engines to slow the vessel.

Coast Guard officials say the ferry suffered serious damage to its ramps and decks above the waterline.

Some passengers were being taken by ambulance to area hospitals. Others were being bandaged and comforted by firefighters at the scene.

The Andrew J. Barberi ferry is the same boat involved in the fatal 2003 crash at the same terminal.

The ferry runs across New York harbour between Manhattan and Staten Island.

In pain: A ferry passenger is wheeled from the scene covered in blankets to keep him warm
Treatment: Emergency workers place a victim into an ambulance

In pain: A ferry passenger is wheeled from the scene covered in blankets (left) while another victim is placed in the back of an ambulance

staten ferry

Lucky escape: Passengers are escorted off the ferry by firefighters

Staten Island

History of problems: The Andrew J. Barberi Ferry docked at Staten Island after the crash

In 2003, the Andrew J Barberi with about 1,500 people aboard slammed into a pier on the Staten Island side during evening rush hour, killing 11 passengers and injuring another 70.

The captain in that accident, who was taking painkillers at the time, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Passenger Jason Watler, 30, said he realised the ferry was moving faster than usual as it approached the shore. He said he became alarmed and began to run towards the back of the boat.

'It was not slowing down,' he said. 'He was going too fast.'

He said he then heard 'a real big boom'.

'I stumbled a little bit,' he said. 'People were screaming. People were crying.'

City officials said they were unsure how much damage was done to the boat, but it was still afloat.

Service on the ferry line was suspended after the accident but was restored by late morning.

The Staten Island Ferry transports 20 million people a year between Staten Island and lower Manhattan.

Seven years ago: The Andrew J. Barberi pictured in October 2003 after it crashed into a dock on Staten Island

Seven years ago: The Andrew J. Barberi pictured in October 2003 after it crashed into a dock on Staten Island

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Reply with quote  #131 
Friends and neighbours pay tribute to murdered teenager Jack Frew

Jack murder 'a gay attack'


DETECTIVES probing the savage murder of schoolboy Jack Frew believe it may have been a homophobic attack.

The popular 16-year-old had his throat slashed by a gang of bloodthirsty thugs on Thursday night.

It's believed the openly gay teenager was targeted as he walked through a wooded area in Mossneuk, East Kilbride, Lanarkshire.

His 17-year-old schoolfriend Craig Roy was also battered and left for dead by the mob.

Last night a murder probe insider revealed: "It won't be long before they make arrests. They have to establish the motive but it's been suggested this was a homophobic attack.

"Jack attracted their attention and the lad Craig was caught up in it too."

On Jack's MySpace internet page, he reveals his zodiac sign is Cancer, his sexual orientation is 'gay', and favourite TV shows are Hollyoaks and Skins.

Craig - like Jack, a fifth- year pupil at East Kilbride's Duncanrig Secondary - was released from nearby Hairmyres Hospital on Friday.

The terrified lad has been bravely helping cops to piece together details of the horror.

But Jack's devastated parents Robert and Lorraine, 49, are too upset to talk about the tragedy.

However, a family friend said: "They are distraught at losing Jack. He was a lovely, caring wee boy. My heart goes out to his family who are struggling to deal with the fact they will never see him again."

Hundreds of well-wishers wept and hugged each other as they left flowers, cuddly toys and messages at the scene yesterday. One message on a card from 'Christopher' read: "I don't know how we are going to cope without you and we miss you something awful already! They say God only takes the best and you truly are."

And on a tribute website, "RIP Jack Frew" set up on social network site Facebook yesterday, friends poured out grief.

Ann Marie Gordon wrote: "A truly devastating loss of a particularly talented young life. My thoughts are with your family, your friends and everyone who loved you so very very dearly."

Another chum, Beth Mulvey, said: "I'm in tears again. I can't believe this has happened at all. Jack you were amazing, and I can't put into words how much you'll be missed. Nobody deserves this, especially not you."

And in a statement posted on the school website, staff and pupils paid tribute to a "committed and conscientious young man".

It said: "Jack was also a pupil whose personal qualities earned him the respect of both pupils and staff. He is a great loss to our school community."

Strathclyde Police's Detective Chief Inspector Neil Thomson said last night: "We are confident we'll find those responsible."

COPS have launched a murder probe after Stewart Dayer, 19, was stabbed to death in a vicious street brawl in Cadder, Glasgow, at 9pm on Thursday.

I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".

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Reply with quote  #132 
Laura Brodie

School suicide No2


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GRIEVING pupils have been left reeling by the double suicide tragedy of two school friends.

Hundreds of pupils from Glasgow's Lourdes Secondary turned out to pay their respects to pretty teenager Laura Brodie at an emotional funeral service last weekend.

The popular 16-year-old hanged herself at her family home in the city's Crookston last month.

It's believed she was devastated by the loss of her friend Megan Donnelly (below), also 16, who hanged herself in October.

Megan Rose Donnelly

A senior source at Lourdes Secondary said: "It's come as a tremendous shock - the youngsters and teachers have been wrecked by this.

"The girls were pals and shared the same social circle.

"But none of Laura's classmates can understand why she killed herself. They're all devastated. The sense of loss is unimaginable."

Staff and pupils joined Laura's mum Paula and firefighter dad John, 48, at the service, in St George Parish Church, in Penilee - not far from Megan's family home.

And last night tributes were paid to both girls on social networking websites. One posting said: "RIP. Hope you and Megan don't cause too much of a riot up there."

A school spokesman said: "We're thinking of the families."

I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".

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Reply with quote  #133 

Just what would it take to have him struck off? Mother's anger as doctor who accused her of murdering her son is allowed back to work

By Jo Knowsley
Last updated at 10:27 PM on 8th May 2010

The woman falsely accused by controversial paediatrician Dr David Southall of murdering her son feels ‘betrayed, upset and angry’ that he has been allowed to return to work with vulnerable children.

Mandy Morris, 43, thought she had finally won justice when the General Medical Council found Dr Southall guilty of serious professional misconduct in 2007, suspending him from child-protection work.

He had accused Mrs Morris of killing her  son Lee in 1996 after the ten-year-old was found hanging by a belt in their Shropshire home.

Lee Morris
David Southall

Controversy: Lee, who died age 10 in 1996 and Dr Southall who accused his mother of murder

Her younger son Dale was taken into care as a result. It later emerged that Lee was being bullied at school.

But last week the Court of Appeal overturned the GMC decision. Mrs Morris said: ‘I’m angry and upset.

'I feel that if Southall fell into a cesspit he’d come up smelling of roses. What does it take to have these people struck off?’

Speaking from her home in Australia, where she moved with her husband Simon, son Dale, 22, and daughter Ellie, 10, to start a new life in 2007, she said: ‘I’ll fight as long as I can, but after all these years I’ve lost faith that we’ll get justice.

'What Dr Southall did put us in a living hell. My husband still can’t bear to speak about it.

‘How can a man like that be allowed to practise again? I remember every word he said.

'I remember finding Lee. The whole scenario is etched forever in my mind. I know I’m not the one who told lies.’

Mandy Morris

'Living hell': Mandy Morris with her two surviving children, eight-year-old Ellie and 19-year-old Dale

Dr Southall had first attracted headlines in 2000 when on TV he accused Stephen Clark, husband of solicitor Sally Clark, of killing their two babies.

Mrs Clark was cleared on appeal after being wrongly jailed for the deaths, but died of acute alcohol poisoning in 2007.

Last week Dr Southall said the GMC investigation had ‘cost me dearly both personally and professionally’.

But Mrs Morris says: ‘At least he wasn’t living with a life sentence.’

Chief executive Niall Dickson said the GMC would act in response to the case and ‘wider issues’ but Mrs Morris said: ‘The only long-term result will be the shattering of trust in the authorities by ordinary people who don’t feel that they have a voice to defend themselves.’

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Reply with quote  #134 

Mother of three jailed after making false gang rape claims - to win back her former lover

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:20 PM on 9th May 2010

Kay Hoofe

Jailed: Kay Hoofe, who lied about being raped, was found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice

A young mother who falsely claimed she had been gang raped has been jailed for six months.

Kay Hoofe - a mother of three, including a nine-week-old baby - lied about being attacked after police were contacted by her mother.

The court heard that Hoofe claimed she had been raped so the father of her two youngest children would get back together with her.

The lies led to one of her alleged attackers being threatened by members of the community. He voluntarily went to police to give his side of the story.

A court heard that the false claims caused him problems with a contact application over his child - although they were resolved when Hoofe's lies were exposed.

The gang rape never took place and Hoofe, 24, of Briar Grove, Leigh, had consensual sex with the man quizzed about the 'attack'.

Rob Altham, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that in August, police received a call claiming Hoofe had been raped by five men.

Officers visited her and she said that the previous night she had been in a Leigh pub with a friend, who left. She went to another pub to buy cigarettes.

Mr Altham said she claimed she was forced down a side street by five men who began to attack her.

He said she had claimed that two of the men raped her in the street. Afterwards they called a taxi and went back with her to her home.

While there, she was raped again before the men left, she claimed.

She repeated her allegations to officers and gave four names. The court heard that people in the community accused one man of raping her. He went to police to give his version of events. He was interviewed under caution but not arrested.

Officers studied CCTV footage and found nothing to support Hoofe's story, and witnesses did not support her allegation. She was interviewed under caution and initially maintained her story but later admitted she had been lying.

She pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The court heard that Hoofe had consensual sex with the man but claimed she had been raped so the father of her two youngest children would get back together with her.

Richard Dawson, defending, said she never intended the false allegation be brought to police attention. Her mother overheard her arguing with her partner about the rape claim and without Hoofe's knowledge rang police.

'Hoofe did not know how to extricate herself from the situation and made this ludicrous suggestion,'he said.

Detective Sergeant Nigel Rigby, of Wigan CID, said: 'This web of lies could have had dire consequences for Hoofe's alleged attackers. The stigma of being accused of an awful sex attack is not easy to shake off.

'For somebody to make up a story and falsely claim they have been raped completely undermines genuine victims.'

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Admin says: I have nothing but absolute contempt for women everywhere who falsely accuse a man of rape.  To even consider such an evil act undermines the women who genuinely are the victims of rape and sexual assault. I believe that women who are convicted of falsely accusing someone of rape should be treated in the same manner as sex offenders - they must be placed on a register, as I think it is only fair that people have the right to know that someone they could be getting involved with, has the potential to tell such wicked lies, which can destroy lives. Maybe that would make women think twice before they do it.

I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".

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Former boarding school head found dead on the eve of his trial for alleged sex offences on young boys

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:39 AM on 9th May 2010

A former head of care at a boarding school has been found dead on the eve of his trial for alleged sex offences on young boys more than 30 years ago.

David Harris was found dead in bed at his home in Plymouth after police forced their way inside.

Officers were asked to go to Mr Harris's home in the city after being contacted last Tuesday by colleagues in Hertfordshire.

Luton Crown Court

David Harris had been due to appear at Luton Crown Court. He was found dead at his home on the eve of his trial

The 63-year-old had been due to appear at Luton Crown Court on that day for his trial accused of sexual offences on five boys, aged around seven and eight.

The alleged crimes were said to have taken place between 1972 and 1990 at Stevenage's Hilltop Special Boarding School for children.

When Mr Harris failed to arrive at court, a bench warrant was issued by Judge Richard Foster not backed for bail, with the hope that Mr Davies attend the trial the following day.

However, on Wednesday, the news reached the court that police who had entered his home in Knighton Road had discovered a body.

Judge Foster then adjourned the case until Friday when prosecutor Ann Evans told the court the man had been identified as Mr Harris.

The court heard a post mortem is to be held to establish how Mr Harris died.

Mr Harris was in bed when police found him, but Mrs Evans said no suicide note had been found.

While a letter was found nearby Mr Harris's body, Mrs Evans said it was written to a neighbour explaining he was going to be away for a while while in court.

If the trial had gone ahead, Mrs Evans said she was expecting five men, now in their 30s and 40s, to testify against Mr Harris.

All five men had been pupils at had been at the boarding school for pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties when they claim they were sexually abused by Mr Harris.

Mrs Evans said: 'All five had been prepared to come to court.'

Mr Harris faced 30 charges alleging he had carried out serious sex offences and acts of indecency on the boys.

The boys' school has now closed.

Mr Harris, who was not married, joined the school in 1972 and eventually became head of care.

He lived in a flat in the school grounds near a dormitory where the boys slept, and was responsible for the care and welfare of the students when they were not in the classroom.

Mr Harris had been due to plead not guilty to all the charges at Luton Crown Court last week.

On Friday Mrs Evans said as a result of his death, the indictment against Mr Harris had no legal effect.

Judge Foster agreed and ordered the file on the case should be closed.

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Admin says: If this man was innocent, then this is an absolute tragedy. If he was guilty of the abuse that he is alleged to have been a part of against those children, then on the bright side, it's one less trial that the public has to fund.

I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".
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