28/01/2013 Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire


28/01/2013

Has the man convicted of murdering Molly Wright suffered a miscarriage of justice? The financial state of the region's rugby league clubs. And remembering the Lincolnshire floods.


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Transcript


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Good evening. Welcome to the programme. Tonight we are in

:00:22.:00:27.

Castleford. Here is what is on the show. The family torn apart by

:00:27.:00:33.

murder. We investigate whether new evidence could point to a

:00:33.:00:38.

miscarriage of justice. There is new evidence, things that the

:00:38.:00:44.

defence were not aware of at the doubt -- at the time, that cast

:00:44.:00:53.

serious doubt on this conviction. As fans get ready for the start of

:00:53.:01:03.
:01:03.:01:04.

the Rugby league season we look at a financial health check. The seas

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swamped community after community wreaking devastation right along

:01:09.:01:15.

the North Sea coast. And we remember the dramatic east coast

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:01:25.:01:28.

floods, 60 years on. Four years ago a trader from this market was

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jailed for the murder of his mother-in-law. The family are still

:01:35.:01:40.

fighting to clear his name. A private investigator hired by the

:01:40.:01:47.

family believes he has uncovered important new evidence. This is

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Castleford, at the heart of what used to be mining country. It is a

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busy and bustling kind of place but a story unfolded here that turned

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into a terrible tragedy. Seven years ago, Maxine Hill had plenty

:02:08.:02:13.

of reasons to enjoy life. She had a close family, and a good job as a

:02:13.:02:18.

teacher. Then, out of the blue, everything changed. Maxine's mother,

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Molly Wright, was found murdered at her home. She'd been battered to

:02:22.:02:32.
:02:32.:02:33.

death. I felt as though I could not speak, I could not respond. It was

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just a huge, huge shock. Maxine had lost her mother in terrible

:02:37.:02:40.

circumstances. But then things got even worse - her husband David was

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arrested and unanimously convicted of Molly's murder. There were gasps

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from the public gallery and his wife and family were left in tears.

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It was devastating. To lose my mother in those circumstances and

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then have that. I cannot describe how awful it was. She does not

:03:11.:03:15.

think her husband is guilty and it is not just her, it is her sister

:03:15.:03:22.

and her in-laws as well. I could not have wished for a better

:03:22.:03:27.

brother-in-law. He is very, very gentle. He is not that person who

:03:27.:03:35.

could do such a thing to my mum. The legal team still have strong

:03:35.:03:43.

doubts. The doubts have not been allayed as far as I personally am

:03:43.:03:53.
:03:53.:03:57.

concerned. What we now no need to be taken into account. The family

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turned to a private detective - Andrew Brown, who used to be head

:04:00.:04:03.

of West Yorkshire Police CID. He's done his own investigation, and

:04:03.:04:05.

he's found new evidence suggesting the wrong man could have been

:04:05.:04:12.

convicted of Molly's murder. more you look at it, things that

:04:12.:04:17.

the defence were not aware of at the time, the cast serious doubts

:04:17.:04:22.

on the conviction. Maxine and David Hill have been married for twenty

:04:22.:04:26.

years. They always saw a lot of Maxine's mother, Molly, who lived

:04:26.:04:28.

nearby. They went on holiday together. David became a partner in

:04:28.:04:31.

his mother-in-law's greeting cards and gifts business at Castleford

:04:31.:04:33.

Market. Non-one ever saw any problems between David and his

:04:33.:04:43.
:04:43.:04:43.

mother-in-law. He could never do enough for people. He was always

:04:43.:04:48.

very kind and helpful. Then in September 2006, Molly was found

:04:48.:04:58.
:04:58.:04:58.

murdered at her home. David said that he came to the house on the

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Wednesday afternoon and found Molly on the kitchen floor. She had been

:05:04.:05:10.

battered around the head. He immediately called the emergency

:05:10.:05:14.

services and when the ambulance and police arrived that was the

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discovery of Molly's murder. David Hill was convicted largely on the

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basis of forensic evidence. At his trial, it was stated by the

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prosecution that the type of blood spots on his clothes could only

:05:25.:05:33.

have been caused if he'd been Molly's attacker. David did have a

:05:33.:05:40.

motive. He owed around �20,000 on credit cards and his mother-in-law

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was a wealthy woman. The family said there was nothing unusual at

:05:47.:05:52.

the time of Molly's murder and about David's finances. Before he

:05:52.:05:55.

knew he was a suspect, Hill gave false information about where he'd

:05:55.:05:58.

been earlier that afternoon, and there were suggestions he'd been

:05:58.:06:01.

taking money out of the business without Molly knowing, all evidence

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which appeared to go against him at his trial One mystery was never

:06:04.:06:07.

solved. How did Hill get rid of the murder weapon, which must have been

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a blunt object? Despite extensive police searches, it was never found.

:06:13.:06:15.

Since Hill's trial, the interpretation of the forensic

:06:15.:06:20.

evidence has been called into question. His legal team claim it's

:06:20.:06:25.

been seriously undermined. The jury was told that the kind of blood

:06:25.:06:28.

spotting on Hill's clothes meant he had to be the killer. But now, a

:06:28.:06:37.

leading expert on blood stains disagrees. The defendant explained

:06:37.:06:43.

to the police that he had got very bloody hands and on and number of

:06:43.:06:47.

occasions shook his hands vigorously up and down his body to

:06:47.:06:53.

try and get the blood off. The blood spots that one sees are

:06:53.:06:57.

certainly not inconsistent with what might be called innocent

:06:57.:07:06.

action. Forensic evidence was central to the prosecution case. If

:07:06.:07:10.

they had heard contrary evidence at that time and it had been available

:07:10.:07:16.

to be considered there is a real prospect they might have made a

:07:16.:07:21.

different decision. Hill's legal team believe this new evidence

:07:21.:07:24.

could have led the jury to a different verdict. And now Andrew

:07:24.:07:26.

Brown has uncovered new evidence which places an alternative suspect

:07:26.:07:29.

near the scene of the crime, someone whose motive could have

:07:29.:07:38.

been robbery. New witnesses have come forward who have said there

:07:38.:07:43.

were people collecting drugs at all times of the day outside Molly's

:07:43.:07:48.

house. One of these new witnesses, who doesn't want to be identified,

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says drug dealing happened all the time. There were always people

:07:56.:08:03.

stood waiting, cars parked opposite. I did actually see people going

:08:03.:08:08.

across with cash and paying it to people sat in the car. And there's

:08:08.:08:11.

another new witness, who wasn't interviewed by police. She saw an

:08:11.:08:18.

alternative suspect near Molly's home just after she was murdered.

:08:18.:08:21.

She saw a man standing just round the corner on the afternoon of the

:08:21.:08:26.

murder. He was holding a plastic bag, which seemed to contain a

:08:26.:08:29.

heavy object. It could solve the mystery of what happened to the

:08:29.:08:38.

murder weapon. This witness asked as to disguise her appearance and

:08:38.:08:43.

voice. "He was just stood there. The thing that struck me as odd was

:08:43.:08:46.

the way he was holding the carrier bag. It looked like it was wrapped

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around an object. I've never seen him again. There's no doubt in my

:08:50.:09:00.
:09:00.:09:01.

mind that he wasn't David Hill." The sighting was at 3 o'clock and

:09:01.:09:09.

the Sun and Lobbe did not arrive until half past belief. -- the son-

:09:09.:09:14.

in-law of. This sighting backs up information from another witness

:09:14.:09:16.

given to the police during their initial investigation that a man

:09:16.:09:20.

with a bag had been seen near the scene of the crime. The family say

:09:20.:09:23.

cash and rings belonging to Molly have never been found. West

:09:23.:09:26.

Yorkshire Police have looked at the issues raised by Andrew Brown, but

:09:26.:09:28.

say they've found nothing significant, and there's nothing to

:09:28.:09:37.

warrant re-opening the case. Up until now it David Hill has been

:09:37.:09:47.
:09:47.:09:53.

refused leave to appeal. The CCRC has refused to take up his case.

:09:53.:09:59.

Maxine says she'll never give up. Now, a new attempt will be made to

:09:59.:10:02.

get the case referred to the Appeal Court. For Molly and David's

:10:02.:10:05.

relatives, life has to go on but, at family celebrations, two people

:10:05.:10:08.

are missing. Sadly, they know Molly's gone forever, but they're

:10:08.:10:17.

still hoping that David will return. Of course we will let you know what

:10:17.:10:21.

happens and whether the family succeed in getting D Case looked at

:10:21.:10:29.

again. Still to come tonight: Six years after the floods that

:10:29.:10:39.
:10:39.:10:42.

devastated the east coast we ask if it could happen again. When it

:10:42.:10:47.

comes to sport there is only one game in town here and it is not

:10:47.:10:53.

football. It is the Rugby league. This is a vital and here as the

:10:53.:10:59.

World Cup comes to the UK. There are fears however over the finances

:10:59.:11:09.
:11:09.:11:22.

of our clubs. We asked our reporter For me Rugby league sums up

:11:22.:11:27.

everything that is great about sport. It is fast, furious and

:11:27.:11:34.

physical. It can be physical. When I came off of the court -- the

:11:34.:11:41.

pitch it was in a bit of a mess. There are three or four teams doing

:11:41.:11:47.

particularly well, three or four doing poorly and some that struggle

:11:47.:11:55.

to wash their face financially. With as many headlines being made

:11:55.:12:01.

off the field as on it, 2012 was not necessarily a season to write

:12:01.:12:07.

home about. Will this one be any better. The last few months have

:12:07.:12:13.

seen two teams almost caught out of business so I am going to test the

:12:13.:12:20.

mood and health of the game in this vital World Cup year. Starting at

:12:20.:12:25.

Craven Park where only 12 months ago the Rovers chair man issued a

:12:25.:12:31.

dire warning for the sport. This man does not mince his words, last

:12:31.:12:41.
:12:41.:12:53.

spring he said the game was We live be on our means and did for

:12:54.:12:59.

a variety of reasons. We have people who have a position in the

:12:59.:13:07.

community, the club as important to In Super League, the teams have a

:13:07.:13:09.

three-year franchise giving stability within the top flight of

:13:09.:13:13.

the game. There's no promotion or relegation and the TV money is

:13:13.:13:23.
:13:23.:13:25.

divided equally between the 14 Unlike football, and to avoid a

:13:25.:13:28.

financial arms race, there's a salary cap on players wages, but

:13:28.:13:30.

rather than encouraging prudency, we've seen problems at Bradford,

:13:30.:13:33.

Salford and Wakefield If some clubs are spending more money than they

:13:33.:13:36.

make, should the salary cap be reduced from its current level of

:13:36.:13:46.

�1.65 million? There are growing attendances at grounds. There were

:13:46.:13:49.

strong viewing figures on television, but fundamental

:13:49.:13:58.

problems remain. Some even suggest a cull of Super League teams from

:13:58.:14:08.
:14:08.:14:10.

14 down to 12 or 10. Enter town might Castleford, fancy you have

:14:10.:14:15.

every right to wonder what the future might bring. It is the small

:14:15.:14:20.

town clubs which should be most vulnerable in a slimmed-down Super

:14:20.:14:24.

League. 20 miles down the M62, the Leeds Rhinos have much to feel

:14:24.:14:27.

positive about - Super League champions and a club that's well

:14:27.:14:30.

run both on and off the turf, so what do they make of the problems

:14:30.:14:38.

facing the game? The prop up on the field has never been better, that

:14:38.:14:43.

struck -- the crowd to a strong. The game was as good as it has ever

:14:43.:14:48.

been. We do want that overshadowed by incompetence at club level and

:14:48.:14:52.

that is what we have seen. We need to bigger selves of that poor

:14:52.:14:57.

management. All clubs have a responsibility under Boult to play.

:14:57.:15:02.

The majority of clubs are working very hard and making a contribution.

:15:02.:15:12.
:15:12.:15:16.

Some of the others have let the For those who watch the game

:15:16.:15:24.

closely, the ups and downs of 2012 have been alarming to watch. Rugby

:15:25.:15:31.

league has had its difficulties. What we have experienced in the

:15:31.:15:35.

last 12 months, is that any worse than what we have seen before?

:15:35.:15:39.

People have been predicting the death of rugby league from the word

:15:39.:15:44.

go. Time after time digging has proved them wrong. It is a very

:15:44.:15:49.

resilient sport. Now is slightly different to how the game was in

:15:49.:15:55.

the past. Not only are the other sports are much stronger, but the

:15:55.:16:01.

demands and other people's time is greater as well. And people's

:16:01.:16:05.

houses are like home entertainment centres nowadays and it is

:16:05.:16:13.

difficult to get people out into Rugby league's support base is

:16:13.:16:16.

legendary and in this BBC documentary from 1969 you can feel

:16:16.:16:26.
:16:26.:16:29.

the passion. Come on! Get hold of him! The game's come a long way

:16:29.:16:33.

since the days of Eddie Waring and mud-baths in winter, but finance

:16:33.:16:38.

within the sport has always been a worry. So, to try and understand

:16:38.:16:41.

the state of the modern game, Inside Out has asked a sports

:16:41.:16:44.

finance expert to look at the books of the current set of Super League

:16:44.:16:50.

teams. A detailed look at the balances sheets of 11 of the

:16:50.:16:55.

league's 14 clubs reveals debts in excess of �60 million. There are

:16:55.:17:00.

too many clubs in the league generating insufficient turnover

:17:00.:17:05.

and debt. That alarms me as somebody who looks at finance and

:17:05.:17:10.

researchers these things. Using a term like rugby league is staring

:17:10.:17:15.

at a financial abyss I don't think is too harsh to say. A I disagree

:17:15.:17:20.

with that. The game is in good health. Like every sport we have

:17:20.:17:25.

our challenges, but the governing body is working very hard to meet

:17:25.:17:30.

them. We have an regulatory regime that allows clubs to be profitable.

:17:30.:17:37.

The work as close as you possibly can put those that aren't. Rugby

:17:37.:17:40.

league's problems are, of course, dwarfed by those in football, but

:17:40.:17:42.

later this week the Super League will kick-off without a main

:17:42.:17:46.

sponsor in place. Other revenues may boost Super League's finances,

:17:46.:17:52.

but at the moment new cash is coming from some unlikely sources.

:17:52.:17:55.

Salford could find themselves being one of the wealthiest clubs with a

:17:55.:18:03.

takeover by a millionaire racehorse owner. It will be a positive note

:18:03.:18:06.

after a wretched last few months, which has seen the club facing

:18:06.:18:09.

winding-up orders after the taxman and two former players chased

:18:09.:18:14.

unpaid debts. It's the players' viewpoint that I've sought at the

:18:14.:18:18.

end of my journey. With its shiny new stadium, St Helens is a

:18:18.:18:22.

testament to rugby league in the 21st century. Built for �30 million,

:18:22.:18:26.

it can hold 18,000 fans and here they feel the game still has a

:18:26.:18:34.

distinct and robust future. But for the players these are uncertain

:18:34.:18:36.

times, with the average playing career lasting just four years and

:18:36.:18:46.
:18:46.:18:48.

an average salary of �60,000. fear for youth -- you fear for the

:18:48.:18:52.

financial security of your family. This is not sure investment

:18:52.:18:56.

portfolio, this is your mortgage being paid, the basics of day-to-

:18:57.:19:01.

day life. That positive message is echoed by the Rugby Football League,

:19:01.:19:05.

who say they are working hard to combat debt in the sport. With the

:19:05.:19:08.

spotlight on the game in its World Cup year, all within rugby league

:19:08.:19:18.
:19:18.:19:23.

would agree that the problems of Later this week a special memorial

:19:23.:19:27.

service takes place in miniature German go one of the worst natural

:19:27.:19:35.

disasters ever seen in the country. 60 years ago the East Coast floods

:19:35.:19:38.

devastated the local community. Paul Hutton has been to meet some

:19:38.:19:42.

people who can remember those events and asks whether could ever

:19:42.:19:47.

happen again. Time might heal the scars, but the

:19:47.:19:50.

pain of what happened on the East Coast 60 years ago goes far beyond

:19:50.:19:54.

the damage to brick and mortar. It was a storm so savage, it's deadly

:19:54.:20:03.

impact still reverberates around the community today. Back in those

:20:03.:20:07.

days the a authorities were can place to be able to respond. People

:20:07.:20:13.

didn't know what to do, where to go. Those of us who came out of it were

:20:13.:20:18.

grateful that we did. It's a sharp winter's day in

:20:18.:20:21.

Sutton-on-Sea and 81-year-old Bud Shields is in a hurry to get back

:20:21.:20:26.

into the warm. More than most, he's aware of the lethal dangers of the

:20:26.:20:29.

biting North Sea wind. Over the next few hours, the harrowing

:20:29.:20:32.

experiences he is about to recount to the towns schoolchildren might

:20:32.:20:42.
:20:42.:20:50.

chill one or two to the bone. Hello! 31st January, 1953, a long

:20:50.:20:57.

time ago, before you were born. I was there. I actually saw it happen.

:20:57.:21:04.

I can tell you what it is like to be in a flood. Bud was one of lucky

:21:04.:21:06.

ones surviving the most devastating floods this country has ever

:21:06.:21:10.

experienced. He wants to make sure his story and those of some of the

:21:10.:21:20.
:21:20.:21:22.

victims are never forgotten. I saw all parts of the town just collapse.

:21:22.:21:27.

I just saw a massive foam of white water. No-one realised how

:21:27.:21:31.

disastrous it was going to be. people died here in Lincolnshire

:21:31.:21:34.

and 307 elsewhere along the coast as a terrifying combination of high

:21:34.:21:36.

seas, fierce winds and inadequate coastal defences swamped community

:21:36.:21:46.
:21:46.:21:51.

after community, wreaking devastation along the North Sea.

:21:51.:21:54.

Elsie Birkett was another for whom that night's horrible memories will

:21:54.:22:03.

never be erased. What happened to us was not as bad as what happened

:22:03.:22:07.

to a lot of other people. Elsie was in Sandilands, close to where worst

:22:07.:22:09.

breaches happened. The flood waters tore through the bottom of her

:22:09.:22:12.

house and, after spending a night shivering in her bedroom, dawn

:22:12.:22:19.

broke to reveal some of her neighbours had perished. We find Mr

:22:19.:22:26.

Asher. He got his hands stuck in the branch of the tree, that had

:22:26.:22:35.

kept him above the water. We found his daughter, Thelma. Thelma died

:22:35.:22:42.

in our house. The other sister was the one who had panicked. She, her

:22:42.:22:48.

husband at the baby had gone right, and to a baby and her husband were

:22:48.:22:51.

lost. To understand how the storm happened I've come to Leeds

:22:51.:22:53.

University, where climatologist Professor Stephen Mobbs has been

:22:53.:23:03.
:23:03.:23:04.

analysing the 1953 data. What were at the unique events? Three things

:23:04.:23:08.

came together. We had a relatively deep area of low pressure that

:23:08.:23:13.

developed over the North Sea. The low pressure over the sea sucks the

:23:13.:23:19.

water upwards. The second thing was that there was going to be an

:23:19.:23:23.

exceptionally high tide. This happens from time to time. The

:23:23.:23:29.

third effect, associated with the low pressure we had a strong

:23:29.:23:34.

northerly winds, exceptionally strong down the North Sea. That

:23:34.:23:39.

pushes a wall of water ahead of it. This piles up at the sudden end of

:23:39.:23:45.

the North Sea which has no were to go. That is when you get the

:23:45.:23:49.

largest storm surge. All three of those effects came together to

:23:49.:23:52.

create this event. Today, the heroism of how the East Coast

:23:52.:23:54.

communities came together and organised their own evacuations

:23:54.:23:57.

during the terrible deluge is setting the template for how people

:23:57.:24:07.

will need to react if such a catastrophe ever strikes again.

:24:07.:24:12.

experiences from the people from 1953 that they have shared that we

:24:12.:24:15.

have been extremely useful in terms of being able to develop

:24:15.:24:19.

educational programmes for schoolchildren, plants for the

:24:20.:24:24.

voluntary sector. The new generations have no way did that

:24:24.:24:28.

this happened. It is very important that we took some of that spoken-

:24:28.:24:36.

word history and brought it into the present. I didn't feel

:24:36.:24:40.

frightened to start what underlies all parts of the beach hotel

:24:40.:24:49.

collapse. I saw people swept away and masses of water. People care

:24:49.:24:55.

its, and helped. The Red Cross what they're handing out hot soup and

:24:55.:24:59.

cloves and accommodation. Weather forecasting and communications have

:24:59.:25:04.

improved beyond recognition in the past half-century. The systems

:25:04.:25:06.

simply weren't sophisticated enough to predict exactly what would

:25:06.:25:12.

happen in 1953. But the power of nature can never be truly predicted

:25:12.:25:15.

and when a catastrophe occurs the emergency services can't be

:25:15.:25:25.
:25:25.:25:31.

everywhere at once. Where we are now would have been four feet deep

:25:31.:25:36.

in water. Imagine trying to reach higher ground in those stormy

:25:36.:25:42.

conditions. At night time you have no landmarks. It would have been

:25:42.:25:46.

terrifying. You can see the height of the beach compared to the

:25:46.:25:53.

community. We just didn't up the sea defences here. Looking out

:25:53.:25:57.

across the Community, where we are standing is at the height of the

:25:57.:26:02.

houses, or even higher than the bungalows. That poses a lot of

:26:02.:26:12.
:26:12.:26:16.

risks if the sea was to come over, the need to evacuate out. Since

:26:16.:26:21.

1953 we have invested millions of pounds and sea defences. We use a

:26:21.:26:27.

soft engineering approach. That serves a very shallow gradient,

:26:27.:26:35.

which reduces the energy of the waves. It produces do reset the

:26:35.:26:45.

people in the communities. survivors of 1953 are hoping they

:26:45.:26:51.

are right. Elsie's family were so traumatised by their experience

:26:51.:26:55.

they never returned to live in their house again. There wasn't a

:26:55.:27:00.

lot of physical damage inside, but it was very dirty. My mother didn't

:27:00.:27:05.

want to go back, it frightened her. She couldn't see her she could ever

:27:05.:27:09.

be happy in there again. Back at the school, Bud's words of wisdom

:27:09.:27:15.

are hitting home. Summoned coming in he has experienced it, it makes

:27:15.:27:21.

you realise what it is like. It was fascinating, but para of the sea

:27:21.:27:27.

was so strong. I was a bit shocked at how the seat could damage that

:27:27.:27:31.

much. Storm surges as powerful as the 1953 example have occurred

:27:31.:27:35.

since that fateful day and new the defences have held them back, but

:27:35.:27:37.

the attacks will keep coming and predictions are that they are

:27:37.:27:47.
:27:47.:27:49.

likely to get worse. Sea levels are rising. It is rising quite quickly.

:27:49.:27:54.

If you start with the see them much higher to begin with, then put a

:27:54.:27:59.

storm surge and top of that and you'll get a bigger effect. We are

:27:59.:28:03.

asking communities to develop simple steps of safeguarding the

:28:03.:28:08.

Rhone communities in the short period of time but it would be from

:28:08.:28:12.

incident to the emergency services respondent. He could be anything up

:28:12.:28:18.

to three days. Anybody living in that area has to be aware that it

:28:18.:28:27.

could happen one day. They have got to look after themselves.

:28:27.:28:32.

That is it from us for tonight. If you eat -- watching in East

:28:32.:28:36.

Three stories from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Toby Foster examines the murder of Molly Wright and finds out how her family believe there has been a potential miscarriage of justice. Her son-in-law was convicted but they still believe he is innocent and have hired their own detective to investigate. Ahead of the start of the rugby league season, George Riley gives our clubs a financial health check. And Paul Hudson looks back to the devastating Lincolnshire floods of 1953 and asks could it happen again?


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