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This is East Midlands Today with Anne Davies and Dominic Heale. Out
top story tonight. Our mother is clear of killing her baby. Jodie
Pick solved as a jury acquitted her of deliberately shaking her
daughter to death. The last six months has been the worst period.
Plus justice catches up with the paedophile who went on the run for
13 years. Also, how the government hopes to
get our children more active this summer.
And from cooking to boxing - the new contender promising a sweet
victory. I am going to knock him out.
A very good evening. Welcome to Thursday's programme. We start
tonight with the news that police are investigating allegations of
physical and sexual abuse at a Children's home in Nottinghamshire.
Former residents have taken legal advice after making claims that
they were abused by staff and other residents during the 80s and early
90s. Our reporter at Geeta Pendse is here now.
What information do we have? Police have confirmed they are
investigating six allegations of physical and sexual abuse at the
former beechwood Children's home in Mapperley. They are alleged to have
taken place in the 80s and 90s. Police were contacted by a firm of
solicitors acting on behalf of the complainers. Uppal Taylor
Solicitors saved 11 former residents have approached them for
legal advice in the last year. They claim whilst staying at the care
home, they suffered abuse ranging from bullying, maltreatment and
sexual violence. We understand their home has closed in 2006, and
Nottinghamshire City Council are working with other agencies to
insure a full investigation is undertaken. Police say they are in
the alleys stages of the inquiry and no arrests have been made.
A mother has been found not guilty of the manslaughter of her baby
daughter. Jodie Pick from Leicester worked as the verdict was announced.
She has described the last 26 months as the worst of her life.
Helen Astle was in court today. Good evening, Helen. It is now more
than two years since Courtenay died, but today after a lengthy trial we
now have answers. The baby was born prematurely aged just seven weeks,
and was not deliberately shaken to death by her mother. It has been an
emotional and very sad trial. At the heart of the case, a baby dead
at the age of seven weeks. Her mother, 24-year-old Jodie Pick,
admitted shaking had, but did she do it deliberately? Miss Pick cried
as she told the jury that Courtney was accidentally strangled by her
bid. Upon finding hair, she said she shook her to try to revive her.
Miss Pick's harrowing 999 call was played to the court. She told the
operator, my baby is dead. Today after deliberating for more than
six hours, the jury accepted Jody's version of events, and she was
found not guilty. As the verdict was read out, she held her head in
her hands and sobbed. Afterwards, and a barrister spoke on her behalf.
The last 26 months has been the worst period of her life. Not only
has Jodi had to face criminal proceedings, but for many months
she could not make court need to rest. Subsequently she has had to
deal with the knowledge that her child, and the body of her child,
has undergone repeated examination. During this whole period, Jodie has
been unable to grieve or to come to terms with her loss. Well that
statement was being read out, Jodi clutched a photograph album. She
has now asked to be left alone to grieve in peace.
Two social workers in Leicestershire have been dismissed
after a series of errors made in the care of a baby girl attacked by
her father. The child was injured by Izaak Whitlock -- Zak Whitlock,
who had a history of domestic violence. REVIEW by the county
council find he had been allowed to return to the family home despite
warnings he was a risk. Two social workers have been dismissed and
another given a formal warning. A number of workers at British
Sugar in the yet are to be balloted over industrial action. The night
union has rejected a pay offer for 3.5%. A British Sugar spokesman
said the company had worked hard for what it said was a fair and
reasonable offer. Members of the GMB have already accepted 3.5%.
Still to come. Useful keep their fate advice or another example of
the nanny state? These children are following the government's
Change4Life programme. We will be asking the Health Secretary what
our livestock is to do with him. And it is all downhill for the
weekend, with heavy rain and strong winds.
Before all that, a sharp drop in crime figures across the East
Midlands. The latest Home Office figures are good news for
Nottinghamshire. The county has been tackling one of
the country's highest crime rates, but now the force's figures are
improving faster than anywhere else. Crime figures have been a touchy
subject in Nottinghamshire four years. It used to beat the burglary
hotspot, and the force's record has been criticised. Things are turning
round. Nottinghamshire police had that
country's largest drop in crime last year. That all important
burglary federalists down by 19% it is now lower than nine other areas.
This is confirmed by separate figures from the British crime
Survey. The police think this is what has
made the difference - an operation targeting drug dealers in
Nottinghamshire. Those arrests and confiscations have prompted an
increase in drug offences. We are resting far more people in
possession of good quantities of Class A drugs. Not just cannabis.
There is an absolute link between drug arrests and seizures going up,
and crime going down. We are reducing the opportunity to steal
property, turn it into drug money and buy drugs.
Nottinghamshire police say there are not complacent. The crime rate
is still above the national average. But today's figures are powerful
evidence things are moving in the right direction.
A grandfather who went on the run for 13 years to evade child
pornography charges was finally jailed today.
David Taylor was sentenced to three years after admitting possessing
thousands of indecent images of young children. Sarah Teale is at
Leicester Crown Court. Good evening. Taylor thought that
by fleeing thousands of miles away he was out of the sight and mind of
Leicestershire police. He changed his identity, and continued his
criminal activity. But he could not avoid facing the consequences of
his actions for ever. David Taylor evaded justice for 13
years. But today, it caught up with him. He skipped bail and fled to
Thailand after being arrested for back in 1998. Police have raided
his home and it found thousands of indecent images of children,
ranging in age from 18 months to 12 years. Police officers who worked
on the case received a letter from him saying he could not come back,
because the stress would kill his elderly mother. Whilst in Thailand
he assumed another identity. I believe he found employment
teaching and he continued to consumer and a quiet child abuse
imagery. In that period we have never given up looking for him.
fact, Taylor admitted possessing another 3,700 images of children
during his time in Thailand. For 66 -- the 66-year-old was arrested
last December and spent three months in a Thai prison before
being extradited back to England this March. The message is clear.
We would encourage people to seek help. If they do not, we will seek
them out. No matter how long it takes. Mr Taylor thought he would
escape justice. We find him and to be brought him back to book. Taylor
admitted 45 counts involving 7,500 indecent images, and he asked for
another five counts involving almost more than 4,000 images to be
taken into account. Taylor's defence solicitor said any remorse
he felt was more to do with the fight he had ended up in custody
rather than because of the consequences for his victims. The
judge told him that the offences were so serious, if only way of
dealing him -- dealing with him was by punishing him. He sentenced him
to three months -- three years in prison for.
A cleaning products from has been ordered to pay fines and costs
totalling �23,000 after a stacker truck fall foul on an employee. He
suffered a fractured cheekbone in the incident and Unic International.
He was in hospital for ten days and off-white for three months. The
Health and Safety Executive prosecuted the company for
breaching regulations. Police are investigating thefts at
a war memorial at Victoria Park in Leicester. Flowers have been stolen
or vandalised of the past few weeks. The council is having to replace
them. Over the last few weeks we have had the plants pulled up,
damaged, and stolen from this area. It is a sacred area for the war
dead on the park, so it is upsetting for people who come in
and spend some time and think about their relatives. These plants have
been pulled up wantonly for no reason.
The Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of, say the loss of jobs at
Bombardier a could cost the economy more than �1 billion. The train
maker missed out on a contract to build carriages for Thameslink. The
Chamber of Commerce is predicting the cutting of 14,000 jobs at the
factory could lead to that loss. They are calling on the Transport
Secretary to prove how the decision is best value for taxpayers.
Yesterday the government said the decision could not be reversed.
costs which have been announced by Bombardier in terms of the loss of
jobs probably will cost the economy at least �1 billion. So the net
figure is a cost to the taxpayer of �400 million to start off with.
You are watching East Midlands Today. A government campaign to get
children more active this summer has begun here in the East Midlands.
The latest change for -- the Change4Life campaign aims to
promote sporting -- sport in schools. The mission is to combat
obesity by getting youngsters We believe that prevention is
better than cure... A message from the top. Launching this summer's
Change4Life campaign. They say it is not about the nanny state and
Baltic -- bossing people about. It is about giving people the facts to
make good choices. If you want to do things like buy is more
trampoline or switch to low-fat foods, that is pretty simple, and
through the voucher books, people will be able to do that. They will
be able to improve their diet and save money. Inspectors dropped in
for the first sports games to get children more active. I have never
really been that into sport but am now. We have not won any yet but we
have got better and better. Change for Life campaigns have survived
government cuts. I met one teacher who is worried about changes to the
way sport is being delivered in schools. Primary schools have been
able to liaise with secondary schools roost -- Sports
partnerships and we have had funding for that to happen, but as
from now, July, that funding is going and School Sports
partnerships in their present form will know longer exist. If an
Olympic gold medallist was on hand to inspire and with a confession.
That he virtually stopped exercising for six years after
retiring. In terms of the survey, would not have qualified as an
active person, which has a bit embarrassing. I played golf, but it
does not really count. With the holidays just around the corner, it
is a timely advice. A Leicester man has found a novel
way of cleaning the environment while making some money. Adrian
Ablett scours Leicester and he picks up cans which she then
recycles at his local supermarket. As you can see, there has been
quite a bit of drinking down here. Midi Adrian Ablett. He is a
definition of can do. -- meet Adrian Abbott. I come home from
work, get changed and collect my adapted wheelie bin. I go out and
have a walk around and collect cans normally for about three hours in
an evening. He has adapted his been to collect the cans and realising
there is money in metal, he cashes them in and get points on his
loyalty card at his supermarket. saw a way of earning myself a bit
of extra money and trying to clean up my local area as well. As a one-
man band I go round during the evening after I have finished my
normal paid job. Normal people are really impressed with what he is
doing. I think it is very commendable. I am surprised more
people don't get involved. I think the majority of people want to do
their bit. Sometimes they don't know how. Adrian got off his feet
and took it a stage further and went out there of his own accord.
He knows it makes a difference and that is why he is so enthusiastic
about it. He aims to collect 20,000 cans in the next few months and has
even bigger plans in the next year. There are some good people out
there! Doing worthwhile stuff. used to be able to get money for
the lemonade bottles. You don't get them any more, do you? Money for
cancer, money for bottles. Money for old rope! -- money for cans.
The first, the news Nottingham Forest have been waiting for. We
understand Fulham midfielder, Jonathan Greening, is about to
undergo a medical for the Reds. The 32-year-old worked with new boss
Steve McLaren at Manchester United, who followed him when he took
charge at Middlesbrough. No deal has been done yet but it looks like
it will happen tomorrow. The news will come as a relief to many
Forest supporters, who were worried about the lack of transfer activity
at the City Ground ahead of the new season.
Leicester Tigers have completed the signing of former Sale centre
Mathew Tait. In 2005, he became England's second youngest post-war
player, behind a certain Jonny Wilkinson. But he is arriving in
Leicester with a real point to prove.
Twenty-five years old, 38 England caps and one World Cup. Mathew Tait
is already one of rugby's high- achievers. I have lots of things I
want to achieve in my rugby career. A title for the club, and that was
the future than about coming to a club like Leicester, so I can help
them become a great success as they have been. He spent most of last
season injured and lost his place in the England team, though. I have
been very fortunate to have played on a few occasions now. Having
played on a breakaway and with the loss of form and injuries last year,
this is a chance for me to start fresh. He is a young man and
everybody forget that. He has had a mixed international career in the
way that he has never really cemented down his spot even though
he has played many games. We are delighted to have him with us. In
December and, we think we can get the best out of him. But you only
have to remind yourself of him in an England shirt to see he is a
rare talent. The Leicester Tigers might just have a gem.
Now, the remarkable story of a boxer escaped the gangs of Jamaica
to fight for a British and Commonwealth title. Ovil McKenzie
was forced to leave home at 13 and make money selling food on the
streets. For the last six years, he has lived in a hotel room in Derby,
but says his life experiences have left him hungry for success. Mark
Shardlow has been's to meet him. This is what it is like to meet one
of Britain's top boxes. But behind this is a tough story. Ovil's Derby
home is tiny. Two hotel rooms in the staff quarters. This is more
than comfortable for me. Caribbean food, chicken, rice. Any Caribbean
food. Ovil got a love of cooking on the streets. By 13, he had to leave
home, sleep on floors, earn some money. If I had been going to
school, I was by my own uniform and shoes. He cooked in the markets of
Kingston in Jamaica. He now uses the hotel banqueting kitchen to
make his favourite chicken dish, which he eats every night, and his
fame ate carrot juice. He started boxing on the streets, turning his
back on gang culture. Every Friday night, somebody came to three of my
mates. People watched us tearing each other apart. He patrolled his
neighbourhood each night and eventually escaped to move to Great
Britain, and six years ago, to Derby. I think maybe I would have
been imprisoned or died if I hadn't come here. He supplements his
income with boxing and regularly sends gifts home to the Caribbean.
From shoes to car parks. This weekend could be his biggest pay-
day. Entrance to win the Commonwealth and heavyweight title.
We really want him to win after watching that. What an amazing guy.
On to golf, and Lee Westwood continues his hunt for his first
ever major title. The world number two at teed off just after 2pm this
afternoon at the Open championships at Royal St George's. But he had a
nightmare start, dropping three shots. Thankfully, he has recovered
to one over par with two to play. Finally, cricket, and Alex Hales
has been given his county cap. The 22-year-old is a real rise in star.
Nottinghamshire have drawn their championship match with Somerset
while there was a Wii good win for Derbyshire, beating Glamorgan by
186 runs. That is all the sport on the day when we met Ovil McKenzie.
What do a guy! Fabulous. A reality TV takes on a bit of it was this
evening in a documentary featuring a class of eight and nine-year-olds
from Leicester. Humberstone Junior School, after a
lot of heart-searching, agreed to allow a Class 4FF, I think that is
some of them behind us, to be featured, and everybody agrees the
results have been hugely beneficial to not only the parents and
teachers, but most especially to the pupils.
Here each year in British primary schools, at least three weeks of
teaching time is lost. The reason - the poor behaviour of children in
class. Only three years ago, this school
was put into special measures. Their next step is to reach
outstanding. They have done incredibly well. But everybody here
agrees that this project is one of the best things they have ever done.
I think everybody who works with children or has got children has
got something to learn. We learnt so much about how we work and how
children are. I think everybody could watch this and learn
something, definitely. This is the very famous Class 4FF. Hello!
don't have school uniform one because it is almost the end of
term, and we must explain, everybody has been having a bit of
a party. But we wanted to speak to you to see how filming was. Who
shall we start with? What was it like being filmed all the time?
was quite nervous and when they first came in, we were all laughing.
You saw the microphones hanging down and you saw the cameras and
staff. It was really freaky! It was a bit weird. A bit weird? Yes.
is nice to see the children in the cars and how different they are at
school. If they did it again next year, yes. It was worth it? Yes.
There is editor of the end of the film where they say, would you do
it again? And I say that I would do it every year with a different
class of children. And I probably would.
They were great. Hebden Bridge are so cool. They have so much
confidence. -- Class 4FF. It will be a real insight.
Let's go to somebody now who I am sure has never been in the naughty
corner in her life! I think I have had one a black mark and I think I
might get another one when you see I think we lost the sunshine a
little bit this afternoon. We have got a lovely picture to show you
from Nancy. Thank you for that. Please keep your pictures coming in.
We have still got quite a bit of cloud with us at the moment and it
could be thick enough at times just to produce the odd light shower
this evening. They do it then start to die away. We then hold on to the
clearer skies as well. A minimum to and from nine degrees and in towns
and cities, more like 11 or 12 degrees overnight. A dry start
first thing tomorrow morning and a bit of sunshine. Quite different
from this morning. It will start to change by the afternoon and we will
start to see the cloud increasing again, and just the odd chance of a
rogue shower. But it will be a warmer day. The wind is coming from
the south-west and temperatures will reach a maximum of 23 degrees
Celsius. The rain is around, a bit delayed coming in, but it will be
with us Friday into Saturday. Low- pressure starts to come in across
the country as well, so the rain becoming heavier as the second
weather front goes through in the first -- in the second part of
Saturday morning. As one band clears out of the way, we will be
left with very strong winds into Saturday. Sunday will remain
blustery as well and we will have a heavy showers. As those winds
remain pretty blustery, we have the chance of a few thunderstorms on
Monday. But they will move through quite quickly.
Crikey! Just before we go, good news for thousands of staff at
Derbyshire-based retailer Sports Direct. They have been awarded more
than �40,000 each in shares. They hit their targets for a second year