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This is East Midlands Today. Our top story tonight: Jailed
indefinitely. The couple who tortured a defenceless housemate.
Have you been tempted into the shops today a? Or have you gone
online? If you have finished your Christmas
shopping, you may need to know what the weather will be like for your
festive journey. I will have the details at the end of the programme.
Good evening. Welcome to Friday's programme. A woman and her
boyfriend have been jailed indefinitely for abusing a
vulnerable man who was set on fire and made to jump into a canal. 25-
year-old Amanda Ford was the main instigator of the abuse, getting
her housemates in Leicester to gang up on the victim. She was said to
have found the violence towards him entertaining. James Roberson
reports. A face of apparent innocence mass
in a brutal appetite for violence. Amanda Ford was one of a group of
people with learning difficulties who lived in this street. They
turned up on one of the housemates. He was forced to do the housework.
For any slip up, he was violently abused. He was beaten with weapons.
He was set on fire. His teeth were broken. He was thrown down the
stairs. They even forced him to jump in the nearby canal. After one
of these visits, he was set alight. Amanda Ford was the ringleader.
Even when the victim's brother in law reported his plight to the
police, the man was reluctant to shop is tormentors. He saw them as
his friends, not as the perpetrators of this terrible abuse.
These specialists say anyone who suspect abuse against someone with
disabilities should not be tolerated and reported to the
police. After the complaint is made to the police, that is the process
for safeguarding kicking in. women here in the middle was given
a one-year sentence. The man in the dark suit was given a 12 month
community order. Today, Amanda Ford and her boyfriend were told the big
serve a minimum of five and four years respectively. When arrested,
Amanda Ford claimed she was the most vulnerable of the house and
Aids. She knew what was happening. She was the ringleader.
Still to come on the programme: Christmas is back on for a family
whose home was destroyed by fire. In a matter of days, a whole house
has been put together by people giving us donations. It has been
wonderful for. Hospitals in the East Midlands have
closed wards to new patients as staff try to contain the spread of
the winter vomiting bug. The norovirus causes sickness and
diarrhoea. NHS managers say around 200 patients are infected and now
staff are becoming ill as well. Angelina Socci reports.
The norovirus Bagh is responsible for the closure of many hospital
wards across the East Midlands. is very infectious. The key to this
is hand-washing and to remove yourself from gatherings. If
patients have the symptoms of winter vomiting, they should stay
at home. Worst affected his Derby. Nearly 130 patients are suspected
to have the virus as well as many members of staff. In Nottingham, up
more than 40 patients have put -- have caught the virus. Glenfield
Hospital and Leicester are reporting 12 cases between them.
These special inflatable Dora's can decontaminate areas quickly. --
inflatable Dora's. If you have this virus, stay at home and drink
plenty of fluids. Coming to hospitals and visiting hospitals
should be avoided. Christmas is always busy for hospitals. Battling
the winter bark will put extra strain on the resources. -- the
winter vomiting Bach. Police are looking for a man from
Grantham, who has been missing for ten days. 46-year-old Stuart Taylor
disappeared in Market Harborough. Officers are now searching close to
the Grand Union Canal. Mr Taylor's partner has made an emotional plea
for him to return home. Simon Ward reports.
It was meant to be their first Christmas together at a new home in
Grantham. But when this couple went to an appointment in Market
Harborough on 13th December, Stewart became distressed and
disappeared. She hopes people will help if they have any information.
Please take a short time to have a look. Even if you're not sure, if
you think you see him, please contact the local police force.
number of inquiries have been undertaken since that date. That
has led us to some possible sightings in and around the Grand
Union Canal. Stewart, darling, please. I don't
know what is going through your head at the moment. I am sure you
know deep down I love you very much. Please call someone, anyone, just
to let you -- just to let's know that you are safe and well. Please
ring me so we can talk about this. Please don't leave me here for
Christmas on my own. Well, it's nearly all over for
another year. The Christmas shopping rush entered one of its
busiest phases today, with one credit card firm saying almost 33-
million transactions could be completed. But in these tough
economic times, are shoppers keeping their money where it is, or
have they been tempted by big discounts? Well, Mike O'Sullivan is
at the Highcross Centre in Leicester and can tell us more.
Welcome. This centre is open until 9pm tonight. They expect 100,000
people through the doors here today. In total, there will have been
500,000 visitors to this place over the course of the week. The
Christmas sales are in full swing. It is the season for deep
discounting. The sale started early this Christmas. How much our people
spending this year? Weir be more clever and looking for
bargains. I have spent more this year because the bargains have
tempted me. I have spent less. Definitely. The internet is
changing our shopping habits. Sales in this shop are down by 2% over
the year. But there was a 16% increase in online cells. Is this
an indicator of the future direction of retailing? This
distribution centre is half-a-mile long. It will be part of Marks and
Spencers online business. There will be 1,000 jobs next autumn when
it opens. The increase in online trading has played a part in the
closure of best buys stores. They will close next month. There is so
much competition online. You can get it much cheaper than in the
stores. A lot of places that sell electrical goods have so much
competition. It is too much to contend with.
With plenty of cars packing into the Highcross Centre, perhaps it is
too early to write off the shops? We have been delighted with the
Christmas period. Customers have come out and shot. John Lewis is
21% up this week. I expect that to continue. Some shops will be open
all day on Christmas Eve. And the sales start all over again on
Boxing Day. 90,000 people are expected you
tomorrow on Christmas Eve. Sales are up 2% year-on- year at this
shopping-centre. Are the statistics could? It is about average. If we
look at the start of the year, you would be thinking 3%. Now 1% is
reasonable. It is tough. People are getting more concerned. There are
stories about electricity and gas rising. There is less money to
spare. Is there a recession in retail? Not yet. It is just about
flat. It is the same as last year, but people are being more careful.
What our next doing right online? Online is very important. The
website for the store next is proving that. If you don't have
online service, it is very difficult for you. Are more and
more retailers going to go the same way as last sense that in the new
year? -- La Senza. More will follow, I am afraid. They are in debt and
have to pay some of that off. too early to predict the demise of
bricks and mortar shopping, however. How many new films went on release
this year? And how long would it take to watch them all? Well, this
man knows because he's sat through most of them. Later, we'll be
asking him which were the triumphs, and which the turkeys.
A family whose Leicester home was destroyed by fire earlier this week
say they've been overwhelmed by the generosity of complete strangers.
Donations of furniture, clothes and electrical goods will now make this
a Christmas to remember. And for all the right reasons. Peter Snow
reports. This family lost everything when
the house was gutted by fire at the weekend. Now they have been
rehoused by the council. People who have heard of their plight have
been sending them replacement goods. We had literally nothing. Now we
have furniture, clothes, at Television. A microwave. Everything.
One lady has given us a cheque. I have never met her. She sent the
�100. I am blown away. They have even received a Christmas tree.
lady has even wrapped up some presents for us. I can't thank
people enough. She says her faith in community spirit has been
reaffirmed. In a matter of days, a whole house has been put together
by people giving it to us. family hope to move back to their
old house in a few months. In the meantime, they are trying to decide
which of their five televisions to watch on Christmas Day.
Fantastic news. And now another heart-warming story which shows
that watching East Midlands Today can also help if you're looking for
work in these financially difficult times. Yes, the first person
recruited by a major new employer in Derby says she only heard about
the jobs on offer by watching us. And she'd been searching for work
for two years. Simon Hare reports. Wrapping up the last few presents.
But Christmas came early for this woman. In the form of a job offer.
Derby has been given a jobs boost after one of the UK's largest call
centre companies. Mac this was our report which she saw last week. It
alerted her to 700 new jobs. applied online that evening and got
a call the next day. It all started for mayor. Part of the former egg
call centre is being taken over by a customer service company. And she
was the first to be offered a post. She had been job-hunting for two
years. Being offered the job to start with was amazing. But being
the first person, it is the best Christmas present ever. The company
says they have had 800 applications for the 700 jobs initially being
created. And she is one of 84 people to get job up and kick --
job offers so far. I am proud of her. I like her having a nice job.
It means so much to me and my daughter that we can have a relaxed
Christmas and look forward to a brighter future for.
And some more good news for Derby. The train-maker Bombardier has won
a government contract to convert diesel trains to run on electricity.
The work will be mainly research and design, but there will also be
some manufacturing. The project involves upgrading up to 35 diesel
trains. Earlier this year Bombardier lost a major UK
government contract, which was given to a German company.
A Leicestershire fund to redistribute unwanted winter fuel
payments to charities has raised �11,000 over the past three weeks.
Last year, Paul and Sue Newman from Glenfield set up the 125 winter
fund with the help of people who felt they didn't need the extra
money. People in the East Midlands are
celebrating the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. This event took place at
Victoria Park in Leicester this evening. The eight day festival
celebrates the restoration of a temple in Jerusalem, 2,000 years
ago. This time of year is a chance to
gorge yourself on loads of films, but spare a thought for a man who
has already had a bellyfull. At the beginning of 2011, Neil White, a
journalist from Derby, set himself the target of watching every film
on general release, and all in his spare time. Earlier this week, Neil
found time to pop into the studio between films and spoke to Quentin
Rayner. First question, had he managed it?
Sadly not. I will get to about 620 films. That is about 40 short. I
did not start quickly enough. I went on holiday at the start of the
year. Now I am rushing around to watch three or four a day. But how
one quite make it. Have you had some hairy moments? Yes. One day, I
watched six films. It was like I had jet lag at the end of it. It
started at 10am in the morning and finished at 11pm at my. What about
your trip to Bradford Q mac I got there and realised the film had
subtitles, but it didn't. I sat through all of the adverts and the
trailer as, but the film was in Punjabi. I am not counting that one.
You must have a favourite. Which is It got two Oscars. It is a
fantastic family drama. I think it is the best sporting drama ever
made. That is your favourite. Presumably you must have had to sit
through some quite general -- some quite dreadful ones? Zombie films
don't do it for me. Perhaps I am not romantic enough, but wrong
Comms as well. -- romantic comedies as well. Some of these films have
been sent to you on DVD. What does your wife think? My wife and my
children are very supportive. I think my wife has sat through 300
films. You have a website which is cataloguing your film watching.
What has been your response? Fantastic. I am very surprised in
it. One person has sent me a foodie with the film, the fighter, on it.
I have heard from people in Afghanistan and Libya. It has been
amazing. You are a glutton for punishment and are going to try
this again next year? It is my Everest. I have not quite made it.
I am halfway up the mountain. I want to reach the very top and I
will be better organised next time. He must be sick of popcorn by now!
Sport now and Christmas is a defining time for our football and
rugby teams. While we tuck into the turkey and trimmings, a glut of
festive fixtures lie ahead for Leicester, Forest, Derby, Notts and
the Tigers, as Natalie Jackson reports.
If you ask most the dollars what they want for Christmas, they come
out with that old chestnut of three points. But for this festive period,
all Forest want is to get out of the bottom three. And these other
-- these are. We have to stay focused and not eat too many pies.
We will be raring to go. What do you want for Christmas? Everyone to
smile at home and in the stadium. -- goals. All they want are more
We have been inconsistent this season so far. But we're still in
touch. I love this time of year. Loads of it all. Lots of families
coming to the game. We are looking forward to a. Merry Christmas to
all of our fans. Have a nice to time. At Derby, they have two
Christmas crackers. There is a lot of history between the clubs. It
will be a fantastic occasion. We're desperate for three points. This
week, the Rams have been spreading Christmas cheer. Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas and thanks for your support in 2011.
Notts County are relying on Rudolph and sand a's sleigh to take them on
their travels. I think we will have 1,000 supporters at Sheffield. I
want to make them happy. We can make a lot of people happy. That
would make me happy. It is a busy time for the Leicester Tigers.
would like peace and happiness for Nice to see football managers
Nice to see football managers smiling for once!
Today has not felt very Christmas Eve. What a difference a year makes.
This time last year, I was doing the forecast ankle deep in snow.
This year, mild temperatures. Mild temperatures for Christmas Day and
Boxing Day. I have pressed the wrong button! This photograph was
taken this morning. Thank you for that. Keep sending them into us. We
have had trained with us today. That is starting to clear away to
the south and east. Trial behind it, so there might be some light
showers over the next few others. The rain continues to clear up
which will bring us clear skies overnight. Much cooler than last
night. Temperatures will fall down to about two degrees. We wake up on
Christmas Eve with a decent start. Gradually, we will see an increase
in cloud through the morning. On a whole, I should stay dry.
Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire might get some rain.
It is breezy. Temperature rise, about seven degrees. But it will
take time to get there. Stay in windy on the night of Christmas Eve
which might help Santa with his journey. It is staying mild on
Christmas Day. 10 or 11 degrees. Very similar on Boxing Day. Another
dry day. Staying breezy. Right across the Christmas weekend.
Milder temperatures are with us until Tuesday. But don't worry, we
will be with you over Christmas and new year to keep you up-to-date.
Merry Christmas! As this is our last full programme
before Christmas, we thought we'd leave you with a real festive treat.
To play us out are three choristers from Southwell Minster. They are
Joe Knight, Toby Hyde-Barker and Guy Parker. The conductor is Paul
Hale. They are singing Away in a Manger. From all of us on East
Midlands Today, Happy Christmas. # Away in a manger, no crib for a
bed. # The little Lord Jesus laid down
his sweet head. # The stars in the sky looked down
where he lay. # The little Lord Jesus asleep on
the hay. # The cattle are lowing, the baby
awakes. # But little Lord Jesus no crying