18/01/2012 East Midlands Today


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This is East Midlands Today with Anne Davies and me, Dominic Heale.


Our top story tonight: the Government's under fire over the


death of a serviceman in Afghanistan.


For family accused the MoD of catastrophic failures. -- the


family. We hope the lessons learnt will be taken up and used to


advantage to savour their lives. Also tonight: a Nordic nightmare.


They couple's dream of a new life in Norway lies in ruins. Suicidal,


really. The whole thing has completely ruined our lives.


Plus, attacked in class but did the punch that almost Kilcullen


actually saved his life? And join me for a live rocket


Good evening. Welcome to Wednesday's programme. First


tonight, a grieving mother has said there is a catastrophic failure by


the Government to meet the requirements of our troops. Teresa


Woods was speaking after the inquest into the death of her son


Corporal Marcin Wojtak, from Leicestershire.


He died in Afghanistan in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan.


The coroner ruled he had been unlawfully killed by insurgents.


Our reporter has been following the inquest and joins us now from


Loughborough. Good evening. The coroner said that


his death was a tragic event. He died having been in Afghanistan for


just over two weeks. He was killed by a roadside bomb. It has been a


complicated inquest, agonising for the family, his mother sobbed as


the verdict was delivered. His wing commander described him as


an amazing human being. It was an honour to be his commanding officer,


he said. Throughout the inquest, his colleagues have paid tribute to


him. The questions were answered. He died in October 2009. He was on


a routine patrol. His vehicle hit a roadside bomb. This is one of the


lightly armoured vehicles. Questions have been raised as to


its suitability. The vehicles were withdrawn six months after he died.


He used to joke that they were like a coffin on wheels. He and his


colleagues had been waiting for these two vehicles, mastiffs,


heavily protected vehicles weighing 28 tonnes. To date, they have been


208 strikes on a master finds no one has been killed. During the


inquest, it emerged that he would probably have survived if he had


been in a massive but supply lines were haphazard and no one knew for


certain when they would arrive. They did arrive 48 hours after he


died. After the verdict, his family spoke outside court. It is not


surprising that so one met their deaths in effect off. This vehicle


was no longer suitable to deal with the increased threat of Afghanistan


and that was abolished as well today. I feel there has been a


catastrophic failure by the Government to meet the requirements


for our troops. Our family is heartbroken in losing him. It's a


loss from which we will never recover. He was a kind and loving


Gentleman and a gentle man who has paid the ultimate price for our


freedom. And we will really, truly this and for ever. He did not die


in vain. He was a brave young man and roast all the challenges placed


before him. His early talent had been recognised with the award of


acting corporal Reich. His girl friend said he had bright plans for


the future. We were in the process of buying a house, we had discussed


Weddings and what we wanted. He would leave hence for engagement


rings around the house! We all knew it was coming. We just needed the


time. These are the last lone -- last known photographs, taking --


taken in the vehicle in which he died.


The coroner is going to write to the MoD, asking for confirmation


that the vehicles have been withdrawn in certain areas. Outside


court this afternoon, his mother accused the RAF of closing ranks,


as evidence given today said that Master Oats, the vehicles which


could have saved him, were available a week after he died. --


Mastiffs. We will leave it there but thank


you. Next tonight, a young teenager left


fighting for his life after being assaulted by a classmate is back at


school. Callum Massey was knocked unconscious and spent three weeks


in hospital. Callum's life was saved by the


quick action of specially trained school staff and bizarrely the


punch that almost killed him could well have actually saved his life.


It uncovered a serious heart condition.


Happy to be back in the classroom at last. It is exciting because I


can see my friends and by teachers. Cullen is 13 and has Asperger's.


Last September, he was punched in their head by another schoolboy in


the classroom. Luckily, the Academy principle is keen on first aid


training for staff. It was the worst nightmare you could ever


imagine and I'm thankful that Dr Edwards has -- had the notion to


send his staff on Thursday it because it literally saves lives.


Without Eddie, my son would not be here. It was a surreal moment. The


child was in front of me, unconscious, not breathing and


dying. I had to make a decision on what I was going to do next. Are


sent him... In hospital, doctors discovered that he had a


potentially life-threatening heart condition. It was previously


undetected. The people who hate him is not at the Academy any more but


he has not been charged with a crime. Because of the circumstances


and because of the boys' ages, Nottinghamshire police tried a new


approach. It is called restorative justice to what they did was work


closely with both the boys' families so the boy who hit Callum


is fully aware that what he did was wrong in the heat of the moment. He


can now move forward without a criminal record. He has suffered


enough. It has not just affected our family, it has affected his


family as well. I think he has learnt from his mistakes. Lessons


have been learnt all round. Now all Callum wants to do is to carry on


with his lessons at the school he enjoys.


Coming up on the programme: higher, lower. Sally takes a look at our


see-sawing winter weather. The ice on that this lake has


melted but will this mild spell Unemployment in the East Midlands


is rising again. That's after months of bucking the national


trend. The latest quarterly figures reveal that the jobless total


increased by 7,000 to 190,000. That's an unemployment rate of 8.3%,


still slightly lower than the national average.


Let's find out more from Westminster and our Political


Editor. Recent sets of quarterly figures


for unemployment in the East Midlands may have given a false


sense of security. Last year, and employers in the West Midlands


started to increase but in the East Midlands, it looks like we were


able to ride the economic downturn. That is not the case today. The


regional TUC says the East Midlands figures are, truly depressing and


worse than expected. It's certainly not the start to 2012 that


coalition ministers would have wanted. So I asked the employment


minister Chris Grayling why he thought finding jobs in the East


Midlands was getting more difficult. The East Midlands has faced


particular challenges. It has depended upon manufacturing in the


past. We want to see business growth encouraged through changes


to red tape and regulation, through targeted financial support. We went


to see that to come -- come together so that prisoners can grow


and develop. Isn't there a real danger that the push will get young


people and student into work but for people over 50, they will end


up on the unemployment scrapheap? We have specific measures targeting


young people but we have first-rate support for those who are over 50.


The work programme is offering specialist support to those


jobseeker's from specialist organisations to what only paid


when they are successful at getting somebody in to work and helping


them stay there. Alongside that, we have schemes like the new


enterprise allowance to help people move from employment into self-


employment. They are particularly relevant to older people with


experience that can be taken into building them and this has.


While the headlines in the papers tomorrow will once again focus on


the problems of young people trying to get work, the figures in the


East Midlands, when you drill down, reveal that for the over-fifties,


there are now getting on for one third of that age group who won a


finding it difficult to get work. As we've heard, many older workers


say finding another job is extremely difficult. It's an issue


we've been looking at this week on East Midlands Today, focusing on


the reality of being over 50 and out of work.


Today Sarah Teale, in the third of her special reports, has been to


one company which says it wants to employ more older staff because of


the many benefits they bring to the firm.


Trevor knows just how hard it can be finding a job in that your 50s.


The 57 year-old wanted to leave the late nights of the sales industry


behind him but he had to spend two years hunting for a different job.


In the for market place, it is not easy for so one of my age because


you are competing with people of younger years. Would you do speak


to employers, they may be thinking of the longer term but also


thinking about you being past it. Eventually, Trevor got a job here,


domestic and General in at Nottingham. You can show that you


are worthwhile and bring your experience to the job, rather than


your youth and inexperience. Call centres traditionally employ large


numbers of younger workers and they have a high staff turnover. But


here, the company tries to recruit and retain older workers, who they


say bring experience, loyalty and reliability. The company says it


recognises the value that mature workers can bring and not just that,


they firmly believe that older members of staff have a positive


influence on the younger people who work here as well. A also, older


workers and the younger workers make a great team the balance.


older workers often so that working with younger people queued for the


young. Older workers obviously have greater loyalty to the company. You


tend to find that sickness absence is often lower and they will stay


with us longer as well which is great. A positive message which are


older workers hope more firms will heed.


A new multi-million pound project led by Leicester University aims to


use space technology to help ease road congestion. The scheme began


at the National Space Centre today. The plan is to develop new traffic


management systems which could cut pollution and increase road safety.


The �2.4 million project will be funded by the European Commission.


Nottinghamshire police are hunting for an armed robber who's targetted


shops and old people's homes. The attacks happened in West Bridgford


and Edwalton. Police are warning people to be on the lookout for the


man who was filmed on CCTV. He's been seen with a knife and a gun.


At the weekend he targeted two care homes.


A couple say they've been driven to despair, after their dream of a new


life in Norway was shattered. Paul and Andrea Hodgkinson sold


everything they owned in Derbyshire, to embrace a new life in rural


Norway. But they say the government there has tried to drive them out.


The idyllic Norwegian home they bought may be forcibly sold and


they're facing living in a tent back in Derbyshire.


We first met Paul and Andrea in the 1990s, had their horse blogging


business. They had long dreamt of owning their own farm and in 2006


Sport this apparently idyllic property in Norway. -- Court. Even


in winter, it looked beautiful. This winter, the couple are back on


the only piece of land they have left in Derbyshire. The Norwegian


government department say their farm in no way is being forcibly


sold. There are not telling us how nor what happens of possessions.


Removed personal and business items over there, never expecting the


saga like this. A the couple had hoped to run a B&B and logging


business from the farm that a long running dispute with the Ministry


of Transport said that -- meant they couldn't move in. Now they say


that because they have not lived in, they must go. Then they have to


live on this land in a tent. But as a wood burner. It is not really


suitable as somewhere to live. Hodgkinson's have started a paper


and online petition but with no money, they cannot mount a legal


challenge to the Norwegian government. It should not have got


the stage and they don't seem to respect the fact that we are


fighting it by ourselves. Over a number of years, it has been very


stressful and is a big worry. Suicidal, really. The whole thing


has completely ruined our lives. This is a government that gives out


the Nobel Peace Prize. I think it is a disgrace.


A spokeswoman for the Norwegian Agricultural Authority said she


understood the Hodgkinsons had been warned several times that under


Norwegian law they must live at the farm permanently to keep it. Since


they haven't, the law stipulates the farm must be sold.


A new centre is to be built for patients from the East Midlands who


have a chronic, debilitating, life limiting condition.


The Nottingham hospitals charity has begun a �2.1 million


fundraising campaign towards the development which aims to provide a


homely place for patients with cystic fibrosis.


Stewart says he dreads hospital but with cystic fibrosis, is a fact of


life. At Nottingham City hospital, patients are put on a generous


spirit reward. It is not ideal. These patients have a different set


of new routes -- set of needs and the nurses are torn in terms of


where they direct their care. Cystic fibrosis affects around 9000


people in the UK. It affects the glance that produce body fluids. It


hinders the functions of organs like the lungs. Average life


expectancy is 36 years. This is the dream, a perfect -- purpose-built


centre in the East Midlands. The NHS is putting in �4.5 million. A


fund-raising appeal has been started to get the rest. Building


should start here later this year. By the way, the parking will be


replaced by new spaces created near by. When I heard the news, it was


amazing. I have been coming to this hospital since I was three years


old. Stewart has never met a never adult cystic fibrosis patients.


They are kept apart because of the risk of passing on infections. In


the UK is, they are hoping people will be able to talk to each other


using video conferencing. At the minute, a there are social networks.


There's only so much you can do. The aim to make hospital with the


extras feel more like home. It's expected to generate millions


of pounds of business with people attending from all over the world.


The Agricultural Machinery Show at Newark Showground is the country's


largest fair of its kind. But this year, the emphasis has


been security. From a combine harvesters to muck


spreaders, everything you might need on a farm on the -- at this


event. Over two days, thousands of people are expected to visit but


attention this time round was turned to ways in which farmers can


protect their property. Last year, there was a 61 % rise in


agricultural crime in the East Midlands, costing the region near


the �10 million. But the forefront of everyone's minds is security.


Much of the machinery you see here is usually expensive. Combine Farm


vistas of �350,000. -- combine harvesters. Regrettably, rural


crime is on the increase because fields and farms are large and


difficult to Secure. Many farmers here know only too well what it is


like to be targeted by thieves. had a trailer pinched last year, a


plant trailer. That was 10 grounds with. Somebody came with a tractor


and took it away. Kit with �1 billion is stolen every week in the


UK. Security companies are coming up with new techniques to deal with


a problem. -- kit worth �1 million. The way our scheme works is by


using technology to give our sector, each piece of equipment, a unique


and indelible identity which renders it relatively useless to


the fees. They cannot shifted on. - - shift it on. To a security is


more important than ever to farmers. It is hoped that this will put them


back in control of their livelihoods.


Good evening. For Leicester City, it's a taste of what's possible.


For Nottingham Forest, the question is where do they go from here?


Leicester had a convincing 4-0 win over Forest in the FA Cup replay


last night. But for all Leicester's domination, Forest can still ask


what might have been after a miss as bad as many people have seen.


Thanks to these two, it was goalless in the original tie but it


did not stay that way for long last night. The tempo was fast from the


start and his cross was turned into the net. Six minutes gone, 1-0


Leicester. Forrester are having a torrid time. They were hanging on.


-- Forest. When they did break, they had chances. Two yards out,


what was he thinking? Finally, Leicester turned their domination


into a bigger league. A swift move from defence and at last, a goal


for Jermaine Beckford. Forest still managed to conjure up a chance but


Leicester looked more likely to score and they did. It was Beckford


again. This was a performance to warm up the fans on an Alice cold


fans. Leicester went on to win 4-0. It was their biggest win over


Forest for 99 years, and Beckford scored a hat-trick. He went off not


well after his goals. Forest at times were ripped apart. It was a


performance which left many fans bewildered. I really enjoyed


watching the players enjoy themselves tonight. I think that is


something that we have to try and build on. We go behind and we lose


heart. They spent probably the next five or 10 minutes' thinking we are


going to get a goal but get stung again. We have to get more battle-


hardened and it is the only way we would get out of it. The bigger


picture is that we've got to try to reproduce that sort of performance


more regularly. The presence of the former manager in the TV commentary


box filled third fans' frustration. Leicester can now look forward to a


home tie with Swindon in the 4th round.


Derby County have signed the Sunderland striker Ryan Noble on a


month's loan. And he's in contention for a place in the squad


to play Burnley this weekend. He had a spell at Derby cut short last


season. And Nigel Clough's persuaded Martin O'Neill to let him


come to the East Midlands again. didn't see her and a 4th and last


time. He has been fit for six weeks Aug -- six weeks or so. He has been


on the bench quite a bit but we are delighted that he has been let out


for a month initially and we will take it from their.


A finally from a, a new shirt unveiled by Notts County today


which they will be unveiling next season as part of their hundred and


50 if celebrations. Embedded in the black stripes are the names of 3000


supporters. They are the ones who bought their season tickets in the


last April. Cricket is going on general sale at the end of the


month. Tomorrow night, we will have more on Notts County as they have a


civic reception to mark the 100 and 50th year to March -- 100 and 50th


year. Last night thousands of people


turned out in the cold to stare at the sky as they became part of the


BBC's Stargazing Live week. Well, today there's a chance to


tour the inner solar system. You won't need a space suit or rocket


to visit Venus or Mercury. You just need to get down to Alvaston Park


in Derby. A smooth lift-off for rockets made


by students at two schools in Derby. These paper vessels would not make


it into space but they were one of the activities on offer at a new


science garden in Alvaston Park. is all about the world around us


and is an opportunity to explore and discover and discuss.


cannot write with his pencil. It helps to measure the Sun's movement.


This is the planet Venus, it is known as the morning and evening


star. The star Lloyd's -- besides the unknown, it is the brightest


object in the night sky. This is Mercury and it is the fastest


planet in the solar system. Visitors can become a human sundial.


You stand on the correct one for on a sunny day and your shadow helps


you to tell the time. If you don't have a watch or you don't have your


phone on you, you can simply stand on here when the sun is out and it


will show what time it is hopefully. This rocket will be on show during


tonight's star-gazing live event as Alveston Park. It can travel 100


kilometres into space. Visitors to the new science garden will be able


to explore our solar system without ever leaving Planet Earth.


Brilliant enthusiasm from all these Good evening. Yes, if you're hoping


to stargaze tonight, unfortunately it is pretty cloudy. We did see


that lovely sunset earlier on because the clouds broke up just


enough to see a lovely red sky but that is proof that tomorrow it will


be a much brighter day. Good news on the way. Further rain to come in


between. I thought I would shave his photograph that Beryl sent in.


She was out and about in Derbyshire yesterday and spotted the snowdrops


with the frost surrounding them. That sums up that topsy-turvy


weather we've had in January so far. We can see this rain that is coming


late on the ceiling is the next front that is working its way


through from the West. We will see that westerly breeze starting to


pick up as that rain putsches in overnight. For now, the staff of


the evening, cloudy skies for most areas. -- the start of the evening.


Today was quite mild and tonight remains the same. Around six


Celsius as your minimum temperature. His reign will start to sink


southwards very early on tomorrow morning so by the end of the rush-


hour, we should see that rain disappearing altogether. -- this


rain. We are left with a dry and bright day for Thursday. Good sunny


spells, the best of which will be the in the afternoon. Allow for the


odd shower in parts of Derbyshire. Temperatures are not quite as mild


tomorrow, highs of eight Celsius. As we look ahead, we will see a


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