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This is East Midlands Today, with Kylie Pentelow, and me, Dominic
Heale. Our top story tonight: A young boy and his grandmother are
found dead in a lake. The grandmother's body was recovered
last night. The six-yea-old was found hours later. This may well be
one of those cases where we never fully establish how the accident
happened. A grim discovery beneath a motorway.
Workers find the remains of a missing Leicestershire man.
knowing and speculation can now end. He can now be laid to rest and we
can say goodbye properly. Plus, a judge tells the man at the
centre of a huge police operation for owning explosives and guns that
he faces a sentence of over 10 years.
And an avalanche of snowdrops - the garden where they grow over 240
Good evening, welcome to the programme. First tonight, a six-
year-old boy had been spending half-term with his grandma in
Lincolnshire, but the stay ended in tragedy. The boy's mother, from
Leicestershire, alerted police when the two failed to return home. They
had stopped off at a lake popular as a place to feed the ducks. Hours
later, they were both found dead in the water. The police believe it
was a tragic accident. It happened just outside Castle Bytham in the
village of Holywell, which is between Melton and Bourne. Our
reporter Simon Ward is at the scene now. Good evening, Simon. Good
evening. Yes, this is the Lake where what appears to have been an
accident took place. The six-year- old was staying with his
grandmother but when he was and returned home just after 9pm last
night, his mother called the police. An RAF rescue search and -- search-
and-rescue Hollick -- helicopter was called. The bodies were found
but they could not be resuscitated. At 4 am this morning, the body of
the boy was found under the water. At this stage, the police are not
sure what happened. We believe from the work we did last night and
allow inquiries today, that this is a very tragic accident. We have
offices providing support to the family and we are working with the
coroner to work out why this tragic accident happened. The police
haven't named the dead people but we know the grandmother lived
nearby in Castle Bytham and I have been getting reaction from local
people. It is absolutely tragic. It is somebody's family. The loss of
the oldest generation of a family and the youngest. Tragic. Heartfelt
sympathy to for the family. And for everybody involved. Absolutely
horrified. Everybody here is a very tight-knit community. Everybody
looks out for everybody. We have been unfortunate to have some
unlucky incidents in the last 12 months and the way it everybody has
rallied his phenomenal. Tonight, the police are working on a number
of theories. Did they come to feed the ducks? It is certainly a very
picturesque place. Or dig one of them falling and the other tried to
rescue them. -- did one? Postmortem examinations are taking place today
and the police will officially named the grandmother and the boy
on Monday. Next tonight, a wife has described
the discovery of her missing husband as all of her worst
nightmares come true. Vinnie Derrick, from Castle Donington in
Leicestershire, went missing after a night out in Manchester eight
years ago. Detectives say they don't yet know exactly how he died,
as Carol Hinds reports. 28-year-old Vinnie Derrick went
missing after a work night out in Manchester in August 2003. Today,
at a press conference, his wife, Vicki, said the discovery of her
husband's remains is a moment she has been dreading for the past
eight years. I have always said and believe that whatever happened to
Vinnie happened on that night. Those fears have now been confirmed.
Eight years on, it isn't any easier to bear. We are devastated. Police
officers have confirmed that Highways Agency workers who were
clearing graffiti under a flyover in Stockport made the discovery on
Wednesday. They initially thought it was a football before realising
it was skeletal remains. We have still got specially-trained
officers at the scene and there is an awful lot of work to be done. It
will take much time and care and it is not something that can be done
quickly. It is definitely going to take all of today and maybe most of
Saturday and through the rest of the weekend. Vicki Derrick says
that finely knowing what happened to her husband will help bring
closure but the discovery doesn't make it easier for the family.
Vinnie can now be laid to rest and we can say goodbye properly. He was
loved by so many people and I have so many memories that I will
treasure forever. Detectives are trying to establish how Vinnie died
and if there were any suspicious circumstances.
Vicki, Vinnie's widow, phoned his mother in Long Eaton to tell her
the news. Tonight she has spoken to our reporter Helen Astle. It was
5pm last night. She said, I'm sorry, I'm going to have to tell you it
was Vinnie. And I just went to pieces because half of view was
probably hoping it was... But you were still thinking, no, it cannot
be my boy. He can't have been there all this amount of time. It is not
at home... I thought we would go for years and years, still hoping
and praying he would come back through that door. But I suppose in
your heart of hearts, you knew that wasn't going to happen, knowing
Vinnie is a guy who never would have left home in the first place.
You say you have got him back. But what does that mean? Because it is
not the ending you hoped for? always said I wanted to bury him in
peace. I thought that weather -- wherever he was, it was not where
he wanted to be. He was not safe where he was. So if you can say
that is a good thing that we can do that, but it is not in a way that
we wanted him to be. A man's been told he faces at least
ten years in jail for making an explosive and for possessing guns
illegally. Darren James, from Bulwell, appeared in court today.
The discovery of the chemicals used to make the explosive prompted a
huge police operation last year, as James Roberson reports.
In October last year, dozens of police descended on this area of
Nottingham. They discovered suspicious chemicals. Hundreds of
locals and school children were evacuated from houses and a school.
Bomb-disposal teams arrived and then came this... A controlled
explosion on the substance. Today, Darren James pleaded guilty at
Nottingham Crown Court of 13 charges, including making and
possessing the explosive nitroglycerine and possessing three
guns illegally. His barrister told the judge here that his crime was
eccentric. He was a loner with no agenda, despite the fact he had
admitted possessing firearms and an explosive. But the judge,
adjourning the case to next month, told James that such were the
seriousness of his charges, he must put himself for his sentence in
excess of 10 years. -- must prepare himself.
Next tonight, big changes to the NHS. The Prime Minister is pressing
ahead with reforms aimed at making the health service more productive.
However, his parliamentary bill has been beset by criticism. So Labour
turned up the political heat today and in one Nottinghamshire town
staged a protest. But, as Quentin Rayner reports, some locals there
are in favour of change. Good morning, ladies. We are here
to save the NHS. Labour Party members were out
drumming up opposition to the Health and Social Care Bill.
Nationally so far, 120,000 signatures have been collected and
a few more were added this morning to the petition. The protest was
organised by a local MP anxious to stress the rejection of a bill for
bodies representing nurses, midwives and doctors. Despite
scores of amendments and three Cabinet ministers thought to have
doubts about the goal, the Prime Minister says he is at one with his
beleaguered Health Secretary. So is this a lost cause? We don't think
it is a lost battle. We're getting tremendous support from the Royal
Colleges, doctors and nurses. They are saying no to this bill, leave
our health service alone. Government says the changes are
needed to make the National Health Service 4% more effective. GPs and
clinicians will have much more responsibility for spending the
budget and there will be greater emphasis on the private sector.
Some are in favour of reforms. it releases power to the doctors,
that is a good thing. It will probably bring more technology.
don't think they should alter it. Leave it as it is. I don't like
changes but that is me. The Prime Minister may be set on seeing the
Bill passed but opposition is still rife.
So, exactly what are these NHS reforms about and how will they
affect us in the East Midlands? Our political editor, John Hess, joins
us in the studio. This health bill is becoming quite a minefield for
David Cameron? Managing change in any complex organisation is tough.
But the going gets more difficult when budgets are being squeezed to
liberate efficiency savings. The headlines become unwelcome and
politically damaging. The latest figures for cancelled hospital
operations in the East Midlands are one example. They reveal that 376
operations were called off at short notice at Leicester's three
hospitals between October and December. They are the highest of
any NHS Trust in England. And not far behind are the Nottingham
hospitals, where 356 operations were cancelled. They are two of the
biggest NHS Trusts in the UK, with huge demand on critical care beds.
But compare those figures with 78 cancellations at Derby. That's more
in line with the national average. Would the Government's NHS reforms
solve that? Under the changes, consortiums of GPs control the
budgets and commission, and purchase health care. The
Government say that will make the NHS more responsive to patient
needs. In the Leicestershire district of Charnwood and
Rushcliffe, near Nottingham, GP consortia are already up and
running. One former Health Secretary says reform is needed.
think it's a good idea to put in the clinical input, the purges the
services, by getting the GPs in and the debate is becoming hysterical.
The management of the hordes of us is very complex. Most don't have
the time to work out exactly how the NHS is run and the money is
distributed. It continues to need reform. On the NHS reforms, Labour
want to "drop the bill". The Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, is
determined to tough it out. But if a succession of negative NHS
headlines continue, the Prime Minister may embark on some
political surgery of his own. There are more details on my blog. And
both Ken Clarke and Graham Allen will be our guests for the Sunday
Politics programme in the East Midlands, on BBC One from 12pm with
Marie and Andrew Neil. A senior Nottinghamshire police
officer has apologised to a coroner for delays in staff training. It
came at an inquest into the death of a teenager who died in police
custody. Reece Staples collapsed and died after swallowing packets
of cocaine which he'd smuggled from Costa Rica. Police officers were
unaware of national guidelines that said he should have been taken
straight to hospital, as Sarah Teale reports.
Former Nottingham Forest Academy player Reece Staples died in June
2009. He was arrested and taken to a police station. He had just
returned from Costa Rica, where he had swallowed 19 packets of cocaine
and smuggle them into the UK. At the inquest into his death,
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Broadbent was asked why police
officers had ignored Reece when he told them what he had done. New
guidelines were introduced in 2007. They stated anybody suspected of
swallowing drugs should be given medical attention straight away.
Though that policy was available on the force internet, no staff were
given formal training until late last year. More than two years
after Reece died. Today, the Assistant Chief Constable said that
was unfortunate and regrettable. He said, I apologise it took a long
time. Five police officers have since been disciplined for their
handling of the case. An inquest jury is expected to deliver a
verdict on Reece's death shortly. Jobs at Rolls-Royce in Derby have
been made more secure thanks to a multi-million pound agreement
between Britain and France to build nuclear power stations.
Next tonight, the uncertain future facing our high streets. A new
survey says 14 shops a day are closing in the UK. But figures for
the East Midlands show our region may be bucking that trend. Today,
we went back to one of the three shopping streets that we're
focusing on throughout this year. Simon Hare has more details.
Here on the Strand in Derby, Chris Lings began selling clothes and for
more than 20 years, he has traded in jewellery and other gifts. But
on Saturday, he will be closing. He says recent changes to the road
system in the area have killed off his trade. Very sad after all this
time. It has been a big part of our lives. He will be keeping his
second store in Ashbourne and continuing to sell online. Anew
survey published today has found that on average, 14 shops run by a
major retailers close every day across Britain. But the East
Midlands has actually bucked that trend, with a net gain of four
shops in recent months, and recent figures released today show a
surprise rise in sales of almost 1%. We are seeing a changing scene on
the High Street, which is a move away, with shops going into
administration and a move towards a put -- proliferation of charity
shops and pawnbrokers. A quick stroll down the Strand shows a
similar mixed picture. But when this shop shut -- shops next week,
it will become the 8th empty shop in the arcade. That is almost half
the trouble number of promises. And we will be keeping an hour on
the three of our chosen streets this year.
Now for the sport. All the Friday build-up from me,
starting with an absolute must-win for Nottingham Forest. They face
Coventry, who are also haunted by relegation. At least top-scorer
Marcus Tudgay, who's missed the last two matches with illness, is
fit again. Jeremy Nicholas reports on a proper six-pointer.
When the two teams met at Coventry earlier in the season, Steve
Cotterill watched from the stands, having just agreed to take over as
boss. Four months on, his side is keeping him awake at night. It is
tough. Sleepless nights of aplenty at the moment. All games are vital
when you're in the relegation zone, but especially those against your
fellow strugglers. On Tuesday, while Nottingham Forest were losing,
Coventry beat Leeds by the same score to be level on points. Both
clubs are six points adrift from safety. It was a massive game after
what has gone on but now it is even bigger because we have to take
points away from our relegation rivals. The Captain can take
inspiration from a regiment cycling distance from Nottingham to
Afghanistan to raise money for the soldier charity. You are a sergeant
and used to link -- to telling him what to do. What would you say to
the men on Saturday? I would say, carry on as you finish the second
half. I am hoping we will win. It is a game we could quite easily win.
If they play as they did last week, made it seem settled and they
should be OK. If they go down, we go down but I will still come and
support them. We want to get results for them. I said to the
lads, they don't come along every week. They come along because they
support you. So Nottingham Forest have a mountain to climb a but
Marcus Tudgay is back from illness and a win will be just what the
doctor ordered. Well, our top Championship side,
Derby County, head to Southampton. The Rams were disappointing against
Reading on Tuesday night. So a chance for Nigel Clough's young
side to make amends. The youngsters are learning what it is like in
front of 20,000 odd people who want to see a better performance and
chances created. They have got to be on the ball and want it. And
then this season, next season, everybody will be better for it.
For Leicester City, a chance to put Championship football to one side,
as they face Norwich in the FA cup. The Foxes under massive scrutiny
this season as their multi-million pound squad have struggled with
consistency. And the captain admits it hasn't always been easy. Matt
Mills gives Angela the lowdown on He signed last summer at the club
he supported as a boy, but arriving with a �5 million price tag means
it hasn't been plain sailing. People expect you to keep a clean
sheet and score every week, and as you know, that isn't really going
to happen. The price tag puts a certain pressure on. I am sure I
have fans who like me and those that don't. But I am determined to
turn everybody to liking me. He had a chance to sign to a few teams.
The captaincy has been an added bonus. When I signed here, and I
was given that honour, it was fantastic. Obviously, supporting
Leicester when I was growing up. Now to be here and wearing that
armband every Saturday and Tuesday is very special. His love of
football is evident on the pitch and off it. It is no wonder given
his background. I have three brothers, two order who are
professional. My younger brother plays for Reading. That is
fantastic for him. This weekend, a chance to put Championship football
to one side and face Norwich in the FA Cup. No doubt where Leicester
City's biggest focus lies. You only get one career and one chance. When
I first signed for the club it was my aim to get into the Premier
League and if I don't achieve that, that won't happen. I will happen --
I will achieve it in my time at Leicester! That excites me and
makes me one to work harder. -- want to work.
As well as all that, can Notts County's revival continue? They're
away at Hartlepool. All the matches are on your BBC Local Radio station,
with your first look at the goals right here on BBC One.
In rugby, Leicester Tigers are desperate to find some form towards
the end of the season. They go to high-flying Saracens, who gave a
World Cup-weakened Tigers a spanking earlier in the season. A
chance for revenge and building form.
Traditionally, we have done very well in our games and we have put
ourselves in a secure position. This year, it is a bit tighter and
we're going to have to build a bit of form going into the last part of
the season. Nottingham Rugby's build-up to the
playoffs continues with a trip to Plymouth tomorrow.
And ice hockey's Panthers may yet again have missed out on the League
title, barring miracles. But that hasn't stopped them selling out
Nottingham Ice Arena for tomorrow's visit from Sheffield Steelers.
Loads of sport this weekend. Keep up with it right here.
It's that time of year when, by rights, winter should be heading
for the exit. And to herald the change, snowdrops start to appear.
Easily recognisable, of course. A snowdrop, after all, is just a
snowdrop. But is it? BBC Radio Leicester's Ady Dayman has been to
one garden where they grow over 250 Now that the snow is finally melted
away, it is hard to believe just how much colour there is in the
garden, especially at this one in Anne Milton. In Beeches Garden, Jim
and Margaret have been working extra hard and braving the cold to
make sure their gardens are in tip- top condition for their open days.
What higher particularly interested in are there rather impressive
collection of snowdrops. Margaret, the garden looks absolutely
fantastic. Just how many different varieties of snowdrop do you grow?
About 260 now, because I must have lost well since last summer and I
think the dry patch we have had is something to do with it. Can you
tell me how much a snowdrop Mary's? Many people think they are the same
but you can see differences in the leaves, they are different heights
and shapes and you can look at the patterns on the inside of the
flower. Sometimes they have green markings on the outside, which are
the ones I loved. There must be a favourite you have? Early on, I
liked Three Ships, but now I like this one. Believe it or are not,
but there are over 3,000 varieties of snowdrop, with interest to
spreading worldwide. Recently, somebody played �360 for just one
bulb. They are so much more interesting and there is so much
more interest in this garden. They are open on Sunday its and
Wednesdays. They are open to the public and you can even get a cup
of tea and a slice of cake. See you next time.
In fact, we've heard that one snowdrop variety called Elizabeth
Harrison sold on E-bay yesterday for a staggering �725! Wow! She
must have been very nice! And just to say that the Beeches Garden in
Milford is open this Sunday as part of the RHS National Garden Scheme
so all money raised will go to charity.
Well worth going to, not least because I understand the weather
Yes. A lovely winter's day with cold conditions but lots of
sunshine around on Sunday. But lots of changes before then. We stay
cloudy tonight and on the mild side. This cloud was captured beautifully
this afternoon. This is the footbridge over the River Trent.
Thank you for that. Do send us your weather pictures. We are keeping
the cloud and the mild conditions overnight tonight but this is all
ahead of this cold front which will start to sinks south through
Saturday morning. It will bring heavy bursts of rain and the wind
will become quite gusty through the morning. Behind it, we get the
introduction of colder air but that will be brief because we return to
the milder weather early next week. A lot of cloud around at the moment,
which is producing a few spots of light rain and drizzle, and that is
how it continues through this evening and overnight. The cloud
hold those temperatures up as we have the mild air pushing in. A
minimum temperature of seven degrees, which is the average
daytime temperature for February, so a very mild night ahead. The
rain starts to sweep in tomorrow morning, with the gusts of picking
up and being quite windy. Clearing for the afternoon with lovely sunny
skies to end the day. Breezy through the day with a temperature
of around 6pm. It will be warmer first thing in the morning and
getting colder as the rain pushes through. Perhaps the odd wintry
shower with light snow, but not amounting to much and not everybody
will see it. But temperatures not getting much higher than four