29/03/2012 East Midlands Today


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This is East Midlands Today with This is East Midlands Today with


Anne Davies and me, Dominic Heale. Our top story tonight: Forecourts


close as petrol stations run dry. The threat of a tanker driver's


strike causes panic at the pumps. Because of the Government


frightening us all to death, I went and got some petrol. I didn't


actually need it, but thought I should. Jail for a man who claimed


he was sleepwalking when he raped a teenager.


Teachers in Nottingham strike over plans for a new five-term school


year. I will be here at Calke Abbey,


where plenty more lambs have been born since Monday. A full update


Good evening and welcome to Thursday's programme.


First tonight - filling stations across the East Midlands ran dry


today as motorists rushed to fill up their cars. Forecourts were


forced to close while others saw lengthy queues after a day of panic


buying at the pumps. Drivers said they were heeding government advice


ahead of a possible strike by tanker drivers. Our reporter, Helen


Astle, has been at a petrol station in Leicester.


There has been a steady queue at this garage for most of the day.


Yesterday it ran out of fuel but there have been more deliveries


overnight. Across the region there has been patchy panic buying.


This was the scene across many garages in Leicestershire, and as


the day progressed, the queues got longer with everyone having their


own story to tell. Usually we come in celesta and we drive and park in


Leicester, but we have come on the park-and-ride. Because of the


Government frightening us all to death, I went and got some petrol.


I didn't actually need it, but felt I should fill up. One gentleman


just after 7am, rather than filling up his car traditionally, he filled


a jerry can. One garage has run out of diesel and have sold five days'


worth of petrol in one day. It is tremendously busy. We have already


sold two days' supply. We are scared about the truck-driver


strike. That is why you are here today? On that is the major reason,


yes. This was Nottingham today, another garage and another queue.


More drivers said they were running out of fuel, not panic drab --


buying. I am on NT, I want to get home and I might make it to the


petrol station. Are you out of diesel or are you think her for?


am on the way, the light is on. Absolute crazy. I need to get some


petrol. Have you run out? Yes. signs said it all as stations run


dry. It used backed up on to main roads as drivers sought supplies.


In Derbyshire or there were similar queues as people wanted to make


sure their tanks were false. In some areas the price of fuel has


gone up. In other areas it like here, it is Russian, you can only


by �25 worth. -- rations. Garage owners are urging people not to


panic buy, they say it garages have run out, there will be more


deliveries. A man who claimed he might have


been sleepwalking when he raped a teenager has been jailed for six


years. Zack Thompson, from Newark assaulted the 17 year old at a


holiday resort in Portugal. Thompson admitted the crime after


Nottinghamshire Police brought in a top sleep expert from the States.


The force says his conviction is the first of its kind. Our Social


Affairs Correspondent, Jeremy Ball, reports.


Zack Thompson and his victim was on holiday in Halbeath Europe. The


teenager woke up to find him in her bed and she reported the attack


when she got back to the UK. The court accepted the goal's version


of what happened, but he told the police he cannot recall it. He said


he might have been sleepwalking. But that was dismissed. I thought


he was just rung and couldn't remember coming back to the hotel.


He had an alcohol-related memory loss, or a blackout. It started


while he was clearly the wake. When a sleepwalker has a memory loss it


is only for the episode itself. Thomson admitted raping the girl


after a 2.5 year legal battle. Nottinghamshire Police said centres


the first time at Defence of sleepwalking has been successfully


challenged in British courts. hope we can carry on with these


cases and people cannot use sleepwalking as an excuse. We will


carry on until we get justice for the victims. The court heard


Thomson had drunk at least seven pints of beer and his initial


reaction to the allegation is, I cannot remember, maybe. The judge


said his actions had a devastating effect on his teenage victim.


Still to come on the programme: A sunny forecast - but for just one


more day. We only have one more day of this before temperatures start


to drop. But the question is, how low it will they go? I will answer


that shortly. Thousands of children in Nottingham


had a day off school today after members of one teaching union


walked out in a row over possible changes to the school year.


Nottingham City Council says a five-term year would improve


learning and increase attendance. They say today's action is


premature because talks are planned for after Easter. James Roberson


reports. There is only a strike in


Nottingham because we have a council behaving in this way.


Members of the NUT at a rally in Nottingham city centre. Many


members walked out of dozens of Nottingham's schools over the


council's plans. It wants to replace the current system with


five, shorter terms and a shorter summer holiday. It will mean


radical changes to many families. This lady's two daughters but go to


school in Nottingham, but she teaches in Nottinghamshire. I would


have a child being on holiday when I was in work. I know a lot of


teachers who work in the county and have children in city primary


schools or vice-versa. Whichever way it works, its causes difficulty.


The City Council says a shorter summer holiday will benefit many


children and parents. There is evidence that says the children are


have along summer break, and they live in a family who does not have


enough money to go on holiday, then there are learning goes backwards.


But this teacher questions that. And there is no proof a five-term


year will make a positive difference to the attainment and


achievements of the children. council says the changes are not


yet fixed. In our view, the strike has been called to early, while


consultation is still ongoing. It will cause a lot of inconvenience


for parents who will be saddened by the fact the consultation on this


matter is still ongoing. The five- term year divides parents.


Definitely approve. He is a way for quite a lot of time of the year,


and some of the year he misses out on school holidays. I think it


should be left as it is. It is better for the children, better for


teachers. I don't mind, because I work freelance, I can cope but


either way. Not all teaching unions in Nottingham have been on strike,


but the NUT says it is planning another two strike days next month.


A soldier from Oakham who died in Afghanistan was repatriated today.


Captain Rupert Bowers, from the Second Battalion Mercian Regiment,


died last week when a bomb exploded as he was leading a patrol. The 24


year old's body was flown into RAF Brize Norton this afternoon. He was


described by his commanding officer as "the bravest of the brave".


A 22 year old man arrested in connection with a fatal crash has


been released on bail. The incident happened in the early hours of


Monday morning when a Renault Clio and a minibus collided on the A617


near Mansfield. The driver of the bus died at the scene. A man was


arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He's


due back in court in May. An inquest's heard it took three


days to find the body of a woman killed in a house fire - because


her home and garden were so full of rubbish. Linda Parkes was an


obsessive hoarder who threw almost nothing away. Today the coroner


recorded a verdict of death by misadventure. From Derby, Simon


Hare reports. The inquest heard how one woman's


obsessive, compulsive urge to hoard almost anything and everything


ultimately cost her her life. Firefighters were called to


Wellington Street at long in the -- Long Eaton in Derbyshire in January


last year. It took several hours to put the fire out. It was three days


before police discovered the body of 59-year-old, Linda Parkes. It


was buried under several feet of debris inside the terraced house.


Station manager David Paul, describe what his staff had to


battle through. Most of the rooms or completely filled with articles


which made fire-fighting in the property very difficult indeed.


This was piled several feet high? Some of the rooms were floor-to-


ceiling, wall-to-wall. He said the most likely cause of the fire was


piles of rubbish being set alight by gas rings on the hop which Linda


Parkes, used to keep warm. Her partner, who was away in Spain at


the time of the fire, said he was trying to help her with her


compulsive obsessive disorder for 30 years. But she had declined help


from medical professionals and social services.


A union leader accused of stealing almost �150,000 from a miners' care


home has told a court he had no idea that the money had come from


the charity. Mick Stevens is jointly charged with the UDM's


former President, Neil Greatrex, of stealing the money to pay for home


improvements. Here's our chief news reporter, Quentin Rayner.


Mick Stevens is currently a UDM general secretary. Along with the


former President, he is accused of stealing money from a minus charity


when he was a trustee. The charity ran a care home for sick and


elderly miners on the Lincolnshire coast. It is thought the union


leaders used the money for building work on their own properties. Nick


Stevens told the jury under no circumstances would he approve of


any personal expenditure being paid for by the home. He was asked by


his defence counsel, how come you signed the Czechs? He said they


were put in front of me. If they had Neil's signature on them, I


would sign because he had authorised them. Mr Stevens said he


was not involved in the day-to-day running of the home or its finances


and had no recollection of seeing any invoices before signing cheques.


One was for �36,000. The court was told Mr Stevens paid for


improvements at two homes, either encashed, including a payment of


�3,000, or legitimate the through another company of which she was a


director. He was challenged by the prosecution, did you approve their


kitchen and authorise its sq? Now I did not. Mr Stevens said he trusted


Neil and believed everything he did was right. Both men denied the


charges and the trial continues. The salary of the elected Mayor of


Leicester has been given final approval by the city council today.


Sir Peter Soulsby's wages will be �65,000, in line with that of a


backbench MP. His deputy, Rory Palmer, and his five Assistant


Mayors also get pay rises. A new study claims renovating


social housing in Nottingham has helped reduce crime and improve


people's health. Around 20,000 homes across Nottingham have been


refurbished. The work included the fitting of new windows and


installing central heating systems. A survey by Nottingham City Homes


and Nottingham Trent University found the number of burglaries in


these areas had gone down, along with people's fuel bills.


A death trap. That's how residents have described a row of flats in


Derby. They've raised their concerns after their neighbours


became trapped inside their property when a fire broke out.


Angelina Socci reports. Repairing the damage caused by a


fire which left the two people inside terrified. It was in the


early hours of yesterday morning when crews were called to this flat


in Derby. Recycling bags left outside the front door have been


set alight and the staircase became engulfed in smoke and flames.


were met by two occupants at the window who were able to put


themselves in a place of safety whilst we arrived. Shortly after we


were able to put the fire out, gain access to the property and we


assisted in the safe rescue of those casualties down the stairs.


The couple, in the 60s, were taken to hospital after breathing in


smoke. But this has left nearby residents are worried by having


just one way in and out of the building. It is a death trap. That


is the way I feel. I have always said it, not just now. That is why


we have these doors put in. If you are in the bedroom and the fire


starts on the landing, you have to think of a way out. Some of us


might not be able to jump. We would reassure anybody who lives in a


similar property, there is no additional risk associated with


that. Think about it in advance, how they would deal with that


situation and how they would safely exit the property. Derby Holmes


says it takes its tenants health and safety seriously. Every


property has a fire safety risk assessment, internal fire doors and


a smoker alarm. Tonight, the couple are still recovering in hospital.


Still to come on the programme: A wobbly welcome to the world. We're


at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire as another new arrival struggles to


find his feet. Next tonight, the woman who


underwent IVF four times in an effort to get pregnant. She did and


gave birth to twins. But both children have cystic fibrosis.


They're now two years old and they're taking part in a major new


study in Nottingham into treating the condition. Jo Healey reports.


The Queen's Medical Centre, home from home for Alex and his sister,


Isabel. They have been here so often in their short lives. I am


keen to know if Alex has been coughing? They were born after


their mother underwent six years of IVF treatment. It was devastating


to find out they had cystic fibrosis. It affects us every day


and we have to make sure we have the medication they need to take,


they do the exercises and the physiotherapy to clear their lungs.


It is incredibly difficult. The new study is about making a difficult


life a little easier. The torpedo study looks at eradicating at


trouble infection in cystic fibrosis. We want to find the best


way to do that. It will discover if children can be treated at home on


special antibiotics, or, as now have to come in here for lengthy


intravenous sessions. This is the number of people with cystic


fibrosis in the UK. One in 25 people is a carrier, and every year


2,500 babies are born with cystic fibrosis. It is life threatening


and club's internal Ong -- organs, especially the lungs and digest it


system, with mucus. Families welcome anything that can help.


This trial is incredibly important. It is the difference between being


in hospital for couple of weeks of being at home. The trial will run


for three more years hoping to make lives easier.


Best of luck to everybody involved in the trial.


Now for the sport. Injury worries for Nottingham


Forest. They are battling to get Gareth McCleary fit for the trip to


Crystal Palace on Saturday. He missed the midweek game at


Leicester through injury. His inspirational form has helped to


turn around forest's recent fortunes, but at training this


morning, Steve Cottrell, was giving little away. We do not know what is


going to happen, so we have to wait and see. You are hoping he will be


OK? We will have to wait and see. He is a vital player for you?


when he is here. Leicester City manager, Nigel


Pearson remains adamant they are within a shout of making the play-


offs. They are four points of the all-important top six. The 4th, 5th


and 6th places are up for grabs for a number of clubs. It remains very


tight. Although the season has been stop and start, we still have a


chance. But we will have to finish the season strongly. As the


Olympics gets closer, another group of competitors are about to do


their bit in the battle for team selection and to stake a claim in


I do admit, the first thing I thought when I woke up on New


Year's Day was, it is 2012, an Olympic year. Laurence Shannon,


British Rock brought up in America. When she was introduced to eventing,


there was no stopping her. There isn't it one day I had not loved it.


Even when I have been at the lowest low, there wasn't one day I did not


want to be doing it. It is a good job, because the work that goes on


at the stables is hard. Rewarding, but hard. And necessary. No event


there is eventing as a sport without using it to make money as


well. We do a lot of buying and selling. I do a lot of teaching and


everyone here is an event rider, they have to have a business


surrounding the losses or nobody would be able to fund it. 2010 was


the events, Lauren and there was announced their rivals. It is a big


splash to make. They have done it, and now realistically they are one


of five challenging for one remaining Olympic place. I have


been struggling with the laws that could possibly go to the Olympics


for a few years. -- de horse. If I just sit here and think about it, I


get a bit excited and gobsmacked, that a few years ago I would never


have dreamt of being in this position. For Laurent's Olympic


hopes, a Badminton next month is the one to watch.


Finally, he has been at it the 32 years, but Leicester City's Alan


Birch shows no signs of quitting his fund-raising yet. He is hoping


to break his �1 million mark when he does his laps around the stadium.


Every year I say, it is the last one. But there is something always


around the corner. Leicestershire people have been fantastic. We will


keep our fingers crossed and get through the million-pound mark. I


don't want a weather like this. Although it seems like summer, it


is of course only spring. And Sally has been back to Derbyshire today,


because we cannot keep her awake from the little lambs. Earlier in


the week she was at Calke Abbey, now she is there again meeting some


newborns and a young vet who has just delivered her first Lambs.


We are back at Calke Abbey, and although it feels like a gorgeous


summer's day, it is spring. These girls here are ready for lambing


any day now. These were born in the night. We will move them down to


the individual pens, but there is one there she is not happy with.


She perhaps mother that one of another one in the night and then


had her own. I came along and found her with two Lambs. What will you


do with it? I will stand us with it and making sure it gets a drink. It


is really hungry. Stand where I am. She just hasn't been able to turn


round and from pen, so he can have his drink of milk. The bonding


opportunity has gone, do you think? I think so, he might end up with


the waves and strays. We have a big electric bucket of warm milk that


keeps them going. -- waifs and strays. Congratulations are in


order? Your first lambs delivered last night? 4pm in the afternoon,


but completely solo. That is the bit I must congratulate Tory about.


This is Damon. A very big boy. And there was no room in there at all.


I struggled to fit my hand in to pull him out. I clear his air waves


of them brought in to his mum. This is Bella and she came out pretty


much after. It was unbelievable pulling it out. What I was worried


about his 2.5 hours, they might have been a problem. I was


literally overwhelmed. After hearing about the lambs being born,


we finally caught the moment on camera, which you will see for


yourself tomorrow night. Teasing us.


More animals because the parents in Falcon has had been pretty busy.


The first exit of the spring has been laid six days earlier than


last year. People around the world had been following their progress.


Internet hits have passed the 2 million mark. -- Peregrine Balkans.


Tomorrow is looking to be dry, settled with warm temperatures.


Overnight, dry and a bit on the chilly side, much like it has been


all week. You have been sending High pressure is just a bad


clinging on, keeping us dry and settled. We have had barely a cloud


in this guide. Across much of the UK, clear skies and that is how we


are at the moment. It will be a lovely evening before it gets dark.


Overnight, a little bit of cloud pushing into the worst, but for


most Clear skies and temperatures down to four Celsius. It could be a


couple of degrees lower than that in rural spots. They missed it will


quickly clear and any cloud in the worst first thing tomorrow burns


away and we are in for a lovely day on Friday. High temperatures


tomorrow of 19 Celsius. All change Friday night. This colt funds comes


south through the night. It all bring an increase in cloud and


colder air from the Arctic. A- changing temperatures as we go into


Saturday. -- a change in temperatures. Looking at some night,


cloud around but also some sunny spells. Sunday is what you would


normally expect at this time of year. Let's look at the outlook.


Another warm day tomorrow, and gradually temperatures start to


drop. And the trend of those lower drop. And the trend of those lower


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