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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