20/03/2014 East Midlands Today


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That's all from the BBC News at Six, so it's goodbye from


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


Tonight ` a mugger's callous attack on a 75`year`old woman.


Police release CCTV pictures of the pensioner being dragged to the


ground. Also tonight, the death of a patient


at a care home. The owner did not know what was going on.


We get an audience with Britain's man in Bulgaria.


And it is a Mini roundabout, but can anyone actually tell? !


First tonight, an elderly woman takes a walk with friends down a


street, she is not expecting what happens next.


She is brutally robbed, hold off her feet and thrown to the ground.


The whole horrific episode was captured by CCTV. Here are those


pictures. The suspect is already `` has already passed. He turns and


tries to grab her handbag, but the strap is across her body.


Our reporter is at the scene of the attack.


I've been talking to Mrs McNeill today. She did not want to appear on


camera herself, but has been telling me about what happened. It happened


here on the Sunday just before the last Christmas. It was captured on


the CCTV up there. What happened was she was walking with her friends on


a carol service, from the church at the centre of town, and she was


coming along here and got to this point near this alleyway here. At


that point, the attacker ran up behind her and grabbed the bag. The


strap was tied around her wrist, and because it was so tightly around her


wrist, she was jerked off her feet and fell to the ground. The attacker


managed to struggle, he managed to get the money away from her, and he


made off down the alleyway. She was very shaken, she called to her


friends, they help her up, but she was not so badly hurt she needed to


go to hospital. They went to the police station and reported the


incident. So far, no sign of the attacker.


How is Muriel now? She is still shaken up by it. She


had injuries to her shoulders and to her wrists. But it is more the self


esteem and self confidence. She finds it difficult to go out, still


worries about what happened. There are also other things like the


consequences of the fact that she had to have all the locks changed in


her house, however there is one positive. Because the CCTV did


clearly show her attacker, Leicestershire Police said because


of the publicity they have had, they have had a number of calls and they


do hope that the identity of the man may come forward and that they are


following up those calls in a bid to find him.


Well, if you think you might know who that offender is, you can check


the CCTV again at our Facebook page. That's at facebook.com/bbc.emt.


An inquest has heard how a pensioner died after she was left unsupervised


in a care home with solid food she shouldn't eat. Betty Arch's care


home was so bad the Care Quality Commission took the unusual step of


forcing it to close. It was understaffed, and the former manager


says the owner of the business didn't react to requests for more


workers. Our health correspondent Rob Sissons reports.


Betty Arch was 87. She had been left unsupervised in a room with the


leftovers of sandwiches. Even though she was not supposed to have solids.


Care plans were not kept up`to`date at the home. Nutrition was not


monitored, staff reported being run ragged. They told the inquest they


met themselves coming back. It happened back in 2012 at this now


closed residential care home. The inquest heard about a catalogue of


failings. Inspectors became increasingly concerned about them.


The owner is the woman carrying the white pad. She told the coroner she


had nothing to do with running care homes `` she now has nothing to do


with running care homes. She was asked by the coroner she understood


that an unexplained death was referred to the coroner and


investigated. The coroner looked at her and said, it seems there was a


great deal you did not know. The manager of the care home said that


she had asked for more staff, but this did not meet with a positive


response from the care home owner. Betty Arch's family solicitor


described how residents paid directly of tables because there


were not enough plates. The coroner questioned whether tablecloths might


have been removed for meals to save on laundry bills.


The Care Quality Commission said it had little choice but to take the


extreme step of forcing the closure of the home, going to court to try


and do it. The judge agreed. The owner contested it. The hearing has


been adjourned, for the coroner to deliver her conclusion.


Next tonight, the blind man refused service because of his guide dog.


Steve Cunningham told us a restaurant turned him away and then


a takeaway refused to let him in ` unless he left his Alsatian outside.


Steve has been blind since the age of 12. He now tours the country


giving speeches on overcoming disability. He says it's a disgrace


that some premises are still barring him ` even though it's illegal.


Sarah Teale has this report. This is what Steve Cunningham does


every day. He does motivational talks to businesses and students


like these. He encourages them to understand disability. So he was


particularly disgusted at history month at these two premises. Steve


says first this restaurant refused to allow him to dine with his guide


dog. Then despite the allowed in to the takeaway on Tuesday, last night


they were told to leave. In this day and age you should be in


a situation whereby you should we faced with these challenges. Guide


dogs for the Blind and the general public spend thousands and thousands


of pounds enabling an amazing animal like this and creating the


independence I have. So to be slapped in the face by not being


allowed to go into a restaurant is wrong. The law States that blind and


partially sighted people are entitled to the same rights to


services such as restaurants as everybody else. And they should


amend and no dogs policy to allow guide dogs onto the premises. As


Mike a notebook 's policy. `` a no dogs policy. I think blind people


should be respected like everybody else.


Would it make you feel differently about going in? Yes, I think it


would. I fly aeroplanes and race cars.


Steve went blind at 12, the same age as Alice. She is going to get her


first guide dog soon. How will she feel if she is out with her mum and


dad and she gets thrown out of a restaurant?


Have been any response from these premises? We have spoken to a


spokesman for the owner of both premises. He said staff had told


Steve he could dine at the restaurant, but accept they told him


he couldn't bring his dog because they had a no dogs policy. At the


kebab house they also accept Steve and Foster WERE asked to leave.


Staff had told him he could wait on the street and they'd bring food out


to him. They said this was because they hadn't been aware of the law


regarding exceptions to guide dogs. They've now apologised, and said


they hadn't meant to cause any offence.


Still to come: We meet our man in Sofia. Jonathan Allen is the British


Ambassador to Bulgaria. We caught up with him with his family back home


in Nottingham. Bulgaria is warmer than we are! In


fact we are in a bit of a shock. I will tell you more later.


A motorist from Leicestershire is calling for a roundabout to be


repainted after she had an accident.


She hit another car. She said she did not see the roundabout, as the


paint was to find it. Locals `` to faded.


This is the roundabout that is the problem. Motorists do not seem to


see it, so they do not stop. And hit another car because she did


not realise the roundabout was there.


`` Anne. I saw the `` no road markings leading me to believe I


need to to stop. I considered it to be very worn out and dangerous


because two other people said there had been to accidents there that


week. We have only been here 15 minutes


and Lily every driver chooses to either a law does not see the


roundabout. `` nearly every driver. Cars go over the top of it because


of the way it is placed. That is robbing all the paperwork off.


Anybody not knowing the area, it is very hard to see. 's robbing the


area's robbing the paintwork. You often see clear Mrs, or somebody


goes in the railings either side because they are trying to avoid


it. Especially at night time it is hard to see it. Yes, being a taxi


driver we do see a lot of near accidents.


Ann's accident was in November. She called for the roundabout to be


repainted. County Hall accused me `` assured me they would send somebody


out. Leicestershire County Council says


it has visited the site, on the road markings are due to be repainted in


the next few weeks. `` and the road markings.


The Leicester clothing retailer Next has reported a 12% increase in


annual profits to almost ?700 million pounds.


`` ?700 million. The Enderby`based firm's figures were driven by strong


growth in the catalogue and online parts of the business. Bosses said


2013 had been a "great year". And Derby's Westfield Shopping


Centre has been sold. The city centre complex has been


bought by Intu, the same company that owns Nottingham's Broadmarsh


and Victoria centres. It's entered into an agreement to take the site


over for ?390 million. The Westfield centre opened in 2007.


Early ticket bookings to see Kylie Minogue at Nottingham's Capital FM


Arena were lost today due to a technical fault. Kylie's performing


at the Arena in October, and pre`sale tickets for the gig were


available today. But a lot of bookings were lost due to a fault by


the ticketing system provider. Arena bosses are now urging fans to book


tickets tonight before the general sale tomorrow morning.


Three trusts which run academies in the East Midlands have been told


they can't take on any more schools ` until they've improved standards


at their existing ones. The Government says it's being tough on


under`performance. But one of the three trusts says it had already


taken its own decision not to expand for the time being. From Derby,


Simon Hare reports. Landau Forte College in Derby `


judged outstanding at its last full inspection. But recent results at


some of the other academy schools run by the same trust have led the


Government to say it can't take on any more schools at the moment. They


sent us a letter in the autumn of last year saying they were minded


not to let us expand any further, and as I politely pointed out to


them, we already took that decision ourselves six or seven months ago


because we recognised that we must embed the schools in their


communities and we must improve their performance.


The Landau foundation says, curiously, it's even been told by


the Government it could take on a previously well performing primary


school. Also affected by the expansion ban is the Djanogly


Learning Trust in Nottingham. Its city academy was one of the first in


the country. Last year, it was placed in special measures.


Officials say they're working with the Government to make rapid


improvements. I do think it shows that all this stuff that's been


coming out from the Government about, you know, academies are the


way forward, academies raise standards, academies are the bee's


knees ` well, I think actually this is proving that that's not


necessarily the case. The Department for Education insists


that like Landau Forte College here in Derby, the vast majority of


academies are performing well. But it says it's unapologetic in


tackling poor performance wherever it finds it.


New figures show Nottingham still has one of the worst records in the


country for truancy among schoolchildren. The city comes near


the bottom of the national league table for persistently absent pupils


in both primary and secondary schools. While there's been some


improvement over the last two years, around 10% of pupils still regularly


miss classes. Managers in charge of the


controversial HS2 rail project were in the East Midlands today to


explain more about the possible economic impact on the region.


There's been a mixed response to the high speed route, which includes a


planned station at Toton. Some council leaders want to see it moved


to Derby instead, to boost jobs there. But others say it's more


important that the line's built quickly. Constructing the Tram in


Nottingham, construction has started in the right of locations and we are


capable of joining the route up. I think the same approach needs to be


taken with HS2. So that we can massively good `` `` massively


reduce the time schedule for completion.


Still to come ` Through the Keyhole, with the chairman of Nottingham


Forest. Fawaz Al`Hasawi opens up parts of


the city Ground that fans rarely get to explore.


Next, to "our man in Sofia". The British Ambassador in Bulgaria is


Jonathan Allen from Nottingham, and he's come back for a visit to his


home city. The issue of immigration to the UK


from Bulgaria has been keeping him busy. But he also promotes Britain,


and claims to be Sofia's only Nottingham Forest fan! Simon Ward


has been to meet him. The ambassador and his family


including new baby Benedict are back to see his mother in Nottingham. But


in his professional life Jonathan Allen represents the Queen and the


UK Government in Bulgaria. He is often on national television using


his fluent Bulgarian. The Foreign Office expect us all to


learn languages, it is a big priority of William Hague, and all


ambassadors learn the language of the country they go to. `` most


city, most people do not speak city, most people do not speak


English. So to have influence, to be able to talk to people in their own


line which, makes a huge difference. People must ask about immigration to


and from Bulgaria. The first statistics are not out until June or


so, nobody is reporting a big change, but Bulgaria worries about


that it is losing some of its more talented youngsters, they are


worried about a bit of a brain drain. There is a great strength and


solidity in Bargoed area and family, and I now have two


hometowns, `` in Bulgaria. Are you able to follow your favourite


football team? Nottingham Forest of course, I get to follow them over


the Internet which is great, and I have high hopes for the season still


despite the blip we are going through.


As a pragmatic man, Jonathan likes to talk and even sing Bulgarian


viewers about his job. `` a patriotic man.


Simon Ward there, meeting the British Ambassador to Bulgaria.


While that was being filmed, we got to thinking about Bulgaria.


Yes ` and our knowledge was a bit patchy it's fair to say. Anyway, we


decided to share some of our new`found knowledge with you. The


first Bulgarians settled there in around 500BC, before being conquered


by Alexander the Great and then by the Romans. The first Bulgarian


state was established in 681AD. The roses grown in Bulgaria's Rose


Valley produce most of the world's rose oil, which is a component in


many perfumes. Bulgaria has a public holiday


dedicated to St George every year on sixth May, to mark the beginning of


summer and the new farming cycle. He's the patron saint of spring,


fertility, shepherds and farmers in Bulgaria.


Bulgarians are more dissatisfied with their life than any other


country in the EU, according to the latest World Happiness Report.


And finally, you might not know that Bulgarians shake their heads to mean


yes and nod for no, but sometimes, especially in resorts and cities,


they do it the other way around. Not confusing at all. I hope our


Ambassador knows what they mean, anyway! That's quite extraordinary.


Hundreds of magnificent shire horses are gathering in the East Midlands


ahead of the annual show in Grantham.


The competitive event takes place in Allington this weekend and will


feature more than 200 horses, some of which are brought in from Sweden.


It is the largest gathering of shire horses in the world. We have


competitors coming from Europe, so it is the gathering of all the best


shire horses in this country and abroad.


Wonder if there are any from Bulgaria?


It's been like an episode of Through The Keyhole at Nottingham Forest


today. Chairman Fawaz Al`Hasawi took the rare step of opening up the


stadium, so fans could explore parts of the city Ground they never


normally get to experience. The chairman himself was there to meet


the fans too. Kirsty Edwards reports.


This is what the fans are used to here at Forest ` sat in the stands,


watching the action on the pitch. Today, though, they got treated to


something very different. The queues were constant, as


supporters got the chance to go behind the scenes and grab a word


with the chairman. No problem, this is my club and yours too.


I would like to thank the fans, that's why I make this special day


for them, so I can sit with them and talk to them, and we feel altogether


like one family, and we are. We win together, we lose together ` I know


maybe at the moment we are maybe struggling to be in the play off,


but there is a big chance for Nottingham, I still believe in the


manager and the staff and everybody, and the players. I'm pushing hard as


much as I can to make these fans happy, and I am really proud of


them. From the boardroom, up to the


directors' box. These are parts of the city ground they don't usually


get this close to ` plus, there was a glimpse of the European trophies


and the man who helped the club win them. You don't see many chairmen at


many clubs doing it, but obviously the chairman here's felt it's the


right thing to do. I think it's a great idea. And there's one or two


people that have had their photographs taken next to the


European Cup ` they'll never get another chance, possibly! So from


that point of view it's just been excellent. It's been nice seeing


behind the scenes, talking to Fawaz, and he's a real gentleman. I've seen


all the trophies, and sitting in the directors' box. They're lovely,


comfortable seats up there. Lots of happy fans, then ` and


perhaps even some future stars. You going to play here some day? Yeah.


And this one's learning to dive already.


Quick news from elsewhere ` Derbyshire Cricket have announced a


renaming of the County Ground. Will Hughes is back from injury at


Derby County. Form goes totally out of the window, derby games are a


fight to the end. Time for me to go, but I'll leave


you with the two Leicester City players doing their bit for Sport


Relief ` star striker Jamie Vardy and midfield favourite Andy King.


They've been swapping their shooting boots for shooting hoops, as Natalie


Jackson reports. Leicester City striker Jamie is


scoring goals for fan `` fun at the moment, but when he and Andy tried


out wheelchair basketball they were certainly out of the comfort zone.


It is quite hard, but you get used to it. Banging into each other, it


is a very hectic sport. The Leicester team are one of the


biggest disability sports clubs in the Midlands. `` Lester Cobras.


Sport Relief have given us a grant to train up new coaches, and for


spare parts for the wheelchairs. Funding enabled a couple of asked to


take our level one coaching, and that really helps. Something like


Sport Relief keeps the club alive. Steve lost both legs in a bomb


attack while serving his country in Northern Ireland. He has been with


the Cobras for 16 years. They cut funding quite a lot in a lot of


sports. And it is not only Leicester who are us `` Leicester City who are


a success. If the Cobras beat Sheffield this weekend, they go top


of the league. Come on, Cobras!


The weather. If you have been enjoying the mild weather of late,


it is set to turn noticeably colder over the coming day, `` days. There


will however still be plenty of dry weather. And you, Kevin, for this


picture. Once the rain clears tonight, it will be drier and quite


chilly. `` thank you, Kevin. Once this clears through tonight, the


colder air will come in behind. This is the current position of the rain,


there is some heavy bursts. Wet and windy as it clears away, then behind


it one or two heavy sharp showers. Then it is a dry night, the cloud


clears, and under the clear skies temperatures drop tonight. Lows of


two or three degrees in the city centres. In rubble sheltered spots,


there is that risk of frost. `` rural sports.


A bright start first thing, but as we go through the morning we see a


little bit or cloud coming in from the west and then a scattering of


showers as we go through the afternoon. These may be heavy with a


risk of hail and thunder. There will still be sunshine in between,


though, and it is filling colder with a high of just 10 Celsius. A


blustery south`westerly wind. Low pressure stays in charge this


weekend. There will be a fair amount of dry weather still, but we are


expecting sunshine and showers on Saturday. A similar story on Sunday,


but when thinking `` one thing to note is that on Sunday night in


particular the temperatures will drop to a widespread frost.


I wanted to get out in the garden. Just mind your delicate! ``


delicates. `` delicate plants.


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