01/04/2014 East Midlands Today


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This is East Midlands Today with Dominic Heale and me, Geeta Pendse.


Tonight, a jury was told of two confrontations that ended whth the


fatal stabbing of a young football coach.


Two teenagers are in the dark accused of murdering Antoin Akpom


last year. Also tonight, the pioneering spinal


surgery helping people like Thaine life a normal life. It's grdat to be


the first one to have this `nd I hope everyone that has scolhosis can


have this operation. Plus, filling the void. A ndw


campaign to reach their thotsands left alone and lonely. Loneliness is


so destructive to people's health, physical and mental, and it's lovely


that there is a campaign dr`wing attention to ways of allevi`ting it.


And why this minibus is bound for Africa laden with artificial legs.


Good evening. Welcome to Tudsday's programme. A murder trial h`s heard


that "bad feeling" and a long running rivalry led to a street


confrontation and the fatal stabbing of a football coach in Leicdster.


The victim, Antoin Akpom, w`s said to have led a group of men from a


nearby gym and was carrying a dumb`bell when he was attacked. Our


chief news reporter, Quentin Rayner, is at Stafford Crown Court for us


tonight. Good evening. Today we have heard


how to confrontations within seconds of each other lead to the stabbing


of 20`year`old Antoin Akpom. Five hours later, for members of the same


family were killed in a house fire two doors down from one of the


defendants' family home. Thd court was told that the tragedy w`s that


none of the occupants had anything to do with the stabbing.


20`year`old Antoin Akpom was described today by a close friend


who attended to him after hd was stabbed as an all`round gre`t guy.


But for a year there had bedn a bad feeling between him and Abdtl


Hakim. In the early evening of September the 12th last year, the


football coach spotted him `nd another 19`year`old, Hussein


Hussein, in Kent Street. After an initial confrontation, Antohn Akpom


ran to a nearby gym. Seconds later, he ran back with the group of nine


men to confront the teenagers again. Witnesses say they saw the football


coach carrying a dumbbell and one of his group shouted, you're a dead


man, and appeared to be the aggressors. The court heard Antoin


Akpom was seen exchanging ptnches with the two teenagers before


emerging with a blood stain on his upper back then collapsing hn the


street. After fleeing to London the 19`year`olds were arrested. Both


deny murder. The prosecution claim Hussein wielded the knife btt he


claims Abdul Hakim told him he'd stabbed Antoin Akpom becausd he was


scared after he swung a dumbbell at him. Abdul Hakim said he never saw a


knife. Mr Hakim told the police he intended to return to Leicester


after hearing about a fire two doors down from his mother's home. Four


members of a family were killed The jury was told the tragedy w`s that


the occupants had nothing to do with the Kent Street incident. Rhchard


Latham QC said whoever did this if it had anything to do with the


stabbing, got the wrong house. It was a ghastly, ghastly event. The


trial is expected to last jtst over two weeks.


I gather that this afternoon the court heard from Antoin Akpom's


close friend who was with hhm when he was stabbed.


Yes, they had been friends since they were 12 and they ran a business


together providing football coaching and fitness for schools. He was with


his friend at the time of the confrontation will stop he was asked


by the rustic `ish and if Antoin Akpom had said anything beforehand


about trouble, he replied no. He also said it took an ambulance long


time to get their hand that the police had blocked the road off He


will continue his evidence here tomorrow morning.


A man has denied ordering the shooting of a Derby teenager six


years ago. Kadeem Blackwood was murdered in Caxton Park in Sunnyhill


in 2008. Callum Campbell adlitted pulling the trigger and is hn


prison. The prosecution clahm Michael Hamblett`Sewell orddred the


shooting and stood by Campbdll's side as he did it. But, tod`y in


court, he said he had no idda a gun would be involved and thought it


would be a one`on` one fight between Campbell and Kadeem. The retrial


continues. A shoe repair shop in Derby is now


in need of repair itself after a car smashed into it in the earlx hours


of this morning. This is thd moment when the front of John's Shoe


Repairs near the city centrd was badly damaged. Police were called to


the incident just after 4:30AM. The driver was arrested at the scene on


suspicion of drink`driving, but was bailed to go to hospital.


Still to come ` the scourge of loneliness.


We speak to broadcaster Esther Rantzen about a new campaign to help


the growing number of peopld who find themselves alone.


Now the extraordinary story of a young boy who faced life in a


wheelchair, only to be saved by becoming one of the first pdople in


the country to get pioneering surgery.


The parents of Thaine Marston, who is from Long Eaton, fought for him


to get the new procedure after discovering his spine was ctrved.


They were thrilled when a strgeon at Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre


agreed to help, as Jo Healex reports.


Doing this was something Th`ine feared may never happen. He was


diagnosed with early onset scoliosis. It felt like a strain on


my back, but I also felt upset and hurt emotionally because I would not


believe that it could happen to me. But it did. You can see herd the


curves in his spine. Tradithonally he would have endured many


operations, his spine fused and unable to grow much. But thhs


surgeon agreed to fit Thaind with new magnetic rods. He basic`lly has


something like a scaffolding which holds his spine upright, as well as


allowing us to distract these rods according to his growth. We can


locate them on the x`ray and put a strong magnet on the skin and that


causes the motorised section of the rods to lengthen. So no operations


and Thaine can move and crucially grow. ?? FORCEDYELLOW I feel really


happy. I think I have been one of the luckiest boys in the UK. It is


100% better than the other option. It is straightforward and ldss


intrusive and it makes his life much better. He could have been hn a


wheelchair. I could have bedn pushing a wheelchair around. But


with this magnetic spine he has got, it is fantastic. It is piondering


work and that is what we ard trying to push forward at the Queen's


Medical Centre. Only about 200 people in the world have had it so


Thaine's mum and dad did have to push for it. I felt really happy and


proud of them that they put a lot of work into it to help me get the best


lifestyle and I have loved them for it all the time.


The Police Commissioner for the region's biggest force has described


the translation services usdd by police and courts as "crap". Paddy


Tipping was responding to claims that Nottinghamshire Police are


struggling to deal with fordign nationals.


His outspoken remarks were lade while he was talking to our Social


Affairs Correspondent, Jerely Ball ` who's here now. Why's he got so hot


under the collar? Because the police and courts rely


on interpreters to deal with foreign nationals who can't speak English.


Both people who've been arrdsted and with people who've been victims of


crime. Now if you look at this list of languages, you can see what


they're up against. It's thd 40 languages that Nottinghamshhre


Police had to get translated last year. And that cost the force almost


?400,000. But this conference heard complaints that interpreters often


aren't available when they're needed. And Paddy Tipping told me


that he's particularly worrhed about agencies who translate for the


police, on the phone or in courts. And he used some very strong


language to call for their contracts to be scrapped.


If we do not have the tools to do the job and we haven't got `


contract that delivers, then it is costing us all money. It is not good


for the offenders, the victhms, and in terms of public justice. ??


FORCEDWHITE do you regret using the term "crap" to describe this


service? I think you need to tell it as it is. And this is, let le say it


on camera, a crap scheme. It needs to be taken away, torn up, started


again. Has there been any response?


Yes. As you can imagine, thd translation services involvdd are


putting up a very stout defdnce For the courts, Capita told me ht is


meeting its national targets. I ve also heard from Language Line, who


provide interpreters on the phone for Nottinghamshire Police. They say


the force is clear that it hs happy with the service and doesn't have


any concerns. There has been some clarification from Paddy Tipping


too, because, although he w`s responding to concerns about what is


happening in Nottinghamshird, he says he is complaining about the


translation service nationally. And I suspect those complaints will have


been heard loud and clear tonight. The family of a woman who wdnt


missing nearly four months `go have been told by police that thdy have


found a body in Nottinghamshire 59`year`old Elaine Harrison


disappeared from her houseboat at Castle Marina in Nottingham in


December. Underwater search teams made the discovery at 11am this


morning close to Colwick Park. Formal identification is yet to take


place but the death is not thought to be suspicious.


A Leicester speedway cycling club faces a repair bill of thousands of


pounds after intruders brokd into its clubhouse and wrecked the


building. They set fire to the kitchen and spattered paint across


the walls and furniture of the Leicester Monarchs club basdd in


Frog Island. The club estim`tes the total cost of repairing the damage


will be around ?6000. It is completely devastating. You


can probably expect people to break in to try and steal things, but when


you look around and see what they have done ` they have just wrecked


the place. We're a communitx sports club and we cannot replace what they


have done. Next, the anger felt by people with


disabilities over the Government's controversial "fitness to work"


tests. At a protest today, campaigners claimed the assdssments


are leaving many people who can t work without any support.


Ministers insist the procedtres are fair. They say they want disability


payments to go to people who need them most. Simon Ward reports from


Leicester. Who should be told to go out and get


a job and who should get benefits? These protestors are unhappx with


the tests called Work Capabhlity Assessments. I agree that bdnefits


it should go to those who nded them. I disagree that the governmdnt wants


that to happen. They have sdt things up to cut down the number of people


getting disability benefits, when less than one percent of those


claiming disability benefits were committing fraud in the first place.


The company that carries out the tests, ATOS, is losing its contract


early next year after criticism None of these campaigners are having


to appeal, but they say the process of assessment is unfair. We think


that the DWP should be carrxing out assessments by itself. We do not


think that assessments should be carried out for profit by a private


contractor. In a statement the Department for Work and Pensions


told us the majority of people on Disability Allowance receivd awards


without reassessments and the new Personal Independence Payment


includes face`to`face assessments and reviews to ensure the stpport


goes to those who need it most. Loneliness is as damaging to the


long term health of the elddrly as smoking or obesity. That's the claim


being made by Age UK. Today the broadcaster Esther Rantzen was in


Nottingham to support a loc`l campaign to help tackle londliness.


It coincides with a new reghonal survey showing thousands of older


people feel trapped in their own homes. Tom Brown reports.


Many people dream of retirelent but for Colin Harrison it was one of the


toughest times of his life. After leaving work aged 16 C was left


living alone with nothing to do `` aged 60, he was. I think work


provides structure and gives you a reason to do things. Unforttnately


when you retire you have to find those things yourself. Over 1


million people in the UK ovdr 6 continually feel lonely. Thdir


charity Age UK says thousands of people in Nottinghamshire fdel


trapped in their own home whth many admitting their main companx is the


television. Today a conference was held in Nottingham to give `dvice to


anyone struggling to cope on their own. The need to meet peopld and be


part of what is going on. Wd are asking people to do small things


like smile or say hello. We are asking them to think about ways to


extend their social network to include new people. I think


loneliness is so destructivd to people's health, physical and


mental. It is likely there hs a campaign drawing attention to ways


of alleviating it. It is cl`imed that loneliness is as damaghng to


their health as smoking or drinking. Colin agrees that a simple smile


could prevent the pain of bding by yourself. Over the years on this


programme we've featured quhte a few epic charity treks.


But this one's a little different. This challenging journey involves a


minibus stacked to the roof with five hundred artificial legs. The


prosthetic limbs are being driven from Leicester to the Afric`n state


of Gambia. That is a bum`nulbing 4,000 miles. So, where have the legs


come from ` and who will be using them? We have been collecting these


prosthetic legs for the last 12 months from charities and hospital


departments across the UK. To have a new prosthetic leg built costs


between ?5000 and ?15,000. So those amputees out in the Gambia do not


have a chance of funding a new one. So what we do is we send out these


redundant prosthetic legs from here and they will customise thel to be


reused over there. It all c`me about three years ago, during a trip to


the Gambia. We met a wonderful family, but the father of the family


had lost his leg from diabetes. We could see first`hand how difficult


that was for everyone. So wd went about and we found him a new


prosthetic leg. Since then our cause has grown from that one leg to a van


full of 500 prosthetic legs. So these are going to the Royal


Victoria Teaching Hospital hn the Gambia where there is a real need


because of their problems whth diabetes and landmines. We have


nearly loaded the van now rdady for Africa. We even have a spard engine


on board. I am confident we will make it. The van already has 18 ,000


miles on it. I don't see thhs as a problem, another 4000 miles will not


hurt. You can follow the progress of our trip on our Facebook page, Legs


for Africa. And please wish us the best of luck.


"Forget the Hype." That is the message from Leicester City Manager


Nigel Pearson. But it is hard to do. The Foxes go into tonight's game at


Wigan needing a maximum of just seven points from eight gamds to


confirm their promotion to the Premier League. Kirsty Edwards looks


ahead. Nigel Pearson will tell you nothing


has been won yet. He is right of course, but it is easy to sde why so


many people think the Foxes have promotion in the bag. The whn over


Burnley saw Leicester go six points clear at the top. They are ` whole


15 points ahead of third pl`ce and they have been nothing short of


consistent. 19 games now thdy have gone unbeaten in the League and they


certainly do not want that run to end tonight. Unbeaten is ond thing,


but we want to win as many games as we can. We have to try and keep


focused and not get involved with the hype that is becoming slightly


more noticeable. The players should enjoy it but also understand there


is a job to be done. Leicester have benefited from a very settldd side


this season. But when needed, they have showing real strength `nd


depth. Just like on Saturdax when striker Jamie Vardy had to be


replaced by Chris Wood ` who went on to score a great goal. The players


are very much supportive of each other. You can only ever have 1 in


the starting plan, but the competition is very very kedn and


the players recognise more than anything that our collectivd success


is probably more important than any individual's situation. The dream of


Premier League football herd next season is so close now. Thex have


eight games left to make th`t dream a reality. Kirsty Edwards, BBC East


Midlands today, Leicester. While Leicester stride towards


promotion, Derby and Forest are both thinking of play`offs. Semifinal


dates have now been confirmdd. The two two`legged matches will be


completed over a lively fivd days between the eighth and 12th of May.


Big rugby 's Leicester Tigers go into the Heineken cup this weekend


as underdogs. The Tigers have returned to form in their l`st two


games after struggling this season. They have not lost a home for nearly


five years. We are looking forward to the challenge. As a sportsman you


look forward to the biggest gains and you want to challenge yourself.


I am sure that they are looking to go one step further to win ht this


year but we will be doing everything we can to stop them.


The cricket season started today ` and that is not an April Fool! Our


first season preview is at Derbyshire, where the new Dhrector


of Performance, Graeme Welch, has a target to get them promoted straight


back to Division One. He is a familiar face at the three @ County


Ground. He played there for seven years. But today he was the man in


charge watching, with me, hhs men take on Durham University. How good


is it to see them out there again for the new season? It is brilliant.


We have had 12 good weeks of preparation and they are all


champing at the bit to get out there. Personally, how are xou


feeling? Back somewhere you are clearly loved. We saw someone on the


stairs talking about the past, how does it feel for you? It has been


great to come back. It is lhke I have never left. I have been away


for seven years in different parts of the country, but as soon as the


job came up it was a no`brahner really. Back to where I plaxed for


seven or eight years. I havd got really fond memories of this place.


What makes it special? It is the people in the club. In 2000, the


club took me under their wing and it is just a great place with great


people. The facilities are good Everything is looking good `t the


moment. A new role, are you feeling the pressure off it? I wantdd to put


myself under pressure. I wanted to challenge myself. We have good


people under us so it should be good. It is a difficult job, but it


is one I am looking forward to. You have got a squad that only narrowly


missed out on staying in thd first division, can they go back `t the


first attempt? I can't see why not to be honest. There are a lot of


processes in place and we h`ve done a lot of technical work. Thdy are


probably fitter than they h`ve ever been. All we can do is prep`re them


for when they go over the white line and I think they are in a good place


at the moment. Are they enjoying it? They seem to be. The first game of


the season at the moment so they are all excited, but we will sed how the


are in June, July, and August when it is actually hard work.


Finally, he was Nottingham's forgotten sporting hero ` btried in


an unmarked grave and overlooked by fans for decades. After an


outstanding career as a footballer in the late 19th century, Thnsley


Lindley died in 1940 aged 74. Now 74 years later, he's finally rdceived a


headstone worthy of his memory. Paul Bradshaw reports.


I delight in life and now rdcognised in death `` idolised. Tinsldy


Lindley laid in an unmarked grave but now this handsome new m`rker has


been unveiled in his memory. The new Greystone is down to this m`n from


Silverdale. He has spent thd last nine months raising the ?5,000


through auctions and donations to pay for their memorial. I al very


proud. It has been hard work. I am pleased at the way it has ttrned


out. I have a lot of people to thank. Tinsley Lindley had `


remarkable sporting career playing for Nottingham Forest and not


County, he went on to score many goals and eventually captained the


national team. He also playdd cricket for Nottinghamshire. What


has been done here is fantastic He has taken so much of his tile and


effort to get to where we are today and to unveil it. The centrd forward


when termites are nearly three quarters of a century `` went


unmarked. It is looking pretty good for


tomorrow and the next coupld of days. We have low`pressure `nchored


to the west the bus allowing us to draw in warm southerly winds. We can


see that we have a weather front pushing its way into night which may


bring some showers. But aftdr that, we are looking at a decent day


tomorrow. Temperatures could be 18`19 degrees. For the rest of the


evening and tonight we will be dry, but later the clouds will increase


and some showers. But the Chavez will be fairly isolated. `` these


showers. The son will start to poke through in the early hours of the


morning. There will be closdd at times and the temperatures `re


dependent on where the sunshine is. But possibly 17, 18, or even 19


degrees. Some uncertainty for the buyers the `` for Thursday, but it


will get to us eventually. We will be back later, Intel then h`ve a


good evening. Goodbye. All across the country, millions of


families are waking up to a Britain in which they find it harder to get


on. Whilst the Government keeps telling people everything is fixed,


many are finding that hard work no longer stops the pound in their


pocket getting smaller, or the bills getting harder to afford. Under


David Cameron, gas and electricity bills have increased by more than


?300 for an average family,


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