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This is East Midlands Today. Tonight ` hundreds pay their
respects at the funeral of Leicester author Sue Townsend.
Among those at the packed service, the actor who played Adrian Morley,
her best`known creation. She looked after me. She was on set every day.
She got that guided me through the whole thing.
Also tonight, a man is convicted of `` a man is arrested on suspicion of
rape at a children's home. And with more and more East Midlands
people wanting allotments, should current holders consider dividing
their plots into. Good evening and welcome to
tonight's programme. First tonight, hundreds gathered in Leicester this
afternoon to pay tribute to the life of the Leicester author Sue
Townsend, the woman who gave us Adrian Mole. Her family chose to
hold a public funeral service at De Montfort Hall, in the heart of the
city she loved. Sue was described as generous and kind with a wicked
sense of humour. Geeta Pendse reports.
An iconic cultural venue befitting a woman who put Leicester on the
literary map. Sue Townsend's family, friends and the public
attended the funeral service. While cameras were not present, audio was
relayed to mourners outside. Extracts of her work were read out.
She was not scared of death, but she was not ready to die. She loved life
too much. She loved Leicester and the overflowing home that she had
made off a corner of it. She loved trees,
Jeremy Ball, is there for us tonight. What do we know about this
arrest? Well, this arrest follows a complex police investigation, into
more than 50 abuse allegations, going back to the 1970s. It involves
a children's home that closed eight years ago. You can see it is fenced
off. I understand that a man in hiis fifties has been questioned on
suspicion of raping a child at Beechwood. He's subsequently been
bailed pending further enquiries. And the offence is alleged to have
taken place in the early 1980s. And Nottinghamshire Police haven't said
whether the man they've arrested worked at Beechwood. But the police
have made clear they're still following other lines of inquiry.
They're said to refer to a significant number of potential
suspects. And their investigation has already been extended to four
other children's homes in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. And
there's been another development in this case today, hasn't there? Yes.
Separately to the police inquiry, we've discovered that 26 former
residents have been awarded compensation after claiming they
were sexually abused. That's come out of a Freedom of Information
request we made about the Beechwood inquiry. Together, the City and
County Councils have paid almost ?250,000 so far. They say a
"significant" number of other claims are still being considered. And
because of that, they can't go into more detail. But they've made it
clear those settlements have been made without any admission of
liability. Thank you. Still to come ` will the weather
behave? Yes. With high pressure in charge,
there is no need to put the bank holiday weather on the naughty step.
I will have the details later. An inquest into the death of a GP
who had been diagnosed with postnatal depression has concluded
she didn't intend to take her own life. There was a huge search for
Elizabeth Kinston when she vanished from her home in Nottinghamshire
last November. Her body was found two weeks later. Our Health
Correspondent Rob Sissons reports. This was a very tragic and high
profile case. She was a very well liked and
respected GP and she worked in Derbyshire. When she vanished from
her home at Beeston in Nottingham, it was learned that she was
diagnosed with postnatal depression. Police looked at hours of CCTV. Her
family appeal for her return. The inquest heard that she had a history
of mental problems. She confided in her family and her GP but nobody
knew the full picture. If they had done, she may have got the help she
needed. Then came the call nobody wanted. Her body was found in
grassland and yet taken a toxic mixture of medication. `` and she
had taken. Elizabeth Kinston had begun to act irrationally, fearing
neighbours were spying on her. Her husband did not want to say anything
today. The inquest concluded that there was no evidence that she plans
to take her own life, so there was no suicide. She had been looking
forward to a family holiday in South Africa with her husband and children
who had kept her going through her illness.
A man has been charged with common assault after the UKIP leader Nigel
Farage was hit by an egg in Nottingham. 33`year`old Frederick
Glenister from Radford has been bailed. He's due before Magistrates
in Nottingham on the 22nd of May. Meanwhile Mr Farage cancelled a
walkabout in Cambridgeshire today following yesterday's incident.
A Nottinghamshire family, forced to live in different countries for the
past ten months, are to be re`united. Gill and Herb Reagan from
Carlton were separated when he was deported to his birthplace ` America
` due to visa problems. They had been returning to the UK after
spending a decade volunteering in South Africa. An appeal judge has
now ruled in their favour ` meaning Herb could be reunited with his wife
and three sons within weeks. A jury has heard how a man was
beaten to death and set alight outside a Derbyshire social club.
Three people are accused of murdering Barry Smith last October.
The attack on him was described in court today as "savage and
merciless". Navtej Johal reports. Barry Smith was a traveller who had
put down roots in the village in Derbyshire. He had only been living
there a few years before he died outside the social club last October
where he was a regular visitor. The visitor at Leicester Crown Court
heard that a week before he died, Barry Smith was involved in an
argument at the Kilburn welfare social club with the `` with a woman
who racially insulted him. She resigned her post and the
prosecution alleged that it was the loss of her job which led to her
husband, also a steward at the club, their daughter and her
partner, to kill Barry Smith in the early hours of Sunday morning when
they were alone at the club. All three are charged with murder.
Pamela Aitken is charged with assisting an offender. The
prosecution described what happened as cold, chilling and brutal
revenge. He told the jury how the forensics pathologist documented
dozens of sites of recent injury and drag marks on the ground leading to
where the body was found. He said a fence post had been used in the
attack and Mr Smith had had his face smashed in before being set alight.
All the defendants deny the charges. The trial continues.
Fire`fighters in the region have escalated strike action in their
long` running dispute with the government over changes to their
pensions. They started three consecutive days of industrial
action today ` with an overtime ban next week, too. One Fire Service
trained up what it calls "contingency operatives" as cover.
And they were soon in action. Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Midday at Central Fire Station in Nottingham. The beginning of five
hours of strike action. Members of the Fire Brigades' Union asked that
walking out over proposed changes to their pensions, including pushing up
the retirement age to 60. This is the start of strike action over
three days. We are putting the public in danger. We don't want to
strike. This is the government putting them in danger. We are
fighting for our rights. There will be a 12 hour stoppage on Saturday.
Then on Sunday, a five hour strike from 10am. It is the first time
there have been three consecutive days of action. In Nottinghamshire,
the service has recruited 24 of what it calls contingency operatives to
help senior officers provide cover during the strikes. They were soon
in action this afternoon. They helped to rescue a woman from a
kitchen fire in Mansfield Woodhouse and helping to rescue a woman
motorist after a car accident nearby. We have recruited from the
local population. We have given them basic training and kit `` on our kit
and our appliances. And they are working alongside professional
firefighters and officers. I sincerely hope we don't get a major
incident because those people will be in danger. This is a highly
skilled job, firefighting and these people are in danger. The Derbyshire
and Leicestershire services had nose a difficult call out this afternoon
but fire chiefs are urging people to take care over the bank holiday
weekend. `` their services had no significant call`outs.
People in the East Midlands are being urged to report on an illegal
abuse of young women. The issue of Female Genital Mutilation is
difficult for many, but it's a subject that health workers and
others have to confront. Police have announced they'll be at airports
this year to stop parents taking their daughters abroad for the
procedure. One victim has been speaking to our reporter Simon Ward.
Educate them. And when you educate them and they know better, they will
stop and realise that this is you is not going anywhere unless they
change themselves. She knows what she's talking about. This girl was a
little girl in Somalia when she became a victim of genital
mutilation. Now her organisation in Leicester aims to prevent it from
happening to others. I was actually very young. I was 11 at the time I
had it done. It was an experience that I will never forget and if I
can make a difference by raising awareness, you know, I would love to
do that. And for the last 21 odd years, I have been doing my best to
raise awareness of FGM. These care workers are role`playing to explore
the issues. `` these health workers. The origin of FGM in some African
and Asian countries are not about medical issues but many except it is
about male dominance over women in some cultures. `` many access it it
is about male dominance `` many except it is about male dominance.
This legal firm says it is working on one case to prevent the abuse of
a girl. Passports can be taken away and legal powers used before a court
case and before anyone is hurt. I think for family lawyers, the
prevention side that I'm keen on, I think it is lack of knowledge. I
don't think many people are aware that they can come to a family
lawyer. The public can do that, not a government agency. It is a taboo
subject but by talking about genital mutilation, more girls can grow up
naturally, without interference. Still to come ` mixed feelings for
fans on the final weekend of the football season.
And allotments on alert. We report on a plan that would see allotment
holders give up half their plots to help reduce the waiting list for
land. Now, in under three weeks' time
we'll be voting in the European elections. After yesterday's
campaigning in the East Midlands by UKIP, today it was the turn of
Labour. The party will be hoping it can gain a second MEP. From Derby,
Simon Hare reports. Time is running out for voters to
make up their minds. Today in bark `` in Derby marketplace, Labour
began its campaign for this month's Euro elections. Among those
gathered, the sitting Labour MP, Gladys Wilmot. She joined other
candidates who she hoped would join her in the European Parliament.
Among them, Rory Palmer, who is second on the list of Labour
candidates. Let's have a good campaign and best of luck in local
elections, too. Last time out in the Euro elections, the Conservatives
were the biggest vote winners in the East Midlands. But if there is a
swing away from the Tories, Labour hopers `` labour is hoping that it
is not just UKIP who will go up in the polls. I hope people will turn
out. I think people don't understand the importance of this election.
40,000 jobs are dependent on our trade in Europe. It is important
during this cost of living rises that we do something about jobs and
growth. Should the party's vote go up enough, under the system in place
for Euro elections, afterwards Labour will be hoping that it will
need a seat for two to accommodate its Euro MVP is for the East
Midlands. `` MEPs. There are nine parties standing.
I'm tempted to say, something even more appalled and politics.
Quite a lot of people who are nervous this weekend.
Coming up, the day of destiny for Notts County but first Leicester
City's Thai owner Mr Srivaddhanaprabha says he and his
father have written off over ?100 million at Leicester. He says
they'll invest in the Premier League campaign and will continue to
support Nigel Pearson with everything he wants. Natalie Jackson
reports. In his grand room at the King Power
Stadium, the owner Mr Srivaddhanaprabha says it has not
been about money but he and his father have written off millions in
the `` getting the Premier League for Leicester City. To write off
?100 million worth of debt while you have been yeah? Yes. We love
football here and we love the club. For us, we have got the return
already. Not in money, but we tried to make the club a success and now
we have got a success and we enjoy watching the team in the Premier
league. What are your plans? It is for Nigel to decide. I will support
Nigel in everything he decides. We talk really openly so he and I are
like friends. Did you think about a management change last season? Never
thought about that. Never considered a change. So like I said, since the
set `` first day that I met Nigel, I felt he was the right guy. This
weekend, he is looking forward to being with the fans as Leicester
lifted the temperature Trophy `` the temperature Trophy and parade around
the city. I will stay and listen to what the fans want and I will try to
make the team stronger in the Premier league.
Derby still have a chance to join Leicester in the Premier League
through the play`offs. But before that, at Leeds tomorrow they can set
a new points record for a season. So by way of inspiration this week they
welcomed another big record breaker. Former Olympic 400m Champion Michael
Johnson was at the club to talk to the players.
Now there's no exaggerating just how big tomorrow's game is for Notts
County. Their whole future in League 1 is at stake. Almost four thousand
fans will make the trip to Oldham. But no one will be more desperate
for them to make the great escape than Manager Shaun Derry as Kirsty
Edwards reports. This is a man on a mission. A
mission to save the club he grew up supporting. I know what it means to
be a fan. Being behind that goal there and watching games with my dad
and my brothers. It is a great place it is not just a job. He is taken as
the bottom. Let's hope he can do on Saturday. He has never given up,
even when fans have. We won last night, so all of us are confident we
can get a point at the weekend. Just six weeks to go and not `` just with
`` just six weeks ago, they looked odds`on to go down. Now they are two
points clear of the relegation zone. The goal difference means just one
point tomorrow will guarantee their safety. Tell us about the dreamy
had? I had a dream about us and the last day. I just remember that
Radford beat Tranmere so I hope that that comes true. `` Radford beat
Tranmere. The manager beat `` the manager put his stamp on the team so
we have every chance. He has to get all the plaudits, hasn't he? I feel
this club can go higher than league one. To take a backward step now
would be wrong. We have a plan and a vision and I want that vision to
start as a league one team. Also playing tomorrow ` Forest who
can influence the play`off race at home to Brighton and Mansfield, who
could potentially send Bristol Rovers down from League 2. All the
best coverage of the day's football on your BBC Local Radio station.
Loads of other stuff to mention. Starting with Basketball's Leicester
Riders who have put themselves in a tremendous position halfway through
their play`off semi final. Opponents Newcastle won the league, but
defending Wembley champions Leicester went after them hard at
Loughborough and ended the first leg with an eleven point lead. The
second leg ` in Newcastle ` is on Sunday afternoon.
Down the road Rugby's Leicester Tigers ` who we featured yesterday `
go to Sale needing a win to confirm their place in the Premiership
play`off. Scrum half Ben Youngs makes his hundredth appearance.
Still with Leicester, the city's snooker star Mark Selby is in a
World Championship semifinal battle with Neil Robertson. At the end of
this afternoon's session, he led nine frames to seven, with the match
resuming tomorrow. In cricket, an outstanding signing
for Leicestershire as they bring in big hitting New Zealander Scott
Styris for the T20 Blast Competition. Meanwhile
Nottinghamshire will loan batsman Alex Hales to Worcestershire for the
next two County Championship matches. They say he needs first
team practice in the four day game. He will return to Notts for T20.
And finally, Nottingham Panthers will play in Ice Hockey's European
Champions League next season. They've been given a wild card place
as the only UK team in the competition.
Now, as we approach the bank holiday, thousands of you will be
getting out onto your allotments. But here's a notion to fire you up `
how about handing over half of your well`tended plot to someone else?
Well, given the huge waiting lists for land across the region, some
people may say it sounds like a good idea. James Roberson reports from
one of our oldest and biggest allotments.
Rob Wood considers himself very lucky. He has an allotment. It is
the world's oldest and biggest that these allotments could be cut
in half to help waiting list. People can split the allotments, we can
work with associations to get sites up quicker. Splitting plots might be
necessary regionally given that Derby has 18 allotment site,
Nottingham 42 and Leicester 45 and all have waiting list of around two
years. I think you would get a mixed response. Someone like me would want
the full size. Others, as they got older and had less time available,
might welcome the idea of downsizing and growing a smaller range of
crops. Men are even less tolerant of women
than they were before.