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Hello and welcome to Look East. On the programme tonight: He killed a
man in a row over a parking space. Tonight, Alan Watts is starting a
five`year prison sentence. Hundreds gather for the funeral of a
26`year`old man found murdered in a Northampton churchyard.
An extra ?6 million for a new city railway station.
We go behind`the`scenes at Sizewell's new centre designed to
deal with an emergency. And he's just a few hours away from
being the first double amputee to reach the South Pole.
Good evening. A pensioner who killed a man in a
row over a parking space has been jailed for five years. Alan Watts
was caught on CCTV punching Brian Holmes in the car park of Asda in
Biggleswade. The punch knocked Mr Holmes to the floor and he later
died in hospital. Today, a jury found the 65`year`old guilty of
manslaughter. Neil Bradford has been following the case and joins us from
Luton Crown Court. Neil, it didn't take them long to reach a verdict.
No, after a trial lasting three days it took them just three hours to
reject Alan Watts' version of events, that he was acting in self
defence. There was grasping and cries of, yes, in the public
galleries. The four`man gave the jury's verdict to the court. They
accepted the prosecution's version of events, that this was an
unprovoked attack with unnecessary violence, a moment of madness that
changed people's lives forever. It lasted a few seconds but was a
confrontation with fatal consequences. 64`year`old Brian
Holmes had just been given the all clear from cancer. On the 3rd of
August, he went shopping with his wife, Christine, at their local
supermarket in Biggleswade. Also shopping at Asda on that day,
65`year`old Alan Watts, on the right. He parked alongside Brian,
who was using a disabled space and he lost his temper because he
wrongly believed he was not entitled to park there. CCTV recorded what
happened next. After making a sarcastic comment, Alan Watts
stepped out of the car and punched Brian Holmes, first with his right
arm, then with his left. As Mr Holmes fell to the floor, Alan Watts
got back in his car and drove away. The following day, Brian Holmes died
from serious head injuries. Today, outside court, his family explained
the impact of his death. Brian was deprived of his life and our family
have been deprived of a loving husband, father, stepfather and
grandad. Many more people have been deprived of a good and loyal friend.
Brian was, in every sense of the word, a gentleman, a caring, loving
man with no enemies and many friends. He was a man for whom
caring was second nature. Alan Watts claimed he was acting in self
defence but the prosecution say it was an unprovoked attack and an
extraordinary show of violence, a moment of madness that changed
people's lives forever. Today, the jury agreed. This shows that you
have to think before you act and speak. A family have lost their
beloveds gentleman. And that is shown today. Just as he tried to
hide from the cameras, Alan Watts tried to hide the truth. But he must
now pay the price with a five`year jail term.
Giving evidence yesterday, Alan Watts said he was sorry for what had
happened. Sentencing him, the judge said this was a case of manslaughter
akin to a road rage. He told him he had the opportunity to leave but
instead he did not, and there were serious consequences. After the
verdict, I heard applause from the family room, as the prosecutor
entered, such is their relief that the case is over. But it is not just
their lives that have been ruined. Alan Watts' family face their first
Christmas without him. A 16`year`old cyclist has died
following an accident in Cambridge city centre last night. Beth
McDermot was involved in a crash with two cars on Milton Road just
before 7pm. She was taken to Addenbrooke's hospital but later
died. Long Road Sixth Form College says the student was popular with
everyone and was committed to her studies. Police are appealing for
witnesses. A Luton man has appeared in court
after heroin with an estimated street value of ?40 million was
found crammed into the bodywork of a Jaguar car. The National Crime
Agency says the car was discovered in Essex on Friday evening.
34`year`old Israr Khan from Luton, and a man from Bradford, have been
charged with conspiracy to supply heroin.
Dirty, poorly maintained and a potential risk to patients. Just
some of the findings of inspectors who assessed a GP surgery in
Peterborough. The Lincoln Road practice was one of ten across the
country which was found to have "very serious failings.
This is one of the worst GP surgeries in the country, saying
inspectors, with failings that put patients at risk. Those seeing their
doctors today were surprised and stunned. Shocking, surprised, very
surprised. Does it put you off coming here? Definitely. I need to
have a think about it again. I did not think it was like that. The
doctors I see here are really good. That inspectors criticised the
surgery for being visibly dusty, poorly maintained, with inadequate
infection control. Staff were not familiar with fire alarms and risk
assessments were not in place. We work closely with NHS England and
their Clinical Commissioning Group to try to improve the quality of
care. But if we do not find any improvement, we do have enforcement
action. We will not tolerate very poor and dangerous practice, and we
have had to take action already Across the street, planning
permission has been granted for a brand`new surgery. But for the
drawings to become a building, GPs here say they need the go`ahead from
the NHS. In a statement, the practice say they're building is
more than 100 years old, and they do not think it is appropriate for
Ponty first century health care. Ponty first century health care
They say since the inspection they have had two deep cleans and brought
their infection control up to date. Those in charge decided not to go on
camera today. What does in charge of a surgery now under scrutiny. ``
doctors in charge of the surgery now under scrutiny.
" The East Anglian Air Ambulance grounded its helicopters today for
engineers to carry out an emergency inspection.
The aircraft, based in Cambridge and Norwich, are the same type as the
one involved in a crash in Glasgow earlier this month. They were out of
action from 9.30pm last night but cleared for use again at 3pm today.
The charity says ground crews responded to all call`outs whilst
the helicopters were unavailable. Detectives investigating the
exploitation of migrant workers in the Fens have arrested four more
people. Two women from King's Lynn and two men from Wisbech have all
been questioned on suspicion of fraud. They've since been released
on police bail. It's the latest development in the operation which
saw nine people arrested in October. The Deputy Prime Minister was in
Cambridge today to sign a deal which will lead to the city having more
control over its economic development. Nick Clegg said the so
called city deal would create thousands of new jobs and speed up
the building of homes and transport projects.
This is a relatively new idea which the government believes will speed
up growth and bring major economic edifice to Cambridge. This morning,
the Deputy Prime Minister was at a local company that develops remote
access software for computers. City Deal status, he said, would
encourage or firms like this. Cambridge will be able to grow
faster in future, build more affordable homes for people in
Cambridge, invest in infrastructure, railway
infrastructure, road infrastructure, which needs to keep pace with
growth. Cambridge can do that in the future without waiting for the green
light from Whitehall. City Deal status gives an area more of a say
over development. It will be able to apply for extra grants and borrowing
for infrastructure projects at preferential rates of interest.
Historically, we have been waiting for government to recognise this and
do the job for us. It has not happened. This gives us the
opportunity to be given the resources to get on with the job.
The full details are being worked on but they are expected to create
45,000 jobs and help to build 33,000 new homes. There was another boost
for the city today. Government announced ?6 million to go towards
the new rail station for Cambridge. It is an important project. It helps
to do everything we are here to do today, in terms of making the
economy of Cambridge work, but it actually does something that gives
better access to this great economy. The mood was one of optimism. There
is talk that these announcements could bring more than ?1 billion of
investment to the city. Talking about investment is one thing, but
it will only be when jobs are created and things start to be built
that we will see if city Deal status has really worked.
Around 300 people have gathered today for the funeral of Jamie
McMahon, whose body was found in a Northampton churchyard in October.
The 26`year`old snooker club worker had suffered head injuries. There
were so many well`wishers at the service, some had to listen from
outside, as Louise Hubball reports. It was a funeral for a young man
that friends and family say was taken to soon. It was a funeral full
of personal touches. Jane in Marne, making his final journey in a camper
van. `` Jamie McMahon. Friends and family wrote tributes in marker pen
on his casket. The congregation was 300 strong and full of young faces,
lining the driveway. Described by friends as a ray of sunshine, Jamie
McMahon was just 26. His ordeal was found in Saint Giles Churchyard in
October. `` his body. Police think he may have been attacked after a
night out while taking a short cut. There were so many here today, each
reflecting on their own memories. More tributes were visible when the
casket was lifted into the chapel. There was not enough room for
everyone inside, so some spilled out and listened through an open
doorway. At one point, spontaneous applause could be heard rippling
through the congregation. And there were more personal touches. The
messages again and again read that Jamie McMahon will never be
forgotten. Two men aged 33 and 19 forgotten. Two men aged 33 and 19
have been charged with his murder. With links to royalty and historic
connections to Luton, the Wenlock Jug was one of the town's most
treasured possessions, until it was stolen last summer. But after a
lengthy police investigation the jug was recovered. And today, as Anna
Todd reports, it returned to its rightful place, back on display in
the Stockswood Museum. The Wenlock Jug, back where it
should be and hopefully where it will stay. Prized by Luton, pinched
by a burglar, picked up by the police, and is now home at last It
is good that it came back because we were worried about it. It is
precious and it represents us for a long time. The people that stole it
should not have done that because it could have been gone forever. There
was always a doubt in my mind that maybe someone would realise it was
not made of solid bronze and would melt it, throw it in a river or
something. But I always felt in my heart that we would get it act one
day. This was the moment when a man used a drain cover to smash and grab
the medieval relic. A Crimewatch appeal led the police to a man in
Surrey. We executed warrants and found the Wenlock Jug in the Garrard
`ish, along with a small drugs factory, some stun guns and
bullet`proof vests. At over 500 years old, it has been on quite a
journey. Do you know, I feel I have seen this somewhere before. 480 000.
journey. Do you know, I feel I have seen this somewhere before. 480,000.
seen this somewhere before. 480 000. They are trying to decide whether
half a million is too much. ?500,000. Last chance. Any more? It
?500,000. Last chance. Any more It was bound for New York, but an
export and stopped it in its tracks, allowing Luton Museum a chance.
?750,000, and worth every penny. ?750,000, and worth every penny
This is one of three in the UK of a similar period and royal
connotation. One in the British Museum, one in the Victoria and
Albert, and we have got one. We are so lucky. While its attacker is
behind bars, the jug is back behind glass, very tough glass.
In the varsity rugby match at Twickenham this afternoon, Cambridge
University were soundly beaten by Oxford. Although it was tight up to
half time, in the second half, despite having their scrum half sent
off for foul play, Oxford pulled away to win the match 33`15. It s
away to win the match 33`15. It's Oxford's fourth win in succession.
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire is holding a special debate tonight looking
into the controversial plans for a solar farm on land at Newborough
near Peterborough. The City Council's leader, Marco Cereste, and
MP Stewart Jackson will be taking part in the discussion which will be
broadcast on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire tomorrow night at
7pm. You can also hear highlights tomorrow morning on the Breakfast
Show with Paul Stainton from 6am. And we'll bring have a report on
that debate tonight at 10.25pm. Those
Clacton while trying to stop a man who'd fired at two people in the
street. PC Dibell is the first police officer in more than 20 years
to receive the award. Still to come tonight: The
shotputter training for the Olympic Games in 2020.
And Duncan Slater from Norfolk is just a few hours away from being the
first double amputee to reach the South Pole.
After the Fukushima disaster two years ago, the owner of eight
nuclear power stations in the UK agreed to spend ?180 million on
extra safety measures. The first result of EDF's investment was
opened today near the Sizewell B plant in Suffolk. It's cost ?12
million and as you'd expect for that money it can withstand earthquakes.
The first emergency response centre to be built in the UK since the
Fukushima disaster. Today it was opened, a mile from Sizewell B, by
the global head of EDF. This centre is intended as an additional line of
defence. It will enhance our capability to recover during and
after an extreme natural event. There was a review of UK nuclear
safety after the Fukushima incident in Japan two years ago. A tsunami
caused nuclear meltdowns and the release of radioactive materials.
The Office for UK Regulation found UK stations had no fundamental
weaknesses but recommended robust off`site back`up. `` Nuclear
Regulation. There's already an emergency control centre at Sizewell
B itself. This place is in addition to that. The company says it has the
ability to take control of the station in a dire emergency. There's
a control centre and lots of serious kit. Vehicles carrying diesel
generators ` capable of driving through floods. Cutting equipment,
firefighting gear... Why build this place? We're not in an earthquake
zone and don't intend to get tsunamis... The point is to make
sure we can respond to whatever may happen. Some events you can't
predict. We've worked on the principle of what the worst thing is
that could happen and how we'd be best placed to respond. We want to
protect the public, our environment and our personnel. Not everybody's
convinced. If there was an emergency around here there would be absolute
chaos. No fancy emergency centre will hide that. It won't do a great
deal to mitigate the impact of an accident. Sizewell B continued to
generate during last week's exceptional storm surge. EDF says
the new centre will only add to its resilience.
It's been a fairy tale year for the 19`year`old Norfolk shot putter
Sophie McKinna. She's broken a British junior record which stood
for 30 years, won a Silver medal at the European Under 20 Championships
and made her British senior debut. Sophie has also been included on a
list of athletes who have the potential to win a medal at the 2020
Olympics. She's coached by the former world strongest man Geoff
Capes. She may be Britain's number one shotputter, but Sophie McKinna
doesn't escape the basic chores. Today it's a short, sharp training
session for the 19`year`old. Normally a session's a little but
longer, but because of the weather I don't think we'll be doing too much
more! ?? WHITE There are few girls as strong as Sophie ` and her coach
knows a thing or two about strength. Former World's Strongest Man Geoff
Capes was also a shot put champion. He's been working with her since she
was 12. I saw a bit of me in her. This aggressive, nasty little piece
of work! She wanted to throw the shot out the park but didn't know
how. It's just about channelling aggression and everything else, then
developing her over a period of time. Sophie's made big strides this
year ` making her senior British debut, winning a Silver medal at the
European Under 20 Championships and breaking a 30 year British junior
record. To cap it all, she's just received funding for the next four
years ` deemed as having potential to win a medal at the 2020 Olympics.
I just really, really enjoy the sport. As soon as I picked up the
shot, I knew it was something I'd really enjoy to do. Basically, I
just love athletics ` the atmosphere at all of the different events, not
just my own. I've always been a competitive person in whatever I do.
30 centimetres... Come on! Fire it up! Sophie's strength is phenomenal.
She can lift more than current British weightlifters of her age. If
there's a downside, it's people's image of shotputters ` particularly
in a world dominated by looks and appearance. If you're a little bit
physical... Bigger than most girls... They can look at you
sideways... Blinkered. They haven't got a clue about sport, in the
realistic sense. They don't realise the effort and time that people will
place on training and commitment. Obviously, I'm slightly bigger than
the average human being. Slightly stronger, too. But once you have a
conversation with somebody, there's always really supportive of what you
do. They're interested and even come back to you to ask how you're doing.
It's things like that... To me, it's not a massive problem. You have to
make sacrifices to get places in your sport. One of them, I suppose,
is what you look like. The 19`year`old's target next year is
the Commonwealth Games. Her coach won it twice in his heyday. Sophie
is keen to lay down her own marker. Very confident! Those weights would
crush me! Congratulations to golfer Charley
Hull from Northamptonshire who is on the short list for the BBC's Young
Sports Personality of the Year award. Charley's been selected as
one of three from an original short list of ten. The 17`year`old turned
professional this year and made her debut in the Solheim Cup. The winner
will be announced at a ceremony in Leeds on Sunday night. Good luck to
her! A former RAF gunner who hopes to be
the first double amputee to walk to the South Pole is just hours away
from making history. Duncan Slater, from Norfolk, lost both his legs in
an explosion in Afghanistan. Duncan and 11 other injured servicemen and
women set off for Cape Town three weeks ago ` and then on to Novo
Airbase in Antarctica. From there, they were flown to the start line
200 miles from the South Pole. The start line of the South Pole allied
challenge 12 days ago. Three teams racing to be the first to the bottom
of the world. Many of these disabled veterans have lost limbs in war. One
is completely blind. After this roadside explosion in Afghanistan,
Duncan Slater lost both his legs. After months of training, tonight
he's in a tent, in a gale, just 16 miles from the South Pole. It's 70%
mental. 20% physical. 10% luck. You can see that when you get here. I
can't wait. To be able to say we made it. We've worked really hard.
The teams are skiing up to ten hours a day, pulling these behind them.
Temperatures are dipping to `45 Celsius. Seven days in, those
extreme conditions took their toll on some and a decision was made to
suspend the race. With advice from my medical team, we felt it was
sensible to stop here. It doesn't mean it's over. We proceed to the
last checkpoint. We're still skiing. That decision lifted morale. As one
united team, they pushed on. This Norfolk`based charity helps injured
service personnel back into work. That's where they started. This is
the track. They dreamt up this adventure. We're showcasing these
individuals coming back from injury and adversity. Duncan is the first
double amputee to get to the South Pole. Amazing. Prince Harry has also
joined us. Outstanding. Fantastic. He's strong as an ox and helping to
pull it all. Great to have him in the tent! He skips around like a
ballerina! Tent`mates and team`mates together, Duncan and his fellow
veterans should reach the Pole tomorrow afternoon ` Friday the
13th... Lucky for them! It looks like hard work!
Now for the weather. Chance of some rain on the way. High pressure being
pushed eastwards. Milder Atlantic air coming our way. Thicker cloud in
the west producing patchy rain. High level cloud ahead of it.
Temperatures ` lows of four or five Celsius. Isolated pockets of frost.
The breeze starts to freshen. Tomorrow will be governed by two
weather fronts. Some rain but not too heavy. Expect
a cloudy day with rain at times. Light and patchy. It should start to
clear away. Drier and possibly brighter interlude. It will feel
slightly less cold. You might feel a little chilly. Rain late afternoon.
Much of this out of the way on Saturday.
Rain overnight on Saturday. Breezy through the night. Fairly bright but
some cloud around. It will stay largely dry. Overnight rain Friday.
By Saturday night, another spell of rain. Out of the way on Sunday.
Here's the barometer. Thank you. Goodbye.