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Good evening, you're watching Wednesday's Look North
On the programme tonight: Cruelty capital - why Yorkshire is a hot
We hear how dogs and cats are being used as bait in this
We'll find out what the RSPCA is doing to stop it.
Also tonight: A Wetherby campaigner wins his five year legal battle
to make bus drivers do more to accommodate wheelchair users.
It was always designed to be a wheelchair space and while some
people can use it when it does not needed for disabled people,
ultimately, without it we cannot travel.
A post mortem examination finds teenager Leonne Weeks died
from multiple stab wounds in Dinnington.
And why more children in Yorkshire are discovering the great outdoors
as the number of forest school grows.
The settled weather looks set to continue for the next few days but
some hope for a brighter weekend. Join me later for the full forecast.
Tonight - It's a barbaric and illegal sport which leaves
its victims horrifically injured - but according to the RSCPA,
dog fighting is still rife here in Yorkshire.
Figures released exclusively to the BBC show there are more dog
fights in West and South Yorkshire than almost anywhere
Rescue centres say the dogs' injuries are heartbreaking -
some have been used in fights, some have been stolen
You may find some of the pictures in Ali Fortescue's report disturbing.
Human entertainment at the expense of animals.
The underground world of dog fighting is vicious and bloody,
but believe it or not scenes like these are heartbreakingly
Meet Brian, a dog lover who knows all too well the devastating effects
He has actually got injuries, as you can see, to his face,
around his neck, this is the place where the dog had attacked another
Benji is not aggressive and that is why he would have been
used as bait, to test other dog's fighting instincts without being
We have seen several cases over the years and with dogfighting quite
often it is done by individuals that are fighting them
It makes me very sad to think people can treat any dog bad,
but a dog that is as beautiful in temperaments as Benji it just...
You cannot believe a person would do that.
In North Yorkshire the RSPCA received 77 calls about fights
In South Yorkshire the figure is much higher,
In west Yorkshire there were over 300 calls in ten years.
Both West and South Yorkshire are in the top five areas
for the number of calls in the whole England.
But it's not just dogs, it is thought these kittens found
in Bradford last year were also used as bait.
They are coloured in so people can bet on which one will die first.
It was horrendous and it was thinking, like,
those cats were probably minutes away from being ripped to shreds.
Dogfights are illegal and you can get up to six months in jail
for being involved in one, but the RSPCA says that is not
enough to help animals like these from being harmed.
Luckily, Smurf and Trek have now found a happy home.
The Department for Rural Affairs say they share the public's
regard for animal welfare, but at the moment this is a sport
that's popularity is plain to see, its presence in Yorkshire's
Mike Butcher, Special Operations Unit Chief Inspector from the RSPCA,
Shocking story, how do we stop this? It is very underground and very
murky and people involved in organised dogfighting are a member
of the criminal class so they are very adept at keeping ahead of the
law and it is a difficult world to penetrate and when we do get
success, I've managed to break up the gang and sees the dogs and seize
the property and paraphernalia they used, it hits them pretty hard but
they go to court and the get six months maximum which the RSPCA and
other charities say is far too low and we look for a higher sentence
because it is nowhere near enough for this type of crime.
You spoke of trying to break up the dogfight, what was that like?
Ironically the first organised dogfight we work out and were at the
right place at the right time was in west Yorkshire and we burst in and
found 17 people fighting to dogs in the pits was blood everywhere, too
appallingly injured dogs, one died straightaway. These people were
members of the criminal fraternity so they kicked off. Luckily the
police were there in force and they were all arrested and went to prison
but it is a horror fixing when you first break it up.
Looking at the picture is the Arcola fixer. Where do these fights take
place? -- VR horror fixing is. Anywhere they think they are safe.
Such as Barnes, isolated farms, industrial units, houses, one
occasion was a children's bedroom in a city centre street. Anywhere they
think they are safe. As I say, the successes are rare because this is
not the sort of animal cruelty area there is loads all offenders, the
actual dogfighting fraternity is quite small and they are tightly
knit and organised and it makes it hard for us to catch them.
Convictions are bullied because it is hard to catch them but what can
people do to safeguard against it. -- convictions are law. The main
thing is giving us information because the hall idea is to piece
together the pieces of information we get from sources. We are pretty
much helped by the police and other charities. The RSPCA takes the lead
on this and it all comes to us eventually and the idea is to look
at the jigsaw and get the last piece together and be in the right place
at the right time, so information coming into ours is what we need.
People should not approach these people, just let us in the police
know about that. -- the police and Tonight - The story of one man's
long battle to change the law Doug Paulley from Wetherby has won
a victory in the Supreme court - five years after he was unable
to board a bus because a woman refused to move her buggy
from a priority wheelchair space. Now drivers will be requried to do
more to prevent people But they won't have a legal right
to physically move them, In a moment we'll speak
to Doug's lawyer, about how ruling will be enforced,
first Charlotte Leeming Leaving the Supreme Court to cheers
and applause after a five-year legal battle, Doug Paulley's
face says it all. A win for him and all disabled
people wanting to catch the bus. His fight for the right
to travel started in 2012. He could not get on a bus
from Wetherby to Leeds because a mother with a pushchair
would not move. He was left on the kerb-side feeling
frustrated and humiliated, It is great that after five years of
fighting and campaigning by so many people that we have got
the ruling that says that disabled people
do have the rights to catch a bus
and the bus company must make all reasonable efforts
to make that possible. The court decided that bus
company First Group's policy requesting but not
requiring able-bodied passengers to move
is This disability group
in Leeds welcomed Each person in this room has
experienced what Douig went What I would want see
is the wheelchair and the buggy So it should be my priority,
but I stress only when it Doug has always insisted
this case is not about wheelchairs against buggies,
and the parents we spoke to today If his wheelchair is a priority
I will move out or come out of the bus.
A wheelchair is seen as a priority I would wait and let the disabled
person go first because I always think, I always put them first
before me and my son. Doug Paulley has made
history today with this Although it may lead
to a significant cultural change it is still
a partial victory. Basically bus drivers are being told
they must do more to force able-bodied passengers out
of the wheelchair space, but they do not have the legal power
to remove them, so it's still very much relies
on the goodwill of passengers that could lead to some very difficult
situations for drivers. Doug's lawyer Chris Fry
joins us now from London. There is substantial progress made
in this decision, we know what established the principle that
disabled passengers have effective and enforceable rights for priority
for the wheelchair space. For five years we have had to fight to
establish this principle. We accept that but the people who will enforce
it is the drivers, they will be the ones to make this judgment. Do you
not think that is a bit too much pressure on them? Not at all.
Drivers are routinely asked to engage in managing situations and
buses. We heard evidence from bus drivers that they would throw some
off for eating a cabal, they would throw somebody off a bus for smoking
-- eating a cabal. They would throw them off for anti-social behaviour.
So this says you should treat just as seriously someone refusing to
move following a reasonable request from a driver, you should take just
as seriously the rights of the wheelchair user to access the
service in the same way you do those other policies. It does not even go
as far as that. Doug did not ask for someone to be kicked off the boss,
he asked for the policy to be changed so the driver moved people.
How will this ruling change things? How quickly bus companies react is a
matter for them but from a legal perspective, any passenger that now
was refused access because of this request and retreat policy that was
previously in place, can allow enforce their rights legally. If
Doug tomorrow gets on the bus is refused getting on a bus because
someone will not fall them buggy, he is entitled to damages. It is a
matter for the bus companies but if they do not they will find it will
be very expensive to sort it. At the end of the day it is not about the
financial position, it is about what is morally right. Accessible
transport is an important part of an inclusive society and what Doug has
done is, not just for his benefit, but for the benefit of others simply
trying to use public transport to get around.
Thank you very much indeed for joining us.
Later on Look North: The cost of loneliness -
How Yorkshire's economy is affected by people feeling isolated
The teenager whose body was found in an alleyway in Dinnington
on Monday has been formally named as Leonne Weeks.
A post mortem examination has concluded she died
Her family have released a statement saying they are devastated
at the loss of a beautiful daughter and sister.
We can get the very latest on the story from Tom Ingall.
Tom - there have been a number of developments
Indeed. Not least of those is the fact Leonne Weeks has now been
formally identified. Her body was found in an alleyway in Dinnington
on Monday and the postmortem concluded she was killed from
multiple stab wounds. You can infer from that the police got a very
difficult job working through this investigation. Now she has been
formally identified a number tributes have appeared, notably from
her family who says she will be dearly missed. We also spoke to the
principle of her high school who own the move to the school in the last
month and her previous school she had to deal with the loss of five
young people in a car accident and now she is helping the students cope
with the loss of Leonne Weeks. Leonne was a lovely,
lively girl, some people who knew her knew the other side
to her, that she had an effervescent one of the things that is probably
most significant about her is she was a truly loyal friend and truly
loyal to her family. She was months away
from doing her GCSEs so it is unbelievable we have lost
a student on the edge of what is going to be the rest
of their lives. There was a second arrest today,
Tom? That's right. We have been reporting the arrest of an
18-year-old man on suspicion of murder. Police have had extra time
from the course to question him but to date there was news of a second
arrest late last night of a 26-year-old local woman who was
arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. Thank you.
Yorkshire Bank is to close 39 branches, 18 of them in our region.
All branches will shut by the end of the year.
The bank says the closures come because of an increase
Nearly one third of all the branches will shut their doors.
A tribunal that found a former Leeds heart surgeon guilty of misconduct
has now ruled that it does affect his fitness to practice.
Nihal Weerasena - seen here on the left -
made various failings in the care of five children and one adult
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service will now decide
An inquest into the death of a Castleford woman who died
in Crete in 2010 has recorded a narrative verdict.
That means only the circumstances of death have been noted,
Chelsea Hyndman, who was 20, died from severe abdominal injuries
Her boyfriend Luke Walker was later convicted
of the Greek-equivalent of manslaughter,
At today's inquest in Wakefield, the coroner said he couldn't rule
differently to the Greek court, but stopped short of
finding Chelsea's death was unlawful killing.
In North Yorkshire, firefighters have been sent home
because of a dispute over new style fire engines.
Some firefighters are refusing to crew them.
On Monday, two firefighters were sent home from Scarborough
after refusing to operate the new TRV there.
It resulted in other equipment being put out of action
because there was no one left to operate it.
This is the new tactical response vehicle now and service in the
doctor. Scarborough is the first place in the country to have one and
it is already the centre of controversy. The union says it
should be staffed by four firefighters and North Yorkshire
Fire Service only 13. When union members -- only want three.
One of the firefighters who refuse to prove this vehicle was the only
firefighter on shifts qualified to operate this aerial ladder platform.
That meant this vehicle was put out of action and the nearest aerial
ladder platform was 25 minutes away and would have become problem --
Bridlington. The union says the vehicles are not adequately staffed
and dangerous. On Monday we had a situation created by the Chief Fire
officer which meant people and public in Scarborough were down to
one fire engine and did not have any high-rise rescue capability. When
our members were at work prepared to ride them with sufficient numbers.
We are at the point that staff are unwilling to ride them then they are
in breach of contract. We will continue to send them home without
pay until they agree to write them. So you will send them home? If the
refused to ride the vehicle there is no other work for them to do. The
other five injured was fully staffed so it is not as if that is another
vehicle for them to use soap until the fourth of the contract that is
the case. The new arrangements will be introduced in other pounds in the
coming weeks, while the dispute shows no signs of being resolved in
the near future. Loneliness could be costing
the Yorkshire economy New research says social
isolation has a huge impact I'm going to give it back to you now
because going to let Computer club is one of the most
popular mornings at this sheltered It means a busy couple of hours
for Glenn, who helps out here. Last year he moved back to Yorkshire
into sheltered accommodation It feels a bit daunting,
actually, because you don't I felt very much outside
of the community because it's a very insular community
in a lot of respects. I mean, groups like this are trying
to break those walls down Research out today says loneliness
has a big impact on our economy. The Centre for Economic
and Business Research estimates that social isolation could be costing
?2 billion every year in Yorkshire. That's because when we feel lonely,
it can affect our health, our well-being and even how
long we live. You're twice as likely to die
prematurely if you're lonely It increases your dementia,
hypertension, it's twice as bad as being obese,
it's similar to smoking. This women's group in Bradford has
been set up in response Now these ladies meet up every week
to plan events where the local For some of them it's
been life changing. Even though I am a chatty person,
you know, I kind of got stuck in a rut kind of thing and now I'm
just like this group's This research had already caught
the eye of the murdered MP Jo Cox. It was an issue she was passionate
about and a loneliness commission in her name is to be launched
in Parliament later this month. And it hasn't been the best of weeks
for Barnsley, has it? After watching star
striker Sam Winnall leave for Sheffield Wednesday,
the Reds were dumped out of the FA Barnsley managed a second half
equaliser from Angus MacDonald. With the score still level at 1-1,
into extra time they went. And it was Blackpool who snatched
the 2-1 win in the very last minute, to set up a fourth round tie
with Blackburn Rovers. According to Sheffield Council
the city has the most trees of any city in Europe, so it's not
surprising the number Sheffield Hallam has even introduced
a forest school module to it's I've been to Eccleshall
Woods to find out more. If you go down to the wood today
you're in for a big surprise. Children from the school in a
mission to get muddy and explore. This is forest school, a
Scandinavian ethos encouraging children to leave the classroom in
all weathers to from nature and encourages independence and grows
confidence. The build dens, they commit potions
and mud pies do climbing, lots of physical activity. And when they get
more experience they can use tools to make things. What did you spot
this morning? A birds and some hedgehogs. Pine cones. We spotted a
worm. After all that's popping it is snapped time and that means building
a fire. Did anyone bring any fire? Not me. I'm hoping that -- this
dragon's breath will jump into the air and make a fire! It's coming.
What are the rules of sitting near the fire? No touching. What is your
favourite part of forest school? When you have hot chocolate. Is
there any left for me? Yeah. So where is the evidence all this
actually works? A survey conducted found 90% of children said they
enjoyed outdoor learning more and teachers agreed and said they found
children were more engaged in classes and 85% said it has a
positive impact on the children's behaviour. In Sheffield the number
of schools like this is on the rise and Sheffield Hallam University and
the first to offer forest school qualification alongside early
childhood studies. The students I work with who will do this work and
lecture theatres and seminar rooms and were not getting outside and I
wanted them to have that passion for the outdoors because they are the
future in terms of working with our children.
After a busy morning the explorers will certainly sleep well tonight.
Who wants to play hide and seek? Yes!
That's what I call playtime. What have you got for us? More of
the same. Settled weather. Winter seems to have missed us for the time
being. Where have a at the pictures you have sent in. That a beautiful
one. Thanks for that, Gary. The second picture is of a gloomy
looking beach on the North Yorkshire coast. Send us your pictures at the
e-mail address. The headline for tomorrow, similar today and the same
for the day after. High pressure in charge and it will not move. Subtle
changes over the weekend. By Sunday summer brakes feel coming in from
the south-west so Sunday should be brighter. It remains a fine into
early next week. You can see the extent of the cloud on the satellite
picture. Some glimmers of brightness across the Yorkshire Dales but
essentially cloudy and more of the same overnight. The odd spot of
drizzle, mysterious and places but essentially dry, cloudy and frost
free. The sun rises in the morning at
around eight to 12. They're on the high water climbs. Some mysterious
first thing in places and the odd spot of rain, otherwise dry. -- some
mist frosting. Essentially that cloud will remain right across
Yorkshire and into the Midlands. Even light and variable breeze. Not
feeling too bad, temperatures if anything above average. Generally
eight Celsius. Looking into the further outlook, Thursday into
Friday is dry and rather cloudy, Saturday is dry and cloudy but by
Saturday afternoon we may get some brakes and if all goes to plan
Sunday could be dry and bright and we may see some blue sky with some
sunshine. That is the exciting forecast tonight!
That is it from us. Enjoy the rest of the evening. Goodbye.
Hello. I hope you're well. I really do.