30/08/2011 Midlands Today


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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today with Nick Owen and Suzanne Virdee.


The headlines tonight: The couple who earned �200,000 from


selling counterfeit DVDs over the internet.


With house prices expected to go up, fears a whole generation will be


excluded from the housing market. When you're renting, you never know


when somebody is going to tell you you have to move. It is difficult.


Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung given clearance to visit the UK as


he awaits trial on money laundering charges in Hong Kong.


And setting their sights for 12 months' time, the Paralympics


hopefuls take aim. I could be walking into that arena at the


opening ceremony in London knowing Welcome to Tuesday's Midlands Today.


A factory worker's been jailed for 21 months for making thousands of


fake DVD's at his home in the Black Country. Simon Evans sold pirate


copies of Hollywood films over the internet earning more than �200,000


in a six year period. His wife laundered the profits which paid


for expensive foreign holidays, a house extension and even a family


wedding. Giles Latcham reports. In the dark jacket, avoiding the


camera, Simon Evans, whose counterfeiting raked in tens of


thousands but ultimately cost his his liberty. If you just like to


come in... In a lock up in West Bromwich, the tools of his illicit


trade, computer equipment... could probably burn off a DVD and


about 20 minutes, so you can do a considerable number in a small room.


And the DVDS. From Hollywood blockbusters, to childrens films,


pornography, computer games, which brought in not far off a quarter of


a million pounds in six years. Sales were conducted on the


internet from an elaborately disguised website. This particular


gentleman was using a website which had been set up to look like a


fishing call. There was a level of security, and a level of deception.


-- a fishing pool. They turned their house and recount the tin


factory. Simon Evans admitted all the charges against him and his


wife admitted laundering the profits. Despite what people


thought, Judge said that copyright theft was not a victimless crime


and the counterfeiting had amounted to Horsell fraud on a commercial


scale. He jailed Simon Evans the 21 months and gave his mark -- and if


his wife a 36 weeks suspended sentence plus 100 hours of


community work. In the dock, she wept as a husband was taken down.


In the UK, the market for pirated DVDs is reckoned to be worth �200


million a year and plenty are attempted. I am sure there are


people out there like that family, but the sense that is wrong message


to them that if you're thinking about it, think twice, because you


are certainly going to end up in prison. The counterfeiting paid for


Well, we're joined now from London by Kieron Sharpe, the director


general of FACT, the Federation Against Copyright Theft. Good


evening. First of all... Can you give us a sense of the scale of the


problem across the UK? It is a huge problem and it gives but as


technology improves. People are taking from content from the


internet for free and selling it to others, and it is causing a massive


problem for the audio-visual industry in the UK. The trouble is,


many people attempted as it seems a bargain to buy. That is the first


sign that you shouldn't be buying it, because if it is a big bargain,


it cannot be legitimate. sentences given out today, 36 weeks


in jail for 20 What -- and 21 months. Are they enough of a


deterrent? They and the -- sending somebody to prison is a good


deterrent. What are you doing to tackle this problem? We are looking


at those people making those films and TV content available and


distributing them. That is the area we are attacking. Thank you for


joining us. Good to have you with us this


evening here on Midlands Today. Later, the new school, just about


A surgeon from Staffordshire who travelled to his Libyan homeland to


treat casualties during the revolution says he plans to set up


two charitable hospitals. Ramadan Atewah helped save dozens of lives


in Misrata and Benghazi. He's now returned to work as a cardio-


thoracic surgeon at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire and


has been speaking to our Staffordshire reporter, Liz Copper.


All smiles, back home with his family in North Staffordshire,


Ramadan Atewah made four trips this year to Libya. Here he is at a


hospital in Misrata dealing with casualties from the frontline.


injuries I have seen, I have seen everything you can imagine. It is


really horrifying. And very innocent people. These people are


not fighting him. Maybe he disagrees with the fighters, but


these people, they were in their homes and cities. And as these


pictures from Tripoli show, there's still a desperate need for doctors'


skills. Mr Atewah plans to return to lend his support again. We are


looking to re-establish a state of order. And a state of science and a


state of fairness. These are pictures Mr Atewah took himself


whilst in Misrata. He was formally thanked by the rebel forces for his


help. His family are also proud of the contribution he made. Everyone


thought of it with apprehension because it wasn't safe at the time


when he went. But we always knew that, like, it was something he


wanted to do. We were not going to stop him because he wanted to go.


There was a feeling of pride through the family. When you see


these pictures, it breaks your heart. It was a stressful time. But,


I mean, there is still atrocities going on, but it is all for the


best, and it is all paying off, hopefully, and getting better.


family, following the revolution, is both reunited and relieved.


Meanwhile, a Libyan hospital doctor, who lives in Warwickshire, has


returned to his homeland to help with the treatment of people caught


up in the revolution. Earlier, I spoke to Dr Khaled Sherlala, who's


using his annual leave from University Hospital, Coventry, and


he began by telling me about discovering a massacre of Colonel


Gaddafi's prisoners. I was told about the scene in a brigade. There


were burnt bodies of the prisoners. That was horrendous. You went


there? I went there myself. I took voters from my camera. We saw the


burnt bodies. That was very shocking and distressing. Prisoners,


the guards burned them. The people who escaped told us that when the


guards left, they shot them, the guards shot them, and burned them.


It is shocking. I have never seen anything in movies like that, even


if. What about supplies like water and food and medical supplies?


biggest problem at the moment is water. There is no water in lots of


places. That is causing problems. I mean, and people are getting water


from outside. That is a problem that should be sold shortly. I


stressed to any people that were lacking services that I would do


best to get what are back to them because of the hygiene and so on. -


- to get water back to them. have been inside Colonel Gaddafi's


compound, have you not? Yes. And the hospital compound. Although it


was damaged at that time because it is so big. It was very well-


equipped. The rooms were very high class rooms. Whereas the public


hospitals lacked lots of things. He kept everything for himself and


gave the people very little. wish you well and thank you for


talking to us. Thank you very much. The Birmingham City owner Carson


Yeung will be allowed to travel to the UK next month while he waits to


go on trial on money laundering charges in Hong Kong. A judge has


doubled his bail to over $1 million so he can travel to Birmingham


between September 15th and 19th. He's previously been denied


permission because of concerns he might abscond. Our Correspondent


Andrew Wood was at today's hearing in Hong Kong. His report contains


some flash photography. Carson Yeung had been expected to


plead guilty or not guilty in court today to those five charges of


money-laundering but in the end the district court judge said that he


didn't have to do that. His lawyers took the opportunity to ask the


judge to change the conditions of bail so that Carson Yeung, who


cannot leave Hong Kong, could travel to Britain from the 15th-


19th September. He had tried to get a change in conditions of bail in


order so that he could be at Birmingham City's first game of the


season which was refused. The judge was more sympathetic this time and


his lawyers said he had to be there because he had to -- he had a duty


to shareholders and the fans, and the players, and wanted to consult


with them. So, he now has to deposit an extra �400,000 in cash


with the court within seven days. He will be allowed to go back to


Britain just for this four day trip. The main trial is expected now to


start early next year, probably February. Two more men have been


arrested for the killing three men. They died on Dudley Road earlier


this month. A 29 and a 30-year-old from Birmingham were arrested by


detectives this afternoon on suspicion of murder. Five other men


have already been charged with murder.


The number of homeowners in the West Midlands could fall by 9% in


the next decade, according to a report out today. The National


Housing Federation say that without investment in affordable housing,


prices in the region will rise by 15% in the next four years. And


average private sector rents could rise by 20%. So just how tough is


it for people looking to climb on to the property ladder? Ben Sidwell


has spent the day in Worcester trying to find out.


Building the homes of the future in Worcester. This development by the


River Severn began in 2004. When work is completed in seven years'


time, there'll be 455 new apartments and houses on this site.


I would like to find out about... This family is finding it tough


making their first upon to the property ladder. Because we are


renting and we are spending a certain amount of money on a


regular basis monthly to pay the rent, we are not able to save 20%


of the value of the house or any property, really. It is very


difficult. Richard as property here is �145,000 for it on the


department which means that potential first-time buyers are


likely to need at around �30,000 deposit before they are even given


a mortgage. The biggest problem is deposit levels. The culture of


saving for deposits has not always been there. They have are now


finding it quite difficult. Worcester City Council say that the


number of affordable houses built has fallen slightly. That is


expected to rise of the next to make years, though. They say that


in partnership with the homes and communities agency, they


endeavoured to fulfil their full quota of affordable housing. Andrew


Grant has been an estate agent in the City for 40 years. It is up.


The average age of the first-time buyer will probably be 388 -- 38


years old. The number of people wanting to buy houses is enormous,


greater than five years ago. They all want it on to the ladder but


don't know how to do it and may need help from the banks, who are


really making life very difficult for them. With house prices


expected to start rising soon, people wanting to buy their first


house in the City look like they will need to start saving.


Well, joining me from a housing development in Birmingham now is


Gemma Duggan, lead manager for the National Housing Federation in the


West Midlands. Just how serious is the situation? We are calling it a


housing crisis for reason. It is very serious. Every one of your


viewers will probably know somebody who is struggling with housing


costs, whether it is the housing crisis or rent prices, although


it's a magazine of the social housing waiting lists. We have seen


some examples in the reports we have shown of how difficult it is


to get on a ladder. Deposits are the big problem, it seems. Yes, it


is a big problem. They are around 20% on average. Most families


cannot afford that whilst also paying rent. Rents will increase


further over the next five years by around 20% in the lowest Midlands -


- in the West Midlands which will price people out of buying a house


and the rental market, which leaves a whole generation of people with


very few options. It is a very frightening thought, so what is


your advice to people tried to get onto the housing ladder? We are


working with housing associations to try to get more supply on the


ladder. -- onto the housing market. The key is to get people into home


ownership and to increase supply. Then we can decrease costs. Thank


you for talking to us. Still to come this evening:


Remembering Tamworth's forgotten hero, a courageous survivor of the


Charge of the Light Brigade. And a hint of autumn today but what


has Hurricane Irene got to do with this weekend's weather? All will be


The first Sikh-ethos free school in the country is preparing to open


its doors here in the Midlands. The Nishkam Primary in Birmingham will


be in the first batch of just 24 free schools across the country to


begin teaching children this September. Free schools are state-


funded, but operate outside local authority control, which has


sparked some controversy. Our political reporter Susana Mendonca


has had an exclusive preview of the new school.


The desks are in, so are the books. As are a couple of keen new pupils.


They'll be among 174 four to seven- year-olds in class here in a few


days' time. And this is what they'll be wearing, the kind of


uniform you'd see at any school. But this is not just any school.


It's a free school which, much like the Labour government's academies,


are funded by central government but not run by the local authority.


In this case, it will be run by the Sikh community. This is the man is


leading the way. So you're going to be one of the first free schools,


the coalition's bigger deer, getting communities involved in


running schools. What do you get out of it? We get the opportunity


to extend the curriculum to ensure it is a richer curriculum for


children and we also get the buy-in of the community contributing to


establishing a school, contributing to what is taught in this school.


It is this committee that paid to turn this building around, but some


say that privately set up schools like this should not be getting


cash. The running costs of the school will be money that should


have gone to other local schools as well. If it attracts pupils, they


will be taken from other schools in this area. With pupils going,


monikers as well. The government is already planning more free schools


with 300 applications nationwide with around 30 of those from the


Midlands. The first wave will see 24 open across the country next


week. While Birmingham City Council supports the Nishkam Primary, its


concerned about the proliferation of three schools. That will create


division and has to city rather than the fairness of we have -- the


philosophy we have of inclusive of tea. Inclusivity is a word this


school wants to embrace, although so far it has struggled to attract


non-Sikh pupils. We have a Caribbean member of staff, a Sikh


member of staff. But we also have other members of staff. What it is


is a free school and its challenge now will be to prove the


government's argument that they can push up standards.


Well, Susana's with us now. Labour are accusing the government of a


lack of transparency over free schools, aren't they? The Shadow


education secretary, Andy Burnham, is questioning how the Government's


allocating the money, and he is accusing the government of giving


money to the projects they like and taking money away from mainstream


schools. The Building Schools for the Future programme cancelled last


year as a result of the cuts. There's nothing untoward the wake


of the government is allocating funds, it says, and the new schools


network is doing its job. So, are we likely to see more of these


caused? It is a certainty. At the end of September, the government


will announce the next round of these free schools. They to see


these schools as a way to improve standards. Will it do that? Labour


says there is no evidence to support it, but education is a long


game and it takes a long time to work out whether the policy is


implemented now will reap the results of thereafter.


2012 is not just about the Olympic Games. It's about the Paralympics


as well. For many of those taking part, it will be a story of triumph


over adversity. Nick Clitheroe reports. I've come to


Buckinghamshire where the modern Paralympics began as a


rehabilitation programme for British war veterans with spinal


injuries. It's home to the British


Paralympics shooting team and Pamela Grainger from Shifnal in


Shropshire. Nine years ago, she lost the use of her right arm in a


motorbike accident. Now she's hoping to go to London 2012.


never thought I'd get to the Olympics. I love sport, but I've


never been the best at anything, so to find a sport you are a good at


and passionate about, and you might actually get the Olympics and be


that we a country, and stand on that podium and have the national


anthem played in London... That's Mike rain. -- that is my dream.


did she get here? Well, Pamela is an RAF corporal. She was chosen for


the Battle Back scheme set up by the forces to use sport to


rehabilitate injured personnel. Two years ago, she went to a


Paralympics Talent ID. And a talent was exactly what they found. While


Pamela is hoping to make it to her first games, one of Britain's


finest Paralympians is grateful his own 2012 dreams are still alive.


Lee Pearson from Cheddleton in Staffordshire has won nine dressage


golds across three games but he can't even get on a horse at the


moment after fracturing three vertebrae and crushing another in


his back. If I had gone from the excellent to the hospital and they


said you have broken your back, I would have been mortified, but we


carried on for two weeks after. I am not paralysed. My plan is to


come out in London 2012 like, here I am, and hopefully they threw good


scores at me. Here is Mr famous himself. Not me. Although he'll


miss September's European Championships, Lee will be back


competing later this year and it's made him even more determined to


keep his golden run going in London. That is a brave guy. The River


Stour in Worcestershire is one of the most improved in the country,


according to the Environment Agency. The Stour, which in recent years


has seen the return of salmon and otters, was one of ten highlighted


by the report that looked at rivers across the UK. The report says that


work with farmers and businesses to reduce pollution and improve water


quality had paid off. Firefighters have reminded visitors to the


Malvern Hills in Worcestershire that camp fires are banned after an


unattended fire was discovered. It Reach the fire after they were


alerted by a walker yesterday near the summit of Midsummer Hill.


He's been called "Tamworth's Forgotten Hero". Samuel Parkes was


the oldest recipient of the Victoria Cross for acts of valour


during the Crimean war in the 1850s. You might have heard of the Charge


of the Light Brigade. Well, Samuel survived it and saved the lives of


his comrades. Now, after more than 150 years, finally, a memorial has


been built in his place of birth in Staffordshire. Ben Godfrey has the


When 1930s Hollywood told the infamous story of the Charge of the


Light Brigade, for some, Errol Flynn's gritty performance failed


to capture the harsh realities of the Crimean war. But in the small


village of Wigginton in Staffordshire, this obelisk


memorial tells a new story, free from artistic license. This is the


only known image of Samuel Parkes, a painting of the local lad from


the 4th Light Dragoons, who saved at least two lives when the cavalry


rode into a hail of bullets in 1854. I believe that he was born in one


of these cottages we are walking past. Peter Elkin's the great,


great, great nephew of Samuel Parkes. He's pieced together the


history and even has Samuel's sabre. Wigan has only just outside


Tamworth. That is why he is Tamworths forgotten hero. Nobody


knew anything about him. He has been a forgotten man, until now.


But the memorial wouldn't have been possible without the people of


Wigginton, who raised more than �14,000. It will also carry the


names others who lost their lives during War. We had an abbot evening,


a greasy evening, a curry evening, people did so on Said What --


people that sponsored walks... It is a statement of village community.


Remembrance and pride. Samuel Parkes was the oldest recipient of


the Victoria Cross, he later joined the Police force. Tamworth's


forgotten hero was just 49 when he died. It is so sad that for so many


years he was not known about. This is the absolutely ultimate memorial


for him. Locals are even toasting for Samuel Parkes beard. Samuel


Parkes died a hero in 1864 but was buried in an unmarked pauper's


grave. Today, here, people will know his name and his act of


Never-to-be-forgotten again. He had that Saber! In those days, people


would not known any of those details about war. We get instant


details. The world has a small There is a stillness to the weather


which could be rattled into the weekend as we see some rain. We


will be sitting in some tropical air by that time so although it


feels autumnal, by Friday it will feel very summery with temperatures


rising to 23 possibly. This is why. We have high pressure dominating


which is going to move off. This is the remnants of Hurricane Irene.


But without the damaging effects. It will bring some rain as the


front moves North South eastwards. -- moods North eastwards. Will get


some freezing showers tonight. Where the cloud bricks, we are


beginning to see some late sunshine but right now. That indicates where


the brakes will be. It comes in and goes once again. So, temperatures


could drop to about 8-9 in the coolest spots. In the morning


tomorrow, a dull start, but unlike today, we will see some brighter


spells during the afternoon. It is largely dry, with the odd shower


cropping up along the North of the region but temperatures rise to


about 18, which is slightly higher than today. It will still feel cool.


Then those winds move round to suddenly, drawing and warm air. It


is a dry air with some sunshine with temperatures rising to 20. By


So, summer is not over just it! Tonight's main headlines:


A generation locked out of the housing market. Home ownership's


heading for its lowest level for nearly 30 years.


And a husband's jailed for 21 months and his wife's given a


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