12/12/2011 Midlands Today


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


The headlines tonight: the bookshop owner who sold -- sold bomb-making


manuals. "I didn't deserve to go to prison,"


says a teenage rioter jailed for ten months.


Despite Government promises, Birmingham is dropped as the home


for a state of the art treatment centre for cancer. To me, the West


Midlands, it is more accessible than London.


And with Coventry City rooted at the foot of the table, further


controversy as the former chairman decides to join the manager on the


Good evening and welcome to Monday's Midlands Today from the


BBC. Tonight: Guilty of encouraging others to


carry out violent terrorist attacks. Birmingham book seller Ahmed Faraz,


who's 32, now faces a lengthy jail sentence. West Midlands Police said


some of the material he sold contained explicit instructions on


how to make explosives and kidnap people, some of which was so


graphic it couldn't be shown to the jury. The court also heard that


information from the bookstore had been found in the possession of the


man who led the 7/7 bombings in London. This report from our


special correspondent, Peter Wilson. The Maktabah bookstore in


Birmingham was famous throughout the world. An important source of


Islamic teachings and DVDs. Today, it's merely a ladies' fashion store


under new owners. But four years ago, the police raided it believing


it was pumping out information of help to terrorists. The landlord of


the building says he has any good words to say about Ahmed Faraz.


Paul than 10 years, this shot -- This Maktabah bookstore On the


street in Birmingham have the attention of the security services


and MI5. Ahmed Faraz, who's 32 years old and had been studying for


a PhD in Political Islam, always denied any involvement in terrorist


activity but the court in Kingston- on-Thames heard that the material


videos of Osama Bin laden, Al-Qaeda training manuals and instructions


on how to use rocket-propelled grenades and improvised explosive


devices, the types which have been used so devastatingly in Iraq and


Afghanistan against British and American forces. This case involved


a massive worldwide distribution of terrorist material that is really


important to understand what aspects of the terrorist


legislation had been breached add to bring people to justice for that.


The leader of the 7/7 bombings on London, the suicide bomber Mohammed


Sidique Khan, had bought material from the Birmingham bookstore along


with those convicted of plotting to attack transatlantic airlines in


2006. He has been able to buy a potentially attract would-be


terrorists to commit violent acts, based on how he has manipulated


these books. Four years ago, Ahmed Faraz, who then called himself Abu


Bakr, first spoke exclusively to the BBC. He'd been arrested and


then released without charge as part of the huge police operation


into a plot to behead a British soldier. The police seized some


25,000 books. This is what he told me in 2007.


If you had seen yourself on BBC television, interviewed, would you


have bought yourself, no smoke without fire? Surprisingly, that is


exactly what I thought. I thought everyone will be thinking and I


will be thinking there is always... There is always something because


there is no smoke without fire, but there is no fight in this instance.


On charges of disseminating terraced fabrications and


possession of material of these to a potential terrorist, Ahmed Faraz


was found guilty and he would be sentenced tomorrow. -- will be


sentenced tomorrow. You've been speaking to his family,


people who know him. What's their view on this outcome? I have sat


down with this man and talked about his book shop and his books. And he


is an impressive man, face-to-face. I have just come off the phone


speaking to his brother and he says he is incredibly saddened by the


jury's verdict. He is on my way to see him. But case took place in


Kingston on Thames. His family say they feel there were no legal


grounds to the prosecution. They see him as being a bookstore owner


and the fact they live in a country where there is freedom of speech,


they cannot understand why somebody publishing books can end up going


to prison. This sounds like a very complex case for the police. It was


massive complex and this bookstore was also operating on mine. There


were some 2 million computer files that police had to go through. An


incredibly complex case for the jury to understand and I have to


say that tonight it is something of a victory for West Midlands Police


to get this conviction, if this man had been acquitted, lots of


questions would have been asked about the poll is handling a man


and concentrating on his bookshop for so many years. Now it looks


vindicated. Still to come tonight:


The illegal Warwickshire gypsy site where families and protesters are


preparing for their second Christmas with no sign of an end to


the stand-off. A teenage girl jailed for taking


part in the August riots says she didn't deserve to go to prison. 19-


year-old Danielle Corns is serving a ten month sentence for stealing


two left-footed trainers from a shop in Wolverhampton. She's one of


more than 700 people who've been arrested in connection with the


riots in this region. Of those, more than 160 have been charged and


put before the courts. Mary Rhodes reports on how Danielle Corns


became part of those statistics after she was identified from


security camera footage. Can you tell me what you were doing


at that point might? I was just walking around, looking, watching


people. Danielle and her lawyer look back at the moment she became


a riot are, as the link two let trainers in Wolverhampton. This is


the main evidence in the case. just went in there to be nosy, I


didn't intend to steal anything. I just regret it. There was no need


for me to go in there. And... The average sentence for those


involved in the riots has been 12 months and in the West Midlands


community sentences have been handed out to fewer than 1 in 10


rioters. That is a mistake, says one charity. They are significantly


cheaper than short-term prison sentence and they are likely to be


more effective in preventing crime being repented and, thirdly, they


are quite visible, you can see what is happening and that offenders are


repairing the damage. This is rather than pushing prisoners out


of sight, into very expensive prison places for short periods of


time with an incredibly high reoffending rate, which is just not


worth king. Wolverhampton's Conservative MP believes the


sentences have been a fair. There was fear around the city and the


whole country. It was important a message was sent her out and I used


to find that from constituents and shopkeepers, they would say to me,


it is vital we send out a message that this is wrong, and this sort


of no -- behaviour has to be nipped in the bud. The family had hoped


for a community sentence but Wolverhampton Crown Court decided


she would be jailed for 10 months. Well, we're joined now from her


home in Wolverhampton by Danielle Corns' mother Sharon. Very good


evening to you. Why do you think Danielle's sentence was unfair,


after all, she did break the law. Looting is a serious crime.


I think it is unfair because he has got no previous convictions and


everyone is judging her as a rioters. She didn't intend to ride


that day. I had taken her to do some shopping and left her there.


She was being a curious teenager, at the end of the day. We have had


many emails and Facebook comments and the majority of people,


although this isn't scientific, they say she deserved the sentence.


Let me read you a couple of these. We had won here saying she chose to


take the train is going equally well it was wrong. As a criminal,


you don't get to choose what to punishment is. Another wants us, if


you cannot do that time, to not do the crime. Only one was saying that


the sentence was unfair. Another one says that if ten-month stops


her from doing it again, it is a lesson well learnt. What is your


reaction? They don't know my daughter or the full story. She


went to look around. Where the story has come from, why she has


picked up two trainers, I don't know. She was a curious teenager,


she had a look round, not to riot. The shutters fell on her, she


picked up two objects, and she went out of the shop. Somebody had to


lift the shutter up for her to get out. She just picked them up to


throw. You can see her on the CCTV throwing the objects and then


another girl picks them up and goes down the street with them. It is


unfair. So shouldn't intent to steal them? No, she didn't. It was


a man's clothing shop. She picked them up because she panicked,


because she was locked up. How is Daniel coping and when will she be


freed? I don't know. But she is not coping very well. She is upset. She


should not be in there, at the end of the day. It is very unfair. My


daughter has no previous convictions. My daughter has no


previous convictions. And she should not be sentenced to prison.


Thank you. And you can see more on this on


tonight's Inside Out on BBC One at 7:30pm. It is looking likely that


Birmingham has lost up to Manchester and London in getting a


centre with a pioneering new treatment for cancer. Proton


therapy is a type of radiotherapy that targets cancer more precisely


causing fewer side effects for patients. Last year, the Government


would have a share of the �43 million funding for the treatment.


Tonight, they say no final decision has been made. Our Health


Correspondent, Michele Paduno, reports.


Christmas is coming, but Tom Blakemore has already had the best


present of all. He's had proton therapy in Florida in the United


States. The 11-year-old from Halesowen had three months


in future children could be treated in Birmingham. If there is the West


Midlands Centre, they could have for treatment near their home. It


affects the whole family. We travelled a long way. But it was


such a big upheaval. So why is proton therapy so good? Well,


protons are large, positively charged particles that can be fired


more accurately to kill just cancer cells. Normal radiotherapy fires


smaller negatively charged electrons which are harder to


control, spreading into healthy tissues and so aren't as good for


complex cancer like children's brain tumours. Last October, the


Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, told the BBC that


we would get proton therapy. I have made it clear we will support over


the next four years with �43 million the roll-out of proton


therapy at a number of centres and the University Hospital in


Birmingham will be one of those centres. We were then told that the


Government was looking at either three centres nationally which


would include Birmingham or just two centres. The centre would have


been built hit on this car park. I was told in an e-mail that two


strongest bids were from London and Manchester. The reality was that if


they were going to go for a two centre innocent -- two centre of


the solution, there would be one in the South and North. Doctors at


University Hospital, Birmingham, have just installed tomotherapy,


which is state of the art equipment, but for some cancers, protons are


better. They're worried that adults in particular could miss out.


will happen for children because children and parents, particularly


parents, are very keen to get the best treatment for their children.


For adults, we will wait and see. Patrons will not want to go to


either side of the country. They might accept what is not quite as


good. Officially, the decision has not yet been made, but it appears


that Birmingham's geographical position has left the city playing


Our correspondent joins asked now. There has been a response from the


Department of Health in the last hour. Yes, last week Iris told we


would have a decision before Christmas but tonight we have been


told that no decision will be made until 20th March 12. There will be


an announcement tomorrow. But there are still three hospitals,


including banning them, they are looking closely at the business


case and no decision will be made until March. For the people working


here on the bid, that is good news. If we do not get this centre, how


bigger bloke is it for Birmingham? It is a big blow up economically.


This hospital is trying to integrate this to make it a major


canter -- Cancer Centre internationally. There is the


question of trying to attract top quality doctors and for the


Children's Hospital here in Birmingham, this will mean treating


loss of children and there is a need to have that here. Thank you.


Four men who robbed and murdered a shopkeeper in an attack witnessed


by his children have been jailed for life. Suppiah Tharmaseelan was


stabbed in his shop in Birmingham last November. The judge told twins


the end and John mean an and brothers Anthony Bayliss and Liam


Ryan that it was a mindless attack on a vulnerable person. This case


was always very challenging due to the fact that the children


witnessed the attack in the shop. They were still traumatised after


the murder itself, but today they can close this wicked chapter in


their lives. More ahead tonight including:


destroyed by vandals - now a village war memorial is being


rebuilt and it will be replaced and the heart of a Gloucestershire


village. And it is a stormy mix this week


with lash and rain Gayle, snow and Gypsies who illegally developed


land in Warwickshire will spend a second Christmas facing local


campaigners who have set up their own protest camp. The action under


planning laws is pending against both sides. They have been facing


each other every day for the last 18 days in a failed in Meriden. One


gypsy leader says they will move if the council finds them somewhere


else to go. It is 590 days since gypsies


started illegally developing this land. Residents started a campaign


angry that planning laws were being flouted. Now both sides have fallen


foul of planning laws with the question now being asked, which


illegal encampment will be made to leave first? We are not here to


waste taxpayers' money. When would you go? We will work that out with


the council. We want clear enforcements. You will not go until


the gypsies go? We will go at a time we think is appropriate.


Gypsies say they would move tomorrow if Solihull council can


find them all alternative site. can be arrested, if I pull on the


side of the way. I have no place to go. I have asked the council if


they could provide a place for me to go and if they could, I would


gladly go there. As the temperature drops, the stalemate continues.


Residents preparing for their second Christmas of protest and


gypsies the stated that the site has turned into a quagmire unable


to be improved because of an injunction preventing a temporary


roadway. The protesters have got it wrong. They should be at the


council offices protesting at what the council have never done,


failing to provide us somewhere to live. In a statement, the council


said they did not have any appropriate sites available in the


area at the moment. They did say they were engaged in a public


consultation exercise asking people where they think suitable sites


should be put. In the meantime, the married and gypsies are staying put


and the protesters say they are not going anywhere either. -- Meriden


gypsies. Now the sport. Worrying time for


Coventry City supporters. Not good. War in a moment. First to the


Premier League and two vulnerable victories for Aston Villa and Stoke


City. Marc Albrighton scored first and then Stiliyan Petrov on target


to set up their first away win of the season. Stoves game against


Spurs followed a similar pattern. Matt Etherington scored both their


goals. Stoke are lying 8th in the table. They are away to Wolffs on


Saturday. Tottenham are a topside. It was how we defended as a team


and we did that brilliantly. It was a great result for stop Coventry


City fans cannot wait to see the back of 2011 but things could get


worse in 2012. The Sky Blues are at their lowest ebb for more than 40


years. Cast adrift at the foot of the championship, a manager under


pressure to stop the rot. Death when they thought nothing


about events at the weaker arena could surprise them, Coventry City


proved them wrong. On Saturday Geoff Foster and Clive Eakin looked


down at the home team dug-out and had some shocked used for their


listeners, because this man was on the bench. Only nine months ago,


Ken Dulieu had replaced Ray Ranson as the club chairman. On the 2nd


December he resigned as chairman and became head of football


operations. On Saturday, can take his place in the dug-out alongside


Coventry manager Andy Thorn. radio commentary phoned in after


the match. They were pretty angry. People suggesting he may be lining


himself as caretaker manager. took him on at the bench. He was


down there. Were you happy with that? He can do whatever he wants.


He is right, can-can but the manager did not look happy. Not


least because Coventry's self- appointed head of operations seemed


clear about his role. I will not get involved on the pitch or


training. I think Andy has done a very good job. Playing good


football, played the top three and I am bound to say this but we were


unlucky in those games. That verdict could have applied to


Saturday's defeat by Hull. Lady Luck may have deserted the Sky


Blues but they have taken just three points from the last games


and they are seven points adrift of safety. Some degree of financial


backing is required if a club is to succeed. In the absence of that, we


may face relegation from the championship. Heartbreaking.


Worried faces on the bench, anxious players on the pitch, and that this


fans in the stands at the Ricoh arena.


A year ago, they were 5th in the championship. What a contrast. What


would happen if they went down? would be massive. Not least in this


respect that if Coventry City are in League One, that is a massive


deterrent for potential investors to buy the club of the current


owners SISU. In three weeks' time, transfer windows open. Could their


best players go? That is a fear. The club has no cash for new


players. Many feel sympathy for Andy Thorn but that will not keep


him in a job if results do not improve.


Elsewhere, the former striker Marlon King was on top form for


Birmingham City. He got both goals in the second half as they came


from behind to beat Doncaster 2-1. Perfect time and just ahead of


Thursday's game against Maribor in the European League. And Cheltenham


Town's excellent one continues. They beat Southend 3-0. You can see


all the goals on the BBC website. Finally, just to whet the appetite


for the cricket season, Worcestershire have signed


Australian batsman Phil Hughes. He has paid 16 Test matches and he


will arrive at New Road in June. Cracking!


Thank you. It was an act of wanton vandalism that shocked the people


of a Gloucestershire village who woke to find their war memorial


smashed to pieces. It had stood for almost 100 years in tribute to


those be left to fight in the First World War. Now work is under way to


create a replacement and to restore it to the heart of the community.


It is a slow but highly skilled process recreating a war memorial


from scratch. Made more difficult by the state of the original,


decades of decay leaving vague clues to its original glory. But


the job has been helped by the public who have sent in photos of


the original. There were a couple of figures that you could make out


but there was on the other side, St George and a dragon which we found


out recently forced up the new money-mad is being made from box


ground stone. It has just started to be mined again and the plan is


for the new memorial to blend in with the past. For the first couple


of years it will look newer, but there with a lot of greenery around


where the moral is and that will help the process of it weather vane.


Police are still searching for those who left the memorial in


pieces. CCTV of someone dumping pieces of the work had not brought


results. There are people still living in Prestbury whose ancestors,


grandparents are named from the First World War and other campaigns


on that Memorial. There was total anger. There is the hope that


another positive could come out of this. Not only will the memory will


be replaced but the council is working on plans for a new memorial


for villages who gave their lives in the Second World War.


We both agreed the weather yesterday was a vile. It was


hideous! I believe there is worse to come. Yes.


Today things have been deteriorating in a build-up to what


deteriorating in a build-up to what will be quite a bad day. Sunshine


under this huge swathe of cloud. Rain is lurking. Up to 20 mm of


rain and gusts of up to 50 miles per hour. You can see it eases by


the second half of the night and it is looking clearer. Temperatures of


three Celsius, although a fake -- fair breeze will be blowing. Winds


picking up through the morning and behind this band of rain we have


showers. It becomes progressively colder through the day. Show was


turning wintry. To the north, at any areas above 200 metres, will be


covered by snow. Those are rain showers at lower levels will turn


sleet here. Winds could gusts up to 40 mph. It will feel much colder


than that in the wind chill. Tomorrow night, temperatures


plummeting to near freezing. Seeing as we are continuing a feeder


showers from the south-west, some frost and icy patches on any


untreated roads. They show was continue on Wednesday, looking


drier by Thursday, but it is on Friday we have to keep our eye on.


Friday we have to keep our eye on. Before we leave, let's take at the


main headlines: David Cameron defends his EU veto saying signing


up would have left Britain with no protection force stop and guilty of


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