12/12/2011 Midlands Today


12/12/2011

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

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

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

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says a teenage rioter jailed for ten months.

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Despite Government promises, Birmingham is dropped as the home

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

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Midlands, it is more accessible than London.

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

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

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

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BBC. Tonight: Guilty of encouraging others to

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

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

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some of the material he sold contained explicit instructions on

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

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

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

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

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special correspondent, Peter Wilson. The Maktabah bookstore in

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Birmingham was famous throughout the world. An important source of

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

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

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

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

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

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street in Birmingham have the attention of the security services

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

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

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

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

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on how to use rocket-propelled grenades and improvised explosive

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

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Afghanistan against British and American forces. This case involved

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a massive worldwide distribution of terrorist material that is really

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important to understand what aspects of the terrorist

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

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

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Sidique Khan, had bought material from the Birmingham bookstore along

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with those convicted of plotting to attack transatlantic airlines in

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

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

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

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

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then released without charge as part of the huge police operation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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On charges of disseminating terraced fabrications and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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they cannot understand why somebody publishing books can end up going

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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vindicated. Still to come tonight:

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The illegal Warwickshire gypsy site where families and protesters are

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

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the stand-off. A teenage girl jailed for taking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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became part of those statistics after she was identified from

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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repairing the damage. This is rather than pushing prisoners out

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

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

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worth king. Wolverhampton's Conservative MP believes the

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

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

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

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

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

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for a community sentence but Wolverhampton Crown Court decided

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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many emails and Facebook comments and the majority of people,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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daughter has no previous convictions. My daughter has no

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

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Thank you. And you can see more on this on

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

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Birmingham has lost up to Manchester and London in getting a

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centre with a pioneering new treatment for cancer. Proton

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therapy is a type of radiotherapy that targets cancer more precisely

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

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

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

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Correspondent, Michele Paduno, reports.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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protons are large, positively charged particles that can be fired

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more accurately to kill just cancer cells. Normal radiotherapy fires

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smaller negatively charged electrons which are harder to

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

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

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

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

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

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therapy at a number of centres and the University Hospital in

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

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Government was looking at either three centres nationally which

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

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

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

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

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

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University Hospital, Birmingham, have just installed tomotherapy,

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

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

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will happen for children because children and parents, particularly

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

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

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

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

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that Birmingham's geographical position has left the city playing

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:14:15.:14:20.

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

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

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would have a decision before Christmas but tonight we have been

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

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:14:45.:14:45.

an announcement tomorrow. But there are still three hospitals,

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including banning them, they are looking closely at the business

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

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

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

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

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canter -- Cancer Centre internationally. There is the

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question of trying to attract top quality doctors and for the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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was always very challenging due to the fact that the children

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

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

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their lives. More ahead tonight including:

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destroyed by vandals - now a village war memorial is being

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

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village. And it is a stormy mix this week

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

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land in Warwickshire will spend a second Christmas facing local

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

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

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

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

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else to go. It is 590 days since gypsies

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started illegally developing this land. Residents started a campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gypsies say they would move tomorrow if Solihull council can

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

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

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

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

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Residents preparing for their second Christmas of protest and

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

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to be improved because of an injunction preventing a temporary

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

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council offices protesting at what the council have never done,

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

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said they did not have any appropriate sites available in the

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

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consultation exercise asking people where they think suitable sites

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

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

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gypsies. Now the sport. Worrying time for

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

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Premier League and two vulnerable victories for Aston Villa and Stoke

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

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

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Spurs followed a similar pattern. Matt Etherington scored both their

:19:34.:19:40.

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

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

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

:19:51.:19:56.

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

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

:20:00.:20:04.

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

:20:04.:20:08.

pressure to stop the rot. Death when they thought nothing

:20:08.:20:12.

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

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

:20:16.:20:20.

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

:20:20.:20:25.

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

:20:26.:20:31.

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

:20:31.:20:34.

December he resigned as chairman and became head of football

:20:34.:20:38.

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

:20:38.:20:46.

Coventry manager Andy Thorn. radio commentary phoned in after

:20:46.:20:52.

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

:20:52.:21:01.

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

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

:21:07.:21:12.

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

:21:12.:21:16.

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

:21:16.:21:21.

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

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

:21:28.:21:34.

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

:21:34.:21:38.

unlucky in those games. That verdict could have applied to

:21:38.:21:42.

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

:21:42.:21:46.

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

:21:46.:21:51.

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

:21:51.:21:56.

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

:21:56.:22:01.

may face relegation from the championship. Heartbreaking.

:22:01.:22:07.

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

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fans in the stands at the Ricoh arena.

:22:10.:22:17.

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

:22:17.:22:22.

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

:22:22.:22:27.

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

:22:27.:22:32.

deterrent for potential investors to buy the club of the current

:22:32.:22:38.

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

:22:38.:22:45.

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

:22:45.:22:49.

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

:22:49.:22:52.

him in a job if results do not improve.

:22:52.:22:56.

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

:22:56.:23:00.

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

:23:00.:23:06.

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

:23:06.:23:12.

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

:23:12.:23:18.

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

:23:18.:23:24.

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

:23:24.:23:28.

for the cricket season, Worcestershire have signed

:23:28.:23:32.

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

:23:32.:23:38.

will arrive at New Road in June. Cracking!

:23:38.:23:43.

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

:23:43.:23:47.

of a Gloucestershire village who woke to find their war memorial

:23:47.:23:51.

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

:23:52.:23:57.

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

:23:57.:24:02.

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

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

:24:08.:24:12.

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

:24:12.:24:16.

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

:24:16.:24:20.

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

:24:20.:24:27.

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

:24:27.:24:32.

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

:24:32.:24:35.

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

:24:35.:24:40.

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

:24:40.:24:45.

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

:24:45.:24:50.

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

:24:51.:24:55.

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

:24:55.:24:59.

Police are still searching for those who left the memorial in

:24:59.:25:05.

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

:25:05.:25:13.

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

:25:13.:25:16.

grandparents are named from the First World War and other campaigns

:25:16.:25:22.

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

:25:22.:25:26.

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

:25:26.:25:31.

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

:25:31.:25:37.

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

:25:37.:25:42.

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

:25:42.:25:48.

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

:25:48.:25:51.

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

:25:51.:26:00.

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

:26:00.:26:09.

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

:26:09.:26:15.

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

:26:15.:26:19.

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

:26:19.:26:27.

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

:26:27.:26:30.

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

:26:30.:26:37.

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

:26:37.:26:43.

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

:26:43.:26:49.

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

:26:49.:26:56.

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

:26:56.:27:02.

than that in the wind chill. Tomorrow night, temperatures

:27:02.:27:07.

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

:27:07.:27:11.

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

:27:11.:27:15.

untreated roads. They show was continue on Wednesday, looking

:27:16.:27:23.

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

:27:23.:27:25.

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

:27:25.:27:30.

main headlines: David Cameron defends his EU veto saying signing

:27:30.:27:34.

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

:27:34.:27:37.

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