22/12/2011 Midlands Today


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Welcome to Midlands today. The headlines: The biggest rise in


homelessness in the country, we are live at a shelter preparing for


Christmas. It can happen to anybody. Police said they are treating the


death of a man in Worcester as murder.


I was going to see if I could get up there and save him but it was so


intense. French prosecutors investigate that


the themed party attended by MP Aidan Burley.


The mum had a heart attack when she was pregnant, baby Ryan was less


than three pounds at birth, but now the family is together.


Good evening. Tonight, the growing problem of


homelessness in the region, as numbers reach a record level.


Two years ago, the number of homeless people was 7,100. Last


year it had gone up to 8440. That rise is the largest anywhere in


England. Surprisingly, -- not surprisingly, Christmas is the


busiest time for shelters. Why are so many people living in this


situation? Beds, like its and food. Just some


of the supplies being delivered to help the homeless at St George's


community centre in Newtown in Birmingham. Last year, the shelter


are catered for 170 people on Christmas Day. 115 slap Dover. The


indications are it could be even busier this year. Speaking to sit


kitchens and organisations in Birmingham, they have been seeing


an increase of 35-40%. We anticipate that we have an impact


on us. We have never hit capacity here but we do not want to turn


anyone away. Homelessness can come unexpectedly. Carol Brown was a


successful publican but when her marriage broke up she found herself


with nowhere to live. Now she works for the charity that helped turn


her life around. If you had said to me for years ago but I would be in


a homeless hostel, I would have laughed at you. It can happen to


anybody, it is so easy. This manager in Birmingham says the


tough economic climate means the building has doubled in size,


catering for 95 residents. We have people coming with us stories about


how they had a job 12 months ago and they don't have a job any more


and they have lost their job, they have lost their home, and they are


homeless and they just want somewhere to stay. The story has


changed. Back at St George's, 200 of -- volunteers have signed up to


help cope with the inspected increase. -- expected increase.


is a lovely feeling seen them all tucked up in bed. It is not nice to


come into somewhere and put your head on the floor. Not only will


the people who come here get food and shelter, they will also have


access to professional services might drop it is, massage, and The


Samaritans. -- like a charade that is. They expect to have served


around 3,000 meals by the time may close next Friday.


Really worrying figures, how are they coping?


They are coping very well at the moment. They have laid on a party


for 100 people this afternoon. A Christmas dinner has been cooked by


the executives and they are serving it. I am joined by the manager.


This is a good example of what can be done to help homeless people,


isn't it? On a day like this, when the Executive have come together to


cook for less privileged people in our community, we have said about


100 people. It is the time of the year to give back to people in the


community. How does this Christmas compared to last? This Christmas is


different in a sense that we have got more people presenting as


homeless and that is why charities like this are trying to provide for


this community. At the same time, it is an opportunity for the


community in the West Midlands to come together. It is hard to


predict, but any predictions for how the homelessness problem may go


next year? If the economy remains the way it is, more people will


become homeless. That is why we want to provide for the less


privileged in our society. That is why -- when you're doing this


afternoon. Everybody seems to be enjoying themselves. We just wish


everybody here a very happy Christmas.


Well done to the volunteers to give up their time.


Coming up later... How pictures of Coventry in times


gone by are helping patients with dementia.


Police in bet -- investigating the death of a man in Worcester said


they are treating it as murder. Andrew Heath was found dead inside


his property in the early hours of last Wednesday morning. Today, his


neighbours and friends appealed for help to find his killer.


Tributes outside the flat were Andrew Heath had lived for the past


nine years. The severity of the fire that killed him, there for all


to see. His neighbours and close friends, Sue and Clive Dayus, were


often -- I have woken in the early hours of last Wednesday morning by


banging from the flat above. wanted to go up and save him but


the fire was at the doorway. I ran around to the front and I was


shaking. -- I was shouting, Andrew, to see if I could get a response.


Within minutes, flames shot out of the window. I knew that was it.


were aware that somebody was inside. We deployed for firefighters with


breathing apparatus to fight the fire and to go and try and rescue


the person. Sadly we were unable to do so. Police arrested two men over


the fire. One was released after questioning. Another, in his


thirties, has been released on police bail. The fire was started


in the porch of number two. Police are trying to work out whether


Andrew Heath was already dead at that point, or whether he was


killed by the fire. They are also desperate to find out what would


motivate somebody to kill him. would ask anybody their new Andrew


Heath to contact us so we can piece together the details of his life to


establish what happened. The fire was particularly ferocious and


clearly had been in a block of flats. It was one that put other


people's lives in danger. Sue and Clive Dayus's flat was so badly


damaged they said they have lost nearly everything they own and will


never live there again. We want to catch whoever did this. It is not


only his family they have taken him from, they to come from us as well.


Police are asking anyone with information to contact them


immediately. French prosecutors have launched an


investigation into the Nazi themed stag party attended by the MP for


Cannock Chase, Aidan Burley. But Conservative MP was sacked from his


job as a government adviser after he was pictured sitting next to the


groom, who was wearing an SS uniform. It did it transpired he


may have paid for the hire of the outfit himself. -- it later


transpired. What are the French opera TI's serene today? What they


have announced is a preliminary inquiry. This is the first step. It


is a result of a complaint lodged by a group, SOS Racism, which has


followed this story, and felt that in its year, a breach of French law


might have been committed. It went public with this complaint and


pressurise the local prosecutor, who then opened this preliminary


inquiry. The preliminary inquiry isn't -- into what happened, not


into individuals. It is simply to work out what happened and if there


was a case against anyone involved. At that point it would turn into


something more formal. People would be named and then I -- a judicial


investigation would be launched. What laws could be broken?


group involved thinks two might have been broken. One is incitement


to racial hatred and the other is apologising for her, otherwise


supporting and making arguments for, war-crimes. From my conversations


with the representative of a so West Racism, he thinks the second


is more likely to stick. That is apologetic for war crimes. Wearing


eight Nazi military uniform is, for him, possible to interpret as


championing the Nazi movement and therefore apologising for war


crimes. That is his opinion. Two men have been sentenced to a


total of 53 years in jail for murder. Richard Smith and Michael


Sexton were found guilty of murder yesterday. Sixten will serve a


minimum of 25 years and Smith, MM run -- minimum of 28 years. This


man died after being stabbed in the head with a screwdriver.


Part of a brand-new housing estate in Gloucestershire have at -- has


been bulldozed after a victory of residence in a planning battle.


Building began after planning permission was given five years ago.


At a tribunal, local people claimed part of the land was protected by


an old covenant. The housing company has been forced to tear


down the homes. Families who have members of the


armed forces overseas are being offered support over the Christmas


period. One of the busiest airfield in the UK is in Shropshire and bar


have people deployed all over the world this Christmas. It has a long


established welfare programme. We have met some of the families


facing separation this Christmas. I need you to look after mum while


I am away... Josh reads a letter written by his father just after he


left for Afghanistan. The family will be spending Christmas


thousands of miles apart. All my love. I will so, so, so Miss You,


dad. Josh and his mum will be in Shropshire on Christmas Day. His


dad has been in Camp Bastion since late summer. There is a good


community to have art. There are good neighbours and good friends


who are willing to help out. Hynes family will also spend


Christmas apart. Here at the Christmas party, Corporal Tony


Hynes crams in as many cuddles as he can with his son, Jacob, who is


only five months old. Tony has now flown out to the Afghan capital,


Kabul. To be away for his first Christmas, I am gutted. I have been


away before it. To be a way for his first Christmas is the worst thing


I can think of. Most people take it for granted that they will spend


Christmas with the people they love. Four military families it is common


to spend the festive season thousands of miles apart. The


welfare programme at RAF Shawbury is well established. Families are


given all the support they need when loved ones are posted overseas.


We do not want people to feel that once their partners are way that


they are on their own. We always have a point of contact for them,


we check how they are doing, as well as other avenues. Josh and his


mum and the other families have no there is a vital job to be done,


even at this Christmas -- even at Christmas. The community here at


RAF Shawbury make sure that no one is left out at this special time of


As we live longer, the number suffering from dementia is


increasing. Providing the right care in hospital is difficult. A


recent report criticised hospitals for not doing enough. But one is


improving the lives of those facing what can be such a disorientating


illness. Dementia, the condition affects


more than three-quarters of a million people across the UK.


Hospitals are struggling to keep pace but making a more attractive


environment for confused patients can be beneficial. That is what is


happening in Coventry. One area is this forget-me-not lounge designed


to calm patients who suffer confusion. Like 92-year-old Rose.


could put my feet up and have a cup of coffee and relax. Much of the


project includes these montages which show old pictures of Coventry


and they are known to evoke soothing and pleasant memories.


Rose has not been diagnosed with dementia but those who are often


get less than satisfactory care. 32% of NHS staff interviewed for a


report felt they had enough training. The hospital has made


great strides, there has been a dimension group at the hospital. We


have done things like improving communication skills with activity


packs and the project is a great example of improving the


environment. To me, it makes a huge difference, a difference providing


quality care for older people and making sure they are looked after


properly in hospital. It is a bit of all right. As well as the


memories and lounge, staff are taking other steps to help dementia


patients, simple things like spending more time with them and


engaging in conversation about the past can go a long way.


You are watching Midlands Today. Still to come: the family


celebrating their first Christmas together after a deeply traumatic


year. And we could all do with a bit of


festive cheer this weekend with a seasonal setting. But Jack Frost's


out of town. So what is it going to I think it'll be quite mild. One of


our top universities is leading the way in some of the biggest


scientific discoveries ever made. Our science correspondent David


Gregory reports now on how the discovery of yet another new


particle at the European organisation for nuclear research,


CERN on the French Swiss border, This is the Director of CERN,


preparing to reveal to the world's media their news on the Higg's


Boson and where did he come just a few days later? To the University


of Birmingham to receive an honorary degree cementing the


strong relationship between Birmingham and CERN. I think when I


came in from the airport, I saw a sign, University of Birmingham,


research with global impact. I think you do research with global


impact. There are four experiments and the


University of Birmingham is involved in the most of any


university in the country, three out of four. But back to the Higgs


boson, have they discovered it or not? What you can say is if there


is one we are seeing the right sort of thing at the moment. But it is


not at the level where you can say it is definitive. You could talk to


me in six months' time and I might be going, that disappeared and it


is different or does it exist. As for the experiment itself, well


it's now offline. It is a complicated machine and needs


maintenance. Experiments themselves have to have maintenance, there was


shut down over winter. Next year, it will run even better than this


year. And now the university has joined


up to a third experiment. Right after all the hard work of


designing and building has finished and just as the data gathering


starts. That's the fun bit for a physicist. Yes, we feel bad about


joining but it is fantastic to join. We can contribute a lot. It is the


most complex, expensive and groundbreaking experiment ever


attempted. And Birmingham and the Midlands are at the heart of three


quarters of it. Very impressive and proud. Dan's


here with the story of the most important goal of the season so far.


The Aston Villa midfielder Marc Albrighton says it's a great honour


that one of his goals has given Acorns Hospice a �20,000 windfall.


Albrighton scored the 20,000th goal of the Premier League last night.


And although Villa lost 2-1 it proved very precious.


He didn't know it at the time but Marc Albrighton was about to score


the goal of a lifetime. That is a mistake and there is Albrighton.


was celebrating drawing Aston Villa level against Arsenal. It was only


afterwards the significance of his goal became clear. It was the


20,000th since the Premier League was launched in 1992. The league


sponsors Barclays offered �20,000 to the player who scored it and


it's gone straight to Villa's charity partner Acorns Hospice.


is a great honour and it is a great cause. We see the great work they


do their and the kids are great. There was a smile on her face all


the time. I am pleased it is going towards a good cause. �20,000 is a


day's care across the trust. You can imagine to be given an infusion


of that magnitude without any warning at all is wonderful.


night's low point came three minutes from time when Yossi


Benayoun scored to give Arsenal a 2-1 victory. But Villa could still


celebrate an improved performance alongside the charity pay-out.


Charity was in short supply from league leaders Manchester City


though. They beat Stoke 3-nil and the result was never really in


doubt. In contrast Albion's game at Newcastle was unpredictable and


exciting from the moment Peter Odemwingie gave the baggies an


early lead. Demba Ba equalised for Newcastle with a fine free-kick.


But Gareth McCauley put Albion back in front before the break. Ba again


equalised and Newcastle went in search of the winner. Albion had


other ideas and a scintillating move was ended with Paul Scharner's


athletic volley. Albion's last win at Newcastle was way back in 1977.


This five goal thriller was almost worth the wait. And talking of


waiting, Wolves fans will now have to wait 24 hours longer to see


their side play at Arsenal over Christmas?


Yes, they were due to play at the Emirates Stadium at 3pm on Boxing


Day. But the match has now been put back 24 hours due to a drivers


strike on the London Underground. This is what Wolves fans have made


of it today. It is all fun. The fans have to get


down there, travel to the ground and stuff. It is tough. It is the


right thing. It is annoying because you like to watch it on Boxing Day


because no one is a work. There's nothing to be done about it. It is


about tradition and a football on Boxing Day is a big tradition.


Other matches are taking place that day why have Arsenal called this


one off. Well, in a statement they cited a duty of care to supporters


and in their defence the vast majority of fans use the tube to


get to Arsenal because there just isn't any parking around there. But


the traditions of Boxing Day isn't set in stone these days. For


example TV dictates that Birmingham City play West Ham in a 5.30 kick-


off. Stoke host Villa in a 7.45pm kick-off. But we don't have to wait


much longer to find out who's this year's BBC Sports Personality and


we could have some Midlands winners tonight.


Yes the programme starts at 8pm on BBC1 tonight. Cyclist Mark


Cavendish is favourite to win the main award but we could have


winners in the young sports personality award. Paralympic


swimmer Eleanor Simmonds from Walsall and golfer Lauren Taylor


from Rugby are down to the final three from what's been described as


the "strongest ever field". And don't forget Bill Longmore, from


Hanwood in Shropshire. He's a contender for the Unsung hero award


after winning the Midlands version earlier this month. Let's hope we


have good news tomorrow. A couple will be celebrating Christmas at


home as a family a day they thought they'd never see as both mum and


baby were seriously ill in hospital after his premature birth. It meant


long trips to hospitals in Birmingham and Leicester for dad


Daniel Tookey, who was also helping to look after their daughter at


home in Shropshire. Joanne Writtle has been to meet them.


Baby Ryan Tookey finally home in Oswestry, after he was delivered 10


weeks early back in May, weighing just 2lb and 9oz. Mum Tina had a


heart attack when she was just seven weeks pregnant. But all then


appeared to well. Until she suffered pre-eclampsia and a liver


and blood clotting disorder when she was 30 weeks pregnant: I had


him via emergency Caesarean section and as I have that, both of my


lungs collapsed. All I can remember is saying goodbye to my husband at


the theatre door to have emergency Caesarean section and next thing I


woke up in a different hospital. Tina had been transferred to


Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, where she had to be kept alive by a


machine doing the work of her heart and lungs. She was home a few weeks


later, but Ryan then had to go to Birmingham Children's Hospital for


an operation to remove part of his bowel due to a condition which had


caused it to die. Dad Daniel and big sister Kelly meanwhile, were at


home in Oswestry. I was told within a two week period


I could lose both of them. But I put that to the back of my mind and


kept thinking to myself they will be home soon. It will all get


better. I had to keep thinking that. Tina also has Polycystic Ovaries


Syndrome, and it had taken five years to conceive Ryan. As for the


future. Hopefully we will all be fine. I am confident I will be OK.


Ryan seems to be doing well. Providing he keeps growing and is


bowels keep growing with him, it will get better. How special


Christmas be? It will be amazing after the last 12 months, two years,


it will be a most amazing Christmas ever. Finally, as if they hadn't


all been through enough, big sister Kelly here slipped in the shower


and broke her toe the day before Ryan came home from hospital two


My goodness, they have been through it. What a lovely Christmas they


will have. Happy Christmas. Here's Something along the lines of today


would be nice for Christmas Day. It will be mild, some sunshine but I


do not think we will be able to pull that out of the back. Not


snide but cloudy conditions, it will be damping places, mild and


windy. Nothing Chris and see about Christmas. Christmas Eve is looking


OK. Tonight, cloud piling in from the West, it will be mild. It will


state knows the drive but rain it ageing in towards dawn.


Temperatures only eight or nine Celsius. Very mild. It will be a


mild start tomorrow, a dull day and we see this rate band moving


eastwards. Some will be fairly heavy, particularly in the east and


the North. Flakes of snow on at Staffordshire Malverns. It is still


quite mild. The air is coming in from the north-west. 10 and 11 in


the day, the rain it plays East Wood's In the Night and skies will


play quickly. Temperatures plummeting down to 2 or three


Celsius. There will be a touch of frost on the cards. That is how we


start Christmas Eve, it is looking quite nice on Christmas Eve, dry


and sunny. Temperatures up to around six Celsius. Then, south-


westerly and temperatures in double figures. Cloudy and dampen places


and windy. A Christmas Day barbecue. A look at


tonight's main headlines: Multiple explosions rip through Baghdad -


the worst violence Iraq has seen for months. And here homelessness


hits a record high - it's growing at a faster rate in this region


than anywhere in the country. That's all from us this evening. On


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