The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.
Browse content similar to 22/12/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
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