26/01/2012 Midlands Today


26/01/2012

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

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The headlines tonight: forced to watch as the other was killed, a

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jury's told that's what happened to a frail couple murdered in their

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home. More serious failures in care at

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Stafford Hospital and fears it's in dire financial difficulties.

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Dangerous and on the loose: warnings over a second escaped

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prisoner, jailed after a vicious attack in Coventry. It smacks of

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something which has been planned well in advance and with associates

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on the outside. And they thought they had no future

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and no chance of a career, the new course helping to turn young lives

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around. I got a chance to perform in front a bunch of great people

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:00:55.:00:57.

and since then, they've helped me a Good evening, welcome to Thursday's

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Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight: forced to watch as the

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other was savagely beaten and killed, a jury's told that's what

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happened to an elderly couple murdered in their home.

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Guiseppe and Caterina Massaro were found dead lying side by side on

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their bed. The jury was told to put aside all emotion in the case and

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to concentrate on the facts. A 22-year-old Polish man denies the

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two charges of murder. Lindsey Booth arrived at court

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today with her family. Last April on Good Friday she discovered her

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grandparents lying dead in their home in Wolverhampton. The house

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they'd lived in for more than 50 years had been ransacked. Guiseppe

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Massaro who was 80 and his wife Caterina who was 77, had been

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killed in a savage attack with a hammer and a knife. In the dock

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today 22-year-old Bartnofski listened to the evidence through an

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interpreter. Last year he arrived next door to the pensioners to stay

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with his sister. The prosecution claim he entered the frail

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pensioners home, attacked them and stole their property. The

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prosecution claimed that forensic scientists found a wealth of

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material inside the house. His blood was found on the murder

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weapons, a knife and a hammer. His fingerprints were found on property

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and documents. It is also claimed that his DNA was discovered inside

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the clothing of the pensioner. The prosecution say that he must have

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placed his hand inside a pocket, either while he was dying of war

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shortly afterwards. Guiseppe and Caterina Massaro left Naples in

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Italy and arrived in Wolverhampton in 1960 to make a new life for

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themselves. After they were murdered, two TV sets were taken

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from their home and sold for �200. Their Peugeot car was also stolen.

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A 32-year-old man from Wolverhampton Wojciech Ostolski is

:03:06.:03:16.
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accused of selling the televisions. The defendant denies the two counts

:03:16.:03:26.
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of murder. The trial is expected to last three weeks.

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Still to come: lessons from the Americans on how to bring up our

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There've been more serious failures in patient care at Stafford

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Hospital and tonight there're fears it's in dire financial difficulties

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too. The details come just weeks after a

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public inquiry was held into high death rates and appalling standards

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of care at the hospital. Jeffs life now revolves around

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trains. In the bad old days, his wife suffered terribly in Stafford

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hospital. Jeff was horrified that this happened �10 this year. These

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things... That hospital is not learning from mistakes. They are

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not doing it. Is it the staff? Is that the management? I don't know.

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Stafford hospital is also being investigated for its hip fracture

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or repairs. It is not operating quickly enough and too many

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patients are having to go back in. The trust board heard there were 19

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see that if a seal cases when the ship home the have been two. There

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were still -- for serious incidents last month. One patient later died.

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We are seeing 3% fewer falls this year than previously. The fact that

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we have had one which was very serious and has resulted in a

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person dying during the latter part of last year is a serious concern.

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The board was told of their efforts to reopen accident and emergency

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overnight. Staff are being recruited but the earliest it will

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happen is made. Compared to where it should be, it's got an awful

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long way to travel. Compared with where it was, it has made some

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improvements. Some people have put a lot of working. It is clear that

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management are doing their best to turn things around and they have

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been improvements. But it was also made clear today that some senior

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members of staff are not doing enough to help that. And there is

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still a big mountain to climb. But with for finances slipping, will

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they be given time to get to the top?

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We're joined now from Westminster by the Conservative MP for Stafford,

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Jeremy Lefroy. Thanks for talking to us, Mr Lefroy. This sounds

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simply outrageous, why isn't it being sorted out? There are many

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events happening which should not be happening. Many people are

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suffering stress because of that. We also need to stress that we are

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in advance of where we were a couple of years ago at the hospital.

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There are improvements being made but I don't want to downplay the

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seriousness of each case which affects somebody and the family.

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your election ticket was based around solving the problems that

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stuff a hospital. Things seem to be getting worse on the face of it.

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was about restoring confidence and we have got a huge way to go. I

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believe we have come a fair distance but clearly, there are

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many things to do. Firstly, we need to see A&E open 24 / 7. That has

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been put back for reasons of safety. The trust is not going to take a

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chance on this. Then there is the serious financial problems you have

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referred to with a deficit of something like �20 million this

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year. Are you banging on the Health Secretary's door about this?

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Absolutely. The trust board has been working hard. I understand

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there is a meeting next week with the Department of Health over this

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very issue. I hope we will see a resolution soon have a this.

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don't see how things are so bad after all. If to understand that,

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we have to see what we've come from. The outgoing chairman said this was

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the worst situation he had seen in his long experience. He said things

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have come on a way but there is a long way to go. That is what we are

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looking at the moment. I am confident that we will get there.

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Thank you very much. Police in Warwickshire say a post mortem

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examination on a body found in a burning car has proved inconclusive.

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They were called to a field in Aston Cantlow near Alcester

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yesterday morning. Officers believe they now know who the person was

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but say formal identification is likely to take some time.

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The chief constable of Gloucestershire has said policing

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in the county could be taken to a cliff edge if more funding cuts are

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imposed. The police authority wants the force to find extra savings,

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above the �24 million it's already been told to make. In an

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unprecedented move, Tony Melville has said this would threaten

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services at the heart of frontline policing.

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There are calls tonight since those seconds dangerous prisoner escaped

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from custody. Andrew Farndon from Coventry was freed by a gunman

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whilst being transferred to hospital. His escape comes just

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days after John Anslow's prison van was ambushed by an armed gang on

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Monday. The Ministry of Justice insist the

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escapes aren't connected but Labour's front bench say the

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incidents reveal flaws in the prison system and those responsible

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should be held to account. This man first Prom today manhunt

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when he leapt from the Doglost on trial at Coventry Crown Court in

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2007. He received an indeterminate sentence for a hammer attack on a

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motorist in the city. After receiving a knife injury at High

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Point Prison in Suffolk, he was transferred to hospital by taxi

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with two prison officers but awaiting gunman threatened the

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prison staff and he escaped. He had been convicted of causing grievous

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bodily harm in 2007. It was an incident in the West Midlands

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Police area. He has been in custody ever since. He clearly presents a

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potential risk to members of the public should they tried to

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intervene. Our advice would be that if you see this man, or you have

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any information about where he might be, contact us immediately

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and allow us to deal with the incident. A police in Coventry have

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been alerted that he could return to this area. It was an issue which

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didn't concern people from his neighbourhood. He is probably

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trying to hide. He doesn't want to go back to jail. He will keep his

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head down. As long as they catch him, it will be all right. Respect

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someone who grew up with him in Coventry. He felt that he was

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actually a good lad although he did have temper issues. But he was very

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clear that he blames the authorities for not keeping him in

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prison. The categorisation of prisoners is now under scrutiny.

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The man was considered unlikely to attempt an escape, a decision

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considering his history, that is now going to be raised in the House

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of Commons. We need to know what has happened, we've got to get to

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the bottom of this quickly. Two in one week suggest there is a

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loophole or something is going wrong somewhere. We cannot wait

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longer with more prisoners escaping. It the prison overcrowding and the

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situation we are finding ourselves in at the moment, will be a closed

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operational capacity, the prisoners -- and prisons are becoming a

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warehouse. Then prisoners are put into categories they may not be

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suitable for. Regardless of the outcome, the public want to know

:10:38.:10:48.
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that too dangerous prisoners of Almost 5000 children in the region

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are in local authority care. The NSPCC says it will provide

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support for vulnerable families and spot the crucial signs of abuse.

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This role play shows how a neglected child might be identified.

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We need to be hoping for mother born with a child. These NSPCC

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charity workers are about to meet some of the most vulnerable

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families in Birmingham. They would be called in where social workers,

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for example, have preferred a parent for urgent support.

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Parenting classes, now widely used in America, would be offered in

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their own home. Some parents have had neglecting parenting themselves

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and struggled to understand how best to form relationships and

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protect children in the home, how best to support children and in

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people as they grow through their developmental stages. He here, in

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2010, there are almost 5000 children of all ages on child

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protection registers. Well over half Or in Birmingham and the Black

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Country. Zoe was brought up in an abusive home in the West Midlands.

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If my dad got bored, he would get the belt and had a house across the

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hands with it because... He would literally put our hands in hot

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water until the veins became clear. The NSPCC opened a new centre today,

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with staff working in partnership with the remote city council. Many

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of the agency's present here today so there will also be cases which

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go under the rates are. They may remain behind closed doors. The

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death of this killing 2000 and it was just one of 26 cases where

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children have died or seriously injured because of abuse or neglect.

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What changes for the good are you making all is the sort of thing a

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talking shop? It is much more than a talking shop. In the last year or

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so, we've made significant changes in Birmingham City social services.

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We've completely remodelled how we are organised. We've offered much

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greater and better training to our staff. A victims of abuse like Zoe,

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who now has her own family, are being told tonight, your voice will

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:13:25.:13:26.

be heard. It has taught me how 0 to bring up my kids but the mental

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Thanks for joining us this Thursday evening, picture perfect, but will

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the children's efforts get the royal seal of approval? And back in

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the grip of winter. Night frosts and fog return. We even had a hint

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of snow today but what will it be tomorrow and over the weekend? All

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in the forecast later. The family of a man murdered in his

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home are appealing to the public to help find his killer. Andrew Heath

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died in an arson attack. His murder is one of three high profile cases

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from Worcestershire which will feature on the BBC's Crimewatch

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programe this evening. It's December 14th, and Andrew

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Heath's home in Worcester is set alight. He calls 999 and

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frantically tries to escape but his pathway is blocked by the flames.

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The reconstruction will be shown on the BBC's Crimewatch, as police

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continue to hunt his killer. Six weeks on and flowers still deck the

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walkway into what was the 52-year- old's home. His family say he was a

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kind and caring man. People like to be around 10. He was a big chap

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with a big personality. He had been was there for quite a long time, he

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liked it. It felt as if someone had eradicated them. There was very

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little left. We adopted him, we brought him into our home, he was

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caring and kind. Police are due to reveal later today how the fire was

:15:07.:15:17.
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started. His case will be one of three to be featured on tonight's

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programme. They'll be renewed appeals over the murder of retired

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school teacher Betty Yates who was found beaten and stabbed at her

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home in Bewdley earlier this month, and calls too for help to find

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suspected killer John Anslow who escaped from a prison escort van in

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Redditch. What in fact is that having? Obviously it has an issue

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on resources. We are put the money to one side so have something

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happens we can do your bit. �10,000 reward's on offer in all

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three cases. Police hope the Crimewatch appeal will prompt more

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people to come forward with information.

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And you can see the full appeals on Crimewatch tonight on BBC One at 9

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o'clock. The families of wounded soldiers

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being treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham

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will soon be offered free accommodation at a pioneering new

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facility - from an idea that originated in America. It's called

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a Fisher House and building work will begin in April. The BBC's

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correspondent in Washington, Steve Kingstone, has been finding out how

:16:17.:16:27.
:16:27.:16:29.

the scheme works on that side of the Atlantic. I was injured in Iraq

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in 2006. I have had a 66 surgeries since 2006, I am still in recovery

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mode. 27-year-old Brent tells a story

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that's all too familiar among a new generation of veterans. He's

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recovering in Washington, hundreds of miles from home. But in a place

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where patient's families are encouraged to come and stay. Words

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can't describe the feeling that soldiers have when they know that

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their family members can be flown here and have a place to stay on a

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military base. It's called a Fisher House, with space for up to 20

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families visiting wounded relatives. They have their own rooms. But the

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lounge and kitchen are shared. And it's all free. Cherica has come

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here from Ohio - so baby AJ can spend time with his Dad, Anthony.

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It's a trip she simply couldn't have paid for herself. It would be

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devastating financially. We are already having trouble, I'm just

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thankful we have these types of facilities here. The first picture

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house was built in 1991. For families here it is all about

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convenience. And now, the winning formula is being exported to

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Britain - where wounded soldiers are treated here, at the Queen

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Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. A Fisher House will be built where

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this car park currently stands. Staff say it'll bring huge benefits

:18:02.:18:09.

for patients as well as their families. I think it will be vital,

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families come from all over the country to visit their loved ones,

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and if the the soldier knows that his family is being looked after

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that will speed up the process. It's all costing �4m, almost half

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of which will come from America's Fisher House Foundation. And while

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"recovery" is a relative term, the lesson here seems to be that

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journey back is more bearable when it's shared.

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Turning their talent into a career - young singers, dancers and

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designers from disadvantaged backgrounds are being encouraged to

:18:42.:18:46.

get creative. They're being given training, advice and the contacts

:18:46.:18:50.

thanks to a Birmingham based company. Many of them are at a

:18:50.:18:53.

showcase event in the city this evening and Ben Sidwell is there

:18:53.:19:03.
:19:03.:19:14.

Welcome to Birmingham, this is Charlie, like so many people here

:19:14.:19:20.

she is trying to carve out a career in music. Many of those people have

:19:20.:19:27.

become disengaged from society, I have been finding out their stories.

:19:27.:19:32.

They are turning their lives around. Before they won Talent 2011,

:19:32.:19:35.

Pressurize were just a group of young friends with a passion for

:19:35.:19:38.

dancing. Since then, thanks to the help of Birmingham based company

:19:38.:19:41.

Aspire 4U, they've started to try and turn their skills into a full

:19:41.:19:44.

time career and have already performed in front of thousands of

:19:44.:19:53.

people at the Clothes Show. These type of projects are there to

:19:53.:19:57.

support new talent coming up, and to give them the opportunity to

:19:58.:20:04.

showcase their talent to people like myself who why in the industry.

:20:04.:20:07.

Ashley Henson is a great example of how the scheme can work. After

:20:07.:20:10.

winning in 2007, he was given training in event management. Now

:20:10.:20:13.

Ashley is combining work, with a career as an up and coming comedian,

:20:13.:20:20.

as well as putting on various events across Birmingham. A lot of

:20:20.:20:27.

people who put on events only deal would end -- only deal entertainers

:20:27.:20:36.

who are out there. He gives a chance to up and coming people.

:20:36.:20:39.

Like many of those who entered the 2011 compettion, Luke Truth from

:20:39.:20:42.

Redditch was unemployed. He's now getting support, direction and most

:20:42.:20:52.

importantly exposure. I got a chance to perform in front of a

:20:52.:20:56.

bunch of great people, and they have helped me a lot. I have done a

:20:56.:21:02.

couple of other things through them, it's really good. And then there's

:21:02.:21:05.

Benjamin Blake. Thanks to the contacts made, he's about to start

:21:05.:21:14.

a course at university. Now that I can go to university and do

:21:14.:21:19.

something I really like and enjoy, I want to say thank you to them,

:21:19.:21:23.

because I probably wouldn't have gone to university without that.

:21:23.:21:26.

The hope is this year they'll be able create more success stories,

:21:26.:21:36.
:21:36.:21:38.

starting tonight. Let's speak to the chief executive.

:21:38.:21:42.

You started this whilst US university, why did you do it?

:21:42.:21:45.

think it's very important that everyone takes responsibility for

:21:45.:21:49.

empowering young people in the community, instead of sitting back

:21:49.:21:54.

and complaining. We wanted to provide a platform for young people

:21:54.:21:56.

to be empowered, and to do something with their talent and

:21:56.:22:01.

their community. Something like this, many would say it's very

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worthy, but as a businesswoman, you're not making huge money, you

:22:05.:22:10.

could do that as they then scored an 80? I think it's important that

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I work with the young people, and other people see what we are doing

:22:16.:22:23.

and higher rus -- other people will see what we're doing and high-rise

:22:23.:22:29.

to work. Are you finding that people are turning their lives

:22:29.:22:34.

around? We have had some fantastic people coming through our programme.

:22:34.:22:38.

People have gone into university and full-time employment. We have

:22:38.:22:44.

had some fantastic stories. It makes it all worthwhile.

:22:44.:22:52.

showcase start at 7:30pm tonight -- the Showcase will start. Many

:22:52.:22:56.

people are desperate to get into the arts, hopefully they'll be more

:22:56.:23:05.

success stories here. We enjoyed that. We liked that a

:23:05.:23:13.

lot. I will remember them before they become famous.

:23:14.:23:16.

Thousands of schoolchildren across the Midlands are creating self-

:23:16.:23:19.

portraits as part of a national art project which, it's hoped, will

:23:19.:23:23.

break a world record. Each child's picture will be combined into one

:23:23.:23:26.

giant image which will be shown at Buckingham Palace as part of the

:23:26.:23:36.
:23:36.:23:37.

Queen's Jubilee celebrations. A self portrait of four year old

:23:37.:23:44.

Scarlet. This is Isaac. Here's 6 year old Ewan. And this one is

:23:44.:23:49.

Bella. Every pupil at Lapworth Church of England Primary School is

:23:49.:23:52.

taking part in the Face Britain project, their artwork will become

:23:52.:23:55.

part of the UK's celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the

:23:55.:24:05.
:24:05.:24:09.

London Olympics. As a small primary school, with only got 140 children.

:24:09.:24:14.

Taking part of this project is a good chance to become part of the

:24:14.:24:18.

celebrations. It's the biggest art project the country has ever seen.

:24:18.:24:20.

The Face Britain organisers are setting their sights on an

:24:20.:24:27.

ambitious world record. The record for most artists working on the

:24:27.:24:35.

same installation is over a thousand, we are aiming to break

:24:35.:24:45.
:24:45.:24:46.

out. -- break that. So far around ninety of the region's schools are

:24:46.:24:49.

signed up. Here in Lapworth Class 4's creations are starting to take

:24:49.:24:58.

shape. The eyes and the skin. It's got blonde hair. It is different to

:24:58.:25:08.

everyone else's. Every image will end up here at Buckingham Palace.

:25:08.:25:10.

The children's self-portraits will be turned into a giant mosaic of

:25:10.:25:14.

the Queen's face which will then be projected onto the wall, like this!

:25:14.:25:17.

More than 100 works of art created in Lapworth, soon be seen by

:25:17.:25:26.

millions in London. Let's find out what's happening in

:25:26.:25:31.

the weather. Well there was no mistaking it's

:25:31.:25:36.

winter today. The cold is now here to stay for the next few days but

:25:36.:25:39.

it is looking largely dry, quite sunny but with night frosts and fog.

:25:39.:25:41.

Just a degree uncertainty still surrounding Sunday's forecast as

:25:41.:25:44.

this warm front heads in from the West with wetter milder conditions

:25:44.:25:52.

competing with the colder, drier competing with the colder, drier

:25:52.:25:56.

Easterly winds. It looks as though it'll stay to the West. If the line

:25:56.:26:00.

between wet and dry is blurred it's most likely to be in Western parts

:26:00.:26:05.

of the region. This evening and we still have quite peppering of

:26:05.:26:09.

showers across us but they will gradually die out as the night goes

:26:09.:26:19.
:26:19.:26:22.

on and then under clearer skies, temperatures dip to 2 C. We start

:26:22.:26:25.

off sunny and dry tomorrow - but even though high pressure is going

:26:25.:26:29.

to kill off most of the showers, there is line of then spilling in

:26:29.:26:31.

through the Cheshire Gap and running a diagonal line from

:26:31.:26:41.
:26:41.:26:49.

Northwest to Southeast. It'll feel the same as today though with a

:26:49.:26:53.

noticeably breeze and highs of 5-6 C. And then it's tomorrow night

:26:54.:26:56.

that winds finally drop and as the temperatures fall away to freezing

:26:56.:26:59.

or just below a there'll be a fairly widespread frost and some

:27:00.:27:02.

fog tomorrow night. Into Saturday morning, a chilly one this weekend

:27:02.:27:04.

but plenty of dry weather and some sunshine.

:27:04.:27:08.

A look at tonight's main headlines: Numerous warnings ignored, a school

:27:08.:27:11.

in Somerset has been criticised for failing to protect children from a

:27:11.:27:14.

paedophile teacher employed for more than a decade. And forced to

:27:14.:27:17.

watch as the other was killed, a jury's told that's what happened to

:27:17.:27:19.

a frail couple murdered in their home.

:27:19.:27:22.

And, before we go, a reminder that the secrets of the Staffordshire

:27:22.:27:25.

Hoard of anglo-saxon gold will be unravelled tonight. It was found in

:27:25.:27:29.

a farmer's field in 2009 and sheds new light on life in the Midlands

:27:29.:27:32.

1400 years ago. TV historian Dan Snow has pieced together some of

:27:32.:27:34.

the clues to paint a colourful picture of the Dark Ages.

:27:34.:27:37.

And the programme, called Saxon Hoard: A Golden Discovery, will be

:27:37.:27:39.

Hoard: A Golden Discovery, will be on BBC Two, tonight at 8pm.

:27:39.:27:41.

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