16/02/2012 Midlands Today


The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 16/02/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



It welcomed to Look North. The headlines: Jailed for a minimum of


34 years - the man he beat an elderly couple to death in their


Wolverhampton home. It is so hard to grasp that your


grandparents have been murdered. You would never put of those


sentences together. On track at last - the green light


is given to run metro drums through Birmingham city centre. We have


effectively secured �75 million from government. We can now start


construction. There may be budget cut but we can


still cope with any future riots, say police.


And a big night as Spanish giants Valencia warm-up for their clash


with Stoke City. It will be a great, Good evening. Her family have been


talking of their grief at losing an elderly couple to a brutal killer.


This afternoon, Ireneusz Bartnowski was found guilty of the murder of a


devoted couple Giuseppe and Caterina Massaro in their


Wolverhampton home. They had been beaten and stabbed during a robbery.


The judge said he had almost been moved to tears by the anguish


Bartnowski had caused. The pain the cobbles of that in the dying


moments was almost unimaginable, he said. The couple's bodies were


found by their granddaughter, who has been talking about the impact


on the family. Giuseppe and Caterina Massaro came


to the UK in the 1960s from Italy to start a new life. Alive which


ended horrific the last year. -- a life. They were battered and


stabbed to death by 22-year-old Polish Matt -- National Ireneusz


Bartnowski at their Wolverhampton home. He was sentenced to a minimum


of 34 years in jail. We are so relieved that justice has been done,


and that is all we can say. Justice has been done and that is all we


want. Many of the UK Massaro family, including their granddaughter, were


at Wolverhampton crown court while the sentence was passed. She was


the first to go to her grandparentss' home and sensing


something was wrong, she dialled 999. I was walking up the stairs


and I literally just pushed the door, and I saw my granddad first.


I walked round and saw my grandmother. The paramedic asked if


they were breathing and I said, "may be they are still all right


and I can do something". I touched them and they were called. That is


just something that... You know, a granddaughter should never have to


do. The Massaros were popular and well known in Wolverhampton.


Flowers were laid at their home after their murders last April.


They are remembered fondly and much missed by everyone. It messes with


your head how scared they must have been. I have been listening to


Italian music and it reminds me of my grandparents and when I hear it,


I break down because I miss them so much. Bartnowski will be at least


56 before he is allowed free. His actions have left a devoted couple


dead and a family traumatised. Ben Ando is still at Wolverhampton


Crown Court. A deeply distressing case, Ben, with some strong remarks


from the judge. Yes, I have covered many trials at many courts and I


cannot recall seeing many judges as angry as the judge in this case was


here in Court Number Three at Wolverhampton. He said to Ireneusz


Bartnowski, "knew that all humanity. You are evil beyond belief. This


was cold-blooded murder". When he talked about the victim impact


statement from the couple's granddaughter, who we heard from


there, he said that had moved him almost to tears and he put his


finger on what is perhaps the most awful aspect of this case when he


said, "the fear and pain they must have felt in their dying minutes is


unimaginable". He was given an extremely long sentence. Yes, at


least 34 years. The judge made it plain that this is not half of 34


years or two thirds of 34 years. He said he would serve at least 34


years of prison before he was even eligible for parole. This is a


young man of 22, Ireneusz Bartnowski, who will not now be


freed until he is at least 56 years old. Some of the details of the


case are quite bizarre, including the killer going back the day after.


Yes, CCTV from a garage opposite beat me tos' House shows that


Bartnowski went back the day after the killer looking for more things


to steal. He stole two televisions that were sold for �200 and a car


that was later abandoned. Thanks for your company. Later in


the programme: Howard new mums and dads could be breaking the law,


through no fault of their own. The go-ahead has been given today


for trams to run through the centre of Birmingham. The project is seen


as crucial to Birmingham's future image, as it competes with other


cities in this country and in Europe. It will cost �28 million,


half of which is from the Department of Transport. 1,300 new


jobs will be created and by 2015, but first of a fleet of new trams


will be running. Let's go to our Environment Correspondent. When was


the last time we had trams in Birmingham city centre? It was back


in the 1950s. They are now returning to the city centre. This


is the point in Birmingham where the tram to Wolverhampton stops at


the moment. Let's see why the extension will take the route. It


will push south and then turn it right to end up in front of


Birmingham New Street station. Let's talk to the man who can tell


us more about it. We have heard about the money and the jobs - what


else will it bring to this part of the city? It is about delivering


for passengers and business. For passengers in the Black Country, it


means that with 20 new trams, we can give them an enhanced, better


service with more Trans every hour. Businesses have been asking for


this extension because it will bring �50 million of economic


activity to the region. For people who take buses on Corporation


Street, you are shifting those to make room for the trams. That is a


bad deal for bus users. We are delivering for businesses in


Corporation Street because they want to thrive there and they feel


that the tram will allow those businesses to have a better deal.


It will bring a lot of people by tram into Corporation Street, so


they will benefit that way. For bus passengers, we are moving them out


of Corporation Street but they will still have the convenience of being


right in the middle of the city. the height, Birmingham had 800


trams. We will have 20 of this new fleet.


The extension of the Midlands Metro may be seen by some as yet another


example of Birmingham playing catch-up with its greatest northern


rival, Manchester. Today's Times newspaper says Manchester, not


Birmingham, now deserves to be seen as the second city. As a political


editor is with us. Does Birmingham have ground to make up? Is the


Metro part of that? Does city- centre trams have become a symbol


of ways in which Manchester is seen to have stolen a march on


Birmingham. The marketing people here have been doing their best


event that off, pointing out that article in the New York Times,


which places Birmingham in the top 20 worldwide destinations, the


respected Mercer's quality of life guide, which places Birmingham


second only to London in the UK quality of life rankings, with more


Michelin-starred restaurants than anywhere else outside the capital.


It sounds like a political leaders have their work cut out to get this


message across. It they have, and they are planning a major eventer


Westminster, hosted by the City of Westminster Council. That is where


Birmingham will be fighting back with things like the New Street


station, the airport redevelopment, which will be enshrined in the UK


aviation strategy in March, and other things like the City of


Birmingham Library and the orchestra. We are hosting American


and Jamaican athlete in the run-up to the Olympics and it is fair to


say our football teams have some making up to do against their


Mancunian counterparts! We will be able to cope with any


future riots or disorder, despite serious budget cuts - that was the


message from the man at the helm of West Midlands Police Authority.


Derek Webley spoke out after a meeting where it was revealed that


the West Midlands force now has a higher percentage a riot trained


officers and London's Metropolitan Police. The details were revealed


in a final report on last summer's riots.


Three nights of riots across the West Midlands last summer. These


are just some of the scenes. Disorder broke out in Birmingham,


or Wolverhampton, Cape Hill and West Bromwich. So far, 750 people


have been arrested and will than 300 charged. -- 760. That is


according to Chris Sims, presenting his final report to the police


authority. But at a time of �120 million of budget cuts, how does


the chairman think the force would coping future? I am confident, in


spite of those budget cuts and the challenges that we face, that the


police service - in terms of the broader context of aid being


available from other forces - will be able, though it is difficult to


address the issues. 2,200 West Midlands officers on riot trained -


26% of them. That is more, proportionately, than the


Metropolitan Police. This hairdresser stood defiantly outside


her Wolverhampton shop, defending it against the terror. Today, it


was business as usual for her - are the only difference being the many


bravery awards decorating the walls. In her view, though, more guidance


is needed for young people. They are bored. They need to have more


apprenticeships for these kids. When they leave school, get them


something to do. When they are staying at home and doing nothing,


they lose interest completely. They have no interest in and nothing so


they don't care. The Mailbox in Birmingham was a target, too. Today,


outside the same building, an academic said there were wider


social issues. It was not just unemployed people or people who


don't have a stake in society, in terms of a job or the institutions.


It was also people with jobs, so it is really about that idea about


what are the social problems? What are the social issues, and how do


we bring people into society? Investigations into the rioting


continued and the second largest police force in the country say


they are prepared and ready for any future problems, despite cutbacks.


Later in the programme: The Birmingham riots on stage, but is


it too soon to make a drama out of such a sensitive subject?


Smuggled alcohol worth more than �1 million has been seized in Coventry.


Customs officers raided a warehouse in the City on Tuesday and found


more than 91 litres of vodka and more than 63,000 litres of beer. It


is estimated at the hall would have abated more than �1 million in tax.


The President of the Royal Academy of Arts has called on the


government help save the Wedgwood collection in North Staffordshire.


Christopher Le Brun and 18 other academics have written a letter


asking for help to defend 10,000 pieces in the collection from being


sold to plug a pensions black hole. The hunt for the rightful owners of


a memorial plaque stolen for a scrap value in Wednesbury has taken


a step forward. It is dedicated to members of the Welch family, who


served in the army. Last night, we heard from police who want to trace


the family. He was have contacted us to say it may be from one of


Still more to come including a huge night for Stoke City. A discount to


the last 32 in the Europa League. Stoke City against Valencia and the


manager said it could be one of the biggest night in their history.


But the heat is on for Stoke City in more ways than one, temperature


is rising and we will have more for New mums and dads are facing long


delays to officially register their baby's birth. Parents must register


within seven weeks or risk a �200 fine. The problems at the


Birmingham Registry Office mean that many parents could break the


law through no fault of their own. Baby just there is four weeks old.


This is how he and his mum spent most of their mornings. -- baby


Jasper. Officially he does not exist because his parents have not


been able to register the birth. didn't think we would have a


problem for a moment so when we rang to book Jasper's in first baby


could not get through and then when we did get through eventually, it


was a long time before the appointment, the first one was


available. The losses parents must register their baby's birth within


42 days. The earliest appointment offered to Jenny was in March, a


total of 41 days after Jasper arrived. One practical thing for a


parent, you can't apply for a job benefit before the birth


certificate so that is one thing but it is not great, it is not


something you anticipate. Outside the register office in Birmingham,


we met another couple who had faced similar problems. Catherine and


Adam have registered baby Irish this morning but also faced a long


delay. -- baby iris. We registered her to date so it has taken as five


weeks. There in a statement, Birmingham City Council told us


around 34,000 births and deaths arm raised -- are registered each year.


The statement from the council also said that due to a reduction in


maternity services in both Sandwell and Solihull, more babies are being


born here in Birmingham and that is only increasing the pressure on


staff here at the register office. But one of the city's MPs says the


way they are doing it is not working. The General Registry


Office suggested that Birmingham should improve its service by


offering appointments rather than having a queue. A queue is more


efficient because you deal with more people over a period of time.


While the backlog is cleared, parents are being assured they will


Back to last summer's riots and they are the background for a new


play that looks at what happened through the eyes of three ordinary


couples. Written by a former journalist who witnessed events


first-hand but just a few months after the turmoil, is this a


suitable subject for a stage play when memories are still raw for so


many people? You're just making yourself a


target. To defend by property? a play depend -- depicting one of


the worst night in Birmingham for The play focuses on the lives of


three very ordinary but very different couples. Just going about


their daily routine and examines how they become embroiled in the


riots and the effect it has upon their lives. We have deliberately


avoided the extremes, people died during the riot and we did not


concentrate on that. We have concentrated on the middle of the


road, normal people and how they were affected by the riots. Riot


was written in conjunction with former students from Birmingham


School of Acting who formed the Studio Three Theatre Company. Their


aim - to explore the thin line between order and chaos.


The girls are carrying off a television. The riots so fresh in


people's memories, the question is if this is a suitable subject for a


drama. The drought history, theatre has reflected the social happenings


of the time -- throughout history. Even back as far as Shakespeare,


you are looking at a record of the times those people lived in. This


is really no different. With such a controversial subject, there is


hoped that the community will see that it will reflect the positive


aspects. Labelling answers would always inflame so if we stay away


from that I am sure it will be something that will be thought-


provoking and perhaps help people to reflect on what our society is


like. Opening next week at the Old Joint Stock Theatre in Birmingham,


it promises to be a night of And you can see Riot at the Old


Joint Stock Theatre on Temple Row in Birmingham on the 24th and 25th


February. This weekend some of the biggest


names in athletics will be in Birmingham for the Aviva Grand Prix


for the Americans and Jamaicans and it will be chance for them to spend


time in the city where they will be for the Olympics. Our reporter has


met some of the world's best there will be -- will be calling


Birmingham home. Jamaican sprinter Michael freighter


and American hurdler Danielle Carruthers were given a quick tour


by Hannah England. City resident from one of the UK's top middle-


distance runners. I love it, that the UK public are getting behind


this. My two main training venues are the university and the


Alexander Stadium Sellafield like I am closely linked to that and I


can't wait until they go and play use the facilities. The Aviva Grand


Prix will be at the National Indoor Arena and it will give the athletes


a chance to get a feel for the city. I visited the bitter that he where


we will be staying and everything seems to be focused. We should


enjoy it and it should be enjoyable. But the Jamaicans and Americans


will be based in Birmingham for a couple of weeks -- both the


Jamaicans which means they will have plenty of downtime to spend


The main goal is to train. At that point you have done everything you


can do to make sure you will fit. Now it is time to relax and let


your mind relax. Birmingham will be great for that.


COMMENTATOR: He is looking at Tyson gay, it is Usain Bolt and again he


has done it again! So don't be surprised if in July you see this


man taking a stroll along the canals of Birmingham. Most people


in Birmingham will see these guys wandering around town, in and out


of restaurants. So it actually is a great city that suits everybody.


All the athletes competing this weekend still have to qualify for


the Olympics but for those in Jamaican and American colours, they


will be hoping that they will get to see the sights of Birmingham


Usain Bolt strolling along the banks of the canal, what a thought.


Staying on the Olympic team, there are just 162 days to go now before


the start of the Games in London. For the next four games, Britain's


top cyclists will experience their top action at the new Olympic bell


at Rome. The latest round of the World Cup is a test event for the


venue -- Bella drome. We are represented by Andy Tennant and


Jess Varnish. It is a nice atmosphere when you walk in and the


track feels really really smooth, it is a really new building as well


so I get a good feeling when I walk in there.


On to football, a big night at the Britannia Stadium. Stoke City


taking of Valencia, a club with a real European pedigree. Our


reporter is there. This is where the Europa League gets exciting.


think so. If you look at the teams left, teams like Ajax, Manchester


United, clubs who have done very well in Europe's top competitions.


Stoke City, Valencia, and Tony Pulis says tonight will be one of


the greatest in Stoke's history. After a group stage exploring the


far corners of Europe, Stoke City have now got the glamour tie that


the fans craved. The Potteries are buzzing. The games we have had at


our place, the atmosphere has been great and what we have done so far,


you can double that on Thursday night because they will know that


we are up against it. They are at their best when they are the


underdogs. On the fans believe they can exploit the underdog status.


Fantastic. By its hope Stoke win! I am sure they will. -- let's hope.


They may snick it in. I'm not sure they are ready for that kind of


game. Stoke City, 60-0. Let's hope it is 3-2, two Stoke. This will be


stirred's 50 the game in Europe. Plenty have played 100 and this


competition alone -- Stoke's 15th game. Valencia were trying to get


TRANSLATION: It is not just our souls who are aware of Stoke City's


style of play, we set a lot of fear about these teams. Stoke are feared


among European teams. But Stoke obviously fancied their


chances, a blank signed on the signpost waiting for the next


The fans are obviously very excited, a big turnout expected I expect.


Absolutely. The Stoke fans have really embraced the European


adventure. Remember Stoke played their first game back on July 20th


and the fans have turned out to see the games and have been rewarded


because the club have played superbly, only losing once and that


did not matter because they did so well in the group stage. But in the


leak, the form is a bit grim. -- in the league. Yes, but they have had


two FA Cup games with tricky ties away from home. A bit of a blip in


the lead in the autumn and they still played well in Europe then.


Hopefully they can stay on course. They are at Crawley Town, and if


they beat Valencia, they will play Barcelona, a bit of a contrast!


For that match, it should be OK. A bit of Spanish influence, I don't


think Valencia will like it but we have got lows of seven Celsius but


ten Celsius at the match for the mob built up areas and a bit of


drizzle for the match. It will not make the match too slippery. A rain


of line to the north-west and that will affect Northern patches and


also the western side of the region. Elsewhere further south, a lot of


cloud and dry. Temperatures down to around seven Celsius in the north,


around eight Celsius the further damage will you go. -- the further


south you go. A lot of cloud, the front is struggling South and a bit


damp for northern part of the region and also the West but we


will start to see temperatures rising to around 10 or 11 Celsius,


into double figures. These two cold fronts moving down into the self


later on tomorrow and into Saturday will finally bring that rain


southwards so tomorrow night not much in it between tonight and


tomorrow night, still a lot of cloud and damp, chilly stuff there.


Temperatures like tonight down to around seven or eight Celsius. For


Saturday itself we are looking at fairly wet weather, and that will


clear up to showers later on and behind that front, colder air so by


that time you will see it kick in and temperatures starting to


decrease. By Saturday night we are looking at widespread frosts and by


Sunday, it is dry, fairly sunny but much colder. Temperatures half up


Unbelievable, the English weather. A look at tonight's main headlines.


More powers for Scotland, David Cameron makes a new offer in the


devolution debate. And a devoted couple murdered in


their own home, their killer is jailed for a minimum of 34 years.


And going back to the football, there will be full match commentary


on Stoke City's tie against Valencia on BBC Radio Stoke with


Download Subtitles