04/06/2013 Midlands Today


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with Mary Rhodes and Nick Owen. The headlines tonight: An inquest hears


Shropshire teenager Georgia Williams was strangled.


22-year-old Jamie Reynolds appears in court charged with murdering her


Also tonight: A jury hears about a little boy reduced to stealing food


at school - his mother and stepfather are accused of starving


him to death. A good time to be an elver,


critically endangered a year ago the baby eels are making a comeback.


Bus wars, two Midlands cities vying for the title of longest urban route


in Europe. It is up to Birmingham to come


forward with proposals we will consider but at this moment in time


Coventry holds the crown. And as the sun continues to shine the


temperatures continue to rise. How high did we get today? I'll tell you


later. Good evening. Police have revealed


that a Shropshire teenager who was found dead in woodland last week,


had been strangled. Today a man appeared in crown court accused of


murdering 17-year-old Georgia Williams. In her home town of


Telford, the tributes continue to grow and the sixth form college she


attended has opened a special book of memory. Joanne Writtle reports.


Jamie Reynolds made a ten minute appearance at Stafford Crown Court


over a video link from prison. He spoke briefly to confirm his name.


He is accused of murdering 17-year-old Georgia Williams. Police


later confirmed a body found in woodland near Wrexham on Friday was


that of Georgia. A post-mortem revealed she was strangled.


Meanwhile, acquaintances have expressed sympathy to family.


four o'clock we had a memorial thing in Wellington. I saw her mum, it


broke my heart seeing her mum in bits. It should not have happened to


her and her family. It has broken the family apart. Their world is


demolished. She was bubbly and cheerful. There was nothing horrible


about her. A police officer told the inquest that detectives believe she


died at a house in Wellington sometime tween eight and 9pm a week


ago. The same day she went missing from her parents home. George was


studying in Telford where many of those close to her have been leaving


tributes. Students have been offered counselling. The college principal


said students were writing condolences in a special book.


students club together and came up with a number of ideas and


initiatives to continue to celebrate her life. As a result we have opened


a book of memories and the students celebrated her time at the college


yesterday with heartfelt memories and stories and music. Jamie


Reynolds will appear in court on September six. The inquest into the


death was adjourned. And Joanne joins us now from All Saints Church


in the centre of Wellington, Georgia's home town. Friends still


coming forward in numbers to express their sense of loss?


Yes, they really are. The town is still in mourning. There are more


flowers here in the church. The flowers are all over this town at


various places remembering Georgia. She had so many friends and many of


them have spent time here at the church over the last few days


remembering her. Police are still looking for some of her personal


possessions? Yes, this is an ongoing investigation and they are looking


for her missing items, they have issued photographs. A distinctive


leather satchel they want to find that, they also want to find her


white Samsung Galaxy smart phone and they are particularly keen to find a


black leather jacket which she was wearing when she went missing from


her parents home in Wellington a week last Sunday. Anyone with


information is asked to contact West Mercia Police or Crimestoppers.


Coming up later in the programme: With thousands of supermarket


trolleys being abandoned every year, the new phone app that'll track them


The trial of a mother and stepfather accused of starving and killing


their four year old son has been told by the boy's teacher that he


would regularly steal food. Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz


Krezolek deny murdering Daniel Pelka and causing or allowing his death.


His body was found by paramedics who were called to the family's home in


Coventry in March last year. Earlier, I spoke to our reporter


Phil Mackie at Birmingham Crown Court and asked him what Daniel's


teachers had to add. Well, we had from two of them, Lisa


Godfrey, the reception teacher where he went in Coventry and the


classroom assistant. Both talked about how desperate for food he was


and the fact he kept stealing from other children, even when they


locked their lunch boxes away, he found his way in to steal food. The


system broke down when she described a pancake race when he was so


desperate for food he was picking up the pancakes out of the dirt. They


talked about his decline before his death as he became more and more


emaciated. Lisa Godfrey said he or a resemblance to a child with


leukaemia. What else did the prosecution say?


Well, they have said that although Daniel was emaciated when he died,


the cause of death was a severe head injury and they allege his mother


and stepfather administered that blow. The couple that together


listening intently to the evidence with Polish translators. They deny


murder, the court will resume tomorrow.


There's been criticism of a decision to allow the controversial private


security firm G4S to take over the running of two specialist centres


for victims of rape and sexual assault in the West Midlands. The


union Unison has said such sensitive services should never have been sold


off. But G4S has given assurances that victims will get a better


service. Cath Mackie reports. An anonymous house in Walsall. Jo


runs this sexual assault referral centre as well as another one in


Birmingham. The two centres help hundreds of victims of sexual


violence...which they'll continue to do, but under new management. G4S is


in charge - the same firm which was widely criticised for its failings


in the Olympics security contract. Unions are incensed. If you expect


people to go to these centres and use them, they have to feel


confident and I think the brand G4S is tarnished at the moment. Before


now these centres were in effect run by the police in conjunction with


the NHS and local councils, but a Government investigation said it was


failing to maintain minimum standards. Access to care and the


quality of care on offer were criticised. Question is will G4S do


any better. Well they've told us, they're confident they will. There


are adequate measures in place, we know what we are doing. We are


delighted to be doing this. Their confidence is backed by the local


NHS commissioners who awarded them the contract. G4S have lots of


experience of dealing with sensitive areas and doing that well. They had


a track record in this area as well so we were confident they could do


this and do it well. In future victims can self refer rather than


through the police, but there's a word of caution from one counselling


expert. What we have seen in the press about G4S before will people


think, they will not go there so they will never report and tell us


what is going on. NHS England have said they'll monitor the new regime


and if it's failing the G4S contract will be terminated. Police are


looking for a gunman after a man was shot at a block of flats in


Coventry. Police were called to Faseman Avenue in the Tile Hill area


of the city just after two o'clock this afternoon. A 34-year-old man


was found with a gun shot wound to his lower arm. His injuries are not


life threatening. Police say it was a targeted shooting and not a random


attack. The parents of a 19-month-old boy


who lost his legs and fingers to meningitis B are campaigning for a


vaccination to be made available to all children. Tommy Brown from


Walsall was only given a five per cent chance of survival when he


contracted the disease. Since then a new preventative vaccine has been


developed and it's hoped it'll be made available from December.


Nobody should go through what we have been three. It can affect


anybody. Older people and we think there should be no questions asked.


They should be introduced into the vaccine. The burden that cases like


this put on the NHS and the lifelong support he will require, it is worth


us putting the vaccine into place. Also, if we save one life then that


is what we want to do. For many years, the number of baby


eels in rivers such as the Severn has dropped to the point where they


were officially classed as critically endangered. But this


spring there's been a "once in a lifetime" explosion in the eel


population. Which is good news for fishermen and also conservationists.


Our Rural Affairs Correspondent David Gregory-Kumar has the latest


report in our Springwatch series. This was going to be a story about


how the eels and elder population is crashing and the environment agency


go on patrol to stop fishermen taking them from the River Severn.


In the start of May, that changed. When it gets dark, we will show you


what we mean. These are elver fishermen. They have a long


historical rights to be here. grandfather, his grandfather before


him. And this is what they are fishing for. Right now, millions of


them have returned from the sea and made their way to the River Severn


as to Tewkesbury. This is the moment of migration, millions and millions


floating across the Atlantic. Right now we have a tailback of 50 miles


worth of elvers from Tewkesbury to sharpness. There are properly tens


of millions in the river system coming up now. They are surfing on


the currents. That may sound like a lot of eels


but numbers have actually been declining. But this year, it will


buck the trend and in a spectacular way. The tide came through, we took


the net and there was a bucket. All I can explain it as is the river


turned white. It looked like grass covering the river. It was all


elvers. Once-in-a-lifetime site. This glut is something the group


want to capitalise on. Where we are on the River Severn, this is the


greatest problem. We have a series of navigation with matching spree


and very few elvers can get past the barriers. What we are wanting to do


on the River Severn is to locate them, pick them up and move them


over the barrier and release them the other side. These days we do not


need many elvers in this country but that might change with this glut.


am quite sure elvers have been enjoyed on toast in Gloucestershire


which is something that hasn't happened for many years. Not all of


the locals like them. I don't like them. An acquired taste! These


little fellas would not be ending up in a Spanish tap at spa. They will


be relocated and transferred and they will go to a place where they


can grow to adult eels and they will boost the population as a whole.


I hope you are enjoying your tea! They've been a feature of


supermarkets since they were invented in America in 1937. But far


too often we see them like this. Of the two million trolleys in Britain,


it's estimated a staggering one million are abandoned every year.


And only half that number are returned to the store. But that


could be about to change, as our Business Correspondent Peter Plisner


reports. Supermarket trolleys end up getting


dumped in some of the strangest places. While many are recovered


others never get reported and often this one in Leamington Spa - here


they reckon they lose hundreds of a monthly. Although many are returned


- it's still a big problem. Very frustrating. We have had a few


customers this has happened to numerous occasion and it is local


residents coming in, doing shopping and rather than carrying a shopping


home, or getting a taxi from the store, they simply take trolleys


home and abandon them in the local roads. Now a new Smartphone software


developed for a could dramatically improve the situation. You download


the softer -- software and take a picture of the trolley, it works out


where it is using satellite technology and then you send the


signal and it is sent to a retrieval crew. Chris Burton is one of those


receiving the messages. It comes up with a picture of the trolley, the


address and we can access the trolley and we retrieve it. It's the


brainchild of Warwick based Trollywise which has been set up by


one of the worlds leading trolley manufacturers. At the moment we


circulate in the area finding the trolleys. We will now know exactly


where they are and that will make us more efficient. Back at the


supermarket it's plaudits all round from shoppers. A very good idea.


Nobody wants to see trolleys everywhere. It is a good idea.


Ultimately, it could all mean fewer sites like this in the future. This


is our top story tonight: An inquest hears 17-year-old Georgia Williams


was strangled. Your detailed weather forecast to


come shortly also in tonight's programme: 12 months on, we catch up


with the children of Ladywood who have added a new string to their


bow. And find out why the people of


Wolverhampton simply love where they Hundreds of primary school children


have taken to the stage in Birmingham today for a very special


concert. The pupils are part of a project which aims to improve


learning and confidence through music. This afternoon they got to


show off their new found skills in front of a packed audience at the


Symphony Hall and Ben Sidwell was there to see how they got on.


Just a year ago these children had never picked up an instrument, let


alone played one, but this afternoon they were performing at one the best


concert halls in the world. I feel excited because my parents will be


here watching me. It's been an amazing experience. It is a new


thing to do and it can be something for when you get older, playing a


violin. It's the culmination of generation Ladywood and more than


5000 children would have either been taught how to play an instrument or


have learnt how to sing. And every single child will get the chance to


perform on the stage. The children here today come from Birmingham's


inner city primary schools, many of them in Ladywood, one of the most


deprived areas in the country. gives them opportunities they have


never had before. Playing a violin or a cello and performing at


Symphony Hall is an experience they will remember for the rest of their


lives. Hosting today's concert, Blue Peter presenter Barney Harwood.


is difficult to make friends anyway and when you have 16 schools here


today with one universal topic, music. It has brought them together


and they are making noise and enjoying themselves. It was


absolutely fantastic. Everyone was here. It was really fantastic.This


is our first time coming here. hope is now they've had a taste of


music, these children will continue to play for many years to come.


They make a fantastic sound. A "Groundforce" type operation swung


into action today to create a new community allotment in the Black


Country. Students from the local secondary school will take over half


the plotsand what they grow will be turned into soup for a homeless


hostel. BBC West Midlands have been getting their hands dirty, helping


to transform the patch of wasteland, as part of their 'Loving Where you


Live' tour around Wolverhampton this week.


Making soup at Wednesfield High School is on an industrial scale.


Stock. Sweet potato. They have been making 50 litres of vegetable soup


every week for two years. The soup is for the Salvation Army in


Birmingham. We had a surplus in the school allotment and it gave the


students a sense of social purpose and pride in helping the local


community. Soon, the school be able to make much more soup, more cheaply


that's because of what's happening here in a once overgrown patch of


land in the middle of a housing estate. It is an operation where we


are doing this over here, making it civic grow crops and vegetables.


organic allotment will be for both the school and the community. BBC


WM's "Loving Where you Live" project has been helping spread the word.


has been amazing, so many people want to get involved and they have


offered so many things, donating plants, we have laws and fences and


what we need is hands feet and people to get stuck in. Back at


school and students are being told about the impact their soup is


having. Ian found himself staying in a Salvation Army hostel for six


months when a relationship broke down. The fact that children have


taken time to make it, it is something they will think how


lovely. It's very nice. It is just nice. You cannot beat home-cooked


food. And once the new allotment is up and running, production can step


up a gear. And BBC WM will be back, live in Wednesfield, tomorrow


morning with the Pete Morgan breakfast show. Speaking to MPs on


the Commons health select committee, the chair of the ambulance service


said it will not happen again. have reinforced the values of the


ambulance service locally and more widely and I'm confident it was an


isolated incident as sad as it was and we have taken measures to


prepare -- prevent a recurrence. Protesters have been surveying


badger sets near Tewkesbury several months. Anti-Aja Cole groups plan to


disrupt shooting by any means possible to bring it to a halt.


were concerned they were shooting badgers. We were concerned it had


started. We are checking in the same area to see if it has happened. The


estate is our main point in the farm zone they own for % of the badger


cull zone. Buses aren't usually the type of subject that gets people


excited ...but now a record busting bus war has broken out between two


Midlands Cities. For decades Birmingham has held the honour of


having the longest urban bus route in Europe, but now contender


Coventry has snatched the title. Joan Cummins reports. Top speed 90


miles an hour. Capable of 11 mpg but it is not what is going on in the


engine that's important. More where it is going. The 360 which launches


officially at the weekend orbits the outer circle of Coventry connecting


landmarks in the city in a record breaking 31 and a half mile route


..Five and a half miles more than the previous record holder


a tourist attraction in its own right? We certainly hope so. It can


be a main attraction and we feel it is time for Coventry to be in the


limelight. Have you done this to have a go at Birmingham? No, but it


helps. On a rehearsal run for the 360, the boss of the transport


authority hopped on board but refused to talk of rivalry between


neighbouring cities. It is up to Birmingham to come forward with


proposals which we will look at and consider but at this moment in time


Coventry holds the crown for the longest bus route in Europe.


Coventrian bus users though were delighted at the prospect of a 31


mile trip for just �2.30. Well done to Coventry. We have had a bad press


for Coventry but it is nice to have something that is record-breaking


for the city. It will be nice to see where it goes. Would you stay on for


the whole journey? I don't see why not. Other toilets? But Birmingham's


number 11 has admirers. More than 20,000 calendars celebrating its 26


miles have been made and today the memorabilia creator admitted to


being upset at the Coventry record breaking takeover. It is like a


dagger to my heart. It is awful what they have done overnight. Jealousy,


I am envious of Coventry. Records aside, the most important thing to


most passengers though is will the bus be on time.


Who knew buses could raise so much passion? This is what you have been


waiting for. A calf that got its head stuck in a tree in Shrewsbury


had to be rescued by firefighters and a crane. It was wedged in the


tree and unable to move in Coseley Field, Monkmoor. Firefighters tried


to free the calf using various pieces of equipment but were unable


to. It was eventually freed by a crew using a large animal harness


and a crane. The operation took over an hour and the animal appeared to


be uninjured. Extraordinary. Another glorious day. Just as Shefali Oza


said it would be. How is it looking? It is looking promising. Slight


variations in the weather as the week goes on but they are only


cosmetic and unlikely to enjoy -- spoil the enjoyment. Cloudy


conditions tomorrow and breezy by Friday but apart from that


temperatures were ideal. Tempered only by the breeze, reports of it


being quite fierce in places. There were three places that shared the


top spot for temperatures. Stoke, Hereford and Worcester with highs of


20 Celsius. Elsewhere, anything from the high teens to 20 Celsius. It has


been glorious. The beautiful weather does have drawbacks, this is the


first lengthy spell of dry sunny warm weather the beginning of the


year, the pollen counts are coming into focus and they have been high


today and will be high again on Thursday and Friday. Tomorrow there


is additional cloud but UV levels will be very high. They were today


and will be on Thursday and Friday. Take those precautions. If we look


at the region now, hardly a wisp of cloud. That changes as the night


goes on. A bank of cloud in the East will gradually worked its way in


from that direction as the night goes on. Some cloud cover, a breeze


as well through the night holding temperatures up. Temperatures around


nine or 10 Celsius. It is not as cool as last night. However, because


of the cloud, we do not start with dazzling sunshine we had today,


tomorrow a dull start, the sunshine will burn through layers of cloud in


the morning producing sunny spells. Because of the sunshine, cloud


bubbling up. It stays dry, at temperatures will be knocked on the


head. In the north, highs of 16, in the south, 18 with less breeze. The


weather front is trying to get into the Northeast on Thursday but it


will be killed off by the prevailing high pressure. The isobars are


tightening up. Thursday and Friday, the breeze picks up and it will be


sunny and warm. 60 years on - the Queen marks her


decades as monarch in a special service at Westminster Abbey. And an


inquest hears 17-year-old Georgia Williams from Shropshire was


strangled. I'll be back at ten, with an


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