02/08/2013 Midlands Today


02/08/2013

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Hello, welcome to Midlands Today with Mary Rhodes and Nick Owen The

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headlines tonight: As Daniel Pelka's killers are sentenced to life,

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social workers tells us the system is creaking.

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Social workers are telling us about the stresses and strains on them.

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Also tonight, dismay for Coventry City fans as part liquidation now

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looks inevitable. With the football league season

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starting tomorrow, it's likely the club will be deducted 15 points.

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is a dire financial situation. What we have been trying to do is make

:00:38.:00:48.
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sure that Coventry City football. -- continues at Coventry.

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Conned - the 85-year-old who was tricked out of �5,000 of life

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savings. Showing off some of the Midlands

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finest motors - the Jaguar years on display in their spiritual home.

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And it's all change with the weather - an unsettled weekend to come, but

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will we see the sun at all. I'll have your full forecast later on.

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Good evening. It was the end of an unimaginable cruelty case, one that

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left members of the jury in tears. A little boy murdered by his mother

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and her boyfriend. Tortured, starved and beaten to

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death. Daniel Pelka is the fifth child in as many years to die here

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in the West Midlands, unnoticed by the authorities who should have been

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protecting him. Tonight we look at what's being done to care for other

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vulnerable children. But first we cross to Birmingham Crown Court and

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our reporter Ben Ando. There were forceful words from the judge today.

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The Justice like the jury some of whom were in tears today has had to

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sit through nine weeks of gruelling and often harrowing evidence in a

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case that she said involved shocking and deeply disturbing events.

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Sentencing the couple she said that details of unimaginable acts of

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cruelty and brutality inflicted over many months had exposed a torment

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and despair that Daniel must have suffered. The level of cruelty was

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reflected in a sentence. A minimum of 30 years before either could be

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considered for parole. What considerations did the judge

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have to make in setting the jail sentence? The judge had to wait up

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aggravating features. In this case, there were many, including the age

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of the victim. Daniel was just four years old. The fact there was such a

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breach of trust. This was his mother and stepfather who should have been

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responsible for him. The sustained level of cruelty. The fact it

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continued for so long. In mitigation, there was nothing, said

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the judge. We know a serious case review is under way. The final

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report will not be published for six weeks. Why is it taking so long?

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Hello Makro the serious case review is being overseen by the commentary

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:03:33.:03:35.

safeguarding children board is Makro -- the serious case review is being

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overseen by the Coventry safeguarding children board. During

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the course of the nine week trial, more evidence has emerged. They say

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they need to consider it before they can finalise their report. It will

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take them at least six weeks to do that.

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Today, two more parents have been charged in connection with their

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child's death. A baby Isabella Vallance lived in a house in this

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street in Redditch before being taken to Birmingham Children's

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Hospital where she died. Tyler Vallance has been charged with her

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murder, along with ill treatment or neglect, and her mother Jessica

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Wiggins with causing or allowing the death of a child. Child killings are

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not common, but in the last few years there have been notable and

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shocking cases here in the West Midlands. Bob Hockenhull reports.

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Social services - under the spotlight and on the front-line.

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Social workers need a real determination and a real conviction

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in the work they're doing and the decisions that they're making for

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children. But in five years, there have been five high-profile cases of

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children being killed by those who should have been caring for them.

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Kyra Ishaq died in 2008. The seven-year-old form Birmingham was

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starved to death by her mother and her boyfriend. The Serious Case

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Review that followed found her death could have been prevented. In the

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same year, Ryan Lovell-Hancox from Bilston died from a brain injury on

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Christmas Eve. 14 separate agencies had missed chances to intervene in

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Ryan's care. In January, 2010, Keanu Williams from Ward End in Birmngham

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was beaten to death by his mother. A Serious Case Review into how this

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abuse went unnoticed will report in the next few weeks. And in May last

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year, 23-month-old Daniel Jones died from a heroin overdose in his home

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in Wolverhampton. And now Daniel Pelka - starved and beaten. He was

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just four-and-a-half years old. There are undoubted financial

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pressures on all council services. The average length of time social

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workers spend in the profession is only eight years, far below that of

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comparable professionals. Many social workers feel quite

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overwhelmed by their caseloads, by the fact that some of the backroom

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support has been cut. It has put more bureaucratic tasks on them.

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When you make a decision at 3am whether to take a child into care or

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not, it is a life changing decision. You have to respect the people who

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work in the field. When it goes wrong, we get a scandal. When it

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goes right, nobody cares. Today Ofsted said Walsall Children's

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Aervices had improved from inadequate to adequate. Children's

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lives cannot be put on hold. Our service has to continue to improve

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everyday. Elsewhere in the West Midlands, the picture is bleaker.

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Ofsted has described children's services in Sandwell as inadequate

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for the second time this year. Birmingham's also currently labelled

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inadequate. The head of its children's services department quit

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last month. Coventry was last described as adequate, but must now

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deal with the fall-out from the shocking death of Daniel Pelka.

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Often the focus on a particular child somehow gets lost in the

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professionals attending much more to what the parent is saying and then

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they see the child through the lens of what the parent wants them to

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believe. A quarter of council children's services inspected in the

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last year were rated inadequate. Clearly there's a lot more

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challenges to be met to ensure our vulnerable youngsters are protected.

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Earlier I spoke to child protection expert Chris Cloke from the NSPCC

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and asked him first for his reaction to the Daniel Pelka case. This is

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the most horrific case in many years that we have come across. It is

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horrific that a four-year-old could be treated in this way and that his

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mother and mother's boyfriend could treat a child in this way.

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Systematically tortured over many months. You can just imagine what it

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feels like if you are a little for your world, to be denied food, to be

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beaten, to be locked away and treated with cold baths as

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punishment. We have heard today about the sentences. They are long

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sentences. It feels justice has been done. People are outraged that no

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one managed to step in when there were so many signs of his suffering.

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It is extraordinary. We do need to learn from this case. There is a

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serious case review currently being conducted and we owe it to Daniel to

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wait and see what has happened. Haven't we been here before? Very

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sadly, there have been a series of cases like this over the years and

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certainly there are aspects of this case which we are hearing about at

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the moment which are very reminiscent of how others were

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treated. Going back 40 years, Little Maria which led to the setting up of

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the child protection system that we have today. Strong messages come out

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of the cases which are very similar. Poor communication, lack of

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training, lack of support. We need to know why exactly these cases go

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wrong. The serious case review will look at it and ensure that we do all

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we can to learn from the cases so that children like Daniel do not

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slip under the net again. You think someone somewhere would have got in

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touch with the police and the social services, even the teachers. Someone

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could have come to you, the NSPCC. message we are wanting to say loud

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and clear is that it is really in portent that anybody who has

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concerns about a child takes some action Which? really important. we

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must either on the side of caution. if you have a concern of any sort,

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do something. don't think somebody else will respond. we can together

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talk through what the concerns are. the nspcc helpline will say what are

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your worries and we can talk through it and decide on the best course of

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action. coming up later in the programme:

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the police officer said by a judge to have pressed the self-destruct

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button after an exemplary career. one of nine men who have appeared

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before magistrates in the last two days. he is charged with rape. after

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the magistrates had dealt with his case, he had this to say. i am

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completely innocent. and maybe was in the wrong house, the wrong place.

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others like my cousins have not done it as well. the magistrates heard

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the men face a range of charges including conspiracy to traffic,

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sexual assault and rape. their cases have all been sent to the crown

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court. all of these offences are alleged to have been emitted at

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various locations across coventry. the men are accused of exploiting at

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least five girls aged between 16 and 18 between may and september last

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year. each of the hearings was relatively short with the men

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speaking only to confirm their name address and date of birth. they have

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not yet entered pleas. they will have the opportunity to do that on

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november the 7th when they will appear before the crown court.

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police say the alleged victims in this case are all receiving support

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from specially trained officers. a judge has told a former

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warwickshire police officer with an exemplary 32-year career that he

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pressed the self-destruct button when he filmed a naked teenager and

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took pictures up women's skirts. robert tedds was given a three-year

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community order and he'll have to sign the sex offenders' register.

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joanne writtle joins us now from our worcester studio. joanne, what was

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said in court about what he did? worcester crown court heard how

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58-year-old robert tedds from leamington spa filmed the naked

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teenage girl on his mobile phone in june but deleted the file. it was

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uncovered forensically after police seized two phones and a computer

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hard-drive. when did the offences come to

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light? it was when he was spotted taking a picture up the skirt of a

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customer at a petrol station in leamington spa. cctv footage

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revealed five separate occasions when tedds had taken such pictures.

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similar images taken up women's skirts were also found on one of his

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phones, taken from different locations - the back of cars, an

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office environment and on a train. what do we know about his former

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career? he was an admin assistant in the firearms licensing unit when he

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committed the offences. prior to that he was a police officer for

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more than 30 years. a police spokesman said he'd also carried out

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some driving duties for senior officers, but no longer worked for

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the force. the investigating officer from a neighbouring force made this

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statement. he previously held a position of trust in the community

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and we hope this case sends a clear message that no one is above the

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law. he was previously a member of staff but no longer works for the

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force. judge michael cullum told tedds that he'd lost his job, his

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good name and had saddened those who knew him. he said, you will always

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be the man who filmed up women's skirts and filmed a naked girl. you

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invaded the privacy of a large number of people. tedds admitted

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making indecent images of a child and outraging public decency. he'll

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now sign the sex offenders' register for five years and attend a

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:14:24.:14:50.

community sex offenders programme. john ledwidge loves nothing better

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than watching the grass grow. but not in a boring way. on the

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contrary, he's simply passionate about producing the perfect playing

:14:57.:15:00.

surface. john joined coventry city as an apprentice aged 16. and now,

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11 years later, he's head groundsman at the ricoh arena. this morning, as

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one man went to mow, praying for a last-minute solution that would see

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the sky blues return to the ricoh. john was whisked away to a staff

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meeting to be told that the stadium owners had rejected the final deal

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at the creditors meeting in london. in short, coventry city were facing

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the prospect of liquidation acl who own the ricoh say they rejected the

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company voluntary arrangement to keep coventry city football club

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playing in coventry and to ensure that the club is financially viable

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for the next few years and beyond. it is a frustrating time for

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everybody. ultimately, we had earmarked the diaries for coventry

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city to come back and play. we still have an asset to look after and we

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have a fantastic facility to offer. the pitch is a massive part of that,

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whether it be a football club or anything else. the company who own

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the ricoh arena say they have rejected the arrangement to keep

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coventry playing in coventry and to ensure the club is financially

:15:53.:16:00.

viable. none of the supporters want us to be back in the situation again

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in a year's time. that is why we are pushing very hard to head the

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proposals to reflect this. the sky blues reacted with great regret that

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a cva has been rejected by acl. it means coventry city football club is

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likely to be put into liquidation which is expected to result in a

:16:17.:16:22.

points penalty for the club going into the new season. the fans

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deserve better than what they have got. it is devastating. our home

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stadium is in northampton or something like that. disgusting.

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ella macro so many promises and they don't seem to happen. gutted. -- so

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many promises. like all sky blue fans, john ledwedge has suffered

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more than his fair share of frustration in recent years. but

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he's the only man in the country who's prepared the finest pitch

:16:49.:16:52.

never to be seen in league one this season.

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ian, the football club have been meeting with the football league.

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what is the latest? the football league have issued a statement

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saying they are prepared to transfer the golden share, membership of the

:17:06.:17:12.

football league, two commentary city's owners, provided they are

:17:12.:17:16.

prepared to accept a ten point penalty deduction from the start of

:17:16.:17:21.

next season which begins tomorrow. let us talk to the sky-blue trust.

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what is your reaction? we are pleased it is only a ten point

:17:25.:17:30.

reduction but we were hoping they may look into things more deeply as

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to ownership and everything that has gone on before. it does not solve

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the fact we will still be playing in northampton. we want commentary back

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in coventry. the major factor is coventry back in coventry. what has

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it been like to be a coventry city fan over the last few months?

:17:55.:18:02.

lot of fun. their first home game at northampton will be on sunday, 11th

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:18:12.:18:16.

of august. and there's a special sky blues

:18:16.:18:19.

programme for your views on bbc coventry and warwickshire until 7pm

:18:19.:18:22.

tonight. stuart linnell will be getting reaction and expert opinion

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to today's developments. this is our top story tonight: as

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daniel pelka's killers are sentenced to life, a social workers says the

:18:29.:18:32.

system is creaking. your detailed weather forecast to

:18:32.:18:36.

come shortly from rebecca. also in tonight's programme: with 12 new

:18:36.:18:39.

signings in the squad, what are birmingham city's prospects for the

:18:39.:18:42.

new season which starts tomorrow? and reliving its proud past - jaguar

:18:42.:18:46.

show off some of their finest historic models going back nearly a

:18:46.:18:54.

hundred years. an 85-year-old grandmother has been

:18:54.:18:57.

tricked out of her �5,000 life savings by conmen. cherrie

:18:57.:19:01.

bartholomew got a phone call at her home in warwickshire from a man

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claiming to be a police officer. as lindsay doyle reports, she was told

:19:04.:19:08.

her card had been cloned and was advised to withdraw all the money in

:19:08.:19:17.

her account. a victim of her own trusting nature.

:19:17.:19:20.

at 85 years of age, cherrie bartholomew has been conned out of

:19:21.:19:24.

her life savings. it began with a phone call to her home in henley in

:19:24.:19:27.

arden, pertaining to be from the police, telling her that her

:19:27.:19:31.

barclays bank card had been cloned. i have always hung up and said, no,

:19:31.:19:35.

thank you, to any of the people on the phone. this time i really

:19:35.:19:42.

thought it was the police. be very careful. he even gave me the police

:19:42.:19:48.

number, 101. when she was originally called, the conman hadn't put the

:19:48.:19:54.

phone down. the line was still open. when she rang what she thought was

:19:54.:19:58.

her bank, a bogus bank official who said her card had been cloned, money

:19:58.:20:01.

was due to be transferred the following day, she was advised to

:20:01.:20:11.

withdraw it. he also said to me, they may query the amount, just say

:20:11.:20:18.

you are going to buy a car. the scam artists arranged for a courier to

:20:18.:20:21.

call at her home. later the same day, she handed the money over,

:20:21.:20:24.

believing her account had already been reimbursed. in a statement,

:20:24.:20:28.

barclays said, if you are advised not to disclose the reason for the

:20:28.:20:31.

withdrawal to your local bank staff, this should immediately raise

:20:31.:20:34.

suspicion. we would never send a courier to collect a card or cash to

:20:34.:20:38.

be handed over from the home. one of those scenarios where i am

:20:38.:20:41.

dreaming about it all night and i wake up in the morning and i cannot

:20:41.:20:43.

believe it is real. i cannot believe how low they would stoop.

:20:43.:20:46.

additional �300 was withdrawn from an atm in whitechapel in london,

:20:46.:20:50.

leaving the bank account empty. just hope that nobody else gets

:20:50.:20:56.

caught like this. it was all my savings gone. no more holidays.

:20:56.:21:06.
:21:06.:21:06.

nothing. the football league season kicks off

:21:06.:21:09.

tomorrow. in the championship, it'll be a very different-looking

:21:09.:21:13.

birmingham city that takes to the field, with no fewer than 12 summer

:21:13.:21:15.

signings. but with big names gone and wage

:21:15.:21:18.

bills slashed, just what are blues' chances? ben sidwell's been finding

:21:18.:21:26.

out. there were plenty of unfamiliar

:21:26.:21:29.

faces as birmingham city lined for their team photo. a dozen new

:21:29.:21:34.

recruits, but not a penny spent. everyone on a free transfer or loan.

:21:34.:21:38.

all we can do is create a siege mentality. we can be strong

:21:38.:21:46.

together. i mean me, myself, the staff, the supporters, the fans.

:21:46.:21:49.

even the manager didn't know everyone in the team photo. taking

:21:49.:21:53.

his seat next to the boss, mick duffy, a lifeline blues fan who'd

:21:53.:21:56.

won a competition to be in the start of season snap. at the beginning of

:21:56.:22:03.

every season, i think, we are going to do something again. over the

:22:03.:22:09.

years, we have been let down. i am not saying by the players but

:22:09.:22:12.

circumstances prevail. more often than not, we do not have a great

:22:12.:22:17.

season. this year we will have a great season. on hand to offer some

:22:17.:22:21.

advice to new captain paul robinson, 80-year-old fan les clews. you have

:22:21.:22:27.

got to be optimistic. obviously, they have got a lot of work to do.

:22:27.:22:33.

there is a lot of talent there. i think they will do ok. the squad may

:22:33.:22:36.

be young and inexperienced, but they'll still be plenty of hope and

:22:36.:22:39.

expectation among the fans at st andrews tomorrow afternoon when

:22:39.:22:48.

blues kick off the season at home to watford.

:22:48.:22:51.

lots of luck to them. and you can find commentaries,

:22:51.:22:55.

reports and analysis on all our teams' performance on your local bbc

:22:55.:22:58.

radio station tomorrow. it is funny how the optimism is the

:22:58.:23:01.

same at the beginning of the season!

:23:01.:23:05.

i am guilty of that. historic models from jaguar's rich

:23:05.:23:08.

history of car making have gone on show in its spiritual home of

:23:08.:23:11.

coventry. a new gallery has opened at the city's transport museum

:23:11.:23:14.

featuring 17 of its most famous models, built from the 1920s to the

:23:14.:23:17.

present day. it comes at a time when jaguar land

:23:17.:23:19.

rover's expanding in the west midlands and improving sales

:23:19.:23:25.

overseas. ben godfrey reports. through the years, jaguar has prided

:23:25.:23:29.

itself on good looks and high performance. as a brand, it doesn't

:23:29.:23:38.

do modesty. but then this is a brand that's stood the test of time.

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is where it all started. this sidecar was established in 1922.

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they got a huge order and moved their business to coventry. the

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jaguar gallery at coventry transport musuem takes you along a timeline.

:23:51.:23:55.

here's the famous e-type, which achieved more than 70,000 sales, a

:23:55.:24:00.

motoring classic of the 1960s. and there's the new kid on the block -

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the all-new f-type. this one was first off the production line at the

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castle bromwich factory. it will introduce a new generation to the

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quality of jaguar and the history of jaguar which has had a major part,

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probably with their parents, grandparents and great grandparents.

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the car's not always the star. norman dewis was jaguar's test

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driver for 30 years. he's driven a million miles for the company. ahead

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of his 93rd birthday, he joined a procession of models from solihull

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to coventry. i rolled a c type, the deed type. i had a big crash in one

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of them. i always got out and was back at work the next morning.

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although jaguar stopped making cars in coventry, its engineering hq is

:24:49.:24:59.
:24:59.:25:03.

in the city. the cars we are working on at the moment of for about

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2015-2017. i cannot tell you what they are. but we have huge

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ambitions. today, jaguar land rover sells vehicles in 170 countries.

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it's a far cry from the swallow sidecar and the first order of 500.

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let's find out what the weekend weather has in store. sunshine or

:25:20.:25:30.
:25:30.:25:42.

change. let me take you back to 1990. we got up to 10 degrees higher

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than this weekend. we will see some showers. temperatures are going to

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be down a little bit. we have seen some showers over the region today.

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some have been quite heavy. if you have been caught in them, you have

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known about them. over the next few hours, we will continue to see the

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showers. some will be quite heavy. there will be drier spells. it will

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be quite a bright end to the day. a little bit cooler overnight.

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temperatures around 15 degrees. a bit more comfortable compared to

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last night. the showers are with us tomorrow. bands of showers moving

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through the region. some will be quite heavy. the temperatures are

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going to be falling a little bit. back to where we are used to seeing

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them around this time of year. the winds are picking up as well.

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showers remaining with us saturday afternoon as well. we will continue

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to see them a bit heavy in places. then they will start to ease a

:26:48.:26:52.

little bit. across staffordshire and shropshire, they will remain through

:26:52.:26:57.

the night. temperatures once again around 14 degrees. sunday is looking

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a dry and bright start for most of us. but then we will start to see

:27:01.:27:05.

the cloud building and we have got the showers starting to move up from

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the south. temperatures once again around 20 degrees. low-pressure

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sitting over us at the start of the new working week. staying unsettled

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so umbrella that be ready for the weekend.

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