23/09/2013 Midlands Today


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


headlines tonight: Tributes from the music industry to a Birmingham


teenager who was stabbed to death at the weekend. Extremely charismatic,


he was effervescent with energy, always positive, smiling. He was an


inspiration. We'll be talking to the West Midlands Deputy Crime


Commissioner about the continuing battle against knife crime.


Also tonight: The man described as a monster by police for his cruel and


violent assaults on women and children is jailed for life. The


youngest of his victims was six years old. These are dreadful


offences. Four senior doctors in management


roles during the care crisis at Stafford Hospital are told there'll


be no action against them. With fashion guru Gok Wan on stage,


will this year's Birmingham Hippodrome panto be the best dressed


in the country? And sunshine certainly seems to be out of fashion


at the moment, but if that is the case, we are bang on trend this


week. Your full forecast coming up. Good evening. Some of the country's


top rap music artists have been paying tribute to a Birmingham


rapper who was stabbed to death at the weekend. 18—year—old Joshua


Ribera, whose stage name was Depzman, was seen as a rising star.


According to West Midlands Police, knife related offences actually


dropped from almost three thousand between April 2011 and April 2012 to


just over two thousand two hundred for the same period last year. But


Josh Ribera's death, and the fatal stabbing of 16—year—old Azim Azam at


a bus stop in Moseley last week, brought the total of fatal stabbings


in Birmingham to four in the past six months.


Josh Ribera rapped about making his family proud and having his own kids


one day. But instead his relatives and friends are left grieving,


shocked by his untimely death. Recording under the name Depzman, he


is currently number one in the hip—hop album charts.


Wolverhampton—based record producer Jamin Walters says he was a rising


star. He was on the road to big things. He was definitely known by


most people, and locally, he was definitely in the top five artists


in the scene at the moment. He died here, he was on his way back from a


memorial concert to remember 16—year—old close friend of his who


was stabbed to death last September. His friends say they hope is high


profile will make people talk about knife crime. Depzman was known and


looked up to buy so many kids. Last Monday, 17—year—old as eMac Azzam


was stabbed to death as he got off a bus. Some fear Birmingham is


becoming the stabbing capital of Britain. The police need to be much


more open with their communication. There is a strong education element


that needs to be a part of this as well. But the police say it is not


just up to them to get the message across. It is about everybody


getting the message across to young people if you carry a knife you're


liable to get stabbed. Two 18—year—old men are being questioned


about Joshua Ribera's death. His name and message will live on.


Teachers at a Birmingham school have voted to stop teaching a teenage boy


who threatened other pupils with a knife. The boy was permanently


excluded from Saltley School after a 'serious incident' but governors


have since overturned the decision. The move has angered parents and


teachers. In May, West Midlands Police were


called to Saltley School in Birmingham after reports a pupil was


threatening others with a knife. Officers took no further action. The


school permanently excluded the teenage boy. But before the summer


holiday, governors decided the pupil should be allowed back into classes.


This parent, who has two children at Saltley School, says she's concerned


for the safety of pupils. She doesn't want to be identified. This


young boy threatened several children and you can imagine the


dilemma we're facing. You know, what's going to happen in school? Is


this boy going to hurt one of our children. What happens if he does


hurt one of them? It really does scare us."


It's clear some teachers also have concerns. Following a ballot, the


NASUWT union has confirmed its members have voted to refuse to


teach the pupil and are in further talks with the school. In a


statement, the head teacher said I have total confidence in the safety


of all pupils and staff at Saltley School. He said we don't have one ——


we did have one incident, and it went through due process. The needs


of all pupils are being met, he added. Tonight, local Labour


councillors are calling for an investigation. It is very


important, considering the recent stabbings of youngsters in


Birmingham, there is a lot of unrest amongst the community, and the


youngsters. It is really important a thorough investigation must take


place. Birmingham City Council says it is acting as a mediator. This


year, Ofsted gave Saltley School a 'good' rating and found their


students are being kept safe. With me now is the Deputy Police and


Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, Yvonne Mosquito. Another


young person stabbed to death in Birmingham. It seems like you're


losing the battle. We are not losing the battle. Another life is too many


lives, it is tragic and we went to express our condolences to the


families of those who have lost their loved ones in these horrible


circumstances. But over the past decade, knife crime has gone down,


it hasn't increased. It is no consolation to any member, any


family that has lost someone, but that is the reality. Knife crime has


gone down. But it is still occurring. You seem to have lost


lots of initiative over that time. It is still happening? It is, and it


is horribly unfortunate. The fact that we have lost life, but crime


has gone down over the decade, 50% of all knife crime has been reduced.


The police are working with the community, with schools, local


organisations, Crimestoppers. 45,000 youngsters are in schools with a


firearms officer. A lot of work has been going on. But is it enough?


Charity we spoke to has said that some young people are scared.


Absolutely. I would say it is never enough. We all have a duty to reduce


this. One life is too much, for lives is too much. Any life gone in


these circumstances is tragic. We all have a duty. We want to work


together to educate young people, and the young people themselves want


to do something about it. There is called for knife amnesty. Do you


think that the governors at Saltley School were right to reinstate that


pupil? I don't know the facts of the case but I will be speaking to the


Chief Constable tomorrow. Thank you. Coming up later in the programme: Do


urban otters have a different diet from their rural counterparts? Otter


spotters inspect their droppings to find out.


A violent paedophile described by a senior detective as a "monster and a


bully" has been jailed for life. 39—year—old Karl Clay, from


Coventry, committed offences against ten victims over a 16—year period.


Clay's reign of terror began in 1992, but he evaded justice until


2011 when two victims finally plucked up the courage to talk to


police. His victims included girls, boys and women and he used extreme


violence. In 1994, he smothered a woman with a pillow then raped her.


In 2004, he stabbed a fork into a teenage boy's foot. And, in 2005, he


terrified two children into submission after squirting them with


lighter fuel and threatening to set it alight. Our reporter Giles


Latcham joins us now from our Coventry studio. A terrible set of


crimes, Giles. How did they go undetected for so long? Put simply


through intimidation. He's a big man as well as a brutal one and for


years his victims were too scared to speak out. But two years ago two of


them found the courage to tell their mother and that led to a police


investigation and eventually to a month—long trial which ended in


July. Clay, from the Wood End area of Coventry was convicted of a


catalogue of what the judge called terrible abuse, including two counts


of rape, attempted rape, actual bodily harm, indecency with a child


and indecent assault. His youngest victims aged just six and four. The


police officer who invested —— who investigated Karl Clay is the same


one who led the investigation into the murder of Daniel Pell car. He


describes Karl Clay as a monster and a bully. Quite possibly he is the


vilest perpetrator I have dealt with. Not only did the subject is


victims to suggest it —— sadistic sexual offences, he was also very


violent. On one occasion he poured petrol on his victims. They must


have been absolutely terrified by this man. Clay is now facing a very


long time in jail, isn't he? He was given two life sentences with a


recommendation that he serve at least 15 years before he's


considered for parole. The judge said he'd targeted the most


vulnerable, that in the case of his youngest victims, he'd "taken away


their childhood". They lived with fear and distress, she said, which


had scarred their lives. The police have released three separate


pictures of Clay, the earliest dating back to 1998. Point being


they're convinced there are other victims of Clay out there yet to be


identified. They say they will seek justice for them.


The General Medical Council is dropping action against four senior


doctors who had management roles at Stafford Hospital during the time of


the scandal over care. The GMC says its decision was based


on legal advice that there wasn't adequate evidence to pursue the


cases. Our Health Correspondent Michele Paduano is with us. What is


the detail behind the GMC deciding that they couldn't pursue this?


Three of the doctors, they were either medical director or deputy


medical director of the hospital. The General medical Council called


in Tom Clark, the person responsible for leading a public enquiry. It


didn't seek to find blame, so they couldn't use that against them. The


previous reports were not at a sufficiently high level to establish


blame. Witnesses had not come forward in sufficient numbers, and


those that have worked quite supportive of them. When they were


making complaints, they were falling on deaf ears. This lack of action


against the doctors, rather frustratingly the premise to? Very


much so. It doesn't matter if they harm the patient in the past, they


can only be punished if they are still a risk to patients. When the


Prime Minister was talking he was extremely frustrated about the fact


that no doctor had yet been struck off. I believe the regular to rebut


is in particular are going to have difficult questions to answer. The


nursing and midwifery Council need to explain why no one has been


struck off. The Secretary of State for health has invited them to


explain what steps they will take to strengthen their accountability in


the right light of this report. And what of the relatives, what have


they have to say about this? Not surprised. I spoke to Julie Bailey


in Brighton today, and one of the rather frustratingly is as you don't


get to find out what the evidences from which decisions are made. She


is sure on her own mind that these doctors knew what was going on. And


that they should be aware of the appalling things going on on the


wards. Research has begun in Warwickshire


to see what urban otters eat in comparison with their country


cousins. Researchers will be examining their


droppings — or spraint — to see how different the diet of rural otters


is from those that pass through our towns and cities. Our Rural Affairs


Correspondent David Gregory—Kumar is down by the waterside right now and


can tell us more. I've been doing this job for at


least a decade and while we've talked about the otter resurgence in


that time they really are doing well and are in canals and rivers in our


towns and cities. As you said, researchers have been out in


Stratford. We met one who is using a long spoon to get hold of otter


droppings. This is to see if their diet is different. Quite likely,


because they have different things, all different types official that


might be available. They could be eating, scavenging, all around the


city. Like foxes and badgers. They could eat the remains of someone's


chicken down by the Riverside. With me is Paul Wildlison from the canals


and rivers trust. Paul, you do work to encourage otters, don't you? We


know they have occasionally been passing through. We don't know what


the barriers might be, if any. We are appealing to people to get in


touch with us because we have 600 kilometres of Canon Alan the


Midlands. If people are not sure to look for the signs of otters, we


have been training courses for people to come along and do some


monitoring. Are they passing through or living here? They are probably


passing through at the moment. Birmingham city centre, they will


pass through 20 kilometres for females or 40, mutters for males.


You do not have to travel very far to get decent habitat, but in this


area there might not be enough for shelter and rest. Thank you very


much. That's all from the canalside. And there will be more on the otters


returning to our towns and cities on Inside Out tonight. Join Mary for


that and other stories at 7.30pm. This is our top story tonight: Top


rap artists pay tribute to a Birmingham teenager who was stabbed


to death at the weekend. Your detailed weather forecast to


come shortly. Also in tonight's programme, a stunning start for


Jesse Lingard, on loan from Manchester United, scoring all four


goals for Birmingham City. And having them in stitches, stylist


Gok Wan among the stars for the UK's biggest panto at the Hippodrome.


Onto sport, and there's a big night of speedway in prospect tonight as


Wolves take on local rivals the Brummies in the Elite League


Play—offs. Our reporter Dan Pallet is at


Monmore Green. Wolves fans had been hoping to welcome back Tai


Wooffinden as World Champion, they're going to have to wait,


aren't they? That's right. He is not even here. The two teams are on the


track at the moment. Tai Woffinden Isn't here at all and he is not yet


world champion. That's because he broke his collarbone for the time


this season. That did not stop racing on, and inch closer to


winning that world title. Who wouldn't be in pain with their


collarbone sticking out like that? But Tai Woffinden rode through the


pain barrier and is now on the verge of becoming World Champion. And the


setback came very early in Saturday's Swedish Grand Prix.


Woffinden crashed into Tomasz Gollob in his bery first race leaving the


pole with concussion and a back injury and breaking his own


collarbone. But with the world title at stake he decided to ride on


through the pain barrier. He finished second twice, and then a


sensational start saw him win the race. Eventually the pain became too


great and in his fifth race of the night he had to withdraw. But the


seven valuable points he won on the night means he needs just six more


in the season's final grand prix to clinch the title. It's the second


time Woffinden's broken the collarbone this season — this time


he's also bent the metal plate supposed to hold it in place. But


Tai Woffinden doesn't lack for bravery — not with the World


Championship in sight. An incredible night on Saturday. Let's find out a


bit more about Tai Woffinden. How we see this evening? The medical advice


is to take rest. He is going to continue racing and make the final


decision about what to do with the collar bone. It got bent in the


accident on Saturday night. A terrific anti—climax for everybody.


We were convinced we were going to be welcoming the speedway champion,


and there we have got to wait two weeks. Shows how tough he is that he


went on and all that pain? Amazing performance. The lad, you know, it


was an amazing performance. Still a big night tonight. How much are you


looking forward to it? It is the biggest night we have had for years.


Arming and have done remarkably well. We have sneaked into the


play—offs. These two next Monday are going to be so important for Midland


speedway and we are delighted to be hosting the first leg tonight.


Perhaps he could race for you this season again. What do you think? The


plus point is we are going to have a Midlands team in the grand final.


Just a few hours before he had his injury, I can man got his big break


with Birmingham City. His name is Jesse Lingard, on loan from


Manchester United. He celebrated by scoring all four goals. I am very


nervous. A lot of pressure. I did that and got a few goals as well.


That is an understatement. Jesse Lingard is very modest, very laid.


Just 20 years old, his first goal came in his professional debut. Nine


minutes later, Jesse popped up again to double Birmingham's lead against


Sheffield Wednesday. And barely four minutes after that, he pounced once


more to lead the Blues' fans at Cloud nine. It was like a dream, to


be fair. But Jesse had one more trick up his sleeve, six minutes


after half—time. You hope that he makes an impact but you don't think


in your wildest dreams that he will score four goals. I am not sure


Jesse would remember Trevor Francis. He has now set himself up, such a


high standard. What sort of weekend has it been for you? It has been


hectic. I watched the Derby yesterday and back to training


today. A lot of text? Yeah, a lot of messages from my family and friends,


another confidence booster. West Bromwich is a wonder first Premier


League game of the season. —— West Bromwich also one their first game


of the season. Villa won 1—0 at Norwich. But pride of place tonight


goes to Jesse Lingard. He has been with Manchester United since he was


seven, but whatever happens in the future, he will never forget his


standing ovation on the day he scored four goals on his Birmingham


City debut. Not a bad weekend for Midlands


football teams. The second leg is a week today, you can listen to it on


BBC WM. Thank you very much. An excellent


atmosphere. There are only 93 shopping days left


until Christmas which also means panto season isn't far off either.


The line up for the UK's biggest show was revealed today. It takes


place in Birmingham and our Arts Reporter Satnam Rana went along to


meet the stars. A warning that her report contains flash photography.


Panto posing for a prince, Snow White, a living mirror and a Dame.


And today the cast of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs were meeting the


media at the Hippodrome in Birmingham. This year the panto is


full of 'firsts' with a debut from TV fashion guru Gok Wan. It is my


opportunity to go hyper octane camp. I am going to go to town with


it. How does it work being a mirror but a person? Snow—white, one of the


most famous lines is mirror mirror on the wall. At that moment I jump


in. And then there's The Dame, a first time role for Gary Wilmot —


whose mum was born in Birmingham. It is a great honour to play the role


of the Dame. But you think I've got to get it right for all those people


that have plagued the Dame, all those kids who don't know what the


day Ms. We have got to make it a great experience for them. The


production costs £1 million plus to put on and has a cast of 24 actors.


Many of them like John Partridge are TV favourites.as well as playing


christian slater in Eastender he was also a judge on TV talent show, Over


The Rainbow. The winner of the show, Danielle Hope, is Snow White. I just


finished a stint at the London Palladium. This pantomime really is


the Palladium pantomimes. We have got an amazing cast here, seasoned


professionals. Today was the first time costumes were shown off as well


as the set. This is the biggest panto in the UK. It will have a six


and a half week run and 77 shows. Panto is a money spinner for


theatres. And for actors a time to inertact with their audience as well


as get stuck into the fun and frivolity of the festive season.


Looks good. We are not quite at Christmas yet.


The final round of the cricket County Championship matches start


tomorrow — tell me it's going to be warm and dry, Rebecca.


tomorrow — tell me it's going to be warm Warm and dry, yes, but if today


is anything to go by, it might not be too good. We have had a big


blanket of cloud sitting over us. The sun has really struggled to get


through that. It has affected temperatures. We only got up to 17


or 18 across the region. Elsewhere, we managed to make it up to the 20s.


It will stay settled through the next few days to say the least. High


pressure is sitting over us. We are still drawing in warm air, but by


the middle of the week, it will start to change because we are going


to see the return of showers. We still have cloud sitting over us to


night. Through the night we will see dry air pushing, moving that cloud


out of the way. When we get those clearing skies, we could see mist


and fog patches developing by tomorrow morning. Where the cloud is


sticking, temperatures will be helped. It will be a misty, grey,


cloudy start. We will see the sun burning through that cloud. Because


the sun is quite strong and we have got that milder air, temperatures


could shoot up into the 20s tomorrow. There will be plenty more


sunshine to come through the afternoon. Then, very similar to


what we have seen this afternoon and tonight, the holes in that cloud


will be filled in. We could see the odd shower through the night across


Herefordshire. Another mild night to come, the average is up to 14


Celsius. As we move through to Wednesday, things are starting to


change. This area of low pressure is waiting to moving, throwing weather


fronts at us as we move into Wednesday and Thursday. By Thursday,


we are starting to see the return of showers through the day. The best of


the conditions to the next few days look to come tomorrow. As we move


through Wednesday and Thursday, the return of showers with more to come


through the weekend I'm afraid. Let's recap tonight's top stories:


Terror in Nairobi — the siege at a Kenyan shopping mall continues — 62


people are now dead including four Britons.


And top rap artists pay tribute to a Birmingham teenager who was stabbed


to death at the weekend. I'll be back at 10pm, including the speedway


results. Have a great evening. Goodbye.


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