16/12/2013 Midlands Today


16/12/2013

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arrives on Friday. Can't wait! That's all

:00:00.:00:00.

Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight:

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Wrongly imprisoned. A Redditch man jailed for 17 years for attempted

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rape, talks of his fight for justice. It has been an emotional

:00:20.:00:29.

roller`coaster. I am prepared to go on that journey because I need

:00:30.:00:33.

questions and served. After nine people are stabbed to

:00:34.:00:36.

death this year in the Midlands, harnessing the grief and energy of

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one victim's fan base to help with a knife surrender. It is about giving

:00:41.:00:44.

up knives. This might make people stop and think about not carrying

:00:45.:00:46.

them. Breaking the cycle of delays. The

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ambitious plans of one of our biggest hospital trusts for

:00:50.:00:51.

emergency departments. I'm at the Hawthorns where the

:00:52.:00:54.

search is underway for a new head coach to replace Steve Clarke.

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And thanks to Paul Hillcox from Great Barr for this stunning

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photograph of a sunset over West Bromwich. A far cry from today's

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weather but could be a sign of things to come? Find out later.

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Good evening. Police are to review a case of attempted rape, involving a

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former postman whose conviction's been overturned after he spent 17

:01:19.:01:23.

years in prison. Victor Nealon was arrested in August 1996, when a

:01:24.:01:26.

young woman was attacked after leaving a Redditch night spot. He

:01:27.:01:32.

was jailed for life. Twice, in 1998 and 2002, his legal team were

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refused leave to go to appeal. Then last Friday Victor Nealon walked

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free, after the Court of Appeal accepted new DNA evidence showing he

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wasn't responsible for the crime. He has been talking to our reporter.

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Three days ago, Victor Nealon from Redditch was sat in his prison cell.

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Today he was sitting in a BBC Hereford and Worcester studio being

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interviewed a free man. It has been an emotional roller`coaster. But I'm

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prepared to go on that journey because I need questions answered.

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More appropriately, the victim in this case needs questions answered.

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It has been a 17 year wait for freedom. His ordeal began in 1996

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when this gym in the town was a nightclub. A young woman who had

:02:27.:02:30.

been on a night out was sexually assaulted on her way home. Victor

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Nealon was questioned by police because he had a criminal record in

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Ireland. Victor Nealon told police he'd never even been to the

:02:38.:02:40.

nightclub. He'd been at home. But despite his repeated claims of

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innocence he was convicted at Hereford Crown Court and got a life

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term. It was big news in the local press at the time. The Court of

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Appeal quashed Mr Nealon's conviction for attempted rape after

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hearing crucial DNA samples from the victim's clothes weren't tested

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until more than a decade after he was jailed. And then, traces of a

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different man were found. I think there was a danger in the past of

:03:05.:03:12.

wanting to secure a conviction. As a result of that, mistakes were made.

:03:13.:03:16.

In this case, material which should have been sent for DNA testing for

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the original trial was not sent. You have a very calm exterior. On than

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that, are you bit here `` are you bitter or angry? Now, I am on a

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journey just now. I have been released. I hope that fate will take

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me in a positive direction. At Wakefield Prison Mr Nealon continued

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to claim his innocence. As a result, although he'd been sentenced to a

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minimum of seven years, he ended up serving ten more. I wonder how many

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more people there are in jail who will not admit guilt and actually

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turns out they are innocent. West Mercia Police have said they're

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reviewing the case. Do you want the case reopened? I am asking for it to

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be reopened. Not for my sake but for the victim. Victor Nealon is now

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hoping for answers and a chance to pick up the pieces of his life.

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And our reporter is here now. How did he come across to you? I think

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he was overwhelmed. Naturally he was tired. I met him at 9am and already

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he had done some radio interviews. He sat down for a TV interview with

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me. Until three days ago, he had been imprisoned for 17 years. You

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told me he thought he was lost in a concrete jungle. Think of the

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difference in technology over the last 17 years. His mother died when

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he was in prison and was not allowed to go to the funeral. He has won his

:05:14.:05:25.

innocence but he has a lot to get through. Will he get compensation?

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Well he had just ?46 when he left prison and at the moment is relying

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on state benefits and the goodwill of some supporters. I think there

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might be a tendency to think that compensation happens automatically

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but it doesn't. It's up to the discretion of the Justice Secretary.

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The MP John Hemming says he's certain Victor Nealon will qualify.

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Because he has spent more than ten years in prison he could be entitled

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to a maximum of ?1 million. But it's not a fast process. He's not going

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to get a cheque anytime soon. He says his immediate concern is what

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he's going to do for money and a place to live over Christmas.

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Coming up later in the programme: from boom shack a lack to giving

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something back. The pop star helping aspiring musicians from the part of

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Birmingham where he grew up. A knife amnesty in the West Midlands

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is to draw on the memory and music of a teenage rapper who was stabbed

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to death in September. Joshua Ribera, known as Depzman, was on the

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brink of becoming a music star, before he was killed outside a night

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club in Birmingham. It's hoped the grief and energy of his fans will

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help make a success of what's being called a knife surrender. Our

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special correspondent has this exclusive report.

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Joshua Ribera killed with a knife to his heart. One of nine people

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stabbed to death in the west midlands this year. He had been on a

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crest of a wave. His music career taking off. Known as Depzman, his

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album two Real had just become a number one on a download chart. His

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mother has met with the Police and Crime Commissioner. They both hope

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her son's legacy will help in the fight against knife crime. It is

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about giving up knives, but even if they don't carry knives, it might

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make them stop and think. They need support. Can't tell people to do

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things. We can advise them, guide them and give them alternatives.

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We've seen knife amnesty's before. But this will be a knife surrender.

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Using places of worship and youth centres. It'll be led not by the

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police but young people. With Joshua Ribera's fame playing a part. The

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immense potential Joshua had to become a real worldwide performer

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and the fact that that opportunity has been tragically snuffed out

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really went on to people the dangers of carrying knives and the dangers

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of youth violence. Joshua Ribera died after a attending

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a fund raiser for his friend Kyle Sheehan who was himself stabbed to

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death in Birmingham twelve months ago. I met one of Joshua's friends

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close to where he died and where graffiti messages have started to

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appear. I think people have started to realise it could happen to

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anyone. It could happen to your friend, your cousin, anyone. A

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stranger. It has broken many peoples hearts. Depzman was a role model.

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Some people might not have had fathers role models and they looked

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up to him. Although just 18, Joshua Ribera's lyrics have been an

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inspiration to many teenagers. Hundreds visit his home in Moseley

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every week. One idea is to have a knife surrender point at a memorial

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site for the teenage rapper. They need to make sure there is somewhere

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for these young people to go. Especially with Christmas coming up.

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They are grieving. Every single person that has been killed in

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Birmingham has a site. The only person who does not is Josh. Over

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the next few weeks, the slogan will be put down the knives. His mother

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says it is not only weapons that should be put away, it is also

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attitudes which need to be changed. A school in Birmingham has had all

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SATs test results cancelled for its 11`year`old pupils. Donnington

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Academy in Perry Barr was excluded from the national league table of

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primary school results which were published last week. The Department

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for Education says the results were scrapped because of

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maladministration. The school has declined to comment.

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All three of the helicopters used by the Midlands Air Ambulance are

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flying again following engineering checks. They were grounded at their

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bases in Staffordshire and Worcester on Thursday following concerns about

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the fuel gauges. A 22`year`old man has died in a hit

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and run accident in Broad Street in Birmingham. He was knocked down

:10:21.:10:23.

outside the Solomon Cutter pub on Sunday morning. A 21`year`old man

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has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

:10:31.:10:36.

Pubs and clubs in Cheltenham are going to be asked to pay a late

:10:37.:10:40.

night tax to help with the costs of policing the town. Councillors voted

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in favour of the levy, despite a petition signed by 1,000 people

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opposed to the scheme. It could cost individual businesses more than

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?4,000 a year. A hospital trust has started

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'flooding the wards with extra doctors, after struggling to cope

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with demands on its Accident and Emergency units. Heart of England

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NHS Trust has some of the worst A E response times in the country.

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Last week, it managed to see only 88% of patients within four hours,

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across its three sites. Here's our health correspondent.

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Roy Tufft is an example of how tough it is. The 77`year`old has been in

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three times in the last month with heart problems. The area that

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Heartlands Hospital covers has a lot of deprivation and is very busy. Roy

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is very positive about his experience. When I came on in the

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afternoon, it was pretty bad because I was stuck in the corridor for an

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hour or so. But this morning I was quickly dealt with. I have no

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complaints. Outside their were eight ambulances at lunch time. The

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Ambulance Service says that more than half its vehicles were stuck

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outside this A E for more than the statutory 30 minutes last month,

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compared to 19% at its busiest accident and emergency,

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Stoke`on`Trent. The Secretary of State for health has been calling

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Chief Executive directly to address this issue. In this hospital, they

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are bringing in a new system called breaking the cycle. There is a

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degree of pressure. It is an important performance standard and

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it reflects the whole health care system. It's not just patients

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coming through the emergency department, it is about long`term

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hospital bed and discharging into the community. I understand doctors

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held an extraordinary general meeting two weeks ago concerned

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about the direction the hospital was moving in. Patients in this waiting

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room knew all about waiting. I have waited for over an hour. My friend

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broke her arm and was here for three hours. Not having met its waiting

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targets since May, accident and emergency is being closely monitored

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this week. Doctors want the public to stay away unless they really need

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a hospital. And BBC News has set up a website

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dedicated to winter health with a particular focus on how A

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departments will cope. To find out how your local hospital is

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performing, visit the BBC website. Our top story tonight: Wrongly

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imprisoned. Police to review the case of a

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former postman jailed for 17 years for an attempted rape in Redditch.

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Your detailed weather forecast to come shortly from Shefali.

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Also in tonight's programme: Go West young man! Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the

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former Man United striker, now the top manager in Norway, is one of the

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favourites to land the big job at the Hawthorns.

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And brought together to help save the rare Sumatran tiger. But how are

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they getting on in the dating jungle?

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If you have a story you think we should be covering on Midlands

:14:29.:14:35.

Today, we'd like to hear from you. Stephen Kapur was the first Asian

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artist to achieve real chart success in the UK. He's better known by the

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stage name Apache Indian, with records that have gone platinum and

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a successful career stretching back 20 years. Now, the Birmingham born

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musician has opened a music academy in his home city to help others get

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into the business. In the early '90s Apache Indian took

:15:10.:15:16.

the UK charts by storm. His record Boom Shack`a`lac was a worldwide

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smash. Now, the Birmingham born artist is giving youngsters from the

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same area the chance to join his new AIM music academy. I work with lots

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of young people. It had to be in Handsworth in Birmingham. I'm doing

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this for the youth. We have been brought up listening to his music.

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Means a great deal. We have a couple of singers, musicians and producers

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here. He can help others. I would love people to look up to me. If I

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could walk in his footsteps, I would be very happy. The reggae legend has

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sold millions of records and next year celebrates 25 years in the

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industry. He's also toured the world several times and has seven UK top

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40 hits to his name. Recently he's won an award for his new TV show at

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the Asian Music Awards. We have already changed lives and made a

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difference. It is working. Music is a fun way of doing that. That is how

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we get people together. He will mentor of them not just about

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singing, but also about life skills. `` we will. There is a whole team of

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people here ready to support them. People from Handsworth have appeared

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as guests on his successful music chat show called Real Talk on a

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satellite channel. He hopes to use it as a platform to give other local

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musicians their big break. Now the sport. It seems to be the

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season for sacking managers in the Premier League. Steve Clarke from

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West Bromwich Albion has been given the sack. How much of a surprise of

:17:19.:17:32.

`` was this? The calendar year of 2013 has not

:17:33.:17:35.

matched up with the early promise. On Saturday evening, the board of

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directors said enough was enough and they sacked the head coach, Steve

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Clarke. Not long now. Only seven shopping

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days to Christmas. But patience is in very short supply in the Premier

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League. How times have changed since West Brom appointed Fred Everiss

:17:59.:18:03.

back in 1902. He must have done a good job, because Fred was still the

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Albion manager 46 years later. These days, you'd be lucky to last 46

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months. According the League Managers Association. The average

:18:12.:18:14.

shelf`life in the Premier League is just under two years. But Steve

:18:15.:18:18.

Clarke got the bullet after only 18 months in the Hawthorns hot seat.

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Saturday's 1`0 defeat at Cardiff was Albion's fourth in a row. And the

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board wasted no time in taking decisive action. I think it is very

:18:26.:18:32.

harsh. I think the over achieved last year. That puts pressure on

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you. So who'll be next on the throne? Former caretaker manager

:18:39.:18:41.

Michael Appleton is an outsider at 33/1. Baggies old boss Roberto di

:18:42.:18:46.

Matteo is 9/1. And Martin Jol, recently sacked by Fulham is 9/2.

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The former England manager Glenn Hoddle is 10/1. And the bookies

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favourite tonight at 4/1 is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Currently a huge

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success in Norway Albion fan Terry Wills watched his first game in

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1940. Hopefully he can translate his previous success as a player.

:19:17.:19:35.

It is not a decision that has been taken lightly, but any news when an

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appointment might be made? The club have said the important

:19:44.:19:46.

thing is not the timescale, it is getting the right person. At

:19:47.:19:52.

Christmas, there are lots of games very close together. The talk is

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about young people who have been linked with the club before. Roberto

:19:58.:20:05.

Di Matteo is one. Mike Phelan is has been linked to the job. In the last

:20:06.:20:16.

hour or so, Gianfranco Zola has resigned as head coach of Watford.

:20:17.:20:22.

He has walked away from that. His odds have changed from 50`1 to 9`1.

:20:23.:20:55.

Yesterday, Manchester United one 3`yl full they keep coming in their

:20:56.:20:57.

numbers. And Aston Villa fans were full of

:20:58.:21:00.

Christmas cheer before kick` off. That's despite their disappointing

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home form. And the visit of Manchester United meant more home

:21:04.:21:06.

discomforts. Danny Welbeck scored twice in the first 18 minutes. And

:21:07.:21:13.

Tom Cleverly made it 3`0 in the second half. United's recent record

:21:14.:21:16.

at Villa Park is better than Villa's! Have thought we started as

:21:17.:21:23.

well as we have done for several weeks. We looked very threatening.

:21:24.:21:31.

The first goal was poor. Like Villa Birmingham City have been struggling

:21:32.:21:34.

at home. But they've now won their last three Championships games away

:21:35.:21:37.

from St Andrew's. Andrew Shinnie opened the scoring a Bournemouth

:21:38.:21:40.

after three minutes. And Nikola Zigic helped the Blues to a 2`0 win.

:21:41.:21:44.

They're now unbeaten in six and upto 14th. The resilience of every single

:21:45.:21:50.

man was brilliant. Blocking shots, winning headers in the box, winning

:21:51.:21:55.

tackles and been committed to the cause. They helped us get a

:21:56.:21:59.

brilliant result against a tough opponent. The honours in the League

:22:00.:22:06.

One Midlands derby went to Walsall. Milan Lalkovic scored the game's

:22:07.:22:10.

only goal as Walsall move back to the fringes of the play`off places.

:22:11.:22:13.

All of our other league teams drew. But the team who were most grateful

:22:14.:22:17.

of a point were Port Vale. Tom Pope's 89th minute equaliser gave

:22:18.:22:27.

them a 2`2 draw with Stevenage. It is all about tiny margins. Steve

:22:28.:22:33.

Clarke has been sacked, but perhaps if a few more strikers had scored

:22:34.:22:36.

goals, they would have got some extra points and it could all have

:22:37.:22:41.

been very different. You may remember that last month we

:22:42.:22:45.

filmed the arrival from Germany of Joah, a rare Sumatran tiger. There

:22:46.:22:49.

are just a few hundred left in the wild. The hope is that he'll breed

:22:50.:22:52.

with Daseep, Dudley Zoo's female Sumatran tiger. The zoo has been

:22:53.:22:55.

taking things quite slowly, but it now appears the pair are getting

:22:56.:22:59.

along. After Joah was allowed a little time to get over the trip.

:23:00.:23:07.

He's one of the rarest creatures on the planet, 21`month`old Joah, a

:23:08.:23:13.

Sumatran tiger. Some estimate there are just 140 of this sub`species

:23:14.:23:16.

left in the wild. So they're hoping Joah will breed, and last week he

:23:17.:23:20.

was introduced to his new partner Daseep. It has taken time. But it is

:23:21.:23:24.

lovely to see them together. They're getting on well together. The young

:23:25.:23:30.

animals. They have been touching each other's noses which is

:23:31.:23:33.

fantastic. We hope that will continue and we get tiger cubs. Joah

:23:34.:23:43.

was born at a Zoo in Germany and arrived at Dudley last month after a

:23:44.:23:47.

long journey on the back of a lorry. He wasn't in the best of moods when

:23:48.:23:51.

we first saw him but now he's settling in well. At first, he was

:23:52.:23:54.

quite feisty. He was scared of his new surroundings. Now he has calmed

:23:55.:23:58.

down. He is very gentle to the other tiger. He accepts food from us very

:23:59.:24:06.

well. It is all going well. Daseep occasionally show's who's boss and

:24:07.:24:09.

this is apparently is just playful behaviour. The female tiger comes

:24:10.:24:17.

into season every six weeks. Aeronautics making any tiger cubs

:24:18.:24:20.

for a year or so because conceiving is a bit hit and miss. And both

:24:21.:24:27.

tigers are not quite fully mature, although they are growing fast and

:24:28.:24:33.

eating well. Joah will soon be on a diet of about 65 pounds of meat

:24:34.:24:37.

every week. He is very impressive already. He will bolt out even more

:24:38.:24:43.

when he grows. Today was the first time the public could see Joah and

:24:44.:24:47.

Daseep together, and Dudley Zoo hope they'll help build on an impressive

:24:48.:24:50.

year in which they've attracted more than a quarter of a million

:24:51.:24:54.

visitors. Some pretty hefty downpours today.

:24:55.:24:57.

Anything drier on the horizon, Shefali?

:24:58.:25:04.

There is indeed. But I'm afraid there is just a narrow window of

:25:05.:25:07.

opportunity for you to take advantage of that. We have quite

:25:08.:25:11.

unsettled conditions this week. Today is indicative of what we will

:25:12.:25:15.

get. Lots of wet and windy weather about. Tomorrow being the driest day

:25:16.:25:21.

of all. Temperatures will rise and fall as the rain ebbs and flows.

:25:22.:25:25.

This is the beast we have to watch out for. Heading in from the West on

:25:26.:25:30.

Wednesday. A deep area of low pressure with an occluded front

:25:31.:25:34.

which will bring wet and windy conditions. We have a lot of rain

:25:35.:25:42.

and strong winds around on Friday. It is not exactly dry just now. We

:25:43.:25:46.

have a lot of rain across southeastern parts of the country.

:25:47.:25:50.

Fairly heavy rain over the next few hours. This will clear way to the

:25:51.:25:54.

south`east to leave most of the region drivers clear spells later on

:25:55.:25:58.

tonight. Also some fairly dense patches of fog. Temperatures will

:25:59.:26:10.

drop to about one degree, just below freezing. The Frost will clear. It

:26:11.:26:21.

is looking drier with decent sunshine developing by the

:26:22.:26:25.

afternoon. This will take temperatures up to around seven

:26:26.:26:28.

Celsius in the south`west, but still fairly chilly in the north`west.

:26:29.:26:35.

Light winds. We are facing a similar sort of set of circumstances

:26:36.:26:40.

tomorrow night. It is looking really drive a clear spells. I came some

:26:41.:26:45.

mist and fog developing a touch of Frost in rural spots. Around

:26:46.:26:54.

freezing in the countryside. Turning wet and windy for Wednesday.

:26:55.:27:01.

Temperatures will be rising. Looking much drier for Thursday, but there

:27:02.:27:04.

will be some showers. Because it is called, they could be wintry over

:27:05.:27:13.

higher ground. Tonight's headlines from the BBC:

:27:14.:27:17.

The Prime Minister declares it will be mission accomplished in

:27:18.:27:19.

Afghanistan when troops leave next year.

:27:20.:27:21.

Wrongly imprisoned. Police to review the case of a former postman jailed

:27:22.:27:25.

for 17 years for an attempted rape in Redditch.

:27:26.:27:27.

And harnessing the grief and energy of a stabbing victim's fan base to

:27:28.:27:31.

help with a knife surrender. That was the Midlands Today. I'll be

:27:32.:27:40.

back toight when I'll be asking the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner

:27:41.:27:43.

for the West Midlands about how the he intends to support the knife

:27:44.:27:45.

surrender in the region.

:27:46.:27:46.

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