04/02/2014 Midlands Today


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into Friday morning and enhance the risk of flooding. That is all


Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: "A catalogue


of systemic failures" ` a report says the deaths of four Warwickshire


firefighters were caused by failings at their rescue service. Also


tonight; Held indefinitely in a secure hospital, the knifeman who


stabbed mosque`goers and a police officer who was hailed a hero. It


was until I return to work than I was told how close up called it was,


how lucky I am to have survived. Part`owner of Birmingham City,


Carson Yeung, resigns from the board and from the club's parent company.


Proof that dreams can come true, the musician that's gone from front of


house to centre stage And we may have got away with a largely dry day


today but take it as the exception rather than the rule. There are more


storms to come this week. Good evening. Warwickshire Fire


Service has been accused of failing to have an adequate plan to deal


with a fire at a vegetable packing warehouse in which four fire


fighters died. Ian Reid, John Averis, Ashley Stephens and Darren


Yates`Badley, died in the fire at Atherstone`on`Stour in November


2007. In May 2012, three incident commanders were acquitted of


manslaughter by gross`negligence, and seven months later in December


2012, Warwickshire County Council were fined 30,000 pounds after


admitted breaking Health and Safety guidelines. Today the report by the


Fire Brigades Union says the deaths were caused by a "catalogue of


organisational systemic failings". Joan Cummins reports.


It was one of the worst nights in British firefighting history. Four


Warwickshire firefighters lost their lives whilst trying to tackle a


blaze in a vegetable warehouse in Atherstone on Stour. The cause of


the fire has been established as arson although no`one has been


charged. Today's Fire Brigade Union report summarises the events and


actions that lead to the deaths. The SPU report claims the deaths on


systemic organisational failures, but the service say that was seven


years ago and lessons have been learnt. Andy Hickmott is the current


chief fire officer of Warwickshire. He maintains that the FBU


investigation is almost a historical snapshot. I don't think there is a


single recommendation in the report that hasn't already been dealt with


very, very thoroughly by the service. My focus is on the service


today and tomorrow, we will never forget our four colleagues who gave


their lives that night, but it's a report that deals with things that


have since been discharged and my focus is on the Fire Service today


and tomorrow. The deaths of Ian Reid, Ashley Stephens, John Averis


and Darren Yates`Badley devastated those they left behind. The families


have been central in demanding to know exactly what happened in


November 2007. Despite the passing years, multi`million pound


investigations and legal processes, the families still believe there are


unanswered questions. What we would like is a public enquiry, to get


down to the nitty`gritty of exactly what happened and why it happened.


Nothing is going to bring Ian and the crew back, but I think that on


this week the truth about what happened and we can have a culture


of open and honesty within the UK Fire Brigade, might daughter will


never be able to get over this. It doesn't help me, I knew the answers


for my son, exactly how is steady and his colleagues died in that


fire. `` his daddy. Changes and improvements have been made to the


Fire Service in recent years, which families hope means no other


firefighters will lose their lives. Coming up later in the programme:


Sacked after accidently shooting a pupil during a science experiment `


thousands sign up to a campaign to get the teacher reinstated.


A man who stabbed a police officer and two worshippers at a Birmingham


mosque will be sent indefinitely to a secure mental hospital. Mohamoud


Elmi was charged with two counts of attempted murder and one of


wounding, but a jury at Birmingham Crown Court today found him not


guilty on the grounds of insanity. Tonight, questions are being asked


about the mental health services in Birmingham, who had treated the


psychotic man months earlier. Our Special correspondent, Peter Wilson


reports. The moment of frenzy and fear as a


knife wielding maniac attacks people praying in a Birmingham mosque. It


was June last year. PC Adam Koch tasered the man and arrested him


despite several stab wounds to his chest. I have been told it has gone


through numerous layers and muscle, it is only when I return to work


that I have been told how close call it was, how lucky I am to have


survived. That was quite hard to hear as I wasn't aware of that at


the time. Two doctors praying at the mosque came to his aid probably


saving his life. His stab proof vest also did the job it was advertised


to do. I have got no doubts that it saved my life. One of the wounds


when three quarters of the way through it, that was over my spine,


had I not been wearing it, I probably wouldn't be walking. This


man, Mohamoud Elmi, was today judged to be insane ` he'd also attacked


two men praying inside the mosque. This was a terrible incident where


people were stabbed, but it would everybody together in a crisis


situation. They were members of the public helping out, trying to help


restrain the knifeman, giving first aid to each other. Elmi, a paranoid


schizophrenic, had been identified as psychotic in October 2012. He


later declined treatment and disappeared into the community.


Today the Birmingham Solihull Mental health trust admitted that


there were lessons to be learned. Greater involvement and input from


families and their GP before and after patient discharge. This was a


special verdict, not guilty due to insanity. The defendant will be


sentenced tomorrow. But the court accepts that he will continue to


pose a risk, not only to himself but also to the public. And therefore,


he will be detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.


Four men have appeared in court in St Lucia charged with the murder of


a Warwickshire man. 62`year`old Roger Pratt from Moreton Paddox near


Stratford`upon`Avon, was attacked and killed. He was protecting his


wife Margaret on their yacht which was anchored just south of the


island. The four men have been remanded in custody until April the


11th when they will attend a hearing at the island's High Court.


Ironbridge power station had to be shut down after a fire broke out in


the early hours of this morning. Around 50 firefighters were called


to the site to tackle the blaze in the turbine room. E`on, who own the


station, say they'll be conducting a full investigation.


West Midlands Police will be recruiting 450 new constables over


the next two years from April. Potential applicants will be able to


begin registering their interest by logging on to the force's website


from next Monday. It ends a recruitment freeze, which has been


in place for five years. The government is being accused of


"complacency" over last month's disturbance at Oakwood prison near


Wolverhampton. Labour say ministers are down`playing the seriousness of


what happened at the privately`run jail, which has been described as a


'full`scale riot'. But the Justice Minister, Jeremy Wright, is


insisting what happened was NOT a riot. To describe it as a full`scale


riot is inaccurate. There were 20 prisoners involved out of a total of


1600. The wing is now back in use and the issue was professionally


resolved. Goodyear Dunlop has hit back at


claims it was offered suitable alternatives to its Birmingham tyre


factory. The closure of the site would bring 125 years of tyre making


in the city to an end, with the loss of more than 240 jobs. On Midlands


Today last night, the Labour MP for Erdington accused the company of


turning their backs on alternative sites. An alternative site was


identified three miles away at the Aston advanced Manufacturing Park.


Dunlop said, it's a good site. They have now been offered financial


assistance to relocate to that site. They said they would seriously


examined doing that but four days ago they said they wanted to walk


away from Birmingham. Our reporter Ben Godfrey has been investigating


that allegation and he's at the Dunlop factory this evening. What


have you discovered? It's clear the flak was flying yesterday, Dunlop


motorsport was accused of outrageous behaviour and being less than


transparent, which they deny. Sir Albert Bore of Birmingham City


Council also suggested alternative sites were put forward to the firm


over the past six months ` including promise of a speedy planning


process. I went to the advanced manufacturing hub this afternoon and


it doesn't look very advanced, it's a large area of grassland, in the


shadow of the M6. Dunlop motorsport says it isn't right for development


there. To build a new factory in the timescale that we have, having been


given 12 months notice last May to exit the site, it's simply not


possible to build a factory in that timescale to maintain the continuity


of supply we need. What's been the reaction from workers today?


Certainly dismay and anger although a lot of people have been expecting


it. Union officials have been meeting managers today. We have a


consultation process, 241 jobs here are at risk when the site


potentially closes in September. As part of that consultation, workers


will be asked, are you interested in working in France or Germany? A lot


of workers have been reluctant to talk about this very distressing


news for them and their families but one did break, this morning. I have


seen this place, wall`to`wall tyres, this is what we have got left now.


We won't be here much longer. It's just a matter of time. Just a


waiting game. Goodyear Dunlop has been frustrated by suggestions that


it is shipping West Midlands jobs to Europe without thinking about it.


The company is clear and says it continues to employ around 700


people at its office headquarters down the road in Birmingham and also


at its tyre plant in Wolverhampton. A number of survivors of


Hillsborough say they were threatened by West Midlands Police


officers ` who were sent to investigate the stadium disaster.


They've told BBC Newsnight that their criticisms of police at the


scene weren't properly recorded. 96 Liverpool fans died at Sheffield


Wednesday's ground in 1989. It's the first time witnesses have come


forward to question the investigation that followed. I was


simply told to sign with the directive Sergeant wrote, so I got


the courage up to say, I want to read what you have written because


you have been away from me the whole time, the other side of the room. He


said, you don't need to read it, I have written what you told me. All


you need to do is sign this now. West Midlands Police have declined


to comment because of ongoing inquiries and the upcoming inquests.


This is our top story tonight: "A catalogue of systemic failures' ` a


report says the deaths of four Warwickshire firefighters were


caused by failings at their rescue service. Your detailed weather


forecast to come shortly with Shefali `` also in tonight's


programme. From front of house to centre stage ` the musician who made


his theatre of dreams a reality. And undiscovered in a rusty tin for


almost a century ` the forgotten photo's of World War One


battlefields. The Birmingham City part`owner


Carson Yeung has stepped down from the club's board. He's also resigned


from the board of club's parent company Birmingham International


Holdings. But he remains one of the club's largest shareholders. Well


our reporter Dan Pallett is at St Andrews now. What impact will this


have on the football club? The day`to`day running would be


affected. The acting chairman has been in charge for a while. But this


is all about Carson Yeung and his money`laundering trial. He denies


any wrongdoing but the end of this month we will get the verdict, if he


is found guilty, he has now stepped aside from the club, it allows for a


smoother transition of power. And tomorrow the parent company are


holding an extraordinary general meeting in Hong Kong. What can we


expect from that? This is all to do with getting the parent company


relisted on the Hong Kong's exchange. Tomorrow, we expect that a


debt will be paid because they will give them some shares in the club,


and give them some new shares in the parent company. Technically, the


club can be sold them, but it's anyone's guess as to what can


happen. Yeung has always stated he's not interested in a complete sale of


the club. There is indication is that they want to move the operation


elsewhere but second`guessing the story is difficult.


Thousands of people have given their support to a campaign to re`instate


a teacher in Wolverhampton who was sacked after accidentally shooting a


pupil in the leg during a science experiment. The online petition and


Facebook page were started by the pupil himself, who didn't make a


formal complaint about the accident. Joanne Writtle has been finding out


more. What happened? This is the man at the centre of


this. Richard West was a popular physics teacher who set up an


experiment to fire a pellet through paper to work out its speed and


deceleration. Somehow during the exercise here at the Ofsted


"outstanding" St Peter's Collegiate School in Wolverhampton a


17`year`old boy was hit in the leg. He wasn't hurt and was quoted in the


Express Star newspaper, saying: "You'd do more damage with a safety


pin. It was a complete accident and Mr West was really worried and


concerned." That pupil started an online petition and Facebook page


called Bring Back Westy ` the Legend. Thousands have added their


support. A friend of the injured pupil, himself a former student, has


given us his verdict on Richard West. One of the best. He is able to


engage with students that he teaches, students that he doesn't,


he is a great person, full of integrity. He is a great person to


know and be around. Many people might find the idea of air rifles in


classrooms alarming. But according to a science teacher we spoke to,


experiments using air guns are popular. Having an air pistol at


demonstrate momentum is common, I do it several times a year. It can be


done safely, it illustrates the point which the students remember.


One also has to understand that whenever there is a risk, something


can go wrong and occasionally it does, what we do is minimise the


probability of that. Earlier we asked for your views and we've been


inundated: Richard West's disciplinary hearing


was a few days ago and the school has told us that: "...as the matter


is at an appeal stage it would be inappropriate to comment further."


A man from Gloucester has become the first person to run coast to coast


across Canada unaided. It was a superhuman challenge requiring


extreme determination, strength and a superhero costume. And he has


finally done it. I dreamt about it for 11 months, every single day I


woke up. I didn't think I could do it. 11 months ago, Jimmy MacDonald


dipped his hand in the Atlantic Ocean and vowed to run the


equivalent of 200 marathons to get to the other side of Canada and dip


his hand in the Civic. Last night, that's exactly what he did. I


decided to put on this outfit just for a bit of fun. In the end, the


kids just loved it. Everywhere I went, they were giving me a high


five, and kids were turning up dressed up as superheroes. I wore it


for eight months. It stank like mad! He has been running nonstop since


the 9th of March last year. The epic journey has taken him through


freezing temperatures and a mugging to Vancouver, the first person to


ever manage it without help. But Jamie is no stranger to challenge. A


year ago, recycled Thailand back to Gloucester. Then he cycled on the


spot. His mission has raised more than ?120,000 for children's


charities. Who knows what else is on the horizon?


There will be a homecoming parade for Jamie on February 13. If you are


in Gloucester, think deserves a good homecoming.


Now to a dream come true for a former theatre front of house


worker, who longed to be on stage. Matthew Atkins has returned to


Birmingham where he watched stars tread the boards at the theatre


where he worked. Our Arts Reporter Satnam Rana has been to meet him.


A year ago Matthew Atkins was working off stage at the New


Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham. Now he's living his dream on stage. In


his first professional actor musician role, Matthew's playing Mr


Sanders in the UK tour of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. But this


stop off at the New Alexandra is extra special. It was a really nice


feeling last night, I had this moment where I said, that's with the


auditorium looks like from this site. Matthew trained as a composer


at the Birmingham Conservatoire before taking on a front of house


role at he theatre. But after a year he knew where he wanted to be. When


we were checking the auditorium and deceit, they would always be doing


their warm up on stage so I was going as close as I could, to sing


along with the warm up and pick up some tips. Definitely watching the


show has inspired me to want to do this. Coming back to Birmingham is


also a chance to catch up with former colleagues. People join us in


theatre wanting to move onto stage. Very few ever make it but you do get


people that do make it, so it's quite an achievement for others who


come along and say, if Matt can make it, it's a chance for someone else.


Matthew will always consider Birmingham to be his home ` the


place where he trained, a place where he yearned to embark upon his


dream ` a dream which he is living. They lay undiscovered in a rusty tin


for almost a century, but now a pile of forgotten photographs are


revealing new images of the battlefields of the First World War.


They were found by the grandson of the soldier who took them ` and


they've now been published in a book. Cath Mackie reports.


Sometimes devastating, sometimes surprising, but always beautifully


framed. The photos by Sergeant Hubert Berry Ottaway reveal life in


Flanders at the end of the Great War. That's the first one that was


discovered. That is a German howitzer, it has been damaged, you


see the helm there. They were discovered by Hubert's grandson


Peter when he was looking through his attic at his home in Much


Dewchurch in Herefordshire. Absolutely fascinating. Each one


that we have been able to use tells a story. Hubert Berry Ottaway joined


the Royal Engineers in 1901 and was 35 when war broke out. By 1918 some


villages near the battlefields, had been razed to the ground. Hubert


recorded the carnage after battle on his box brownie camera. Two


soldiers, holding a home`made banner, just a pile of rubble. A


photographer friend of Peter's Jack Tait helped to restore the images `


around 40 in all ` and collate them in a book. This is the nearest


camera we could get to match the one Hubert used. The negatives are


surprisingly good. They want to damaged. We found two pictures which


were mystifying, Chinese men, fitted out in uniforms and formed the


Chinese labour corps. Hubert Ottaway survived the War. He was decorated


for bravery. I only remember him as an elderly gentleman, poor eyesight,


used to sit in a chair and he refused to talk about the war. Like


many of his generation? Absolutely. But Hubert's photos do the talking


for him ` a witness to an extraordinary and devastating moment


in history. A brighter, drier day for most ` but


will it last? That would be wishful thinking, I'm


afraid? Ordinarily, I wouldn't give out an term forecast because these


things can change but it is doubly worthwhile. We have more wet and


windy weather to come, leading to further flooding through the rest of


the month. A perfect example of that over the next 24`hour, nasty spell


of weather to come, and this is the culprit, a deep area of low pressure


heading in from the south`west. Once it's clear, we have another spell of


wet weather from the South followed by another ferocious system moving


in for the start of the weekend. Let's take a closer look at the


first band of rain arriving, it will spread eastwards, some torrential


downpours, this will clear away later in the night. A lot of energy


packed in this lot, and strong winds as well. We are looking at around 20


millimetres of rain out of the heaviest downpours. Once it is


cleared, the skies are still cloudy. Those showers will get going again


with another spell of rain. Those showers will form longer spells Tom


there is the potential of very heavy out breaks, quite widely. In it all,


the benefit of those more the values of nine or 10 Celsius are completely


lost. This rain will continue into tomorrow. It won't be until after


midnight and receive drier conditions developing. As for the


rest of the week, Thursday and Friday are the driest days.


Tonight's headlines from the BBC: The boss of BP ` one of Scotland's


biggest employers ` raises doubts about independence. Prince Charles


meets flood victims in Somerset ` he says it's a tragedy nothing has been


done for so long. 'A catalogue of systemic failures' ` a report says


the deaths of four Warwickshire firefighters were caused by failings


at their rescue service. And held indefinitely in a secure hospital,


the knifeman who stabbed mosque`goers and a police officer.


That was the Midlands Today. Congratulations to an 11 strong


Lottery syndicate of Aston Villa fans who scooped ?1 million. The 11


men are all from Sutton Coldfield. Too bad the transfer window had




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