27/03/2014 Midlands Today


The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 27/03/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: Joshta


Ribera's killer found guiltx of murder.


Armani Mitchell's jailed for 18 years for stabbing the rap `rtist


The judge said knives were 'cripplingly dangerous" for young


people to carry. There is no justice but to dashboard Joshua bec`use he


was too special and amazing. He could have a hundred years hn prison


and it still wouldn't be justice. The judge shares knives werd


cripplingly dangerous the pdople to carry. Also tonight: After they were


all failed, a last chance for Birmingham's inadequate children's


services to get it right. Wd have been too short`term in our thinking


and always reacted in crisis mode, to every dead, `` every crisis,


every bad report. No longer facing privatisation, George Elliot


hospital in Nuneaton will stay under NHS control, although it's still in


special measures. Two years after collapsing on the pitch with heart


failure, Fabrice Muamba inspires the next generation of footballdrs. And


join me later when I'll be telling you about the sweeping changes


taking place this weekend that'll drag us out of the doldrums putting


us back on track for Spring. Good evening. A teenager with a


bright future, a rising star in rap music and a much loved son. Joshua


Ribera was also a victim of knife crime, killed after 30 seconds of


mindless violence. His murddrer has been jailed today for 18 ye`rs. The


judge said he'd dealt with too many similar cases, and knives "were


cripplingly dangerous" for xoung people to carry. Here's our special


correspondent Peter Wilson. Tensions spilled over into `rrests


at this murder trial. The vhctim Joshua Ribera was a rising lusic


star his fans angered and dhstraught at his violent death. Today there


was uproar in the public gallery as the guilty verdict was read out


Joshua Ribera's mother is still in shock at the death of her only son.


What is the message you want to send out? Don't go around hurting people


for no reason and not expect consequences. And today, Joshua is


not here, so no justice has been served but it was the right verdict.


He is now in the right placd, somebody capable of killing someone.


I'm happy about that. This hs the killer. 18`year`old Armani Litchell


jailed today for 18 years. Both he and Joshua Ribera had attended a


party last September at TC's nightclub.


This was the moment that Mitchell saw Joshua Ribera with his


ex`girlfriend. A fight brokd out and Mitchell left to get a knifd. The


attack actually took place outside here. Armani Mitchell wieldhng the


knife used a punch like movdment to drive it deep into Joshua Rhbera's


heart. He was rushed to hospital and more than 20 medical staff fought to


try and save his life. It is said to me that this was huge, big problem.


They said he had had a huge amount of blood which, again, just


reconfirms my fear. I was throwing up. I was sick, in shock. I fainted


a couple of times. And then the nurse said to me, he has gone into


cardiac arrest on the bed. He's not in surgery and we need to pdrform


urban hard surgery. `` open`heart surgery. And then I felt solething I


cannot explain, and I knew he had died. Tragically, the party had been


in memory of Joshua Ribera's teenage friend Kyle Sheehan who was stabbed


to death the year before. Today Alison Cope was angry at thd lack of


what she sees as real action by the police and crime commissiondr to


tackle knife crime. An absolute waste of time. I asked to bd


involved, asked to support ht and help them, and they chose to run


with what they thought lookdd good for them and I've been left thinking


what a waste of time and money. The police say they are doing a lot


behind the scenes to tackle knife crime but in the last month, two


young men have been sentencdd for fatally stabbing teenagers. Two


young men serving life sentdnces and two young men dead as a restlt of


nice crime. It's a needless loss, the message to young people is,


don't carry knives `` knife crime. Joshua Ribera's future promhsed


fame, fortune and fans he r`pped about finding a better path away


from mean streets and hopeldss dead end attitudes.


But the teenage fashion for carrying and using knives ended another


bright young life. People power. How protestors won the


fight to save their city centre pool. A big smile on our faces to


know that we have got this swimming pool and we have saved it. @n


Independent Commissioner is being brought in to try to bring


Birmingham's inadequate children's services up to scratch. It follows


mistakes in cases including two`year`old Keanu Williams, beaten


to death by his mother. The commissioner will decide within one


month whether senior staffing is adequate. He'll give his first


progress report to the Educ`tion secretary at the end of Jund. If the


department hasn't been turndd around by March 2015, it could be taken


over. Bob Hockenhull has thhs report. The faces of the chhldren


failed by Birmingham Social Services. Seven`year`old Khxra


Ishaq, who died after months of abuse by her mother and her mother's


ex partner. Two`year`old Keanu Williams, who was


kicked or punched in the stomach with such force that it killed him.


His mother Rebecca Shuttleworth is serving a life sentence for murder.


Such cases led to Birminghal's childrens services being rated as


inadequate for the last fivd years. It's a description 18`year`old Chloe


Jordan agrees with. Since ldaving a children's home she's been `ssigned


a social worker but feels she doesn't have enough contact with


her. When I text her, she would not answer her messages, and thdn it


took someone else to phone her to say that we need to speak to you,


for her to phone me. Whenevdr I phone her, she won't messagd her. If


they had a lot more staff and closer contact with the child, it would be


easier. Turning things around is the purpose of today's Government


commissioned report by Profdssor Julian Legrand. What the report


looked at was the whole history of failure in the way that nobody has


picked in the past. One of the things he says clearly is that in


the past we have been to short`term in thinking. We have reacted almost


in crisis mode to every death or bad report, every crisis. And wd have


not had a long`term plan and stuck with it. The report does not say the


council should lose control of children's services altogether. But


an independent commissioner, former health minister and labour peer Lord


Warner, has been appointed to oversee improvements and tackle the


problem of a shortage of social workers. This is a highly ddmanding


job which intrudes on your personal life. If you have to take a child


into care, late in the afternoon, our social workers are out to


whatever time it takes and that can be very demanding and intrudes on


your private life. And the government says retaining skilled


social workers is a challenge not just the Birmingham, but thd UK as a


whole. Lord Warner, a former Labour Health minister, has been appointed


as the Independent Commissioner I spoke to him a short while `go and


asked him what changes he'd be looking to make. I don't cole with a


magic wand or a bag of gold, but I come with six years of runnhng a


social services department bigger than Birmingham and the authority


vested in me by the Secretary of State, and what I would be looking


for is the council to come tp with a credible plan, now, quickly which


shows the whole council, not the children's department, taking


responsibility for improving a totally unacceptable situathon. You


have a year to turn the dep`rtment around and you said you want to


identify problems quickly. Does a year seem about right? If wd haven't


made a change in a year the children of Birmingham are in serious


trouble. What we need to do now is work together, find the taldnt in


the departments, help that talent flourish, and make sure that there


is corporate ownership. You can never solve the problems of a social


services department just by concentrating on that department.


The whole council has to put its shoulder to the wheel. The report


also states there's a continuing shortage of people to do thd tough


work needed ` how do you address that? Child protection work is very


tough. It's very difficult. It's very demanding. But it's also very


rewarding. You do have to look at whether the pay is reasonable and


what the recruitment practices are. It's not rocket science. Thhs is not


putting a man on the moon. Ht is possible to addressed these kind of


issues quickly `` address them. Will you come back and tell it how you


are getting on? I certainly will, and much more pertinently I will


tell the secretary of state how we are getting on. We really nded to


make some change. And we must not accept that Birmingham's chhldren's


services should be inadequate for a fifth year running. Lord Warner


thank you. Plans to privatise the George Eliot


Hospital in Nuneaton have bden dropped. Last year the contract to


run the Trust was put out to tender after the hospital was put hnto


'special measures'. Our reporter Joan Cummins is at the hosphtal So


Joan, what's brought about this complete change? The hospit`l has


been trying to improve and get things right since they werd put


into special measures. The hospital serves a community of around 28 ,000


people. 2500 babies are born here every year, and 1800 people rely on


here for employment. But as you say, they have now decided they `re not


going to look for a partner. They are giving up on the process and


they are still in special mdasures. Kevin Magee, this is your ddcision


to do this, a bit premature? Over the last 18 months we've done a lot


of work in terms of improving quality and we've made a decision


that we want to focus on th`t work and not be distracted by procurement


exercises. The unions on thd local community mounted a campaign to


ensure that the hospitals that have stayed in the NHS and were not


farmed out, and they say thd whole thing has been a waste of money


What you to that? I say that we have worked really hard and we h`ve staff


on board `` what do you say to that? We've taken the decision in


recognition of the work the staff has done in terms of moving the


hospital forward. A patient has grabbed you and said there were good


things and bad things. Do you think you got it right? Will you be taken


at a special measures? We c`n never be complacent. We know we'vd done


good work over the last 18 lonths but there is more to do. I would


never be complacent, and we need to continue, day in, day out whth the


relentless pursuit of excellence. I am reliably informed by Kevhn that


if patient's ear or relativds feel that something is amiss, thdy really


do want to hear from you `` that if the patients here. And that care


quality inspection is due at the end of April.


The former owner of Birmingham City Football Club has filed an `ppeal


against his money laundering conviction. Carson Yeung was jailed


in Hong Kong earlier this month for six years in connection with the


movement of ?55 million between bank accounts. His lawyers have now filed


papers at the Court of Appe`l. John Anslow has been jailed for


almost 30 years, for supplyhng drugs and escaping from custody. Details


of the 33`year`old's sentences have only just been released aftdr he was


cleared of murder yesterday. Anslow, who is from the Black


Country, was supplying cann`bis and cocaine with a street value in


excess of ?1 million. An investigation has found that two


West Mercia Police officers shouldn't have tasered a man, who


then fell from a roof in Worcester. The Independent Police Complaints


Commission said they were gtilty of misconduct and hadn't fully


considered the dangers. Campaigners in Wolverhampton are


celebrating after plans to close the city's Central Baths to savd money


were shelved. It's now been agreed the pool can be kept open, but it'll


have to be run more like a business. Joanne Writtle's been to medt one of


the campaigners. Jazz Uppal took an extreme leasure.


He moved home and his buisiness to be close to Wolverhampton Cdntral


Baths. When I was 18 I suffdred a prolapsed disc and I'm now 47 and it


is crucial that I keep swimling Myself active. `` just to kdep


myself active. It is critic`l to me to be right opposite Central Baths.


My house is only a mile awax. Today, he's not swimming alone. But with


those who've fought for six months to keep this pool open. A bhg weight


lifted off my shoulders. A big smile on our faces on to know that we got


this swimming pool and we s`ved it and we can come for a swim. The


pool's been saved after the City Council took advice from thd Amateur


Swimming Association and others Saving the swimming pool me`ns


making it pay, so, for example, there are 1000 children on ` waiting


list for swimming lessons. Hnstead of teaching or just 39 weeks a year,


the plan is to offer lessons for 50 weeks. More people come and use this


facility, and then we get more money, and the less subsidy that we


have to give to Central Baths. Will the prices go up? We have not got


any plans to put up any prices. Around the country there ard lots of


swimming pool is under thre`t and councils are faced with a horrible


decision to cut services. Wolverhampton has made a st`nd for


the health of the people. For Jazz, relief. He moved here six ydars ago


after the pool near his homd in Willenhall closed. I was wondering


if this was following us around But we fought and we put up a bhg fight


and we have a big smile tod`y because I think we believe we have


saved Central Baths. It's 15 minutes to seven, this is


our top story tonight: Joshta Ribera's killer found guiltx of


murder. Armani Mitchell's j`iled for 18 years for stabbing the r`p artist


Your detailed weather forec`st to come shortly with Shefali. @lso in


tonight's programme, tackling dementia through sporting mdmories.


Former West Bromwich Albion players help veteran fans relive gales.


And today's teenagers take on the roles of the boys who went to war


from Birmingham a century ago. What happens when your lifetime s


dream is taken from you? Th`t's the reality for hundreds of trahnee


footballers every year, who strive to make it in the game, but don t.


Many of them were in Coventry today where they met a player whose own


career was cut short in the most dramatic way. They might have the


skills for football, but do they have the skills for life? Today 1000


young footballers came to ldarn what happens if the dream dies. Obviously


the main dream of these young footballers is to turn profdssional


but the statistics are good. Of those signed aged 16, only 05% are


on a contract still aged 21. Even if they do make it, careers can be over


in a flash. Two years ago, Fabrice Muamba suffered a heart att`ck while


playing in an FA Cup tie. Hd survived, but had to retire. The


former Birmingham city midfhelder is still only 26 and is retraining as a


journalist. He was on hand to give advice. I was living my dre`m, and


my dream was taken away frol me because of a health issue. Not


because I was a bad player or anything, it was just a health


issue. That this allows me to play football. I had to get up and go to


a different thing `` this dhsallows to play. Today the youngsters got


advice on careers and futurd education. A host of clubs from the


Midlands were involved. You get engrossed with the club and you


don't see much outside of it, so it's good for people to comd along


and talk. To give us a bit of a broader vision of what life is


about, maybe, than what is `vailable beyond football. It was org`nised by


the football league and the players union. Most of them come into it


with their eyes open these days They want to make it in the game but


there's a realisation not everybody can. Today is about preparing them


for future beyond football. There is no harm in chasing your dre`m, but


today showed there is no harm in having a plan B.


One in three over 65's will develop dementia. One way of helping those


with the condition is to tap into the moments which mean the lost to


them ` and that can often bd sport. Former West Bromwich Albion players


have been helping to stir up some old memories. The results h`ve been


remarkable. Lindsay Doyle rdports. Nice to see you. A footballhng star


from the 60's, Stan Jones c`me to share memories with West Bromwich


Albion fans struggling with the onset of dementia the brain illness


which can take those memorids away. Stan and I were talking last night


about football, obviously, because we don't talk about anything else. A


therapy group at Edward Strdet Hospital in West Bromwich


concentrates on Albion supporters with mild dementia, with thd help of


the West Bromwich Albion Supporters club, former players like Stan are


helping to stimulate memory. Football clubs should possibly be an


ideal beacon for spreading this sort of information and help. Wh`t does


it cost, two hours a week? Ht was Stan Jones who gave West Brom the


choice. We want to remember things about what we enjoy, things that


frighten us, but we are likdly to remember things we are passhonate


about, and football is one of those. When we played, they tackled hard,


and you took it. Alan Roper played professional football for W`lsall in


the late 50's, retaining a lifelong love of the game till suddenly


something changed. I didn't find the games as interesting as when I used


to watch it when I was younger. Whether it was because of what was


wrong with me, I don't know. It wasn't the same. Since I've come


here, it's like somebody opdning the book and you come to whichever page,


and everything is alive agahn. Most of the Scottish clubs are involved


in this form of therapy. West Bromwich Albion's supporters club is


one of the first in England to get following. You see the playdrs from


the past that you've only sden on the pitch, and to actually leet


them, it's marvellous. A footballer's career is a short one


but the memories with a little help can last a lifetime.


Now across the BBC it's the day when young people get behind the


microphone or in front of the camera for School Report. Rebecca Wood has


spent the day with some of our young reporters.


It's not often I give away trade secrets, but that's what today was


all about for BBC School Report The focus of this year's project was the


weather. And for Lola, it w`s a chance to put presenters on the


spot, and show off her skills. What is your top tip when you ard doing


the weather? Take a deep brdath before you start. That will relax


you a bit. And there was pldnty more for the students to get thehr teeth


into, from football comment`ry masterclasses, to finding ott


exactly what goes in to a BBC Midlands Today bulletin. It's been


interesting to find out what happens behind the scenes and see how hard


everybody works. It's been interesting to see how it's all put


together. It's what you see outside, and it doesn't make sense, but


coming here has been an eye`opener. And they took it all pretty


seriously. Well, most of thd time. Glad to see they discovered how hard


we all work. And you can find out how Lola did with her weathdr


forecast a little later on. A century ago young men in thdir


thousands were saying goodbxe to family and friends and headhng off


to war. Many of them died in the mud and misery of the trenches. This


weekend some of today's teenagers will be reliving those days, in a


theatre performance in Birmhngham. Our arts reporter Satnam Rana has


been finding out about a unhque project to keep alive the mdmory of


those young soldiers of 1914. 100 years ago, thousands of young


men across the country are volunteering to take part in World


War One. 100 years on these boys are representing just some of those men.


They're exploring how the w`r may have been experienced by Birmingham


lads through an improvised performance called Chocolatd


Soldiers,.named after a poel written by a Birmingham Soldier in 0916 I


don't think we will take it as much for granted as it was. It is in the


past, but that history affects us. It shapes our future. I acttally


haven't learnt about the First World War before and I didn't know that


much. Now I know about the trenches and what they wore, the equhpment,


everything. It's a joint project between Women Theatre, thd Royal


Regiment of Fusiliers Museul in Warwickshire and the Birmingham


Hippodrome. This is probablx the best history lesson you will have.


Getting into character they can understand the reasons for the war


and the effect it would havd had on social life and the families left


behind. It can also make thdm start thinking about the war in gdneral.


The performance has been inspired by real stories like Fred Sanddrs, an


ex`pupil from King Edward's School in Birmingham. He signed up to fight


at the age of `` 22. I don't think a lot of young


people know about the hardship. I don't think they realise wh`t a


struggle it was. In fact, Fred was one of 1400 blows from the school to


serve in the army and their stories have also been shared. Many of the


ball memorials are acronyms, `` war memorials. They are quite


meaningless and away, but a photograph speaks volumes. So when


they saw the photographs and letters it really brought these stories to


life. And it's these stories that'll be retold on Sunday afternoon at The


Hippodrome by today's young men Let's turn to the weather. Still a


chill in the air, but Shefali maybe something a little warmer in the


next few days? We are banking on it with the clocks going forward, but


I'll give you the extended version of the forecast in just a moment,


but first, earlier on we he`rd about BBC School Report, and how this


year, weather was the focus. So we handed over the reins to Lola. After


a bit of a masterclass, she decided to find out how the weekend's


weather was looking where she lived. I'm Lola, and I come from S`int Paul


schools for girls, and I'm doing the weather for School Report. The


weekend is looking lovely bdcause on Saturday we have Sunny spells with


temperatures up to 15 Celsits. On Sunday, we have more Sunny spells


with the temperatures up to 15. But don't plan to much for Mothdr's Day


because in the evening it's going to be wet and miserable.


Let's take a look at that wdather forecast in more detail.


The weather's been very up `nd down today. Reports of thunderstorms and


hailstorms one minute and then lovely sunshine the next. Btt the


good news for the rest of the week is that we have one more dax of this


cold, showery weather to go and then drier, warmer conditions return for


the weekend. Temperatures m`y be getting into the mid teens between


15 and 17. The low pressure pulls away to the West, sitting there in


the Atlantic. The change in wind direction to a Southeasterlx


initiates the temperatures rise all of this warm air sweeps up from


northern France. One featurd that will be moving up from the South


West at the end of the week will bring in some showers at thd start


of next week, and because of that, in the process it will lead to more


clout towards the tail end of Sunday, so out of the two d`ys,


Saturday will be the Sunny one. And also because we have dry air


filtering from the south`east, that will break up the cloud nicdly to


give this hazy sunshine. For now, still a lot of showers across the


region and these are packing a punch. Thunder and hail in them but


they will confine themselves to the north before fading away colpletely


during the second half of the night, so dry conditions at that stage and


in sheltered rural spots thd cloud will break up to send the


temperature is low enough for patchy frost, and maybe some ice and fog


patches in the morning. A dry start, but fairly dull one. Once again the


showers bubble up, particul`rly towards the southern countids.


Elsewhere, dry air with sunshine and again, some of these showers could


contain hail and thunder. They will be slow`moving and longer l`sting.


Temperatures are higher, up to around 11.


Tonight's headlines from thd BBC: The big six energy companies are to


be investigated to see if they're charging customers too much.


Alarming and unacceptable weaknesses. The official verdict on


the way police in England and Wales handle domestic violence.


Joshua Ribera's killer found guilty of murder. Armani Mitchell's jailed


for 18 years for stabbing the rap artist.


And after they were all failed, a last chance for Birmingham's


inadequate children's services to get it right. That was the Lidlands


Today. I'll be back at 10:00pm. Have a great evening. Goodbye.


Download Subtitles