09/02/2017 Midlands Today


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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. so it's goodbye from me.


The headlines tonight: One of the biggest cold calling


The advertising company who conned people out of thousands of pounds.


The brutal, honest and awful truth is that Best cost them at their


home. They were in debt aged 80 on a pension.


Also tonight: An unbearable sight and stench of animal waste -


complaints from local businesses near an abattoir.


The Worcestershire woman who lost half her body weight in a year -


I have gone from having no confidence to having quite a bit of


confidence. To going out, enjoying life... Forget Bollywood, I'm in


West Bromwich for the UK premiere of a Punjabi film shot in Birmingham


and the Black Country. And if you think it's been


cold today, temperatures are going to drop even further


as we head towards the weekend, It has become the biggest


cold-calling scam A multi-million pound fraud


which started with a phone call selling advertising space


and resulted in people being conned The final sentences


were handed down today. Kiera Byrne from Coventry was given


a 23-month suspended jail sentence The fraud was uncovered by BBC


Inside Out six years ago. That led to a huge operation


by Trading Standards teams, unpicking the true extent


of the fraud and the families who'd For years, Jonathan Rivers


masqueraded as a legitimate businessman, employing 250 people


at twelve different offices. His company, Wyvern Media,


cold-called customers offering them advertising space


in local newspapers. What happened to my parents is


astonishing. Seven years on, it still keeps me awake at night. This


man was one of hundreds conned by rivers who used his businesses to


rip people off. Among them Jon Moyle


from Shropshire, who back in 2010 When Wyvern Media spotted he wanted


to rent out an apartment they cold-called him relentlessly,


pressuring him into Over a two-year period they took


over thirty thousand pounds. They just persist of the whole time.


I just wanted to get rid of it because I had so much else on my


mind. In reality, the adverts Wyvern Media


pressured customers into buying Most were in free newspapers


with tiny circulations. This is the rest of the property


that we seized from Derby. The five year investigation by Trading


Standards, led by Steve Wyatt became the biggest in their history. They


pick the elaborate web of companies that Jonathan Rivers used to conceal


his fraudulent activities. When you will be complicated, but we didn't


have any idea just how big this was going to get.


But justice came too late for victim Jon Moyle, who died.


The brutal, honest, awful truth is that this cost them their house.


They were in debt, aged 80, on a pension. My mother was ever so brave


and she put the house on the market for my dad, but within about a month


of that happening, February 2011, my mother died.


And Jonathan Rivers is currently serving a six-year sentence.


The manager of the investigations team at Nottinghamshire County


Council Trading Standards is James Delaney.


I spoke to him a little earlier about the work involved in bringing


This was the largest investigation that the Trading Standards team has


been involved in. It focused on a group of companies called the Wyvern


Media Group that sold advertising and published it. It involved a


network of up to 90 companies that produced 230 plus publications.


What were the challenges you faced investigating this scam?


Absolutely. They set of the business itself, how it was organised, it was


an industrial scale fraud. And the challenges that were identifying how


far this company actually reached. Won so huge distress to the victims?


Yes. The victims in that case, unfortunately, are no longer with us


today, but I have no doubt in my mind that the stress that was caused


to them through those actions will have impacted on their final years.


Scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, what can people do


I would ask anybody to be extremely wary about any business who cold


calls them, especially if they try and pressurise them into making a


decision or a sale there and then. I would always advise people to do


their own research. So don't make decisions on the spot. On the


sentencing, a suspended sentence of 23 months. What is your reaction? In


terms of the sentences that were given out today, I would say we were


disappointed that they did not get custodial. However, this was part of


a much wider investigation. We have had 12 convictions now and over 15


and a half years worth of custodial sentences handed down as part of the


overall operation, so as a whole, we are extremely pleased with the


result. If you have a similar story or have


been the victim of a scam, do get in touch. You can contact us in the


usual ways. That's the plea from businesses


near an abattoir in Birmingham, who say the sight and stench


of animal waste is unbearable. Midlands Today has been shown images


of what appears to be blood outside It previously traded as Mr Meats,


but lost its licence following an investigation


by the Food Standards Agency in October 2015,


following years of complaints. The abattoir now has


a new license to operate. You may find some of the images in


Ben Godfrey's report distressing. These images appear to show


animal blood in the yard of AJ Meats in Digbeth,


an abbatoir supplying halal meat. We're told they were


taken this morning. When we arrived trade


was continuing, from the roadside there were no visible


signs of waste. But surrounding firms


have had enough. It is so bad, the smell is pungent


and stronger we all suffer around it. All the businesses are generally


suffering. We to the problems last time they would sort it out and


there will be more stringent rules in place that would stop them


starting up again. 2015, when piles of sheep


carcasses and offal appeared in the same yard, discarded


and exposed to the elements. At that time, it was run


by different company, known as Mr Meats, who were eventually


shut down by the food watchdog. So what did the new


owners have to say? We have tried on several occasions


to get an answer from the company, but as you can see, nobody is


responding. A short time later,


we were approached by a worker. He told us they were a clean


operation but added that occasionally there may be some


spillage of waste while Tonight, the Food Standards Agency


told us following complaints they have stationed an official


there this week to work They add, "In October 2016


conditional approval was granted "The FSA will continue


to monitor their compliance "with the relevant


requirements of food law." Local businessman Peter Hughes says


the authorities must be tougher. The new owners have barely been


operating to months. When the temperature increases what


is the smell going to be like then? Won they would say this is an


abattoir, there will be some smelly, inevitably? That is fine and we


understand the kind of animal smells that you would expect of an


abattoir. The real issues here are the poor controls.


Whether they like it or not, all eyes are on them.


An entire lorry-load of old fridges and freezers have been dumped


The 21 appliances were pushed off the back of a truck


The lorry was caught on CCTV but had no number plates.


The fridges have since been disposed of.


Walsall Council say it's the latest in a catalogue


of flytipping problems, which cost the taxpayers four hundred


We want them to prosper, to look good.


Nobody, at the end of the day, wants to turn down a road and see


such a dangerous site of fly-tipping without a care for any of the


The funeral of a teenager who died after a long


running battle with cancer, was held at the Coventry


15-year-old Rosie Abbott was diagnosed in 2012,


but embarked on a series of fundraising events raising more


Two years ago she won the Radio One Teenage Hero award.


Hundreds paid tribute at her funeral, including friends


Whatever's happening to her, she would just get on with it.


Everyone would just feel so happy around her.


You could be having a very bad day and


she would come down as she would just smile


She was the most incredible person ever.


Really inspirational and just really kind.


Police have released footage of a Walsall shopkeeper


The man seen here attempted to raid Kobani Stores


on West Bromwich Street using a hand gun just before midnight


Police have praised the owner of the shop who sprayed mace


in the face of the robber, who then ran off.


Officers are asking anyone who recognises


The headteacher of a school in Birmingham has written


to parents, warning them not to allow their children out


It follows an attack on a group of Year Ten pupils on Friday night,


in which a teenager was wounded with a knife.


A local shopkeeper and a cyclist were also attacked by


Our reporter Nicola Beckford is at Colmers School in Rednal now.


There was an extraordinary series of attacks last Friday in South


Birmingham and as you say, it happened at around nine o'clock, the


first attack. The shopkeeper was attacked. He was attacked outside a


shop by a mob of youths. Up to 20 of them attacked him. But he was


determined to defend his shop. It is not the first time this has happened


and he was not going to take this. So he went out to try and fight them


off, but he was set upon with hammers. They beat him to the


ground, he did not want us to show that moment. Then, a cyclist was


attacked at Macdonald is on the Bristol Road just outside. And it


finally culminated with a group of boys from Colmers School being


attacked, one was stabbed. What have the school had to say? I spoke to


the head teacher today and they are in deep shock. They say they are


recovering, but they are indeed in deep shock. He sent a letter to


parents and carers and in it, you said that until the size, identity


and group of the known, I asked you to bring your children from being


out in public after dark. In other words come he does not think it is a


good idea for children and his pupils to be all sides night


unaccompanied. I also spoke to some local people to get their reaction


about this and this is what they said.


And especially in the supermarket car park.


There, after ten at night, you will see nothing but


So where is the safety for the public around here?


There's been a lot of trouble since that college down there was built.


You get gangs and kids coming from the


But after 13 or 14, if there's two or three,


Mr Doherty, the headteacher, said these were nice boys, not boys


looking for trouble. The police said they have arrested five people for


robbery and assault and the boy and the shopkeeper are both recovering.


Thank you. Bed blocking continues to be


a problem for six health trusts in our region,


which have recorded their highest ever number of days lost to delays


in discharging patients. The incidents happen when patients


no longer need to be in hospital, but other suitable care


isn't in place. Areas affected include


the Wye Valley, But in Dudley, health services


are being radically re-organised so more patients can be kept


out of hospital. They are trying to create a ?3.5bn


ten-year contract to bring health Here's our Health Correspondent,


Michele Paduano. My hips hurt, my back hurt and I was


in terrible pain. And that was it. I was just feeling very down.


Barry Rose is one of the 2% most in need of long-term care in Dudley.


He has diabetes and severe arthritis, but isolation was also


He's one of 30 cases being discussed at this team meeting.


The last solution was to get him to a breakfast club


With the breakfast club, I can now talk to the people who I find all a


lot worse than I was. It makes me feel better. And it is the best


thing I've ever done. Simple interventions like this can


keep poorly patients out What we've seen so far is like a 30%


reduction in GP visit since the projects began. It saves probably


around ?2000 estimated based on 38 clients.


It might seem obvious to get everyone who delivers care together.


But traditionally, it doesn't happen.


The social worker works for the council.


This nurse for a mental health trust.


This man has the task of creating one ?350m


They want us to work across the organisation and within the NHS, to


work better together and provide them in much better coordinate care.


We would use the team and terminal without Walls, enabling our staff to


work effectively with each other. But there are consequences,


particularly for hospitals. These are big changes. At least ?30


million and rumour has it up to ?50 million of funding that goes to the


hospital will now go to this new organisation. And then there are


fears its privatisation, the private company taking over the whole


contract. The NHS here thinks it's


the right way to go, bringing care closer


to those who need it. A whistle-blower has claimed that


staff at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch were pressured


into admitting patients to a "virtual ward" to avoid


breaching the government's But the Worcestershire Acute


Hospitals Trust says while it's found cases of "poor recording"


by staff, there is no evidence staff were trying


to defraud the system. Thanks for joining us


on Midlands Today, we'll have your detailed weather


forecast to come shortly. Also in tonight's programme: Rolling


out the red carpet for the premiere of a film made in the Midlands


with local talent. And the mystery of the animal graves


next to a small Shropshire Church - A woman from Worcestershire's lost


half her body weight and is now free from diabetes,


after having a gastric We filmed Michelle Clayton last


February, as she prepared She told us she was doing it so she


could see her daughter grow up. I don't feel like I'm missing out


on anything, which is half the Michelle Clayton's unrecognisable


from when we filmed her a year ago. I have three or four


Slim Fasts a day. This was the mum from


Pershore preparing for her It's just a whole


life-changing scenario really. Gone from having no confidence


to quite a bit of confidence, Here you go, this is my typical


lunch, on a side plate. And that is enough


for me to fill me up. And there's no going back


to big meals, but this sacrifice means she'll get


to see her daughter grow up. She even told me I am


quite a trendy mum now. She's come back to the


Worcestershire Royal Michelle's weight loss means she no


longer has type-two diabetes. Looking at the results,


you've done really well. She's now no longer having


any treatment for her diabetes and that is a major,


major benefit for her and her future And with soaring costs


for treating diabetes, the NHS is increasing its spending


on operations like these. In this region, we are seeing


progress in more funding for this type of and it is being


recognised that these patients can benefit hugely from this


kind of treatment. For Michelle, it's time to get out


of the baggy jumpers The red carpet premiere


of a new film shot and made across Birmingham and the Black Country


is taking place in My Beloved Non-Resident


Indian is a comedy about a young man coming


from the subcontinent to the Midlands for the first time


to impress his girlfriend's mother. He soon realises the streets aren't


necessarily paved with gold. It was written and directed


by a film-maker from Shirley, and recruited around 150


local actors and crew Our reporter Amy Cole


is in West Bromwich for us now. From tonight's UK premiere


here in West Bromwich, to the film being jam-packed


with landmarks and popular sites Apologies for the loss of sound


that. Archaeologists have been racing


against time at a dig next Experts have discovered evidence


of a much larger church But they have been up


against the clock, because a wedding is due


to take place this weekend In amongst a big housing development


in Shrewsbury, there's a tiny 12th And in front of it,


archaeologists called in as part of planning conditions


who have uncovered foundation showing the church


was once much bigger. Surrounding another 17 metres


from the original church They found an ancient


animal burial ground. What we have here is a double


animal burial, which is incredibly unusual in itself and


complete with a prehistoric flints tool at the base, we have a calf


buried with a pig. This is a very large dog that


appears to have died in childbirth and is


buried with six chickens. I've never heard of


anything like it before. So this could mean these


predate the church, so they were here well before


this was consecrated ground, or there is some


other bizarre explanation. Well, there are builders


working, there's archaeologists digging,


it is chaos here! But in the church, it's


like entering a completely different Services continue as normal


amid the busyness outdoors. What do worshippers think


of the discoveries? We are absolutely


amazed and thrilled and think perhaps now our church


will be on the map. People will actually


know we are here. I grew up around here,


so it is lovely to know that this site is much richer


than we ever thought And the priest now knows his church


once had a bigger presence. Everybody has thought


this is a tiny little church and even refer


to it as a shed, totally inconsequential


and on the edge of Shrewsbury, and yet, obviously, once, it was much


bigger and much more important. The animal and some


human remains will eventually be reburied in a funeral


service and the ground will be made into a car park, but with special


building material which will be And the Archaelogical team have been


in touch with us today to say that at the end of today's dig,


they uncovered a wooden doorpost which they believe could be the key


to proving that an Anglo Saxon It'll now be sent off


for dating and analysis. Let 's receiving can return to the


film premiere. It is great that this film features some landmarks on


popular sites from Birmingham and the Black Country. Let 's talk to


the producer now. It is very showcased in the film. What did you


go to Birmingham? I've lived here the last 26 years, I am from


Wolverhampton. Basically, all the other film-makers go for London and


they underestimate the Black Country. There is so much to


explore. That is why we decided to shoot in Birmingham. Of course, it


has its world premiere and is being shown worldwide. Do you think it


will attract other Indian -based directors to maybe think about


coming to the West Midlands to shoot here rather than go to London?


Definitely. We were talking yesterday to other directors and


they are planning to shoot in Birmingham. They have already


scripted the films and they are already planning to shoot here in


Birmingham. That is great news. And also joined by this actor, who will


you will probably recognise from Goodness Gracious Me! What is it


like being in this form? You play the father of the main character's


girlfriend. I was involved from day one. He turned up with this piece of


work with the script and we looked at it and the audience he was


looking to make it four, by setting it in Birmingham... And yet the


other 50% is out in India! It has been a real joy working with the


crew that has come from India, working in Birmingham and I am so


happy that as a location, that this film has been made here. Lets hope


for big audiences both the and in India.


Yes, there have been reports. But there is the potential of this


weekend to see some snow falling somewhere. It is very cold out


there. This is a scene repeated right away across the West Midlands


Today. We had slate grey skies everywhere. It has been very cold


and temperatures only got a tee-macro Celsius in some places and


we are already in minus figures in places. This weekend, it will stay


increasingly chilly. It will be very cold. Temperatures staying around


zero. We have plenty of cloud to, and we could start to see some


wintry showers. Tonight, we still have that is delete feed drinking


game that much colder air. It is starting to establish itself and


will be a chilly night. As we see those winds blowing game, that cold


air Contin used and eye on the map because it is a very cold night. We


are starting to see the cloud squeeze out the odd shower as that


means the colder air. It is likely to fall as sleet, possibly snow. It


probably won't cause too much trouble. Temperatures of minus one.


A little better in the centre of the region. There is an ice risks


tomorrow morning, so take care. We continue to see wintry showers


through the day and it will be a cloudy day, with temperatures not


doing well at all. They should get to about 2-3 C at best, but the wind


will be stronger tomorrow, so it's will feel colder. Tomorrow night,


cold. Starting to see a little more in the way of wintry flurries as we


head over night and again, temperatures dip to minus one.


Saturday, more organised showers blowing from the east and there is


the potential they could cause snow accumulations at low levels.


Goodbye, I will be by later. OK, everyone, have you got


your bamboo sticks? If you just paint


what you want to paint, I've turned around,


my painting washes away. ..and take on


The Big Painting Challenge. Remember, you're not painting


a pond.