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Good evening. Welcome to North West Tonight. Our top story:
Trial and retribution, but a week after the riots we ask if justice
is really being done. We will be talking to the head of
the Crown Prosecution Service in the North West about how the
rioters have been dealt with. 4,000 jobs at risk. MBNA announce
they want to sell their credit card division, but at what cost?
Relief at last. The teenager who suffers the agony of arthritis is
given a trial drug which has changed her life. It took six weeks
until I noticed a proper deference when I could get out of the
wheelchair and walk. And how one couple have been
reunited with an old friend, thanks to the local council.
And that story about the couple who have been reunited with the bench
they did their courting on is our e-mail subject tonight. Let us know
what reminds you of your courting and why. E-mail, Facebook or Tweet
us now. But first, the sentencing of those
convicted of taking part in the rioting and looting has been the
subject of some controversy with claims that the magistrates had
been told to dish out tough sentences. Today in Manchester the
first Crown Court cases were heard and the Judge, Andrew Gilbart QC,
explained exactly why he believed those who had taken part in mob
violence should be dealt with more severely than if the offences had
been committed in isolation. If the magistrates court had wanted
it to be seen to be tough on the rioters, this charge was not in any
mood for going soft on them. He said that the acts they had
admitted committed -- committing could not be judged in isolation.
There were four defendant in the dock today. He said, those who take
part in these activities must No doubt, his words will come as
some comfort to the victims for lost property, businesses and homes
in those disturbances. I have been to meet one of those victims today.
This is what's left of the internet cafe Raaz Sathwilkar spent years
building up. But the mob didn't stop at ruining his business. They
rampaged upstairs they set fire to the flat where Raaz, his wife and
five children lived. This is the living room. Everything has gone.
What was over here? My children's computer. Everything has gone.
Having completely ransack your business, they have come up here
and set fire to your home? Yes. What you think about people who
could do something like that? Animal People. A human life cannot
do that. What sort of punishment should they get? They should go to
jail and not come out. His sense of anger at all this and his desire
for justice is understandable. The police and the courts have been
keen to ensure people such as Raaz get justice. Hundreds of arrests
have been made. Dozens have already been processed by the courts. Today,
the first four to face a Crown Court judge appeared in Manchester
Crown Court for sentence. This woman's 14-year-old son is
currently locked up waiting to learn of his punishment for
burglary during the disturbances in Manchester. She has no doubt he
must be punished. I fully support the fact that he is on remand at
the moment because he has done something wrong and he has accepted
that. I have tried everything to keep him on the straight and narrow.
He is very vulnerable to suggestions from other people.
feels she and the rest of the family are also being punished for
events that were outside of their control. I could be affected. I
have a one-year-old son and it is scary. But with memories of all
this still raw, the need form justice to be done, and be seen to
be done, will be paramount. Let me tell you more about the four
people who appeared here at Manchester Crown Court today.
Stephen Carter is 26. He admitted picking up bags of clothes which
had been stolen from the city centre store. David Essex --
another man admitted collecting a TV screen which had been stolen.
118 year-old -- and 18-year-old man was given two years in a young
offenders' institution. A heroin addict got 10 months, suspended for
two years, for picking up a bag of look. In Chester, two men have
appeared in court today, charged with inciting riots through the
internet. They got for your sentences each. -- they got four
year sentences each. So, seven days on from the riots,
what has the impact been on businesses? Are shoppers staying
away from the worst hit areas or defying the criminals and
reclaiming their streets? Dozens of stores at Salford's Shopping City
were attacked by looters. Five are still too badly damaged to reopen.
Our reporter has been back to speak to some of those affected.
No stock means no income for Wayne and Stephen. They spent six years
building this business up. It took rioters a matter of minutes to
destroy it. It will take �60,000 and four weeks of hard work before
they can reopen. We don't know how much business we will lose from
this. That is the scary thing. are not frightened of it happening
again. The big fear is trying to get the public backing to the shop.
-- back into the shop. That is not a problem for Nasser Iqbal.
Business is booming because on the other side of the precinct one of
his competitors had his shop destroyed. It is sad to see it
happen this way. My heart goes out to the other gentleman whose
business was affected. The man in charge of the centre says visitor
numbers were on the rise for. the first couple of days, the
figures were lower. As of yesterday, it seems to be back to normal.
Slowly but surely, we are getting back to normality. Has this pitch
you off? No, why should it? atmosphere is awful. One week after
we saw the worst elements of this community, here is the best. These
Army Cadet are giving up their time to improve the look of this
shopping centre. We're not all that bad. It is a small minority of
teenagers that are for. Near enough of this has been done. I am proud.
Despite their best efforts, it will take more than a lick of playing --
lead of paint to erase what happened here. Bosses say the
fightback has started and the fortunes of this centre will
improve. Joining me now is Nazir Afsal who
is head of the Crown Prosecution Service in the North West. Let me
ask you whether you are comfortable with the speed in which these cases
are being rushed through the courts and whether there can be proper
preparation and assessment of these cases? They were not rushed. These
are unprecedented times. What we saw last week is unprecedented,
solar response must match that. I have been making sure that all my
prosecutors apply the code and bring the cases to court that need
to be kept -- need to be brought to court. This is about swift justice,
not rushed. Last week, people were shocked. The need to see their
confidence in justice has been restored. We want to help, by
bringing these cases into court. Some of those accused are saying it
is too fast and too bewildering and they're not getting a chance to
prepare themselves, which has the right. That is not true. They will
undoubtedly have legal representation in court. We had
overnight courts running. They have been given legal advice and the
evidence against them. They have then entered a guilty pleas. The
people who were seen today accepted their guilt on the basis of
evidence. The judge had all the information about them before the
court and sentenced them accordingly. The lot should be calm
and considered and free of emotion. Are you convinced that it is or has
there been an knee-jerk reaction here to issue a big deterrent to
other people? With tougher sentences than normal? Deterrence
has always been allowed in terms of sentencing. Context is important.
Last week, we had the worst disturbances we have encountered in
decades. It was important for us to be able to demonstrate that we
recognise what happened last week and those were response will have
to pay the consequences for their actions. Sentencing is a matter for
the judge, but I don't think any decision made by the judge today
could be criticised. He made it very clear that the context was
import and. There was a young mother who slept through the riots
but received one pair of shorts the next day from friends. She was
jailed for five months for that. That sentence would not have been
anything like that, had it been a week before the riots. Is it right
that it should be so much harsher because of what happened?
Absolutely. Without Handlers, there are no thieves. Whoever has
properties that was stolen on the night, whoever was involved in the
damage that happened, they have to be aware that the sentence they
will be given will fit the crime because of the impact it had on our
local communities. Thank you. 4,000 jobs are in the balance in
Chester as the biggest private- sector employer plans to leave the
city. Bank of America runs it's UK credit card division from MBNA
offices in Chester. But the company's announced it's closing
that arm of its business. Our Economics Correspondent joins us
from Chester Business Park now. That is a bit of a finance hub in
the North West, isn't it? It certainly has. Almost every
single building you can see behind three is a finance house of some
kind. By far the biggest player is Bank of America. Lloyds Banking
Group, Marks and Spencers money and some others are also here. Between
them, they employ 8,200 people. Over the past couple of years,
there have been losses in the sector of 270 jobs. That is about
20% of the sector. The last thing they want her anymore job losses
here at Bank of America. Tell me more about the recent
announcement. Yesterday, employees were told that
the company wants to exit from this division. That could mean that the
pull-out and lose all of the jobs or it could mean that they sell the
company as a going concern. Yesterday, they did that in Canada.
That is the hope for here. Why are the ditching this part of
their business and will they find a light we buyer? -- a likely buyer?
They say they are going to move into more profitable commercial
business. The financial press and America is highlighting the bad
mortgages that were sold at the start of the housing crisis. Are
they likely to find a buyer for this business? Let me just tell you
that at the start of this year, Barclaycard what one credit card
company as a going concern. At the end of this year, they will close
out -- closed down that head office with the loss of 600 jobs. The hope
is that history will not repeat A man who died after a crane
collapsed in Lancashire has been named as Lindsey Easton. He was
from Halifax and he died at the Scout Moor Quarry at Ramsbottom
yesterday. They held their executive -- Health and Safety
Executive and the police are investigating.
No further action will be taken after Liverpool Community College
after a government report found it had taken money for students that
should not have been on courses. It was said that the Skills Funding
Agency had already dealt with the matter and the college has been
ordered to pay back �80,000. Coming up: Where did you meet the
love of your life? For this couple, it was that bench. Let us know your
story. And the Manchester City new boy
impressed us all, but despite this Cracker, his boss expects more.
Adding he needs to improve with the 18th. -- I think he needs to
improve with the team. A driver fatigue was the likely
cause of a train rolling backwards at 50 mph in the north-west. It was
close to derailment when the driver finally put the brakes on. The
incident has led to calls for changes in the way that night
shifts are managed. The thousands of tons of freight
moving along the railways without incident every year. But in the
early hours of August 17th last year, on this stretch of the West
Coast main line on Cumbria, there was near disaster. The train was
travelling uphill between T Bay and chapeau on routes to Glasgow, but
it claimed to a halt and started rolling backwards. -- it came to a
halt. It weighed 715 tons and was 500 metres long. It rolled
backwards for four-and-a-half minutes and cover 2.2 miles at a
reach of 50 mph. Signals blocked the line to prevent any collision
and luckily there were no trains in the area at the time. Nobody was
hurt and the train was stopped by the driver before heading the side.
-- hitting. Rail accident report said that it happened because the
driver was suffering from fatigue. It warned that the matter of the
mathematical model would need to be adopted for people working night
shifts. This stretch of line has seen tragedy before. In 2004, four
workers were killed by a runaway train her. The report recommends
that companies look closely at shift patterns. They should limit
the duties of drivers when they worked the first in a series of
night shifts. The company is working on the recommendation and
the Office of Rail Regulation is reviewing guidance on the way that
companies manage driver fatigue. For years, 16-year-old Dannii
Rowley lived in almost constant pain. She spent much of her time in
a wheelchair unable to do the simplest things like walking,
swimming and playing. She has a type of juvenile arthritis that
affects one in 10,000 people. Then, she was offered the chance to
take part in the trial of a new drug by doctors at Alder Hey
Children's Hospital. She says the drug, Tocilizumab, has changed her
life and hopes that one day it will help people like her.
Two-and-a-half years ago, this, the simplest of tasks, would have been
impossible for Dannii Rowley. The pain was routine, often constant
and always debilitating. What was the pain like? It was like somebody
was stabbing me over and over again. She was diagnosed with systemic
juvenile arthritis at five years old. I could not walk for a far
distance. It was painful to walk. I was in a wheelchair. I could not go
to school and I could not spend time with my friends. They stopped
asking me to come out eventually because they knew would that I
could not. A lot of the time, she didn't even know when she was in so
much pain because it was so severe that we would have to go to the
hospital or are we would have to go because the pain was just a way of
life and she would not tell us until the last minute. The doctors
tried drug after drug. The pain was temporarily reduced but then came
back with a full force. A couple of doses and a sick child can be a
wild child. Then she was given this, and you drug on trial called
Tocilizumab. It has made a dramatic difference for some patients.
Within one or two doses of the treatment, their condition can be
switched off, even. We are able to virtually stop all other treatment.
Within one day, she had noticed an improvement. After a month, she was
back on her feet. He took about six weeks until we noticed a proper
defence where I could get up out of the wheelchair and walk. What was
it like? Amazing because I could join in with everyone. NICE that
makes recommendations to the NHS is studying the trial information. She
now wants to start college and wants to become a research next. --
research nurse. A remarkable change.
Hundreds of screaming girls had been out since 5am this morning to
catch a glimpse of X-factor finalists, One Direction, at
Salford Quays. The band have been promoting their new single which is
out next month. Manchester United's owners are
considering selling shares on the Singapore stock market to help
reduce debt. It is one of the number of refinancing options being
examined by the Glazer family. Their only considering selling a
minority stake, but if successful, it could raise �400 million.
Manchester City's sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways is to be
investigated by UEFA. The ten-year deal reportedly worth �400 million
is an attempt to get around European football stripped finance
rules according to critics. The club as that responded to claims.
Meanwhile, the Blues got off to a flying start last night in a 4-0
win over Swansea. Swansea did well to hold off
Manchester City in the first half, but the second half showed why they
could be early title contenders with Edin Dzeko adding to the
scoresheet. All eyes were on the new signing. The Argentinian
striker, Sergio Aguero scored after 10 minutes. He helped David sell-by
get a third. Then he showed off with this 25 yard strike. Value for
money for Manchester City but for the manager, Roberto Mancini, the
end of Match report read, will do better. He will need to play with
his team-mates and play better. But he is an incredible player. He is
like David Selbourne. They speak the same language. He needs to
improve, I think, with the team. 4-0 win ties them with Bolton at
the top of the table, a team they face on Wednesday.
At terrific player. I think Roberto Mancini could be a
BBC manager, no matter what you do, they want more!
He can be my line manager and the day!
The weather went exactly as planned, cloudy, one or two showers. The
shares have been moving through the region. Moving in from the Irish
Sea in land. In the last couple of hours, sprinkles of rain. The
latest picture, at the showers moving away up over the Pennines.
Some spells of sunshine. Tonight, one or two clear spells already in
evidence. They were spread out through the night. Tonight, a bit
cooler than the last few nights. In theory, one or two places as low as
eight or nine degrees. Along the coast, 11 or 12 degrees. Could be
chilly and the morning first thing. The breeze, that has been strong
all day today, that will ease down, so we touch of mist in places in
the morning. When that goes, it is a nice day. One of the better days
of the week. Quiet. He won it is much more sunshine than today. --
you will notice much more sunshine. A nice that day, one in the
afternoon. -- warm in the afternoon. 16 or 17 degrees. Could reach 20
degrees in land. For Thursday, this area of weather is far too close
for comfort. It looks like if it goes to plan, it will be wet
through Thursday afternoon. After that, settling down a bit with more
rain on the forecast for Saturday. There is there, too close to call.
-- Thursday, to close to call. We will have more details on that
tomorrow, but at the moment, Where did you do your courting? At
the cinema? In the pub? For Marjorie and David from Chester, it
was by the river. In their 58 years they have spent countless hours
chatting and cuddling at the City's groves area.
The redevelopment of the area means they would use an old friend until
the council came off the bend to have them. -- they would lose an
old friend. In February 1953, I was sitting
here and we were chatting and getting to know one another.
blossomed from that. We could not go out much so we used to just come
and sit here and have a cuddle and a case. And always on the same
bench. They married after seven years. They brought their children
and grandchildren here and always sat in the same place. But time
marches on and the Groves began to show its age. Work has begun to
rework the airy and there was no place for the old bench. -- rework
the area. It be said that the old seeds would be scrapped and that is
when I said we have been courting here for 58 years. The cancer were
contacted. As a council where did it recycling. We happen to recycle
this and a slightly different way and the result that came out of it
is fantastic. Last week, they were finally reunited with their bench
in their own back garden. It is fantastic. Later in years' time we
have passed on, hopefully one of the family will take it and keep it
in their memories of us where we He's the! It's teatime!
We have had lots of e-mails about where you have met your loved ones.
Natalie met her fiance through Facebook three years ago. He has
been living around the corner and they had been together ever since.
Mary said that she would meet her future husband at Victoria station
in Manchester and go to Old Trafford. They did their courting
watching Manchester United. Even when they were on their honeymoon,
they travelled back to watch the match. Victoria Station is very
popular, Elisabet said that her husband proposed to her on Black --
on platform 14 at Victoria. Dave said he went to school in
Didsbury in 1964. He said he fancied a girl called Linda but
lost touch after leaving. 30 years later, she got into his taxi in
Manchester and they eventually got married in Memphis in 1999.