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Good evening. Welcome to North West Tonight with Gordon Burns and Kate
Simms. Our top story: Police use emergency powers to close a
nightclub after a man had his ears and part of his nose and lips
bitten off. We look at the issue of all-night
licences in the centre of Liverpool. Also tonight: Misery for commuters
as hundreds of trains are cancelled across the North West.
A new row over cockling after fishermen say red tape is putting
their livelihoods at risk. And reunited with her frantic owner
- the Yorkshire terrier stolen by burglars in Lancashire and then
abandoned more than 50 miles away. Somebody pinched my little dog. I
was not worried about the jewellery, I wanted my little dog back because
he is my show dog. A man has had his nose, ears and
lip bitten off in an attack outside a club in Liverpool city centre. A
police officer who viewed CCTV footage of the incident said it was
the worst he had seen in 27 years with the force. Today the club has
had its licence suspended. It follows concerns that all-night
licences may be turning an area of the city centre into a crime hot
spot. Here's Jayne Barrett. This clip from YouTube shows a
night out in Funky box. Posters outside boast how it's open all
night, every night, seven days a week. But, just after 6am on
Saturday, an attack happened outside here in which a man
literally lost parts of his face, an attack which could cost this
club its licence. CCTV images filmed here showed two men fighting,
images described by a police officer at a licensing committee.
There are nine consecutive punches, then the assailant can be seen to
place his head down by the victim. He starts eating away at his face
and head. Funky Box is on the edge of Liverpool's main pub and club
district. Police stats show this area has by far the highest
concentration of crime in the city centre. We work hard with the bars
to make them work responsibly. If we have an issue with a bar we will
go and speak to them and raise the issues that we have. While we
filmed today, a licensee told us he believed the council was too slow
to use the powers it had, a point I put to the councillor with
responsibility for licensing. have had several reports this year
and there are more pending. I would rather work with licensed premises
to improve things. A final decision about whether to reopen the club
will be made on September 19th. Rail passengers are facing more
delays and cancellations this evening as train drivers at First
Transpennine Express continue their strike over pay. The company is
running just 58 out of 290 services, causing disruption right across the
North West. Our reporter, Nina Warhurst, is at Manchester
Piccadilly now. How bad is it? Considering it is rush-hour, it is
not too congested. First Transpennine Express has said they
have done everything to minimise disruption. First Transpennine
Express says it hopes to add an extra 30 services by the end of the
day and it has added extra carriages and brought in managers.
But there has still been disruption right across the region, as Abbie
Jones has been finding out. Barrow station was unusually quiet
this morning. Some trains were cancelled. At Manchester Piccadilly,
some found their travel plans in disarray. Not happy. It is the
first time I have travelled by train for about two years. I was
quite looking forward to the journey. There were about three
trains within the hour, but now we have to wait for one. There are all
these people waiting as well. We have loads of stuff. The Brittain
family, back from Florida, found themselves stranded at Manchester
Airport. We are shattered. None of us had any sleep last night and
they're just not helping. After we interviewed them, First
Transpennine Express agreed to pay for a hire car to get them home.
Trains to Liverpool, Leeds, York, South Yorkshire and the Lake
District from Manchester and out again are affected. Over 200
services. Some services are just sitting in the station. They are
hoping that this one will get going soon. Passengers are being told
that their tickets are valid for seven days after the strike. As
refunds are being given, too. Our drivers have chosen to go on
strike and lose hundreds of pounds. They do not want to do that. We
have said to the company that we are willing to discuss again.
Managers were drafted in today and extra seats were provided. We're
doing everything we can to get customers to where they need to go.
It is a very busy week. Both sides say they want to talk. If the deal
is not thrashed out, another striker set for Friday. -- another
strike is set for Friday. They are working hard to make sure
that Friday's strike does not go ahead. If it does, it will coincide
with the bank holiday. There is Manchester Pride and a Leeds
festival going on. If you are planning to travel to those events,
the advice is to think about another form of transport in
advance. If you have already bought your ticket, you can change it 48
hours in advance and it is valid for seven days after Friday.
More news from around the region now, and an investigation's started
into the death of a man who was tasered by police in Bolton last
night. The 53-year-old barricaded himself inside a house and began
stabbing himself. Police arrived and used a taser to overpower him
before he was taken to hospital, where he died.
128,000 people have now added their names to an e-petition calling for
the release of all Cabinet documents about Hillsborough. It
follows the coalition's decision to appeal against a ruling from the
Information Commissioner that Cabinet papers from 1989 should be
made public. When thieves broke into Barbara
Whitham's home they were not content with stealing her jewellery.
I knew cockle bed has been discovered in the Ribble estuary.
There are fears that it could attract poachers and that could put
lives at risk. Even in this poor-quality club, you
get an extent -- an idea of the extent of the newly discovered
cockle bed. The north-west Inshore Fisheries and conservation
authority has placed a 30 day temporary closure on it, to the
dismay of fishermen. They say it is 24 years since they had a cockle
bed of this sort and this size in the estuary. They believe it could
keep up to 400 fishermen employed during the winter months. When
times are hard, they say, that is worth fighting for. This fish a man
with over 30 years' experience fears the core -- the closure could
be hazardous. It will cause a poaching problem. The danger is
they will going at night and not realise what is happening and we
could have or tragedy on our hands. It is much better to open the bed
and have the people going in during daylight.
Fisher's also fear that dredgers to be allowed into the site, with
local fishermen losing out. would be good to go back on the
cockle bed. We have the right to picket and we should be allowed to.
To close the bed and take money out of people's mouths is just
ridiculous. The fisheries authorities is
temporary closure is the best way forward. The use of small boats for
transporting many fissures poses health and safety risks which the
committee has no powers to control or manage. A decision will be made
at the end of September. When thieves broke into Barbara
Whitham's home they were not content with stealing her jewellery.
They also made off with her beloved dog. Naturally, she was devastated
by the loss of her Yorkshire terrier, Honey. But she was
delighted when Honey turned up more than 50 miles from home. The pair
were reunited because Honey had been microchipped. Dave guest takes
up the story. Barbara and Honey are inseparable.
But feed separated them when they broke into Barbara's,. They took
all of my jewellery. But more importantly... They took my little
dog. What did you think when you realised you had been burgled?
did not care about the jewellery, I wanted my little dog back.
The trail to find Honey stretched far further than anyone would have
imagined. This is Hobart Street, over 50 miles from On the's home.
She was found in the street here and picked up by the local dog
warden. Because she had been microchipped it was a fairly
straightforward process to track down her owner. Honey and Barbara
were reunited. This has given us the opportunity to review your
night -- reunite the victim with her owner. What did you do when you
found out she had been discovered? I cried and cried. Obviously, it is
down to the fact that she was microchipped. I am very grateful
for that. I'd do stress that everybody must get their dog
microchipped. Barbara's jewellery is still missing, but she says she
is just glad to have Honey home. The police say that the fact she
was found in Bolton has provided them with useful clues in the
search for the thieves. Still to come in North West
Tonight: It's up and away for a nine-year-old with a passion for
helicopters. And back to his roots - Russell Watson returns to the
Blackpool clubs where it all began. This is, I suppose, what you could
describe as a compact dressing room. A woman whose legs wouldn't stop
growing will feature in a TV documentary tonight. Mandy Sellars
from Accrington suffers from a rare medical condition and has had one
of her legs amputated to save her life. She's been speaking to us
about the programme and how she's been coping. Eleanor Moritz reports.
Mandy is an extraordinary person with an extraordinary condition.
She was born with a rare syndrome, even now one diagnosed, which meant
her legs would not stop growing. understand why people look because
it is so unusual. You will not bump into someone like me in the street
every day. We last met her for Mark years ago. -- four years ago. She
has had one of her legs amputated. The positive side is the fact that
I do not have any infections at all. In myself, I feel really healthy. I
have not felt this good in 20 years. The flipside of the coin is the
fact that I am not as independent as I was. I cannot see it. I am
worried about missing it. Her time in hospital and her
recovery feature in a documentary tonight. You're doing amazingly.
She has also been to Cambridge to see if experts there can finally
find out what has caused her condition and whether that could
lead to some treatment. It is kind of exciting to me. If nothing comes
of it, that little grip -- glimmer of hope is fantastic. Doing this
latest documentary, I have really in due -- enjoy doing it and
meeting the people that I have along the way. In the future I will
be walking with a false leg and I will look back at how difficult it
was. I am alive and kicking, so I am going to make the most of the
second chance I have been given. And you can see Mandy's story in
the documentary, Extraordinary People, on Channel 5 tonight at 9
o'clock. He's played some of the biggest
venues in the country but Salford's Russell Watson began his career in
more humble surroundings. The tenor got his first bookings in the
working men's clubs of Blackpool where he found himself competing
with the rival attractions of bingo and hot meat pies. Now as some of
those clubs struggle to attract new customers, Russell has been back to
his roots to take a look at how times have changed.
The Blackpool Philharmonic club - it has been 15 years since I
performed here. What immediately strikes me is that it has not
changed a bit. The clubs were set up as an
alternative to pubs, focusing on more wholesome sports and games.
Within a decade, drinking joined these activities and the mould was
cast for clubs for the next 150 years. Follow me.
This was my, what I suppose you could describe as a Compaq dressing
room. You had a fan heater for the cold
winter months in Blackpool. And, of course, every singer's very own
personal ashtray. Since their heyday, the number of clubs has
nosedived to just over 2,000, and that when that -- attendances
dwindling. To me, it is a disaster. It is not just Blackpool, it is
everywhere in the country. If the club world dies out, what do you
think we will lose as a society? meeting place. In a club, you do
not know the person next to but, within five minutes, you are
talking to them. The orders have their work cut out to make sure
that this tradition continues. To survive, they are going have --
going to have to move with the times.
You can see more of Russell's report straight after this
programme. Sport now and, Tony, another big
star, Samir Nasri, arrives at Manchester City as their spending
spree continues. Yes, there he is. Manchester City's summer spending
has now reached a staggering �85 million after the French midfielder
today signed for the club for a reported fee of �25 million. Samir
Nasri was regarded as Arsenal's best player for much of last season.
He scored against City, and impressed the Blues' manager,
Roberto Mancini. Arsene Wenger was reluctant to let him go, but today
Nasri put pen to paper on a four- year deal at City after passing a
medical. He's expected to be in the squad for the game at Spurs on
Sunday. League One Rochdale have reached
the third round of the Carling Cup for the first time in 49 years. And
they did it the hard way, beating Premier League side Queens Park
Rangers away last night. Last time they got this far was in 1962. So
let the giant killing, in full colour this time, commence. Neil
Warnock said this defeat did not matter to him. By the time Garri
Jones made it two, Rochdale were making their slice of history and
Neil Warnock had no choice in whether he was in or out. It was
our priority to win the game and we took it seriously. I know he is sat
behind us, but what did the boss city before the game? He told us to
enjoy it and express ourselves. We were playing against good players
but we knew we had a good side and that we had a good chance if we got
our passing game going. Burnley scraped into the next round.
It was left to Christmas can to see what in extra-time. -- Chris McCann
to seal it in extra-time. There is more Carling Cup action
tonight with Everton and Blackburn both hoping for their first win of
the season. Neither has a point in the Premier League so far. You can
see highlights in the League Cup short tonight at 11:30pm.
Now, what do most footballers do on their summer holidays? Probably
beer and beaches feature rather than taking bags of balls and boots
thousands of miles to give to impoverished youngsters. But that's
exactly what Bury's bandanna- wearing defender Efe Sodje gets up
to every summer. He and his brothers, four of whom play
professional football, have been helping children in Nigeria for
more than a decade. Stuart Pollet has this special report. It's not
unusual to find a footballer in Alderley Edge. But it is unusual to
find one like Efe Sodje. He grew up here in the Warri district of
Nigeria.. And every summer, while his fellow players flock to bars
and beaches, teetotal Efe and his brothers returned with their hands
full. We had about 20 big bags that we took, literally, with a own
hands. We put everything in them and take them down to Nigeria.
the last 15 years the Sodjes have spent around �200,000 in Warri.
May they know we're coming. The kids are always waiting outside
appearance' house. There are six teams that will have our kits. --
outside our parents' house. Now the family's set up the Sodje
Foundation with their aim of raising more than �500,000 to build
a community centre. People can come and learn, whether it is about
football or dedication, anything they want to know when their lives,
we can teach them. We wanted teach them everything - education,
awareness of HIV. The first time I wore boots I was about 20 years old.
Thanks to you, those kids are getting a better start than you had.
Yes. And if the Sodjes manage to build their centre, the children of
Warri will be thankful to the family for more than just football
boots. Stuart Pollitt, BBC North West Tonight, Alderley Edge.
And the Sodje Foundation is holding a fund-raising dinner in Manchester
on 21st September. Finally, the village cricketers
from Hightown on Merseyside have had a day to remember. They won a
competition to train with Lancashire's stars at Old Trafford.
I'm told the Red Rose batsmen and bowlers were gentle with the
amateurs! Temperatures in the sunshine were
21 Celsius today. If you were stuck under the cloud, you temperature
fell away to around 16 Celsius. That is quite a drop. The showers
moved in after lunchtime. That is the state of play at the moment. It
should stay dry for the next couple of hours. Yesterday we were talking
about a band of rain that would be on the eastern side of England. We
have exactly the same story in the early hours of the morning. The
Pennines do a good job of keeping it at bay. The overnight
temperature could be as low as nine Celsius. Early tomorrow they have -
- the rain could be around. It will move around quickly and head to the
east. It will be very much like today. There will be lots of
sunshine in the morning but there could be one or two showers in the
afternoon. There will be one or two hefty downpours. If you hang on to
the sunshine, the temperature could be up to 20 Celsius.
Now, while most nine-year-olds have spent the summer holidays playing
out in the garden or gaining on their computers, one young boy from
Manchester has found a novel new hobby - building a website about
his favourite helicopter. Kevin Dutton is so fascinated by the Bell
Huey UH-1H model that he set up his own website about the aircraft
which has featured in many of the Vietnam war films. He is now in
touch with Vietnam veterans in the US and his hard work earned him a
flight on one of the helicopters. He is here with his dad to tell us
all about it. Kevin, where there is an obsession like that begin? How
I got a chance with my school to go and look at it. I got inside of it.
It to cop a bit later on. Dad, you think it was the sound, don't you?
Kevin was born in Thailand and there was a military base nearby.
Those helicopters used to fly past every day. You could hear them for
miles. You have built up this website. How many people are
logging on to that. Yesterday it was 572 people, I think. It is very
successful, then. Even better, you had a chance to get a go on one of
these. Tell us how that came about. What was it like? They asked if I
wanted to help with getting the helicopter out. When it landed
Simon said, come round here, and he let us going it. What was it like
when it took off? We didn't really know that it took off. You just
suddenly looked out and there you were up above the ground? That must
have been exciting. Yes. Dad, this is really an obsession with the
helicopter and the website. It is an obsession but it is keeping him
out of mischief. He is reading books, asking questions and
enjoying it. He says he is going to work harder at school so that he
can learn to fly. That is great. Diane is going to
join us. I know you desperately want to be a helicopter pilot.