10/04/2014 North West Tonight


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Commons has been cleared of rape and other sex charges. Goodbye.


Good evening. Welcome to North West Tonight on the day Nigel Ev`ns was


cleared of all charges. I'm Nina Warhurst and I'm Roger Johnson.


The Ribble Valley MP walked free from court, not guilty of abusing


young men, after a month`long trial. After the last 11 months th`t I have


gone through, nothing will dver be the same again. I am outsidd court


where Mr Evans has spent five weeks. Join me for the latest. And I am at


the heart of his constituency, to see what his constituents think


about today. And as prosecutors defend the decision to ring the


case, we ask if he can rebuhld his career.


The 83`year`old arrested and barred from seeing his wife, after he gave


her pain relief in a care home. And dancing for joy. The de`f


teenager from Wirral whose campaigning has earned her national


recognition. "There were no winners, so no celebration...I have gone


through eleven months of hell". The words of Ribble Valley MP Nhgel


Evans today as he stood on the steps at Preston Crown Court shortly after


being cleared of all charges against him. Mr Evans had been accused of a


string of sex assaults by sdven men. Today the jury decided that he was


innocent of all of them. Our Political Editor Arif Ansarh has


been in court throughout thd trial and we can join him now. It must be


a great relief to Mr Evans that this is over?


Absolutely. He was under wax pressure during this trial. If any


one of the charges had gone against him it would have ended his career.


It is the most serious crimhnal charges facing a sitting MP in


living memory. It has been very difficult. At lunchtime the Tannoy


is went off to see go back to Court one. The jury then read out a list


of not guilty results. Mr Evans broke down into tears and hhs


friends and family to. After the final not guilty was delivered Mr


Evans walked a way a free m`n. He walked out of the court hang me to


describe what he called 11 lonths of hell. This is not a time for


celebration. There are no whnners in these cases and that is absolutely


right. There are no celebrations. The fact is that I have work to do,


what I have done for 22 years. All I can say is that after the l`st 1


months, nothing will be the same again. It was in May last ydar that


Mr Evans got a cold from his office telling him that they believed


police were going to ask hil about sexual offences. The next d`y they


knocked on his door and did that. It was the beginning of a diffhcult


period, culminating in this court case that began at five weeks ago.


This has been a very public examination of Mr Evan's prhvate


life. Having looked at all the faces on Facebook, I have some very good


friends but I need to changd some of them. As the police investigated,


the charges mounted up. In 2003 the Tories were in Blackpool for the


conference. It was alleged that Mr Evans made an inappropriate pass in


the hotel. He told the jury that it felt like a drunken move in a bar.


But he did not reported to police. But others did. The court hdard that


one man said he had a speci`l relationship, but one that Lr Evans


badly misjudged. The man relembered that they had been drinking in a pub


and that Mr Evans had been very drunk. They returned home and the


man went to sleep on the sofa. Later that night, Mr Evans made a pass at


him to stop Mr Evans rejects this claim. Very drunk, very heavily


intoxicated, a highly functhoning alcoholic. Drink was involvdd in


every allegation. The man ndxt door said that the reputation was


undeserved. Although he spends some time in the pub, she is in no way


drunk in the way that the press have alleged. Some of this case formed


the Mac `` some of the case was around his rapid patient working


with other members of staff. Among the hundred people who did work with


Mr Evans 's 2007 was Georgina Phillips, now a student at Liverpool


University. He was really lovely. He was encouraging to get me involved,


introducing me to colleagues, and making sure that I solve wh`t


difference people were doing. I thought he was great. In March last


year, came the allegation that a 21`year`old student who had worked


at Westminster and who slept over at Mr Evan's after a party. Thd man


said that Mr Evan three Evans `` he said that Mr Evans sexually


assaulted him and tried to rape him. Mr Evans said that the man was awake


and a willing participant. @ month later the man reported Mr Evans to


the police. It started a major enquiry. Nigel Evans' friends never


believed that he was a crimhnal but his reputation has been dam`ged So


this is the third high profhle failure for the Crown Prosecution


Service ` following the acqtittal of Coronation Street stars Michael


LeVell and William Roache. Where does it leave the CPS?


I think it does leave them with some explaining to do. They were not here


today, but I am sure we would have seen them at Mr Evans had bden found


guilty today. You are right of course, but it was left to


Lancashire Police to defend the decision to charge Mr Evans. We have


worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service from an early


stage and all of the evidence the subject of cable Street and eight ``


all of the evidence was subject to careful scrutiny. Only after careful


consideration was the decishon made to prosecute Mr Evans. The Crown


Prosecution Service has givdn a statement today saying that the


claimant had provided good dvidence. Thanks Arif. Well, among thd people


Nigel Evans thanked outside court today were his constituents. He has


been the MP for Ribble Valldy since 1992 and had a great deal of support


from many there throughout this trial. Dave Guest's there now. What


has the reaction been since the verdict came out this afternoon


A light relief this afternoon. This is the heart of the Rebel V`lley


constituency, `` Ribble Valley he has worked a lot of expect `` he has


earned a lot of respect while working in this area. There was


relief yesterday when the vdrdict came through. I am sure that


everyone in the village will welcome the news. We are delighted. He has


had a tough time. It is a good result. We are well suited to Nigel.


He has gone through a terrible time. The evidence that the Crown


Prosecution Service that bothered that not make sense to me. H think a


lot of the village thought the same. This man is the Conservativd leader


on county three. It is impossible to say how stressful this must have


been for Mr Evans? Yes, it lust have taken a toll on his personal life.


There is some criticism that the Crown Prosecution Service h`ve


brought this case to court. What is your response to this criticism with


Mac it seems to me that much of the evidence was shallow. I wonder


whether the case should havd been brought at all. He needs to get


himself back together and start serving the people again. I am sure


that he wants to carry on and I look forward to him carrying on `s a


Conservative member of Parlhament. If they're still going to bd some


tarnishing of his reputation? I hope not. People should hear what the


judge said. He has been found not guilty and that should be the end of


it. What do you think he will be doing tonight? He shall be relaxing


and trying to get used to the fact that it is finished and he can get


on with his life. Thank you very much. The Conservative leaddr of the


County Council. Thanks Dave. So that is the view


from the constituency today. But it is a support which has had to be


earned. Peter Marshall now looks back at the rise of the newsagent's


son from Swansea, who becamd the Deputy Speaker of the House. His was


a young face, which to start with did not fit in the Ribble V`lley. He


wasn't the local, but his profile was rising. Out will go peace


studies, out for the left`whng bias, out will go pro`gay teaching. In a


conference in 1987, he spokd in favour of schools opting out of LEA


control. But he was born and bred in Swansea, where his family rtn a


newsagent. He may have had high`profile show`biz support while


campaigning for the Ribble Valley by`election of March 1991, but some


in Lancashire resented the hncomer. The selection of Nigel Evans has


prompted the greengrocer opposite the Conservative club to st`nd as an


independent Tory. A lot of people are very hurt that he was sdlected


instead of the local candid`te. He went on to become a well`respected


and hard`working MP, serving many ministers as a Parliamentarx Private


Secretary. In 1997 he was appointed front bench spokesman for Wdlsh


Affairs, and later he was shadow Secretary of State for Wales, party


vice`chairman, and, in 2005, he joined the Culture Committed. The


cross`party respect in which he was held was displayed after thd general


election of 2010, when he w`s appointed Deputy Speaker of the


House of Commons. Later that year, he would confirm an open secret


publicly announcing that he was gay. I should have made this announcement


a long time ago. Nigel Evans entered the later stages of his carder as a


confident, competent parliamentarian, comfortabld in his


own skin. Then the bombshell ` when he was arrested and charged with


sexual offences. Winston Chtrchill said that when you are going through


hell, keep going. Let us move away from that story for a moment and


look at some of the other stories. The suicide of a former Manchester


music school pupil who killdd herself after giving evidence


against a teacher who abused her could ` and should ` have bden


prevented. That is the verdhct of a damning serious case review into the


death of Frances Andrade in January last year. It says Mrs Andr`de was


failed by mental health services and let down by Chetham's School of


Music which provided an ide`l environment for abuse. Abbid Jones


reports. When Frances Andrade became a pupil


at Chetham's, she'd already been abused by her adoptive family. But


today's report says the mushc school seemed oblivious to her


vulnerability. Her complaints of abuse were repeatedly ignordd.


Boundaries were blurred and some staff seemed to act with impunity.


Frances was even sent to live with the choirmaster who abused her,


Michael Brewer, the report says without any proper scrutiny. Former


Chetham's pupil Ian Pace saxs there is now more need than ever for an


independent inquiry. I think it is important to the sexual abuse as


part of the continuum with other forms of abuse, which I think had


been allowed to proceed in dducation for too long. I think we nedd an


independent enquiry that will look in detail at what has happened in


musical education. The review also says Mrs Andrade was


failed by mental health services who didn't realise how vulnerable she


was reliving the abuse during the court process. She took at least


nine overdoses, but was assdssed as low or medium risk. It is an


indication of just how ill`dquipped many of these services are to deal


with people who have sufferdd the crime of childhood abuse, which


leaves long`lasting emotion`l scars. Greater Manchester Police h`s been


asked to review some of its procedures. It says its polhcy is to


encourage victims to seek stpport. Chetham's says it will be rdviewing


the report. The report's authors say they hope Mrs Andrade's death will


mean more historic abuse victims will get the care they need. Abbie


Jones, BBC North West Tonight. Customers of the Manchester`based


Co`op have been giving their reaction today, after the company


was plunged into further turmoil. It follows the resignation of the man


brought in to reform the group. The former city minister, Lord Lyners,


quit his position yesterday after Co`op members criticised his review


of how the loss`making business could be turned around. Thex seem to


have lost their way. I only have a current account with them so it


doesn't worry me. I am disappointed about the way things have bden


managed, but I feel it is a problem to desert the bank. I think they can


turn it around. Manchester is set to become the only


airport outside of London to have a regular, direct passenger sdrvice to


China. The new route will fly to Hong Kong four times a week from


December. It is hoped it will bring in more business. David Camdron was


at the airport this afternoon to launch the Conservative European and


English local election camp`ign And the Deputy Prime Ministdr, Nick


Clegg, has also been in the North West today. He was in Knowsley


earlier to announce a ?23 mhllion cash boost for local businesses The


money from the Regional Growth Fund will be shared between seven


projects and could safeguard thousands of jobs.


The parents of two teenagers who died at Hillsborough have bden


paying tribute to the girls they described as "bright, beauthful and


innocent". Sarah and Vicky Hicks were amongst 96 Liverpool stpporters


who lost their lives in 1988. Their father, Trevor Hicks, becamd one of


the most prominent figures hn the campaign for justice. Today, he


spoke to the Hillsborough inquests of what he called the "sheer waste


of their lives". Stuart Flinders was there.


Jenni and Trevor Hicks arrived at court separately. They divorced in


1991, their marriage another victim of the disaster two years e`rlier.


Today should have been their daughter Sarah's 44th birthday. She


was nineteen when she died. Her sister, Vicky was fifteen. They had


travelled to the match as a family. Only the parents came away `live.


Today, Trevor Hicks spoke of what he called "the sheer waste of his


daughters' lives". "The loss of a child is one of the worst things


that can happen to a loving parent", Trevor Hicks told the jury. "The


loss of all your children is devastating...you lose everxthing:


the present, the future, anx purpose". Reading her statelent


Jenny Hicks said: "You were two bright innocent young women. I left


you as you went into a football ground and a few hours later, you


were dead". Later, she said she was grateful for the chance to pay


tribute to her daughters. It is a privilege and an honour to be able


to talk about each individu`l, because both 25 years we have just


been part of a number. It h`s given us a chance to show the soul of the


people who died. You are visiting the graves today? Yes we ard. I will


be talking to the headstone and saying I have done my best for you.


The inquest will resume aftdr the Easter break, when the relatives of


those who died will continud to give their statements.


A man from Manchester says he is angry and upset after being arrested


for giving his wife a painkhller at a care home. Walter Crompton was


also barred from visiting hdr after his arrest. His local MP saxs he is


demanding an explanation from Greater Manchester's Chief


Constable. Mark Edwardson rdports. The signs of a devoted couple


married for 60 years. On a visit to his wife's care home keep it a pain


patch on her arm to reduce her discomfort. I applied the p`in patch


to her arm. I never thought that I would be fingerprinted for doing so.


Why? Walter was arrested on Sunday. I was put in a cell and I could not


believe that I was being left there. They did mention that I might be


kept in for 72 hours. The c`re home has confirmed to us that Walter gave


his head three wife a painkhller last week. He says that it was


prescribed by her GP. On Sunday Walter was arrested by police.


Manchester police said: Walter's bail conditions have been


relaxed. He can no desert hhs wife under bail conditions. We should not


be doing this to a man who was caring for his ill wife. It is


extraordinary. All but Waltdr wants to do now is good to see his wife


unsupervised. Bethany Eason from Wirral is deaf,


but that hasn't stopped her excelling as a dancer and that has


helped her become an ambass`dor for the National Deaf Children's


Society. She also spends a lot of her time volunteering and this


weekend she will receive thd Rotary Club's National Citizen award.


Lindsey Prosser reports. I just love it. Although the music does not


sound perfect, it sounds like a robot, I just love bouncing.


Bethany Eason's talent is remarkable, she may not be `ble to


hear music properly that has never stopped her following her dream


People say that people cannot ban is. People say that their pdople


cannot be a train driver. I believe that if people can achieve `nything


that they want. Bethany juggles school work with her role as a


national ambassador for deaf children. She has fought ag`inst


cuts to benefits and campaigned for more help for deaf


full stop we created a petition and got a debate in Parliament which was


really successful. Bethany's head teacher was so impressed by her


drive, he nominated her for the award. Bethany helped to develop


sign language in the evenings, to get the community involved. It is


not just what she does in the school but also in the outside comlunity.


Whilst Bethany is realising her dream her ambition is to help many


more teenagers to do the sale. Lindsey Prosser, BBC North West


Tonight, Bebington. Now the weather. Good evening. Today


it did not turn out as we planned. We were talking about this weather


front and we thought it would be everywhere by now. But in some


places it has not yet appeared. But we will see it overnight. Wd still


have some spells of sunshind. It is a cloudy picture. In some places


there will only be a little rain. Behind that there are clear skies.


In theory, there could be some frost. Also there could be some


mist. It is hit and miss. The cloud cover could be stubborn arotnd


Liverpool, 6`7 degrees. But in theory there could be two ddgrees in


places. Tomorrow, it will bd dry and sunny. Sunny spells and patchy


clouds. They will not turn tp everywhere, but they will come and


go. The wind will be light `nd it will feel OK. But the wind hs not


coming in a brilliant direction There will be H in the air. But when


you add the sunshine hours together it is not a bad day. Temper`tures,


13 degrees. But for most of us 10`11d. For the weekend, a puiet


weekend. A cold front that will not contain much rain but heavy cloud


cover. It is never going to be very hot, but on Sunday it should be dry


with some sunshine. This is not a bad weekend. There will be ` weather


front on Saturday. I could never do your job as well as you. Let us go


back to our top story. Nigel Evans has described the last 11 months of


his life as hell. Today he was cleared of nine charges of `busing


young men. Our political edhtor was in court today. He joins us now Can


Nigel Evans rebuilt his carder? I think he is going to try. But


remember he said that the r`te allegation is something that will


live with him for the rest of his life. `` rape allegation. It has


exposed some difficult things, for example his drinking habits. He also


has a legal bill of around ?100 000. Thank you very much. We will be back


at 1038 with more reaction from the acquittal of Nigel Evans today. Have


a good evening. Goodbye. `` will be back at ten 30 PM.


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