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Welcome to South East Today, I'm Rob Smith.
A Sussex soldier was killed in friendly fire in Afghanistan
because his comrade didn't take enough care an inquest finds.
The simple facts remain his errors led directly to our son's death. He
will have for ever James's blood on his hands.
The businessman accused of illegally dumping a mountain
of discarded mattresses, blighting a Kent village.
We're live at Canterbury Crown Court with the details.
The sussex mum campaigning for more awareness of infantile spasms,
the epileptic condition that can affect her baby hundreds
The ASLEF drivers' union suspends next week's rail strikes ahead
And from the ballroom blitz to a murder mystery.
We chat with Strictly star Laura Whitmore about her new role
A Sussex soldier shot dead in Afghanistan in a so-called
"friendly fire" incident lost his life because a comrade
"did not take sufficient care" and fired in the wrong direction.
That's the conclusion of an inquest into the death
of Lance Corporal James Brynin, from Shoreham-on-Sea who was just 22
The coroner criticised the Ministry of Defence for showing
"a complete lack of empathy" towards the Brynin family.
Tonight they say Lance Corporal Mark Kelly,
who fired the fatal shot, "will forever have James's
Lance Corporal James Brynin was described as an outstanding soldier
who was immensely popular. His death in Afghanistan came not at the hands
of the Taliban, but instead at the hands of a careless comrade. Lance
Corporal Mark Kelly shooting him dead after firing in the wrong
direction during a military operation. The coroner said there
was insufficient evidence to return the conclusion of unlawful killing,
too obvious disappointment of his family. Whilst we are upset and
disappointed that, having waited so long for this process to conclude,
no charges or punishment or genuine guilt has been acknowledged by the
MOD or large Corporal Kelly, it has always been our opinion that he knew
what he did in the moment of firing the round that killed our son.
Rather than acknowledging he did wrong, the simple facts remain his
errors led directly to our son's death and he will for ever have
James's blood on his hands. James was the 144th member of the forces
to be killed in Afghanistan, the Prime Minister paying this tribute.
He was a highly talented and professional soldier and our
thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this
difficult time and he has made the ultimate sacrifice. It was in
October 2013 that he was shot and killed, bullet analysis revealing it
was a friendly fire incident. In March 20 16th and inquest was
adjourned over concerns it may have been a homicidal. In November his
family were told no charges would be brought against Lance Corporal Mark
Kelly who fired the fatal shot. James Brynin's father appeared on
the reality show SAS, motivated by his son's death. Today his family
are coming to terms with the conclusion that James died at the
hands of a colleague. He had become disorientated in a firefight and had
not taken enough care while shooting.
We can cross to Piers Hopkirk outside the inquest
What else did the coroner have to say, Piers?
Penelope Schofield, the West Sussex coroner, had sustained criticism for
the MOD, in particular over the way they have communicated with the
family. She is so concerned about it that she will send a letter to the
army chief of the General staff, outlining her concerns. She said,
this family deserved better, they trusted their son to the Army, the
army let them down. Tonight the MOD said it would be considering those
A businessman accused of blighting a Kent village with a mountain
of discarded mattresses was operating illegally
Lewis Bertram is accused of allowing thousands of mattresses,
bed frames and textiles to be dumped at the site in Smarden near Ashford.
The Environment Agency brought the charges
Sara Smith has sent this report from Canterbury Crown Court.
The view from the air of one corner of Smarden business estate,
mattresses piled more than five metres high, weighing more than 2000
tonnes. Defender Lewis Bertram, who ran his business here, had a licence
to recycle mattresses at the site, breaking them down into textiles and
tonnes and all storage and metals, but the limit was 1000
processing had to be carried out inside the building. The jury was
told this huge pile could be a fire risk and that some material was
escaping into the nearby watercourse, posing a possible
environmental hazard. When neighbours complained the
Environment Agency, which controls such activities and issues the
licenses, paid the site is the first of many visits. Today one of the
officers said Mr Bertram had been given plenty of time to deal with
the mountain, but had failed to do so. Instead he continued to trade
Sara Smith reporting, and she's live at Canterbury Crown Court.
The jury was also told about the defence case today. I am terribly
sorry, we seem to have lost. I am terribly sorry,
we seem to have lost. In a moment, on the
march in Melbourne. Eastbourne tennis star
Johanna Konta's started her Her baby son has a rare form
of epilepsy that causes hundreds Now Lisa Martin from Hassocks
in West Sussex is setting up a charity to raise awareness
of the condition. Nine-month-old Benji is on powerful
medication to control his illness, known as "infantile spasms" or West
Syndrome. But many other children
are misdiagnosed, causing long-term Charlie Rose has been
to meet the family. Baby Benji started showing the signs
that something wasn't quite right when he was four and a half months
old. His eyes were streaming and rolling back to one side. The head
movements followed quite quickly, so his head tilted back. It is a rare
form of epilepsy known as infantile spasms. You can see it when his arms
stiffen and his eyes rolled back. Despite the signs, his mother said
it was not easy getting a proper diagnosis. I was not happy with the
doctors saying it was fatigued, it did not seem right to me. Because we
caught it on film and took him to A, they kept him in and diagnosed
it. How worried were you? Really worried. You see your child is doing
something that is not quite right and you do not know how to help
them. Other's job is to protect their child and you do not feel you
can when you see them doing something like that. Infantile
spasms are a type of seizure that can occur in the first year of life.
Every year in the UK up to 400 children will develop the condition.
Each spasm involves the stiffening of the arms and sometimes legs. He
used to have multiple spasms throughout the day, and actually the
spasms have gone now, so we are keeping a close eye on his
development, whether he will develop other forms of seizures, so we are
watching him closely. Then she continues to be treated with a
variety of different drugs and he will be back in hospital in a couple
of weeks for more tests. It has been a stressful time for everyone and
the family wants to raise awareness of infantile spasms.
The University of Sussex has issued a formal,
face-to-face apology to a former student who was attacked
Lee Salter physically assaulted Allison Smith in 2015
but was allowed to continue to teach for ten months until his
The university has today published an independent report into the case,
which has concluded that it failed to follow its own policies, relied
on inadequate risk assessment, and failed to communicate
with the victim in a professional manner.
An 18-year-old boy's been taken to hospital
Sussex Police were called to the incident at a McDonalds
They're looking for a mixed race man in his late teens
The train drivers' union, Aslef, has announced
it is suspending industrial action on the Southern Rail network,
ahead of fresh talks with the company's management that
Members of the union were due to walk out for three days next week
in the long-running dispute over the introduction of
The difference with these talks is we have the leader of the TUC and
also an HR director from the train operating company that solved the
dispute in similar circumstances with Aslef. I hope those people
being in the room will mean that sense prevails, rather than more
talks which break up pretty much as soon as they have started.
Our reporter Chrissie Reidy is at Three Bridges Station
Commuters across the Southern network are desperate
for a breakthrough in this long-running dispute, Chrissie.
Commuters I have spoken to here I disillusioned. Some are saying, I do
not want to know the detail, tell me when it is all over. They have got
to keep talking because until they talk it will not be settled. One
minute they say they cancel it and the next minute they put the strikes
back on, so I do not know what is going on. It is really painful. I am
frustrated, annoyed, disappointed, wondering when it will end.
So Aslef's strike action next week has been suspended, but the RMT
Yes, but it is worth pointing out that the Aslef strike is suspended,
it is not withdrawn. It depends on how productive these fresh talks
with the TUC will be. If they collapse, the strike goes ahead.
Aslef represent many of the drivers and when they go on strike it causes
a massive amount of disruption. They are lifting an overtime ban which is
important because it is about 25% of the rotor. RMT are not invited to
the talks tomorrow, they represent the guards and the conductors. Their
strike will go ahead on Monday and it will affect about 40% of the
so not disrupted as such, but it is still a headache.
An inquest into the death of Sussex soldier James Brynin has concluded
that he was shot dead in Afghanistan in a so-called "friendly fire"
incident, because a comrade didn't "take sufficient care" and fired
Also in tonight's programme: From lovable rogue to relentless
detective, we chat with Shane Richie about his new murder mystery role
And we started the day with a glorious sunrise and lots of
sunshine during the afternoon as well. Another crisp, cold winter's
day tomorrow. I will have the details later.
And if you have a story you think we should be covering, you can always
get in touch. The Prime Minister says the UK wants
to be Europe's best friend and neighbour when it quits
the European Union. But in a keynote speech
on the impact of Brexit today, Theresa May confirmed that
Britain will leave the European Instead she said she would seek
a bold and ambitious new And she confirmed that any final
deal could be phased in and that both Houses of Parliament
will get to vote on it. I want Britain to be
what we have the potential, talent and ambition to become,
a great global trading nation that is respected around
the world and strong, Our Political Editor Helen Catt
joins us live from Westminster. The Prime Minister's
set out her plan. what could it mean
for the South East? We did hear some of the concerns we
heard in the South East in the run up to the referendum address today.
Immigration, she said clearly she wants to control the numbers of
people coming from Europe to the UK. We heard a lot about that in Kent
and Sussex. She wants to continue working with the rest of Europe to
tackle crime and terrorism. That will be reassuring for people
working to tackle cross-channel people smuggling. But she did say it
would mean Britain leaving the single market. I have got the
Conservative MP Craig McKinley. You campaign for Brexit, was this what
you hope for? It was exactly what I hoped for, I am a happy person
today. Getting our money back, getting our laws backed by
withdrawing from the single market and getting out of the customs union
so we can get the dividend of free trade from around the world. A great
speech, we have clarity. I imagine you are less happy. I am worried
because we will have a brutal exit from the European Union and we do
not have a single idea of what comes next. Brighton and Hove in the South
East, 8 million visitors each year, two universities and students coming
from the EU and businesses that trade across the EU. We have no idea
what will come next. In all of the relationships that make the
Southeast fantastic. Is there any plan? There is a huge plan. After
June the 23rd there was only one way to get a proper Brexit and that is
what we are seeing, a proper Brexit. That was getting out of the single
market and opening Britain up to the world and global Britain was on the
agenda. Into complete ambiguity. We will have individual relationships
with India and China and each of them bringing new processes and
tribunal 's, taking away sovereignty from the UK which is what people
wanted to get back. Huge uncertainty and for the first time ever a Prime
Minister has stood up and said immigration is more important than
the economy. The economy is no longer the most important thing. The
economy will be a great economy. We had a 25% increase in exports from
the UK to the EU. Outside the EU that has grown by 75% without any
new free-trade agreements. Having seen a good presentation by the
Department for International trade last night, we are gearing up to be
a great exporting country. We will be more reinvigorated than before.
Jeremy Corbyn says she is trying to have her cake and eat it. He is
right, isn't he? We have a trade deficit with 27 other European
countries, so we are at their best market. What is wrong with wanting
to continue trading on great terms, sharing data on terrorism, which
will continue? We will have a better relationship with our EU partners.
All of this is aspirational. I want aspiration. We want some certainty.
We are taking our economy to a new destination and we have no idea
where it is. You have said you would oppose triggering Article 50 until
we had a certain destination. Has Theresa May said enough today to
make you backtrack? She has said nothing about where we are going as
a country. We are not ready for these negotiations. The plan has
been set out, but there is a lot more talking to do.
He's best known as loveable rogue Alfie Moon in
While she was one of the stars of the latest series
Now Shane Richie and Laura Whitmore are going on tour together
in Not Dead Enough, the latest play by Brighton crime writer
Peter James, which has its premiere next week
And they've taken a break from rehearsals this afternoon
to chat to our reporter Robin Gibson.
Welcome to the glamorous actor's live, lunchtime in another day of
rehearsals with the first night a matter of days away, but they looked
relaxed. The play is called Not Dead Enough. He is a cock and she is a
pathologist and they have to get close. I have never played a copper.
You look very well. Thank you very much. Throughout the show sadly and
reluctantly I have took Kiss this lady here. I was putting off that
question. It is the million dollar question. That is the main thing
that happens. I hope they are not just buying tickets to see me kiss
Laura. It is not really. It might not be for you! He is best known as
Alfie Moon, a Jack the Lad, in east Enders. We are just about to go to
Spain with sangria and a swimming pool. Are we ready? Yay! She was one
of the dazzling competitors in the most recent series of Strictly. So
theatre is a new challenge. The last eight years I have been a TV
presenter, acting my way through that and I have been faking it for a
long time. There is no better way to throw yourself in the deep end other
than eight shows a week where you cannot hide anything. It is Peter
James murder mystery set in Brighton and the opening night in Dartford is
days away. Are you brave? No. I am not ready just yet. He does not have
to worry, I saw some of the rehearsal today, and I can tell you
rehearsal today, and I can tell you he looks pretty ready to me.
On to tennis, and Johanna Konta is safely through to the 2nd
Round of the Australian Open, after a straight sets
The British Number One, who's from Eastbourne,
beat Kirsten FLipkens 7-5, 6-2, as Ian Palmer reports.
In the searing heat of Melbourne it is important to get off court
Johanna Konta beat Kirsten Flipkens 7-5, 6-2.
She made it difficult for me out there.
She has got this great ability of really
frustrating her opponents with some of the balls she is able to hit and
she is very creative in that way, so I think I was very happy
I was able to work myself into the match and
Last year Johanna Konta surprised Melbourne by reaching the
Konta has a new coach, she won last week in Sydney and she has
become the ninth best player in the world.
Konta plays Naomi Osaka of Japan for the right
to continue competing in the
I know she plays a big game, she has big shots, so I'm definitely
Let's go back now to the big political news of the day,
Theresa May's keynote speech confirming she intends to take
Britain out of the European single market after Brexit.
We've been out on the streets of Brighton where most people
voted Remain in last year's referendum and Maidstone,
where most people voted Leave, to gauge reaction
I think it would be good for the country to stand on its own two feat
for a change. We are a country that holds its own level of credibility,
irrespective of being in or out of the EU and it will remain as we are.
I wanted to come out without a doubt. We have managed before and we
will manage again. Personally I would like to be able to move where
I want. I spend a lot of time on the continent and I would much rather
have freedom of movement. That decision was made with Brexit and we
have to accept it and deal with it and move on. I do not think it is
good for anything, international relations, the economy, us being
isolated. I am not happy about it. And really split in the comments
that a lot of you have been putting on to Facebook. Tom Faulkner says,
bound to put a gloss on it, but the EU is stronger together as a trading
unit than the British Isles alone, why would anyone give us a better
deal? This is what I meant when I said vote leave, we can trade freely
with other countries not previously allowed and several have already
approached us and we will be better off in the long term. John Thornton,
this is what we have voted for. Others will not be happy until they
vote us into a recession. My kids will have a safer, better protected,
better balanced country. Where do I sign the check? The UK was misled by
those promoting Brexit and this could be one of the biggest mistakes
this country has made. I am convinced the majority will find
themselves less well off when the ramifications start to feel real.
Let's go back now to the big political news of the day,
Theresa May's keynote speech confirming she intends to take
Britain out of the European single market after Brexit.
Theresa May call for unity, but that is not what we are hearing today. If
you cast your mind back to the referendum campaign, it was
passionate and divisive. I remember speaking to friends and families who
were completely split down the middle. It has only been seven
months and it will take a long time for people to reconcile over this
because opinions were deeply held. Theresa May believes the country is
coming back together and everyone needs to rally round now, she has a
clear direction. That may take a little longer. Now we can check on
the weather. What we can all agree on is it was a lovely day today.
We will see lots of sunshine tomorrow and even though there is
more cloud on Thursday and Friday, we will stay dry. It was a lovely
start to the day with this guy looking as if it was on fire. During
the afternoon lots of sunshine around. Temperatures were chilly at
around three or 4 degrees. A really lovely winter's day. Those clear
skies mean overnight temperatures will plummet. Tonight it will be
like minus three or minus four degrees in rural spots. A widespread
and hard frost to the day for Wednesday, but once again there is
sunshine from the word go. The reason is this area of high
pressure. Lots of sunshine around and these gentle easterly breezes.
The story is the sunshine, loss of it and again feeling quite chilly.
We will do well if we get much above two or three degrees. Wrap up warm.
It is all change from Wednesday into Thursday. We will see more cloud
around and temperatures will be less cold. Overnight dropping below
freezing in rural spots, but in towns and cities early drop in a
couple of degrees. On Thursday temperatures creep up a little bit
and we may even see a high of seven or 8 degrees. Into Friday we will
see more cloud around and some drizzle at times. This area of high
pressure stays with us as we look towards Saturday and Sunday. It is
quite adult picture for Saturday and there is some drizzle around. For us
in the South East corner it will still stay quite chilly. Frosty
starts for the weekend. For tomorrow there is lots of sunshine. Make the
most of it because it is not lasting.
Dry at least. It looks very cold. I will be back
at eight o'clock and 10:25pm for the updates.
See you later on. I will see you tomorrow. Whatever you are up to,
goodbye. That I will faithfully execute
the Office... And will to the best
of my ability... The Constitution
of the United States...