Friday, 29 April 2016

Lawrence Lewis was arrested after a distressed girl told her mother what he had asked her and a friend to do.
07:42, UK,Friday 29 April 2016
Undated handout photo issued by Hampshire Police of Lawrence Lewis
A Father Christmas lookalike described as a "dirty old man" has been jailed for 22 months for grooming two young girls.
Lawrence Lewis, who was known to children for his fat stomach and bushy white beard, pleaded guilty to three charges of inciting a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity.
Prosecutor Robert Forrest said the 57-year-old, from Waterlooville, Hampshire, had twice approached a girl in a pub last December and January and offered her money to expose herself.
He made a similar offer to her friend on a separate occasion.
Lewis was arrested when one of the girls told her mother. 
Undated family handout photo of Lawrence Lewis
The prosecutor said the girls had known Lewis as "Father Christmas", a role which he had performed on a number of occasions.
Mr Forrest said: "This defendant was a regular of that public house; he was known by several other regulars as Father Christmas and Santa because of his appearance at the time ... He was known on several occasions to act as Father Christmas."
Sentencing Lewis, judge Shamim Qureshi said it was an unusual case which did not fit normal sentencing guidelines.
He said: "When Father Christmas turns out to be a dirty old man asking to look at their underpants and private parts, we have a very different situation regarding the Sentencing Council."
Lewis was barred from playing Father Christmas for 10 years and banned from contact with girls under 16.
He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders' register and pay a £100 victim surcharge.
Defence lawyer Lian Webster-Martin said Lewis was "genuinely remorseful".
She added: "He has shaved his beard and wishes to step away from any suggestion he is performing that role..."

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Dennis Hastert is sentenced to 15 months in prison as one of his alleged victims describes "intense pain, shame and guilt".
19:38, UK,Wednesday 27 April 2016
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert Sentenced In Bank Reporting Case
A judge has called former US House Speaker Dennis Hastert a "serial child molester" and sentenced him to 15 months in prison in a hush money case tied to decades-old abuse.
Hastert, who pleaded guilty last year to violating banking law, becomes one of the highest-ranking politicians in US history to go to prison.
The 74-year-old admitted in court for the first time on Wednesday that he "mistreated" former student-athletes when he was a high school teacher and coach from 1965 to 1981.
Dennis Hastert, top right, with Steve Reinboldt, bottom right
"The thing I want to do today is say I'm sorry to those I hurt and misled," Hastert said.
"First I want to apologise to the boys I mistreated when I was a coach. What I did was wrong and I regret it."
Before handing down the sentence, Judge Thomas Durkin said: "Some conduct is unforgivable no matter how old it is."
Then House Speaker Dennis Hastert (M) with President George W Bush in 2006
In addition to his prison term, Hastert was ordered to undergo sex offender treatment and pay $250,000 to a crime victims' fund.
Earlier, a man who accused Hastert of molesting him decades ago testified that he "felt intense pain, shame and guilt".
Scott Cross, now 53, fought back tears as he described being sexually abused while a member of Hastert's wrestling team.
"As a 17-year-old boy, I was devastated. I tried to figure out why Coach Hastert had singled me out," he told the court.
When it was his turn to speak, Hastert said he did not remember the victim specifically, but admitted that he abused others.
Hastert pleaded guilty last year to violating banking laws when he agreed to pay $3.5m (£2.4m) to someone to keep quiet about "prior misconduct".
The charges lifted a veil of secrecy from allegations that he had molested students, and sent shock waves through Washington, where he was second in line to the US presidency as House Speaker from 1999 to 2007.
It was alleged in court documents that Hastert sexually abused at least four students, ranging in age from 14 to 17.
Mr Cross, who until Wednesday had been identified as individual D in court papers, said he finally revealed the abuse to his wife and parents last year after Hastert's arrest.
"Staying silent for years was worse," he said. "It is important to tell the truth. ... I could no longer remain silent."
The sister of another alleged victim told the court that Hastert abused her brother throughout his years at Yorkville High School.
Jolene Burdge said her brother, Stephen Reinboldt, who died of AIDS in 1995, felt "betrayed, ashamed and embarrassed".
She urged Hastert to not be a "coward" and to "tell the truth"

Andrew Sigley and Adam Clifford drowned when their vehicle somersaulted into the freezing water.
17:09, UK,Thursday 28 April 2016
Andrew Sigley (L) and Adam Clifford
Two men drowned when their speeding car crashed through iron railings and plunged into a canal, an inquest has heard.
Adam Clifford and Andrew Sigley died when the yellow Skoda Fabia they were in sank in the Feeder Canal in Bristol, just before 6pm on 24 January.
Avon Coroner's Court heard that Mr Clifford, 31, had more than twice the legal drink-drive limit for alcohol and had traces of cannabis in his system.
The accident happened when the vehicle, travelling at speeds of 60 and 70mph, failed to negotiate a junction and somersaulted into the freezing water.
Assistant coroner Terence Moore reached the conclusion that both men died in a road traffic collision.
He said: "There are three witnesses which see the car travelling down Short Street just before 6pm on that fateful Sunday evening.
"All of them describe the vehicle as being driven in excess of the speed limit, which was 20mph.
"It appears from each one of these witnesses that the vehicle was being driven something around three times the speed limit.
"Upon reaching the junction with Feeder Road, the vehicle does not brake, nor does it deviate significantly in its course or speed.
"As a result, it collides with a set of cast iron railings running along the side of the Feeder Canal.
"The top bar effectively buckles the front pillars of the car, collapsing the roof down and effectively sealing the occupants in the car meaning they were unable to escape from the vehicle.
"The vehicle then flips over the rear and somersaults so it lands on its roof."
A 55-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman were passing at the time of the crash and saw the car enter the canal.
The inquest heard how they jumped in to the water to try to save the men.
Emergency services also attended but Mr Clifford, a fork lift truck driver from Sea Mills in Bristol, was pronounced dead at 7.51pm.
Forty-year-old lorry driver Mr Sigley, of Worle, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, died at 10pm.

Mohammed Ali Ahmed, Zakaria Boufassil and Soumaya Boufassil - all from Birmingham - are due in court in London on Friday.
19:09, UK,Thursday 28 April 2016
An armed police officer is pictured in Downing Street
Two men and a woman from the Small Heath area of Birmingham have been charged with terrorism offences.
Mohammed Ali Ahmed, 26, Zakaria Boufassil, 26, and Soumaya Boufassil, 29, were arrested two weeks ago and questioned by West Midlands detectives.
They are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on Friday.
Ahmed and Zakaria Boufassil are accused of supplying money for terrorism purposes on or before 7 July 2015.
Ahmed is also accused with Soumaya Boufassil of collecting money for terrorism between 1 January 2015 and 8 April 2016.
The trio were among five people arrested on 14 and 15 April.
A fourth man − Fazal Sajjad Younis Khan, 40, also from Small Heath - has been charged with possession of CS spray.
A 59-year-old man remains on bail with strict conditions while the investigation continues.

The 32-year-old stabbed Alfie Stone, 18, in the heart outside a Tesco Express after blaming him for her pasta going missing.
21:14, UK,Wednesday 27 April 2016
Maxine Benson and Alfie Stone
A woman has been jailed for life with a minimum of 23 years and six months for knifing a teenager in a row over pasta.
Maxine Benson, 32, murdered Alfie Stone, 18, after claiming during a row that he or his older brother had eaten her food.
The Old Bailey heard Benson was caught on CCTV wielding a knife outside a Tesco Express in Ickenham, west London, on 9 November last year.
She was also seen by members of the public who rushed to give Alfie first aid after he was attacked.
The teenager died within hours - a post-mortem examination found he died from blood loss and a stab wound to the heart.
Benson, of no fixed address, fled the scene but handed herself in two days later.
Detective Chief Inspector Nicky Wall, from Scotland Yard, said: "Alfie Stone was a much-loved young man who lost his life in tragic circumstances.
"Today the court has reached a decision on Benson and we welcome the outcome."
Benson's co-defendants, Corinne Cripps, 29, from Ickenham, and her boyfriend Steve Hawgood, 28, from West Drayton, were cleared of murder.
The jury could not reach a verdict on a lesser charge of manslaughter, and a decision on whether both will face a retrial will take place later.

Kirk Hutchinson was left lying unconscious on a pavement and is still in hospital six months after the attack.
13:47, UK,Thursday 28 April 2016
Kirk Hutchinson
A man has been left with half a skull after what police have described as a "savage and despicable" attack.
Kirk Hutchinson was found lying unconscious on a pavement with severe head injuries by officers following reports of a disturbance involving several males in the town of Bacup, Lancashire.
The 52-year-old of Stacksteads, a neighbouring village, required surgery for a bleed on the brain and was placed in a medically induced coma.
He has been left with life-changing injuries following the brutal assault on the evening of 26 October last year,
Kirk Hutchinso
Mr Hutchinson is still in hospital and police say he will probably need medical care for the rest of his life.
Seven men aged 20 to 33 and a 38-year-old woman were arrested near the time in connection with the attack. All were released without charge.
Six months on, Lancashire Police have renewed an appeal for witnesses and released images of Mr Hutchinson - before and after the attack.
They believe he was attacked by a group of men wearing dark clothing, scarves and balaclavas.
Kirk Hutchinson and Chelsea Tolley
Detective Inspector Andy Cribbin said: "This was a particularly vicious and cowardly assault on a defenceless individual.
"Despite making some initial arrests, we have yet to charge those responsible for carrying out this attack. This must change.
"We are appealing to the community to provide information which could help us with our investigation.
"We believe at least two people saw the attack and would ask them and any others to come forward with information.
"This was a savage and despicable assault and Mr Hutchinson deserves justice."

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Detectives are appealing for information about the occupants of the property concerned and the movements of the victims.
14:04, UK,Sunday 24 April 2016
Two men's bodies were found in the garden of a house
Police say a murder investigation has been launched following the discovery of two bodies in a back garden in Hull.
Humberside Police have named the victims as Daniel Hatfield, 52, and Matthew Higgins, 49, both from Hull.
They say they had suffered "significant multiple injuries".
Their bodies were found in a garden at 7 May Street on Friday.
The discovery was made by a neighbour who reportedly spotted a leg protruding from a duvet.
Two women aged 27 and 36 and a 38-year-old man have been arrested in connection with the deaths.
Police have appealed for information about the occupants of the property and the victims' movements.
Detective Superintendent Matt Hutchinson said: "We still need the public's help in piecing together the full circumstances of the men's deaths.
"I would therefore urge anyone with information about the movements of Daniel Hatfield and Matthew Higgins between Monday April 18 and Friday April 22 to call the investigation team.
"We also want to speak to people who know anything about the murders or have information about people attending or leaving 7 May Street in the week prior to the men being discovered."
Mr Hutchinson also sought to reassure local residents about their safety.
He said: "It is important to reiterate that these murders are being treated as an isolated incident.
"However, high visibility patrols will continue in the area to provide additional reassurance to the local community."

Friday, 22 April 2016

Tarik Hassane and Suhaib Majeed intended to kill soldiers, police officers and civilians in Islamic State-inspired shootings.
18:42, UK,Friday 22 April 2016
Tarik Hassane (left) and Suhaib Majeed.
Two Britons who planned Islamic State-inspired terror on the streets of London have been jailed for life.
Students Tarik Hassane and Suhaib Majeed, both 22, were sentenced at the Old Bailey.
They had plotted to kill soldiers, police officers and civilians in a series of drive-by shootings.
Acting on instructions from mastermind Hassane, physics student Majeed had got his hands on a gun and ammunition.
He was discussing buying an untraceable moped before police swooped to arrest him in September 2014.
Parachute Regiment Territorial Army Barracks on South Africa Road, White City, London
His old school friend Hassane, nicknamed The Surgeon, was studying medicine in Sudan at the time.
But he rushed back to London to carry on as a "lone wolf terrorist" before he, too, was picked up.
He identified Shepherd's Bush police station and the Parachute Regiment Territorial Army Barracks at White City as possible targets on Google Street View.
Majeed, 22, was found guilty of conspiracy to murder and preparation of terrorist acts after Hassane, 22, admitted the charges midway through the Old Bailey trial.
Mr Justice Wilkie jailed Hassane for a minimum of 21 years and Majeed for a minimum of 20 years.
Shepherds Bush Police Station, London
The court was told earlier that both men had now accepted their involvement in the plot to murder.
In his confession, Hassane had said he felt like he was in a "bubble" at the time, but added: "I really doubt I could have ever done this."
Passing sentence, the judge told the pair: "It is shocking, tragic and deplorable that you, two young British men, educated through the UK school system, undertaking university courses, should be so influenced by the bloodthirsty version of Islam presented by ISIS (another name for IS) and other similarly minded groups, that you decided to take up arms against your fellow British citizens and those charged with protecting them in the streets of your own city."
The judge said in a "frank" account, Hassane had admitted visiting Syria in 2013 where he learned how to handle guns and spent time with a fighter who was later killed.
On returning to the UK, having decided to become a fighter too, he raised thousands of pounds to support extremist violence in Syria, before becoming the "prime mover" in the plot.
Counter-terror arrests
The court heard that the pair, from west London, had links to the same mosque associated with Mohammed Emwazi, also known as Jihadi John, an executioner for IS who achieved notoriety before being killed.
Nyall Hamlett, 25, and Nathan Cuffy, 26, who were acquitted of being part of the plot, were sentenced for firearms offences. Hamlett was given six and a half years in jail, while Cuffy was handed 11 years behind bars.
Cuffy supplied a self-loading Baikal pistol with silencer and bullets to fellow Muslim convert and former Catholic altar boy Hamlett, who admitted transferring it on to Majeed.
Hamlett said he only found out what he had been asked to deliver to Majeed at the last minute, while Cuffy said he also had no idea about the plot.