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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Supreme Court to announce decision in black cab rapist case

February 15 2018

The UK’s highest court is to give its decision on a challenge to a ruling which led to two women who were sexually assaulted by London cabbie John Worboys winning compensation.The Supreme Court has been told by lawyers for the Metropolitan Police that imposing a duty of care on officers in relation to their investigations would have an adverse impact on operational effectiveness.Between 2002 and 2008, Worboys, who was jailed for life in 2009, carried out more than 100 rapes and sexual assaults using alcohol and drugs to stupefy his victims.In 2014, after the High Court found that the Met were liable to the women for failures in its investigation, it said that DSD and NBV – who brought their claims under Article 3 of the Human Rights Act which relates to inhuman or degrading treatment – should receive £22,250 and £19,000 respectively.The Met, with the Home Office intervening in support, went to the Supreme Court – which will give its judgment on Wednesday February 21 – after the Court of Appeal backed the decision.It says the case is being pursued to establish legal principles for the future and the women who, it says, showed “considerable bravery”, will keep their damages whatever happens.Lord Pannick QC has told a panel of five justices that the imposition of an investigative duty raised policy concerns as the Supreme Court had repeatedly recognised.He asked them to allow the appeal so that a “dialogue” could take place with the European Court of Human Rights in StrasbourgLord Pannick said there was a concern that any such duty “will reduce the efficacy of police investigations of crime”.Article 3 did not give rise to an entitlement to damages for failings of a police investigation into criminal offending by a member of the public, he argued.Insofar as it did impose an obligation, that was confined to a requirement to put in place the necessary legal structures, but did not extend to the operational content of an individual inquiry into a particular alleged crime.Phillippa Kaufmann QC, for DSD and NBV, said the appeal should be dismissed because there was a duty under Article 3 to conduct an effective criminal investigation when an individual was subjected to serious violence – whether the perpetrator was a private individual or a state official.As identified by the Court of Appeal and the High Court this was a facet of the rule of law and the security and protection of the people.It was “a bare minimum safeguard in any civilised state”.This duty was repeatedly acknowledged by the Strasbourg Court and was not inconsistent with domestic law or incompatible with the common law, she added.Earlier this month, DSD and NBV welcomed a ruling which gave them and London Mayor Sadiq Khan the go-ahead to challenge what they describe as the  Parole Board’s “irrational” decision to release Worboys.Worboys, 60,  will remain in prison pending a full High Court hearing on March 13.

Supreme Court to announce decision in black cab rapist case

February 21 2018

The UK’s highest court is giving its decision on a challenge to a ruling which led to two women who were sexually assaulted by London cabbie John Worboys winning compensation.The Supreme Court has been told by lawyers for the Metropolitan Police that imposing a duty of care on officers in relation to their investigations would have an adverse impact on operational effectiveness.Between 2002 and 2008, Worboys, who was jailed for life in 2009, carried out more than 100 rapes and sexual assaults using alcohol and drugs to stupefy his victims.In 2014, after the High Court found that the Met were liable to the women for failures in its investigation, it said that DSD and NBV – who brought their claims under Article 3 of the Human Rights Act which relates to inhuman or degrading treatment – should receive £22,250 and £19,000 respectively.The Met, with the Home Office intervening in support, went to the Supreme Court – which gives its judgment on Wednesday – after the Court of Appeal backed the decision.It says the case is being pursued to establish legal principles for the future and the women, who showed “considerable bravery”, will keep their damages whatever happens.Lord Pannick QC has told a panel of five justices that the imposition of an investigative duty raised policy concerns and asked them to allow the appeal so that a “dialogue” could take place with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.Lord Pannick said there was a concern that any such duty “will reduce the efficacy of police investigations of crime”.Article 3 did not give rise to an entitlement to damages for failings of a police investigation into criminal offending by a member of the public, he argued.Insofar as it did impose an obligation, that was confined to a requirement to put in place the necessary legal structures, but did not extend to the operational content of an individual inquiry into a particular alleged crime.Earlier this month, DSD and NBV welcomed a ruling which gave them and London Mayor Sadiq Khan the go-ahead to challenge what they describe as the Parole Board’s “irrational” decision to release Worboys.Worboys, 60, will remain in prison pending a full High Court hearing on March 13.

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

News

PCC adjudication

April 22 2011

Today's letters to The Courier. Two woman complained separately to the Press Complaints Commission that an article published in The Courier in January 2011 contained material that had identified their daughters as victims of sexual assault in breach of Clause 3 (Privacy), Clause 7 (Children in sex cases) and Clause 11 (Victims of sexual assault) of the Editors' Code. The complaint was upheld. The article reported a court hearing in which a man had admitted sexual offences against two girls, both of whom were under the age of 16 at the time the crimes occurred. The report made reference to the locations where the offences had taken place, including the names of the streets two of which were the streets on which the victims lived. The article also stated the ages of the girls at the time of the offences. The complainants both said their daughters' right to anonymity had been compromised by the inclusion of this information. Complainant A said that she and her daughter lived in a rural area with only a small number of houses on their street. It was easy for neighbours and others in the local community to identify her daughter as a result of the article. Complainant A added that the level of detail included about the offences was unnecessary. Complainant B said her daughter was the only female child of the reported age who lived on the other named street. Neighbours, classmates and other acquaintances had, as a consequence, been made aware of her identity and the graphic nature of the offences to which she was subjected. This in turn had led to the girl being extremely distressed. Although it did not initially accept that it had published sufficient information to identify the victims, the newspaper admitted that its practice of only publishing outline details of cases of this nature had not been properly followed. It removed the partial addresses from its electronic archive and excluded similar references in a subsequent report about sentencing. In addition, the editor circulated a message to all staff reminding them of their obligations to protect children under the Editors' Code, and sent a letter of apology and explanation to the complainants. Adjudication The terms of Clause 7 (Children in sex cases) of the Editors' Code are very clear: "the press must not...identify children under 16 who are victims in cases involving sex offences". Clause 11 (Victims of sexual assault) adds that the press "must not publish material likely to contribute to [the] identification" of victims of sexual assault. If in doubt, newspapers should always err on the side of caution when considering what details to publish in relation to such cases. In this instance, the inclusion of the girls' ages and their partial addresses clearly had the potential to contribute to their identification. Indeed, given the relatively small number of houses on the streets in question, identification was always going to be a strong possibility. This was a bad mistake by the newspaper, which had acknowledged that its practice of publishing only outline details of cases such as these had not been followed. The Code affords particular protection to those who are vulnerable and it is hard to imagine anyone more vulnerable than a child victim of sexual crimes. The failure of the newspaper properly to consider the likely consequences of publishing the information in the report, especially the references to the girls' partial addresses, was a serious one. While the commission welcomed the steps taken by the editor to ensure that the Editors' Code was adhered to in the future (and while it was noted that he had apologised to the victims via their parents), it did not hesitate to uphold these complaints.

UK & World

Former youth football coach ‘Kit’ Carson faces trial on sex abuse charges

May 15 2018

Former youth football coach and scout “Kit” Carson is to stand trial accused of the historical sexual abuse of boys aged under 16.Michael “Kit” Carson, 74, pleaded not guilty at Cambridge Crown Court to 12 counts of indecent assault and one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.Carson, who has worked at Norwich City, Peterborough United and Cambridge United, was bailed until an administrative hearing.A trial date has yet to be fixed.Judge David Farrell QC told Tuesday’s hearing that Carson’s bail conditions included not coaching football or being involved in the scouting process.Cambridgeshire Police said the allegations involved 11 victims, all boys under the age of 16, between 1978 and 2009.Carson, of St Bartholomew’s Court, Riverside, Cambridge, is due to appear at Cambridge Crown Court on July 20.

Perth & Kinross

Prison razor attack by rapist left inmate scarred for life

October 15 2015

A convicted rapist savagely slashed a man in prison who had complained the sex offender was bullying him. John McKinlay left his victim scarred for life after the vicious attack with a makeshift weapon in Perth prison. He told prison officers that he had carried out the assault and said: “So what? It’s on the CCTV, anyway.” Footage of the attack captured on camera at the prison’s C Hall was shown to a judge at the High Court in Edinburgh. Sean Murphy QC, said: “This is clearly a premeditated attack with a homemade weapon.” He said it was clear from McKinlay’s record and the current offence that he was potentially “a significant danger to the public”. McKinlay, 25, who was jailed for six years for rape and assault, admitted attacking John Stephen to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life on January 20 at Perth Prison by striking him on the face and neck with a bladed instrument. Advocate depute Stewart Ronnie said: “He has a significant criminal history dating back to his early teens and this relates mainly to crimes of dishonesty and violent and sexually-motivated offences.” Nurses responded to the attack and found the victim with a deep, jagged wound. “He was clearly in shock and losing a lot of blood. The victim was taken by ambulance to Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital. He was found to have sustained a significant and life-threatening loss of blood and had a double wound running from underneath the eye to the back of the right side of his neck, cutting through muscle and severing a nerve. Despite a search, officers were unable to find the weapon used in the attack, which McKinlay indicated he had flushed down a toilet. But a search in his waste paper basket revealed that blades were missing from two disposable razors. The judge continued the case until next month for reports.

UK & World

Predator admits park murder of barmaid at Christmas

May 17 2018

A sadistic predator has admitted killing a barmaid in a park as she made her way home at Christmas.Kasim Lewis, 31, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to murdering 22-year-old Iuliana Tudos in Finsbury Park, north London.Ms Tudos, known as Julie, was accosted in the park as she walked home last Christmas Eve.Her naked body was found in a derelict hut in the park near her home three days later.The victim, of Russian and Greek origin, had been slashed with a broken bottle in the neck, abdomen and wrists.Members of Ms Tudos’ family attended the hearing in front of Judge Richard Marks QC.Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said it was a sustained and brutal attack.He said: “Iuliana was struck over the head most likely with a bottle, she was also stabbed with a broken bottle in the neck, on her abdomen and on her wrists with a broken bottle.“Although there is no evidence that Iuliana was actually sexually assaulted, the prosecution allege that this was a sexually motivated and sadistic attack.”During the attack, Lewis extracted her PIN number and later withdrew cash from her account.Lewis, who was born in Monserrat and lived in north London, had previously been jailed for an earlier sex attack.In September 2005, he was handed two years for sexual assault and exposure on a bus and placed on the sex offenders register.In 2011, he received a further eight months in jail for failing to comply with the sex offender notification requirements and a community order.The court heard Ms Tudos was born in Moldova and worked in the World’s End pub in Camden High Street.Mr Aylett said she was “well-known and much liked” and was described as a selfless and helpful person.She had finished her shift at the pub and was planning to spend Christmas with friends after going home to collect her things.She was picked up on CCTV at 8.33pm heading towards the entrance of Finsbury Park.When she failed to turn up, her friends posted messages on social media, contacted the pub, hospitals and distributed fliers.A group of friends searched Finsbury Park and found the body in a burnt out shed, the court heard.Paramedics described a wound to her chest as looking like the logo for Batman or the letter M.She had been bound with cable ties, the court heard.On December 28, the defendant tried to lay a “false trail” by texting a contact to ask about the discovery of a woman’s body.Police went to Lewis’ home on New Year’s Eve and found cable ties like those used on the victim and a knife in the fridge.They tracked down the bisexual defendant at his on-off boyfriend’s Dalston flat.When he was arrested, Lewis told them: “I did it”, the court heard.A search of his phone revealed a trailer for a pornographic film featuring a young woman being chased into an alleyway and then bound with cable ties.Mitigating, Jeremy Dein QC said Lewis’s “barbaric” actions were “irrational beyond comprehension”.He argued there was no evidence of a sexual assault even though Ms Tudos was found naked.Injuries indicating a sadistic element were inflicted after she was knocked unconscious, he said.

Dundee

Teenager admits Law sex attacks

September 3 2013

A teenage cyclist who sexually assaulted a female runner near the Law in Dundee struck again a week later in the same street, a court heard. Mariusz Witkowski, 16, exposed himself to three “shocked” women in Law Crescent after slapping one of them on the behind as he rode past on his bike. The Polish teenager, who has only been in the UK for four months, slapped another woman in an identical attack eight days later in Law Crescent, despite being the subject of a police manhunt for the first assault. First-time offender Witkowski was remanded in custody and placed on the sex offenders register after a sheriff told him there were “worrying aspects” to the case. Witkowski, of Dens Road, admitted sexually assaulting a woman in Law Crescent on August 20 by slapping her on the buttocks. He also admitted committing an identical offence against a separate woman in Law Crescent on August 28. Witkowski admitted a third charge of exposing his genitals in a sexual manner to three women on August 20 and performing a sex act in front of them. Depuute Fiscal Nicola Gillespie told the court that three women had been running in the Law area and in Law Crescent. She said: “They became aware of the accused on a bike but did not pay too much attention to him. Still running, two of the women approached the junction of Law Crescent, while the other woman was slightly ahead. “The accused approached from behind and slapped the woman on her buttocks, and continued to cycle on Hill Street.” Ms Gillespie said that the women were “shocked” at Witkowski’s behaviour. While approaching a playground the women saw Witkowski again near to the entrance steps. Ms Gillespie said all three women “were clear” that Witkowski had exposed himself and it was his intention for them to see him. Ms Gillespie said that a police search failed to find the suspect, but eight days later a woman walking with a friend in Law Crescent at around 4.15pm was subjected to a similar assault by Witkowski. Sheriff Kenneth McGowan deferred sentence until September 27.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

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