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Man appears in court over ‘sexual assault’ of woman, 70, near Bearsden park | UK News

A suspect has appeared in court following an alleged sex attack near a park that left a 70-year-old woman “scared to leave her house”.

The pensioner was walking near to Colquhoun Park in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire, when she was reportedly pushed to the ground and sexually assaulted by a man on Friday 22 March.

The incident was said to have occurred at around 5.15pm near to Station Road.

Colquhoun Park in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire
Colquhoun Park in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire

Police Scotland said the woman did not require hospital treatment, but a detective investigating the case said she was left “extremely upset and scared to leave her house”.

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On Saturday, the force announced a 37-year-old man had been arrested and charged in connection with the incident and a report would be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

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Suspect Martin Hackett appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on the same day, where he was accused of sexual assault with intent to rape to injury.

Hackett, of Glasgow, made no plea to the charge and was remanded in custody ahead of his next court appearance.

Gary Lineker post about Grant Shapps appears to breach BBC guidelines, says chairman candidate Samir Shah | UK News

Gary Lineker’s social media post about Defence Secretary Grant Shapps appears to breach BBC guidelines, the government’s candidate to be the corporation’s next chairman has said.

Speaking to MPs at a pre-appointment hearing, Samir Shah said he did not think it was “helpful” that the presenter had signed a letter calling for the end of the government’s Rwanda scheme.

He said: “As far as I’m aware, the signing of the letter did not breach those guidelines.

“But the more recent tweet in which he identifies a politician does, on the face of it, seem to breach those guidelines.

“I’m not sure how egregious it is but I imagine the BBC is looking into it and considering its response.”

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Elizabeth Watson: Man appears in court charged with ‘much-loved’ grandmother’s murder in Peterhead | UK News

A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a “much-loved” grandmother in Aberdeenshire.

Officers were called to a house in Catto Drive, Peterhead, on Tuesday evening following a report of concern for Elizabeth Watson.

The 58-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jonathon Divers, 30, was arrested and charged in connection with Ms Watson’s death.

Divers, of Peterhead, made no plea to the single murder charge when he appeared at Peterhead Sheriff Court on Friday.

He was remanded in custody and is expected back in the dock within the next eight days.

In a statement released through Police Scotland earlier this week, Ms Watson’s family said: “Elizabeth was a much-loved mum and grandma, she will be missed dearly by many.”

Woman, 35, accused of murdering man in Aberdeen appears in court | UK News

A woman has appeared in court charged with the murder of a man in Aberdeen.

Police were called in the early hours of Monday after a man’s body was found in a property.

Officers attended and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

He is yet to be formally identified, Police Scotland said.

A woman was arrested and charged in connection with the incident and appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old from Aberdeen – who cannot be named for legal reasons – did not enter a plea to a single murder charge.

She was remanded in custody and is due back in court within the next eight days.

Man accused of filming castrations for ‘eunuch maker’ website appears in London court | UK News

A man has appeared in court accused of carrying out and broadcasting castrations on his “eunuch maker” website.

Marius Theodore Gustavson, 45, is one of a group of men arrested on Wednesday in London, Scotland and South Wales.

Nine people now face charges after penises and testicles were allegedly removed and the procedures filmed for paying subscribers.

Gustavson, 45 and originally from Norway but living in London, is accused of being the ringleader.

As well as five counts of GBH with intent, he’s also charged with making and distributing an indecent image of a child and possessing criminal property.

Westminster Magistrates Court was told Gustavson, who appeared in a wheelchair alongside other defendants, has had his own penis, leg and nipple removed.

Met Police said the charges relate to 13 victims, with the crimes said to have taken place between 2016 and 2022 and earning £200,000.

The accused men are said to have been part of a subculture in which people willingly undergo extreme body modifications, such as becoming “nullos” – short for genital nullification.

None have yet entered any plea and they have been bailed to appear at the Old Bailey in April.

Those charged with conspiring to commit GBH are: Ion Ciucur, 28, of Gretna; Peter Wates, 65, of Purley; and David Carruthers, 60, Janus Atkin, 37, and Ashley Williams, 31 – all from Newport, Gwent.

Damien Byrnes, 35, of Haringey; Nathaniel Arnold, 47, of Kensington and Chelsea; and Jacob Crimi-Appleby, 22, of Epsom were all charged with one count of GBH.

Leeds St James’s Hospital: Student nurse appears in court accused of planning terror attack on RAF base | UK News

A student nurse has appeared in court accused of taking a pressure cooker bomb to a maternity hospital in Leeds and planning a terrorist attack on an RAF base.

Mohammad Farooq, 27, was allegedly inspired by radical Islam and Jihad when he carried out “hostile reconnaissance” of the military base in Yorkshire on 10 January and 18 January after carrying out online research.

He is said to have constructed a viable bomb made from a pressure cooker, 13.7kg of a homemade low explosive mixture and a length of pyrotechnic fuse.

Farooq was arrested in the early hours of last Friday outside the maternity unit of St James’s Hospital in Leeds, where he had been due to work a shift.

He was allegedly in possession of the explosive device and an imitation firearm – a Gediz 9mm P.A.K semi-automatic pistol.

His actions at the hospital are not alleged to have been motivated by terrorism but by a grudge towards another member of staff.

Farooq, from Leeds, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday from a police station in Bradford wearing a grey tracksuit.

He spoke to confirm his name, address and date of birth but was not asked to enter pleas to the three charges he faces.

Farooq is charged with one count of engaging in conduct with the intention of committing acts of terrorism between 12 July and last year and 20 January.

A bomb disposal unit at St James's Hospital, Leeds, where patients and staff were evacuated from some parts of the building following the discovery of a suspicious package outside the Gledhow Wing, which houses the majority of its maternity services including the delivery suite. A 27-year-old man from Leeds has been arrested in connection with the matter. Picture date: Friday January 20, 2023.

Wards on the Gledhow wing of the hospital were evacuated after Farooq was detained at around 5am last Friday.

Army specialists and a bomb disposal unit also attended the scene and a cordon was put in place as a precautionary measure.

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Farooq is said to have told a man he “felt like killing everyone” before showing him a gun, then told police officers he had a bomb.

There was no application for bail and he was remanded in custody ahead of his next appearance at the Old Bailey on 3 February.

Number of 999 calls appears to drop as thousands of ambulance workers and paramedics strike until midnight | UK News

The number of people phoning 999 appears to have dropped in parts of England as thousands of ambulance staff and paramedics strike until midnight.

The West Midlands Ambulance Trust thanked people for heeding their advice to only call in an emergency as ambulance trusts reported receiving fewer calls.

The drop in calls comes as health leaders have urged people to still phone for an ambulance if they are in a life-threatening emergency.

It is feared some people in desperate need of help will not phone 999 during the strike action.

Hundreds of members of the army, navy and RAF have been drafted in to cover as paramedics, technicians, control room workers and other staff in England are on strike.

All Category 1 calls (the most life-threatening, such as cardiac arrest) are being responded to during the walkouts, while some ambulance trusts have agreed exemptions with unions for specific incidents within Category 2 (serious conditions, such as stroke or chest pain).

Read more:
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‘We want to reassure patients’

Dr Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), said: “There may be a number of reasons why 999 calls are dropping – hesitancy may be a key factor during the industrial action.

“We want to reassure patients and the public that if they need emergency care, A&Es remain open.”

The Welsh Ambulance Service has said demand is “manageable” but any “influx of calls would put significant pressure on our service”.

A member of the military walks nearby an ambulance, on the day ambulance workers strike amid a dispute with the government over pay, near the NHS London Ambulance Service, in London, Britain December 21, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Members of the armed forces have been drafted in to help

Meanwhile, the East Midlands Ambulance Service said it was too early to say how the service was coping.

Up to half of its more than 4,000 workforce were GMB members who were striking.

South Central Ambulance Service said its main impact from strikes was patient transport services in Sussex and Surrey, rather than urgent and emergency care services.

The London Ambulance Service declined to comment on how services were running.

Ambulance workers take part in a strike, amid a dispute with the government over pay, outside NHS London Ambulance Service in London, Britain December 21, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Ambulance workers take part in strike action in London
Ambulance workers take part in a strike, amid a dispute with the government over pay, outside NHS London Ambulance Service in London, Britain December 21, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Thursday and Friday ‘expected to be busy’

Meanwhile, a chief executive of a large northern teaching trust told the Health Service Journal (HSJ) it had “so far not (been) as bad as I’d feared in terms of hospital pressures – in fact, (emergency departments) are less pressured than usual.

“We haven’t seen cars/taxis with patients arriving in large numbers but the problem is that much of the risk is not currently visible to us given people will be at home.

“We therefore expect very busy days on Thursday and Friday.”

It comes as the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan declared a critical incident and said it was full after facing “unprecedented pressures” in its A&E department.

The strike action has taken place as there is a bitter war of words between unions and Health Secretary Steve Barclay who has said he will not back down on pay.

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‘I cannot express how bad it is’ – paramedic

Health secretary accused of ‘blatant lie’

Mr Barclay said the Unite, Unison and GMB unions had “refused” to work with the government at the national level to set out plans for dealing with the strikes.

But the unions said all those agreements had been made locally and were in place.

From a picket line in Longford, Coventry, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham accused Mr Barclay of a “blatant lie” for saying ambulance unions had taken a “conscious decision” to inflict harm on patients.

Meanwhile, a paramedic in Nottinghamshire said patients’ lives have been at risk for a long time due to issues in the NHS.

Tom, 33, from the East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “I’ve attended elderly patients who have been on the floor with broken hips for over 20 hours.

“They’ve been waiting that long that their limbs have started to become necrotic (dying tissue), resulting in major surgery to remove said limbs.”

Unite union general secretary Sharon Graham (centre), joins ambulance workers on the picket line outside ambulance headquarters in Coventry
Sharon Graham (centre) joins ambulance workers on the picket line in Coventry

‘Don’t get blind drunk’

A former Royal Marine who is among striking health workers described it as “demoralising” to spend entire shifts waiting outside hospitals with patients stuck in the back of ambulances as he demanded “something needs to change”.

Harry Maskers from Cardiff, who works for the Welsh Ambulance Service, said that while he was unable to strike during his military career, he was taking the opportunity to do so now, with “the kicker” being the government’s refusal to discuss the issue of pay.

Mr Barclay had earlier urged the public to “use their common sense in terms of what activities they do” while ambulance workers are on strike, while the medical director of NHS England Professor Sir Stephen Powis urged people not to get “blind drunk”.

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The walkout by ambulance staff and paramedics comes as nurses in Scotland overwhelmingly rejected the latest pay offer from the Scottish government, in a move which could see members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) take strike action for the first time ever.

Meanwhile, National Highways workers will go on strike from Thursday until Christmas Day in the latest phase of industrial action by the biggest civil service union.

The strike involves members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) working as on-road traffic officers and regional operating centre operatives, in London and southeast England.

It comes as planned strikes by railway cleaners in a dispute over pay have been called off.

More than 1,000 cleaners, who are members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, would have been involved.