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Russell Brand ‘ripped holes in woman’s tights’ and ‘refused to call her taxi until she performed a sex act’ | Ents & Arts News

A woman has told Sky News that Russell Brand made her feel “vulnerable and intimidated” – and alleges he refused to call her a taxi until she performed a sex act.

It comes as new allegations continue to emerge about the comedian’s behaviour, as another organisation cut ties with him.

Sarah, whose name has been changed, claims she met Russell Brand on an aeroplane where he “seemed friendly and charming”.

He invited her for breakfast and a walk after the flight and she agreed to travel in his limousine.

“He changed,” she says, “like he wasn’t friendly and charming in the limo. He was aggressive and I felt very vulnerable and intimidated.”

She describes Brand “jumping” on her.

Cast member Russell Brand arrives at the premiere of "Rock of Ages" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California June 8, 2012. The movie opens in the U.S. on June 15.   REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni  (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Image:
Russell Brand in 2012. File pic

“The limo driver was turning around a few times because I was saying no, but he ripped a hole – more than one hole – in the tights that I was wearing,” she says.

Sarah says they drove straight to Brand’s house where they had consensual sex.

“I mean, it was consensual. I didn’t say no,” she said, “but I feel like there’s a fine line between being forced and being coerced, you know, like being in a situation where the only way out is just to get it over and done with and leave.”

She claims Brand then refused to call her a taxi until she performed oral sex on him.

“I wanted to leave and I said, ‘I need to get a taxi’. And he said, ‘I’m not going to get you a taxi until you do this’, which was a sex act.”

She describes feeling “really trapped” and wanting to “scale that house.”

Sky News has reached out to Russell Brand’s representatives for comment.

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From drug addict to controversial comedy star

‘No, no, no’

The BBC, meanwhile, has said it is looking into new allegations by another woman who claimed he exposed himself to her.

The woman, whom the BBC is naming ‘Olivia’, said she was working in the same building as Brand 15 years ago in Los Angeles when the incident happened.

She claims she answered the door to Brand and his team, and when she went into the bathroom she noticed he was behind her.

Speaking to the BBC, she claims Brand said he was going to have sex with her, to which she replied “no, you’re not”.

Olivia then alleges Brand showed her his genitals to which she responded with “no, no, no”.

She says she returned to her desk afterwards and texted a BBC employee in the office about what had happened.

The employee told her that he knew because Brand was talking about it in the studio, on Radio 2.

Russell Brand in 2008
Image:
Russell Brand in 2008

In the broadcast, which aired on 21 June 2008, Brand is heard speaking to his co-presenter Matt Morgan about it.

Morgan said: “[It’s been] 25 minutes since he showed his w**** to a lady,” and referred to “the receptionist”.

Brand is apparently heard laughing in the background.

According to the BBC report, Olivia never made a complaint, but management was informed in 2019 and no formal action was taken.

The BBC said it was sorry to hear the allegations and would investigate them as part of a review into Brand’s time at the BBC.

In a statement reported on BBC News, Matt Morgan said: “I was not aware until now of the nature of this encounter.

“I’ve expressed my regrets now looking back at the impact of the show and this is a further example.

“The recent coverage has been very distressing to read and I reiterate my absolute condemnation of any form of the mistreatment of women.”

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Dispatches programme makers speak

‘Open secret’

Comedian Nish Kumar has also spoken out, on his Pod Save The UK podcast, describing the presence of alleged sexual predators as an “open secret” on the comedy scene.

Brand, 48, has previously been accused of rape, sexual assault and abuse by four other women between 2006 and 2013.

He has denied all the claims – saying that his relationships have always been consensual.

The accusations were first reported by the Sunday Times, The Times, and Channel 4’s Dispatches earlier this month.

The Metropolitan Police subsequently said it had received a sexual assault allegation against Brand dating back to 2003.

As a result, a number of organisations have now cut ties with the presenter.

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C4 boss: Brand allegations ‘disgusting’

The latest to end its association with Brand is the Treasures Foundation, which said it had been “extremely saddened” by the allegations.

In a statement, the charity said it was “founded on Christian principles” and is “totally committed to advocating for the voices of women”.

It continues: “As a result of the recent media investigation into Russell Brand, we have made the decision to no longer receive any support from Mr Brand, and the Stay Free Foundation.

“Moving forward our focus remains on the women under our care.”

Eleven on trial over alleged ‘child sex abuse and witchcraft’ in Glasgow | UK News

Eleven people have gone on trial accused of taking part in a child sex abuse ring involving witchcraft, attempted murder and the killing of dogs.

Seven men and four women are charged with 32 offences between them, including forcing children to participate in seances – using an Ouija board or similar – to “call on spirits and demons”.

The alleged victims were also reportedly made to watch and participate in classes involving witchcraft, point wands and utter spells that caused them to believe they had “metamorphosed into animals”.

It is also claimed children were raped on various occasions while members of the group did “clap, cheer and verbally encourage” the attacks, as well as film them, prosecutors say.

Five of the accused also face an attempted murder charge for trapping a child in a cupboard.

The alleged victim was also reportedly forced to act like a dog, eat dog food, was hung by their clothing from a nail on the wall, and was pushed into a microwave oven.

Each of the accused has also been charged with abusing and killing a number of dogs, including forcing two children to stab the animals.

Other charges include causing children to take part in sexual activity, forcing a child to courier drugs, possessing diamorphine and cocaine, and supplying the Class A drugs.

The alleged sexual and non-sexual crimes – involving three girls and a boy – are said to have taken place across Glasgow between 2010 and 2020.

Iain Owens, 45, Elaine Lannery, 39, Lesley Williams, 41, Paul Brannan, 41, Marianne Gallagher, 38, Scott Forbes, 50, Barry Watson, 47, Mark Carr, 50, Richard Gachagan, 45, Leona Laing, 51, and John Clark, 47, deny all the charges against them.

Maureen Goudie, Steven McHendrie and Robert Brown are also mentioned as being involved in a number of the charges, but court papers said they are now deceased.

The trial, before Lord Beckett at the High Court in Glasgow, continues.

Police officer sacked after arranging for child to join visit to registered sex offender | UK News

A police officer has been sacked after arranging for a child to go on a routine visit to a registered sex offender.

Detective Sergeant Nicola Coutts was dismissed without notice following an accelerated misconduct hearing held by Avon and Somerset Police.

The hearing heard how DS Coutts arranged for a teenage work experience student to attend the Violent and Sex Offender Register (ViSOR) office, as well as shadow an officer on a routine visit to a registered sex offender.

This happened without authorisation from the former officer’s senior managers and without submitting a formal application or obtaining vetting clearance.

Chief Constable Sarah Crew ruled DS Coutts’ actions were in breach of the standards of professional behaviour and amounted to gross misconduct, and decided the sanction should be dismissal without notice.

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The police force’s head of professional standards, Supt Mark Edgington, said: “DS Coutts’ line manager had specifically asked her to halt the placement and take the teenager out of Headquarters prior to the home visit taking place, but this direction was ignored.

“The officer who conducted the home visit didn’t know the teenager’s age and believed all necessary vetting and security considerations had been carried out.

“The teenager was not left alone at any time, and the visit was cut short after the officer was contacted by phone and told to return to Headquarters immediately.

“DS Coutts’ actions in arranging and facilitating the placement were highly reckless and demonstrated poor judgement and a significant lack of professional care.”

She will now be added to a barred list, preventing her from working in policing or other law enforcement agencies again.

Ex-deputy head at school formerly attended by Prince George and Princess Charlotte jailed for sex offences | UK News

A ‘master manipulator’ previously employed as deputy head at the private day school once attended by Prince George and Princess Charlotte has been jailed for 12 years after admitting child sex offences.

Matthew Smith, 35, began working at Thomas’s Battersea, where he was also head of pastoral care, in September last year but was sacked two months later after he was arrested by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

George started at the school in 2017 and Charlotte in 2019 but both had left by the time Smith joined and there is no suggestion any of his offending related to Thomas’s or its pupils.

Smith, from East Dulwich, southeast London, pleaded guilty to 22 offences, including encouraging the rape of a child under 13, causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and arranging the sexual abuse of a child.

Investigators found he was sharing abuse material on the dark web and had paid teenagers in India £65,000 to abuse younger children in India over a five-year period.

Smith was living in Nepal, where he worked at a school for most of that time but had previously worked in orphanages and for NGOs across India between 2007 and 2014.

Matthew Smith was head of pastoral care at Thomas's, Battersea
Image:
Matthew Smith was head of pastoral care at Thomas’s Battersea

He moved back to the UK in July 2022 and that summer posted an advert online looking for a flat share in which he said he was a primary school teacher and could help with childcare.

But he was arrested before he was taken up on the offer and the NCA said there is no evidence he committed offences against children in the UK or in Nepal.

Smith was jailed for 12 years at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday and put on the sex offenders register for life.

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Helen Dore, Senior Officer of the National Crime Agency, said: “Matthew Smith is a prolific offender and master manipulator, who coerced young men into abusing children on his behalf.

“He constantly sought out opportunities to gain access to children, but was adept at hiding his sexual interest in them. He conducted his offending while working as a teacher and head of pastoral care – a deep betrayal of the trust placed in him.

“It’s clear Smith has absolutely no empathy for his victims and the harm he has caused them. He presents a very real and significant risk to children, but this investigation has ensured he will spend a long time in prison.

“The NCA is committed to operating online and overseas, working with global partners to ensure that children are safeguarded and offenders like Smith are brought to justice.”

A spokesperson for the school said: “We have been shocked and appalled beyond measure by this matter and are grateful for the work of the police and courts in bringing this man to account.

“Mr Smith’s employment at the school, which commenced in September 2022, was terminated with immediate effect when the school first learned of the charges against him in November.

“While the National Crime Agency has confirmed that none of the matters under investigation related to the school or its pupils, these deplorable actions constitute an unforgivable breach of trust and our thoughts are with those who have been impacted or damaged by them.

“As always, we remain absolutely committed to the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our pupils and our whole school community.”

Eileen Cotter death: DNA breakthrough sees pensioner John Apelgren convicted of killing sex worker almost 50 years later | UK News

A man has been convicted of murdering a woman nearly half a century ago following a DNA breakthrough.

John Apelgren hit sex worker Eileen Cotter in the face, strangled her and threw her body out of his car in Islington, north London, in 1974.

After interviewing 92 potential suspects at the time, the case went cold until DNA was found on Ms Cotter’s body in 2012.

Then, in 2019, there was a breakthrough when police took Apelgren’s DNA after he attacked his third wife – the sample was a match.

His ex-wife Anne also revealed she had been mistreated and that Apelgren had once grabbed her neck with both hands.

She told police she believed he was cheating just months after their 1972 marriage and later found out he was sleeping with her brother’s wife.

Ex-cab driver Apelgren, from Sydenham in south London, declined to give evidence at his Old Bailey trial.

However, after 11 hours of deliberations the jury found him guilty of manslaughter and indecent assault – but not guilty of murder.

Apelgren strangled and beat Eileen Cotter and pushed her body out his car
Image:
Apelgren strangled and beat Eileen Cotter and pushed her body out of his car

The court heard he was seen on the night of the killing at a Finsbury Park hotdog stall where Ms Cotter would often go.

The 22-year-old woman was later found near some garages, semi-naked with a black eye and bruising, and her underwear and tights had been pulled down.

A post-mortem examination found she died of strangulation.

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Prosecutor Alexandra Healy KC told the Old Bailey that Apelgren had sex with Ms Cotter before attacking and strangling her.

“Having killed her, he pushed her out of his car. Her body was discovered in the position it fell, without shoes, and with her tights and underwear still around her right leg.”

The trial also heard that the killing came two years after Apelgren allegedly indecently assaulted an 18-year-old guest at his own wedding.

Sentencing will take place at a later date.

City of Edinburgh Council pays out more than £100,000 in legal fees in failed sex club fight | UK News

Council taxpayers in Edinburgh have had to fork out more than £100,000 to pay the legal fees in the local authority’s failed bid to ban strip clubs.

Lawyers representing strippers and the clubs they work in faced down an attempt by the City of Edinburgh Council to set the number of sexual entertainment venues at zero – part of a nil-cap policy which would have effectively banned them – when they launched a judicial review against the policy.

The council revealed it had so far paid £117,011 in legal fees for the review, which saw Lord Richardson rule that the policy was unlawful after a two-day hearing at the Court of Session.

The figures, which were unveiled using freedom of information powers, also showed that six members of council staff had been involved in the judicial review.

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In addition, the council said the amount to be paid by the authority to the opposing side had not yet been confirmed.

The battle to keep Edinburgh’s four strip clubs open was launched in March 2022 when the city council’s regulatory committee voted to set the appropriate level of sexual entertainment venues in the capital at zero.

Strippers told councillors at the meeting about their fears if it had been passed, and how they felt it would push women into prostitution, but was approved in a five to four vote.

During the judicial review, the council had argued the nil-cap policy did not ban the clubs but set a level it deemed appropriate, and allowed a rebuttable presumption.

But Lord Richardson said the council would just look at the number of sexual entertainment venues in the area and then at the number it deemed appropriate, which was set at zero.

“In the event that the first number is equal to or greater than the second number, then the ground will apply and, as a consequence, the local authority must refuse the application,” he said in his ruling earlier this year.

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Lord Richardson said the council did not put forward “a good reason why the erroneous decision should not be quashed”, and added that the regulatory committee was “clearly advised that making a nil determination would only create a rebuttable presumption which could ultimately result in closure of existing premises”.

He went on to rule: “I do consider that there is a realistic possibility that, properly advised, a different decision may have been taken.

“It seems to me that, were I to decide otherwise, I would be trespassing on the decision-making which had been entrusted [to the council].”

A City of Edinburgh Council spokesperson said: “It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on legal action.

“A report will go to the regulatory committee in May outlining a 12-week consultation plan regarding a review of the sexual entertainment venues policy.

“Following the consultation the responses will be collated and considered by councillors with the new licensing scheme set to be implemented by 31 December 2023.”

Father who went missing with partner and newborn baby is registered sex offender | UK News

A father missing with his partner and newborn child is a registered sex offender, it has emerged.

Detectives have been searching for Mark Gordon, Constance Marten and their baby since they went missing when their car broke down on the M61 near Bolton on 5 January.

Police believe their baby may have been born inside the vehicle and would have been no more than two days old at the time of the breakdown.

It is also believed that most of the couple’s belongings were destroyed when their abandoned vehicle set alight, due to a mechanical issue.

Gordon, 48, was convicted of rape and battery assault committed in the late 1980s and served 20 years in a prison in Florida.

Upon release and deportation to the UK in 2010, Gordon was listed on the sex offenders register.

Constance Marten 
Pic:Met Police
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CCTV of the couple at East Ham station. Pic:Met Police

After leaving their vehicle in Bolton on 5 January, the pair are believed to have travelled by taxi to Liverpool before moving on to Essex and then London.

They are understood to have a substantial amount of cash and are thought to be using it to pay for taxis and Airbnb accommodation in order to live off-grid, according to police.

Ms Marten, 35, comes from a wealthy aristocratic family.

Detectives are increasingly concerned for the baby’s health and say no medical professional has assessed the child or the mother during her pregnancy.

“It has now almost been two weeks since Mark and Constance’s car broke down on the M61 near Bolton and they have been on the move all that time with a newborn baby,” said Detective Superintended Lewis Basford, leading the investigation.

Police released a CCTV image of a woman believed to be Constance Marten seen near Harwich Port in Essex. Pic: GMP
Image:
A woman believed to be Constance Marten seen near Harwich Port in Essex. Pic: GMP

“As far as we are aware, neither Constance nor the baby have received medical attention since it was born. Our priority is to ensure the baby, and indeed both Constance and Mark, are safe and well.

“This is a complex investigation with officers from across the Met continuing to work around the clock to find Constance, Mark and their baby.

“There is nothing to suggest that any of them have come to any sort of intentional harm – we just need to ensure they are okay, especially the baby, and do not require any medical assistance for any underlying issues.

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“Once again, I appeal directly to you Constance and Mark. Please do the right thing for your baby and get in touch with us so that we know that you are all doing okay.”

Around 100 Metropolitan Police officers are involved in the investigation and are being supported by specialist resources from the National Crime Agency.

They have examined 223 hours of CCTV footage in their search for the missing family.

There have been several sightings of the missing couple

Greater Manchester Police, working alongside Essex Police, released CCTV showing someone they believed to be Ms Marten in a red shawl outside Harwich Port, Essex, at 9am on Saturday 7 January.

The couple are also believed to have been spotted in Colchester.

The Metropolitan Police shared CCTV showing Ms Marten, with a red shawl around her head, and Mr Gordon, with his head lowered and wearing a beanie hat, at East Ham station in Newham, east London, on the same day.

Police believe the couple, who were at the station sometime between 11.45am and 12.30pm, took a taxi from Essex.

Woman accused of ‘pack of lies’ over sex trafficking claims | UK News

A 21-year-old woman is accused of concocting an elaborate “pack of lies” in order to convince police that she was the victim of a gang of sex traffickers in Barrow-in-Furness.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, Eleanor Williams staged a trip to Blackpool and lied to police that she had been trafficked and raped in various houses by eight different men.

A trial at Preston Crown Court heard that this is one of many false rape allegations made against a number of men by Williams between 2017 and 2020.

Williams denies seven counts of perverting the course of justice.

Police had found Williams at Preston Railway Station after she went missing in early July 2019.

Jonathan Sandiford KC, prosecuting, said: “The defendant gave what can only be described as an horrific account of how she had been the victim of violence and sexual exploitation.”

Williams allegedly claimed that the men had threatened to kill her if she went to the police by throwing her into the sea. But the prosecutor told the jury the whole story was made up.

He said evidence would show she used Booking.com to book herself a room for two nights at the Savoy Hotel on the Promenade in Blackpool, and CCTV did not show her meeting men, but going to the shops to buy food before returning to her hotel.

In his opening remarks in the case, Mr Sandiford said instead of being sold for sex by traffickers, “the defendant was in her hotel room eating Pot Noodle and chocolate and watching YouTube and iPlayer on her mobile telephone while resolutely declining to answer any messages from her family and friends asking where she was.”

The court heard that Williams told police that she had been trafficked from the age of 12 or 13 and taken to parties where the men bidded to have sex with girls and that she was taken to Ibiza for two weeks and forced to have sex with men.

Jonathan Sandiford KC said: “When the officers pointed out that flight manifests could be checked, the defendant admitted that she had never been trafficked to Ibiza.”

The prosecution said it would also disprove claims that Williams was taken to Amsterdam and made to work in a brothel and that an attempt was made to sell her at auction.

Williams is also accused of setting up fake Snapchat accounts in the names of her alleged traffickers, some who were real people and others fictitious, and that she used a second mobile phone, given to her by a women’s help group for victims of abuse, to create conversations with an imaginary fellow victim.

The jury was told that phone mast records would show that while texts were exchanged, the two mobile phones were in the same place, even when the defendant travelled to Scotland to see her father.

In court on Tuesday, it was alleged that Williams had harmed herself with a hammer to make it look as if she’d been attacked by her abusers. On Wednesday, there were more details.

In May 2020 the defendant was discovered with severe injuries, described in court as a right eye that was purple and swollen shut, a finger with two cuts, one of which cut to the pulp, almost taking a chunk off it, and a shallow cut to her right ankle that was two inches long.

The police later recovered a hammer from the fields near to where she was found and it is clamed this was identical to the one Williams had purchased from Tesco ten days earlier.

The recovered hammer was extensively stained with blood, which, according to the prosecution, matched Williams’s DNA.

The jury was told that a Home Office pathologist examined photographs and medical notes about the injuries and, according to Mr Sandiford, the expert concluded that: “The injury to the little finger was not caused by a knife or blade but as consistent with a blow by the double pronged claw of a hammer of the type recovered.”

He said the pathologist found that “the injuries were consistent with multiple, self-inflicted hammer blows. The defendant has in a rather extreme act used the hammer to inflict the blows upon herself.”

Louise Blackwell KC, defending, said Ellie Williams’s case will be that “all the allegations she has made are true,” except in the case of the events in Blackpool where she will say she was instructed to go to Blackpool by her traffickers and to lie about what happened there.

Ms Blackwell added: “In all other respects the allegations she has made are true.”

The trial continues.

Doctors’ reluctance to discuss anal sex is letting down young women, researchers warn | UK News

Doctors’ reluctance to discuss the possible harms of anal sex is letting down a generation of young women, researchers have warned.

Many doctors are concerned that they may come across as judgemental or homophobic, but by avoiding the topic they may be failing patients who are unaware of the risks, according to a study.

Surgeons Tabitha Gana and Lesley Hunt argue that not discussing it “exposes women to missed diagnoses, futile treatments, and further harm arising from a lack of medical advice”.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, they say healthcare professionals, particularly those in general practice, gastroenterology, and colorectal surgery, “have a duty to acknowledge changes in society around anal sex in young women, and to meet these changes with open, neutral and non-judgemental conversations to ensure that all women have the information they need to make informed choices about sex.”

Data from the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyle shows that participation in heterosexual anal intercourse among 16 to 24 year-olds in Britain rose from 12.5% to 28.5% over the last few decades.

Up to 25% of women with experience of anal sex report they have been pressured into it at least once.

Read more:
Doctors to ask patients about their sexuality

It is also associated with specific health concerns, the surgeons explain.

For example, increased rates of faecal incontinence and anal sphincter injury have been reported in women who have anal intercourse.

Women are also at a higher risk of incontinence than men, due to their different anatomy.

“The pain and bleeding women report after anal sex is indicative of trauma, and risks may be increased if anal sex is coerced,” the authors said.

Effective management of anorectal disorders requires understanding of the underlying risk factors, and good history taking is key, they say.

Yet clinicians may shy away from these discussions, influenced by society’s taboos.

What’s more, NHS patient information on anal sex considers only sexually transmitted diseases, making no mention of anal trauma, incontinence, or the psychological aftermath of the coercion young women report in relation to this activity.

“It may not be just avoidance or stigma that prevents health professionals talking to young women about the risks of anal sex,” the authors said.

“There is genuine concern that the message may be seen as judgemental or even misconstrued as homophobic.

“However, by avoiding these discussions, we may be failing a generation of young women, who are unaware of the risks.”

They added: “With better information, women who want anal sex would be able to protect themselves more effectively from possible harm, and those who agree to anal sex reluctantly to meet society’s expectations or please partners, may feel better empowered to say no.”