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Christian B: Madeleine McCann suspect beat rape victim and attacked woman while wearing ski mask, court hears | World News

The prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann raped a woman while wearing a ski mask and beat another rape victim with a whip, a court has heard.

Christian B – whose surname cannot be published due to the country’s privacy laws – faces three counts of rape and two of sexual abuse at his trial in the northern city of Braunschweig.

The 47-year-old German is alleged to have committed the offences in Portugal between 2000 and 2017. The allegations do not relate to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007.

Madeleine McCann. Pic: Handout/ PA
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The British youngster went missing in 2007. Pic: Handout/ PA

He is accused of raping and beating a 70 to 80-year-old woman, after entering her bedroom wearing a ski mask. He also allegedly held a cushion over the woman’s face before leaving.

Under another charge, it’s said Christian B allegedly woke up a 20-year-old from Ireland as she slept, before raping her at her flat in Portugal in June 2004. In the same alleged attack, he is accused of gagging the woman and beating her.

Other charges facing Christian B include:

  • Beating and sexually assaulting a girl aged at least 14 sometime between December 2000 and April 2006 at his house in Praia da Luz, Portugal
  • Exposing himself to a 10-year-old German girl at a beach in Salema in the district of Faro in Portugal on 7 April 2007
  • Exposing himself to an 11-year-old Portuguese girl at a playground in Bartolomeu de Messines in Portugal on 11 June 2017

During the hearing, Christian B’s lawyer said the defendant “is using his right to remain silent”.

His defence lawyer said he expects his client to be acquitted, dismissing the evidence as “abysmal”.

There are no formal pleas in the German legal system, and defendants are not obliged to respond to the charges.

Christian B is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old in Praia da Luz, the same town where Madeleine disappeared.

He has not been charged in the McCann case and denies involvement, but has been under investigation for the last few years.

Madeleine was three when she went missing on holiday in Portugal in May 2007.

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16 February: Christian B arrives in court

In May last year, German and Portuguese police searched a nearby reservoir that Christian B used to call his “paradise”.

His trial opened a week ago but was swiftly adjourned on its first day after Mr Fulscher filed a challenge against a lay judge on the panel hearing the case, who was alleged once to have spread a call to kill former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro on social media.

Prosecutors supported the challenge.

The woman has been removed from the case and now faces an investigation herself on suspicion of making a public call to commit crimes.

Read more on Sky News:
Shamima Begum loses UK citizenship appeal

Energy price cap to fall but bills to include ‘temporary’ charge

Friedrich Fuelscher expects his client to be acquitted. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Friedrich Fulscher expects his client to be acquitted. Pic: Reuters

The trial is expected to last four months.

Clapham: Chemical attack manhunt continues for suspect convicted of sexual assault | UK News

A manhunt is continuing for the suspect in the Clapham chemical attack amid reports he was granted asylum after being convicted of a sexual assault.

Abdul Shokoor Ezedi is believed to have targeted a mother and two children with an alkaline substance in Clapham, south London, on Wednesday evening.

Sky News understands Ezedi was handed a suspended sentence for a sexual offence in Newcastle in 2018, and was discharged from probation supervision in 2020.

The latest development comes after police issued another photo of the former asylum seeker, who only had his application granted on his third attempt after arriving in the UK by lorry in 2016.

Clapham chemical attack latest: Suspect pictured with facial injuries

Sky News understands Ezedi, 35, was allowed to stay after a priest vouched for his conversion to Christianity, saying he was “wholly committed” to his new religion.

Ezedi had claimed his life would be in danger if he returned to his native Afghanistan.

On Thursday evening, Superintendent Gabriel Cameron said the new image, taken at 8.48pm on Wednesday, was of the last-known sighting of Ezedi in Caledonian Road, north London, and was less than two hours after the assault.

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How did Clapham chemical attack unfold?

“The image shows Ezedi with what appears to be significant injuries to the right side of his face. This makes him distinctive.

“If you see Ezedi, call 999 immediately. He should NOT be approached.”

The suspect, from Newcastle, is believed to have travelled down to London on the same day as the attack near Clapham Common.

Both Northumbria Police and the British Transport Police are helping the Met with the manhunt.

Pic: James Weech/PA Wire
Image:
Pic: James Weech/PA Wire

Officers have also confirmed a car involved in the attack belonged to Ezedi, while the substance used in the attack was alkaline.

A 31-year-old mother and her three-year-old daughter, alongside her other daughter, aged eight, remain in hospital following the incident.

The mother and the younger child may have suffered life-changing injuries, according to police.

Officers said the suspect was known to the woman and described the attack as “targeted”.

A total of 12 people were hurt during the incident, including the mother and her two children, and five officers who were injured as they responded.

Officers say Ezedi attempted to make off from the scene in a car following the incident, but crashed with another vehicle, and then made off on foot in the direction of Clapham Common.

One witness, who asked to remain anonymous, told Sky News: “He grabbed one of the two children and violently grabbed them and slammed them on the floor.

“The lady then shouted: ‘My eyes! My eyes! Call the police, my eyes!’

“Then I saw him run off. It was all so traumatising.”

Nicholas Rossi: Rape suspect who ‘faked death’ makes bizarre Utah court appearance after extradition from UK | US News

A rape suspect accused of faking his own death has made a bizarre first appearance in a US court after being extradited from Scotland.

Nicholas Rossi was flown out of the UK a few weeks ago after a long-running court battle during which he claimed to be a victim of mistaken identity.

US officials accuse him of raping a woman in 2008 and say he faked his own death – even setting up his own memorial service – before fleeing to the UK.

Rossi spoke in an apparent English accent at a Utah court on Tuesday, referring to the judge as “m’lady” and saying claims he wasn’t giving his true name were “complete hearsay”.

He claimed he was Arthur Knight Brown and spoke in a laboured, breathy tone while taking air from an oxygen mask.

Rossi gave his birth date in British format, with the day first followed by the month – opposite to the US standard.

Rossi in July 2022
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Rossi, outside an Edinburgh court in 2022, is accused of rape in Utah

The 36-year-old was first arrested after someone recognised him when he was ill with COVID and taken to a Glasgow hospital in December 2021.

A year later, Edinburgh Sheriff Court ruled his tattoos and fingerprints matched those of Rossi – as featured on an Interpol wanted notice.

Rossi suggested they had been done by an NHS employee when he was unconscious as part of an attempt to frame him – and insisted he was an Irish orphan who had never been to America.

However, it emerged he had changed his name four times in three years and concocted a number of stories to hide from justice.

Nicholas Rossi departs Edinburgh Sheriff and Justice of the Peace Court after an extradition hearing. Rossi has been fighting extradition to the US over rape allegations. Picture date: Wednesday July 12, 2023.
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Rossi routinely appeared in court in Scotland in a wheelchair

Four years ago, Rossi told media in the state of Rhode Island he had non-Hodgkin lymphoma and had weeks to live. An online obituary later claimed he had died on 29 February 2020.

The case played out over a number of years in Scotland, with Rossi dismissing his legal teams and representing himself as he appeared in court in a wheelchair and oxygen mask.

Judge Norman McFadyen said he was “as dishonest and deceitful as he is evasive and manipulative” when he approved the extradition last summer.

He lost an appeal in December and was finally flown to the US at the start of this month.

Rossi will next appear in court in Utah on 26 January and was denied bail.

Edinburgh pub shooting: Two in court accused of murder as third suspect arrested | UK News

A man and a woman have appeared in court charged with murder and a third suspect has been arrested after a shooting outside an Edinburgh pub on Hogmanay.

Marc Webley, 38, and another man, 39, were gunned down minutes before midnight outside The Anchor Inn on West Granton Road.

Emergency services attended and the seriously injured men were taken to hospital, where Mr Webley was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police Scotland launched a murder investigation and arrested a man and a woman in connection with the case.

Grant Hunter, 32, and Emma McVie, 25, were later charged with murder.

The pair, from Edinburgh, have also been accused of assault to severe injury, danger of life and attempted murder.

They entered no plea to the charges when they appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday.

Both suspects were remanded in custody and are expected back in the dock within the next week.

Read more from Sky News:
3D-printed guns found on Scotland’s streets for first time
State of emergency after gang boss escapes prison

A 33-year-old woman has also now been arrested in connection with Mr Webley’s death.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “A 33-year-old woman was arrested on Monday 8 January and further enquiries are ongoing.”

Rape suspect Nicholas Rossi extradited from Scotland to US | UK News

US rape suspect Nicholas Rossi has been extradited from Scotland to America after a long-running battle.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “We assisted partner agencies with the extradition of a 36-year-old man”.

It comes after appeal judges recently quashed Rossi’s appeal against the extradition.

The order followed a long-running extradition battle in which Rossi was ruled to be a man wanted by authorities in Utah for the alleged rape of a woman in 2008.

US law enforcement claim he is a fugitive who faked his own death – even setting up his own memorial service – and fled to the UK to evade justice.

He repeatedly argued he was a victim of mistaken identity and was instead an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight.

Rossi first came to the attention of authorities after he became ill with COVID and was taken to Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in December 2021.

In November 2022, Edinburgh Sheriff Court ruled that his tattoos and fingerprints matched those of Rossi.

Rossi claimed they had been inked on him by a rogue NHS employee when he was admitted to hospital.

The case played out over a number of years in Scottish courts, but Sky correspondent Connor Gillies said the extradition brings “an end a huge game of cat and mouse he played with the legal system”.

Daniel Khalife: Terror suspect charged with escaping custody at HMP Wandsworth | UK News

Daniel Khalife has been charged with escaping custody at HMP Wandsworth, the Metropolitan Police said.

The terror suspect went missing from prison on Wednesday and was arrested in a London suburb on Saturday – ending 75 hours on the run.

Khalife reportedly laughed as he was apprehended in Northolt on Saturday morning – not long after a plain-clothes police officer pulled him off a bike on a canal towpath.

The former soldier was working in the prison kitchen and was wearing a cook’s uniform when he disappeared. He is believed to have held on to straps on the underside of the truck to make his escape.

Khalife, 21, will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Read more:
Daniel Khalife’s 75 hours on the run
Notorious prison breakouts

About 40 inmates of HMP Wandsworth have been moved out of the prison after Khalife’s escape, the Justice Secretary told Sky News’ Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips.

Alex Chalk said the preliminary findings of his investigation had found the relevant procedures and security staff were in place – but it was still to be established whether they had been followed.

Dozens of individuals on remand had been moved to different sites “out of an abundance of caution”, he said.

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Khalife charged after escape

Khalife is a former member of the Royal Signals and was based at Beacon Barracks in Stafford.

He was on remand at HMP Wandsworth awaiting trial. He was accused of leaving fake bombs at a military base, a charge under the Terrorism Act, and another under the Official Secrets Act, which alleges he committed “an act prejudicial to the safety or interests of the state”.

He was discharged from the army in May and appeared at the Old Bailey via video link in July, denying the charges against him.

Daniel Khalife: Escaped terror suspect spotted in west London | UK News

The police search for terror suspect Daniel Khalife is now centred on Chiswick in west London following confirmed sightings overnight.

The Metropolitan Police said it had received calls from members of the public.

Armed police officers have been searching the area, with police dogs on the scene.

Church Street, Chiswick, west London
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Church Street, Chiswick, west London

Church Street, Chiswick, west London
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Church Street, Chiswick, west London

Officers have also been stopping and checking cars, and have been seen searching in vehicles boots as well as asking residents for proof of ID.

A police boat has also been on the River Thames close to the roads.

Police remain in the area, and say they will be carrying out “intensive” searches throughout the day.

Khalife is believed to be wearing a black baseball cap, black t-shirt and dark-coloured bottoms, and carrying a small bag or case.

More on Daniel Abed Khalife

The force said: “We urge members of the public in that area to remain vigilant and call 999 immediately should they see Khalife, or if they have any information that could assist the search.

“Whilst we advise members of the public not to approach Khalife if they see him, we still assess that he does not pose a threat to the wider public.”

Pumping Station Road, Chiswick, west London
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Pumping Station Road, Chiswick, west London

Nationwide manhunt

The nationwide manhunt is now entering its fourth day, after the former soldier escaped from Wandsworth Prison on Wednesday morning.

He made his getaway by holding on to straps underneath a food lorry, after leaving the prison kitchen in a cook’s uniform.

It comes as the 21-year-old’s family urged him to “give himself up“.

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CCTV of prison escape van

On Friday, Scotland Yard revealed there was a confirmed sighting of Khalife about a mile away – shortly after the breakout.

Detectives have also been scouring Richmond Park in south west London for signs of the fugitive, not far from the Category B prison.

£20,000 reward offered

Commander Dominic Murphy, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, has said the confirmed sighting on Wednesday “could be very significant”.

A member of the public had seen Khalife climb out from under the lorry, and walk towards Wandsworth town centre.

Mr Murphy said the force is currently working on “lots of leads” after receiving over 100 calls from the public – and a reward of £20,000 is now being offered for information that leads to his arrest.

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Where was Khalife hiding on the lorry?

The former soldier was awaiting trial after allegedly planting a fake bomb at an RAF base and gathering information that might be useful to terrorists or enemies of the UK.

He was discharged from the army in May.

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Daniel Khalife: Escaped terror suspect urged to hand himself in by close relative | UK News

Escaped terror suspect Daniel Khalife has been urged to hand himself in by a close relative.

Speaking to The Times, the unnamed family member described the 21-year-old as a “very, very intelligent, easygoing and kind boy” who had changed in the past year.

As a nationwide manhunt enters its fourth day, the relative told the newspaper: “If I could talk to him, I would tell him to end this and give himself up, even though I understand he is afraid.”

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New CCTV of prison escape van

Prisoner manhunt – latest updates

The former soldier escaped from Wandsworth Prison on Wednesday morning in a chef’s uniform – holding on to straps underneath a food lorry to make his getaway.

Yesterday, Scotland Yard revealed there was a confirmed sighting of Khalife about a mile away – shortly after the breakout.

Detectives have been scouring Richmond Park for signs of the fugitive, not far from the Category B prison.

More on Daniel Abed Khalife

The relative told The Times that Khalife is unlikely to seek help from his family while on the run, adding: “He would never want to cause us any problems. He loves us very much.”

It is assumed that Khalife knows the Richmond area well because he grew up nearby, while his mother and sister are believed to have lived in the vicinity until a few years ago.

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Sighting ‘very significant’

£20,000 reward offered

Commander Dominic Murphy, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, has said the confirmed sighting on Wednesday “could be very significant”.

A member of the public had seen Khalife climb out from under the lorry, and walk towards Wandsworth town centre.

Mr Murphy said the force is currently working on “lots of leads” after receiving over 100 calls from the public – and a reward of £20,000 is now being offered for information that leads to his arrest.

While the Met does not believe Khalife poses a threat to the wider public, anyone who sees him is being urged to stay away and call 999 immediately.

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Where was Khalife hiding on the lorry?

The former soldier was awaiting trial after allegedly planting a fake bomb at an RAF base and gathering information that might be useful to terrorists or enemies of the UK.

He was discharged from the army in May.

Rishi Sunak, who is currently at the G20 summit in India, was asked by reporters about potential “state involvement” in Khalife’s escape – perhaps from Iran.

The prime minister said it would not be appropriate to comment on an “ongoing police investigation”.

Read more:
How Khalife is likely surviving on the run
Was incompetence or collusion to blame?
What life is like at Wandsworth Prison

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Terror suspect’s prison escape ‘pre-planned’

A ‘clearly pre-planned’ escape

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley told LBC that Khalife’s escape “was clearly pre-planned – and it “seems odd” that the terror suspect wasn’t being held in a high-security prison.

Detectives are now examining whether he was assisted by prison guards or other inmates in his bid to escape.

Police have not ruled out the possibility that he may have managed to flee the country.

Daniel Abed Khalife and clothing similar to what he was wearing when he escaped. Pic: Met Police
Image:
Daniel Abed Khalife and clothing similar to what he was wearing when he escaped. Pic: Met Police

Mr Murphy had previously described police as a “very resourceful individual”.

Earlier this week, he said: “We have some of the best military in the world here in the UK and he was a trained soldier.

“So ultimately he has skills perhaps some sections of the public don’t have.”

Hunt for escaped prisoner Daniel Abed Khalife: Why wasn’t terror suspect banged up in modern Belmarsh? | UK News

Most terror suspects are kept in Belmarsh jail, considered the UK’s most secure. 

It’s so difficult to get in and out that lawyers complain about their own access to visit their clients.

They often cite the massive security checks as the reason for delays in court cases.

Jail breakouts are rare and no prisoner has ever escaped from Belmarsh, a category A jail in southeast London, though some have tried.

HMP Belmarsh. File pic
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HMP Belmarsh. File pic

So why wasn’t Daniel Abed Khalife, a suspect facing serious terror charges, banged up in modern Belmarsh?

Instead he was awaiting his trial in HMP Wandsworth, a category B jail in southwest London built 170 years ago and described in a watchdog report two years ago as “overcrowded, crumbling, vermin-infested” and suffering with staff shortages.

The same report said an inmate managed to escape from Wandsworth in 2019 and highlighted continuing concerns about security.

And don’t forget that as a soldier, Khalife, 21, would have been trained to escape captivity of all sorts and take psychological advantage of less experienced captors.

That may go a long way to explain how he was able, as it’s thought, to hide under a food delivery truck and hang on as it left the kitchen area where it’s believed he was working as a chef.

Daniel Abed Khalife has escaped prison, the Met Police say
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Daniel Abed Khalife

“The issue is one of routine, coupled with prison staff shortages,” said Mark Leech, editor of the Prisons Handbook for England and Wales.

“Perhaps the use of civilian caterers who are not trained prison officers, along with gate security procedures that just become routine and which he may well have spotted while going to court.”

HMP Wandsworth in southwest London
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Khalife escaped from HMP Wandsworth

The public might be surprised to learn that a young terror suspect, accused of gathering details of his colleagues that could be useful to a terrorist and collecting information that could be useful to an enemy, had a reduced security risk rating – not A but B.

Mr Leech said: “That is something that in hindsight they will want to review and the investigation will look into that.

“He may well have given the impression to inexperienced staff who conducted his security categorisation that he was far less of a security escape risk than in reality he really was.”

Police seem confident Khalife will be caught soon, but some Wandsworth escapees stay free for a very long time.

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs climbed over the wall with a rope ladder and jumped to a waiting removals van to flee Wandsworth in 1965.

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs in 1998
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Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs in 1998

He did return, but only by his own choice.

He wasn’t arrested until his plane landed in the UK, 36 years later.

Nottingham: Suspect held over attacks that left three people dead is named | UK News

A man suspected of killing three people in a knife rampage in Nottingham has been named.

Valdo Amissão Mendes Calocane, 31, is reported to be the person in custody over the deadly attacks.

Police said on Thursday the suspect had been a student at Nottingham University, where two of the victims were studying.

Officers said they did not think this was connected to the killings.

Grace Kumar, Barnaby Webber and Ian Coates
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(L-R) Grace Kumar, Barnaby Webber and Ian Coates were killed in the attacks

Nineteen-year-old University of Nottingham students Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber were found stabbed to death in Ilkeston Road at around 4am on Tuesday.

Caretaker Ian Coates, 65, was then found dead in Magdala Road after his van was allegedly stolen by the suspect.

Nottinghamshire Police said a man also remains in a serious condition in hospital after the vehicle was driven at him in Milton Street.

The force has referred a further incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog after a marked police car followed the van for a short distance before it struck another two pedestrians in Sherwood Street.

Read more:
A timeline of how ‘major incident’ unfolded

Meanwhile, tributes have been paid to the victims of the deadly rampage, which has sent shockwaves through the city.

Medical student Miss O’Malley-Kumar, who played for England under-18s hockey team, was hailed “a truly wonderful young lady” who was “resilient and wise beyond her years”, while the family of history student Mr Webber said the teenager was a “bright young man” who was “a talented and passionate cricketer”.

The sons of Mr Coates, who was four months away from retirement, described the “massive football fan” as a “great father”.

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Nottingham attacks: Families give emotional speeches

At an emotional vigil on Thursday evening, the mother of Mr Webber urged people to “hold no hate” in the wake of the attacks.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman visited Nottingham to pay her respects and lay a wreath with a hand-written message which read: “In memory of those who lost their lives, those who were injured and everyone who loves them.

“We are with you and with all the people of Nottingham.”