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Chloe Othen: Model punched 30 times and sustained bites that turned ‘septic’ in attack, court hears | UK News

A Miss Universe finalist was punched in the head at least 30 times and sustained bites that turned “septic” in an attack by her ex-partner, a court has heard.

Model and influencer Chloe Othen, 33, was also strangled and dragged along the floor by her hair by Ricky Lawrence, 32, the Nightingale Crown Court in Holborn, central London, was told on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Sheilagh Davies said Lawrence, of Hans Crescent, Knightsbridge, west London, beat Ms Othen, took her phone and stopped her from leaving his flat, during an alleged attack in October 2022.

Ricky Lawrence outside the Nightingale crown court held at the Grand Connaught Rooms, Holborn, central London, where he is on trial charged with assaulting Instagram star and model Chloe Othen on October 15 2022. Picture date: Tuesday March 5, 2024.
Ricky Lawrence outside court. Pic: PA

“As she got up to leave, Ricky Lawrence had grabbed her phone out of her hand and refused to give it back. He then lashed out and punched her,” Ms Davies said.

“He was fighting her, biting her multiple times all over her body.”

Ms Othen and Lawrence’s six-month relationship ended in May 2022 but she told the court the pair were “on and off” after that time and she had last seen Lawrence “a few days” before the alleged assault.

Bora Guccuk, who had begun a relationship with Ms Othen at the time, had tried to call her phone in the flat, but Lawrence answered and threatened him, saying he would “kill him”, the court heard.

Ms Othen ran out of the flat after the attack, calling Mr Guccuk for help, before meeting him and a friend at the Berkeley Hotel, also in Knightsbridge.

She went to A&E on 16 October, where her injuries were documented, and it was shown that one of the bite marks on her neck “turned septic”, the prosecutor said.

‘Manic’ messages exchanged before alleged attack

Ms Othen said she decided to go to Lawrence’s apartment in the early hours of 15 October after she had been at an event as the defendant became “aggressive” by text, adding: “I thought I’d let him calm down and then go over there and see him.”

In WhatsApp messages shown in court, exchanged between Ms Othen and Lawrence from 4.17am to 5.35am on 15 October, Lawrence said: “You f***** up tonight. Watch what I do now you silly c***.”

Another message said: “I’ll do anything in my power to f*** up the rest of your life. Screenshot that.”

Ms Othen said she thought Lawrence’s behaviour was “manic”, but that receiving abusive messages from him was “quite normal”.

She said she arrived at his flat at 5.35am after getting a taxi from Kensington.

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‘I genuinely thought he was going to kill me’

Asked about Lawrence’s mood when she arrived, Ms Othen said he was “weirdly calm”.

“Ricky was quite strange when I walked in. Within five, 10 minutes, I wanted to leave,” she said.

“I genuinely thought he was going to kill me.”

Ms Othen said Lawrence “punched me about 30 times in the head and the ear” for “about an hour and a half”, after taking her phone away from her.

She said he also “pulled me up and down from the kitchen to the bedroom” by her hair before he “got two kitchen knives from his bedroom and chased me round the dining room”.

Lawrence was arrested at his flat and provided a prepared statement to police in which he said he had “repeatedly asked Chloe to leave but she continued to shout and scream” and he had “sustained a lengthy scratch along my abdomen”, the court heard.

The jury was shown two sets of photographs, one taken by police on 15 October, and more taken the following day, which showed marks and bruising on Ms Othen’s face, neck, elbow, inner thigh, right leg and knee.

Ms Othen said she had a mild cauliflower ear and had to get her jaw unlocked, and had to wear a neck brace from being strangled.

Lawrence, who denies a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, spoke only to confirm his name at Tuesday’s court hearing.

The trial continues.

NHS: What do the latest figures show about treatment waiting lists, hospital beds, and ambulance wait times? | UK News

NHS England’s waiting list for elective treatment fell from 7.7m in October to 7.6m in November.

That’s the smallest it’s been since June, but still far larger than it was in November 2022 (7.2m).

Despite facing the most sustained industrial action in its history, the NHS has had a relatively good winter.

A mild flu season has helped keep demand for the health service relatively low, at least partially offsetting the impact of the strikes.

As of 7 January, just 2,271 beds were rendered unavailable due to seasonal winter illnesses.

That’s less than half the figure at this time last year (5,151).

As a result, hospitals have been unusually empty for this time of year, with 91.9% of beds occupied (compared to 93.8% at the same time last year).

With more capacity, hospitals have had more space to take on elective cases and cut waiting lists.

It has also reduced some of the pressures on A&E departments. Waiting times have fallen, though they still remain well above their pre-pandemic levels.

In December, 104,000 people waited more than four hours to be admitted to A&E after the decision had been made to admit them, or 27% of all admissions.

That’s down from a record 33% of admissions in 2022, but far higher than it was in 2018 (11%).

One in every 12 admissions this December (8%, or 44,000 people) were forced to wait over 12 hours. Such waits were almost unheard of before the pandemic, affecting just 284 patients in December 2018.

Similarly, ambulance response times are better than last year, but remain above target.

The average call-out for a heart attack or stroke took 46 minutes to arrive, down from 48 minutes in December 2022 but six minutes above target.

For 10% of calls, ambulances took an hour and 41 minutes.

Sarah Woolnough, chief executive of the health charity, the King’s Fund, said the figures showed the NHS was still not meeting the majority of its most important performance targets this winter.

“On some measures, the situation is better than this time last year, in part thanks to efforts to increase capacity as well as relatively low hospital admissions from COVID-19 and flu, but patients are still not receiving an acceptable level of service,” she said.

“Behind each of these figures is a person who is struggling to receive the timely care they need and deserve, despite the best efforts of staff.”

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Kate Seymour, head of advocacy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said that while the data showed a slight improvement on wait times, there were “still thousands of people in England facing agonising delays for vital cancer diagnosis and treatment”.

“Every day at Macmillan we hear how these unacceptable delays can cause needless anxiety and even result in a worse prognosis. People’s lives are being put at risk, and it’s simply not good enough,” she said.

Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins said the figures showed the progress “our fantastic NHS staff can make towards bringing waiting lists down when they don’t have to contend with industrial action”.

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins
Health Secretary Victoria Atkins. File pic

“November was the first month without industrial action for over a year, and we reduced the total waiting list by more than 95,000 – the biggest decrease since December 2010, outside of the pandemic,” she said.

“We want to put an end to damaging strikes once and for all, and if the BMA Junior Doctors Committee can demonstrate they have reasonable expectations, I will still sit down with them.”

Migraine treatment times ‘almost double’ in England amid calls for condition to be taken seriously | UK News

The time people are waiting to be treated for migraines has almost doubled in England, according to a new report.

And the Migraine Trust has called for the “debilitating and stigmatised” condition to be taken seriously by clinicians.

The charity said there should be greater awareness of the pathways that exist for managing migraines, which can cause severe pain as well as nausea, confusion and blurred vision.

One in seven adults – or 10 million people – in the UK are thought to be affected by migraines.

And more than one million have chronic migraine – which means they experience headaches for at least 15 days of the month.

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Migraine and cluster headaches linked to the body’s internal clock

Robert Music, chief executive of the Migraine Trust, said: “Not only are patients struggling, but poor management of migraine is putting unnecessary additional strain on an already struggling NHS.

“We are seeing rising A&E admissions for migraine across the UK.

“There is a shortage of GPs, consultants and nurses specialising in headache to meet the need that we know exists, and a broad lack of understanding of the condition, meaning patients are not being treated in the right place or at the right time, if at all.”

Data obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by the Migraine Trust revealed waiting times for patients requiring specialist care for migraines in England have increased from 15 weeks in 2021 to an average of 29 weeks in 2023.

It also claims access to new drugs is being “hindered” by wait times, along with a lack of specialist doctors and nurses.

Dr Brendan Davies, chairman of the British Association for the Study of Headache and a consultant neurologist at Royal Stoke University Hospital, said: “The time has come for a nationally-agreed educational framework and quality standard for primary care, as we have with other important long-term conditions.”

Dehenna Davison MP arrives at Here East studios in Stratford, east London, before the live television debate for the candidates for leadership of the Conservative party, hosted by Channel 4. Picture date: Friday July 15, 2022.
Dehenna Davison

Levelling up minister Dehenna Davison resigned from the role earlier this month due to her ongoing battle with chronic migraine.

The Conservative MP said: “Migraine affects so many people in the UK and yet awareness of what it really is remains painfully limited.

“No, it is not just a headache – it is a complex condition that can greatly impact individuals and their families every single day.

“We need to improve awareness about the symptoms and challenges of migraine to help improve access to quality treatments and improve the workplace experience.”

Croydon man who stabbed partner more than 50 times in ‘frenzied’ attack found guilty of murder | UK News

A “jealous and angry” man who stabbed his partner more than 50 times in a “frenzied” attack has been found guilty of murder.

David Xavier, 38, attacked Andreia Guilherme with a kitchen knife at their home in Croydon, south London.

The Old Bailey heard on the night of the attack in December 2020, 30-year-old Ms Guilherme had sent messages to friends and family after a row had broken out between the pair when she tried to end their relationship.

Prosecutor Paul Raudnitz KC said Xavier has become “increasingly jealous and angry”.

She sent recordings of “heated” exchanges on Facebook Messenger, in which the defendant accused her in Portuguese of being a “woman of several men”.

The victim texted a cousin to say “he picked up a knife” and told the defendant’s sister: “David is crazy pointed a knife at me.”

Shortly before midnight she sent another audio recording to a friend in which she can be heard saying Xavier was “coming after me with a knife”.

The court heard it was the last communication the victim made, and soon after Xavier stabbed her to death.

The Central Criminal Court also referred to as the Old Bailey, in Old Bailey, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 7, 2013. Photo credit should read: Nick Ansell/PA Wire. Stock. Exterior.
The trial was held at the Old Bailey

‘Frenzied attack’

Mr Raudnitz told the court: “The attack was frenzied. Andreia Guilherme sustained over 50 stab wounds to the front and back of her body, some inflicted with sufficient force so as to damage her internal organs and leave knife marks on the bone and cartilage of her ribs.

“Amongst her injuries were cuts to her hand where she had tried to defend herself.”

Two minutes and 19 seconds after Ms Guilherme’s last communication, Xavier called his sister, who also lived in Croydon, and told her that she was dead.

She and her husband rushed to the defendant’s flat and found him covered in blood holding a knife with the victim lying lifeless on the bedroom floor.

Following the guilty verdict on Tuesday, Xavier was remanded into custody to be sentenced on Friday.

Synthetic opioid 40 times more potent than fentanyl found at scene of two deaths in Essex | UK News

Police investigating the deaths of a man and a woman in their 40s have issued a warning after a potentially deadly synthetic opioid was identified at the scene. 

Essex Police said a man and a woman were found dead at an address in Basildon on Tuesday.

Officers identified the presence of etonitazene at the scene.

Etonitazene is a synthetic opioid that is 40 times more potent than fentanyl and at least 1,000 times more potent than morphine.

Known by its street name Pyro, it is usually used on animals for addiction studies.

Essex Police said: “This substance may pose a high risk to users and anyone handling it.

“Synthetic opioids are occasionally added to illicit drugs like heroin to enhance the potency, but they substantially increase the risk of respiratory arrest in users.

“Our officers are working hard to investigate this incident and, crucially, prevent any further deaths.”

Police advised people to not use any illegal substances at this time in particular.

Detective Inspector Kevin Hughes of Essex Police said: “We strongly advise anyone using drugs not to use alone. Immediate advice is to avoid using heroin altogether.”

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The deadly drug fuelling a deadly gang war

But he said anyone choosing to take heroin should ensure there is someone who is not under the influence to watch out for them.

The detective also said heroin users should take less than they normally would and wait before continuing, and have the opioid antidote, naloxone, to hand.

“Current advice is that naloxone should work to counteract the effects of nitazine-type drugs.

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“Be ready to call for help – urgent medical intervention may make all the difference.

“Don’t use with other depressants – particularly avoid consuming other depressants such as alcohol, pregabalin, gabapentin or other opiates – these can amplify the risk of respiratory arrest.

“People need to look out for each other and be alert to any signs of an opioid overdose, such as shallow breathing, loss of consciousness and blue lips or fingertips.

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“If someone does overdose it’s vital to act fast. Call for an ambulance immediately.”

Opioids, in particular fentanyl, have caused drug-related deaths to surge across the US in recent years.

The number of opioid-related deaths in the UK is the highest in Europe.

Union says best-paid fire chiefs earn more than six times regular firefighter’s salary | UK News

The highest-paid fire service bosses earn more than six times a regular firefighter’s salary, according to a union.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said Freedom of Information requests reveal “stark inequalities” in pay, at a time when many firefighters are facing “in-work poverty”.

Chief fire officers get an average of £148,000, the union said.

The highest-paid earns £206,000 – more than six times what an ordinary firefighter is paid, they added.

The union published the figures as firefighters continue to vote on whether to strike over pay after rejecting an offer of 5%.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “Firefighters and control staff are facing yet another real terms pay cut while fire chiefs rake in huge salaries.

“FBU members are increasingly facing real ‘in work’ poverty, with firefighters having to rely on foodbanks and take on additional jobs to afford the basics.

“At the same time, some fire chiefs are also trying to persuade firefighters and control staff to step back from industrial action, to simply shut up about salaries that are several times smaller than their bosses.

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Firefighters to vote on strike action after rejecting 5% pay offer
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“It’s insulting and stinks of hypocrisy of some chief officers who refuse to make the case for better pay for their workers.

“Chief fire officers are not worth six times more than firefighters, it was the latter who were called key workers during the pandemic delivering vital services including moving the bodies of the deceased.

“Firefighters and control staff are being left with no other choice but to take action.”

The ballot result is due at the end of January.

Pay negotiations are with representatives from employers – typically local authorities – but the FBU insists “a big factor in all of this is central funding”.

If they went ahead with strike action, firefighters would be the latest in a long line of workers to have taken industrial action in recent months.

Nurses, rail workers, civil servants and postal workers are among the tens of thousands of people to have already walked off the job in their fight for better pay.

Ministers have insisted they cannot afford to give striking workers inflation-busting pay rises.

But Labour has criticised the government for refusing to negotiate with unions.

Strep A: Two more penicillin medicines added to list of alternatives – as scarlet fever cases ‘three times higher than normal’ | UK News

Pharmacists can supply two more alternative penicillin medicines to help ensure there’s enough of the drug to treat Strep A cases.

It comes as cases of scarlet fever, which is caused by Strep A bacteria, are three times the normal rate – causing temporary shortages at some chemists.

SSP (serious shortage protocols) now cover a total of five medicines, adding to the three issued earlier this week, with a tablet now on the Department of Health list.

It means pharmacists can supply an alternative form of penicillin without the patient having to go back to a GP if the prescribed one is out of stock.

SSPs are a standard procedure to manage temporary supply issues, say health chiefs.

At least 19 children across the UK have now died from invasive Strep A (also known as iGAS), a more serious form of the infection which enters parts of the body such as the lungs and bloodstream.

However, the vast majority of cases can be easily treated and are relatively mild, with commons symptoms including a sore throat, rash and fever.

Professor Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said it had been notified of just over 7,500 scarlet fever cases – but that the figure was “probably an underestimate”.

“We have a lot of reports coming in in the last few days so we expect it to be even higher,” she told the BBC’s Today programme on Saturday.

“That’s about three times higher than the same time in a normal season,” she said.

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Group A streptococcus
Infections caused by group A streptococcus bacteria are at a higher level than would normally be expected

“The last bad season we had in 2017 and 18. And in invasive Group A Strep cases, we are more than halfway through what we’d normally see in an average season.

“We’ve seen 111 cases in children aged one to four and 74 cases in children aged five to nine.”

Official UKHSA figures for England and Wales show that it was notified of 1,702 cases of scarlet fever in the week ending 11 December, with 1,352 in the week before that, 1,044 in the week before that and 960 cases in the week ending 20 November – a near doubling of the cases in a month.

The latest weekly figure for iGAS cases was 15, up from 10 the week before.

Prof Hopkins stressed that most children have a mild illness and said she had an “open mind” as to why infections were so high.

Some other experts have suggested it could be because there is less immunity because of reduced mixing during COVID lockdowns.

Parents are being urged to get their children vaccinated with the flu nasal spray because areas that are already rolling it out have a lower rate of Strep A cases.

Professor Hopkins said people with flu infections are more likely to get a secondary infection on top, with children who get flu often at higher risk of contracting Strep A.

Children younger than school age can get the vaccine from their GP, while children in school can get it via the school vaccination service.

The SSP penicillin list now includes:

  • Phenoxymethylpenicillin 125mg/5ml oral solution
  • Phenoxymethylpenicillin 125mg/5ml oral solution sugar free
  • Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution
  • Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution sugar free
  • Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg tablets
Hospital flu cases up 10 times on last year amid ‘tripledemic’ warning, NHS England data shows | UK News

Ten times more people are in hospital with flu than this time last year, latest figures show.

There were an average of 344 patients a day with flu in hospital last week, compared with the 31 seen at the beginning of December last year, according to data released by NHS England.

It comes amid pressures on staffing too, with new figures showing nearly 360,000 NHS staff were absent from work last week through illness or self-isolating due to COVID.

Around 19 in 20 general and acute beds were taken up – 80% for adult critical care, NHS England’s first weekly winter update also showed.

More than 13,000 (13,179) beds a day were taken up last week by patients who no longer needed one – this is up a quarter compared to the first week of December last year (10,510).

It follows a warning from NHS leaders that it is facing the threat of a “tripledemic” of COVID, flu and record demand on urgent and emergency services.

Sky News has been told there are concerns over the number of paediatric ICU beds available in some parts of the country.

The latest data shows last Thursday there were as few as 33 spare beds available in England – that’s lower than at any point last winter.

While the exact figures might change slightly over the next two weeks, NHS England has confirmed there is higher PICU (paediatric intensive care unit) occupancy this month compared with previous years.

Read more:
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Flu infections rise again with young children worst affected

Flu season is here – and hitting the youngest and elderly hardest

Flu season is here and the warning about crippling winter pressure on the NHS is starting to come true.

We monitor what happens with flu in the southern hemisphere to try and predict what impact the virus will have on us when winter comes. It hit Australia hard and early and that could be repeated here in the next few months.

Already hundreds of NHS beds in England were taken up by patients with flu every day over the last week, according to the latest data. An average of 344 patients a day with flu were in hospital last week. That’s more than ten times the number seen at the beginning of December last year.

Flu hits the youngest and elderly hardest. It is especially dangerous for children with underlying health conditions. Children’s doctors say “paediatric winter” has started.

November is when RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) cases spike. It is a common winter virus but social distancing during the pandemic means it has not circulated widely over the past two years. That also means young children have not been exposed to these winter respiratory viruses before.

As RSV cases start to decline towards the end of November flu cases start to rise.

Paediatricians are really worried about a shortage of intensive care beds for very sick children.

A senior consultant told me: “There have been hardly any PICU (paediatric intensive care unit) beds in the south of the UK for the last few days and children are waiting sometimes more than 24 hours in the EDs?

“The situation for children is awful but no one seems to be mentioning it. Whereas for adults it is always made clear how awful it is. It is probably as bad if not worse for children.”

The Paediatric Critical Care Society told Sky News: “Many PICUs are at, or over, their staffed bed capacity. This situation is likely to continue, or even worsen, over the coming months.”

They said staff shortages, and an increasing number of complex patients are impacting capacity.

Some hospitals are operating on a one in one out policy with patients being moved to other trusts or being treated in the community to help alleviate the pressure, however, it said all children who need to be treated in hospital are receiving the appropriate treatment.

Camilla Kingdon, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, told Sky News “We are concerned to hear reports of PICU bed shortages in parts of the country. We know paediatric teams are exceptionally busy this winter as a result of ever rising demand and staffing issues.”

Nurses across the UK have voted to strike in the first ever national action over a pay dispute
File pic

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said the NHS is likely to experience its “most challenging winter ever” this year, adding the threat of a “tripledemic” is very real.

“It has never been more important to get protected against the viruses ahead of winter,” he said.

NHS England launched its annual 111 campaign today – urging people to use its online service to reduce “record” demand on accident and emergency (A&E) departments.

People should still call 999 and go to A&E when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, it said.

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Noel Gallagher’s handwritten Wonderwall lyrics fetch 10 times estimate at auction | Ents & Arts News

A piece of paper with the lyrics of Wonderwall handwritten by Noel Gallagher has fetched £46,875 at auction.

The page is believed to have been written sometime in the mid-2000s to help Gallagher, lead guitarist for the band, during rehearsals.

They were kept afterwards by the band’s road crew.

The song appeared on the 1995 album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? and became one of the band’s most successful and best-known.

The estimate for the piece had been between £4,000 and £6,000.

Gallagher and his brother Liam formed Oasis in 1991 but the band split in 2009 and the two siblings have had an icy relationship since.

Also sold on Friday was Noel Gallagher’s 1962 Epiphone Casino Guitar, which he bought after advice from The Jam’s Paul Weller.

It sold for £56,250.

The guitar was used to record Oasis’s third album Be Here Now, and demos for their fourth album Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants.

The two items were featured in one of the biggest collections of Oasis memorabilia to be auctioned in the UK, according to Propstore.

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A leather jacket worn by Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash during the music video for the song Paradise City was sold for £34,375, and an autographed ticket for a Beatles concert sold for £12,500.

David Bowie’s spacesuit which he wore for the 1980 music video Ashes To Ashes, Whitney Houston’s Queen Of The Night costume worn in the film The Bodyguard, and a signed gun licence application from Elvis Presley are also being auctioned.

Other pieces among the 1,500 lots are from Michael Jackson, the Sex Pistols, Blur, Rihanna, and the Spice Girls.

The auction at the Bafta headquarters in Piccadilly, London, opened on 3 November and runs until 6 November.