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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
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.

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

The trial is expected to last four months.

Minnie Rae Dunn: Woman held over eight-year-old girl’s balcony fall death in Portsmouth released without charge | UK News

A woman arrested on suspicion of neglect after an eight-year-old girl fell from the balcony of a block of flats will face no further action.

A 43-year-old woman had been held following the death of Minnie Rae Dunn after the incident in Portsmouth, Hampshire, in August last year.

But Hampshire Police confirmed she had been released without charge.

A spokesperson said: “We have been continuing to conduct a thorough investigation following the death of eight-year-old Minnie Rae Dunn in Portsmouth in August 2023.

“We were called at 6.50pm on Thursday, 24 August to reports that Minnie had fallen from a balcony on Wingfield Street, Portsmouth.

“We attended along with our colleagues from South Central Ambulance Service who treated Minnie, who subsequently died.

“At the current time, we do not believe that there was third-party involvement in Minnie’s death and a file will now be prepared for the coroner.

“Following our enquiries, a 43-year-old woman, who was arrested on suspicion of neglect of a child, has been released without charge and will face no further action.”

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Paying tribute to her daughter, Minnie’s mother Rebecca previously said in a statement: “My angel, I am going to miss your sassiness and the way you spoke your mind. Your big bright smile that always melted my heart will be missed so much.

“I have a hole shape in my heart that will always be there. My little angel fly high, I love you to the moon and back. Mummy.”

Hunt for man who has been repeatedly approaching a young woman in the street | UK News

Police are on the hunt for a man following a complaint he has been repeatedly approaching a young woman in the street, leaving her “shaken by the incidents”.

The man has accosted the 22-year-old at various times of the night and day while the woman has walked along Benvie Road in Dundee, near to Black Street and Cleghorn Street.

The man was said to have made attempts to speak to the woman on Tuesday 2 January, Tuesday 30 January, Friday 2 February and Sunday 4 February before leaving the area.

PC Andrew McIlvenny said: “The woman was not hurt any of the times she was approached by the man but has been left shaken by the incidents.”

The man is believed to be in his late-20s to early-30s and is around 5ft 6in tall. He is described as slim with a tanned complexion, short black hair and black stubble.

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Police Scotland said he was wearing a full white tracksuit with three blue stripes, and a gold signet ring on his left hand. He also had a Staffordshire bull terrier dog with him during some of the incidents.

PC McIlvenny added: “I would like to reassure the community that our officers are doing everything they can to find the person responsible.

“I would appeal to anyone who recognises the description of the man to get in touch.”

Woman dies after being mauled by two dogs in Essex | UK News

A woman has died after being mauled by two dogs and a man has been arrested, police have said.

Essex officers were called to Hillman Avenue, Jaywick, shortly after 4pm on Saturday where they found the victim seriously injured.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pic: Essex Police
Experienced detectives are leading the investigation. Pic: Essex Police

To secure the area and ensure there was no risk to the wider public, both animals were destroyed.

A 39-year-old man from Jaywick has been detained on suspicion of dangerous dog offences and remains in custody.

Chief Superintendent Glen Pavelin said: “My thoughts, and those of our officers and staff, are with the family of the woman who died yesterday.

“This incident will be a huge shock to the community and I understand their concerns.

“We’ll have officers in the area throughout today so please come and speak to them if you have any information or are worried.

“Experienced detectives are leading the investigation to identify exactly what has happened.

“I know there will be speculation about the breed of the dogs involved.

“We’re waiting for confirmation from experts about this before releasing further details and I’d ask people not to speculate.

“If anyone has any information about what has happened please contact us.”

Breed yet to be established

Although the breed involved is yet to be established, the attack comes just days after a ban on XL bully type dogs came into force, meaning it is now a criminal offence to own one in England and Wales without an exemption certificate.

Pic: Essex Police
A man has been detained on suspicion of dangerous dog offences. Pic: Essex Police

Unregistered pets can be seized and owners fined and prosecuted.

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Around 40,000 of the large bulldog-type American breed are believed to have been registered before Wednesday’s deadline, but there may be thousands more without certificates.

The ban on XL bully dogs was introduced after a spate of attacks in recent years involving the breed.

The breed was added to the Dangerous Dogs Act on 31 October last year when restrictions came into force dictating the dogs must be kept on a lead and muzzled in public.

Breeding, selling or abandoning the dogs also became illegal as of 31 December 2023.

Owners of XL bully dogs in Scotland will also be subject at a later date to the safeguards after Holyrood replicated legislation in place south of the border.

A decision on whether to add to the list of banned breeds in Northern Ireland is for locally elected ministers and is yet to be made.

People with dangerously out-of-control dogs can be jailed for up to 14 years and banned from owning animals, and their pets can be put down.

Woman dies in hospital after plunging from window at block of flats in Irvine. | UK News

A woman has died after plunging from a window at a block of flats in North Ayrshire.

Emergency crews were alerted to the fall in Warrix Avenue, Irvine, at around 12.55pm on Thursday.

A 45-year-old woman was airlifted to Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, where she later died.

Police Scotland said the woman’s next of kin have been made aware and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

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A force spokesperson added: “Enquiries are continuing to establish the full circumstances and anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to contact Police Scotland.”

Father found dead with daughters and woman in Norwich taken to hospital by police weeks before deaths | UK News

A father who was found dead with his two daughters and a 36-year-old woman in a house in Norfolk was taken to hospital by police weeks before his death.

Bartlomiej Kuczynski, 45, was found with a stab wound to his neck at a house near Norwich, on 19 January.

Kanticha Sukpengpanao, 36, Jasmin Kuczynska, 12, and Natasha Kuczynska, eight, were found with stab wounds to their necks at the same property. Their deaths are being treated as murder, police said yesterday.

Mr Kuczynski’s death is not being treated as suspicious, and officers are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

Weeks before the incident, on 14 December, police attended the same property in Costessey in relation to a missing person inquiry.

Kanticha Sukpengpanao. Pic: Facebook
Kanticha Sukpengpanao died from stab wounds. Pic: Facebook

It has now emerged that on the same day the missing person report was filed, Mr Kuczynski was taken to the emergency department at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital by police.

He later left the unit after he was assessed as having “mental capacity”.

“We can confirm that the patient was taken to the emergency department by police on December 14,” a spokesperson for the hospital said in a statement on Thursday.

“Following a comprehensive clinical assessment, the patient was assessed as having mental capacity and he left the unit before being reviewed again by the team.”

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The four bodies were discovered by police at the house in Allan Bedford Crescent at 7.15am around five weeks later, after a 999 call from a concerned member of the public.

The police force has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) due to the contact on 14 December, as well as a separate 999 call that was made by a man from the house on the same day the bodies were found, that did not result in the deployment of officers.

During the phone call, the man expressed concerns for his own mental state, saying he was confused, but was advised by police to seek medical advice, Charmaine Arbouin, IOPC regional director, said on Tuesday.

Norfolk Police has said it will investigate and will be examining if the contact its officers had with the man was “appropriate and in line with force policy, training and procedures”.

Norfolk house deaths: Man and woman found dead with two girls died from stab wounds | UK News

A man and a woman found dead along with two girls at a house in Norfolk both died from stab wounds to the neck, police said.

Officers discovered the bodies of 45-year-old Bartlomiej Kuczynski and two girls – thought to be his two young daughters – after forcing their way into the property in Allan Bedford Crescent, Costessey, near Norwich, on Friday morning.

The body of a 36-year-old woman, said to be part of the same family, was discovered alongside them.

Norfolk Police said all four had injuries and detectives are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

Police outside the house in Costessey near Norwich
Police forced their way into the house in Costessey, near Norwich

The force has referred itself to the police watchdog after revealing an emergency 999 call was earlier made by a man from the address, but officers failed to respond.

Police said post-mortem examinations found the woman died from stab wounds to the neck, while the man died from a stab wound to the neck.

Post-mortem examinations on the two girls are due to be carried out on Wednesday.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Burgess, who is leading the investigation, said: “Following this latest development we remain satisfied no one else was involved in this incident.

“This latest information will only add to the distress and shock felt by members of the local community and it’s why, from the outset, we’ve been determined to carry out detailed and methodical enquiries to make sure we fully understand how this incident has happened.”

Nina Crisan, whose son knew one of the girls, Jasmine, who was found dead along with three others at a home in Norfolk
Nina Crisan’s son knew one of the girls, Jasmin

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Nina Crisan, whose son knew one of the girls, named Jasmin, described her as a “very, very sweet girl”.

“She had very calm and cool energy, as my son would say,” she told Sky News. “She was just a lovely, lovely, lovely kid.”

She said the incident had come as an “absolute shock” to those who lived in the area.

“[It’s just] absolute shock, absolute shock and devastation.

“This is a really close community. And we all, even if we don’t know each other directly, sort of know each other through, the children, or through dog walking.”

An emergency 999 call was made from the address at around 6am, by a man, but police failed to respond.

Officers later forced their way into the property after being alerted by a member of the public, who was concerned for the welfare of the people inside, shortly before 7am.

The Norfolk force has referred itself to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog in relation to the 6am call, “to which police resources were not deployed”.

Police had already contacted the IOPC over the incident because officers attended the property on 14 December last year in relation to a missing person inquiry.

Man found dead alongside young girls and woman in Norfolk named | UK News

A 45-year-old man found dead alongside two young girls and a 36-year-old woman in Norwich has been named as Bartlomiej Kuczynski.

Their bodies were found at a house in Allan Bedford Crescent, Costessey, Norfolk, shortly before 7am on Friday.

Police previously said all four were found with injuries, and that they were all part of the same family.

“Three of the people are believed to reside at the address and another one not permanently,” said Detective Chief Inspector Chris Burgess of Norfolk Police.

“The man and two children lived at the address, but the woman involved was visiting and did not live at the property.”

He said post-mortem examinations would be held to establish the cause of their deaths.

Police forced their way into the property following a call from a member of the public. They also confirmed officers attended the property on 14 December last year in relation to a missing person inquiry.

“We are still working to understand the full circumstances which led to the deaths of these people, however at this time we believe this to be an isolated incident,” Mr Burgess added.

“I recognise the shock and upset this incident will cause in the local community and we will have increased patrols in the area across the weekend.”

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Woman who died in North Berwick house on New Year’s Day named as Keotshepile Naso Isaacs | UK News

A 33-year-old woman who died in an East Lothian house following a disturbance on New Year’s Day has been named by police.

Keotshepile Naso Isaacs, known as Naso, was pronounced dead at the scene after emergency services were called to Craigleith Avenue in North Berwick following a “report of concern” at around 8.20am.

A 37-year-old man was arrested in connection with Ms Isaacs’ death last week.

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A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Enquiries are continuing.”

Body recovered from River Tay in search for missing woman Clare Marshall | UK News

A body has been recovered from the River Tay in the search for a missing woman.

Although formal identification is yet to take place, the family of Clare Marshall have been informed.

A search was launched for Ms Marshall at the beginning of the week, with specialist help from the Police Scotland helicopter.

The 64-year-old left the Dundee Road area of Perth in the early hours of Monday and is believed to have walked to Moncreiffe Island.

A body was recovered near the island at around 12.50pm on Thursday.

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On Friday, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Officers have informed her family.

“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.”