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Loughton hit-and-run: Harley Watson named as victim

Harley Watson

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Harley Watson, 12, was described by his school as “liked and loved”

A 12-year-old boy killed in a hit-and-run outside a school has been named locally as Harley Watson.

He was struck near Debden Park High School in Loughton, Essex, at about 15:20 GMT on Monday.

A 51-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of his murder, as well as the attempted murder of four other teenagers and a 23-year-old woman who were hurt in the crash.

One of the victims was described by his mother as “battered and bruised”.

It is understood all the injured children – two 15-year-old boys, a 13-year-old boy, and a girl, 16 – are pupils at the school.

Debden Park’s head teacher Helen Gascoyne, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and all those affected.

“The school will be open [on Tuesday] with a number of counsellors on hand to support our community.”

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Flowers and messages to Harley Watson and his family have been left at the scene of the crash

Christian Cavanagh, executive head teacher, described the Harley’s death as “a young life so tragically lost”.

He said: “This young man had made his mark on the school and was liked and loved by staff and students.

“We will consult with the family and our school community to decide how best to commemorate his life.”

‘I’ve been hit by a car’

Donna Mills, the mother of Alfie Barnes who was one of the 15-year-olds struck by the car, said he was “still in shock… battered and bruised”.

“He remembers the car coming towards him, he remembers getting hit, but it is a bit of a blur. He hit his head and I think he blacked out for a bit,” she said.

“Alfie rang me and said ‘mum I have been hit by a car’, so I shot down there as fast as I could. It was horrendous.

“It was… horrible to see, kids laying on the floor, just terrible.”

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Debden Park High School opened on Tuesday for staff and pupils to support each other

Essex Police said officers are looking for a silver Ford Ka that was “likely to have damage to [its] front”.

Earlier, the force took the step of naming Terry Glover, 51, as someone they wanted to speak to in connection with the crash.

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Met Police superintendent sentenced over indecent video

Dido Massivi, Jennifer Hodge and Novlett Robyn Williams

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Supt Novlett Robyn Williams (right) was on trial with her sister Jennifer Hodge and Dido Massivi (left)

A senior Met Police officer who was found guilty of possessing an indecent image of a child has been told to carry out 200 hours of community service.

Supt Novlett Robyn Williams was sent a “disturbing” video by her sister last year, but failed to report her.

The judge told the Old Bailey her “grave error of judgement” was likely to have “immense” career consequences.

Williams had denied the charge, saying she “zoned out” when she received the video.

The 54-year-old, who was commended for her work after the Grenfell Tower disaster, was cleared of a charge of corrupt or improper exercise of police powers in failing to report the distribution of an image.

Judge Richard Marks QC told Williams it was “completely tragic you found yourself in the position you now do” considering her “stellar career in the police force over 30 years”.

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Supt Williams, pictured with London mayor Sadiq Khan, was highly commended for her work helping families affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster

Williams’ sister Jennifer Hodge, 56, of Brent, was ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service having been found guilty of distributing an indecent image of a child.

Hodge’s partner Dido Massivi, 61, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended for two years as well as 200 hours of community service.

He had been found guilty of two counts of distributing indecent photos and one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image.

Scotland Yard said Williams remains on restricted duties but that would be “reviewed now criminal matters are complete”.

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Rape-accused Joseph McCann ‘caught on CCTV at hotel’

Joseph McCann

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CCTV images allegedly showed Joseph McCann at the Phoenix Lodge Hotel in Watford on 25 April

A man accused of rape was caught on camera at a hotel just before one of his alleged victims smashed him over the head and escaped, a court heard.

Joseph McCann went into the Phoenix Lodge Hotel in Watford on 25 April, leaving two women in a car outside, the Old Bailey was told.

He was allegedly captured on CCTV entering the hotel wearing a tracksuit and a baseball cap.

Mr McCann, 34, from Harrow, denies 37 offences against 11 victims.

After going into the hotel, he held the front door open and glanced repeatedly outside while rapping on the window of the reception desk to speak to staff, the court was told.

He then told his alleged captives to get out of the car and smile as he put his arms around them.

Instead, one of them, a 25-year-old woman, grabbed a bottle of vodka and hit him over the head with it before running for help, jurors heard.

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Joseph McCann is accused of 37 offences against 11 alleged victims, including children

The trial continues.

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Frank Dobson: Ex-Labour minister dies aged 79

Frank Dobson

The veteran Labour politician Frank Dobson has died at the age of 79.

Mr Dobson served as health secretary in the government of Tony Blair following Labour’s 1997 landslide victory.

He left government to contest the first-ever London mayoral election in 2000, ultimately coming third to independent candidate Ken Livingstone.

He served as MP for Holborn and St Pancras in central London for more than 40 years before standing down in 2015.

Mr Dobson led Labour-controlled Camden Council in the 1970s before first being elected to Parliament in 1979.

He served in a number of shadow frontbench roles under Neil Kinnock, John Smith and Tony Blair during Labour’s 18 years in opposition.

As Labour’s first health secretary for nearly 20 years, Mr Dobson oversaw the abolition of the internal market in the NHS, but was frustrated at financial constraints initially imposed by the Blair government, which stuck to the Conservatives’ spending plans for the first four years.

He put himself forward as a candidate, some suggested reluctantly, for the new post of London mayor in 2000.

However, he was pushed into third place behind Mr Livingstone, who ran as an independent – after being barred from standing by Labour – and the Conservative candidate Steve Norris.

After his defeat, he never returned to government but continued in Parliament for a further 15 years.

Labour candidates and officials have been paying tribute to Mr Dobson, whose death was announced by his family.

And current Conservative Health Secretary Matt Hancock also praised his “years of devotion” to the health service.

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Saracens docked 35 points and fined £5.3m for breaching salary cap rules

Saracens have won four of the past five Premiership titles

Premiership and European champions Saracens have been docked 35 points for breaching salary cap regulations.

The punishment comes after an investigation into business partnerships between chairman Nigel Wray and some of the club’s players.

Saracens have also been fined £5.36m, with the points deduction coming into immediate effect in the Premiership.

The charges relate to a failure to disclose player payments in each of the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

Saracens have said they will appeal, having said in March they “readily comply” with the regulations.

They claimed to be able to spend above the £7m cap because of the high proportion – almost 60% – of home-grown players in their squad.

During an independent disciplinary panel hearing, Saracens saw their challenge of the validity of the regulations on competition law grounds rejected.

In the five seasons that Saracens have finished as Premiership champions, a 35-point deduction would have meant they would not have reached the play-offs – but would also not have been relegated.

They would have finished 10th last season had the same punishment been imposed in 2018-19.

Saracens, who have won two of their three Premiership matches so far this season, are entitled to seek a review of the decision by an arbitration body.

The deduction will put them bottom of the table on -26 points before their trip to Gloucester on Saturday.

Premiership Rugby introduced their salary cap in 1999 to ensure the financial viability of all clubs and the competition.

The regulations are also designed to control inflationary pressures on clubs’ costs and provide a level playing field for clubs and a competitive Premiership.

Saracens started the current Premiership campaign with a significant number of their star players still on World Cup duty.

Eight of their players were in the England squad which lost to South Africa in the final, including new signing Elliot Daly, who completed a move from Wasps in the summer.

How the Premiership looks after Saracens’ points deduction

‘The biggest story in English club rugby history’

Analysis: BBC rugby union correspondent Chris Jones

Saracens have been the dominant force in the domestic game for the best part of a decade – scooping seven major titles and providing the spine of the England World Cup team – but that success will now be considered tainted.

How long has it been going on? Will the club keep their titles? Will they appeal, given they insist they were involved in legitimate business dealings with players? What happens now to the current squad, which may need to be dismantled, especially with a £5m fine and the threat of relegation?

And what do players, coaches and fans at other clubs think, given everyone is affected in some way by this? On that note, do any other clubs in the league have something to hide?

Like with the Bloodgate scandal 10 years ago, the fallout to this will be significant and lengthy, and will damage the integrity of the Premiership just at the point the league is looking to launch a global expansion.

This is probably the biggest story in English club rugby history.

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Grenfell Tower fire: ‘Systemic failures’ in fire brigade’s response

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Media captionThe second anniversary of the tragedy was marked last June

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has been condemned for “serious shortcomings” and systemic failures in its response to the Grenfell Tower fire, in a report after the first phase of an inquiry.

Fewer people would have died in the 2017 fire if the LFB had taken certain actions earlier, the report by inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said.

The head of the Fire Brigades Union said the inquiry was “back to front”.

The BBC has seen sections of the report ahead of Wednesday’s publication.

The document follows the first phase of the inquiry, which looked at what happened on the night that 72 people died in the tower block fire on 14 June 2017.

The second phase will focus on wider circumstances of the fire, including the design of the building.

General secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, Matt Wrack, said: “The truth is that the fire spread the way it did because it was wrapped in flammable cladding. The firefighters turned up after that had happened, after the building had already been turned, in reality, into a death trap.

“Firefighters’ actions on the night, which were remarkable in the circumstances, are now being scrutinised. Nobody is trying to avoid scrutiny, but we think that the ordering of the inquiry is completely back to front.”

The council, the tower’s tenant management organisation, the police and the fire service were all questioned during the inquiry’s first phase.

The inquiry has criticised the Daily Telegraph, which first published leaked details of the report, and other media which followed suit. A spokeswoman said publication had deprived “those most affected by the fire – the bereaved, survivors and residents – of the opportunity to read the report at their own pace”.

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The families of the 72 victims contributed to the report

Sir Martin’s report praised the courage of firefighters on the night.

But it found many “institutional” failures that meant the LFB’s planning and preparation for the incident was “gravely inadequate”.

For example, Sir Martin said control room staff who fielded 999 calls “undoubtedly saved lives” but “a close examination” of operations revealed “shortcomings in practice, policy and training”.

He said staff that night were in an “invidious” position when they were outnumbered by 999 calls.

“Supervisors were under the most enormous pressure, but the LFB had not provided its senior control room staff with appropriate training on how to manage a large-scale incident with a large number of FSG [Fire Survival Guidance] calls,” he said.

“Mistakes made in responding to the Lakanal House fire were repeated,” he added – referring to a fire in Camberwell, south London, in 2009, which killed three women and three children.


By Lucy Manning, special correspondent

This report could not be more critical of the London Fire Brigade.

The Grenfell families wanted this level of criticism, especially those whose relatives died when they were told for nearly two hours to stay put in the building as it was covered in flames.

But there is also some frustration that this first part of the inquiry wasn’t about those who made the cladding and oversaw the refurbishment of Grenfell.

That will only happen in the second phase of the inquiry next year and then they’ve got even longer to wait for the police investigation to finish.

So they are seeing some blame apportioned and they hope they will eventually see justice but the Grenfell survivors will always suffer the loss and grief and ask the question how did 72 people die in what was supposed to be the safety of their homes?

Sir Martin also criticised the LFB for following a “stay put” strategy, where firefighters and 999 operators told residents to stay in their flats for nearly two hours after the blaze broke out.

The strategy was rescinded at 02:47 BST, the report said. Sir Martin wrote: “That decision could and should have been made between 01:30 and 01:50 and would be likely to have resulted in fewer fatalities.”

Firefighters who attended the fire did not have training on how best to combat a cladding fire, the report added.

Four members of the first crews to have fought the blaze had 52 years of combined experience. However, they had not received any training on the risks posed by exterior cladding or the techniques to be deployed in fighting fires involving cladding, the report found.

Sir Martin said the “principal” reason the fire spread so quickly “up, down and around the building was the presence of the aluminium composite material (ACM) rainscreen panels with polyethylene cores, which acted as a source of fuel”.

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Dany Cotton said she would not have changed anything about the way her brigade responded to the blaze

The report also said evidence given by the LFB’s commissioner, Dany Cotton, suggested lessons from the fire might be missed.

Sir Martin wrote: “Quite apart from its remarkable insensitivity to the families of the deceased and to those who escaped from their burning homes with their lives, the Commissioner’s evidence that she would not change anything about the response of the LFB on the night, even with the benefit of hindsight, only serves to demonstrate that the LFB is an institution at risk of not learning the lessons of the Grenfell Tower fire.”

A spokesperson for the LFB said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on the report’s findings before they were officially released on Wednesday.

Speaking on Monday, Sir Martin said the report was long and detailed.

He stressed that readers of the report “should understand as clearly as possible the terrifying conditions faced by those who were in the building, at the time”.

The cause of the fire was found by the report to be “an electrical fault in the large fridge freezer in the kitchen” in a fourth-floor flat.

“It occurred without any fault on the part of the tenant… and I am pleased to clear him of any blame, given that some people have unfairly accused him of having some responsibility for what happened,” Sir Martin said.

  • Additional reporting by Vinnie O’Dowd.

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Thames flood defence scheme secures £270m boost

Flooding in Chertsey

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About 1,000 homes in Surrey were flooded when the Thames burst its banks in 2014

About 15,000 homes near the River Thames could be protected from flooding by 2027 after a flood defence scheme was given a £270m funding boost.

The scheme will protect homes and businesses between Datchet, Berkshire, through Surrey to Teddington.

The Environment Agency said it could now afford to build the defences thanks to funding from Surrey County Council.

In 2014, about 2,000 people were flooded out of their homes in Chertsey, Egham, Sunbury, Staines and Weybridge.

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Stranded residents in Staines, in Surrey, were rescued by fire crews during the floods five years ago

Central government, local authorities and other partners including Thames Water will all contribute to the scheme.

Dave Bedlington, from the Environment Agency, said the new funding from Surrey County Council meant the scheme could now be shown to be affordable.

If the defences were not built, flooding such as that seen in 2014 would become more frequent, according to Mr Bedlington.

“If everything goes with a fair wind we’d being submitting our planning application in two years’ time. Because of the scale, that’s likely to take a two-year inquiry,” he said.

‘Devastating’ floods

If given the go-ahead, construction could start in 2023 and it could be operational in 2027, he added.

The Environment Agency said three new channels alongside the River Thames would reduce the flood risk at Datchet, Wraysbury, Egham, Staines, Chertsey, Shepperton, Weybridge, Sunbury, Moseley, Thames Ditton, Kingston and Teddington, affecting 15,000 homes and 2,400 businesses.

The plans also include 260 acres (106 hectares) of new public open space and the creation of 615 acres (250 hectares) of new wildlife habitat, a spokesman said.

Tim Oliver, leader of Surrey County Council, said: “The floods in 2014 were devastating and ever since then it’s been clear we need to do all we can to make sure our residents and their properties are protected from such risks in the future.”

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England forward Billy Vunipola ‘very likely’ to face Australia in World Cup quarter-final

Billy Vunipola injured his ankle in England’s 39-10 victory over Argentina on 5 October.

England’s preparations for their World Cup quarter-final against Australia have been given a significant boost with the news that Billy Vunipola is now “very likely” to be fit to start.

The number eight injured his ankle against Argentina 10 days ago but continues to improve in the build-up to the clash in Oita on Saturday.

England have not won a World Cup knockout game for 12 years.

But they have beaten the Wallabies in all of their last six meetings.

Defence coach John Mitchell told BBC 5 Live: “Billy’s doing really well.

“He got through restricted training activity again today, ran with the ball, did some wrestling and boxing and some sprinting on the WattBike.

“He wasn’t smiling after the WattBike, but he’s in good humour and progressing nicely. At this point it’s looking very likely.”

Vunipola was likely to be rested had England’s final group game against France in Yokohama last Saturday gone ahead as scheduled, rather than being cancelled because of the threat of Typhoon Hagibis.

But the loss of that game has bought him time, even as utility back Jack Nowell once again sat out training with a hamstring injury.

Mitchell said: “Billy is a very important player to us and a very likeable player as well.

“He loves the ball in his hand. He’s very good at regaining and retaining momentum. He likes carrying the ball, which is where he has his greatest influence.

“He fits well within the team, but whoever gets the nods within the 31, everyone has a role to play.”

Australia knocked England out at the pool stages in 2015 with a 33-13 victory at Twickenham

England wary of adventurous Aussies

Australia were beaten by Wales in their key pool game and struggled in the first half against both Fiji and Georgia.

But they beat the All Blacks 47-26 in August, and in Michael Cheika have a coach who plotted England’s demise in the group stages four years ago before taking his team on to the final.

Cheika has yet to settle on a preferred combination at 10 and 12, but with the form of muscular centre Samu Kerevi, he has one of the stand-out performers at this World Cup at his disposal.

Mitchell said: “The Wallabies are a very clever football team, and they will be clever at the weekend.

“They’ve always got their ability in terms of surprise, and they love ball in their hands, which is what they thrive on.

“You’ve got to look at how they attack – they love the ball in hand and they love putting width on it.

“Any one of those possible 10s and nines and 12s fall into that style of football. It doesn’t matter who they put there, they can all play that style.

“Kerevi is such a strong character, and they tend to move him around in structured attacks. He looks like he’s really enjoying his tournament, so he’s a threat we’ll need to be aware of.

“But we have our own beliefs in how we want to play, and we want to embrace this opportunity and bring our strengths out.”

England’s training was watched on Tuesday by Australian rugby league great Ricky Stuart, now the coach of Canberra Raiders.

Stuart will be invited to share his ideas about both coaching and England’s shape in the run-up to a game that could do much to define whether the Eddie Jones regime has been a success or failure.

It is 12 years since England last reached the semi-finals of a World Cup, their defeat of a much-fancied Wallabies team in Marseille in 2007 one of their great displays in the tournament.

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Burst water main floods north London streets homes

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Media captionFinsbury Park flooding

Residents in north London are facing a flood a meter deep after a large water mains burst causing some people to leave their homes.

A “river” of water has flooded properties on Queens Drive and Princess Crescent in Finsbury Park, closing a a local primary school.

Postcode areas N1, N4, N5, N7 and N19 have either no water or low water pressure, Thames Water said.

Traffic and pedestrians have been advised to avoid the area.

The water company said its engineers are, “doing everything they can to get things up and running as quickly as possible.”

It has apologised to customers but so far had not managed to turn off water from the burst pipe, a spokesman said, adding “it was a complicated process”.

Matthew who lives in a first-floor flat on Queens Drive woke up to the river outside his home and quickly alerted the occupants living in the basement property.

They have now been given temporary stay in another flat, said Matthew, who has a week-old baby.

He said he is worried about not having any water.

“I’m concerned about hygiene and although my wife is breast-feeding she needs to drink,” he said.

Cars can be seen stranded with water levels up to their wheel rims.

Parkwood Primary and Nursery schools have been shut as a result of the flood.

Thames Water is hoping to stop the water flowing from the burst pipe and reconnect customers by midday.

As well as fire officers checking basement flats, loss adjusters from Thames Water are on hand to provide help to residents who may now need somewhere to stay.

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