A judge has failed to treat the murder of a disabl

first_imgA judge has failed to treat the murder of a disabled man who was imprisoned and tortured to death by his killer as a disability hate crime, raising fresh concerns about flawed legislation that is supposed to ensure higher sentences for such offences.Newcastle Crown Court heard during an eight-week trial how James Wheatley, 29, of Studdon Walk, Kenton Bar, Newcastle, repeatedly kicked, punched and stamped on Lee Irving in attacks that took place over nine days, leaving him with multiple broken bones and other injuries.Irving (pictured), 24, who had learning difficulties, thought Wheatley was his friend and was living in his house at the time of the attacks.But Wheatley and his co-defendants targeted Irving for his money and possessions, with Wheatley signing him up to online banking so he could empty his account.After the final attack that led to his death, Irving’s body was taken on a pushchair through a housing estate and dumped on a patch of grass near the A1.Gerry Wareham, chief crown prosecutor for the north-east, said after the trial that Wheatley had “exploited the friendship of Lee Irving in the worst way imaginable”.He said: “Lee only wanted friendship but, instead, became the target of Wheatley’s aggression.“After the attacks on Lee Irving, the defendants made every effort to hide what they had done: sedating and imprisoning him in their home, moving his body after death and removing key evidence.“Even those defendants not directly involved in the attacks would have recognised that the extent of his injuries required immediate medical attention. Not one of them tried to assist Lee or to prevent further injury to him.”Wheatley was found guilty on Friday (2 December) of murder, and sentenced to life in prison, where he will have to serve a minimum of 23 years.But the offences Wheatley committed were not treated as hate crimes by the judge, Mr Justice Soole, under section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act.If they had been, he would have had to serve at least 30 years in prison.Three other defendants – Wheatley’s mother Julie Mills, 52, girlfriend Nicole Lawrence, 22, and lodger Barry Imray, 35 – were convicted of conspiring to pervert the course of justice, as was Wheatley, and of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult, and all three were jailed.Both Northumbria police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had treated Irving’s death as a hate crime, but Mr Justice Soole, in sentencing Wheatley, decided there was not enough evidence to prove the killing was motivated by disability-related hostility.Lee Irving’s death now becomes the latest in a lengthy line of brutal crimes in which disabled people have been targeted because of their impairment, but which have not been acknowledged as disability hate crimes because of the flawed criminal justice system.One of them was the murder of Brent Martin, another man with learning difficulties, who was killed in nearby Sunderland by three young men who took turns to see which of them could knock him out for a £5 bet.But his killing in 2007 was never treated as a disability hate crime by Northumbria police, the same force that investigated Lee Irving’s death, or by the courts.In July this year, CPS was criticised for failing to treat as a disability hate crime a case in which a man with learning difficulties was forced to live in a shed for 35 years, and work for a pittance, and was beaten if he failed to work hard enough.And last year, the criminal justice system was again criticised after a court failed to treat the brutal murder of Peter Hedley as a disability hate crime, when again the judge merely took account of Hedley’s “vulnerability” in sentencing.The failure to sentence Lee Irving’s murderer under disability hate crime legislation will provide further fuel for disabled campaigners who have been pushing the government for years to ensure that it takes the issue seriously.Northumbria police had failed to comment by noon today (8 December).But a CPS spokesman confirmed that its lawyers had treated Lee Irving’s murder as a disability hate crime.He said in a statement: “We always apply to increase sentences where disability is an aggravating factor but ultimately it is the court’s decision.“The proportion of sentence uplifts applied in 2015-16 was the highest it has ever been and we are working with the judiciary and the courts in support of their consistent application.”CPS said that where there was not enough evidence of disability hostility for a section 146 uplift, but disability was a factor in another way – such as the victim’s perceived “vulnerability” – it can present evidence to the court of these other “aggravating” factors that can increase the seriousness of the offence and the sentence.A public consultation on CPS’s policy on prosecuting crimes against disabled people is due to end on 9 January 2017.last_img read more

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2019-07-31

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Disabled people who employ personal assistants PA

first_imgDisabled people who employ personal assistants (PAs) will not be exempt from a new government scheme designed to ensure that sleep-in care workers receive the minimum wage back pay they are due, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed.Disability News Service (DNS) has been told by HMRC that some individual employers of PAs are still being investigated over their failure to pay the full national minimum wage (NMW) to PAs who had worked overnight “sleep-ins”.And HMRC has made it clear that any arrears owed by disabled employers of PAs will eventually have to be paid.But it is not clear whether those arrears will be the responsibility of local authorities who funded direct payments that paid for PAs, or if individual disabled employers will have to meet that liability themselves.Other disabled employers of PAs may have funded that support themselves.The government announced this week that it was launching a new “compliance scheme”, which will give social care employers up to a year to identify how much they owe to staff who have been incorrectly paid below the legal minimum wage for sleep-in shifts.At the end of this period, employers who have identified arrears will have up to three months to pay workers what they are owed.Those who decide not to opt in to the scheme will be “subject to the full HMRC investigative process”, which could lead to financial penalties, public naming and shaming, and prosecution.The government had previously waived further penalties for sleep-in shifts underpayment that took place before 26 July 2017, and temporarily suspended enforcement action between 26 July and 1 November 2017.That action in July followed a high-profile tribunal ruling involving the disability charity Mencap, which found in April that many care workers should have been paid at least the minimum wage for the hours when spent on an overnight shift.An HMRC spokesman told DNS this week that his department was not able to say how many individual PA employers were being investigated for non-payment of sleep-in NMW arrears.But he said: “The government is aware that individuals who have used their own money, or direct payments, to fund sleep-in shifts could be personally liable for NMW arrears.“These individuals are themselves extremely vulnerable, and the government is committed to doing all it can to prevent them from suffering financial difficulties as a result of this issue.“However, the law states that all employers must pay NMW for sleep-in shifts, and this includes cases where an individual becomes an employer.“The government is working with local authorities to develop solutions that enable these arrears to be paid to workers without causing financial hardship for individuals.“Personal budget holders who have NMW arrears will be eligible for the social care compliance scheme as part of the government’s efforts to make sure that vulnerable individuals receive the support they require.”But he added: “The Care Act sets out a number of duties on a local authority to ensure a personal budget adequately reflects personal needs.”Asked whether this meant that HMRC believed it could be the responsibility of local authorities to meet the arrears faced by PA employers who receive direct payments, he said the government had “engaged local authorities to ensure personal budget allocations take into account the rules on NMW and when time spent asleep is working time for NMW purposes.“The government will work with local authorities to provide appropriate support on a case by case basis and intends to carefully monitor any additional local authority spending as a result of supporting individuals and the effect on local authority finances.”But he had not been able to clarify by noon today (Thursday) whether HMRC believed local authorities who funded direct payments could now be responsible for meeting the sleep-in shift NMW arrears of individual PA employers.Meanwhile, Sue Bott (pictured), deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, has warned that some disabled people are now having to cut back on their day-time support in order to be able to pay NMW rates during the night.She said: “Although employers will have longer to deal with any underpayment of sleep-ins, the government announcement fails to get to the heart of the problem. “Of course, PAs and other social care staff should be paid the proper rate for the job, but a direct payment must be sufficient to cover the costs. “Unfortunately, what we are seeing is that people are having to reduce the support they have in the day to pay for support at night. “The hole in social care funding just gets deeper every day with disabled people and older people having to pay the price through lack of essential support.”Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chair of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said: “The fact that employers won’t have to settle any back-payment for sleep-in costs until March 2019 is helpful and buys some much-needed time to further understand the size and potential impact of the historic liability.“But this announcement does not end the uncertainty for providers, care workers, the people they care for and their families, and those who pay for their own care or employ a personal assistant through a personal budget.“It was misleading government guidance in the past which caused the confusion over whether national minimum/living wage should apply for sleep-in shifts.“Now the government has clarified the position, it needs to provide genuinely new funding to deal with back-payment.”last_img read more

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2019-07-31

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Teenage Girls Snatch Cell Phone at 16th Street BART

first_imgThe girls were black and one of them had on a mustard coat, Stone said.She reported the crime to Paula Fraser, the assistant chief transportation officer for BART, who just happened to be at the station to attend a meeting of merchants and elected officials over the yet to be cleaned up plaza.Fraser said the incident was probably on video and had the car number – 455.Crime is trauma and the county offers different services. Here is a link to a page of services.Victims of violent crime can also contact the Trauma Recovery Center at UCSF. 0% Once again today at noon, a cellphone was snatched at the 16th Street BART Station.A small crime, but one we write about repeatedly to remind readers – never, ever take your phone out at the 16th Street BART station. Countless phones have been snatched on the train and as riders go up the escalators.This mugging occurred at noon when London Stone, a student, was sitting in the middle of the train, but near the door, checking her e-mail on her new iPhone.“All of a sudden my phone was hijacked,” she said. Three teenage girls – 14 or 15 years of age, she estimated – ran up the stairs, out the gate and up the escalator. She pursued them, but they were gone by the time she reached the plaza.center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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2019-07-31

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Mission Station to get new captain amid command staff changes

first_imgMission Police Station Capt. Bill Griffin will be replaced on Saturday by Capt. Gaetano Caltagirone, formerly the city’s night captain, Mission Local has learned from internal police documents and confirmed with Caltagirone.Griffin was reassigned to an initiative within the Special Operations Unit called the Urban Area Security Initiative, a Bay Area-wide unit tasked with preparing cities for disasters and terrorist attacks. He served as captain of Mission Station for about eight months, starting his tenure with a promise to bring a customer service approach to policing at the station, but cutting back the monthly community meetings to once every two months in favor of meeting with some groups privately on the off months.  Calls to Griffin asking for a comment on his Mission tenure have not been returned. In September, Caltagirone, 50, was promoted to captain during a 40-officer promotion spree by Chief Bill Scott. He is a 23-year SFPD veteran and a city native who still resides in San Francisco. His wife, a nurse at San Francisco General Hospital, is also a city native, as are their four children (two girls, two boys). 0% Tags: Mission Police Station • SFPD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img Caltagirone oversaw the Market Street footbeats as a sergeant in Tenderloin station, and earlier walked a beat as a patrolman at Central Station. As part of an initiative to increase community engagement, Chief Scott announced plans in late August to greatly expand foot patrols, and Caltagirone seems enthusiastic to carry this out. “To me, footbeats are an essential part of patrolling,” he said. “You really get to know the community and become infused within it: The business-owners, the neighbors, the bad guys.” An older captain once told him that patrol work is “God’s work.” He said he wasn’t arriving at Mission Station with preconceived notions of the neighborhood’s problems and solutions for them. “Everything is just so new, I just gotta look at it all,” he said. “I just gotta see what’s going on. I know there are a lot of issues to be addressed. I know it can’t happen in one day. But I also know I can make efforts to make changes for the better.”The change is part of a personnel rearrangement of some 20 captains. Other transfers include Mission Station’s Robert Yick, who is headed to Taraval Station, and Bayview Station Captain Raj Vaswani, who’s headed to the MTA division. Captain Joseph McFadden is leaving Ingleside Station for the Gun Crimes unit.McFadden will be replaced at Ingleside by Jack Hart and Viswani will be succeeded at Bayview by Steven Ford. The new captain in the Tenderloin is Carl Fabbri. last_img read more

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2019-07-31

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Women of color take stage at the Cleantech Forum

first_imgStraight, white, cisgender males tend to dominate the dialogue at tech, innovation and entrepreneurship conferences. But Tuesday morning at the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, women of color took the stage in back-to-back-to-back presentations to talk about their work.UC Berkeley alumna Ulili Onovakpuri, now a partner at Kapor Capital, a venture-capital fund focused on social good and based in Oakland, started off by remarking about the comfortable mise-en-scène onstage. “You guys had nice chairs like this in grade school?” she jokingly retorted. “We barely had enough seats for students at my school!”Kapor Capital, whose founder, Mitchell Kapor, also founded the corporation that developed Lotus 1-2-3, a precursor to Microsoft Excel, focuses on investments that address the needs of low-income communities — preferably projects dreamed up by diverse leadership. Onovakpuri summarized her modus operandi as such: “I tell people that I want to find a company that can help buy me a yacht, but I want to feel good while I’m on the yacht.” Sharing the stage before and after Onovakpuri was Eleanor Chang, executive director of investments at Tencent, a large China-based company, and longtime president & CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries Constance Lau, who remarked “I didn’t expect to be the third woman of color at this forum.”“Maybe the world is, indeed, changing,” she said.Diversity of race and gender wasn’t the only form of diversity emphasized at Cleantech Forum, which began Monday and will run through Wednesday at The Park Central hotel. Diversity of thought and subject matter was front-and-center, too. The forum spotlighted topics ranging from education and healthcare to energy and transportation. Chang, for example, talked about an investment her firm made in the German company Lilium, which builds electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft for potential commuter use to ease traffic congestion in urban areas.She also talked about a partnership her firm made with a Dutch university in researching artificial intelligence (AI). Researchers there found that AI performed better than humans did in a trial production of cucumbers in indoor greenhouses.Onovakpuri echoed the sentiment of support for this kind of bleeding-edge tech research. She said her company wants to use AI and blockchain technology for “social good,” such as to close gaps of access for communities of color. For example, her firm invested in a start-up called Via, which recently launched a pilot program that will connect workers in Los Angeles who live outside the bounds of public transport to major transportation hubs.She said her other goals include making it easier to find substitute teachers in public schools, as well as funding projects that will make buildings more energy-efficient.But even getting involved in this kind of work is challenging for those from certain disadvantaged backgrounds.“Venture capital, as it currently stands, is not a very welcoming environment,” Onovakpuri said. “I think even job descriptions tend to be closed-door. You know somebody who knows somebody; it’s kind of like the mafia, a bit.” She continued, “We think that dismantling the current structure of venture that prevents people from different backgrounds — the folks who didn’t go to Harvard or Stanford — from entering the industry is something that needs to be done so that more people have a seat at the table.”But “getting high off of diversity” isn’t enough, Onovakpuri contends. The goal is to have more representation so more ideas can help the larger communities in society, not just the rich ones that already have easy access to high tech.“I think a lot of times, there’s lip service made to diversity. It looks good when you are building a diverse team,” she said. “But for us, at the end of the day, are you recognizing the economic value of diversity? Are you recognizing the knowledge that people bring to the table who have lived experiences?“If your team is not diverse, it’s not complete,” she continued.As tech becomes more ubiquitous, those who come from more indigent backgrounds are at risk of being left behind. That’s where diversity provides a safety net.Onovakpuri said her firm is interested in creating “more technology that is at a price point that is accessible so that not just the more well-off individuals get access to cutting-edge technology.”Because, she said: “Everyone deserves clean energy.” Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img Email Addresslast_img read more

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2019-07-31

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It has the look of an old style tracksuit top and

first_imgIt has the look of an old style tracksuit top and is probably the players’ favourite item of clothing!The Retro Jacket is predominantly black body with a red panel on the upper chest and a full red zip.The chest panel also has a white trim with the cuffs and hem elasticated and trimmed with white and red.Adult sizes are available from Extra Small through to 5XL – Kids sizes 5/6 through to Age 13/14 yrs.To buy, call into the Superstore at the Totally Wicked Stadium (open today from 12pm-4pm) or log on here.last_img read more

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2019-07-31

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It also has an additional panel inside the vee and

first_imgIt also has an additional panel inside the vee and an embroidered purple crest.But more importantly, at the lower front hem, we have added a small logo with the initials VG and a date.This is to remember and commemorate the life of St.Helens girl Violet Grace Youens who was sadly taken from us in 2017 in a road traffic incident.The shirt is available in store and here and comes in sizes 8 through to 18. It is also available in Childrens sizes.The store is open until 5pm tonight (Wednesday) and 7pm on Thursday.last_img read more

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2019-07-31

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The team consisted of regular players along with t

first_imgThe team consisted of regular players along with three debut players.After a long journey to Kent, St Helens came away convincing winners with the final score being 120-18.Paul Craig and Kieran Henry both scored five tries, Joshua McEvoy four and Chris Dennett one whilst Ste Argent scored his first ever points on debut with a hat-trick.Elsewhere, Chelsey Fairclough and Alex Jackson both scored a try each on debut – and all the players converted each of their own tries.The next game is away to Halifax on Sunday June 17 (1pm).last_img read more

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2019-07-31

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NC House passes redrawn judicial map creates new district for Pender

first_imgPENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A redrawn map of North Carolina’s election districts for trial court judges and local prosecutors means better representation for Pender County.HB 717 has cleared the House.- Advertisement – In the new map, instead of New Hanover and Pender Counties making up the 5th Judicial District, they are broken up into three districts known as 12A, 12B, and 12C.District 12A is made up of all of Pender County and a portion of the Castle Hayne area in New Hanover County. The rest of New Hanover County will be broken up into 12B and 12C.The House voted 69-43 late Thursday for the redistricting, which the chief Republican that led the effort says would bring uniformity and fairness to how District and Superior Court judges are elected.Related Article: New Hanover County Commission turns blue for the first time in decades following midterms“North Carolina’s population has grown rapidly over the past two generations, and it is a constitutional duty for the General Assembly to ensure the justice system serves all our citizens equally,” said House Speaker Tim Moore in a news release.Democrats voting against the measure said urban counties that favor their party are split so that more Republicans will be elected. They also suggested litigation was likely because the maps could force an inordinate number of black judges to run against each other.But it won’t be taken up by the Senate – if it all – until at least January.Senators earlier Thursday wrapped up their work for a special session. The next session begins January 10.*information from the Associated Press was used in this reportlast_img read more

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2019-07-30

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Eddings family promotes forgiveness at Coastal Horizons annual luncheon

first_img The Eddings lost their two-year-old son, Dobbs, and their newborn, Reed, in 2015. Matthew Deans slammed into them while driving under the influence. The couple spoke at the Coastal Horizon Center’s annual luncheon and shared how someone’s addiction changed their family forever.“I think when we understand the stories of addiction and recovery and then some of the consequences of untreated addiction, I think it personalizes this for us,” Kenny House, Coast Horizons Clinical Director, said.The focus this year is “Finding Humanity Behind The Headlines.” District attorney, Ben David, believes the couple’s story of forgiveness for the man who caused the crash is one story people need to hear.Related Article: Wilmington approves $9M for initial storm cleanup funding“We tried to dip below the headlines today and show people what real grace and mercy can look like. We all talk about choices and consequences. There’s also justice and mercy. A little bit of both is here today,” David says.The Eddings credit their faith with getting them to where they are today.“The scripture says the joy of the Lord is our strength. We rejoice because we know that he loves us and that he’s caring for us even as we walk through hard situations. And so, our faith gives us lots of courage to press forward and know that we’re in good hands,” the Eddings said.The Eddings say they are thankful for everything done for them. The couple has three month old twins named Isaiah Dobbs and Amos Reed. In honor of their two children who died. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The power to forgive after an unimaginable loss. A Charlotte couple who lost both their toddler and newborn after an impaired driver crashed into them delivered a powerful message today.“Our strength come from the Lord. Just depending on him, trusting in him. That’s been the biggest source of our strength,” Gentry and Hadley Edding said.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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2019-07-30

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