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A Turkish taxi driver in Ipswich has been fined for refusing to accept a blind couple and their guide dogs in his vehicle.

A Turkish taxi driver in Ipswich has been fined for refusing to accept a blind couple and their guide dogs in his vehicle. | Bridlington EDL News |

Metin Akin, of Coopers Close, Witnesham, pleaded guilty to refusing to transport Martin Roberts, Clare Burman and their two dogs across town last July.

Magistrates in Ipswich fined Akin £165 and ordered him to pay £1,233.50 costs.

The case was the first of its kind brought by Ipswich Borough Council which licenses local taxis.

The couple ordered a cab from Ipswich Taxis on a Sunday afternoon and phoned the office when it did not turn up.

They said they were initially told by the operator that the driver who had been allocated to them did not want dogs on his leather seats.

Ms Burman, 32, said: "I makes me feel anxious and nervous when I use these services, because I never know what sort of a reception I'll get.

"Guide dogs do not go on seats. If they can't go in the boot they will go in the foot well.

"We want to send out the message that you can't get away with that. It's not our fault that we have to travel with an assistance dog."

Mr Roberts, 35, said: "I wasn't happy with the situation. It makes you feel a little humiliated and like a second-class citizen.

"Drivers can't do this because, unless they have a proven medical certificate for an allergy, it's against the law."

The couple, and their dogs Malone and Vikki, were eventually sent another driver and they said they continue to use Ipswich Cabs.

The council brought the charges under the Equality Act 2010.

A spokesman for the council said: "We cannot allow anyone to infect the relationship between drivers and their passengers whether those passengers are disabled, from an ethnic minority, of a different faith or for any other discriminatory reason.

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Surgeon (Manjit Bhamra) botched operations cost NHS more than £2 million

Surgeon (Manjit Bhamra) botched operations cost NHS more than £2 million | Bridlington EDL News |

Botched operations by a surgeon still practising have cost the NHS more than £2 million.

Another 94 claims have also to be dealt with involving former patients of orthopaedic surgeon Manjit Bhamra who worked at Rotherham Hospital.

By last summer 13 claimants had received £1,058,784 and now another £1,005,000 has been agreed for four former patients including a payout of £830,000 for one claimant.

Of the 17 payouts so far Rotherham Hospital has admitted liability in ten and made no admission in the other seven.

The General Medical Council cleared the surgeon of any wrongdoing in 2011 and he retains a full medical licence and has worked at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield since 2009.

Claims against him largely involve hip, knee and shoulder surgery while he worked full-time at Rotherham Hospital until 2007 and then part-time until 2009.

A small number of claims have been made about his work at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust where he now works and Goole Hospital.

Mid Yorkshire has said it has no concerns about the doctor practising and says it undertakes robust checks when employing staff.

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who are representing the claimants have agreed a protocol with the NHS to process the large number of claims and another 94 have to be processed.

The compensation is being paid by the NHS Litigation Authority which co-ordinates negligence claims on behalf of the health trusts and Rotherham Hospital's contribution is likely to increase because of the settled claims.

Some patients have suffered lasting damage at the hands of the surgeon.

Wayne Pickering, 60, of Cantley, Doncaster had a hip operation in February, 2006 and suffered a fractured pelvis and damaged the sciatic nerve, leaving him with an unstable hip and seriously impaired mobility so he had to give up work.

One man was forced to sleep in a chair because he was unable to lie down due to extreme pain and a patient in her 50s was left with one leg longer than the other while a 23-year-old was allegedly given the wrong hip implant and left disabled for life.

Rotherham Hospital declined to comment on the new settlements or how much it expected to pay out in future compensation.

Last October the hospital trust announced it would be cutting 750 jobs or 20% of its workforce by 2015 in a bid to save £50 million. Unions have blamed the cuts on poor management.

Tim Annett of Irwin Mitchell said: "While some cases have already settled a special protocol has been set up with the NHS LA and investigations are ongoing to find out exactly what happened during the treatment of our remaining clients and ensure that any potential lessons are learned to improve patient safety in the future."

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Four admit discussing UK terror plot

Four admit discussing UK terror plot | Bridlington EDL News |

Four men have pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.

Zahid Iqbal, Mohammed Sharfaraz Ahmed, Umar Arshad and Syed Farhan Hussain admitted facilitating, planning and encouraging travel overseas contrary to Section 5 of Terrorism Act 2006.

The men were arrested following a series of anti-terror raids in Luton, Beds, last year.

All four, aged between 21 and 31, were due to stand trial next month.

At Woolwich Crown Court they also admitted collecting funds for terrorist purposes overseas and downloaded bomb making instructions.

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Another interracial relationship that did not work (see what her black ex husband did to her)

Another interracial relationship that did not work (see what her black ex husband did to her) | Bridlington EDL News |

Mother-of-two gets FACE transplant five years after ex-husband doused her in industrial-strength Lye


Doctors at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital worked for 15 hours to give Carmen Tarleton, 44, new facial skin, including neck, nose, lips, facial muscles arteries and nerves.


The book starts with Tarleton's decision at 28 to move across the country from her native Vermont to Los Angeles, with her two children in tow, to work as a nurse at a UCLA hospital.

There she met Rodgers, whom she eventually married. The family moved back to Thetford, where her marriage started to unravel — in part over Rodgers' dishonesty, she writes.


Tarleton recalls what she now says was a premonition. One evening when she was about to leave for her night shift at the hospital, her 12-year-old daughter was sobbing in her bedroom. When she asked what was wrong, her daughter said,

'Something really, really bad is going to happen to you.'

Eight months later, it did. Rodgers is serving a minimum of 30 years in prison for the June 2007 attack.

When she set out to write the book three years later with only limited vision in one eye, she stalled when it came time to explain what Rodgers had done to her that night. She had to coach herself through it.

'Alone at my magnifying machine, I felt physically ill with what I was doing,' she wrote. 

'The experience of reliving that night, trying to capture every detail as vividly as I remembered it, was sickening. Halfway through, I let my pen drop and rushed to my bedroom, the edges of my limited vision blackening.'

It took her two days to write it. It was scary, but it was what she wanted to do, she said. She talked out the rest of the book and recorded it. She hired Writers of the Round Table Press to write it all down, including dialogue she had recalled.

'I was paying attention, because some of it I couldn't forget if I wanted to,' she said.

She writes about facing Rodgers in court, how she dealt with being blind and disfigured, her pain, the help she has received from her community, family and friends, and how she came to forgive the man who maimed her so she could get on with her own life.

'That's where I feel people get stuck because we don't have a segment of our society that says just because this terrible thing happened to you it doesn't have to ruin the rest of your life,' she said. 'And I want to be the example of that because it doesn't.'

Publishing the book was a no-brainer for Writers of the Round Table Press, said vice president David Cohen.

'Taking that kind of experience and turning that energy into something positive and wanting to go out there and effect change with as much as she had to overcome, to me was just striking,' Cohen said.

She has had several recent surgeries to install a catheter in her chest and was sick last winter with hyperthyroidism.

She has plans to write other books and has started a blog on the book's website, in a bid to share her positive attitude with others.


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Migration at lowest level for a decade: Curbs on non-EU students and workers cut number of new arrivals by 74,000

Migration at lowest level for a decade: Curbs on non-EU students and workers cut number of new arrivals by 74,000 | Bridlington EDL News |

Immigration into Britain has fallen to its lowest level in nearly a decade.

The number of people coming to live here fell by 74,000 in the 12 months to June last year as curbs on students and workers from outside Europe began to bite.

But there were warnings that the Government’s successes may be reversed when the labour market is thrown open to workers from Romania and Bulgaria at the end of this year.

In the year up to June some 515,000 migrants came into Britain, the fewest since 2003 which was the year before the borders were opened to Poles and other East European workers.

Falling numbers of immigrants reduced the key total for net migration – the number by which the population has swollen after both immigration and emigration are taken into account – to 163,000.

The level was down by more than a third in a year, putting Home Secretary Theresa May well on the way to achieve the Coalition ambition of reducing net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’ by the next election.

Immigration think-tanks said restrictions on migration from outside Europe, introduced by Mrs May as she tries to tackle Labour’s disastrous legacy and rebuild Britain’s borders, are now having a major impact.

Net migration of 163,000 compares to 247,000 in the previous 12 months, to June 2011, yesterday’s figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed.

The count reveals net migration falling steadily. It was 183,000 in the year to March 2012, according to figures released at the end of last year.

The net migration figures were last at 163,000 in 2008 when foreign workers left Britain as jobs began to dry up at the beginning of the financial downturn. 

Otherwise the figure is the lowest since 1999, two years after Tony Blair came to power and opened the immigration floodgates, when it was also 163,000.

This time the falling level is not due to emigration – which in the year to summer 2012 remained similar to the year before – but to reductions in immigration. 

One major drop came in numbers of students from outside Europe which were down to 197,000 from 239,000 in the previous year.

However, the figures give the lie to warnings from university chiefs, MPs and business leaders that student curbs would deter the brightest from coming to Britain.

In fact there was a 3 per cent increase in the number of visas issued for students wishing to study at universities in Britain.

By contrast, there were falls of 62 per cent in visas issued for other colleges and 69 per cent in those for language school students.

The figures indicate that visa restrictions have successfully curbed the misuse of the student visa system by bogus colleges operating as a front for economic immigration.

Immigration Minister Mark Harper pointed out that ‘the numbers of skilled people being sponsored by UK employers in sectors such as IT and science have also increased’.

Overall the number of people from New Commonwealth countries – such as India and Pakistan as well as African nations such as Botswana – coming to live in Britain in the year to June last year went down from 168,000 to 117,000.

A second big fall in immigration was a result of reduced numbers coming from Poland and Eastern Europe. 

The ONS recorded 62,000 migrants from Poland and the seven other countries that joined the EU in 2004 in the year to summer 2012, compared to 86,000 in the year before. 

It was the lowest inflow from Eastern Europe since the borders were opened to citizens of the eight countries in April 2004.

Most other EU countries exercised their right to delay opening their labour markets for seven years. The ONS report said that now all the EU borders are open to Poles and Eastern Europeans, they may have gone to other countries such as Germany.

In 2007 Britain did close its labour market to migrants from Romania and Bulgaria when those countries entered the EU.

However, the seven-year rule means Romanians and Bulgarians have the right to come to work in Britain freely from January.

The 515,000 immigration total was down from 589,000 in the previous year. It was the lowest figure since 2003, when 511,000 immigrants were recorded. Immigration peaked at 600,000 in the year to September 2010.

Mr Harper said: ‘Our tough reforms are having an impact in all the right places – we have tightened the routes where abuse was rife and overall numbers are down as a result.’

Sir Andrew Green, of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said the figures were ‘welcome evidence that the Government’s policies are starting to take effect’.

But he warned: ‘The main risk now to the Government’s objective is an inflow from Romania and Bulgaria next year. 

'This adds to the case for making sure that the benefits system does not undermine the immigration objective so crucial to the future of our society.’

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Mancunians urged to stand together and turn their backs on the EDL

Mancunians urged to stand together and turn their backs on the EDL | Bridlington EDL News |

Political, faith and business leaders are calling on Mancunians to turn their backs on the English Defence League as they protest in Manchester city centre this weekend.

The 17 leading figures have signed a letter, published in the Manchester Evening News today (FRIDAY 1 MARCH), encouraging local people to join them in a powerful show of solidarity by ignoring the far-right protesters.

Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd, leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese, Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell, the Bishop of Middleton the Right Reverend Mark Davis and other faith leaders are among those who have signed the powerful letter.

Tony said: “Of course we recognise the right to a peaceful process, this at the heart of our democracy. Unfortunately, this means that we have to put up with people like the EDL who think they can come here and spew hatred and racism. They can come – but they are not welcome here.

“We are proud of our diversity and proud of our welcoming spirit but we will not welcome the EDL and their abhorrent messages. The most powerful message we can send the EDL is to simply ignore them, that’s the last thing they would want, and is why we are calling on all Mancunians to do the same. Come to Manchester as usual on Saturday. Shop, eat, drink – but ignore the small group of people who have nothing to do with our great city and what it stands for.”

Dear Sir

The right to peaceful protest lies at the heart of democracy. It gives those who feel disenfranchised a voice and can make those in power listen.

But one of the side-effects is that sometimes we have to put up with people we disagree with.

The EDL has decided to come to Manchester this weekend. The law protects the right of anyone to come to Manchester and the law protects the right of anyone to protest peacefully.

They can come – but they aren’t welcome.

Greater Manchester is a place that is proud of its diversity, proud of its inclusion and – most of all – proud of its welcoming spirit. Manchester is renowned across the world as a place where people are made to feel at home wherever they come from. It goes to the very heart of what it means to be a good Mancunian and for that matter, a good Briton.

But we can’t welcome people who spew hatred and racism. That’s the EDL’s message, distinctly un-English and certainly un-Mancunian. It is in stark contrast to the vision of hope and acceptance that runs through Manchester’s DNA. Despite abhorring their views, our great tradition of protest, free speech and democracy means we do have to tolerate their presence, even though it is distasteful.

So how do we respond to the EDL? What is a good Mancunian response? We strongly believe that the best thing to do is to simply ignore them. Come into Manchester as usual on Saturday: go to the cinema, go shopping, go for a meal, go for a drink and just don’t acknowledge the small band of people who have nothing to do with this city or what it stands for.

Turn your back as they have their moment of noise and be assured that they will go back where they came from soon enough. Our police and city council are well versed in dealing with these matters and have a clear plan in place to minimise disruption to the city. They can be trusted to protect us. They have also made clear they will not tolerate any violence and action will be taken against anyone who breaks the law.

Events such as these are highly emotive and sensitive and polarise views of individuals. It is important that those seeking to counter-demonstrate do so lawfully, responsibly and in the spirit of the ideals they come in the name of.

But the last thing the EDL wants is to be ignored. The clearest signal we can send is to do just that.


Tony Lloyd
Police and Crime Commissioner

The Right Reverend Terence Brain
Bishop of Salford

The Right Reverend Mark Davies
Bishop of Middleton

Raja Kaushal
Trustee, Gita Bhavan Hindu Temple

Imam Ahmad Nisar Beg Qadri
Secretary General, Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board

Frank Baigel
President of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region

Bishop Doyé Agama
Apostolic Pastoral Association

Rev Andrea Jones
Area Dean, Manchester

Lucy Powell MP
Manchester Central constituency

Sir Richard Leese
Leader, Manchester City Council

Councillor Simon Wheale
Leader of Liberal Democrat Group and Opposition, Manchester City Council

Councillor Pat Karney
City centre spokesperson, Manchester City Council

Councillor Afzal Khan CBE
Chair, Manchester Council of Mosques

Councillor Jim Battle
Deputy Leader, Manchester City Council

Councillor Sue Murphy
Deputy Leader, Manchester City Council

Councillor Bernard Priest
Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services, Manchester City Council

Vaughan Allen
Chief Executive, Cityco

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