Here are this week’s headlines:
- Ministry of Justice has apologised in child murder case.
Reported by Jutha Cheewat
Five-year-old Alex Malcolm was beaten to death by his mother’s former partner, after the probation service failed to warn her about his past violent offences against women and children.
After the death of her British-born son, Liliya Breha has been warned that she could be deported as she no longer has a family tie in the UK. Her partner Marvin Iheanacho was found guilty of murder. Breha responded after she learnt about his string of violent convictions:
“It took them 15 minutes to read out all his previous offences. My mouth literally dropped open and I felt so sick”.
The Ministry of Justice said:
“We apologise sincerely to Alex’s mother for the unacceptable failings that have been identified”
As a direct result of the initial review, we have suspended two members of staff who were involved in the supervision of Iheanacho. Additionally, we have put in place strict procedures, both within NPS [National Probation Service] London and nationally, to help prevent a tragic case like this from happening again.”
It was clear that Iheanacho’s license did not allow him to have unsupervised access to children under 16 and his relationship with women should have been monitored by probation officers.
Breha said that “if anyone had told me about Marvyn’s violent history I would have run a mile from him and would never have allowed him to be anywhere near my child”.
Breha, who has lived in the UK for 10 years, may no longer have the right to reside in the UK when she updates her immigration status later next June.
Find out more at The Guardian.
- Woman sentenced to life imprisonment after murdering her sister.
Reported by Paige Waters
Sabah Khan, 27, has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 22 years after pleading guilty to murder on Tuesday 24th October 2017. Khan murdered her 34 year old sister, Saima. She stabbed her 68 times, at her home in Luton, on May 23rd 2016.
Ms. Khan stabbed her sister in both the arms and neck, only seconds after she returned home. This atrocious crime took place while Saima’s four children were lying in bed. Their parents and also Saima’s husband, Hafeez, attended the funeral.
The court heard that Saima’s daughter called out to Khan, asking whether she was killing her mother, with Khan replying “do not come downstairs”.
Khan initially tried to cover up the murder by hiding both her bloody clothes and the weapon. She then smashed the window and called both the police and her parents to report the crime. Khan insisted that her sister had been killed as part of a burglary that had gone wrong.
It has been stated that Ms Khan was having an affair with Saima’s husband. With Sabah sending Hafeez a text stating “nothing in the world can chance my feelings for you, not even you; no matter how bad you treat me it won’t change anything. Day by day my love gets stronger.” This has been said to be the motive behind the vicious murder as the court, the Old Bailey, heard that Khan had grown desperate after the affair had turned sour.
Read more here.
- Ofcom review encourages telecoms companies to reduce monthly-line rental prices
Reported by Megan Kearns
Following a review from regulator Ofcom, telecoms provider BT has agreed to reduce the costs for customers who only have a landline. The review has suggested that individuals who only have a landline have been getting “poor value for money in recent years compared to those who buy bundles of landline, broadband and/or pay-tv services”.
As a result, BT will reduce monthly line rental costs by 37% from April 2018; a £7 decrease. Approximately two-thirds of BT customers on a landline-only deal are over 65 and the reduced price could save one million houses £84 per year. BT has also agreed to cap rental costs at the rate of inflation.
The Ofcom review highlights that both Sky and Virgin Media have increased their charges by 47% above the rate of inflation since 2009. Sky, Virgin Media and the Post Office – who all offer landline only deals – have no commented on whether they’re going to follow BT in reducing charges.
Ofcom’s competition group director, Jonathan Oxley, commented that “for many people, their landline is their lifeline”. But households who only have a landline – and no broadband – have seen their phone bills soar. Many are elderly and have been with BT for decades. We’ve been clear that they must get a better deal.”
On the other hand, charity Age UK is “disappointed that BT had to be prompted to cut charges by the regulator.” Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director said “We welcome the reduced tariffs, but we do find it disappointing that it has taken the intervention from Ofcom for this to happen”.
- EU prepare for 'no deal' Brexit
Reported by Anna Flaherty
The European Union has secretly begun to prepare for the possible scenario of Britain leaving the EU without a deal, a senior advisor to Michael Barnier has said. Mr De Rynck has admitted this, despite the President of the European Council previously saying that this was not the case. Last week, the French President said that Britain’s threats of “no deal is better than a bad deal” was a bluff.
Mr De Rynck said: “There is a clear negative impact from no deal, I think that that is clear, for both sides but especially for the UK economy. But it is not a scenario people want to work towards”.
Whether or not a deal is reached, Britain will be leaving the EU in March 2019. Though the likelihood of an agreement being reached rapidly may seem improbable, Mr De Rynck said that “sufficient progress is not far away”. Whether this is the reality, only time will tell.