Your round-up of the stories that you should discuss at interview this week:
- BBC News Presenter Left in Fear Following a Threat of Rape
Reported by Paige Waters
Gordon Hawthorn, 69 years old, sent a series of “disgusting ad frightening” greeting cards threatening to rape Alex Lovell, a BBC regional news presenter. This was on-going for 2 years.
Hawthorn admitted to one charge of stalking involving serious alarm or distress to Lovell. He received an indefinite restraining order which bans him from contacting Lovell or going to her place of work.
It has been said that Hawthorn wrote that his New Year’s resolution was to have sex with the presenter with or without her consent. He initially wrote the name “Gordon” at the end of the cards but continued to sign them “your stalker” moving to “your soon to be rapist”. The later signing of the cards progressed as the cards progressed to be more sinister.
The judge proceeded to state to Hawthorn, “people in the public eye are entitled to the same respect and privacy as everyone else in society. The fact that someone has a high profile does not mean that it can be open season for people such as yourself. You need to understand, as does the public in general, that serious consequences result from appalling behaviour of that kind that features in this case.”
“For two years she could never be sure that she was safe. Ms. Lovell would have an awareness, whenever she was on screen, that the author of those letters was watching and thinking the kind of thoughts that you expressed in your messages to her. When out and about she could never be sure that the author of the cards was not spying on her or posing threat to her safety.”
The card which finally left Ms. Lovell to contact the police was the greeting card which threatened to rape her. It read, “make no mistake Alex that I am going to have sex with you this year, even if it means I have to rape you.”
Following this card, Lovell received a plethora more cards with some including dates Hawthorn claimed he would rape her. In one card on 29th November 2017, Hawthorn wrote that he had previously raped other women.
Find more information here
- Seaborne Caught in Terms and Conditions Blunder
Reported by Sarah Mullane
Brexit ferry firm, Seaborne Freight, has become the target of online ridicule following an embarrassing website blunder whereby the company seemingly uploaded terms intended for a takeaway food company and a clothing company to their website.
The start-up company, which only recently incorporated in April 2017, has recently signed a £13.8 million deal with the UK Government to operate extra ferries between Ramsgate and Ostend, should the UK leave the European Union with a no-deal Brexit. The government has defended the company, advising that the section was put up “in error” and, attempting to diffuse the situation, assured that before any deals were made, “due diligence on Seaborne Freight was carried out both by senior officials [..] and highly reputable independent third party organisations”. Though the error was immediately rectified, the shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald, said that “the idea that Chris Grayling [..] has looked at this ‘very carefully’ is utterly risible” and slammed the Department of Transport for “awarding a contract to a ferry company with no ships” claiming this to be “yet another disgraceful misuse of public money”.
Following on from the discovery, internet users have been keen to unearth further issues with the company’s website, including one Twitter user notifying the company that their website openly displayed internal admin credentials, and another focusing attention on the fact that the ‘portal login’ simply redirected you to an empty timetable, or took you off of the website and on to the google homepage. Concerns have now been raised that the type and quantity of mistakes being made by Seaborne Freight not only indicate a high level of unprofessionalism, but also serve to highlight that the company is neither suitable nor qualified enough to provide services to the UK public on behalf of the Government.