All Threads

Parents of girl, three, reveal doctors dismissed their fears over her 'wonky face' at birth - only for her to need her SKULL rebuilt at 18-months-old

The parents of a three-year-old born with a deformed skull have revealed how their daughter's 'squashed' face was initally dismissed by medical staff at birth. 

Jenna, 31, and Matthew Carlin, 35, of Stockton-on-Tees, appeared on Lorraine to share their story, revealing how they were told hospital staff assumed baby Ava's unusual appearance was simply because she'd been 'in the womb for nine months'.

In fact, Ava was born with craniosynostosis, a rare condition that caused her skull to become deformed in the womb. 

With doctors warning it could affect how her brain developed, the youngster was forced to undergo surgery at just 18 months old to rebuild her skull from the bottom of her forehead to the back of her head. 

During the nine-and-a-half hour operation, surgeons broke Ava's skull into pieces, before reconstructing the pieces into a 'new head'.

Parents Jenna and Matthew told Christine Bleakley, standing in for Lorraine Kelly, that although they were immediately concerned about Ava's appearance, their fears were allayed by hospital staff. 

Jenna said: 'We did speak to the health professionals when she was first born. Her face was a bit wonky and we couldn't put our finger on it what was actually wrong with her. And they just kept reassuring us, saying she's been squashed in your womb for nine months.

'They told us: "She'll even out, she'll be absolutely fine."'

Despite doctors' reassurances, Ava was unable to move her neck at six weeks old. 

She added: 'The weeks went on and our concerns grew more and more and then eventually she went to physio for a condition called torticollis [a wry neck].

'We spoke to the physio and said "We're concerned, her face isn't symmetrical. It's just very minor but it's something that we can see and we don't think is right.' 

Although medics dismissed Ava's symptoms, Mrs Carlin was adamant something was wrong. 

'When I was looking at her one of her eyes was a circle and the other eye looked oval,' she explains. 'One side of her forehead was pulled back. It looked like she had a lump sticking out on her forehead.'

Eventually they were referred to a peadiatrition who confirmed Ava had craniosynostosis.

Facing major surgery to ensure her brain had room to develop properly, the couple put off their wedding so Ava could recover well enough to be a flower girl, finally marrying in April this year. 

Despite doctors saying it probably was not craniosynostosis, Ava was sent for tests, which confirmed the condition.

The medics told her parents that without surgery, the abnormal shape of her skull would prevent her brain from developing properly. 

'They said it wouldn't affect her before she was 18 months old in any other way apart from cosmetically,' Mrs Carlin said.

'But if she didn't have the operation then it pressure would be put on the brain, which could have left her with brain damage.'

Ava went under the knife at Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool on June 12 2017. 

Craniosynostosis sufferers aged over six months typically have open surgery.

This involves surgeons making an incision in the scalp and cranial bones. 

They then reshape the affected part of the skull, before holding it in position with plates and screws that get absorbed into the body.

The surgery tends to be a one-off procedure. Although the operation was a success, it would be years before Ava looked like a 'normal' child. 

'After the surgery she didn't look like we were expecting,' Mrs Carlin said. 

'There was a lot of swelling and it took two years for that to go down and for her to grow into her new skull.

'Now you wouldn't even know that she had had an operation.' 

Despite all she has been through, Ava is a happy little girl who sees the funny side of her condition. 

'We joke about her having a new head,' Mrs Carlin said. 'Ava just thinks it's funny and makes a joke about it.

'We celebrate the anniversary of her operation and she asks, "is it my head's birthday yet?"

'She gets one extra day as well as her birthday.'

Mr and Mrs Carlin, who are also parents to seven-year-old Luca, waited to get married until Ava had made a full recovery from her surgery.

They became husband and wife during a ceremony at Le Petit Château in Otterburn, Northumberland. 

Mrs Carlin, whose husband is a company director, said: 'We waited until she was fit and well before we got married, it was something for us to look forward to.

'We said "mum is going to be a princess, do you want to be a princess too?"

'She was absolutely amazing, she was a little angel.'

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A Mother who lost her daughter, 19, to toxic shock syndrome

A heartbroken mother who lost her daughter to toxic shock syndrome from wearing a tampon has told how the 19-year-old passed away in her arms as she 'begged her not to die'.

Dawn Massabni, 56, from New Jersey, admitted she is still haunted by the moment Maddy lost her fight on March 30 earlier this year.

The fashion student, who celebrated her birthday just three days earlier, was out for dinner with her family when she began feeling unwell.

Her condition deteriorated rapidly over the next couple of days until Dawn desperately called the paramedics when Maddy lost consciousness.

She was whisked to intensive care, but the deadly condition had caused her organs to shut down and Dawn was faced with the harrowing decision to turn off her life support.

Now the grieving mother is eager to raise awareness of the dangers of TSS and is calling for tampons to carry more prominent safety warnings.

Speaking to Fabulous Digital, Dawn told how Maddy was on her period but changing her tampon regularly as per the guidelines.

On March 27, while dining out with her brother Georgie during the spring break, she began to feel ill and developed diarrhoea, fever and vomiting.

Believing her daughter was suffering from a bug, Dawn cared for her overnight but she was still poorly the following morning.

Dawn said she wasn't 'unduly concerned' as Maddy was 'a really healthy young woman who exercised and ate well'. 

But by March 29, Maddy was in a critical condition, barely able to move or function.

'Then, within minutes, she had deteriorated rapidly,' Dawn told the publication. 

'She was dying. TSS ravages a body within days and that is what happened to Maddy.

'I had my arms around her saying, "Don't leave me, I love you." She died there, in my arms, in her bed. It was awful.' 

Dawn said switching off her daughter's life support was the hardest thing she's ever done, but it 'wasn't fair' on Maddy to keep her alive as she wasn't getting any better. 

'She was my little girl and my best friend. Along with her brother we were a team. I didn't want her to go. But she had total organ failure,' she said.

The investigation into Maddy's death found she'd been wearing a tampon and had gone into toxic shock, which is caused by either staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria.

Dawn revealed she still has nightmares about the moment she had to say goodbye to her child.  

She and Georgie are now campaigning to raise the profile of TSS, and have set up a foundation called Don't Shock Me in honour of Maddy, which raises money to peak awareness via speaking engagements and literature.

The foundation is also lobbying to change women's health policy on a national level to boost awareness of the illness. 

The money it raises pays for travel and associated expenses to fulfill the mission of speaking to and educating young women at colleges and high schools throughout the United States about the symptoms of toxic shock and risks associated with tampon use. 

Dawn said she would like to see tampons banned altogether, but at the very least would like to see clearer messaging on the packaging about the dangers of TSS.

A statement on the Don't Shock Me website reads: 'Maddy had aspirations to finish college, go into the fashion industry and travel the world. She had done some modeling and was on the cover of a magazine. 

'She had so many friends that loved her and shared so many wonderful times together. Family was most important to her and they shared a very unique and special bond.

'Her mother and brother were her best friends. She believed that as a team they could do anything together, conquering all things in life. Her life now lives on through everyone who knew her and will never be forgotten.'

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Millionaire's daughter who enjoys SIX exotic holidays a year and a designer wardrobe but insists she's not a 'princess' tries living on the streets of East London

A millionaire's daughter used to a lavish life of designer handbags and luxurious holidays trades it all for three nights of sleeping on the streets in this week's Rich Kids Go Homeless.

Isabella James, 21, who is studying for a masters in business psychology as well as working as a talent scout, claims she's determined to prove she's not a pampered 'princess' by taking part in the experiment.

Despite enjoying six exotic trips abroad a year, owning a designer wardrobe which includes an £8,000 handbag and dating successful racing driver Seb Morris, Isabella believes she's got what it takes to survive on the streets. 

She says: 'I've always been judged on how I look. People think I'm a good-looking girl with a wealthy lifestyle and so I must be a snob.

'I may look like a princess but there's more to me than that.'

She reveals her plan to make cash by recycling plastic and tins and selling it to supermarkets and claims she doesn't want to resort to begging.

Isabella said she believes some people who live on the streets have become 'comfortable' with being homeless and don't have the 'get up and go' to make a change.

'There is a lot of drugs and a lot of drinking and the homeless could do more to get themselves off the streets,' she argues, adding she doesn't agree with begging because 'expecting people to just hand you money when you haven't worked isn't right'.

But her opinions are changed radically when she adopts the life of a homeless person on East London's streets. 

Isabella sets up camp in Stratford, one of the capital's most dangerous spots where one in 25 people live rough.

Admitting she's nervous because she's had to be picked up from every music festival she's ever been to because she 'doesn't like camping', Isabella struggles to fit in.

She spends her first night on a piece of cardboard in a sleeping bag, having turned down a bed next to another homeless person. 

At the crack of dawn, Isabella goes in search of breakfast and manages to secure herself a full fry-up and porridge from a soup kitchen in a church, followed by fried chicken for lunch.

When her plastic bag plan falls flat, Isabella tries to find a job in a car wash and as a pot washer, but both are unsuccessful as she doesn't own the correct ID card.

Admitting she is 'frustrated', she begins to think work isn't an option - and even reneges on a previous plan to sing and dance for money as it feels too similar to begging.

'I just feel completely degraded,' she admits.

Desperate, she caves in and begs for her supper, sharing her story with passersby and managing to make £45.

But rather than spend this on a hostel, as she can't get a room due to her ID issue, she saves it and spends it on breakfast for herself and a fellow homeless person in the morning - after sobbing herself to sleep.

Intrigued to find out how other women survive on the streets, Isabella teams up with Cathy and her dog Bobby. 

Cathy has been sleeping rough for eight years after she and her boyfriend, who is a drug addict, had their children taken away from them.

She too was addicted to drugs but has overcome it, and now has a relationship with her children - apart from her eldest son who won't speak to her. 

She tells Isabella: 'I've been doing this for a long time but there are still times when I'm frightened on the streets.'

After her final night on the street, Isabella returns to her comfortable life a changed woman.

She says: 'I've had to face up to some hard truths and my bubble has been popped. 

'My initial ideas were proved wrong. I didn't realise how difficult it would be to find work or somewhere to stay.

'The experience has been overwhelming and it's tested me but it's also taught me a lot about being homeless.'

Determined to ensure her experience wasn't in vain, Isabella has now made it her mission to help people who have no choice but to live on the streets and has petitioned the government to change the law to make it easier for homeless people to get ID.

While she was initially unsuccessful, the 21-year-old has pledged to try again.

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Three missing Missouri children are found ALIVE in Texas with their mother who kidnapped them more than two years ago

Three Missouri children who were abducted by their mother more than two years ago have been found in Texas

U.S. Marshals discovered Shawn Rodriguez, 42, and her three missing children, Daniel, David and Ariana Olivera on Thursday at a home in Arlington, Texas. The children are now nine, six and three, respectively. 

According to the U.S. Marshals, Rodriguez took her three children, who were all under the age of seven at the time, and fled Missouri in August 2017. 

It was thought she could be headed to California at the time, but she had been on the run ever since and her children were deemed missing, according to KCTV News

Earlier this year, the children's father was granted full custody and a warrant for Rodriguez's arrest for parental kidnapping was issued in Saline County, Missouri. 

The children were officially deemed missing in July 2019.


After the father was granted custody, the Saline County Sheriff’s Office reached out the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to request assistance. 

The case was then referred to the United States Marshals Service in the Western District of Missouri.

An investigation was then launched by the U.S. Marshals and by October, they zeroed in on the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. 

U.S. Marshals from the Northern District of Texas and local authorities took Rodriguez into custody Thursday.

She was awaiting extradition to Missouri.

The children were taken into the care of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services while they wait to be reunited with their father.

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Mum said autistic daughter was followed all the way home by a stranger

A heartfelt open letter from a mother thanking a 'kind stranger' for entertaining her autistic daughter during a two-and-half-hour flight has been read more than 51,000 times with many deeming it a 'touching' and 'beautiful' story.

Shanell Mouland, 36, from New Brunswick, Canada, uploaded a note to her blog Go Team Kate last Thursday detailing how the mystery passenger engaged her three-year-old Kate in conversation instead of ignoring her.

'Thank you for not making me repeat those awful apologetic sentences that I so often say in public,' she wrote. 'Thank you for entertaining Kate so much that she had her most successful plane ride, yet. And, thank you for putting your papers away and playing turtles with our girl.'

Not only did Mrs Mouland's letter attract thousands of hits but it also saw her reunited with the 'hero' in question.

One of Eric Kunkel's relatives forwarded him the post and he was amazed when he realized he was the one being praised.

'I read it and then went to [the Mouland's] Facebook page and the rest is history,' the married businessman from New Jersey said. The Moulands and Kunkels have now become good friends.

Mrs Mouland revealed in her letter how Mr Kunkel had allowed Kate to call him 'daddy' without issuing a correction.

The mother-of-two continued: 'The moment you sat down, Kate started to rub your arm. 

'Your jacket was soft and she liked the feel of it.  You smiled at her and she said:  "Hi, Daddy, that's my mom."  Then she had you.'

'You could have shifted uncomfortably in your seat. You could have ignored her.  You could have given me that 'smile' that I despise because it means; 'manage your child please.'  

'You did none of that. You engaged Kate in conversation and you asked her questions about her turtles.'  

Mrs Mouland detailed in her letter, titled 'Dear 'Daddy' in Seat 16C Flight 1850 From Philly', how traveling with her autistic toddler can often be difficult.

She was especially nervous this time around because she had been split up from her husband, who was sitting in another area of the plane with their other daughter.

But thanks to Mr Kunkel's kindness, Kate stayed well-behaved for the duration of the flight from Philadelphia to Maine and only started getting agitated towards touch down.

At the end of her letter, Mrs Mouland reassured her unknown companion: ‘[Kate] was fine the moment we stepped off the plane. Thank you for letting us go ahead of you. She was feeling overwhelmed and escaping the plane and a big, long hug was all she needed.

'So, thank you. Thank you for not making me repeat those awful apologetic sentences that I so often say in public.  

'Thank you for entertaining Kate so much that she had her most successful plane ride, yet.'

After reading the message, one commentator wrote: 'This is such a great story, it brought tears to my eyes. I have a daughter and know exactly what it is like to have to do the apologizing.'

And another added: 'This was a very touching story and I am so glad that things turned out well. Sometimes we forget that there are still good people out there and are understanding.'

Mrs Mouland said the experience taught her to never judge someone based on their appearance - which she did do with Mr Kunkel when she saw him on the plane.

'I assumed that a man in a business suit wouldn't be patient with Kate,' she told Yahoo, 'and I'm so fortunate to have been proved wrong.'

Mrs Mouland and her family were returning home from a vacation at Disney World in Orlando and taking a connecting flight.

'I assumed that a man in a business suit wouldn't be patient with Kate and I'm so fortunate to have been proved wrong.'

She decided to write an open thank you letter to the man she has now identified as Mr Kunkel after getting home and realizing what a gift she had received.

Her daughter Kate was born eleven days late in May of 2010 and was a few weeks old when doctors diagnosed her with hypothyroidism - a condition affecting the thyroid gland.

Mrs Mouland said she first started to realize something else was wrong with Kate when her speech and motor skills were slow to develop.

In July 2012 she met with a pediatrician and speech pathologist who asked questions and made various observations.

Recalling the meeting she writes on her blog: 'The assessment took about two hours. They asked if she pointed at things and looked for our reactions; she did not. 

They asked if she had an interactive attention span and again she did not. They asked many more questions and I tried to craft my answers so that they could not nail down a diagnosis.

'[My husband, Alex and I] still had hope, until the very last minute when the doctor walked into the room, sat down and said: "Kate has autism spectrum disorder."   have no idea what she said after that.  

'I held it together a little bit until I walked in and saw my mom and my brother. Then I cried for a little while.'

She says that she finds comfort in  blogging about her experience of bringing up an autistic child.

'The emails and comments we are receiving through this blog have been priceless to us.  

'The sweet comments and the suggestions are helping us make connections that are going to change things for kids like Kate and their families.'

However, she says her main aim with the blog is to encourage a better understanding of autism so there will be more Mr Kunkels in the world.

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Two-year-old toddler faces deportation... despite both parents owning British passports

A two-year-old girl faces deportation from the UK despite both of her parents holding British passports because she hasn't lived in the country for seven years. 

Mother Lindsay Dutton, 30, originally from South Africa and now living in Clydach, Swansea, South Wales, is fighting to keep Lucy in the UK after the Home Office reportedly gave her daughter 14 days to leave the country if she does not appeal. 

Ms Dutton was told to apply for a right to remain in the UK when Lucy's child visitor visa expired after the family visited the UK and decided to stay last year. 

Both parents claimed British citizenship through their parents, which extends to one generation, meaning Johannesburg-born Lucy does not have an automatic right to stay in the UK. 

However the Home Office rejected the application because the two-year-old has not lived continuously in Britain for seven years, the BBC reported. 

Tenant Liason Officer Ms Dutton described the move as 'cruel' and 'heartbreaking' and has since taken out a high street loan of £3,052 to cover the costs of the application. 

'It's against human rights what they are doing to us. It's cruel,' Lindsay said.

'It's heartbreaking to do that to a parent, all I have done the entire week is sob,' she said.  

She has since separated from Lucy's father, Gavin Burls, 34, who now lives in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. 

And the mother-of-one needs to pay out more than £3,000 to fund an appeal for Lucy while reliant on donations as she describes being at 'wit's end'. 

She said: 'It costs £3,140 to apply to appeal and go to court, I have to pay in the next four weeks. 

'I've had to beg, I'm at my wit's end. I have paid £600 - my elderly neighbour gave me £40 towards the Lucy Fund.

'I have broken down in the last few days, I do not know where to turn.'

She added: 'I was born in South Africa, as my mum moved there when she was quite young, but I have a British passport and my brother Gareth is married to a Welsh girl.'

Her brother has lived in Wales for 13 years and the family tried to be closer together by moving to the area. 

Gower MP Tonia Antoniazzi is lobbying Home Secretary Priti Patel to intervene and said: 'Both parents and grandparents have UK passports and all live here. This is a ridiculous situation which needs resolving immediately.'

A Home Office spokesman added: 'All applications are considered on their individual merits and on the basis of the evidence available.'

The spokesman said it would be inappropriate to comment if the case was ongoing.

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Daughter of mother jailed in Iran reunited with dad in UK

The five-year-old daughter of jailed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has arrived back in the UK for the first time since her mother’s arrest. The family made the heart-breaking decision for little Gabriella to leave Iran and join her father in London to start school. She had been her mother’s lifeline to the outside world as she remains in jail accused of spying. Nazanin’s husband Richard said: ‘Gabriella came back to us late at night, a bit uncertain seeing those she only remembered from the phone. ‘It has been a long journey to have her home, with bumps right until the end. ‘It was a hard goodbye for Nazanin and all her family. But let us hope this homecoming unlocks another.

Nazanin had taken Gabriella to see her family in Tehran when she was arrested at the airport in April 2016. The mum was sentenced to five years in jail on accusations she was trying to topple the Iranian government – something she denies. Gabriella had stayed with her grandparents in Iran and visited her mother in the notorious Evin Prison when the authorities would allow it. Her parents then made the painful decision for her to return to the UK so she can start school. Nazanin wrote an open letter from jail, saying: ‘My baby will leave me to go to her father and start school in the UK. ‘It will be a daunting trip for her travelling, and for me left behind

There have been a number of foreigners detained in Iran in what critics say is ‘hostage diplomacy.’ Conditions in the jail are appalling and all attempts at diplomacy between the UK government and Tehran have so far failed. The family’s local MP, Labour’s Tulip Siddiq, has taken up the cause. She said: ‘It is heart-warming to see Gabriella reunited with her father after 1,300 days in Iran, but heart-breaking that she is separated from her mother Nazanin. ‘Nazanin is at breaking point, and today is yet another reminder that she has been failed at the very highest levels of government.’

Ms Siddiq urged the UK Government to do ‘everything it possibly can’ to bring Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe home. Last week, a British-Australian blogger and her boyfriend were released from jail in Iran after they were detained while travelling through the country. Jolie King and her Australian boyfriend Mark Firkin are believed to have been released as part of a prisoner swap. British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert is also in jail in Tehran and believed to be in solitary confinement. The Australian government has taken the lead in those cases. British Foreign Office minister, Andrew Murrison, previously said the UK will continue to raise the case at the highest level with Iran and will ‘lobby hard’ to gain access to Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe. He added Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe has dual nationality and Iran does not accept she also has British nationality – which is why the case is different to that of other detained foreign nationals.

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Younger Sisters, aged four and two, black out from alcohol poisoning after their father gave them half a pint of wine each at lunch because he'd run out of milk

Two young sisters have been hospitalised in critical condition after being severely poisoned with alcohol in Ukraine.

The four-year-old Maryna and her two-year-old sister Luda were found unconscious in the street in the village of Chaplynka in southern Kherson region.

Reports say the girls were left at risk of death after their father, named as Mykola, gave them wine for lunch.

The father is said to have been babysitting the children while their mother Olga undertook seasonal work in another region of the country.

On October 3rd, when his daughters asked for food at lunch time, Mykola, who was intoxicated at the time, filled their bottles with wine instead of milk, local media reported.

Soon after that, the girls were found unconscious near their house, neighbours said.

Tetiana Shotik, a woman living next door said to local media: 'The girls were lying motionless on the ground. We tried to wake them up but failed. There was a strong smell of alcohol and we called an ambulance.

'Before that I saw them in the street near their house. They were singing something unintelligible and were unsteady on their feet.

'It looked strange but I thought they were playing some kind of a game.

'They had baby bottles with a pink liquid in their hands.'

Maryna and Luda were rushed to intensive care in life-threatening condition and diagnosed with acute alcohol poisoning.

Sergey Minaev, the head of the intensive care unit of Chaplyn Regional Hospital said: 'The girls were hospitalised in a state of alcoholic coma and were on the verge of death.

'We performed a series of necessary procedures and, fortunately, managed to save them.

'The children are being given medications and feel better. Their lives are not in danger now.'

Medical staff say the sisters were severely neglected and infected with lice.

A female orderly said: 'The girls were black from dirt. We spent two hours trying to wash it off.

'Their clothes were so filthy that we just threw them away.

'The younger girl’s hair was a huge knot and it took a lot of time to untangle it.'

After the incident, the irresponsible father, Mykola, was taken to a local police station for interrogation.

Witnesses said the man was so drunk that he could not walk and cops had to carry him by his arms and legs out of his house and load into the police car.

Police spokesman Yaroslav Shanko said: 'The father said that the children drank wine on their own and he knew nothing about it.

'But the girls said that it was their father who gave them the beverage.'

According to reports, the father filled his daughters' bottles with wine after failing to find milk in the fridge and the sisters drank about 0.5 pints of the beverage each.

Police launched a criminal case for failure to fulfill parental duties against Mykola and reported the incident to social services.

Officers are now tracking the whereabouts of the girls’ mother Olga while social services are collecting documents to sue the parents and deprive them of parental rights.

Maryna and Luda are going to be placed inside recovery centre until the court has made a decision.

The father faces up to five years in prison if found guilty.

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Black man, 27, is found GUILTY of killing a woman and wounding seven other people inside a Nashville church in revenge attack for the 2015 Charleston massacre

A Tennessee jury on Friday found a man guilty of first-degree murder in a revenge  shooting at a Nashville church two years ago that left a woman dead and seven other people wounded.

Twelve jurors deliberated less than five hours before delivering the verdict against Emanuel Kidega Samson. He was found guilty on all 43 counts in the indictment.

Congregants of the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ testified during the trial about the hail of bullets and the bloody scene that unfolded in front of them just after their Sunday worship service concluded. Some had the gunshot wounds to show for it.

Samson, 27, is black; all the victims are white. Samson left a note about the 2015 shooting massacre at a South Carolina black church and aimed to kill at least 10 white churchgoers in retaliation, Deputy District Attorney Amy Hunter said. 

Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence without parole. According to the District Attorney's Office, they chose not to pursue the death penalty out of respect for some of the victims who did not want it, reported WSMV.

The September 2017 shooting rampage killed 38-year-old Melanie Crow, of Smyrna, Tennessee. She was shot in the church parking lot while she walked out to her car to get a cough drop, dropping her Bible and sermon notes, Hunter said.

Crow was shot in the heart and face, and died within moments. 

Samson also shot minister Joey Spann and his wife, Peggy; William and Marlene Jenkins; Linda Bush, and Catherine Dickerson. 

Samson testified that he didn't remember carrying out the attack. He said his mental health disorders have caused lapses in memory and constant shifts from feelings of ecstasy to the thoughts of suicide he said he experienced the morning of the shooting. 

He said he's on medication now in jail and his thoughts have 'slowed down drastically.' 

Samson also said his memory kicks in at the tail end of the church shooting, when he was shot in the chest during a tussle with a congregant who authorities say saved lives.

To undermine Samson's testimony, prosecutors replayed expletive-laden jail calls from the month after the shooting in which he and his ex-girlfriend laugh about the victims, and brag about how good, 'tall' and 'unbothered' he looked in media coverage. 

'Big sexy hashtag, hashtag,' Samson says on the call, referring to himself.

They called his spotty-at-best memory a convenient way to avoid answering hard questions on the witness stand.

Samson also said he couldn't remember writing the note that cited white supremacist Dylann Roof's massacre at the AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. 

The note, found in his car outside the church, included a reference to the red, black, and green Pan-African flag, sometimes called RBG.

'Dylann Roof is less than nothing,' the note read, according to Hunter. 'The blood that 10 of your kind will shed is that of the color upon the RBG flag in terms of vengeance.' The note included an expletive and ended with a smiley face, Hunter said.

Samson said he did remember writing what the defense described as a suicide note to his then-girlfriend that day.

The judge on Wednesday limited what could be said in front of jurors about Samson's mental illnesses. 

Hunter said a mental health defense couldn't be considered because a doctor previously 'wouldn't make a diagnosis that would say that he was acting in a particular way because of a mental health defense.'

Before the trial, the judge largely shielded details about the case from public view. At an open hearing in April, it was revealed that a psychiatrist diagnosed Samson with 'schizoaffective disorder bipolar type' and post-traumatic stress disorder after an abusive, violent upbringing.

With the jury out of the room, Samson's father at one point testified that he unsuccessfully tried to persuade authorities to take away Samson's guns after he sent a suicidal text in the summer of 2017.

Prosecutors also said the shooting revealed a true-life hero.

Churchgoer Robert Caleb Engle, 24, testified that during the rampage, he twice confronted the gunman, who was wearing a tactical vest and a motorcycle-style mask with a clown smile on it. 

Engle said he was pistol-whipped three times in the head. At one point, he pushed the gun back on the shooter and a shot fired, striking the gunman and sending him to the ground.

Engle said his father kicked the gun away, stood on the shooter's hand and told Engle to go get his gun out of his truck.

Engle came back with his weapon, put his foot on the shooter's back and stood guard until first responders arrived.

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A Yob ordered pizza then cracked takeaway driver's skull for ringing his doorbell

machete-wielding drug dealer put three people in hospital during a vicious one-man crime wave.

Daniel Lindsay, 17, broke a pizza delivery driver's skull because he claimed he rang his front door bell too late at night.

He went on the run and booked into a hotel, but twice knifed the manager when told to leave for smoking cannabis.

Just days later, he repeatedly stabbed a drug addict - over an £80 debt - who lost five pints of blood and nearly died.

When finally arrested, police caught Lindsay with a Rambo-style machete, sawn-off shotgun and a stash of cocaine.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Islam Al-Haj delivered a pizza to Lindsay's Carstairs Road, Kensington home on September 27 last year.

He only remembered giving the food to Lindsay and walking back to his car, before he was hit on the head, then woke up in hospital.

Mike Stephenson, prosecuting, said he was in fact helped to his feet by Lindsay's dad Robert Kennedy, but declined an ambulance.

Mr Al-Haj, who had bleeding on the brain, actually drove himself to hospital - where he spent three days - but had no recollection of this.

When interviewed by police, Lindsay said he was "annoyed" his victim rang the door bell, when he expected a call to his mobile phone.

The teen said he didn't like Mr Al-Haj's attitude so punched him twice, then when his victim struck back with a dog chain, repeatedly hit him.

Mr Stephenson said: "Following his first assault, the defendant went into hiding, preying on those dependant on him for drugs and using them as fronts to secure hotel accommodation in their identities."

CCTV footage showed heroin and crack cocaine user Stephen Caine booking Lindsay into Hotel Campanile at Queens Dock from October 20 to 23.

Manager Christopher Chater went to their room on October 22 because of a strong smell of cannabis and used a master key to enter.

Mr Stephenson said: "He saw a large pile of cash and numerous rolled reefers on the table. It was obvious to him he was dealing drugs."

He told Lindsay to leave but he broke a light, so Mr Chater tackled him to the ground outside, before trying to put him in a headlock.

Mr Chater said the teen bit his right wrist, then he heard an "unclipping sound" and saw him thrust a machete towards his stomach.

Hotel worker Simon Dodds saw Lindsay with an "Army knife" - a machete with a 12-inch blade - before he stabbed Mr Chater in the back.

The court heard he fled but returned to collect a bag he left behind, yelling: "Give me my f***ing bag

Lindsay later claimed he had a knife on a necklace which he only used because "I was getting choked out", but this was rejected by prosecutors.

He said he ditched the knife nearby and vomited afterwards because he thought he had killed Mr Chater.

Mr Stephenson said that when arrested months later he was wearing a "sheath knife" - the machete shown in court - on his belt.

Mr Chater, who received stitches for a cut to his back, also suffered a one-inch wound to his groin.

On October 31, Lindsay allegedly stabbed drug user Jamie Rawlinson, but prosecutors dropped charges relating to this for "evidential reasons".

Stephen Caine, the drug user who booked Lindsay into the hotel, heard about that stabbing and was scared because he owed Lindsay £80. He said he found him in London Road, Islington at around 10.30pm.

Mr Stephenson said he "flew at him with a knife", adding: "He told him he was going to stab him in the neck and boasted he had just stabbed Rawlo."

Lindsay stabbed Mr Caine in the leg and the victim tried to run away, but he slipped in a pool of his blood and the teen stabbed him again.

He ran off when a car pulled over and the driver gave first aid to Mr Caine, who doctors at hospital feared would die.

Mr Caine, who received stitches for stab wounds to his thigh and buttock, later picked out Lindsay in an identity parade.

Mr Stephenson said the teenager was then "cuckooing" - taking over the homes of drug users - to avoid police.

Lindsay threw a man called Neil Fry out of his flat in County Road, Walton, which officers raided on March 24.

They found a shortened Beretta 20-gauge shotgun, 5.22g of cocaine worth up to £522, scales and snap bags.

Lindsay, of St Joseph's Crescent, Everton, who has no previous convictions, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm, wounding and wounding with intent.

He also admitted two counts of possessing an offensive weapon, possessing a firearm without a certificate and possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

Daniel Travers, defending, said his client had gone "completely off the rails" over the course of a month, when he lost contact with his family.

The lawyer said Lindsay had a "very difficult childhood", grew up "without support from parents" and left school at 14, but his dad was in court supporting him.

He said: "All this needs to be put in the context that this is a very immature, vulnerable young man, who knows he's done dreadful things and admitted them."

Judge David Aubrey, QC, said Lindsay launched "totally unprovoked" attacks on three victims, adding: "You have a short fuse and a short temper."

He said: "You chose your victims quite indiscriminately. You had no regard to their welfare or indeed lives and you chose frequently to arm yourself with a lethal weapon."

The judge rejected the suggestion in a psychologist's report that he acted impulsively and said he was a "dangerous young man".

He said: "You carry a knife or knives for a reason and that is that if anybody crosses you, you have no compunction in using that knife."

Judge Aubrey sentenced Lindsay to nine years in a young offenders institution, with an extended four years on licence.

This means he will serve at least two thirds - six years - in custody, before he is considered eligible for parole.


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A Bus driver praised after taking detour to help 'sobbing' little girl get home

A bus driver ‘showed good people do exist’ after taking a detour to help a crying schoolgirl who got on the wrong bus. Megan O’Connell, 11, rang her mum ‘sobbing and in a state’ when she got mixed up about the bus she was supposed to get home after attending an after school club on Wednesday. The young girl, from Beechwood, Wirral, was supposed to get on the 418 New Ferry to Birkenhead route, but had ended up on the 414 Woodside to New Brighton route. Luckily for the panicked schoolgirl, who had just started getting the bus by herself, driver Paul Comber was there to help.

Megan’s mum Patti told the Liverpool Echo that Paul came on the phone and reassured her that he would get her daughter home safe by changing his bus route slightly. The worried mother says she has ‘never been so grateful’ as she was concerned about how to get Megan home. It’s believed that Paul has been nominated for Arriva employee of the month for his heart-warming actions.

His simple but kind gesture has also been commended by hundreds of people on social media. Barry Stephenson said: ‘Brilliant gesture. I wish there were more people like this man.’ Jan Cropper said: ‘He did a good, right and decent thing! He should be given employee of the month with a bonus! ‘He protected a child, irrespective! Well done!’ Rachel Evans pointed out that ‘not everyone would have done that’, while Leanne Hill added: ‘Wow, good people really do exist. What a heartwarming thing to hear and all the praise is more than justified.’ Megan’s mum Patti revealed that her daughter arrived at the door before she was able to thank Paul in person, but has since passed on her gratitude to Arriva.

She said: ‘I have never been so grateful because even to get a taxi or ring someone to pick her up could have meant Meg standing by herself and society isn’t exactly great these days. ‘I think if it was someone else they would have said for her to find her way back herself, but he still made sure he dropped her off even though he was meant to finish his shift. ‘Megan has only just started getting the bus herself, so I think panic just set in – it was really nice for him to stop and assure me.’ Howard Farrall, Area Managing Director Arriva Merseyside said: ‘We’re incredibly proud of our driver Paul Comber for his actions during his route yesterday. ‘Megan’s mum has been in touch to pass on her thanks to Paul, and we’re so pleased that we were able to get her home safely so her mum who was understandably very worried. ‘It’s important to always let the driver know if yourself or a fellow customer finds themselves in difficulty.’

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CCTV shows teen put bike in motorcyclist's path before crash kills him instantly

Appalling CCTV footage captures the moment a 16-year-old boy pushes a bicycle into the path of a motorcyclist, killing him.

The footage taken from a camera at the front of a property in a residential street, captures a large group of youths in a Bristol street.

One hooded figure drags the YoBike - a bike hire company which operates in the South West city - and cycles into the street with one hand before dodging the motorbike as it rides straight over it.

Michael Rice, 20, was not wearing a helmet as he sped down the road in the Hartcliffe estate in April this year.

He applied his front brake and went headfirst over the handlebar before hitting the back of a parked van. He died instantly from from neck and chest injuries.

The teen, who cannot be named, has today been sentenced to three years and two months in a Young Offender Institution at Bristol Crown Court.

He pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Rice, accepting that he "unlawfully killed" him, on Thursday.

Judge Peter Blair QC, the Recorder of Bristol, said reporting restrictions banning the identification of the defendant must remain in place following the case.

He told the boy: "Your decision to drag a bicycle, on its side, off the pavement so as to cause an obstruction, was an unlawful and dangerous thing to do.

"In my view, when you took the decision to do that dangerous thing, you were doing it so as to impress the older teenagers around you.

"However, any reasonable person would have inevitably realised that doing so risked causing the motorcyclist some bodily harm. It was a reckless act."

During the trial, Adam Vaitilingam QC said the motorbike Mr Rice had been riding on April 5 had been stolen a day earlier.

Mr Rice was from the Knowle West area of Bristol and was riding around the Hartcliffe area in a "provocative way", he told the jury.

The keen motorcyclist first passed the Fulford Arms pub on Fulford Road once, drawing attention to himself from a crowd of children and young people outside.

He returned a second time, with people in the crowd suggesting that people should block the road to stop him - with one going forward on a bicycle to face him.

The teenager, then aged 15, grabbed hold of the YoBike and dragged it into the road.

Collision investigators calculated that Mr Rice was travelling between 52mph and 55mph at the time of the impact with the YoBike.

Judge Blair said it would have been possible for Mr Rice to have stopped to avoid the bike but he was accelerating and pulling a "wheelie" at the time.

"It was not the impact of the motorcycle with the bicycle which led to the fatality," the judge said.

"Instead it was his panicked reaction to what was in front of him in the road which led to him applying the front brake lever while the front wheel was still in the air.

"Tragically, that led to him going over the handlebars of the motorcycle when it touched down and he was killed in an instant when he collided with a parked van."

In a victim personal statement, Mr Rice's mother Donna Rice described the impact of her son's death on her family and his girlfriend.

"Mike was a loving, caring person," she said.

"It feels like so long since we have been able to see Mike's cheeky smile and hear his infectious laugh."

Andrew Langdon QC, representing the boy, said he was "horrified by the unintended consequences of his act".

The defendant was screened off from the public gallery during his trial and sentencing.

Members of Mr Rice's family wept as the sentence was passed.

Speaking after the case, Detective Chief Inspector James Riccio, of Avon and Somerset Police, paid tribute to the "courage and dignity" shown by them through the case.

"We appreciate that to Michael's family and the wider community this sentence may seem lenient," he said.

"We are now looking to consider making a formal appeal to have the sentence reviewed."

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Boy, 9, who 'murdered 3 toddlers and two adults in mobile home fire'

The mother of a nine-year-old boy from Illinois who has been charged with murder in connection to a deadly arson fire that killed most of his immediate family has spoken out for the first time, saying that the child suffers from mental illness and is not a monster.

Katrina Alwood appeared on CBS This Morning on Thursday, two days after her sole surviving child, Kyle Alwood, was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson, after allegedly intentionally setting his family's mobile home ablaze in April.

The inferno near the village of Goodfield killed his two half-siblings, one-year-old Ariel and two-year-old Daemeon Wall; his cousin, Rose Alwood, aged two; Kyle's stepfather, 34-year-old Jason Wall, and the children's maternal great-grandmother, 69-year-old Kathryn Murray. 

All five victims died of smoke inhalation inside the family's trailer at Timberline Mobile Home Park.

Katrina, who was engaged to Jason, and her son from a previous relationship, Kyle, then eight years old, were the only people who managed to escape the burning residence. 

The 27-year-old mother told CBS that Kyle had been recently diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and ADHD. She also revealed that the boy in the past had shown interest in lighters and fire.

'Everyone is looking at him like he's some kind of monster, but that's not who he is,' Alwood told the news outlet. 'People make mistakes, and that's what this is. Yes, it was a horrible tragedy, but it's still not something to throw his life away over.' 

Katrina recounted during the emotional interview how she stood at the window of her burning home and told her toddler son and daughter she was sorry she could not save them.

'Mommy was right here and I loved them,' Katrina recalled telling her dying children. 'You know, so, at least hopefully they heard that. I told Jason I loved him... And then something told me that they're gone.'

Katrina also talked about hearing her fiance scream, and choked back tears remembering the moment the screams ceased.

Despite the heartbreak caused by her son, Katrina is hoping the judge will take into account his mental health problems and will show leniency.

'I forgive him. I love him no matter what,’ the mom said of Kyle.

Her sister Samantha Alwood, who lost her baby daughter Rose in the fire, wants to see her nephew sent to juvenile detention and eventually to prison for his actions.

‘Because at the end of the day, whether he meant to or not, he knew what fire did,’ Samantha said.

Kyle has not been detained, but because of the death threats the nine-year-old boy has been receiving, he has been sent to stay with relatives in an undisclosed location. He is due back in court on October 21.

Woodford County State's Attorney Greg Minger, who filed the charges against Kyle on Tuesday, said the child, if convicted, could be placed on probation for at least five years but not beyond the age of 21, and would likely receive counseling. 

He will not be imprisoned, if found guilty by a judge during a bench trial.

The criminal charges were brought against Kyle six months after the deadly arson fire, which broke out at around 11pm on April 6 at 14 Cypress Court.

By the time firefighters responded to the scene six minutes later, the trailer home had been engulfed in flames.  

Neighbor AnnaMarie Siebert told the Journal Star at the time that screams could be heard coming from the burning property, but the flames were too intense for bystanders to try and rescue the trapped residents.

Katrina Alwood and Kyle were taken to an area hospital and later released. 

Minger said it was a 'heavy decision' to charge a nine-year-old with one of the most serious offenses there is, but he concluded that it had to be done 'for finality.'   

According to an online obituary, Jason Wall was a US Army veteran who served several tours of duty abroad, including in Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea.

After retiring from military service, Wall worked as a truck driver. He devoted his free time to hunting and spending time with his fiancee and their children.

The obituary notes that Wall was raising Katrina Alwood’s eldest child, Kyle, 'like his own son.'

Alwood’s grandmother, Kathryn Murray, was a homemaker and an artist who enjoyed drawing and sewing. Her other hobbies included cooking, camping and fishing.

‘She was known as the best Grandma,’ the woman’s obituary reads.

Daemeon Wall, aged two, was a fan of the Mickey Mouse Club House, with Goofy being his favorite character, and enjoyed watching the animated film Happy Feet. The toddler was said to have been ‘very protective’ of his baby sister, Ariel.

The one-year-old girl, Jason and Katrina's youngest child, loved to growl and make the ‘Chewbacca’ sound with her dad, according to her obituary.

Two-year-old Rose Alwood, Katrina Alwood’s niece, loved the Disney film Coco.

‘Her favorite words that she always said were "katchup" and "mine,"’ according to the toddler’s memorial page. ‘She loved doing arts and craft projects with grandma and was especially known for photo-bombing her mother.’

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Horrifying find that changed Sally Obermeder’s life

She received a breast cancer diagnosis the day before she was due to give birth to first daughter Annabelle, in October 2011.

And Sally Obermeder revealed to Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday, that after undergoing chemotherapy and surgeries, she had to rethink her lifestyle.

'I was alive, but I was dead inside,' the 43-year-old candidly shared, referring to her lack of energy and overall health at the time.

'The big thing for me after all of my treatment was asking myself, "What can I do to actually get myself better after all of that chemotherapy, all of those surgeries?"' Sally revealed.

'I was alive, but I was dead. My insides were completely gone. I had no energy, my skin was grey, and I'd been through a lot.

'I thought, "Well, what am I going to do? I have a toddler and I've got a job, so what am I going to do? What's going to make the biggest difference?"'

This line of questioning led to the creation of Sally's hugely-popular smoothie recipe collection, and as of recently, a line of frozen, ready-to-make smoothie batches, aptly titled Super Green Smoothies, available at supermarkets.

With six combinations to choose from, the Channel Seven presenter, who co-created the product line with sister and business partner Maha Koraiem, wanted to make healthy eating as easy and accessible as possible.

'We definitely acknowledge that sometimes you'll go to make a green smoothie, and you have no kale or the spinach has gone off. So we wanted to make it as easy as possible, but so that you still get all of the benefits. And it has to taste amazing.'

Maha and I are both so passionate, and as women, we want to feel as good as we possibly can,' she continued.  

The product line comes at a busy time for Sally, having welcomed her second daughter Elyssa, with husband Marcus into the world, in December, via a surrogate.

The proud parents described to the Australian Women's Weekly in their March 2017 issue, their new addition as 'pure joy.'

And in describing how five-year-old daughter Annabelle has bonded with the baby, Sally joked to Daily Mail Australia that the precious toddler wants Elyssa to 'hurry up and grow.'

'It's funny, you know. She's wanted a sibling for a long time. The first few weeks, she was very excited about the whole thing.

'Then after a while, she realised, "Oh, well this is interesting. I can't actually play with her. She's too small."

'I found her the other day saying to Elyssa, "Hurry up and grow,"' Sally joked.

'I think she would probably be a bit more into [the bonding process] if she had someone to play with or ride her bike with,' she added.

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Harry Dunn's parents are demanding justice after he was killed in a car crash

Harry Dunn's bereft parents today revealed they promised their son 'justice' in the minutes after he died as they made an appeal directly to Donald Trump 'as a father' to intervene during an emotional press conference in New York.

Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn have flown to the US for a media blitz to put pressure on the White House to step in and force Anne Sacoolas to return to Britain to face justice saying: 'We can't start grieving until this is resolved'.

Harry's mother broke down as she told a press conference this afternoon: 'It's the right thing to to do. It's the humane thing to do.'  

She said: 'It's a clear-cut case. She needs to get on the plane and get back to the UK, just do the right thing. It shouldn't have been this difficult, she surely didn't have to go.'

In a message for the US President, Mr Dunn added: 'I would say to him (Donald Trump) as a man, as a father, how could you let this happen, if you are a father and your child died surely you'd want that person to own up and take responsibility?'

And explaining the purpose of their visit to US, where the shocking case has received less coverage than in Britain, Mr Dunn said: 'We just wanted to come to speak to you guys to put our story out there, to let the American people know what is actually going on, to tell people about Harry and how we just want our justice for our son.' 

Sacoolas, 42, fled to the US on a state-sponsored private jet in the wake of the fatality outside a US spy base in Northamptonshire, claiming diplomatic immunity using her husband Jonathan's job.

CCTV footage from the RAF base captured the moment Mr Dunn was killed in a 'big fireball' following the road crash.

The family said evidence of the video leading up to the crash made it 'a clear-cut case'.

When asked if the footage had been sourced from the RAF base, a Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: 'Yes, I believe so.'

Sacoolas, who had two of her own children in the car, spoke to police but was flown out of the UK from a US air base in Suffolk before she could be arrested and charged. 

The spy's wife claims she was devastated by the crash and sent 'her deepest sympathy to Harry Dunn's family' in a statement released by her lawyer over the weekend.

Asked if the authorities should have done anything different over the handling of the case, Ms Charles said today: 'Not let her go home. Whoever made that decision we do not know, but we shouldn't have gone through this.

'We shouldn't be suffering like this. It should have been an open and shut case. The evidence is extremely clear what happened.

'We've been told that there is CCTV evidence showing her leaving RAF Croughton on the wrong side of the road and that CCTV follows her all the way down the road on the wrong side of the road and you see Harry's headlight of his motorbike and then there is a big fireball when his bike went up.

'So it should have been a clear-cut case. It should have been simple and I promised Harry and we promised Harry as a family when we'd lost him that night, when we were talking to him in the hospital when we'd lost him already, that we would make sure justice was done.

'We thought it would be an easy one, an easy case, with all the evidence that the Northamptonshire Police have, but clearly not and that's why we're here.'

Ms Charles added: 'Of course she's suffering, we've known all along she would be suffering. Her children must be suffering, you know, two of them were in the car and that's horrific.

'Our lad wasn't a little lad, the car was extremely damaged as well as Harry.

'We're not inhumane, we still don't wish her any ill harm but we need to hear it from her, in her own words, in a room, on our terms, in the UK with therapists and whoever else can help us, mediators.

'But just hearing it through a statement, we're seven weeks in now, it's a bit too much too little too late, I'm afraid.'

'We just want to know that she is being brought back to the UK. You know, that would be a huge step in the right direction.

'It's the only right thing to do. It's the only humane thing to do.

'And we would hope then that we can try to start to move forward and the UK justice system do whatever they feel is right because with it being seven weeks later we're not sure if we can be involved with trying to reduce her sentence, which is what we said we would do in the first place.

'They wanted to pursue her or charge her with death by dangerous driving. We spoke to the police right at the beginning, knowing that she had children, we were going to work with them, ask for her sentence to be reduced to death by careless (driving) and ask for a suspended (sentence) so that we didn't take her away from her children although she's robbed us of one of ours.'

She added: 'It was an accident, we understand that, but seven weeks on, and we've had to do this to get an apology just in writing, that's just wrong.' She stopped speaking at this point as she broke down in tears. 

Family spokesman Radd Seiger said: 'Back home we are thinking about our strategies and wondering what to do.

'One of the reasons why I'm here is to try and talk to some lawyers who might be able to help us here in the United States. We are determined to get justice for Harry, whatever that means. We will get justice for Harry.'

The 19-year-old's father Tim Dunn said his family can't start grieving until 'this is resolved'.

He said: 'I've always wanted to ask her if she could explain the moment of the crash, find out if she comforted Harry, if she spoke to Harry, find out what her movements were, did she try and call the emergency services, or I don't know, I'm just struggling because I can't imagine my lad being in the ditch and not having any comfort from anybody until the ambulance and police turn up 'X' minutes later.

'When we had the funeral, which was a lovely tribute to him, I thought maybe that was the time we were going to turn the corner, but then it wasn't until a week later when we found out that she had left the country and now it feels like it has gone right back to the night he died.

'There's just no way I can start grieving yet, as a family we can't start, we need this resolved.'

Mr Dunn added: 'Somewhere, somebody has made a decision to give this lady immunity.

'She's not entitled to immunity as it's been said and we've known that from the start. 

'On that night there was an accident, a lady made a mistake, she killed our son, she didn't mean to kill him, she didn't mean to have an accident, but you cannot walk away from that and just leave and expect nothing to happen. Our boy died and he deserves to have some justice. That's all we want'. 

Speaking to the PA news agency following the press conference, Mr Dunn called on the suspect to 'come out of hiding' and 'set an example' to her own children.

He added: 'Just get on the plane. Face up to what you have done, having left us seven weeks ago with what we have lost - this is 100 times, a hundred times harder than it needed to have been.

'Time is up now. Time is of the essence. Get on the plane. Just face it. Deal with it.

'Then she can move on with her life, her children can hopefully find a way of getting as much therapy as they need because, bless them, two of them were in that car.

'End the suffering. Go back to the UK and face it.'

Mr Dunn also said 'something is not right' after the family were sent a letter from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office explaining that Ms Sacoolas does not have diplomatic immunity.

He said: 'It just doesn't seem to sit right with me.

'It just seems like such a long-winded way around things and I think they just need to stop messing about.'

The family reiterated their hope to secure Ms Sacoolas a suspended sentence, rather than immediate custody, so as not to take her away from her family.

But they said their hopes of a meeting between the two parties should happen 'in her own words, in a room, on our terms' back in the UK.

 Earlier today the former couple appeared on national TV in the US said the apology from the US spy's wife arrived 'seven weeks too late' - and described his broken body and final words before he died.

Harry's mother Charlotte told CBS' Gayle King this morning: 'Why has it taken so long? It's seven weeks tomorrow since we lost our boy. We feel that statement should have come out from her right from the beginning instead of getting on a plane and running home. 

'We realise that obviously she may not have been given any choice as such under this supposed diplomatic immunity cloak. We don't believe she did – that's being looked into'. 


The family has said they will only meet the US woman suspected of causing their son's death if she promises to return to Britain.    

His mother Charlotte said: 'I don't see what we would gain from that [meeting her in the US]. If it was a few weeks back, we're one week off from being two months since Harry died. 

'We're still very opened to meeting her but it needs to be in a controlled environment in the UK. We've been advised that it wouldn't be the best thing for us to do [meeting in US]. We need counsellors and therapists around us. 

She added: 'She needs to get on the plane, she needs to go back to the UK, just do the right thing. It shouldn't be this difficult - she surely didn't have to go'.

Gayle King asked what would they have wanted from Sacoolas if they had stayed in the UK.

Mrs Charles said: 'We've been very, very open right from the start with the UK police that if she'd have stayed in the UK, knowing she was a parent herself, we'd agreed as a family that we would have done all we could to get death by dangerous driving reduced to death by careless driving and try and get her a suspended sentence so we didn't take her away from her children - we were OK with that'.  

Gayle then asked: 'Are you now asking for jail time for her?', Harry's mother replied: 'I don't think we're going to have any choice now, we're 7 weeks on and it's taken all this time. I'm not sure the police are going to allow us to intervene now. we don't know where we stand now'. 

Spokesman Radd Seiger told Sky News the condition was a 'non-negotiable red line in the sand' if Anne Sacoolas wished to meet with the teenager's parents while they are in America.

Harry, 19, died when his motorbike crashed into a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27.

The suspect, 42-year-old Mrs Sacoolas, had fled to the US IN the wake of the fatality, claiming diplomatic immunity. 

But that protection is now in dispute after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab wrote to Harry's parents over the weekend, telling them the government had 'pressed strongly for a waiver of immunity, so that justice can be done.' 

Harry's parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, flew to the US on Sunday to, as Mr Seiger said, 'put pressure on the US administration to do the right thing'. 

Ms Charles said before boarding her flight that she had received a letter from Mrs Sacoolas expressing her 'deepest sympathies and apologies'.

'To be perfectly honest, yes, it's the start of some closure for our family. Having said that sorry just doesn't cut it'.

Earlier, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) wrote to the family to say Mrs Sacoolas did not have diplomatic immunity.

Mr Seiger said the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab's letter stated: 'The US have now informed us that they too consider that immunity is no longer pertinent.'

The letter, sent by Mr Raab to the family, said: 'We have pressed strongly for a waiver of immunity, so that justice can be done... Whilst the US government has steadfastly declined to give that waiver, that is not the end of the matter.

'We have looked at this very carefully... the UK Government's position is that immunity, and therefore any question of waiver, is no longer relevant in Mrs Sacoolas' case, because she has returned home.'

Mr Raab added that the matter was now 'in the hands' of Northamptonshire Police and the CPS.

An FCO spokesman told the PA news agency that the office 'would not be commenting further on the content of the letter'.

Before the letter was sent by the FCO, the family's lawyer Mark Stephens told PA: 'There are approximately 20,000 official diplomats in this country - there's a definitive list of who is and who isn't.

'We know definitively that this guy was not a diplomat and therefore was not entitled to diplomatic immunity. That has a number of consequences.

'That means that the Americans have made a false claim. She would not have been entitled to claim diplomatic immunity.'

Meanwhile, Mrs Sacoolas's legal representative Amy Jeffress, from the law firm Arnold and Porter, said: 'Anne is devastated by this tragic accident.

'No loss compares to the death of a child and Anne extends her deepest sympathy to Harry Dunn's family.'

On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said America was 'absolutely ruthless' in its safeguarding of Mrs Sacoolas following the decision to grant her diplomatic immunity.

Mr Johnson said although President Donald Trump was sympathetic towards Mr Dunn's family's views on the use of diplomatic immunity, the US was 'very reluctant' to allow its citizens to be tried abroad.

Speaking of taking their campaign to the US, Mr Dunn's family said in a statement that they 'continue to live in a nightmare' and have so far been unable to grieve after his death.

A statement released on behalf of the family said: 'As if losing Harry was not enough, they now find themselves having to expend enormous time and energy, which they can ill afford, generating sufficient publicity to garner public support to persuade the US government to help achieve closure and return the driver Mrs Sacoolas to England to face the consequences of her actions.'

Mrs Charles said: 'The letter from the FCO was amazing, we felt like we finally had a breakthrough, we finally had confirmed that the immunity that we didn't think she had has been confirmed, that she doesn't have it, certainly since she absconded back to the USA.

A statement from her lawyer is promising that we may be able to hopefully get a meeting put together – whether it's face to face or lawyer to lawyer, not really sure on that basis yet but fingers crossed we're stepping in the right direction.'

Mrs Sacoolas's lawyers said she was 'devastated' and has expressed a desire to meet with the teenager's family, who have arrived in New York in their quest for justice. 

Harry's parents are planning to give a series of interviews with America's main TV networks to heap pressure on the US government to hand Mrs Sacoolas over.

They will then travel to Washington DC to meet senior figures in the US government to express their outrage at the handling of the case.

Their lawyer Radd Seiger told the Mail: 'Harry's parents want to look the US President in the eye and ask him to resolve this painful situation. He needs to understand they are utterly heartbroken.

'We will not rest until we have Mrs Sacoolas back in the UK. That's the only way they can get closure.' 

Mr Seiger said Mrs Sacoolas, 42, has been asked four times if she would be willing to return to the UK, and on each occasion she failed to respond to the question.

He added: 'Harry's family just want a direct answer as to whether she will to back to the UK and continue to help the police with their investigation. 

'We've asked the same question four separate times and on each occasion this question is ignored. That's unacceptable.'

Mrs Charles, Harry's mother, said that Mrs Sacoolas's response to the crash 'just doesn't cut it'.

'My opinion on Anne Sacoolas now wanting to come forward and say sorry... is not really quite enough,' she told Sky News.

'But I'm still really open to meeting her, as are the rest of us. I can't promise what I would or wouldn't say, but I certainly wouldn't be aggressive.' Harry's parents are reluctant to meet the mother of three unless she gives some sort of assurances that she is willing to be extradited to the UK. 

But the matter may now be taken out of her hands if the Crown Prosecution Service applies to the US to extradite her. As the wife of a US intelligence officer, Mrs Sacoolas initially claimed diplomatic immunity and fled the UK after the crash just outside the military base. 

Harry suffered horrific injuries in the crash and died later in hospital. 

Mrs Sacoolas had pulled out of the base, a US spy hub, on the wrong side of the road and collided with the teenager's motorbike on the brow of a hill.

New road markings and a sign have appeared outside the base. Arrows indicating the direction of travel have been painted on each side of the road and a yellow 'Please Drive on Left' sign has also been placed on the roadside.

Home Secretary Priti Patel yesterday played down suggestions that Mrs Sacoolas could be extradited from the US.

Asked on BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show whether this could happen, she said: 'It very much seems that the lady in question wants to start co-operating with the discussions and the investigations and I think that we should support that.

'We need to ensure that justice is done but obviously that co-operation with this investigation takes place. That is absolutely right.'

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Dad ‘in tears’ watching gang of bullies stamp on son’s head

A distraught father said he broke down in tears after watching a video of his boy being savagely beaten by bullies. The shocking footage shows the 12-year-old being hurled to floor and repeatedly kicked and stamped on by the gang. He has to cover his head and curl in a ball as more kicks fly in at the park in Beaumont Leys, Leicester. One boy is seen stuffing a hammer under his top while another is seen carrying what appears to be a BB gun. Police said they have arrested four boys, aged 13 to 14, in connection with the assault. The victim’s dad said his boy came home ‘a bit shook up’ on Saturday afternoon and said he’d got in a fight.

He told ‘He said the lads had a hammer but he looked normal. ‘He had a few bruises and bumps on his head but he didn’t seem too upset about it. ‘We said to him just be careful when you’re out and about, but then the next day the people who did it put the video on social media. ‘My son showed the video to me and my wife and as soon as I saw it I cried. ‘You never expect any dad to see that.’

A police spokesperson said: ‘Leicestershire Police received a report of an assault on a 12-year-old boy in the area of Beaumont Walk, Leicester, on Saturday afternoon (5 October). ‘It was reported the boy had been assaulted by a number of other youths in the incident which happened sometime between 3.30pm and 4pm. ‘One of the youths was reported to be in possession of what is believed to be a hammer and another youth was holding a BB gun at the time of the incident. ‘The victim of the assault was reported to have suffered injuries including bruising. ‘We are also aware of a video which has been posted on social media in relation to this assault.

Four boys – three aged 13 and one aged 14 – have been arrested on suspicion of assault in connection with the incident. They have since been released on police bail. ‘A BB gun believed to be used during the incident has since been recovered. Our enquiries remain ongoing following the report and police continue to carry out proactive patrols in the area. ‘We urge anyone with any information in relation to the incident to contact police quoting incident 19000535709. ‘We would like to reassure the local community that we are working closely with parents and schools.

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Doctor who 'sent her Tinder boyfriend and his new partner over 9,000 messages' fails to have charges dismissed on mental health grounds after being charged with stalking

A doctor who allegedly sent her Tinder boyfriend and his new girlfriend 9,000 messages has failed to get her case thrown out of court. 

Denise Jane Lee, 40, faces 10 charges for stalking and harassment after sending intimidating texts and emails to former flame Matthew Holberton and his new girlfriend Georgia Dempster.

But the radiologist has tried to get her case dismissed on mental health grounds but this was rejected by magistrate Michael Barko on Thursday who said her case should remain before the courts.

Mr Barko said he had reviewed a 'staggering' amount of evidence which indicated Ms Lee was of sound mind

He described the evidence he saw as 'vile' and followed up by saying it had a 'very real impact' on the victims. 

Taking into account all the relevant materials … I'm satisfied that at least now the defendant is not a mentally ill person,' he said.   

He also questioned why it had taken Ms Lee's legal team two years to submit the defence of mental health before dismissing the application. 

Ms Lee allegedly sent the 9000 'threatening and intimidating' texts and emails to Matthew Holberton and new girlfriend Georgia Dempster and other family members between September 2015 and February 2017. 

She has been charged with six counts of using a carriage service to menace and ­harass, one count of contravening a domestic apprehended violence order and two counts of stalking/­intimidation with intent to cause physical harm. 

When Lee was arrested, she was found with social media pictures of Mr Holberton, tracking data from his cycling routes, and information about his friends.

In February Senior Sergeant Amin Assaad told the court Lee and Mr Holberton had met over Tinder, a dating app, in 2015.

The couple had a 'very, very brief relationship', before Mr Holberton moved away from Sydney in February 2016 to live in Melbourne.

In Melbourne he began dating Georgia Dempster, who was a PhD candidate at Melbourne University.

In June that year, Lee allegedly began her digital campaign, spamming Mr Holberton with 9000 texts and his new girlfriend's colleagues with more than 100 anonymous emails.

The court was told the correspondence was so distressing that some of Lee's alleged victims were contemplating suicide.

Sen Sgt Assaad said the emails questioned Ms Dempster's integrity, looks and her relationship with Mr Holberton'.

Emails were also sent to Ms Dempster's mother, Robin Bell, Ms Bell's colleagues at Monash University, her father, Robert Dempster and his colleagues.

Sen Sgt Assaad told the court her behaviour was 'nothing but stalking'.

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Teenage girl, 17, who was told she would never be able to travel after an accident left her in a coma triumphs over the odds to attend friend's Mexican wedding

A teenage girl who went into cardiac arrest in a locked bathroom and had her brain starved of oxygen has overcome her near-death experience to live the life she always dreamed of. 

Jessica Cofield was 17 when she began to feel tired all the time and struggled to breathe.

The Melbourne woman, now 20, initially thought she was suffering from asthma, given her family's long history with the illness.

However she became concerned enough that she went to a hospital to undergo tests to find out the cause of her issues.

On the first night in hospital she went to the bathroom, strapped up with heart monitors, and locked the door for privacy.

Ms Cofield then went into cardiac arrest and hit her head as hospital staff desperately tried to get into the bathroom - and she went 15 minutes without oxygen getting to her brain.

'When I was in the induced coma, the doctors and cardiologist didn't know if it was something I'd be able to wake up from, let alone make a full recovery,' she told Daily Mail Australia.   

'I went 10-15 minutes without oxygen, and with each brain injury being different they weren't able to say how independent l'd ever be able to be.' 

Ms Cofield said she didn't realise at first how much of a hardship her recovery would be - she believed within three months she'd be able to return to life as she knew it.  

'When I started to wake up [from the coma] daily things would take me so much longer - like sitting up [in bed] would take 30 minutes and assistance from four people,' she said.

'It was really long, slow and hard. Everything I took for granted became more of a struggle. Nothing was easy.'

When she went home she thought she would be able to be more independent but even things such as lifting a kettle was a lot for her. 

'After I got home, I was still so limited to what I could do. Mum was my backbone, she did everything I wasn't able to do myself - shower, make breakfast, close and open car doors. 

'I was so tired of being so dependent on everyone around me. Even my 8-year-old sisters at the time were helping me do everything.'

Ms Cofield said when she was moving wards she asked her doctor if she would be able to go skydiving on her 18th birthday and travel, but both were firmly ruled out.

She said this discouragement led her to no longer take an active part in her recovery.   

'For a while when I was in the hospital I gave up and stopped trying to get better. I didn't see the point to get better if there wasn't going to be a life to get better for,' she said.

'After weeks of not doing physio and not getting any stronger and asking visitors to stop coming - I just stopped trying with everything.

'After you get through that mental state of it is not worth it or you're not going to be able to do it anyway - you just need something to go for and look forward to that isn't a surgery or hospital visit.'

She said her friend told her she would be getting married in Mexico - and Ms Cofield was determined to go, now convinced she could lead the life she wanted.    

'That's when I realised, I need to make that one day today, I never know when my last one will be,' she said. 

'No more waiting for someday for anything to happen, I had to make this day happen myself.'

She began to relentlessly train - going to the gym, doing her physiotherapy and training her brain. Ms Cofield was determined to go and get her doctor to approve the trip.

She didn't talk to her doctor until the day before she was to leave for Mexico, scared she would say no, like she had done in the past.

But Ms Cofield got the tick of approval she wanted and was able to attend her friend's nuptials. 

Ms Cofield said going through customs with her medication and defibrillator can be a difficult feat - she is unable to go through metal detectors and is forced to explain in the language of the country she is in.

'It never gets any less awkward - but one day I'm not going to be awkward about it,' she laughed.

Her future goal is to live in Europe - but she has a lot of hoops to jump through.

She said her heart needs to be monitored for at least a year to see how it interacts with the new medication she is on.

'I have to have enough medicine to last me for a year. I just need to make sure I am willing to take the risk if something goes wrong,' she said.

'No overseas doctors know my medical records and my heart won't be strong enough to make the flight home if I get sick.

'I've got to accept the risk and trust doctors can access my files or they'll wing it and hope for the best.'

'I have to have enough medicine to last me for a year. I just need to make sure I am willing to take the risk if something goes wrong,' she said.

'No overseas doctors know my medical records and my heart won't be strong enough to make the flight home if I get sick.

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.The 'Gucci line' heroin and crack dealers locked up after a sting operation by undercover police in Bury

Four drug dealers have been jailed for a total of 10 years after being caught in an undercover police sting.

The gang were part of an operation known as the 'Gucci line', which flooded the streets of Bury with heroin and crack cocaine, before they were caught earlier this year.

They were arrested after undercover officers arranged meets with them in locations around the town over a three-month period as part of 'Operation Ballerina'.

Among those jailed at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on Friday was Andrew Dootson, aged 58, of Padiham Drive, Bury, who was sentenced to 40 months in jail.

Also behind bars is Colin Nuttall, aged 65, of Kestrel Drive, Bury, who was sentenced to 32 months behind bars for his role in the operation.

Meanwhile, Kieran Kay, aged 26, of Goldbrook Close, Heywood, was jailed for two years and banned from driving for 26 months for a separate offence in May of this year when he led police on a lengthy pursuit around Heywood before crashing into a parked car.

Kay's partner, Jade Adams, aged 29, of Downham Road, Heywood, was also jailed for two years.

All four had pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A controlled drugs, namely heroin and crack cocaine, at an earlier hearing.

Judge Brian Lever heard that the dealers had worked in teams to deliver the drugs and collect money.

Dootson and Nuttall were caught after being involved in two sales of heroin and crack cocaine to police officers on February 11 and 12 of this year.

Katy Laverty, mitigating for Dootson and Nuttall, said the former had become involved in the operation to help fund his own crack cocaine habit.

She added that Dootson, who has a previous conviction for supplying Class A controlled drugs in 1997, had struggled to cope following the death of his long-term partner last year and turned to crime to fund his increasing drug use.

Sentencing Dootson, Judge Lever said: "You have had your life turned upside down by Class A drugs so you know better than anyone else how awful and dangerous they are."

A long-term heroin addict with a previous conviction for robbery, Nuttall had also become involved in order to pay off drug debts that he had accrued, according to Ms Laverty.

Between November 21, 2018 and February 22, undercover officers also bought drugs on seven occasions from Adams and Kay.

The court heard that, similar to Dootson and Nuttall, Kay's involvement stemmed from a need to pay spiralling debts he owed to dealers over his own cocaine habit.

He recruited Adams to deliver the drugs and collect the money from the purchaser, while he drove them around.

Robert Kearney, mitigating for Adams, said the mother-of-two only became involved because she was 'concerned for Kay's welfare'.

Launched last October to combat the supply of Class A drugs in Bury, 'Operation Ballerina' saw a number of individuals arrested following a series of dawn raids in which a 'substantial amount' of drugs were found earlier this year.

Following Friday's hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Dean Purtill, the senior investigating officer on the operation, said: "We are pleased with today's sentences.

"The operation has been a huge success and shows that Greater Manchester Police is committed to tackling drug dealing within the community."

Lee Cirillo, aged 34, of HMP Manchester, and Bradley Ellis, aged 25, of Nugent Road, Bolton, were also due to be sentenced for their part in the operation after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A controlled drugs.

However, the pair will now be sentenced at a later date.

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Wow ,Abu Dhabi airport staff are shocked as '123-year-old passenger arrives at terminal with a passport claiming he is the oldest man to have ever lived

Staff at Abu Dhabi Airport have been left in shock after a man with a passport saying he is 123 years old walked through the terminal. 

Swami Sivananda's passport says that he was born on August 8, 1896, in Behala, India. 

Mr Sivananda had been travelling from Kolkata to London with Ethihad Airways and had a stop off in Dubai. 

If the date on his passport is correct, Mr Sivananda would be the oldest person to have ever lived.  

The elderly man lost both parents before he was six and was given away by his relatives to a spiritual guru, whom he travelled with around India before settling in Varanasi. 

It is hard to tell whether he actually is 123 because the only record of his age comes from a temple register. 

It is certain that Mr Sivananda looks decades younger than his apparent 123 years, something that he puts down to yoga, discipline, and celibacy.

In 2016, he was reported on because of the date of birth on his passport and he said:  'I lead a simple and disciplined life. I eat very simply - only boiled food without oil or spices, rice and boiled daal (lentil stew) with a couple of green chillies.

Standing five feet two inches tall, Mr Sivananda sleeps on a mat on the floor and uses a wooden slab as a pillow.

'I avoid taking milk or fruits because I think these are fancy foods. In my childhood I slept many days on an empty stomach,' he said.

He has been trying to have his age and status confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records for three years but due to difficulties in proving his age he is yet to enter the book.  

Sivananda, who was born in colonial-era India without electricity, cars or telephones, says he is not enthused by new technology and prefers being on his own.

'Earlier people were happy with fewer things. Nowadays people are unhappy, unhealthy and have become dishonest, which pains me a lot,' he said.

'I just want people to be happy, healthy and peaceful.'  

So far the oldest person ever was Jeanne Louise Calment from France, who reached the age of 122 years and 164 days.

The oldest person who is currently alive and recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records is Kane Tanaka of Japan, aged 116 years and 278 days.

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