Paedophile Priest Extradited from Tenerife Convicted of Child Sexual Abuse.

Francis Paul Cullen, an 85 year old ex Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to number of childs
sex offences after he was extradited from Tenerife where he had been living for the last 22 years. Cullen evaded police for over 20 years by skipping bail and fleeing to Tenerife in a cowardly attempt to avoid prosecution. At a hearing at Derby Crown Court, Cullen pleaded guilty to 21 counts of indecent assault to seven children. He will be sentenced on the 24th March.

The despicable paedophile abused at least five altar boys and two girls aged between six and sixteen. These incidents took place between the early 1950’s and 1991. Cullen who was born in Dublin, Ireland worked as a priest in many areas including Scunthorpe, Leicester, Alfreton, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Buxton and Mackworth.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Nottingham said he was pleased Cullen had, ”owned up and taken responsibility for these sickening crimes”.

Cullen was originally arrested back in 1991 in Nottingham but skipped bail and fled to Tenerife. A warrant was issued for his arrest but this was withdrawn by the courts in 2000. Derbyshire police reopened the case when a former altar boy abused by Cullen in the 1960’s came forward. Extensive enquiries, including investigation by Interpol, failed to locate the disgraced Catholic priest and the investigation was closed pending further information. A year later the case was reopened when a woman abused by Cullen in Buxton in the 1980’s reported his crimes to the police. Again, the investigation was closed when Cullen could not be found.  Cullen was finally tracked down in 2012 to Playa De Las Americas where he has attended the same church for mass for 20 years. His location had been discovered with cooperation from the Catholic Church and their safeguarding board. This was a real breakthrough in bringing justice to Cullen, although it seems incredible that intensive investigation by the police could not find him, but the involvement of his ex employers soon ‘discovered’ his whereabouts. Cullen was finally detained on August 20th 2013 by officers of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, (SOCA) on a European Arrest Warrant.

Father Andrew Cole, spokesman for the Diocese of Nottingham, said: “I would like to give our sympathy to those who have been affected by this tragedy in any way and assure them that we will do whatever we can to support them.”

“I would also like to take the chance to thank Cullen’s victims for their bravery in coming forward after many years of silence; it is because of them that Cullen has pleaded guilty.”

“Nothing can take away the horror of what happened to them, but I hope that today’s verdict will help them in some small way to find peace.”

Derbyshire Police urged any other victims who have not yet come forward to contact them.

Detective Constable Matt Goodwin said “Given the length of the offending history of this investigation, which lasted from 1955 to 1991, I believe it is inconceivable that there are not
more victims of this man’s crimes.”

A former altar boy from Preston, Lancashire said, “this conviction comes as no surprise at all to me, I was an altar boy in the late 60’s at my local Catholic Church. We [other altar boys] all knew child molesting was going on, as soon as I got wise to it I left, I was one of the lucky ones.”

This conviction could be just the tip of the iceberg; hopefully the sentencing of Cullen later in March will give people the courage to report historic and current abuse.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article or have concerns for someone else please contact any of these organisations below;

NAPAC is the National Association for People Abused in Childhood. They are a registered charity,based in the UK, providing support and information for people abused in childhood. http://www.napac.org.uk

Childline. 0800 1111 or online www.childline.org.uk

NSPCC . National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children www.nspcc.org.uk

 

 

Former Chinese policeman sentenced to death for killing a pregnant woman and injuring her husband.

The attack happened at the victim’s noodle store in Guangxi Zhuang, Southern China in October 2013.

Hu Ping , an off duty police officer,had been eating and drinking with colleagues outside the couple’s restaurant in the town of Pingnan shortly before the shooting last October.

Hu Ping, a serving police officer at the time of the attack, was allegedly drunk and opened fire on the couple after being told they did not serve milk tea. The female owner, who was 5 months pregnant, was killed and her husband sustained an injury to his shoulder. Hu Ping pleaded guilty to the shooting.

During his trial, Hu Ping had claimed he was drunk at the time of the attack. A physical examination report provided by a hospital stated that Hu Ping had in fact been sober at the time of the shooting. Hu Ping also stated he was carrying a pistol at the time of the attack as weapons were loosely regulated at the local police station.

Court officials in Guigang said Hu Ping was sentenced to death on 17th February 2014. Hu Ping was also ordered to pay the victim’s family 73,324 yuan (£7,200) in compensation.

Cases of abuse involving police and local “chengguan” law enforcers
regularly trigger public anger in China. In December 2013, Four chengguan law enforcement officers were  jailed over a violent clash in Hunan province that left a melon seller dead.

Correspondents say social media has played an increasingly important role in
demanding accountability from authority figures in China in recent years.

Users of China’s Weibo microblogging service broadly backed the death
sentence given to Hu Ping.

“Death would not be a sufficient punishment for his crime,” said one Weibo user.

British Weather Causes Mayhem Again

Devastating weather in the South East of England has caused a wave of destruction.
People have had to be evacuated from their homes, people trapped in
cars have had to be rescued, boats have sunk and railway lines have had to be closed, causing widespread chaos.

In Dawlish, Devon, around 20 people were evacuated from their homes and the sea
wall under the main railway line collapsed.

A number of properties in Kingsand in Cornwall were evacuated after huge
waves came crashing against properties causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Widespread flooding has been reported across the region and councillors said the
damage would cost millions to repair.

Police in Kingsand said they had to evacuate houses that had been damaged by
stones being washed ashore which had smashed the windows in many of the properties.

Radio reporter Johnny O’Shea said, “The level of damage in the village is
quite extraordinary.”

“Windows have been smashed, doors are lying in the road. The sand is several
inches deep along the road.”

“An emergency evacuation centre has been set up in the village as people try
to deal with the devastation caused by this storm.”

Cornwall Council’s leader John Pollard says the cost of the storm damage, “is
rising to £10m as we speak”.

BBC Radio Cornwall’s Donna Birrell said, “It’s a desperate situation – teams
of men are trying to haul boats out of the water to rescue them. It is a
one way battle at the moment. The weather does not look like it’s going to
calm down anytime soon.”

“There are at least 40 boats at risk – six have sunk already and the sea is
thick with debris, including big pieces of granite, driftwood and buoys.”

This freak weather has caused major problems to Cornwall as a whole but has
affected the community of Dawlish the most.

Corrie star Julie Hesmondalgh scoops top award at National Television Awards

Long serving Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondalgh bid farewell to Hayley Cropper. The actress bowed out of the show at the National Television Awards after winning the ‘ Best Serial Drama Performance’. The award came just days after Hayley Cropper’s final scenes had the nation poised with a box of tissues at hand.

The award contributed to an exceptional night for Coronation Street as they beat EastEnders to the ‘Best Serial Drama’ award for the second year running.

As Julie Hesmondalgh got up to receive her award, she had a massive smile on her face. Wearing a long black dress she looked nothing like her character, Hayley Cropper, who took her own life after a long hard battle with cancer in Monday’s episode.

Julie narrowly beat David Neilson, who played her onscreen husband Roy Cropper, but took him with her on stage to receive her award.

Julie told the packed audience in the 02 arena in London, “We said that if either of us were lucky enough to get this tonight we would come up together because there isn’t no Roy without Hayley and there isn’t no Hayley without Roy. I couldn’t have done it without this man.”

David, who had been her TV partner for 16 years said, “We all love and miss Julie so much. I will miss her more than anyone. She used to look at me and say, ‘Dave, you’ve got a bogey’.”

The TV soap will not be the same without the character of  Hayley Cropper, but for Julie Hesmondalgh, the award ensured she left with full recognition of her outstanding contribution to the show.

 

Two Killed in Kiev as protester clash with police in the Ukraine capital.

Prosecutors have announced the death of two have died from bullet wounds.  Clashes began on Wednesday after police stormed in to crush a protest camp. The clashes come on the day that new anti-protest laws came into power. Parliament approved the laws last week, setting of renewed protests, which quickly escalated into mayhem Sunday evening. The injury list is rapidly with hundreds now thought to have been hurt throughout the battles, though some of the violence has been blamed on a little-known far right group, right sector. Wednesday’s violence began in a small area around Hrushevskyy Street, a road leading to government buildings and also close to the main protest encampment at Maidan. Shortly after 08:00 (06:00 GMT) – after a relatively peaceful night – police stormed the protesters’ barricades on Hrushevskyy Street. The police later fell back to their positions after fierce clashes with protesters, but by the afternoon had pushed on through the barricades. Protesters again hurled petrol bombs and stones while riot police responded with stun grenades and rubber bullets, the BBC’s Duncan Crawford reports. Meanwhile thousands of protesters have gathered in Independence Square. One onlooker said “This is crazy you need eyes in the back of your head, objects are flying all over. I have never seen anything like this before. It’s crazy”. There is peace in the capital of Ukraine but surely this is just the beginning and is going to get worse.

Manchester United losing streak continues

Manchester United’s losing streak continued as Sunderland made David Moyes the laughing stock of January, Gus Poyets team added to the Manchester side’s misery. A Penalty scored by Fabio Borini was enough to give Sunderland a shock 2-1 win to take into the 2nd leg of the Capital One Cup with the 2nd leg taking place at Old Trafford. Is the master Sir Alex Ferguson really unreplaceable? What is it he has what Moyes hasn’t? a team what has not changed only the manager questions are being asked in every direction and fingers are being pointed that Fergie has the power that no one else has to get his team to play to their potential.  Manchester United have a second leg to turn things on it head and reach the final. It may not be a big competition but it is one they would like to win as it may well be the only cup they get their hands on this year.  David Moyes is adamant Sir Alex is not the problem and the players are not still trying to work the way they used to. Moyes also passed the blame on to the officials instead of his teams lacklustre performance, when asked about the penalty what was given this is what he had to say “We had a player booked for the same challenge the other day, for doing the same thing. It’s up to the referees, they’re making their minds up. “It looks as if we are playing them as well as the opposition at the moment”. “It’s really terrible. We’re actually beginning to laugh at them”. He also paid tribute to the fans who showed there support throughout the game and were in full voice for both the players and Moyes himself. “Our crowd were unbelievable tonight, the support they gave the team and myself tonight was terrific”. But for how long is the real question.

 

Benefit Street TV Show Hits Social Media by Storm

If you thought Big Fat Gypsy weddings wasn’t enough or The man with 10 Testicles wasn’t jaw dropping enough then the new programmes produced by channel 4 is sure to be the programmes that does The programme Benefit Street is one to watch and is sure to send the country into madness.

Viewers wasted little time in giving their opinion on social media sites after a quick glance down the feed phrases like “Dirty little Scribes, “disgusting”, “Deluded” and “Scum” all appeared within minutes on various sites.

The show could not of started at a better time, right on the same day as George Osborne announced a further £25 billion in cuts are needed, much of it to come from welfare benefits.

With the programme getting underway last night and it being the first episode, the TV viewers were introduced to the crew of “no-hopers”. The captain of the street White Dee, who everyone turns to for advice and help due to her experience in dodging housing benefit cuts.

Next in line is Fungi. Katie Hopkins may have riled everyone with her assumption a baby name told its class, but as if Fungi is going to be sipping champagne cocktails? No, Fungi is the loveable rogue, a ‘recovering’ drug addict on incapacity benefit.

Only not loveable when he is seen racing to the cash point to collect his £146 in benefits, and then be seen with a can of alcohol moments later.

After the first episode in set a real light into how the other half live, theft, crime, drugs and fraud to get their way through life and to keep a roof over their heads. After what TV viewers witnessed yesterday evening they are sure to tune in for the second episode which is fast approaching.

 

Death Row reprieve for donkeys; what would the fox say?

A new year and a new food scandal. With horse meat contamination in beef products barely a distant memory, fast on its heels is the latest food safety debacle.

Donkey meat is a popular snack in some areas of China where Wal-Mart have recalled its “Five Spice” donkey meat products. The products were found by the Shangdong Food and Drug Administration to contain fox DNA.

Food safety issues are a hot topic in China as other recent food contamination scares have dented public confidence in the integrity of the food people are consuming. Yum Brands, the owner of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC were affected just over a year ago by the discovery of extremely high levels of antibiotics in chicken from one of their poultry suppliers in China. The brand has struggled since to regain their market presence in the country. This latest contamination in Wal-Mart products will do little to build the confidence of consumers in the food products supplied by multinational companies and global brands.

Contrary to common belief, food safety issues are not something that just affects small companies trying to increase their profitability ruthlessly, or small naive businesses easily duped by immoral suppliers. This is an issue that affects the international companies and small meat product manufacturers alike.

Wal-Mart assures its customers that a team is being set up to not only investigate the contamination, but to also look at how to tighten its food safety rules and procedures. Wal-Mart has also spoken of its intention to take out legal proceedings against the supplier of the contaminated donkey meat. But will this be enough to satisfy the needs and demands of the consumer? Is this action too little too late? Although this may go some way in regaining the trust in the brand again, consumers need to be able to have confidence in the product at the point of sale, not after the horse, or fox in this instance, has bolted.

The consumer has to be 100 % certain that the product they buy contains the right animal for a start. Which meat is being eaten is a concern for many for religious and cultural reasons, or due to potentially life threatening allergies, so for these people it is of paramount importance. However, the most salient issue for everyone has to be the integrity and transparency the consumer receives from the food producers. With recurrent food contamination scares, how can the consumer have confidence in the integrity of any ingredients? There may be no question that the chicken leg you are eating is chicken, but can the company at point of sale vouch for the safety of that leg, if suppliers can switch the actual type of meat, just how easy is it to swap or bulk out good quality meat and other ingredients with that from unregulated and unclean producers?

New Years Honours List

The Olympic legacy did not leave a mark on the New Year’s Honours list yesterday, after it emerged that Britain’s sporting successes of 2013 had all been passed over.

Despite serving up one of most triumphant 12 months in the country’s history, not a single major sportsperson was rewarded with an honour.

As had been expected, Andy Murray missed out on a Knighthood, the Wimbledon champion, did not receive any advance on the OBE he already has.

There was no acknowledgment for Chris Froome’s Tour de France triumph either, after becoming only the second Briton to win the prestigious event. Both Justin Rose after winning the US Open, and Leigh Halfpenny after kicking the British and Irish Lions to their first Test series win in sixteen years, also missed out.

2012’s exceptional sporting haul in the honours list was certainly down to the decision to introduce a one-off Olympic category. It did though follow several years where at least one major sporting achievement was awarded an honour: Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke in 2012, Graeme McDowell in 2011, Jenson Button in 2010 and Lewis Hamilton in 2009.

It is believed the Lord Coe chaired honours committee responsible for sport, did not look to exclude current stars. But their list still showed a clear bias towards length of service.

The biggest name to make the list was the ex FA chairman David Bernstein, who was given a CBE for services to football.

A Wimbledon champion was honoured this year as Ann Jones, who beat Billie Jean King to win the 1969 ladies’ title, received a CBE for many years of work in tennis administration.

Other notable names to be honoured included West Ham United’s vice-chairman, Karren Brady, given a CBE for services to entrepreneurship and women in business, and the London Marathon race director, Dave Bedford, himself a former 10,000 metres world record holder, who was awared an OBE.

Rachel Yankey, England women’s most capped footballer, got an OBE in addition to the MBE she received in 2006, and there was also an MBE for Katy McLean, the England women’s rugby union team captain. Geoff Miller, England cricket’s recently retired national selector, received an OBE.

Michael Schumacher in Recovery

Seven-time Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher, is “fighting for his life” according to Doctors, following a ski accident in the French Alps.

The driver is in a critical condition at a Grenoble hospital with head injuries he sustained on Sunday morning at the resort of Meribel.

“We cannot tell you what the outcome will be yet,” the team treating him informed a news conference on Monday morning.

Schumacher underwent surgery on arrival at the University Hospital in Grenoble. He remains in a coma and the medical team treating him said “All we can do is wait,” and that they are working “hour by hour”.

Prof Jean-Francois Payen told reporters that if Schumacher hadn’t worn a protective helmet “he wouldn’t be here now”.

“We had to operate urgently to release some pressure in his head,” stated the anaesthetist.

Neurosurgeon Stephan Chabardes said that a post-operative brain scan had revealed “diffuse haemorrhagic lesions” on both sides of Schumacher’s brain. The Medical team has refused to comment on his prognosis.

The German racing champion is known to be an avid skier. Schumacher fell and hit his head on a rock while he was skiing off-piste with his teenage son. Following the accident, Schumacher was transferred to the hospital in the nearby town of Moutiers.

Prof Chabardes described the driver as in an “agitated condition” on arrival in Moutiers and that his neurological condition “deteriorated rapidly”. Schumacher was then taken from Moutiers to the larger facility in Grenoble.

Schumacher is being kept in a coma at a low temperature to aid his recovery. The medical team believes that the driver’s relative youth and the fact that there was no delay to his operation should count in the driver’s favour.