World News

Woman accused of ‘claiming to be her ex to pocket £40,000 in life insurance’

A woman accused of claiming to be her ex-partner to pocket nearly £40,000 in life insurance has been bailed.

Jennifer Burton, 50, appeared before magistrates charged one count of fraud by false representation on Monday.

She was sent to crown court after Teesside Magistrates Court heard she allegedly carried out the fraud for five months in 2012.

Prosecutor Rachel Butt said during the hearing that Burton falsely signed forms in relation to Phoenix Life and received a cheque of just under £40,000, TeessideLive reports.

Burton, of Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees, was accused of committing the crime in Stockton between September 1, 2012 and November 7, 2012.

She was charged with dishonestly making a false representation that she was the male victim and entitled to the proceeds of an endowment policy in order to gain a cheque of £39,646.74.

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The blonde defendant appeared in the dock wearing a black blazer and trousers and a spotted white shirt.

She entered no pleas during the short hearing.

Chair of the bench Martin Slimings told Burton that her case would have to sent to Teesside Crown Court.

He said: "Because of the high value of this offence and the breach of trust we cannot deal with this at the Magistrates' Court.

"Therefore we are going to send this at the Crown Court.

"You will make a first appearance at Teesside Crown Court on 21st December at 10 o'clock."

Burton was handed unconditional bail until that date.

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World News

‘Paedophile manual’ sicko who filmed himself raping young girls jailed for life

A sick paedophile recorded himself raping girls as young as four-years-old, even 'stupefying' some of his victims to help him carry out his twisted assaults.

Jonathan Richard Maertens, 35, has been jailed for life with a minimum of 16 years at Isle of Wight Crown Court after he sexually abused nine children.

The Isle of Wight paedophile recorded footage of himself sexually abusing female children aged between four and 17, Hampshire Constabulary said.

A spokesperson for the force said: "Maertens in many cases edited the footage and stored it on hard drives at his home. At this stage, there is no evidence that this footage was distributed any further.

"The court heard the devices were seized when officers executed a warrant at his home address.

"Almost 2,500 pieces of footage and over 12,000 indecent images detailing his direct offending were found on the hard drives. In addition to this, a further 6,500 videos and 197, 000 indecent images of children were also located."

Maertens, of Richmond Meade, Freshwater, pleaded guilty to 34 separate indictments.

• 10 multiple incident counts of rape of a child under 13
• Three counts including two multiple incident counts of assault of a child under 13 by penetration
• Five counts of sexual assault of a child under 13
• Three counts including one multiple incident count of rape of a child
• Two multiple incident counts of assault by penetration of a child
• Three counts of sexual assault of a child
• Three counts of taking indecent photographs of a child
• One count of making indecent photographs of a child
• Three counts including two multiple incident counts of administering a substance with intent
• One count of possessing a paedophile manual

During their investigation, a specialist police team managed to identify all the children who Maertens abused.

The spokesperson added: "Their families have been provided with cross agency support throughout."

Maertens also pleaded guilty to one count of assault of an emergency worker by beating, and one of producing a controlled drug of class B – cannabis.

DI Toby Elcock, of Hampshire Constabulary’s Major Crime Team, said: “Jonathan Maertens manipulated situations to facilitate access to children, including in some cases stupefying them, before recording his abuse.

“His actions have caused unfathomable damage to the girls and their families and I hope that this sentence can provide them with the justice they deserve. Services will continue to support these children and their families so that they can start to move on with their lives.

"Our investigation has also sought to safeguard other children that may have been in contact with Meartens. I am therefore appealing to anyone who has concerns about their previous contact with him or has any wider concerns to contact Hampshire Police quoting Operation Foundry.

“This sentence reflects the severity of these crimes and we would encourage anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse to report this to the police."

Superintendent Sarah Jackson, District Commander for the Isle of Wight, said: "The officers involved in this incredibly difficult and complex case have worked extremely hard to identify each of the victims and provide them and their families with the support they need, as well as ensuring they presented a case which saw a guilty plea, saving those involved the trauma of a trial.

"We take all reports of sexual assault very seriously, and will do everything in our power to bring those responsible to justice.

"It is so important to us that people have the confidence to report these incidents to us, whether they have happened to you or somebody you know. It is also important to us that survivors and their families are provided with the support they need, and we work in partnership with other organisations to ensure this happens."

Anyone who has been a victim of child abuse, or has any information about this type of abuse, is encouraged to contact police on 101.

Alternatively, contact Child Line on 0800 11 11, or if you are an adult who has been affected, you can call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000

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World News

Nursery worker paedophile begs to be chemically castrated in early release plea

A convicted paedophile has requested to be chemically castrated in a desperate bid to be released from jail.

Aaron Collis was convicted to abusing 22 children in 2009 and confessed to owning indecent images of children and had carried out sexual assaults on minors.

The 34-year-old believes being chemically castrated will help him secure a release from life behind bars – with the procedure believed to last three to five years at the cost of £20,000.

His crimes include abusing an 18-month-old toddler and he is reported to be currently being held in a secure hospital.

The Mirror reports that the criminal hopes to be released or moved to an open prison – but has thus far had requests denied.

In 2017, an undercover reporter that he was able to gain access to porn on the internet while behind bars, was "defying rules to use a mobile phone" behind bars, and had been sending WhatsApp messages.

The confessions sparked alarm that the convicted paedophile could still be a risk to children – even while serving time.

Collis sought release in September – but was denied during a parole hearing in September.

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The Mirror reports court papers state he requested a review, arguing: "The board… should have deferred the consideration of [Collis’s] case for medication to manage sexual arousal."

However, there is reportedly a lack of evidence that chemical castration would reduce sexual arousal.

Collis left the court sickened when his crimes were discussed during his 2009 trial.

Judge Gareth Hawkesworth said at the time: "These were evil and repulsive offences any right-minded member of society can barely comprehend."

He was tried again in 2012 after he confessed to further offences.

The Mirror reports that during his lifetime as a member of society, Collis has worked at two nurseries – however, he did not abuse any of the children in his care at the workplace.

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Israel welcomes end to convicted U.S. spy Pollard's travel ban

FILE PHOTO: Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer convicted of spying for Israel, exits following a hearing at the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York City, U.S., May 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli leaders on Saturday welcomed the U.S. decision to end parole restrictions on Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer who served 30 years in prison after being convicted of spying for Israel.

The U.S. Justice Department’s parole commission decided on Friday to allow a travel ban on Pollard to expire. The move was seen by some as a parting gift from the Trump administration to its ally Israel.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes the lifting of the restrictions on Jonathan Pollard,” a statement from the Israeli leader’s office said.

“The Prime Minister thanked Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer for responsibly and sensitively leading the contacts with the administration. The Prime Minister hopes to see Jonathan Pollard in Israel soon,” the statement said.

Pollard pleaded guilty in 1986 to conspiracy to commit espionage in connection with providing Israeli contacts with hundreds of classified documents he had obtained as a naval intelligence specialist in exchange for thousands of dollars.

He was sentenced in 1987 to life in prison. After serving 30 years, which included time in custody following his 1985 arrest, he was released on parole in 2015 under terms which dictated he remain in the U.S. for five years.

Pollard, 66, has sought to move to Israel, which granted him citizenship while in prison and had long pushed for his release. The espionage affair strained U.S.-Israel relations for decades.

Netanyahu’s statement was echoed by other Israeli ministers and by President Ruvi Rivlin.

“Over the years we have shared in Jonathan Pollard’s pain, and felt a responsibility and commitment to bring about his release. Now we will be able to welcome him and his family home,” Rivlin said on Twitter.

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World News

Terminally-ill man calls police to confess to 25-year-old cold-case murder

A terminally ill man has claimed to have committed a murder which has been unsolved for the past 25 years as his life looks set to be cut short by an undisclosed illness.

American Johnny Dwight Whited called cops to admit to murdering Christopher Alvin Dailey in 1995 by shooting the 26-year-old dead.

Police were astonished when 53-year-old Whited called "out of the blue" to admit to the crime and solve the cold case with his confession.

Officers told the New York Times that Whited had expressed "remorse" and claimed he had wanted to get the crime "off his chest".

They also claimed he had revealed he was suffering a terminal illness – but didn’t reveal what illness the self-confessed killer is suffering from.

Detective Sean Mukaddam recounted the bombshell phone call he received in which it is claimed Whited said: "I want to confess to a murder that I did years ago."

The officer said: "I’ve never had a situation where I just pick up the phone and have a call like that.

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"Nothing where the suspect calls me out of the blue and wants to confess."

While Whited said he could not be sure exactly when he killed Mr Dailey, police were able to cross-reference cold cases with the information the middle-aged man supplied to pinpoint the murder which took place on April 26, 1995.

Whited even accompanied police to a wooded area in Decatur, Alabama, where he dumped the dead body and reacted the murder in front of police.

The confessed killer is now expected to be put on trial, is charged with murder, and is currently being held on bail of $15,000 (£11,290).

In a statement released on Friday, police said: "Despite the extensive investigation, a suspect was never developed in the case. In the years that followed, the case was revisited several times for leads."

A date for the trial is yet to be determined by the US courts.

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World News

Paedophile pensioner tried to snatch tot as her dad chatted in Greggs

A paedophile tried to snatch a three-year-old girl in her pushchair outside Greggs while her father chatted to a friend.

Brian Willis grabbed the tot's pushchair on October 19 last year at the Captain Cook Shopping Square in Middlesbrough, Teesside while her dad had his back turned momentarily.

The 78-year-old had previously been convicted of possessing indecent images of children and his attempt to snatch the child was described by the girl's mum as "every parent's nightmare", Teesside Live reports.

Sick Willis had also twice breached orders protecting children by buying ice creams for kids – once near a school and another time at Stewart Park in Middlesbrough.

Teesside Crown Court heard the shocking details of the abduction on Friday.

Prosecutor Joanne Kidd said: "They were in the shopping centre and (the child's father) had turned his back to speak to his friend who was in Greggs.

"Mr Willis had been sitting nearby. When he saw his back was turned he took the opportunity to get up from where he was sitting and put his hand on the pushchair and started to push it away."

Fortunately the little girl's father saw what was happening, the court heard, and "remonstrated" with Willis, who said: "I just want to take the baby for a walk".

The father then forced Willis' hands off the pushchair, said Ms Kidd, and the paedophile then walked off to other shops.

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The court heard Willis himself called 999 and said to the call handler: "I did something wrong, I tried to abduct someone and tried to push her away.

"I don't feel guilty."

When police spoke to him, he reportedly said: "Why do I do the things I do?". He then reiterated he had tried to abduct a child.

Willis admitted abducting a child and breaching a sex offender order before a trial was due to take place in September.

The court heard he was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order in 2009 after being caught in possession of indecent photos of children.

The mum of the child said that the incident is "every parent's worst nightmare" and that she now "thinks the worst of people" while suffering from frequent nightmares.

The mum added that she "dreads to think what would have happened" if Willis managed to take her child away.

In mitigation, Uzma Khan, defending said Willis has a "warped belief that it's not him who was the offender, but a gentleman named Chris".

Willis, who is already on the sex offender's register infinitely, was jailed for 46 months.

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World News

Murder suspect who ‘tortured and choked’ girlfriend, 16, dies after prison brawl

A man jailed on suspicion of torturing and murdering a 16-year-old girl before hiding her body in a barrel has been killed in a savage prison brawl.

Zlatko Sikorsky, 37, was awaiting trial for the brutal murder of his 16-year girlfriend Larissa Beilby, in Brisbane, Australia.

Her body was found crammed into a barrel on the back of a pickup truck, in such a state of decomposition that it was impossible to determine the exact cause of death.

Injuries to her mouth suggest that she may have choked on a gag but her body also showed signs of a sustained beating.

  • Teen 'murdered' then stuffed in a barrel was given crystal meth before she was killed

Giving evidence in Beenleigh Magistrates Court, pathologist Dianne Little said: “I have done over 7,000 autopsies and I have never seen anything like this.

“With her, it's the whole head, neck and upper part of the trunk, it's all one huge bruise.

“It was just one sheet of haemorrhage.”

A witness claimed she had been offered A $2,000 (about £1,100) by Sikorsky to conceal a stolen pickup with a barrel strapped to its flatbed.

She said she refused after she saw a “dead arm” flop out of the barrel.

Sikorsky, who was said to be an “intimidating” character who always carried a gun and a regular meth user who smoked the drug “24-7” was arrested by heavily-armed police in Alexandra Headland on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

Sikorsky was being held on remand in Queensland’s high-security Wolston Correctional Centre when, on Tuesday November 10, he was fatally injured in a fight with one of the other inmates.

He spent a number of days on life support in Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital before he was pronounced dead on Thursday morning.

The Queensland Police Service's Correctional Services Investigation Unit is investigating the incident and a spokesperson said: "Our condolences go out to the man's family and friends."

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World News

Woman, 47, attacked at her home with teen boy dies in hospital – cops hunt man

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A woman who had been in hospital since Sunday after being attacked in her home has tragically died.

Northumbria Police's investigation has now become a murder probe after the death of Caroline Kayll, 47, following the attack which also left a teenage boy seriously injured.

Police were called at roughly 8.55pm on Sunday when a disturbance was reported at a house on Foxcover, an estate of new build homes, in the colliery village of Linton, north of Newcastle.

Authorities have been conducting a three-day search for Paul Robson, who is described as white, around 5ft5in tall, of slim build, bald and he wears glasses, in connection with the incident. He is believed to have travelled to Glasgow.

Police say the teenage boy is not related to Caroline or Mr Robson, Chronicle Live reports.

And detectives are also quizzing a 58-year-old man who has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Superintendent Paul Milner, of Northumbria Police, has appealed for help from the public but offered reassurance that the attack is being treated as an isolated incident.

He also reassured the public Mr Milner isn't a "danger to the wider public" but said enquiries to locate Paul have be unsuccessful and the force is still trying to locate him.

In a statement, Mr Milner said: "This has been a complex investigation that has seen officers carrying out enquiries across the region this week.

"We know that it has caused a great deal of concern, particularly the fact that a suspect in this case has not yet been arrested.

"I want to reassure you that this is being treated as an isolated incident and there is no information that suggests Paul Robson is a danger to the wider public.

"Extensive enquiries to locate Paul have continued in recent days and we are now appealing for help from the public to locate him.

"We would stress that this is a live murder investigation and an incredibly difficult time for Caroline’s family and the teenage boy injured in the attack.

"We would urge people not to speculate on any of the circumstances as it could hinder our investigation.

"Anyone who has information that could assist our investigation, or knows the location of the suspect, is asked to get in touch immediately."

Anyone who believes they may be able to assist police is asked to report online at the Northumbria Police website quoting log 421 19/11/20.

You can also call police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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World News

Hero confronts man wielding knife in McDonald’s after female worker threatened

A hero who stopped a knifeman threatening a McDonald's female worker during a terrifying ordeal has been thanked by police.

The "brave" Good Samaritan put his life at risk to encourage the 24-year-old to give up the weapon before he was sectioned.

Officers were called to the restaurant on Whitefield Road in Bredbury, Stockport, at around 11.30am on Wednesday to reports that a man was threatening an employee with a blade, the Manchester Evening News Reports.

While waiting for the police to arrive, a member of the public intervened and tried to engage with the man.

He put his own safety at risk to help the woman and encouraged the man to give up the knife, police said.

A large police response then arrived at the restaurant and officers were able to take the McDonald's worker to safety.

The man – aged 24 – was arrested and taken into custody.

He has since been detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

Nobody is believed to have been hurt in the incident, police said.

Enquiries are ongoing and detectives are now urging anyone with information to contact them, particularly anyone who might have been queuing at the drive-thru at the time.

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Detective Sergeant Matt Tarr, of GMP’s Stockport CID, said: “This was a terribly frightening ordeal for the victim of this incident and officers are working with her employer to ensure that she – and other staff members affected – are receiving the support they need at this time.

“I would like to thank the member of the public who bravely tried to intervene and put his own safety at risk to try and diffuse the incident – this action ensured that when police responded just moments later we were able to prevent anyone being hurt and a man was arrested.

“Our enquiries are very much ongoing and we encourage anyone with any information about the incident to contact police as to aid our enquiries.

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"We understand the drive-thru was quite busy at the time and we hope anyone who saw what happened can share whatever information they have with us.”

McDonald's was cordoned off for several hours yesterday while police investigations took place at the restaurant, which is closed to junction 25 of the M60.

Members of staff were seen waiting outside the restaurant as crime scene investigators carried out work inside the restaurant, while a number of officers stood guard outside.

  • Woman feared evil ex-boyfriend would stab her to death as he forced her to kneel

A Seat Leon was also seen being loaded onto a trailer and removed from the restaurant's car park.

The branch was able to reopen several hours after the incident and bosses said they were supporting staff and helping police with the investigation.

Speaking yesterday, a McDonald’s spokesperson said: "An incident occurred at our Bredbury restaurant this morning.

"We are supporting our restaurant team and assisting the police with their ongoing enquiries.”

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World News

Woman feared evil ex-boyfriend would stab her to death as he forced her to kneel

A woman feared her evil ex-boyfriend was going to execute her after he made her kneel in a field following a campaign of sick abuse.

Naomi Baxter, 22, said she was "head over heels in love" with Connor MacDonald, 23, who trapped her in a violent relationship for 18 months.

He physically assaulted Ms Baxter on multiple occasions, including spitting in her face, kicking her and punching her.

The vile thug also told her he would "love" to kill her and put her "six feet under with her dad", who died when she was just 12.

MacDonald was jailed for 12 months after pleading guilty to assaults and making threats to kill at Preston Crown Court.

He threatened to stab Ms Baxter's family members and demanded she meet him in a nearby field or he would "smash her gaff to pieces".

When she arrived, he forced her to turn around and kneel on the ground. When she looked back at him he had his hand down the back of his joggers where she thought the knife was.

As Ms Baxter ran from the field, he laughed and told her: "You can go but if you do your whole family will die."

Two people found her and the police were alerted.

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The victim had been too terrified to confide in family and friends about MacDonald's relentless abuse.

His manipulation went so far she would apologise for "making him" torment her.

She bravely explained her experience. Ms Baxter, from Kirkham, Lancs, said: "It's so hard for me to look back – I'm still struggling every day to come to terms with what I experienced.

"Despite everything he put me though, I believed he was the best boyfriend in the world. But he was an evil man.

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"He told me I'd never be believed – he convinced me it was all in my head, that I deserved it."

Ms Baxter met her tormentor in school when they were 14 but only started dating him 18 months ago.

After MacDonald was jailed, she urged others in similar situations to speak up – especially during lockdown.

She said: "He may not have broken any of my bones, but he has certainly broken other parts of me. Becoming free from his chains was liberating, but trying to heal myself has been a long and lonely path.

"I have been left absolutely traumatised by his actions and am living in constant torment because of the abuse he had subjected me to for so long."

She went on: "I am on the road to recovery and letting all of the taught behaviour fall off me. It is a lot harder than I can put into words, but it's a lot easier than living through it.

"It was too late for me but maybe other people can still escape this."

If you have been affected by issues of domestic violence or coercive control you can call Refuge's 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free. The number is 0808 2000 247

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