A round-up of news from around the North West
The son of a candidate in Greater Manchester’s police commissioner elections has told of his shame after being convicted of benefit fraud.
Jason Warren was dragged before the courts after failing to reveal he owned property abroad and dishonestly taking more than £4,000 in handouts.
Now his father Roy Warren – the only independent candidate in next month’s election – has said he can not condone benefit fraud and said
his son had got off lightly. And Jason Warren’s solicitor said the
cabbie-turned-wedding planner was ‘deeply sorry’ for the shame he has brought on the family.
Warren, 42, of Timperley, received £4,233.39 in job seekers’ allowance and council tax benefit while working part-time as a taxi driver. But he failed to admit that he owned properties in Tameside, Spain and Bulgaria. He was fined £300 by magistrates, with £200 court costs, and ordered to pay back the money to the Department for Work and Pensions and Trafford council.
His father Roy, a magistrate and former chair of the bench in Trafford, said: “I’m totally against benefit fraud no matter what the circumstances.
“Whereas I will protect him as a father, I cannot condone in any way what he has done.
“I actually think he was dealt with leniently but he’s an ordinarily hard working person and I’m sorry he got himself into this situation in order to try and pay off debts he’s incurred abroad and felt he did not have the strength to come to his mother and me.”
Counter-terrorism police are hunting for a consignment of anti-tank mines stolen from a train.
Ten packages containing landmine parts – which were due to be sent to Afghanistan – were snatched from the freight train when it stopped in Warrington.
The train was on its way from Cumbria to Oxfordshire, but had stopped at a red light.
Seven of the packages were later found abandoned near the railway line close to Folley Lane in Warrington.
The remaining three, which contain four plastic cases each, are still missing. It is understood each 4ft-long case contained an anti-tank mine used by the Army in Afghanistan.
Police say the missing mines are stable in their normal condition. It is understood other components are required to detonate them.
Detectives are treating the theft as opportunistic rather than the work of terrorists.
But an investigation into the theft is being led by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit. It also includes Greater Manchester Police, the Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police and the Ministry of Defence.
A mum-of-three is lining up a shot at a world bodybuilding title – just 12 months after taking up the sport.
Jo Perruzza beat competitors from across the country to win at the Masters British Championships at the Royal Northern College of Music.
She only took up competitive bodybuilding a year ago and is now heading to Miami to compete in the world championships.
Jo, 46 and from Heaton Moor, Stockport, said: “I was overwhelmed when I won. I’d worked very hard in my training. I didn’t expect to win. I was delighted. I only started competing last year.”
Explaining how she started bodybuilding, Jo said: “I knew it was what I wanted to do and set my goals and knew what I had to do to achieve it. I have a very supportive family.”
Jo, who works as a senior manager, is mum to three children aged ten, eight and six. She still manages to get up at 5.30am to do cardio work, and also trains three times a week.
Her story will be featured on BBC’s Inside Out current affairs programme at 7.30pm tonight.
Police are hunting an ex-care home worker over the alleged sexual abuse of a teenage girl.
Officers have released an image, right, of Foster Kwaku Dankwa, 46, who worked at a home in Longsight.
A woman has alleged she was given money and alcohol as a teenager several years ago in exchange for sex acts.
Police have released an image of Mr Dankwa and say they are investigating an alleged breach of trust.
A GMP spokeswoman said: “He has known connections in the Watford and Manchester areas.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 4416 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
An elderly man has died in a fire at his home.
Firefighters were called to a house in Oldham at 9.30am yesterday following reports that a man was trapped inside the burning building.
They went into the mid-terraced property wearing breathing gear and discovered the body of an 83-year-old man in an upstairs bedroom.
Greater Manchester Police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have begun a joint investigation into the tragedy.
A fire service spokesman said: “It is not thought at this stage to have been started deliberately.”
Staff at the hospital where seven patients died of saline poisoning were left shocked when they found a sinister message which read: “I will kill again.”
The words had been written on a bathroom mirror and became visible when it misted up. A patient saw it and reported it to a nurse who alerted police.
The chilling message was found at Stockport’s Stepping Hill Hospital where seven patients died after receiving saline contaminated with insulin. A police investigation into the poisonings is continuing. It is understood that detectives believe the message was a sick joke.
n Registered nurse Victorino Chua, 47, was arrested in January in connection with the deaths of three patients, the deliberate poisoning of 18 other patients and the tampering of medical records. He has been released on bail while police carry out further enquiries.
Ricky Hatton has revealed how his fiancee had to prise a knife out of his hand as depression took its toll on his life.
Hatton, who has had well-publicised battles with drink, drugs and depression after his loss to Manny Pacquiao in his last fight since May 2009, will return to the ring against Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Senchenko next month.
Speaking about how close he came to committing suicide during his three-year retirement from boxing, Hatton, from Hyde, revealed how he had a knife at his wrists to try and kill himself.
He said: “I was near to a nervous breakdown, depression, suicidal.
Most mornings my girlfriend would have to come downstairs and take a knife out of my hand. I had a knife at my wrists. I was in a really bad way, just hysterically crying for no reason.
“I’ve always liked a little bit of a drink, but my drinking had gone way off the Richter scale, I was having blackouts.
“And even if I was stone cold sober I was trying to kill myself. The real lowest point was when my little girl came along, who is one-year-old now.
“My son Campbell had the misfortune to see his dad in such a bad way, I am not going to do it any more to my kids and I’m not going to put my family though it any more.”
Hatton claims his life now is ‘really rosy’, but admitted he feels he is returning to the ring as a failure.
He said: “I feel sad because I feel ashamed of myself.
“It doesn’t matter how many people say, ‘Ricky, everyone has problems and you got beaten by Floyd) Mayweather Jnr and Pacquiao who are the two best fighters of our generation, you did the country proud’.
“That’s very kind of people to say, but they don’t have to deal with this little fella who sits on my shoulder every day telling me that I’m a failure and I’ve let my family and my fans down, and British boxing. I feel a failure... that’s how I feel and that’s how I’m coming back. I feel I’ve got to redeem myself. It’s more than a boxing match for me. For me, everything I’ve done in my career, all the world titles and great wins have all been for nothing. I’ve got to put the demon and those ghosts to rest.”
Hatton said he had thought about how he would handle a defeat against Senchenko on November 24, saying: “I would rather get flattened again so I could look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘You know what Ricky, you gave it your best shot’.”
Rochdale is celebrating its status as the birthplace of the co-operative movement with a series of exhibitions, films and workshops.
Members of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) will be in Manchester to celebrate the movement all this week and many will take part in events in Rochdale.
Rochdale council leader Colin Lambert, will join ICA president Dame Pauline Green at the official re-launch of the Pioneers Museum in Toad Lane, the site of the first ever co-operative store in 1844, which has had a £2.3m refurbishment. The town has also been named world capital of co-operatives this year.
Dad who left his car parked at Manchester Airport returned from a family holiday to find it had been damaged in a crash.
Simon Sharratt, 42, travelled to Greece with his wife Cath and their two children – leaving his BMW 528i and its ignition keys with airport parking staff.
The airport offers a ‘meet and greet’ parking service, where holidaymakers drop off their car at the terminal and find it waiting for them on their return.
But when Simon returned from his holiday, he was told the car has been involved in a crash and was so badly damaged that he would not be able to take it home.
He said the damage included burst tyres, cracked alloys and missing wing mirrors.
Mr Sharratt added: “I was told by Manchester Airport staff there had been an incident with my car and one of their employees had crashed it.
My car had four alloy wheels, which were split into pieces, three tyres had burst, the wing mirrors had gone and it had half a tree sticking out of the front.”
Mr Sharratt, from Burnley, handed over his car keys at the airport on September 21 and found the damage when he returned a week later.
He had only bought the silver car, worth £7,500, a few weeks earlier.
The father of two, an IT manager, said he and Cath, 42, and children Annabel, 13, and Charlie, six, had to be given a lift home in a minibus.
It is understood the crash happened as the car was being returned from a secure compound ready for Mr Sharratt’s arrival.
Miracle footballer Fabrice Muamba enjoyed the wedding day it appeared he would never see after he lay ‘dead’ on a football pitch.
The former Bolton Wanderers star, 24, tied the knot with Shauna Magunda in a ceremony watched by United striker Robin Van Persie and Reading’s Jason Roberts.The couple married a week ago – just seven months after Muamba collapsed on the pitch when his heart stopped as Bolton played Tottenham Hotspur, leaving him technically dead for 78 minutes.
He amazed medics by pulling through, although his playing days are now behind him.Miracle footballer Fabrice Muamba enjoyed the wedding day it appeared he would never see after he lay ‘dead’ on a football pitch.
A SEXUAL exploitation awareness scheme is being piloted by police into children as young as 10. The scheme in Rochdale has been launched in response to the sex ring scandal in the town.
Earlier this year, nine men were jailed for grooming young girls.
The scheme includes a presentation featuring video reconstructions of common scenarios – showing how young people can be lured online or become involved in cyber bullying.
Other topics covered include ‘sexting’ and publishing personal photographs. There is also a question and answer session and discussion.
Neighbourhood police have already held the presentation at every secondary school across Rochdale and some primary schools are next on the list.
Children are being urged to disclose instances of inappropriate behaviour.
For details on the scheme, visit www.ceop. police.uk or to book a presentation email email@example.com
A BUSINESSMAN who told a security guard he was ‘just perving’ when he was caught putting his mobile phone under the skirt of a young woman has been given a community order.
James Mitchell, 36, a garden designer, was spotted standing extremely close to two women on an escalator in Manchester’s Arndale Centre.
When he was nearly at the top, he slipped his mobile phone under the skirt of one of the women, said prosecutor Gareth Hughes.
Manchester magistrates’ court heard Mitchell tried to walk away when he was challenged by the guard. But on being detained, he said: “I am just perving.”
Mitchell, who was nervous and shaking, added: “I didn’t think she was that young.”
Afterwards he showed the guard the photograph that he had taken, magistrates were told.
Mr Hughes said the woman had walked off totally unaware of what Mitchell had done.
Mitchell, who lives in an apartment on Cross Street, in the city centre, pleaded guilty to outraging public decency on July 22.
He was given a 12-month community order and sentenced to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work – and ordered to pay £85 costs.
Joanne Black, defending, said Mitchell accepted full responsibility for his actions.