Morning news digest - Grandparents speak out after man jailed for abuse, heartbreak for friends as Blackpool man dies in scooter crash and Blackpool beach donkeys enjoy holiday in Wigan
Catch up with all the overnight news from Lancashire and across the country with our morning roundup.
GRANDPARENTS SPEAK OUT AFTER MAN IS JAILED FOR ABUSING GIRL
THE grandparents of a young girl today told of their torment after the man who sexually abused her was jailed for eight-and-a-half years.
Lorry driver Brendan Tracey, 55, of Rose Cottage, Station Lane, Barton, Preston, admitted five sexual offences against the young girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons. He also admitted perverting the course of justice by sending threatening messages to the victim’s mother in May.
DRIVER CHARGED OVER HORROR CRASH WHICH KILLED 80-YEAR-OLD
A 25-year-old man has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving following a crash that killed an elderly man. Jack Byrne was driving a white ford van when it crashed with Ernest Robinson’s green car near the White Bull Pub on Preston Road in Alston on Tuesday, July 5.
Mr Byrne, from Ribchester Road in Ribchester, has also been charged with possession with intent to supply a Class A and a Class B drug.
‘I’M HEARTBROKEN’: FRIENDS' AGONY AFTER BLACKPOOL MAN DIES IN SCOOTER CRASH
The friends of a Blackpool man who died in a scooter crash last night have paid their tributes.
Danny Faber, 29, was fatally wounded when his Aprilia scooter collided with a Mercedes in Central Drive at around 7.15pm. He was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. One man has since been arrested in connection with the crash. Several messages have been posted online by Mr Faber’s friends, including Ashleigh Green who said: “I’m actually heartbroken and can’t believe how cruel the world can be.Read more
BLACKPOOL BEACH DONKEYS LOOKING FORWARD TO CHRISTMAS BREAK ... IN WIGAN
Forget turkey and Brussel sprouts - these donkeys are looking forward to extra carrots this Christmas! The drove of 24 donkeys spend their summers giving rides on the beaches at Blackpool and St Annes. Gillian Morris feeds a herd of donkeys from Blackpool and St Annes, as they rest for the winter season But they are spending their winter - and Christmas Day - at a farm in Kitt Green. The Morris family have spent the past 16 years homing donkeys between November and Easter.
November and Easter. They mostly eat carrots, hay, straw, grass and even sandwiches. And while Sunday will be a normal day for the donkeys, they might get an extra treat. Farmer Gillian Morris said: “I will probably have an extra carrot for them.”
PRISON GUARDS END HMP SWALESIDE DISTURBANCE
A disturbance involving around 60 inmates at HMP Swaleside has been resolved, the Prison Service said.
An investigation has been launched following the incident, which saw prisoners take control of a landing on a wing at the category B training prison on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent shortly before 7pm on Thursday.
All those involved in the disturbance were returned to their cells by 1am.
BRITISH AIRWAYS CABIN CREW FESTIVE STRIKES SUSPENDED, UNITE SAYS
Planned strikes by British Airways cabin crew on Christmas Day and Boxing Day have been suspended amid continuing industrial unrest ahead of the weekend break.
Members of Unite were due to walk out in a dispute over pay but lengthy talks at conciliation service Acas have led to a revised offer which will be put to a ballot of union members.
The union said workers employed in the so-called mixed crew - who have joined since 2010 - were on lower pay than other staff.
POLICE DETAIN FIVE OVER MELBOURNE CHRISTMAS DAY BOMB PLOT
Police in Australia have detained five suspects who were allegedly planning a series of Christmas Day bomb attacks in the heart of the country's second largest city.
The suspects had been inspired by the Islamic State group and planned attacks on Melbourne's Flinders Street railway station, neighbouring Federation Square and St Paul's Cathedral, Victoria state Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said.
The arrests came after a truck smashed into a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday, killing 12 people.
QUEEN 'DISAPPOINTED WHEN THERESA MAY REFUSED TO REVEAL BREXIT BLUEPRINT'
The Queen is reported to have been "disappointed" with Theresa May after she declined to share details of her plans for leaving the European Union during her first visit to Balmoral.
The Times quoted a "source close to the monarch" as saying the Prime Minister stuck to her "Brexit means Brexit" line when she went to stay in Scotland in September.
Her reluctance to offer more insight into her private thinking was said to have come as a disappointment to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
12 MILLION CARS EXPECTED ON ROADS ON FRIDAY DURING FESTIVE GETAWAY
Friday is expected to be the busiest day for traffic over the festive period as millions of people embark on the Christmas getaway.
The AA predicts about 12 million cars will be on the roads due to a combination of people visiting loved ones, shopping trips and holidaymakers, as well as those travelling to and from work.
It commissioned a poll of more than 19,000 motorists which found that 41% expect to drive more than 20 miles on Friday.
FUNDING TO HELP FIRST-TIME BUYERS IN AREAS WITH HIGH NUMBER OF SECOND HOMES
The Government is injecting Â£60 million-a-year to help first-time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder in areas where locals are crowded out of the market by second home owners.
Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said the cash would be channeled through local councils to community-led groups providing affordable housing.
Around 150 local authority areas across England stand to benefit from the scheme with the largest slice of funding - almost Â£20 million - going to the South West, which has the highest level of second home ownership.
MASSIVE HAULS OF FAKE GOODS SEIZED AT UK BORDERS
Festive shoppers are being warned to be on alert for fake goods after it emerged massive hauls are being intercepted at Britain's borders.
Aftershave, cuddly toys, trainers, scarves and Harry Potter wands are among items seized by Border Force in the weeks before Christmas.
More than 83,000 items were confiscated at airports in a single operation across six days earlier this month.
EATON SQUARE NAMED MOST EXPENSIVE STREET WITH HOMES WORTH Â£17 MILLION
Eaton Square in London's Belgravia district has been crowned the most expensive street across England and Wales - with the average home there commanding nearly Â£17 million.
While the wealthiest streets are clustered in central London, every region contains "million pound" streets, where homes are worth six-figure sums typically, Lloyds Bank found.
The average home in Eaton Square is worth Â£16,944,000, Lloyds found. Built in the 19th century and arranged around private gardens, Eaton Square contains grand houses and apartments behind white stucco facades. Knightsbridge and Chelsea are handily located nearby, as is Buckingham Palace.
BRENDAN COX TO DELIVER CHANNEL 4 ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS MESSAGE
The husband of murdered MP Jo Cox will deliver this year's alternative Christmas message - in which he calls for an end to the "rise of hatred".
Brendan Cox will pay tribute to his wife and touch on the "awful year for our family" in the Channel 4 broadcast on December 25.
But he will also tell viewers that now is the "moment to reach out to somebody that might disagree with us".
80% OF ROUGH SLEEPERS WERE ATTACKED OR ABUSED THIS YEAR, CHARITY SAYS
Almost 80% of people sleeping rough were attacked or suffered abuse or anti-social behaviour over the past year, a homelessness charity said.
As Crisis opens its centres to thousands of homeless people across the country this Christmas, the charity said two thirds of people felt that living on the streets was getting ever harder.
Around one in three rough sleepers questioned in England and Wales said they had been deliberately hit, kicked or been subjected to violence, while a similar number said they had things thrown at them.