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A tenant had her bedroom door removed and her electricity and heating cut off as attempts were made to illegally evict her.Kara Cox was left unable to get into her flat in Rugeley, Staffordshire, to feed her pet rabbit, a court heard.Nigel Whorton, Jonathan Williams, and Rebecca Brayshaw, were convicted of unlawful eviction after a trial at Cannock Magistrates’ Court.They were each given suspended prison sentences on Monday.Miss Cox, 21, was living in the former Natwest bank in Market Square, which had been turned into a house of multiple occupancy owned by Whorton, 57, of Footherley, Shenstone.In the weeks leading up to October 2018 she had fallen behind on payments.She received a verbal warning of eviction in a phone call from property manager Williams, 39, of Blackberry Lane, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, the court heard, but she made it clear he would have to go through a proper course of action to begin eviction proceedings.Over a course of ten days the trio began a course of action to get her to leave including changing a door code so she could no longer get into her flat.Brayshaw, 36, of Eccleshall, Staffordshire, who is in a relationship with Whorton, had effected the locking out when she had visited the property in her role as an independent painting contractor.Miss Cox contacted Cannock Chase District Council, who brought the prosecution, and were able to provide her with emergency accommodation.Miss Cox said their actions left her feeling violated and as if she was a criminal”Every time I had to go to work somebody had to stay in the flat just in case they did it again,” she said.Mr Williams resigned as the manager of the property following the council’s investigation.Brayshaw told the court she went there to decorate and believed the room was vacant, while Whorton told the court he regrets what happened.Whorton and Williams were also convicted of a charge of acts likely to lead to harassment and were given 16-week jail terms suspended for 18 months and ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work.Brayshaw was jailed for eight weeks suspended for 18 months and ordered to complete 60 hours of unpaid work.They must pay £1,000 compensation each and costs between them of £9,222.
Banksy’s festive artwork highlighting homelessness has been preserved in Birmingham.Plastic covering the reindeer painted in the city’s Jewellery Quarter was attached by wall owners Network Rail.Within hours of its Instagram unveiling, featuring a man named Ryan, a vandal sprayed red noses on the two reindeer.The Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (JQDT) said the work was “important to protect.”A film on the artist’s social media, showing a man on a bench being “pulled” by the reindeer, has been viewed almost 3m times.Barriers were later installed around the piece in Vyse Street, but a person managed to jump them and deface it on Monday.The BBC has contacted Network Rail for comment.Luke Crane, the executive director of the JQDT, said: “We want the artwork to remain and we are keen to protect and preserve the piece.”It can have a real impact on the community by keeping Banksy’s message of homelessness.”Mr Crane said a man aged 25 to 30 wearing a grey hoodie, jeans and trainers “casually walked off” after he sprayed the noses red.Unveiling the work, Banksy praised had the generosity of people who gave Ryan food and drink while they filmed.The post said: “God bless Birmingham. In the 20 minutes we filmed Ryan on this bench passers-by gave him a hot drink, two chocolate bars and a lighter – without him ever asking for anything.”
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A collector with more than 1,000 Harry Potter books is hoping to fetch thousands of pounds by auctioning off some of his rarest items.Mark Cavoto began trading books from the series after noticing how well they sold on online auction site eBay.Among the books being sold by Mr Cavoto is a first edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets signed by author JK Rowling, bought for 1p plus postage.The auction takes place at Bishton Hall in Staffordshire on Thursday.The signed book is expected to fetch from £1,800 to £2,500, with other first editions expected to collect hundreds of pounds each.Mr Cavoto, 51, from Buxton in Derbyshire, said he saw a “business opportunity” when he sold some of his daughter’s old Harry Potter books on eBay.”I checked the ISBN numbers and sourced the same three books second-hand on Amazon, bought them for a penny each plus postage and sold them in minutes for £9.99 each on eBay,” he said.Mr Cavoto began buying books from the series “for next to nothing at charity shops and online”, which led him to discovering signed copies and first editions.He said he has “around 1,100” in a warehouse, with another 400 books kept at his home, and believes he has bought and sold about 3,000 books over the last 10 years.Latest news and stories from the East MidlandsMr Cavoto has already had one notable success – a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone from the opening title’s second print run was sold to an Australian dealer for £4,600, after only being bought for a penny.Jim Spencer, books expert at Hansons Auctioneers, said: “I’m still getting about 50 emails a day from people who think their copy may be valuable.”JK Rowling rarely signs so the book featuring her signature deserves to do really well.”Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Theme parks must take action to prevent future deaths after a girl drowned when she fell from a theme park ride while on a school trip.Evha Jannath died after falling from the Splash Canyon ride at Drayton Manor in Tamworth, Staffordshire, in 2017.An inquest jury concluded the 11-year-old from Leicester died accidentally.South Staffordshire assistant coroner Margaret Jones has now sent a “report to prevent future deaths” to theme parks in England.In the report, sent to Drayton Manor, Alton Towers, Legoland, Thorpe Park, Merlin Entertainments Limited and Lightwater Valley Theme Park, Mrs Jones raised her concerns following evidence Evha’s inquest.Concerns included the fact warning signs did not spell out the consequences of failing to stay seated in the boats, that staff had not been trained in water rescue and ride operators had no clear understanding of the emergency procedure to be followed if a guest fell into the water.Latest news from the West MidlandsFollowing Evha’s death, the Health and Safety Executive issued advice on safety at water rides which is applicable to all theme parks.Mrs Jones said that while the manager of Drayton Manor should respond in detail to the matters raised at the inquest, all other theme park managers should respond in respect of the HSE safety notice.She adds: “In my opinion action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe you have the power to take such action.”The Splash Canyon ride has been closed since Evha’s death and will not reopen without the approval of the Health and Safety Executive.Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.
This is the weather forecast for Tuesday 10th December and the outlook for Wednesday 11th. The day. A wet and windy day with periods of heavy rain. Wind speeds are expected to gust up to 40 mph, force 7-8 near gale during the afternoon. Today’s top temperature reaching 12 centigrade. The sun set is at […]
Here is the outlook for the run up towards Christmas from the GEFS. To remind you about the GEFS the top part of the graph is the temperature at 850 hpa 1,500 metres. The thick black line is the 30 year temperature. Each thin line is a member that makes up the GEFS, the closer […]