from Birmingham Mail – Cannock News

A man has been hurt after a car careered off the road and smashed into a block of flats during a dramatic smash in Wolverhampton.
The black Ford Focus smashed through metal gates and plunged down a bank following the three-car smash in Stafford Road at around 11am on Tuesday, November 19.
Dramatic pictures from the scene show the motor heavily damaged after the dramatic smash, which happened close to Home Bargains and The Food Warehouse.
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A structural engineer was also called out because of the damage to a pillar on the high-rise flats.
A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service told Black Country Live: “We were called at 11.16am opposite Peel Retail Park in Stafford Street.
“The caller said it was some flats opposite Home Bargains in which a car has left the road and has been in a collision with a block of flats, and was leaking fuel.
“One crew, with five firefighters, attended.

Car smashes into a building in Wolverhampton

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“Crews provided casualty care and requested the ambulance service as a precautionary measure.
“A structural engineer was requested to assess a pillar and a fence next to the property was also damaged.
“West Midlands Police, the ambulance service and Wolverhampton Homes were all in attendance.”
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A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service added: “We were called at 11.10am this morning to the junction of Stafford Street and Cannock Road. We were called to reports that a car that had gone through some railings and down a ditch.
“We sent one ambulance and a paramedic officer to the scene and we treated a man, who was the driver of the car, for injuries not believed to be serious and was taken to New Cross Hospital.”

A coroner has warned of the dangers of swimming in lakes and rivers after the death of a man who drowned during a day out with his friends and their children.
Carl Storer died after getting into difficulty at Chasewater reservoir in Burntwood, Staffordshire, on June 30 despite the efforts of emergency services.
Cannock Coroner’s Court heard that the 21-year-old swam beyond one of the children, aged 10 and 13, and then was seen to disappear under the water.
Assistant coroner for South Staffordshire, Ian Smith, recorded a conclusion of accidental death and that Mr Storer’s cause of death was drowning.

Chasewater reservoir  
Reports at the time suggested Mr Storer had tried to save one of the children but the coroner told the inquest that this was not the case.
Concluding the inquest on Tuesday, Mr Smith said: “Carl was attending with friends and their children on the afternoon of June 30 where they had a barbecue – they were having fun and relaxing as they are more than entitled to do.
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“Sadly, it appears that all concerned ignored the warnings they were given around Chasewater. People just do not seem to appreciate how cold these lakes and rivers are and how dangerous they are.
“Carl went in the water to fetch the children out – he was not saving their lives.”
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Giving evidence at the inquest, Detective Sergeant Andy Curran of Staffordshire Police said numerous signs warn of the dangers of swimming in the water.
He said: “There are multiple signs indicating the dangers of going into the water.

“They would have been obvious to anybody going to the area.”
In a tribute issued by Mr Storer’s family after his death, they said: “You were a really good brother and you will be deeply missed by family and friends.
“Rest in peace and fly with the eagles. You will always be loved.”

With the Christmas period coming up, it can be a nightmare getting a taxi – so when someone offers to be the designated driver it’s a huge relief.
It’s not the best job in the world though – you’re having to deal with your drunken friends and family, and it’s not even a cheap night out unless you’re on tap water.
Well, to give a little incentive to those helping with rides home this Christmas, Greene King pubs in the Black Country are offering nominated drivers free drinks over the festive period.
Popular brands including Greene King Local Pubs, Hungry Horse, Chef & Brewer and Farmhouse Inns, are all taking part in the promotion, which runs until last orders on January 1, 2020.

Greene King pubs has teamed up with Coca Cola for its designated driver promotion
To get a free drink, all you have to do is show your keys at the bar when you buy any 330ml bottles of Coca-Cola Original Taste, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Heineken 0.0 or 275ml bottles of Appletiser.
In a bid to see the number of drink drivers reduce, the pub giant has teamed up with Coca-Cola for its 10th annual Christmas anti-drink drive campaign, as well as Heineken for the first time.
That means you can enjoy a bottle of beer and feel part of the festivities, while still being safe to drive yourself and your friends home.

Cindy Tervoort, Marketing Director, HEINEKEN, said: “We are really proud to be part of this initiative with Greene King and to be able to offer Heineken® 0.0 to a growing consumer demographic during the festive period.
“As many people unite in bars across the country during the Christmas party season, we feel it’s important to offer a choice for everyone at this time of year whilst also encouraging people to be safe on the roads.”
Phil Thomas, Greene King’s chief commercial officer, said: “As a leading pub company, we have an important role to play in helping to promote responsible drinking and we have given away around a quarter of a million free Coca Cola products over the past decade as part of the Designated Driver campaign.
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“We have seen a huge increase in the popularity of low and no-alcohol products in our pubs.
“Our range now offers more than 10 different low and no-alcohol products including beers, wines and ciders, so we are really excited to add Heineken 0.0 to our Designated Driver offering as we celebrate this significant milestone of the campaign.”
Greene King pubs in the Black Country
Half Penny Farm
Wolverhampton Road
B69 2AQ
Castle View
Castlegate Drive
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4 Waterfront North Leisure
Wolverhampton Road
Key Master
Wolverhampton Road West
WV13 2RN
Bramford Arms
Park Road
Corn Exchange, Brierley Hill
Amblecote Road
Brierley Hill
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2 Lichfield Road
Short Heath
WV12 5UJ
Hagley Road
Nr Stourbridge
Bently Bridgeway
WV11 1BP
Hussey Arms
Chester Road North

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Christmas 2019

10 Victoria Square
Himley House
Stourbridge Road
Berry Brook Farm
Cannock Road
WV10 8QD
470-472 Walsall Road
Great Wyrley
Bradmore Arms
Trysull Road
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Donington Grove
WV10 6EE
The Two Greens
7 Old Hill
Pear & Partridge
The Parkway
Woodman Inn
2 Duck Lane

I have to admit I am confused by reports that the West Midlands is where the Conservatives hope to win this General Election.
Of course, the region has always been an important battleground in every national election.
Not only does it have a good number of marginal seats, but they tend to be marginals where the Conservatives are fighting Labour directly.
If the Tories take a seat from the Lib Dems in the south west, that puts them one seat closer to gaining a majority.
But if they take a seat from Labour in Warwickshire, that not only brings them closer to Government, but puts Labour one step back.
So yes, the West Midlands is important.
But that doesn’t explain suggestions in parts of the national media that the Conservatives hope to make 20 gains in the region.
These reports are certainly backed up by Boris Johnson’s behaviour. He launched his election campaign at Birmingham’s NEC (in Solihull, of course), paid a visit to Wolverhampton and then delivered what the Conservative Party called his first “keynote speech” of the campaign in Coventry.
So yes, it looks like the party is pinning its hopes on the West Midlands. But I reckon they’ll be lucky to gain more than five seats here.
Where are these 20 gains going to come from?
There are a few obvious Conservative targets such as Dudley North, where Labour is defending a majority of 22 (and the candidate that won that majority in 2017, Ian Austin, is now urging voters to back the Tories).
In Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, Labour is defending a majority of just 30. And in Warwick and Leamington, Labour has a majority of just 1,206.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel on a walkabout with local police during a visit to North Road, Harbourne, Birmingham
After that, it gets tougher. Wolverhampton South West returned a Labour MP with a majority of 2,185 in 2017, while Stoke-on-Trent North has a Labour majority of 2,359.
Those might be winnable for the Tories. But then you’re looking at the likes of Stoke-on-Trent Central, where there is a Labour majority of 3,897 – or 11.8 per cent of the vote cast. In other words, you’d need a swing from Labour to the Tories of almost six per cent for it to change hands.
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Other possible target seats for the Conservatives include West Bromwich West and Wolverhampton North East, but both of these would also require swings of more than six per cent.
It’s not impossible, but nothing like that has happened on a nationwide scale since the Labour landslide of 1997, when the swing from the Tories to Labour was around ten per cent (although in recent years the SNP and Lib Dems have experienced huge swings, either in their favour or against them).

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – JULY 26: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits North Road, Harbourne on July 26, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Geoff Pugh – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
That’s not to say that individual seats can’t sometimes return spectacular results.
Conservatives are also targeting Birmingham Northfield, which Labour won with a majority of 4,667, or 10.5 per cent of the vote, in 2017.
But Tories haven’t had much luck making gains in Birmingham. In recent elections it has targeted Edgbaston, Erdington and Northfield, to no effect.
Even when David Cameron won a majority for his party in 2015, they couldn’t crack Birmingham.
There is, of course, one Conservative seat in Birmingham – Sutton Coldfield. That’s the only seat in the city that the Tories have won since 1997.
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Anything can happen. I might end up looking a right mug once the votes are counted after 10pm on polling day, December 12.
But some of the speculation from Conservative supporters does seem extremely optimistic.
Part of the problem is that the Tories have already squeezed the West Midlands pretty dry.

Jeremy Corbyn speaking in Chingford on September 28, 2019 (Image: PA)
In recent elections they have already taken a series of marginal seats from Labour, and while it makes sense to focus resources on the West Midlands in order to hold on to them, that does mean that there’s not much low-hanging fruit left.
I’m thinking of seats such as Stoke-on-Trent South, Telford, Worcester, Walsall North, Nuneaton, Redditch, Stafford, Dudley South and Cannock Chase, all of which have had Labour MPs in the past decade (ie, before the 2010 General Election and in some cases more recently than that) but which elected Conservative MPs in 2017.
And I have to say that the mood among Conservative candidates is not one of unbridled optimism.
That’s not to say that Labour candidates are happy either. The most experienced Labour candidates – by which I mean MPs defending their seats (though technically nobody is an MP while the election takes place) – are extremely gloomy about their prospects.
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But Conservative candidates I have spoken to aren’t sure where their majority is going to come from.
Some of them think the party will lose seats in the West Country, a former Liberal Democrat stronghold.
David Cameron won a majority in 2015 on the back of a collapse in the Lib Dem vote, but it looks like the Lib Dems are enjoying a revival.

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General Election 2019

There’s a view that Labour will do well in London, where plans for a second Brexit referendum may be popular.
And some Conservatives also think they could lose seats in Scotland, although reports from Scotland itself suggest the party’s vote may be holding up pretty well.
On the other hand, as Tory strategists point out – and, indeed, as Boris Johnson has said – Conservatives will have a majority in the House of Commons if they can just win nine more seats than they did in 2017.
With a margin as tight as that, perhaps it’s worth throwing resources at the West Midlands even if just four or five constituencies are really in play.
The real problem for the Conservatives in the West Midlands, however, is that they’ve been so successful already. There just aren’t that many winnable seats left.

Two Birmingham brothers who were part of a wider car key burglary ring targeting BMWs, Audis, Mercedes have been jailed.
Alimaan and Adnan Hussain from Erdington and ‘gang leader’ Sikander Farooq from Stechford handled stolen high performance cars  they had taken from homes across the West Midlands between October 2015 and May 3 2017.
A court heard how a Mercedes stolen from a driveway in Clarion Way, Cannock, on April 16, 2017, was later spotted on the same day in Erdington, in what appeared to be an exchange involving four men.

Mercedes being exchanged by Farooq, Hladkiy and Somers in Erdington, Birmingham, on 16 April 2017 (Image: Staffordshire Police)
Officers identified the men as Farooq, Alimaan Hussain (brother of Adnan Hussain), Nathan Somers and Gavin Hladkiy.
On May 5 2017, search warrants were executed at the Hussain brothers’ home in Spring Lane, Erdington and Farooq’s house in Fellbrook Close, Stetchford.
Alimaan Hussain was arrested and items including a steering wheel and car keys from BMWs and Audis were found in a blue BMW M3 and a blue Nissan GTR parked on the driveway.

The court was told Aqeel Hussain, Dillon McCann, Gavin Hladkiy, Hareece Ali and Nathan Somers were believed to have carried out the burglaries where vehicle keys were targeted and stolen.
Alimaan Hussain, Adnan Hussain and Farooq are then believed to have received the vehicles and co-ordinated their disposal.
The leader of the gang, Farooq, 36, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglaries, conspiracy to handle stolen goods and handling a stolen Volkswagen Golf R.

Adnan Hussain
He was sentenced to five years for conspiracy to burgle and was also given concurrent sentences of five years for handling stolen goods and two years for handling stolen property.
Adnan Hussain, 28, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglaries and was sentenced to three years and nine months.
Alimaan Hussain, 27, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglaries and was given a two year sentence, suspended for two years, 200 hours’ unpaid work and a rehabilitation order.

Alimaan Hussain
Aqeel Hussain, 23, also of Spring Lane, Erdington, pleaded guilty to a burglary and an attempted burglary and was sentenced to two years three months.
Nathan Somers, aged 25, of Tangmere Drive, Castle Vale, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to a burglary and was sentenced to three years for burglary with two years concurrent for handling an Audi A7.

Gavin Hladkiy, aged 36, of Wilmore Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to handling a stolen Mercedes and was sentenced to two years three months.
Two other men, Hareece Ali, aged 22, and Dillon McCann, aged 20, pleaded guilty to a burglary at Greaves Avenue in Walsall on 10 March 2017 and were sentenced at the time.
Detective Sergeant James Byrne, of Staffordshire Police , said: “This was a well-organised operation where this group of men were targeting high-end, performance cars across the Midlands.
“Our detectives have worked hard and shown great tenacity to piece together these men’s activities since the investigation began in April 2017 through to these convictions and pleas and today’s sentencings at crown court.”

Conservative leader Boris Johnson is to deliver one of his first major speeches of the election campaign in the West Midlands – in his third visit to the region since the election was called.
It highlights the central role of the West Midlands in the Conservative general election strategy. Mr Johnson launched his election campaign last week at the Birmingham NEC, and visited Wolverhampton on Monday.
He also came to Birmingham for his first engagement outside of London as Prime Minister, in July.
Now he is to visit the West Midlands again for what the Conservative Party calls his first keynote speech of the campaign.
The Tory leader will highlight his determination to deliver Brexit, saying the nation must “get Brexit done to unleash Britain’s potential’”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson raises a glass in the Lych Gate Tavern, Wolverhampton (Image: PA)
This will include a “clean energy revolution” – creating jobs in technology and manufacturing such as in the car industry.
And he will contrast this with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to delay Brexit by holding a second referendum. Labour has said it will hold the referendum and make a decision on whether or not to leave the EU within six months, if it wins the December 12 election.
Mr Johnson will also say Mr Corbyn plans to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence. Labour has said it does not want to hold such a referendum, but would do so if it was the wish of the Scottish government.
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Visiting an electric vehicle manufacturer, Mr Johnson will say: “The UK is admired and respected around the world but people are baffled by our debate on Brexit and they cannot understand how this great country can squander so much time and energy on this question and how we can be so hesitant about our future.
“If we can get a working majority we can get parliament working for you, we can get out of the rut. We can end the groundhoggery of Brexit.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and Home Secretary Priti Patel (right) arriving at West Midlands Police Learning and Development Centre, Birmingham (Image: PA)
“We face a historic choice. At this election the country can either move forwards with policies that will deliver years of growth and prosperity, or it can disappear into an intellectual cul-de-sac of far left Corbynism.”
In a surprisingly foul-mouthed section of the speech, Mr Johnson will describe holding more referendums as “onanism” – another word for masturbation.
“We can honour the wishes of the people, or else we can waste more time, at the cost of a billion pounds per month, and have two more referendums, one on Scotland and one on the EU – an expense of spirit and a waste of shame, more political self-obsession and onanism.”
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Labour-held seats in the West Midlands which the Conservatives hope to win include Dudley North, where Labour is defending a majority of 22 (and the candidate that won that majority in 2017, Ian Austin, is now urging voters to back the Tories).
In Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire, Labour is defending a majority of just 30. And in Warwick and Leamington, Warwickshire, Labour has a majority of just 1,206.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – JULY 26: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits North Road, Harbourne on July 26, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Geoff Pugh – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Others where the Tories may feel they have a good of making gains chance include Wolverhampton South West, Stoke-On-Trent North, Stoke-On-Trent Central, West Bromwich West and Wolverhampton North East.
Conservatives are also defending a number of seats which they have taken from Labour over the past ten years, such as Stoke-On-Trent South, Telford, Worcester, Walsall North, Nuneaton, Redditch, Stafford, Dudley South and Cannock Chase.

A man was rushed to hospital after reportedly being attacked in a busy pub in Cannock.
The victim sustained “suspected serious injuries” after the assault at The Linford Arms in High Green.
Staffordshire Police has launched an appeal for help following the incident at around 9.25pm on October 19.
West Midlands Ambulance Service told BlackCountryLive that staff rushed the man to the hospital for emergency care.

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A spokeswoman for Staffordshire Police said: “We’re appealing for witnesses following an assault which took place at The Linford Arms on High Green in Cannock at 9.25pm on Saturday, October 19.
“The area was busy at the time, and we are urging any witnesses or anyone with any information to contact us on 101 quoting 728 of 19 Oct.”
A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service added: “We were called at 9.26pm on October 19 by the police to reports of an assault at The Linford Arms, High Green, Cannock.
“One ambulance attended and treated a man who had sustained suspected serious injuries.
“The man was conveyed to the hospital for further emergency care.”

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Sign up to the  Black Country Newsletter  and you’ll receive news updates straight into your inbox weekdays at 6am and 3pm at weekends so you can get the top headlines from reporters who know the  Black Country  like the back of their hands.

A toddler nearly died and was left with third degree burns over half his body – after pulling a vegetable steamer over his head.
Dougie Dodd, then aged one, got tangled in the wire of mum Nadia Hulse’s kitchen appliance.
Nadia, 25, was cooking in the kitchen when her son’s spoon that he was playing with caught the cable.
It sent the steamer’s contents all over him – nine litres of boiling hot water and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.
Mum-of-one Nadia lunged towards her boy but was too late as the three-tier vegetable steamer toppled over.

(Image: SWNS)
Dougie suffered horrific burns to his face, neck, chest, hands, wrists and feet.
He was in hospital for two months, fighting for his life as he battled infections from the third degree burns that covered half of his body.
Nadia, from Cannock, Staffordshire, said: “I was right next to Dougie when it happened, and I tried to stop the steamer falling, but I just couldn’t move fast enough.
“He was touch-and-go in the hospital at one point, and I just couldn’t stop crying, I was an absolute mess.
“I practically lived in the hospital with Dougie. I was so scared of losing him.”

(Image: SWNS)
Receptionist Nadia was overjoyed when she found out she was pregnant and gave birth to her only son on 24 July 2017.
The single mum learned how to juggle household chores with looking after a boisterous baby.
She was preparing dinner in the kitchen at home on March 8 this year, with little Dougie playing on the floor when disaster struck.

(Image: SWNS)
Nadia said: “I turned the vegetable steamer on to heat up the water.
“I was sitting at the kitchen table with the phone propped up on video chat to my mum, showing her Dougie sitting on the floor playing with the saucepans when he suddenly reached up towards the steamer with his spoon.
“I shouted ‘Dougie, no!’ which startled him, and as he jumped back, the handle of the spoon got caught on the wire and the vegetable steamer tipped.

(Image: SWNS)
“I lunged forward but I just couldn’t get there fast enough and the steamer toppled over, covering Dougie in hot water and vegetables.
“I stripped Dougie and raced him upstairs into a cold bath but he was screaming hysterically, trying to climb out of the bath and onto me.
“I had to hold him down and keep putting cool water on him until the ambulance came, and as much as I wanted to pull him out and cuddle him, I knew he needed to stay in there so he wouldn’t be in any more pain than he already was.”

(Image: SWNS)
Nadia’s mum raced to the house after watching the scene unfold on FaceTime and called an ambulance for Dougie as his skin bubbled in blisters.
Paramedics gave him morphine and covered his burned body in cooling gel before wrapping him in cling film to prevent any infection.
The traumatised toddler was rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and diagosed with third degree burns across his face, neck, chest, hands, wrists and feet.
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Nadia said: “Dougie’s body was all red and sore, so when the burns on his neck and wrist started turning white, I thought that was a good sign, like his body was fighting back.
“My heart broke when the doctors explained that the burns turning white meant the nerve endings could be damaged and were therefore less likely to repair themselves so he could end up needing skin grafts.
“The doctors told me they might need to shave his hair to stop the burns getting infected which upset me as Dougie has these gorgeous, golden curls, but I just wanted them to do whatever they could to help him recover the quickest.”
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Over the next few days, Dougie was kept in hospital as doctors checked his blood vessels for nerve damage, drained his blisters and shaved the front of his hairline.
When the burns that had turned white did not regain pinkness, Dougie was taken into theatre for skin grafting with skin taken from his thighs to cover his left wrist and chest.
The toddler was bound in bandages head to toe to prevent infection and help his skin recover, and went under anaesthetic in theatre every other day to have his wounds cleaned.

(Image: SWNS)
Nadia said: “When he got the grafts, it was horrible. Me and his dad had to take him through to theatre and hold the mask over his face while he went to sleep.
“We were both crying, but the doctors reassured me that it would help to prevent scarring and help him to heal a lot quicker.”
After a long week in hospital, Nadia was finally able to take her little boy home.

(Image: SWNS)
But her joy was short-lived as Dougie became ill and was admitted again after just one night at home.
Nadia said: “I was so happy that we could try and get back to a bit of normality and be able to see him in his own environment again.
“The first night he was really quiet and lethargic but still happy as we sat on the sofa and watched cBeebies before bed.

(Image: SWNS)
“In the night, he pulled his bandages half off his face – I was worried about pulling them off completely in case I made the scabs any worse but also worried about leaving them on in case they wrapped round his neck in the night.”
Nadia took Dougie back to the hospital the next morning on 14 March 2019 where a nurse noticed he had a high temperature and his hands had come up in a pin prickly looking rash which is a symptom of toxic shock syndrome.
Toxic shock syndrome is a sudden and potentially fatal medical condition caused by a bacterial infection.

(Image: SWNS)
Blood tests confirmed Dougie had TSS and as his blood pressure hit a staggering 190, he needed an oxygen mask to breathe and doctors were forced to administer a blood plasma transfusion.
The toddler was closely monitored by doctors, and if his condition didn’t improve in the first few hours, Dougie would need to go to the intensive care unit or he could die.
Nadia said: “The doctors had said they’d like to keep him in overnight after spotting the rash but ultimately it was up to me, and I’m so glad I went with my gut and kept him in there.

(Image: SWNS)
“I felt so sorry for him, I just wanted to take the pain away from my little boy.
“The consultant and nurses stood around his bed with us and said we will keep an eye on him so it’s going to be an unsettled night and that the frozen plasma will hopefully help his body to fight the infection.
“I asked what happens if it doesn’t and the consultant said they’d have to take him to the ICU to keep a closer eye on him and help him fight the infection.
“I burst into tears, I felt so sick and was a wreck as a nurse hugged me and made me a cup of tea to calm me down.”

(Image: SWNS)
A few hours after the plasma transfusion, Dougie’s temperature, oxygen and blood pressure started to improve as his body began to fight the infection.
The little boy was in hospital for another week as doctors did more blood tests to make sure that the infection had cleared.
He had to return to the hospital every other day for surgical day care but was finally discharged when he was more healed on 8 April 2019.
Dougie, now two, is back to being himself again but still has to wear a compression vest daily for as long as possible to prevent excess skin tissue growing and turning into a hypertrophic scar.

(Image: SWNS)
Doctors have said the toddler can either sleep in the vest overnight or wear it for a few hours on and off throughout the day.
Nadia said: “Dougie is such a happy, lively little boy and has not changed his outgoing personality one bit, but I still feel guilt.
“I know it was a freak accident and the only thing I could have done differently was to not let him play with the saucepans, but I wish I could turn back time and get his cars out for him to play with instead!
“It still breaks my heart to think about it which I do everyday and to see the pictures of him in the hospital.

(Image: SWNS)
“I worry about him growing up with his scars, but will constantly reassure him every day of how brave he was and how beautiful he is with his scars, and that they will fade as he grows older.
“I’m just so grateful for the hospitals fantastic work and that he’s ok – they worked so hard and saved his life.”

A mum-of-three who survived a suicide pact which killed her husband of 60 years was arrested on suspicion of murder as her family drove to hospital to collect her.
Mavis Eccleston took a cocktail of pills with the aim of dying alongide 81-year-old Dennis, who had terminal bowel cancer.
But her life was saved when relatives – who did not know they had taken the tablets – arrived at their home and they were rushed to hospital.
Now Mrs Eccleston’s daughter, Joy Munns, has revealed in detail how her mum’s grief was compounded by being arrested and later charged with murdering her devoted husband.
The 80-year-old was cleared of murder and manslaughter and, earlier this week, her family shared a powerful picture showing the couple side-by-side in hospital just 20 minutes before Mr Eccleston died in February last year.
Joy said she was told there had been a “change of plan” as she travelled to collect her mum, who had been passed fit to be discharged from hospital.
The pensioner was taken to a cell still wearing her nightdress and slippers and held for 30 hours.

Denis and Mavis Eccleston, pictured just 20 minutes before Denis passed away
The family hoped their ordeal was over when Mrs Eccleston was later released – but months later she was charged was murder and forced through a three-week trial at Stafford Crown Court.
“We were told on April 1 that mum was going to be charged – we thought it was an April Fools’ joke,” Joy told BirminghamLive.
“We were taken by surprise and absolutely devastated. We had to tell our mum and she broke down and cried.
“We genuinely never thought it would get that far.
“They tried to say dad wouldn’t have known what he was doing – that he wasn’t in a fit state to make that decision himself – but we knew he was.
“As soon as he was diagnosed in 2015, he told us he wanted to go ‘on his terms’.

Mavis Eccleston and her husband Dennis
“He had even asked me to look into taking him to Dignitas but he was too unwell to fly to Switzerland.”
Joy said her mum had told her previously of the couple’s wishes to ‘go together’ after her father was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in 2015.
The couple – who met at a dance one night in January 1958 – had rarely spent a night apart.
And in the early hours of February 19, 2018, Dennis – in agony and distress – instructed Mavis to fetch the tablets he had been ‘stockpiling’.
She penned a long suicide note, before they both took the same cocktail of drugs at their home at Huntington, near Cannock.
“Goodnight darling,” were Mr Eccleston’s last words, to which Mrs Eccleston replied: “Goodnight, God bless.”
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Recalling the moment her mother told her of their plan, Joy said: “At first I was angry with mum – I felt like she had so much to live for. But she said to me: ‘I love you all dearly, but I love your dad and I need to be with him’.
“I understood then. I knew they would go ahead with it and I gave her my blessing. All I said to her was that I needed her to say goodbye beforehand, but she didn’t. So when it did happen, it was totally unexpected.
“My sister and niece found them both. Mum was on the floor so we thought she’d had a heart attack.”
“It was only when they couldn’t wake dad and then saw the suicide note that they knew what had happened.
“Mum recovered. The hospital staff asked us if we wanted to lift dad’s ‘do not resuscitate’ order, but we didn’t – we knew he wanted to go.
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“We were worried sick when we were told mum would have to go to court.
“And the night before the verdicts were returned, we were told by our barristers to bring enough of mum’s heart medication to last a month – it was then that I realised there was a real chance of her being jailed for life.”
But Mrs Eccleston was cleared of murder and freed – into the arms of her relieved family.
She now lives with daughter Joy at her home in Derby, as the family campaign for a change in the assisted dying law.
Joy added: “Luckily the jury saw sense and justice prevailed with a not guilty verdict.
“Dad would have been devastated if he thought for a minute his wife had to go through this, it would have destroyed him.

Dennis and Mavis Eccleston, wedding in 1959.
“It can’t have been for nothing. Imagine knowing your elderly parents were so alone that this was their only choice?
“Mum should never have been charged with murder and put in a cell for 30 hours.
“Loved ones will be made to suffer in pain every day unless we can change this outdated law of ours.
“The more support we can get, the more noise we can make, it will hopefully start to get to the right people – our politicians – who can make a change.”
Last month, a cross-party group of MPs said the law banning terminally ill people from being helped to end their lives must be reviewed because it ‘may not be working’.
They say the government should examine whether a total ban on assisted dying should be ended.

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Birmingham Coroner’s Court

But anti-euthanasia campaigners have said the ‘sad and troubling’ case does not justify a change in the law.
Dr Gordon Macdonald, Chief Executive of Care Not Killing, said: “This is a deeply sad and troubling case. But it does not justify a change in the law to allow assisted suicide.
“It raises the question of the support the Eccleston’s received as they struggled to cope with the challenges of dealing with a terminal disease.
“It is sad to see this case being used to try and justify a campaign to rip up long held universal protections, by treating those who are terminally ill, disabled, or have chronic conditions differently in law.
“We know that from the handful of places that have made such a change that vulnerable people often feel pressured into ending lives prematurely.
“This is why not a single doctors group or major disability rights organisation supports changing the law, including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Physicians, the British Geriatric Society and the Association of Palliative Medicine.”

Family’s full statement outside court
After Mavis was found not-guilty of murder in September, her supportive family made a powerful statement outside court.
They said: “Mavis and Dennis, our mum and dad, were married for 60 years and they were absolutely devoted to each other.
“In February last year, our dad was terminally ill with bowel cancer. He had been extremely ill for some time, he was suffering intense physical pain along with symptoms he found distressing and undignified.
“He had expressed for many months a wish, a wish to end his life in order to avoid more suffering and a prolonged death.
“He was too ill to travel to Switzerland.
“Our mum did not want to live without her husband, the love of her life and so she took an overdose together with him.
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“They were found by family members and taken to hospital where our dad died a day later.
“Our parents’ love for each other was so clear that hospital staff pushed their beds together so that mum and dad could hold hands and face each other during dad’s final hours.
“Our family are grateful and relieved that the jury in this case could also recognised our mum’s love for our dad, but since dad’s death our family have been through a terrible ordeal.
“We waited for 18 months for this court case, worrying that having already lost our dad to cancer we might now see our mum imprisoned.
“We do not believe this needed to happen. If there had been an assisted dying law in the UK, our dad would have been able to have the choice to end his suffering with medical support and with his loved ones around him.
“He would not have asked our mum to do something that is considered breaking the law.
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“Our dad would have been devastated at the thought of his beloved wife waiting to find out if, at the age of 80, she would face a life sentence in prison simply for respecting his wishes.
“He would have been heartbroken if he had known his wife and family would have had to endure 18 months of extreme anxiety and distress.
“We believe there must be a change in law so that no dying people are forced to suffer or make plans in secret, or ask loved ones to risk prosecution by helping them, or so no other family have to experience the pain our family have had to endure.”

A rider out on his new £1,000 scooter for the very first time had it seized by police because he had no licence or insurance.
The hapless owner had patiently saved up enough money to buy his first scooter, only for it to be snatched away by the Staffordshire Police Road Policing Unit .
Eager to take the vehicle out for his first ride in the Cannock area , he had not yet obtained a full UK driving licence or insurance.
He had spent £1000 on the brand new black and red scooter.

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Staffordshire Police Road Policing Unit spotted the uninsured vehicle at 12.46pm in Rugeley Road in Hednesford.
Today, (November 7) a spokesman for the force tweeted: “So this rider patiently saved up a £1000 to buy his first form of transport.
“Only to lose it to the police on his first ride as he couldn’t wait to get a driving licence or any insurance. What was he thinking? #oplightning again in the Cannock area.”
No arrests have been made.

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