‘Troll’ arrested over April posting
An internet ‘troll’ who made a sick joke about missing youngster April Jones will appear in court on Monday.
Matthew Wood, 20, of Eaves Lane, Chorley, was arrested at an address in Brinscall on Saturday after going on the run when a ‘joke’ made about the youngster sparked outrage on social networking website, Facebook.
He will appear before magistrates in Chorley on Monday morning charged.
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “An arrest was made at an address in Brinscall on Saturday and we can confirm we have charged Matthew Wood with breaching Section 27 of the Communications Act, namely sending a public electronic communication which is grossly offensive.
“He has been remanded in custody and will appear before Chorley Magistrates Court on Monday.”
The posting about the abducted five-year-old, which also relates to the missing youngster Madeleine McCann, was made on Mr Wood’s Facebook account on Thursday.
On Saturday, Dyfed Powys Police confirmed they have charged mechanic Mark Bridger, 46, with the abduction and murder of April.
He is also accused of perverting the course of justice and will appear before Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
The five-year-old remains missing despite an intensive, ongoing search for the youngster who was last seen playing on her bike at 7.30pm on Monday near her home in Machynlleth, Wales.
The former lifeguard faces three charges over missing April’s disappearance, as the hunt for the schoolgirl continues.
Bridger Charged With April’s Murder
Mark Bridger has been charged with the murder and abduction of missing five-year-old April Jones.
The announcement was made ahead of a news conference led by Dyfed Powys Police and the Crown Prosecution Service in Aberystwyth.
Bridger, 46, has also been charged with perverting the course of justice.
The former lifeguard will be held in custody until he appears in court at Aberystwyth Justice Centre on Monday.
Iwan Jenkins of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Having carried out a detailed review of the evidence gathered so far by Dyfed Powys Police I have come to the conclusion there is sufficient evidence to charge Mark Bridger with murder and it is in the public interest to do so.”
The decision came just an hour before detectives reached the maximum 96 hours that they could hold Bridger before charging or releasing him.
Searches are still continuing in and around the town of Machynlleth in mid Wales for the missing girl.
The primary school pupil was reported missing on Monday evening after she was seen getting into a vehicle near her home at around 7.30pm.
Ever since, the community has rallied behind the efforts to find the youngster, many insisting that until she is found they still hold out hope of April still being alive.
Wearing a pink ribbon that has come to symbolise the search, the Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police, Jackie Roberts, said: “Today our thoughts are very much with April’s family, friends and those that knew her.”
She added: “To see so many people give up their free time was truly humbling to all those involved.
“It is time to let judicial process take its course and time to let the family come to terms with what has happened over the past week.”
Superintendent Ian John said 10 specialist police teams were deployed on Saturday morning to continue looking for April.
He added: “Despite today’s announcement we are maintaining the momentum of the search and we remain totally focused and committed to finding April.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to April Jones and her family at this time from All Northwest Alliance
Abu Hamza to be extradited to US
Five suspected terrorists including Abu Hamza al-Masri can be extradited to the US, ending a long legal battle, UK High Court judges have decided.
The court ruled Hamza, Babar Ahmad, Syed Talha Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled al-Fawwaz did not show “new and compelling” reasons to stay in the UK.
Their appeal came after the European Court of Human Rights backed successive UK courts in ruling for extradition.
A police convoy has arrived at Long Lartin prison where the men are held.
Three police 4x4s, two armoured vans and a blacked-out police people carrier arrived at the Worcestershire jail at 18:15 BST.
A Home Office spokesman welcomed the decision and said it was “working to extradite these men as quickly as possible”.
The BBC understands two US civilian jets – one of which is registered to the US Department of Justice – are on the tarmac at an air base in eastern England.
Judges Sir John Thomas and Mr Justice Ousley said in their ruling that there was an “overwhelming public interest in the functioning of the extradition system” and that there was “no appeal from our decision”.
Of the long legal battle to send the men – whose extradition requests were submitted between 1998 and 2006 – to the US, Sir John told the court: “It is unacceptable that extradition proceedings should take more than a relatively short time, to be measured in months not years.
“It is not just to anyone that proceedings such as these should last between 14 and eight years.”
There was no doubt each man had, over the years, “either taken or had the opportunity to take every conceivable point to prevent his extradition to the United States”, he added.
The comments echoed those of James Eadie QC – representing the home secretary – who, during this week’s hearing, argued the men’s applications amounted to an abuse of process.
The judges’ written ruling, read out in court, concluded that “each of the claimants’ applications for permission to apply for judicial review or for a re-opening of the statutory appeals be dismissed”.
Abu Hamza’s final appeal against extradition ended in judicial fireworks in the High Court – although the judges expressed their anger in completely different terms to those used by Abu Hamza when he preached in London.
Barring an utterly unforeseen legal twist – and this case has had its fair share – the next time we’ll see Abu Hamza will be in Federal Court in New York.
The battle has seen prime ministers and US presidents come and go. Six home secretaries had his file in the ministerial red box.
But put aside the courts and the politics for one moment and remember his real impact.
He caused lasting harm and enormous community tension.
And he cast a long shadow over the lives of British Muslims who wanted to get on with life – just like the Christians and Jews Abu Hamza hated.
The judges rejected a plea by Abu Hamza to delay his extradition so he could undergo an MRI brain scan which, his lawyers said, could show he was unfit to plead because of degenerative problems.
“The sooner he is put on trial the better,” they said.
The 54-year-old, a former imam at Finsbury Park mosque, north London, was suffering from chronic sleep deprivation and depression as a result of eight years in prison, his lawyers added.
But during the hearing, Sir John observed there were “excellent medical facilities in the United States”.
The BBC’s Dominic Casciani, at the High Court, said the British government had got the result it had wanted to see for years on Abu Hamza, who the US first attempted to extradite in 2004.
His extradition was halted when the UK decided to try him on allegations relating to his sermons. He was convicted in 2006.
The judges also rejected appeals from Mr al-Fawwaz and Mr Bary, who are accused of being aides to Osama Bin Laden in London.
The US alleges they promoted violent jihad against the West and were involved in the 1998 US embassy bombings in East Africa, which killed more than 200 people.
Babar Ahmad’s father told the press his family expected the verdict
The battle to stay in the UK is also over for Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan, who are accused of running pro-jihad website Azzam.com – which the US says was hosted there – and of helping terrorists.
In a statement prepared in prison before the verdict, Mr Ahmad said that, “By exposing the fallacy of the UK’s extradition arrangements with the US, I leave with my head held high having won the moral victory.”
Mr Ahmad’s father, Ashfaq, said outside court he was appalled the British legal system had let him down “in a manner more befitting of a Third World country than one of the world’s oldest democracies”.
“We will never abandon our struggle for justice for Babar and the truth will eventually emerge of what will be forever remembered as a shameful chapter in the history of Britain,” he added.
And Emma Norton, legal officer for human rights group Liberty, said that, as Mr Ahmad’s alleged offences took place in the UK, “It beggars belief that he won’t be tried here.”
“Isn’t British justice – so admired around the world – capable of dealing with crimes committed in the UK by its own citizens?” she added.
In a statement released by its embassy in London, the US said it was “pleased” the men were being extradited after “a lengthy process of litigation”.
“The law enforcement relationship between the United States and United Kingdom is predicated on trust, respect, and the common goals of protecting our nations and eliminating safe havens for criminals, including terrorists,” it added.
Lord Reid, who was home secretary in 2006 and 2007, meanwhile, said that like “the vast majority of people in this country” he had a sense of satisfaction “that justice, or at least this sense of the judicial process” had been complete.
He told BBC News “The propriety, the attention, the compassion, the legal approach that has been taken on this by the British stands in marked contrast to what was meted out to the victims of some of these alleged crimes.”
But he urged the home secretary to look at the length of time the legal process took “because there is no doubt there has been a degree of frustration”.
BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman said the judges had thrown down the gauntlet for Parliament to look at judicial reviews – which can be used to re-open issues that have already been decided.
One of the challenges was to stop suspects from storing up last-minute legal challenges that frustrated the courts and bewildered the public, he added.
Why was Babar Ahmad grouped together with Abu Hamza?
By Asian Image Reporter
Lumping together the cases of five terror suspects has helped to deflect the seriousness of what has transpired today.
Reports, today have suggested how ‘radical Islamist cleric Abu Hamza and four other terror suspects’ have failed in last-ditch High Court bids to halt their extradition from the UK to the US to stand trial on terrorism charges.
But what has Abu Hamza’s suspected crimes have to do with those of Babar Ahmand and Syed Ahsan?
The judges also rejected legal challenges by Khaled Al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary.
All five cases returned to the High Court after judges at the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene and stop the Home Secretary extraditing them.
To the wider public these cases seemed similar but could not have been more different. The case of Babar Ahmad in particular had received widespread backing by non-Muslims too.
But none of this seemed to matter as soon as he was continuously reported alongside Abu Hamza.
Sadiq Khan MP, Member of Parliament for Tooting, had ealier called on the media to report responsibly on the extradition case against his constituents Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan.
Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan have been held in British prisons, without charge, for 7 and 6 years respectfully.
He said, “I am calling on all parts of the British media to report responsibly on the extradition case against my constituents, Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan.
“On too many occasions phrases like ‘Abu Hamza and five others’ have been used as a shorthand for the six men fighting extradition to the United States, which has conflated my constituents cases with the other – very different – cases, such as the one against Abu Hamza.
“The association of my constituents – who, despite 7 and 6 years in prison, are still to be charged with any crime – with a man convicted of numerous hate and terrorism-related crimes will create doubt around their reasons for their fighting against extradition.
”It is important to remember that Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan are very willing to stand trial in the UK.
“The American authorities are accusing them of committing serious crimes whilst in the UK, backed up with evidence collected by the Metropolitan Police. They are not trying to avoid standing trial; rather they feel that they should be tried in the country where they are accused of committing the crimes – which is also the place where their family and legal representatives are.
“I am not accusing any one news organisation of misrepresenting my constituents as guilty, but it is not right to associate Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan with others convicted of terrorist-related charges.
“There are clear differences between the cases against Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan and the one against Abu Hamza, and this should always be emphasised to the British public.”
This fund has been set up as people who can’t get there to give support want to make donations from all over the Uk
Missing April Jones: 2,500 Calls From Public
Police searching for missing five-year-old April Jones have received 2,500 calls from the public.
Speaking at a news conference, Superintendent Ian John said officers from all 44 forces across the UK are filtering through the information for clues to the little girl’s disappearance.
He also spoke about the difficulties of searching through the rugged terrain surrounding April’s home town of Machynlleth in mid Wales.
“Police searches have continued in and around Machynlleth and will continue tonight, regardless of the weather,” he added.
“We are having to search through difficult terrain in urban and rural environments, in demanding weather conditions we have experienced. The forecast for tonight is not good but we will continue this.”
Earlier, April’s sister made an emotional appeal for her safe return, saying: “I just want our beautiful princess home now. It’s been too long.”
Jasmine, 16, begged for her sister to come home as the massive police hunt involving helicopters, mountain rescue teams, coastguard vessels, and marine units continued.
She wrote on her Facebook page: “Knowing someone knows something but won’t say it makes me feel even worse.”
It has also been revealed that April’s father Paul has a degenerative eye disease and is unable to take part in the searches.
Machynlleth Town Council have set up an appeal fund for April and her family.
Councillor Mike Williams told Sky News: “We’ve set up the fund as a result of all the requests we’ve had – not just from the town but all across the UK.”
Police are searching the three-bedroom cottage, outbuildings, and garden of suspect Mark Bridger, in the hamlet of Ceinws.
They are also launching a major search of the nearby Dyfi river, involving dog handlers.
Activity at Mr Bridger’s white farmhouse intensified as officers were given until 5pm on Friday to question the 46-year-old. Officers have also searched a guesthouse where Mr Bridger is understood to have worked recently.
April’s family have launched a pink ribbon campaign to support the hunt and revealed that the little girl was suffering from cerebral palsy.
She has been missing since around 7pm on Monday when she vanished while playing with friends near her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate.
Police are appealing for anyone who saw Mr Bridger or his blue Land Rover Discovery, registration number L503 MEP, in the hours between April’s disappearance and his arrest at 3.30pm on Tuesday.
Estate agents J H Jones in Machynlleth say his farmhouse, called Mount Pleasant, was sold by them last year. It was on the market for £170,000.
Neighbour Vivian Williams Jones, 68, said it had been empty for several years before Mr Bridger rented it about a month ago.
“It was eventually sold to someone from London who bought it as a holiday home and never came down here,” he told Wales Online.
“I saw him about a month ago and he said that it was just too far for him and he was giving it the once-over before renting it out. I can’t say I’d ever seen him (Mr Bridger), apart from moving about inside.”
Meanwhile, people are being urged to fix a pink ribbon to their front doors or gates, or to a wear a pink ribbon, in support of the search. The five-year-old’s godmother Mair Raftree, 41, said pink was April’s favourite colour.
Prime Minister David Cameron joined police in urging anyone with information about the whereabouts of the “lovely girl” to speak to officers.
Anyone with information relating to the case is asked to call Child Rescue Alert Line on 0300 2000 333.
:: To make a donation to the April Jones fund, send a cheque payable to MTC-April’s Fund, Y Plas, Aberystwyth Road, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8ER
Today in Rochdale Anonymous Family Army protested about the Crimes against the innocent children, who have been let down massively by the system!! A call for Rochdale council staff involved to resign from the jobs, and to inform the Public of what their Local council has covered up and allowed to go on. This protest had nothing at all to do with EDL or any other patriot group as I stated before It was Anon Family Army fighting for childrens rights , we would like to say a massive well done to those who attended you stood up for what you believed in and put pressure in the right place .
Head of Rochdale children’s services resigns after damning sex grooming scandal report
Rochdale council’s head of children’s services has resigned a week after a damning report into the care of victims of the town’s child sex grooming scandal.
Steve Garner, targeted services director for children, notified town hall staff of his decision this morning, we understand.
The council said he had handed in his resignation after a 29-page report by the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Board exposed serious failings in the council’s treatment of victims who were in their care.
Nine men were jailed in May for exploiting girls as young as 13. The victims were routinely plied with drink and drugs and passed around for sex, a court heard.
Jim Taylor, Chief Executive of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The council is undertaking a review of Senior Management and the Service Director of Targeted Services has decided that the time is now right for him to move on to a new challenge.
“The last few years have been challenging and demanding for Children’s Social Care Services. The Service Director has been considering his options for some time, and following the Safeguarding Board’s thematic Review of Multi Agency Responses to Sexual Exploitation of Children, he believes the time is right to allow someone else to continue to take forward the recommendations.
“The payment made to the service director upon his leaving is no greater than the entitled contractual payments. The post of service director for targeted services has not been disestablished and therefore the payments made did not include a redundancy payment.
“The service director has been wholly committed to the work of the council and the service to improve services to vulnerable children and families and is looking forward to a new challenge.”
Once again a massive well done to Anon Family Army from The Northwest Alliance