Slaves paid less than £2 an hour at Staffordshire factory

A gangmaster who brought men from Romania to work in a factory for less than £2 an hour has been jailed. Mihai Varga, of Ashwin Road, Birmingham admitted exploiting the men who worked 12-hour shifts at a food processing factory in Staffordshire. The men, aged between 26 and 50, were kept in cramped conditions in a room at Varga’s home ...

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Breeders 'forced' to cull Exmoor ponies in passport row

Breeders claim they have been forced to cull “dozens” of Exmoor ponies because of delays obtaining paperwork proving their pedigree. The Exmoor pony is listed as endangered by the Rare Breed Survival Trust and needs a “passport” to be sold. Without it the ponies cannot be sold for their full value and some breeders say they cannot afford to keep ...

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Cupid cop comes to Valentine's rescue

A police officer played Cupid by making a Valentine’s Day card for an elderly man who could not afford to buy one for his wife. John, 74, regularly chats with officers in Northampton, but when he told them he had not got his wife of 16 years a Valentine’s card, they offered to help. “It was cold, so we took ...

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Woman saved from car fire after Middlesbrough house crash

A driver was rescued from a burning car after it ploughed into the side of a house. Great-grandmother Ursula Scott, 75, accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake, sending her crashing through a fence and into the home in Middlesbrough. Passer-by Faisal Ali, 32, pulled her from the car as flames erupted. Mrs Scott, who escaped uninjured, told the ...

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BBC Look North presenter Christa Ackroyd facing tax bill of £420k

Former BBC Look North presenter Christa Ackroyd is facing a tax bill of up to £420,000 after losing a legal battle with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Ms Ackroyd and HMRC were in dispute over the nature of her BBC contract and whether she had paid too little tax. She was one of a number of people employed by the ...

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More strikes on Arriva Rail North and Merseyrail

Workers from two rail companies will go on strike next month as part of the continuing row over driver-only-operated trains. Arriva Rail North (Northern) and Merseyrail workers in the RMT union will walk out on 3 March. The union says scrapping guards and introducing driver-only operated trains risks passenger safety. But the rail companies have insisted the move is safe ...

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Blue badge thefts in England quadruple in four years

Thefts of parking permits for disabled motorists have more than quadrupled in four years, according to new figures. Official statistics show there were 2,921 blue badges reported stolen in England during 2016-17, a rise of 14% on the year before. It compares with 656 stolen in 2012-13. The Local Government Association (LGA) said fraudsters were “robbing” disabled people of their ...

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Man held over rape attempt on girl, 10, in Openshaw

A man has been arrested on suspicion of the attempted rape of a 10-year-old girl. The suspect, aged 23, is also being held on suspicion of kidnap after the assault in Openshaw on Saturday, Greater Manchester Police (GMP). Police said the attack took place when the girl became separated from her friends on Kincraig Close. She managed to escape during ...

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Penistone hammer attack: Dad jailed for attempted murder

A man has been jailed for life for trying to kill his three children and step-daughter by hitting them with a hammer then crashing a car into a wall. Owen Scott, 29, of Fawley, Hampshire, admitted four counts of attempted murder and dangerous driving at Sheffield Crown Court, after the crash near Penistone, South Yorkshire. Two girls, aged seven and ...

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Man smashes woman’s car window after she parked in spot he was saving for a friend

Charlotte Lincroft’s Audi was smashed after she tried reversing into the parking space(Picture: Charlotte Lincroft/Facebook) A woman almost had her phone punched out of her hand after she confronted a man who had smashed the back window of her car. Charlotte Lincroft, 27,  a dog groomer from Hove, tried to park her vehicle in a space on a busy street ...

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