Monday, November 10, 2008

Paramedics called for man tasered by police

Paramedics were called to a pub to treat a man who had been stunned by a taser gun by armed police during a 'raid'.

It is believed that dozens of police officers raided the Romany pub, in Colman Road, Norwich, on Friday evening.

As a result of the police operation, a taser gun was used on a man who was believed to be in his forties.

An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called to the Romany pub at about 9.40pm to reports of a man who had been tasered.”

Police have not yet confirmed why they were at the Romany pub and it is also not yet known why the taser was deployed.

The pub's landlady , who took over the establishment in May, said the whole community was “shocked” by the incident.

The weapon, which uses darts to deliver a 50,000 volt shock, was first introduced to Norfolk Constabulary in September 2005.

Since then, statistics released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that tasers were used in Norfolk eight times between January and July this year, up from six in the whole of 2007.

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Police officer jailed for propositioning woman under arrest, sex on duty

A police officer who admitted having sex with one woman while on duty and propositioning another after she had been arrested was jailed for four months.

Pc Gary Bayldon, 48, who was married at the time, would visit one divorced mother at her home for sex while on late shifts.

He also asked the second woman to go the woods with him and caressed her hands while taking her fingerprints at the police station, a court heard.

Bayldon, from Newport, Isle of Wight, pleaded guilty to three counts of wilful misconduct in public office at Kingston Crown Court.

Kingston Crown Court heard that Bayldon met 34-year-old community care worker Donna Cacutt after she had called police to her home on the Isle of Wight when a man tried to take one of her children down the road.

Bayldon was the officer sent to the scene.

Bayldon then began phoning her and they began a relationship.

Barry Gregory, prosecuting, said: “In her words they started seeing each other quite regularly but never when he was off duty, always when he was on duty on the late shift."

Bayldon met the second woman, mother-of-two Suzanne Dunkling, 37, after being called out to a domestic incident involving her boyfriend at her home in October 2005, the court heard.

She was arrested and taken to the police station by Bayldon who told her “I think you’re f****** gorgeous”, said Mr Gregory.

Bayldon interviewed her and later had to take her fingerprints using an electronic machine, which he kept getting wrong.

Mr Gregory said: “He confessed to her ’I keep getting it wrong so I can keep touching you’.

“He had a wedding ring on and she said he shouldn’t be saying things like that because he was a married man. He was stroking and caressing her hand rather than holding it to the machine. It made her feel on edge and unsure of what to do.”

Bayldon later gave her a lift home in a police van, letting her sit in the front seat and smoke a cigarette.

During the journey he invited her to a forest “for a chat”, said Mr Gregory.

He added: “She said no because she knew full well he wanted her to go there for sex.

“He also asked to kiss her and leant across. She turned towards him and he kissed her. She said he used his tongue and she felt disgusted.

When Bayldon dropped her at home he told her “her children would be all right if she went out with him”

He asked her for her phone number and she gave him a false number.

Mr Gregory said Bayldon had taken “advantage of these reasonable vulnerable females by manipulating his position of authority.”

Bayldon had faced six other similar counts, with allegations including sex acts in a police vehicle and kissing a prosecution witness at a trial.

It was also claimed that he propositioned a woman after responding to a call for assistance, arresting her after she turned him down.

Bayldon, who was suspended from duty on full pay from Hampshire police, has been allowed to resign from his position.

He was facing a disciplinary hearing, which will now not take place. Bayldon will still be eligible to receive his pension from the police.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Witness says Menezes police 'out of control'

An eyewitness who was sitting near Jean Charles de Menezes on a Tube train has told his inquest that undercover police gave no warning before killing him.

Anna Dunwoodie also said that officers were "out of control" and gave off a "sense of panic" before shooting.

She told the inquest that, at the time, she thought the firearms officers pursuing Mr de Menezes were members of a gang.

She said she did not hear officers shout any warning at the electrician.

Her insistence that there was no shouted warning - which contradicts the version of events given earlier in the inquest by the police involved – was subsequently backed up by two other passengers on the train.

"I would like to say that on whether I heard anything from police officers, I am very, very clear. I had absolutely no idea who they were and had they shouted I would have latched on to that," she said.

"There was a break and it was my memory that there were more shots.

"I felt they were a bit out of control, that's what it felt like."

The officers who shot Mr De Menezes 7 times in the head told the inquest earlier that they shouted "armed police" before shooting. One firearms officer said the Brazilian moved towards him with apparent aggressive intent.

But Ms Dunwoodie, as well as other witnesses, who had been reading a book on the train, said she did not recall that happening.

After the shooting she told how she thought "something illegal" had happened and said her first impulse was to call the police to let them know.

Two eyewitnesses who sat near the carriage doors where firearms officers opened fire also said they had no recollection of any warnings from armed police.

"There was not one mention of armed police."

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Unemployed? Government approved training provider demand to know about your sex life

Jason Lightwood, 38, was enrolled on a DWP approved group training session for persons who are unemployed.

As part of the session, jobseekers were given a questionnaire, set by Juniper Training in Tamworth, Staffordshire.

Juniper Training are authorised and approved by the Department for Work and Pensions to carry out job training schemes.

However, Mr Lightwood was left astounded after one of the questions asked if he ever "found it difficult to perform adequately or without embarrassment when involved in sex".

The organisers defended the question, arguing that an applicant's skills in the bedroom were linked to their abilities in the workplace.

The father-of-two said: " It was a complete shock when I saw the question. I thought it was outrageous and totally irrelevant to helping me get back into work, which is what they are supposed to do.

"I asked the woman who was running the session why on earth she needed to know about my sex life. She told me that if you're not performing well in bed it can affect how you do at work.

As well as being probed about his prowess in the bedroom Jason was asked to colour in pictures of elephants at Juniper's HQ in Tamworth, Staffs.

"I'm supposed to be here for job training and to look for work.

"Instead I'm getting questions about how I perform with my wife and being asked to colour in pretty pictures."

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: "We apologise for any concern this may have caused."

Juniper Training were unavailable for comment.

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Parents to be fingerprinted by nursery schools

A chain of nurseries is to require parents to use fingerprint scanners before collecting their children, it has been revealed.

Fifty nurseries run by kidsunlimited, a national group catering for children aged three months to five years, will introduce the technology over the next few months.

Six, including those in Cambridgeshire, Wilmslow in Cheshire and Notting Hill, West London, already operate the system. At least 100 other private or voluntary nurseries are already thought to be using scanners.

Critics have condemned the increase in surveillance society.

The Government has issued guidance telling head teachers they have the right to collect pupils' biometric data for 'security' reasons.

Parents, carers or guardians will be required to register a fingerprint in advance and then swipe a scanner on entering and leaving the nursery.

Quite how kidsunlimited intend to resolve the situation of a parent who refuses to participate is unclear.

Dan Norris, Labour MP for Wansdyke and a prominent child welfare campaigner, said: "My instinct is that is some what of an overreaction. It strikes me quite a strong reaction to a problem that could be managed in a less confrontational way. Fingerprinting is quite a big deal."

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Council orders destruction of anti-CCTV art

Westminster City Council have ordered the destruction of a work of art which is critical of CCTV.

The owners of the mural, entitled "One Nation Under CCTV", by street artist 'Banksy', have been ordered by Westminster City Council to remove the work of art.

The mural has the words "One Nation Under CCTV" stencilled above two painted people.

One appears to be a child in a red hooded top apparently painting the words, while a police officer holding a camera and a brown dog look on.

The mural is painted on the wall of a building shared by Royal Mail and another business.

On Thursday a Banksy oil canvas, entitled Tesco Value Tomato Soup, was sold for £117,600 by auction house Bonhams.

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Witnesses say police gave De Menezes no warning

A couple sitting opposite Jean Charles de Menezes did not hear undercover police identify themselves before they shot the Brazilian, his inquest was told yesterday.

Ralph Livock and Rachel Wilson saw armed men board the train at Stockwell Tube station in South London and move towards Mr de Menezes, their weapons raised.

At no time, they said, did they hear anyone shout “armed police”.

This contradicts accounts from some armed officers that they had identified themselves.

The couple were reading when officers in plain clothes boarded the train.

Asked if any had identified themselves, Mr Livock said: “Absolutely not. On television you see people with police caps or jackets. There was nothing like that.

“One of my thoughts was that they were lads having a laugh, because they were in jeans and T-shirts. We had no idea whether they were police, whether they were terrorists, whether they were somebody else. The thing that had me realise it was not lads playing around was when the first shot was fired. The man in front fired into Mr de Menezes’s head.”

Ms Wilson said: “I thought they were messing around and then I thought they were terrorists and it was only when I left the carriage that I realised they were good guys.”

Asked at what point she had realised that, she told Southwark Coroner’s Court: “When I looked down and there was blood on my hands.”

Mr Livock said: “Mr de Menezes didn’t look frightened – he looked like he was waiting for somebody to tell him what was going on.”

Contrary to what the officers told the court, Mr Livock said that he did not see the 27-year-old electrician get up and walk towards the officers. “My recollection is that I didn’t see him doing anything other than sitting,” he said.

As he got off the train he heard more shooting. He saw Mr de Menezes slumped in his seat and there was a lot of blood.

Mr de Menezes was shot seven times in the head at point-blank range by undercover police.

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