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UK Supermarkets Sold Knives to Children, Reveals National Trading Standards

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National Trading Standards

A survey by the authorities of the National Trading Standards revealed that despite increasing knife crimes, supermarkets like Tesco, Asda, Poundland and Home Bargains are selling knife to children. According to the survey, each of these major supermarkets has sold blades to the kids below 18-years, minimum 15 times between April 2018 and March 2019.

Following the survey, Tesco and Asda have prohibited the sales of blades. On the other hand, Poundland has said that it is “baffled” by the results as it had put an end to sales of kitchen knives from October 2018. However, Home Bargains has not responded over the results yet.

Lord Toby Harris, chairperson of National Trading Standards, said “Restricting the sale of knives to children is clearly a difficult issue for retailers, especially those with large numbers of outlets, staff and delivery partners. I am aware that many retailers are working incredibly hard to train staff and introduce robust procedures to stem the flow of knives to children.”

“But let’s be clear – it’s illegal to sell a knife to a child. Our tests show that it’s still too easy for a child to buy a knife,” he added.

During the survey, Trading Standards asked kids under 18 to purchase the blades from these supermarkets. The test results showed that out of 2,231 times, the staff of these stores sold knives to the kids below 18-years, 344 times.

Similarly, National Trading Standards made 100 online purchases amongst which children were sold knives 41 times.

It is not for the first time that reports surrounding kids and blades have made the news. Earlier, the law authorities at the request of 5 News, under Freedom of Information, revealed that 1,144 instances were reported where children were caught carrying varied blades. The incidents were reported in 2018 across England, Scotland and Wales.

Following the survey reports, Tesco UK and Ireland chief executive Jason Tarry said, “Tesco takes the safety of our colleagues, customers, and the communities we serve very seriously. We have made significant changes to our approach to displaying and selling knives, without taking choice away from customers, including a new two-stage age verification process and removing knives from display on the shop floor.”

Curbing the rising knife crimes proved to be a herculean task for the government and the law authorities. However, figures revealed from the survey conducted by the National Trading Standards displays the need for stern laws and policies surrounding the sale of blades.

With this, the authorities might finally be able to ensure that the lives of children and teenagers are not in danger because of easy access to weapons.

Crime

Acid Attack Victim Experiences Second Assault in Just Six Months

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Acid Attack

Scarred for life, a 38-year-old mum became a target for the second time in just months after being attack with acid at her doorstep. Theresa Townsley was in her vehicle when thugs in a pick-up truck rammed into it and battered the windows with a scythe.

On November 9, 2018, Townsley was at her home in Edinburgh, when a hooded thug threw acid on her, leaving serious burns on her face and neck. However, the attacker has still not been caught.

It has now appeared that just six months later, she became a victim of another terrifying assault, when she was in her car with her partner James Wilson, the Daily Record reported. In a hearing at the Hamilton Sheriff Court Townsley stated that she feared she was going to die, when the truck attacked. Her husband was hit on the head with a spade and needed more than 40 stitches.

Townsley told the court that she and Wilson went to Strathclyde Park to meet the 48-year-old Alexender Burke, who owed her husband £13,000 for a Ford Transit truck. The violence erupted when Burke and his 28-year-old son Alexander Burke Jr arrived.

She also stated that Burke’s son jumped out of the truck and smashed the car windows with a scythe. “He put the scythe through the passenger side window and tried to cut me. He was saying, ‘You’re dead, you’re dead’. We thought we were going to die,” she said. “Burke Jr smashed the rest of the windows then ran back to the pick-up.”

Last week, both father and son were jailed at the Hamilton Sheriff Court for assaulting Wilson, Townsley and her sister Mary Jean in May. Burke Jr was found guilty for assaulting James to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement, and was jailed for three years. Whereas, his father was jailed for two years.

As of now, there have been no suggestion that the Lanarkshire incident is linked to the acid attack in the Gracemount area of the capital. Townsley moved away from Edinburgh since the acid attack.

“It was the worst day of my life…Day to day it is still hard, just to go out of the house, to look in the mirror. Most of the time I am confined to the house,” she had said earlier this month. As a year passed to the attack, Townsley said that November 9, 2019 is the second worst day of her life because it brought all back.

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Grace Millane Murder: Court Hearing Brings Out New Revelations

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Grace Millane

Another troubling incident in British backpacker Grace Millane’s case has been exposed, where a woman stated that she played dead to escape her death, while she struggled with the person who months later killed Millane.

In December 2018, 22-year old Millane’s disappearance in Auckland, New Zealand sparked international attention. A 26-year-old man was charged with the murder of Millane, whose dead body was found in the nearby Waitakere Ranges on December 9.

Grace Millane from England was on a backpacking tour during her gap year when she met a man via a dating app Tinder. She was last seen with her murderer at the CityLife Hotel on Queen Street, a day before her 23rd birthday on December 1 and was reported missing since then.

The murderer, while appearing on trial in January this year, pleaded not guilty. As his trial continued, he admitted of having consensual sex with Grace Millane on the night she died, disposing off her body and cleaning up her blood from the floor the apartment. Yet, he reaffirmed his not guilty plea. The proceedings are expected to last five weeks.

Millane’s death generated huge outcries from the general public as well as the tourists, who feared trusting Kiwis.

Another woman, who went on a Tinder date with the alleged killer in March 2018 – long before the death of Grace Millane, gave her testimony in an Auckland court on Monday, stating how she struggled to breathe during her sexual encounter with the man.

“He had grabbed my forearms and put all the pressure on my arms so I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t move my arms. I started kicking, trying to indicate I couldn’t breathe. I was kicking violently. He would have felt me fighting,” the woman said, crying. “I was terrified,” stated the woman.

She recalled thinking “this can’t be the way I died” as the 27-year-old smothered her.

She told the court that she had since then avoided contact and lied about her movements, hoping the man would lose interest in her.

The defendant’s lawyer, Ron Mansfield, said the witness told his client that she wanted “to pursue a relationship with him after the encounter”, and had exchanged more than 700 messages after the alleged dispute, although the woman said she only continued to speak to him out of fear for her safety.

The woman said during her date with the man at his apartment, he told her that he had used a shotgun to scare away his sister’s boyfriend and had beaten up people from a bar next to the hotel.

Two other women, who matched with the man on Tinder, gave their evidences in Auckland court. One stated that Grace Millane’s murderer said that he likes to dominate women to feel “superior”. Another woman, later stated that she had consensual sex with the man, while his trial still continued.

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Court Stabs Ellie Gould’s Stabber with Imprisonment

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Ellie Gould

Taking life in a horrendous knife attack, a teenager repeatedly stabbed his ex-girlfriend in the neck in a “frenzied attack” before trying to prove that the victims’ wounds were self-inflicted.

A boy named Thomas Griffiths accepted committing knife attack, which killed Ellie Gould, 17, at her home in Calne, Wiltshire in May, after the latter ended their three-month-long relationship.

“Griffiths became angry, perhaps by Ellie’s continued rejection of him, and he attacked her,” prosecutor Richard Smith QC said.

The attacker went to her schoolmate’s home, killed her and then put her left hand on the knife handle, with the knife still stabbed in her neck. He also tried to clear his tracks and hid the bloodstained clothes in a wood before telling his friends that scratches on his face – inflicted by Ellie Gould in her defence – were result of a self-harm.

Later that day he also sent a series of “fake” messages to friends and to Ellie’s mobile phone asking if she wanted to meet.

The Verdict

However, at Bristol Crown Court, justice was finally served with the stabber getting jailed for a minimum tenure of 12 and a half years. To this, Ellie Gould’s family reacted by saying that Griffiths should never be released from the prison because he would remain always a peril for society; especially women.

Ellie’s mother, Carole Gould also said that there was nothing suspicious in Griffiths’ behaviour before her daughter’s death that “would ring alarm bells”. “We welcomed him into our home. We ate dinner with him,” she said.

The court heard that the night before Griffiths killed Ellie, the latter had told her friends that they had broken up and he had “not taken it well”. Besides, another statement from Ellie’s father, who found her lying on the kitchen floor, said that it was “the most frightening, horrific and saddest scene I have ever experienced” and it “fills my thoughts all day”.

The couple were A-level students at Hardenhuish School in Chippenham and had known each other since 7 years of age.

Sentencing him, Judge Justice Garnham told Griffiths that his actions had been a “frenzied knife attack” and “the most appalling act” on a “vulnerable young woman in her own home where she should have been safe”.

He said Ellie Gould had “tried desperately to fight back, scratching frantically at your neck” and “most chilling is that you left her on the kitchen floor with the knife still in her neck and with her left hand on the knife”.

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Crime

Kingpin Guilty of Horrendous Essex Lorry Deaths to be behind Bars Soon

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Essex Lorry Deaths

In the recent times, while the rise in the knife crimes has received mass attention, the incidents were not considered to be as horrific as the dreadful Essex Lorry deaths, wherein 39 people died, including 8 women.

It has been a week since the cargo truck was discovered at an industrial park in Essex. The authorities have not only nabbed the truck driver, presented him in the court but have also, found two more suspects responsible for the manslaughter and human trafficking, and have identified the honcho behind the spine-chilling crime.

It is believed that the mastermind behind the appalling crime is of Vietnamese origin.

The authorities investigating the Essex lorry deaths have claimed that they are looking for a man who goes by the name of Truong. According to the authorities, the mastermind kingpin has amassed a lot from the families who were looking to enter the UK by any means.

The authorities have also claimed that the mastermind behind the horrific incident is currently heading the “global ring” of illegal immigration in the UK.

Moreover, the investigation revealed that out of the 39 dead, at least 24 were the natives of Ha Tinh and Nghe An province in Vietnam.

However, the law authorities have not been able to identify the victims of the Essex Lorry deaths or their nationality, even though many of the Vietnamese families have come forward expressing concerns that their loved ones might be amongst the dead.

Earlier in the day, the detectives investigating the crime, involving human trafficking as well, said that two brothers from Armagh in Northern Ireland, Ronan Hughes and Christopher Hughes are under the suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking.

The lead investigator of the mass manslaughter, Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Hooper also said that the brothers have links with both Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and one of them even has a business address in Northern Ireland.

The Essex lorry deaths have shook people to the core, although it is yet to be seen what the MPs at the House of Commons would do to ensure this does not happen again as such horrendous crimes are not only against the spirit of the country, but also reflect that a great amount of work needs to be done to prevent illegal immigration and human trafficking.

The Britons and the affected families are looking forward to see the mastermind behind the bars, so that justice is served to the unfortunates, who lost their lives in the gruesome act.

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Human Smuggler Calls Death of 39 people a “luck of the draw”

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luck of the draw

The murder mystery that brought global attention last week, has been partially unveiled, while the authorities continue investigations. The case brought in light the route, which the human traffickers have been using to smuggle people into the UK. One such suspect in custody laughed at the fate of the 39 migrants that were found dead in a refrigerated lorry, last week.

Hours after the lorry loaded with piles of dead bodies was found, the Daily Mail’s investigative journalists revealed that a UK-based Albanian was running a service on Facebook to assist in assisting migrants into the country. Under the pseudonym “Kace Kace”, Kastrijot Ahmati has been advertising his services through a group named, “Albanians in London”, which has more than 16,000 followers.

The Mail’s report on Sunday stated that the smuggler laughed off the tragedy calling it “the luck of the draw”, as he offered to sneak an undercover agent into the UK through same route. Ahmati, who resides in Walthamstow, North East London, spoke with the agent on Friday, two days after eight women and 31 men were found dead in the process.

He offered the same route via Belgium to the undercover agent, dismissing her constant concern that being smuggled through the set process could be dangerous. Stating that he has “done it myself”, he clearly claimed that he was too illegally smuggled in the back of a lorry. The reporter also said that she was scared after the death discovery of the 39, to which Ahmati said, “It is the luck of the draw. That is how we all came.”

Calling it “the quickest and shortest route to the UK”, he stated that the trip from Belgium could take between 12 hours to 16 hours, depending upon any possible delay of the ferry. He initially asked for £17,000 to arrange fake papers to smuggle the undercover agent from Albania capital Tirana to the UK, but later lowered it to £14,000. It was reported that the findings have been forwarded to the Met Police, and that any relevant information would also be passed to investigating officers.

Besides, the 25-year-old lorry driver, Maurice Robinson was also charged with 39 counts of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people. He is also facing charges of conspiracy to help unlawful immigration and money laundering. Besides, the man from Craigavon, County Armagh in Northern Ireland, is also expected to appear before Chelmsford Magistrates on Monday.

On Sunday morning, another UK-bound refrigerated lorry was heading towards England, when eight hypothermic Afghans were rescued. Comprising of 4 children, including two “tiny infants”, it was being carried by two Romanian truckers. The men attempting to drive on to a ferry were arrested at the port of Calais at 5 a.m., on Sunday.

At present, the British police is working with Vietnam to identify the 39 people, using the forensic samples that heir families gave.

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