The NBA playoffs are finally upon us, and like the 16 teams vying for the Larry O’Brien trophy, we’ve come prepared — not with basketball skills, mind you,1We shudder to think about what the advanced metrics would say about a FiveThirtyEight pickup team. but with graphics and numbers. Using the latest (postseason-optimized) version of FiveThirtyEight’s NBA Power Ratings, we simulated the playoff bracket 10,000 times, counting how often each team won its first-round series (as well as tracking which teams won the NBA title most often). We also put together charts highlighting each team’s key players, along with their multiyear predictive Real Plus-Minus2This is a slightly different statistic than the RPM you can find at ESPN.com because it uses data from seasons prior to 2014-15. We like the multiyear version because, among individual player statistics, it is the best predictor of future team outcomes. ratings, plus a comparison of both teams’ strengths and weaknesses according to the four factors of basketball. (Note that in some of our write-ups below, we use single-season RPM, so those numbers will be slightly different than the multiyear RPM we list in the charts.) So get settled in, maybe throw some chalk in the air, and enjoy the brutal, glorious two-month journey that is the road to the NBA championship. Derrick Rose is back in time for the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Bulls, he’s not the Derrick Rose of four seasons ago, the one who won the MVP award and led the Bulls to their only conference finals since Michael Jordan’s second retirement. Since then, Rose, slowed by injuries, has played just 100 regular-season games and one playoff game. Now he is the only Bulls starter who rates below league average. That’s not enough to make Milwaukee the favorite in this series. Two Bucks starters are below league average, and Milwaukee will have trouble scoring with an offense that is well below league average. The Bulls should win this series — and enjoy the win, because in half of our simulations of the playoffs, they go out in the next round, most likely to LeBron James and the Cavs. — Carl Bialik Eastern ConferenceThe Brooklyn Nets will not win the NBA championship. No, really: We ran 10,000 simulations of the playoffs, and the Nets were the only team to never win it all. They have only a 10 percent chance of moving on from their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks. This is among the most lopsided matchups of the first round. The Nets, ranked No. 22 in FiveThirtyEight’s Power Ratings, are by far the worst team to make the postseason. With their 38-44 record and -2.9 point differential (the only playoff team in red), the Nets are lucky they’re in the Eastern Conference — further momentum for reform to the NBA’s postseason structure.Atlanta is coming off a franchise-record 60-win regular season; this should be a cakewalk for the Hawks (even after losing defensive stalwart Thabo Sefolosha to injury after a run-in with the NYPD). Atlanta is well-balanced: +2.9 points per 100 possessions on offense and +2.0 on defense. The Nets have a pedestrian offense (+1.1) but are a disaster on defense: At -4.7, their defensive rating is the fifth-worst in the league. If the Nets avoid a sweep, it’ll be an achievement. — Andrew Flowers With the latest FiveThirtyEight Power Ratings ranking the Spurs and Clippers as second and fourth, respectively, this matchup is one of the most compelling first-round matchups in recent memory.The defending champion Spurs enter this tournament as the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference — far lower than the No. 2 seed they could have had if they had won their final game against the Pelicans on Wednesday. Despite that loss, they had a 21-4 record over their last 25 games, reasserting that they’re contenders despite a 19-18 stretch in the middle of the season.The story of their year has been the breakout of last year’s surprise finals MVP and zero-time All-Star Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs went 46-18 with him in the lineup, with an average margin of victory of 7.8 points per game — which would be second to Golden State’s 10.0 and matches the 7.8 they put up last year. Leonard’s 2014-15 Real Plus-Minus of 8.35 was second in basketball behind Stephen Curry’s, ahead of well-known small forward LeBron James’s. Oh, and he led the league in steals per game.The Clippers are no slouches, either — their SRS3SRS is a team’s margin of victory, adjusted for its strength of schedule. of 6.8 is second-highest in the league behind Golden State’s 10.0 (San Antonio is third, with 6.34). They’ve now won either 56 or 57 games in every full season of the Chris Paul/Blake Griffin era, yet their dynamic duo has not made it past the conference semifinals.Although the Clippers have home-court advantage, the FiveThirtyEight simulations give the Spurs the edge, with a 53 percent chance of advancing. In fact, despite being projected to play any Game 7 from here on out on the road, San Antonio has the third-best chance of winning the championship, at 12 percent. The model gives the Clippers the fourth-best chance, at 8 percent. — Benjamin Morris It’s current MVP contender versus aging MVP winner (but the current contender is the one with the beard). James Harden versus Dirk Nowitzki. The Beard led the league in WAR, according to ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus metrics. With Harden, Houston has the edge — a 66 percent chance of prevailing, according to FiveThirtyEight’s projections. Beyond Harden’s consistency, the Rockets have otherwise ridden the injury luck roller coaster. They enter the playoffs having lost two important starters: versatile big man Donatas Motiejunas and the feisty defender Patrick Beverley at the point. On the other hand, Dwight Howard has returned after missing half the season. The Rockets will need him to maintain their solid +3.2 defensive rating.For the Mavs, it’s been a tale of two seasons. After surprising the league with a hot start, Dallas stagnated after the All-Star break, going 14-13. In FiveThirtyEight’s latest NBA Power Ratings, the Mavs rated as the worst of the Western Conference teams to make the playoffs — even behind the No. 8 seed New Orleans Pelicans. — Andrew Flowers Portland won fewer games than Memphis (51 to 55) during the regular season, but because the Blazers won the comparatively weak Northwest division, they are the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and the Grizzlies are the No. 5. But that seed advantage isn’t worth much. Since the Blazers had fewer wins, they will still be on the road for four of their seven potential games against Memphis. Making matters even more complicated, this series is so close that the question of home court could end up making all the difference. Only a tenth of a rating point separates them in our most recent power rankings. Our model gives the Grizzlies a 54 percent probability of winning, but that number would flip around to 53 percent for Portland if the Blazers had home court. Of course, the Grizzlies earned their home-court advantage by winning more games (against a tougher schedule, no less), and this arrangement is good for Portland, too — a 46 percent chance against Memphis is preferable to a 24 percent chance versus the Clippers, which is who they’d face if the conference were seeded purely by record. But this inverted 4-versus-5 matchup is another example of how convoluted and arbitrary the seeding process is in the NBA. And it’s another argument that the league should perhaps just ditch divisions (if not conferences) entirely. — Neil Paine You might think the Celtics should just be happy to be here. After all, in late February, they only had a 12 percent probability of making the playoffs, according to the FiveThirtyEight NBA Power Ratings. But rather than merely showing up, getting their souvenir T-shirt and accepting a first-round loss, Boston could give LeBron James and the mighty Cavaliers more trouble than they bargained for. While we can’t derive much meaning from the Celtics’ combined 216-168 margin over Cleveland in their two April matchups — the Cavs were mostly resting their key players — Boston is solid at both ends of the floor, with a great group of guards and a lot of depth. Over the course of the entire season, they were better offensively (relative to the league) than the Cavs’ defense was, and that only includes a few months of Isaiah Thomas. Our model says the Celtics are still unlikely to pull the upset, but they have the ingredients to be much more of a pest than they seemed to be a few months ago. — Neil Paine Western ConferenceEach team is led by one of the best players in basketball: Stephen Curry on Golden State and Anthony Davis on New Orleans. So why do we think Golden State has a 92 percent chance to advance? Because Curry is better, and has much better teammates. Draymond Green, a top contender for Defensive Player of the Year, rates higher than Davis in the Real Plus-Minus player ratings we’re using from Jeremias Engelmann and Steve Ilardi. Warriors sub Andre Iguodala would be the second-best Pelican. But this might not be a sweep: In their two games against Golden State in New Orleans, the Pelicans won once and forced overtime in the other. But Golden State’s formidable offense should dominate the Pelicans’ subpar D. The Warriors look a lot more like a team for the ages — with an impressive 48 percent chance of winning it all — than like first-round upset fodder. (We were a little stunned by that 48 percent number, but Basketball-Reference.com gives the Warriors about the same odds.) — Carl Bialik This series features two teams that started out the season looking like they might be the next big thing (at least in the Eastern Conference). The fourth-seeded Toronto Raptors began the season 7-1 and made it all the way to 24-7 before a four-game losing streak started their 25-26 finish — with their final record only a one-win improvement on last year. The Wizards started out 4-1 and made it to 19-6, but have been 27-30 since, ultimately improving on last season’s 44-win campaign by just two wins.Both teams are led by All-Star point guards, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Washington’s John Wall, with Lowry making the All-Star team for the first time in the eighth year of his career (his third with the Raptors). ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus for this season ranks them as the fourth- and sixth-best point guards in 2015. Lowry performed a little worse than last year; his RPM dipped slightly from 4.3 to 4.1 and his WAR (wins above replacement) dipped from 11.6 to 9.4. But for Wall, 2014-15 was a big improvement on the year before: His 4.7 RPM and 12.1 WAR were both up from 2.2 and 8.3 last year, respectively.The FiveThirtyEight simulations give the Raptors a 60 percent chance of winning this series but don’t see either team as a championship contender. They give the Raptors a 1 percent chance of winning the title and the Wizards an even smaller chance. In the 10,000 simulations we ran, the Raptors or Wizards won the championship only 108 times, the fewest of any of the eight first-round matchups. — Benjamin Morris read more

The best rivalry in professional men’s1In women’s tennis, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova played each other 80 times, including in 60 finals. tennis history continues to unfold — and it isn’t Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal.It’s Federer against Novak Djokovic.Federer and Nadal are probably the best players of all time.2A whole article, or book, could be written about what that means. In tennis as in other sports, the level of play keeps rising as competitors get bigger, fitter and stronger, so the two dominant players of the last decade likely are the best ever. In relative measures, such as dominance of their peers, major titles and consistency, Federer and Nadal also stand up well to the likes of Pete Sampras and Rod Laver. They may have played the best match of all time. But their head-to-head history is mostly predictable and one-sided. It’s better than nearly every rivalry that came before it, yet it’s not even in the top two current matchups.Nadal’s rivalry with Djokovic, the current world No. 1, is much better. Nadal and Djokovic have met 42 times, more than any other pair since the sport went pro in 1968, according to data provided by Jeff Sackmann of Tennis Abstract. From September 2010 through June of this year, Nadal and Djokovic have played a remarkable 21 times,3More than all but 24 other pairs of players who have played each other throughout their careers since 1968. including in seven major finals, and have contested several classics. But they’ve also played many duds. And while their overall record is nearly even, the rivalry breaks down into several lopsided sub-rivalries: Nadal dominates on clay (14-4), Djokovic on hard (14-7). Nadal won 14 of their first 18 matches; Djokovic has won 15 of 24 since.Compare that to the running feud that is Federer vs. Djokovic. They have been playing close matches since their first meeting after Djokovic’s 20th birthday, when Djokovic won in a winner-take-all third-set tiebreaker. Since then, neither man has won more than three of the matches between them in a row. They’ve been even on every surface: 1-1 on grass, with Federer holding narrow leads of 4-3 on clay and 14-13 on hard courts. Djokovic is 6-4 in finals, Federer 11-10 in semis. They’ve split their 12 Grand Slam matches. They could meet for a 37th time in the World Tour Finals, the year-end event featuring the tour’s best players that ends Sunday in London.These are three of the sport’s greatest rivalries ever, and they remain very much alive, with the three participants currently holding the three top spots in the rankings. The continuing drama of these rivalries owes to the greatness of the trio, the happy coincidence that Nadal and Djokovic were born a year apart and the stubbornness of Federer, sticking around at age 33 to keep challenging his younger rivals.Federer-Djokovic provides plenty of intangible pleasure for neutral fans. Each can defend but prefers to play the aggressor, making for quick reversals and for many unpredictable points. Federer has one of the sport’s most effective serves ever. It has a mighty foil in Djokovic’s possibly best-ever return. Federer’s rekindling of his love for the serve-and-volley raises the tension.Many of their matches have been meaningful and memorable: Federer’s French Open win to break Djokovic’s 43-match winning streak in 2011 was bookended by two Djokovic wins in U.S. Open five-set semifinals after saving match points in 2010 and 2011. Their final this July at Wimbledon was about as high in quality and excitement as Nadal’s more celebrated win over Federer at Wimbledon in 2008.The Federer-Djokovic relationship has occasionally been tense; last July Djokovic’s father criticized Federer’s character. Other external figures keep the rivalry interesting: Djokovic coach Boris Becker and Federer coach Stefan Edberg are former world No. 1s who played each other 35 times.The statistical side of ranking a sport’s best rivalries is necessarily arbitrary. There is no single, universally accepted way to assess matchups, but here is what we can safely look for in a great rivalry: Frequent, competitive matches in significant situations. Just as the world’s best player probably isn’t best at every shot but must be really good at each one, the Federer-Djokovic rivalry doesn’t rule each category but it’s strong in all of them.Let’s take them in turn.FrequencyNadal-Djokovic is the most common meeting among men’s tour players since 1968. Federer-Djokovic ties for second; its next edition will push it past Ivan Lendl-John McEnroe. Nadal-Federer ranks eighth.SignificanceFedal, as fans call it,4Since Nadal has dominated the rivalry, his name probably should come first, but that doesn’t lend itself to as pithy a nickname. Naderer? ranks higher for total significance of matches. Of their 33 meetings, 20 have come in finals — double the number of Federer-Djokovic finals.After Federer’s match Sunday in London, I asked him to compare his rivalries with Nadal and with Djokovic. He ranked his Nadal tussles higher because of all the finals they’ve played. “I know Novak, the matches and the rivalry is nice,” Federer said. “I really enjoy playing against him. It’s very evenly matched, you know. But I played him more often probably in semis than in finals most likely. I don’t know if that’s true, but that’s kind of how it felt like.”He’s right, but you have to win semis to reach finals. I came up with a quick way to assess the importance of matches in winning titles, which I call title leverage.5A final counts as one, a semi as one-half — since winning a semi gives you a chance to play a final — a quarterfinal as one-fourth and a round-of-16 match as one-eighth. By this measure, Nadal-Djokovic ranks first in title leverage overall, and second at Grand Slams. Nadal-Federer is second in title leverage, and first at Grand Slams. Federer-Djokovic ranks sixth and third, respectively.CompetitivenessSo far, Federer-Djokovic looks like a contender for top rivalry but it’s hardly the leader. Consider competitiveness, though, and today’s top two players are the very best at challenging each other:The rivalry is unusually even. Djokovic, who trails in the head-to-head, has won 47.2 percent of their matches. That’s the highest winning percentage for the man who’s trailing in any rivalry with at least 25 matches. They mount comebacks. Two in nine of their matches were won by a player who trailed by a set at some stage. That’s higher than average and ahead of Nadal-Djokovic, though just behind Nadal-Federer.10Matches are considered comebacks only if they occur in completed matches; walkovers, retirements and defaults aren’t included. The sets are close. They’ve played the closest sets of any rivalry with at least 27 meetings.8If the loser of the set won five or more games, I counted that as leaving no games on the table. So I counted a 7-5 set and a 7-6 set the same, as leaving no games. A 6-4 set left one possible game, a 6-3 set two, and so on. Federer-Djokovic has averaged 1.47 games, compared to an average figure for rivalries of at least 15 matches of 1.73. The smaller the figure, the closer the sets. One-third of their sets have been 7-5 or closer. That’s the highest mark for any rivalry with at least 25 meetings.9The average is 25 percent for rivalries with at least 15 meetings. No amount of evidence will trump taste for most tennis fans. They might appreciate a matchup for the personalities, for the aesthetic joy of watching one player’s backhand volley against another’s forehand passing shot. Or they might adopt a favorite in their hearts, not in their minds, after a single memorable match. As much as I enjoy Federer-Djokovic, and especially was gripped while attending their Wimbledon final this year, I had more fun watching two players ranked outside the Top 100 playing a late-night five-setter in the third round of the 2009 U.S. Open.The players themselves use their own criteria for ranking rivalries.I wanted to lay out my entire statistical case to Federer and Djokovic this week, but their post-match press conferences weren’t the right setting. So I asked them, simply, where their rivalry ranked in their careers. Federer ranked his rivalry with Nadal over his tussles with Djokovic. He also put in a good word for rivalries with players closer to his age or older: Tim Henman, David Nalbandian, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi.11Federer won as high a percentage of his matches against those five as Nadal has won against him.“Both of these rivalries that I have with Roger and Rafa are special in their own way,” Djokovic said Wednesday. “I do feel those rivalries have contributed to my success a lot.” And he, like Federer, put in a good word for Nadal-Federer. “Their rivalry was amazing, and still is.”CORRECTION (Nov. 14, 5:25 p.m.): Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova played each other 80 times, including in 60 finals, according to the Women’s Tennis Association. An earlier version of a footnote to this article said that they played each other 56 times, including in 47 finals. (There is some disagreement about their record; Tennis Abstract lists 56 Evert-Navratilova matches and 47 finals while the International Tennis Federation lists 59 non-walkover matches and 50 finals.) They play very few duds. Just 47 percent of their matches have ended in straight sets, below the average rate of 58 percent and below the level for Nadal-Djokovic, though just above the 45 percent for Nadal-Federer. And just 14 percent of Federer-Djokovic matches have been what I call duds: straight-setters without a set 7-5 or closer. The rate is at least 30 percent for the two Nadal rivalries, and averages 33 percent overall for frequent matchups. They rarely leave any tennis unplayed. They’ve played 77.6 percent of possible sets in their matches.6If they finish a best-of-five-set match in four sets, they’ve played 80 percent of possible sets. That’s above average for rivalries with at least 15 matchups,7The average figure is 75 percent. Unless otherwise noted, the averages in this section are among matchups with at least 15 meetings since the professional era began. better than Nadal-Djokovic and behind only Nadal-Federer, by a nose, among rivalries with at least 27 meetings. read more

Welcome to this week’s episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (June 30, 2015), we discuss the U.S. women’s national soccer team lineup, preview Wimbledon and discuss the weirdness of NBA free agency. Plus, our Significant Digit of the week: Luke Ridnour was traded this week for the fourth time this offseason, to the Toronto Raptors.Stream the episode by clicking the play button, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to above.Below are some links to what we discuss on this week’s show:Allison McCann on the greatest Women’s World Cup game of all time.Andy Murray defending his coach ahead of Wimbledon.A full list of NBA free agents.Significant Digit: Luke Ridnour, the man that no team, and every team, wants. Hot Takedown More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. read more

OSU center Pat Elflein (65) looks across the line of scrimmage during the second half against Indiana on Oct. 8. The Buckeyes won 38-17. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorLast Saturday, Ohio State struggled in pass protection with a team that averaged just a half sack a game in Michigan State. Buckeyes’ quarterback J.T. Barrett was hurried three times, and hurried seven of his passes. Barrett, who threw for just 86 yards against the Spartans, has taken a high level of abuse in recent weeks, carrying the ball 35 times in the last two weeks, on top of being sacked. This year, OSU has allowed its quarterbacks to be dropped in the backfield 17 times through 11 games.Although OSU has given up over a sack a game, Michigan’s defensive line is a different kind of beast with pass rushing. On defense, the Wolverines have 36 sacks, more than the team had all last season, including bowl games.The tendency of quarterbacks to be injured by the Michigan defense this season has been noted by coaches from Jim Harbaugh’s staff. So far, five opposing starters have been knocked out of games with injuries when playing against the Maize and Blue. When asked about the topic, Michigan junior defensive end Chase Winovich said it is never something that teams take pride in, but it’s just a matter of fact when playing a sport as physical as football. After Maryland starter Perry Hills hurt his shoulder against the Wolverines, Winovich was unapologetic in his answer to why so many quarterbacks have been injured against his team.“It’s a violent game,” he said. “Nobody makes it out alive. Nobody’s safe in this game, especially if you’re playing quarterback against us. We’re coming.”While Winovich did express his desire for a quick recovery by Hills, the message was clear. Michigan pulls no punches when hitting opposing signal callers. OSU players were asked about the strange statistic on Monday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Adding to an already heated rivalry with serious playoff implications, many members of the team did not seem pleased with the comments made by the Michigan defensive end.Among them was redshirt junior guard Billy Price. Cooler heads prevailed for Price, who said he understood the tall order of keeping Barrett off the long list of injured starter“If you have a defensive line making a statement like that, that’s a challenge,” Price said. “We look forward to getting after it and protecting J.T.”Historically, the battle up front between Michigan and OSU has determined the outcome. The last time the Wolverines topped the Buckeyes, then-OSU quarterback Braxton Miller was dropped four times. Without time to pass, the Buckeyes could be in for a long game. Although OSU’s offensive attack depends mostly on running the ball and wearing down a defense, Michigan is allowing just 108 yards rushing per game to opponents.Even more frightening, Michigan has given up just four rushing touchdowns this season, one of the lowest marks in the entire NCAA. Redshirt senior center Pat Elflein has been pitted against the Wolverines before, and has witnessed firsthand the physicality of the trenches in The Game. OSU has faced more than one stout defensive front this season, but Saturday will be the ultimate test.Even with a formidable defense wanting nothing more than to drag Barrett down in the backfield, Elflein remains confident in his unit’s ability to dictate the outcome and is unaffected by the comments made by Winovich.“I know they’re a good defensive line,” he said. “We’ve faced good defensive lines this year and I don’t really care about any (talk) because we are going to do our job and we’re going to run the ball and protect our quarterback.”Elflein and Price will get their chance to back their claims on Saturday in Ohio Stadium against Michigan. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

first_imgA Change.org petition for more lifeguards at Camber Sands Mr Ravi’s younger brother, Ajirthan, 19, said: “There wasn’t any lifeguards cruising around, because they would have quickly noticed these boys drowning, and could have at least saved their lives.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. He said: “Ken and Inthushan got stuck in water. So what they do is the three boys try to save them.”He said attempts failed and Mr Srithavarajah was brought out first and declared dead straight away.”My bro and Kobi had heartbeats and managed to survive for a few minutes but after first aid they couldn’t recover.”Both died within 15 minutes after being pulled from the water, he said.The bodies of Ken and Mr Sriskantharasa were discovered later that evening, he said, adding that he thought they had got their legs caught in the “slippery mud” and sand on the seabed.Chief Superintendent Di Roskilly, of Sussex Police, said: “This has been an incredibly tragic incident and we are offering their next of kin support at this difficult time and our thoughts are with them.” Relatives of some of the men have criticised the lack of lifeguards at Camber and suggested they may have stood a chance of survival if the beach had been manned.Mr Ravi’s family said they felt “very angry” at the lack of response from the authorities following the death of another man, Brazilian Gustavo Silva Da Cruz, 19, at Camber last month. A Change.org petition for more lifeguards at Camber Sands Local resident Emily Van Eyssen, 44, said money raised through car parking charges at Camber should fund lifeguards there throughout the summer.The five young men had gone to the coast for a day trip from London.Mr Ravi’s brother said his sibling died after trying to rescue two of his friends who had become trapped beneath the water. A spokesman for Rother district council said that, despite there being no lifeguards, there were summer patrols to advise people of potential dangers.In recent years, Camber has attracted people from outside the area who were unfamiliar with the sea and the dangers it poses, he added.An online petition started a month ago calling for lifeguards at Camber has now reached more than 6,800 signatures. Lifeguards will patrol Camber Sands over the Bank Holiday weekend after five young friends died during a day trip to the coast.The local council accepted an offer from the RNLI to provide a temporary team of up to six lifeguards at the beach, near Rye in East Sussex.The RNLI also said a team will be on hand to give safety information to all beach-goers between Saturday and Monday.The development came as Sussex Police formally identified the five men who died on Wednesday as inquiries into their deaths passed to the county coroner.They were Kenugen Saththiyanathan, 18, known as Ken, and his brother Kobikanthan, 22, known as Kobi, both of Erith, south-east London.Their friends Nitharsan Ravi, 22, of Plumstead, south-east London; Inthushan Sriskantharasa, 23, of Grays, Essex; and Gurushanth Srithavarajah, 27, of Welling, south-east London also died.last_img read more

first_imgLawyer Lucie Rose Mrs Keys, a psychotherapist, said: ‘When someone, after 34 years of marriage, can do this to his wife and still plead for her to take him back, it really does beggar belief as to who this man is because I don’t know him. I really don’t know who he is.’Mrs Keys said her husband, with whom she has two children, had “completely run out of chances” and she would press ahead with the divorce.When approached Mr Keys said: “It won’t surprise you to hear I have nothing to say.”Miss Rose also refused to comment. Keys with wife and daughterCredit:Getty After being shown photographs of the pair at the Hyatt Regency Hotel London – The Churchill, where they shared a meal at the hotel’s restaurant The Montagu, Julia Keys said: “‘I am utterly stunned. Last year he bullied me into making a public statement saying the affair did not take place.“I did it for the sake of our family even though I knew he had been carrying on with her. After that he apologised and bought me roses and a teddy in an attempt to patch our marriage up.”Mr Keys left Sky Sports in disgrace after making a series of sexist remarks to fellow presenter Jamie Redknap about one of his former girlfriends and female match officials Sian Massey.He went on to land a £420,000 a year tax free TV presenting job in Qatar, from where he flew to London on Tuesday morning.Mrs Keys, who was not told by her husband that he was staying at the £400 a night hotel, told the Daily Mail: “He promised me that he would not see Lucie again. And this week he sent me texts saying he was categorically not with her and had no feelings for her any more. The irony is that when they were together in that hotel this week, I received a “love heart” in a text and a message which said, ‘I love you,’ from Richard. He wrote, ‘Please let me come home, I love you, I can’t live without you.’ He is a pathological liar.” Lawyer Lucie RoseCredit:TIM STEWART NEWS LIMITED Mrs Keys, 57, who suffers from a rare thyroid cancer, filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery last summer at a British court.When she then discovered that he was still seeing Miss Rose – despite travelling to Doha, where he works, in an attempt to patch up their marriage in the autumn – she arranged for her lawyers to send divorce papers to both of them again. The wife of sports presenter Richard Keys has branded him a “pathological liar” after it was claimed that he has continued his affair with a woman 32-years his junior.Mr Keys, 59, had last year pressured his wife Julia, into saying his affair with Lucie Rose, a 27-year-old lawyer and friend of his daughter Jemma, had never taken place.But it has now emerged that he spent two nights with Miss Rose at a five-star hotel in West London last week, where the couple were photographed arm in arm. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Keys with radio co-presenter Andy Gray Keys with radio co-presenter Andy Gray Keys with wife and daughterlast_img read more

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. This stunning picture shows the moment dolphins leaped out of the water to the shock of some nearby surfers.As the surfers prepared to ride the waves in the blue Cornish sea, the water mammals disrupted their plans.Father-of-four Malcolm, of Newport in Wales, was visiting family when he caught sight of the show.”I was walking down a coast I hadn’t visited in a while,” said marine mammal watcher, Malcolm.”A friend bought me a pasty and I sat down to eat it and the next thing I knew I was watching these dolphins.”last_img read more

first_imgA Liberal Democrats councillor who made a “male appendage” joke at a Labour rival called John Thomas has been found to have breached standards. Councillor Nigel Porter made the jibe during a Leicester City Council meeting in October last year.He was debating with City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby about a development in his ward of Aylestone when he was heckled by Mr Thomas. I won’t take any lectures from a man named after a male appendageCouncillor Nigel Porter He also complained that another colleague had directed a mental health slur at him by suggesting he needed to seek psychological assistance at the same October meeting.He added: “It’s called innuendo. It’s a joke.The council and this committee seem determined to pursue a vindictive complaint.”If Cllr Thomas was offended he must have a very, very, thin skin. He is only upset because he lost face.”A future standards committee will now decide what sanctions to enforce on Cllr Porter. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Councillor John ThomasCredit:Leicester Mercury / SWNS.com Video footage from the council’s webcast shows the moment Cllr Porter immediately retorted: “I won’t take any lectures from a man named after a male appendage.”John Thomas is a slang description of a penis derived from DH Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover.Lord Mayor Steven Corrall, who chaired the meeting, asked the councillor to retract the comment but he refused.Cllr Porter was reported to Leicester City Council’s standards hearing sub-committee after the exchange.The committee decided the councillor had breached the rules after a meeting on Monday night.At the standards hearing on Monday night, Cllr Porter insisted the words he had used were not offensive. Councillor John Thomaslast_img read more

first_imgThey have won 13 Wimbledon titles between them, but there is one other thing this year’s four favourites have in common – they are all over 30. SW19’s old guard have succeeded in defying the physical demands of the grand slam with seven of the final 16 players in the men’s singles aged 30 or above for the first time in generations.Among them are the tournament’s four favourites Roger Federer, 35, Rafael Nadal, 31, and 30-year-olds Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.They are joined by 34-year-old Gilles Muller and 31-year-olds Kevin Anderson and Tomas Berdych. Fitness experts have suggested the sport’s increased pace from the 1980s onwards led to players reaching their peak at a younger age. But evolutions in racket technology and longer points has made the sport more mentally challenging for younger, less experienced players in recent years.When he turned 30 earlier this year, Murray also commented on the increasing average age of players, saying: “When I was starting out, a lot of players would have stopped – or at least started to struggle – at maybe 31, 32. Just before I came on the tour, it was even as early as 28, 29. But now, if your body and your health are fine, there’s no reason why you can’t compete at the top into your early-to-mid-30s.” But Williams, who is competing in her 20th Wimbledon, said: “I guess when you walk on the court, I don’t think either of us is thinking about the age.”You’re thinking, ‘How do I win?'” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “There is a bit of that clash right now, the young ones trying to push out, especially the 35-plus guys. “But then there’s a strong, strong team as well around the generation of Rafa and Murray and Djokovic obviously, as well.” Andy Murray  It is not just the men’s tournament which has seen experienced players prevailing in the final stages. Venus Williams, 37, who is the oldest woman to reach the fourth round since 1994, will today face Ana Konjuh, a 19-year-old who born seven months after Williams competed in her first grand slam. The average age of this year’s final 16 is over 28 – higher than the previous ten years, with a 35-year-old featuring for the first time since Tommy Haas in 2013.Despite the younger generation’s attempts to push them out of the field, seven-time Wimbledon champion Federer says they are “still hanging on”.In fact Monday will see ten of the top 16 seeds competing in the fourth round, the most to reach the second week at Wimbledon in a decade.Discussing the experience of this year’s competitors, Federer said: “It’s nice to see them still hanging on, still enjoying the tour, still being tough out there, making it difficult for the youngsters to break through.  ‘There’s no reason why you can’t compete at the top into your early-to-mid-30s,’ Andy Murray has said Credit:Ashley Western/Getty last_img read more

first_imgThe distinct smell emanating from the house at the end of the cul-de-sac had been familiar to the neighbours for years. But when masked gangsters forced their way into the property, demanding its occupants hand over their cannabis stash, the middle-aged couple were understandably bewildered.The couple, it emerged, had a plant growing in their front garden commonly called Caucasian Crosswort, which gives off a smell resembling cannabis, and which the bungling burglars appear to have mistaken for the drug.On discovering that the house was not, in fact, a cannabis factory, the gang made off instead with cash and other personal items. “It was by the front door,” she said. “We could sometimes smell quite a strong scent but we thought it was foxes as there are a lot around there.”An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said they were still investigating the aggravated burglary that occurred in the early hours of August 15.“Masked men went into the property and threatened the occupants, before making off with cash and other personal items,” he added.“Officers with the local neighbourhood team have been providing support to the victims and recently identified a plant growing in the victims’ garden commonly called Caucasian Crosswort, which gives off a smell resembling cannabis.“We believe this smell may have led to a case of mistaken identity, with the offenders believing cannabis was being grown at the property.“We’ve advised the victims to remove the plants and would appeal to anyone with information about this incident to come forward.” “The smell is so distinct, it really does smell like cannabis,” he told the Telegraph.“It’s more intense when it’s hot and dry.“It’s an uncommon garden plant that makes good ground cover and is easy to grow but it comes from Iran and is an unusual plant to find in the UK.” Gardener Alan DownCredit:Bristol Post/SWNS.com One of the plants at the house in Bristol smelt strongly of cannabis Mr Down said he was able to identify the plant, which has delicate pink flowers, because he had spotted it once on a farmyard in Cornwall and taken a photograph.“I like a challenge,” he added. “I knew roughly what it was but it took me a little while. The police were very grateful. I assume this couple will dig it up now.”Neighbours said the smell had emitted from the garden for at least ten years but most thought it was foxes.One neighbour said: “The smell is quite strong. It always smelt as if it was where foxes had been.“The couple who live there didn’t plant it, it’s been there for many, many years.“But I’m not sure how anyone would even know about it. Unless you were looking for it, you couldn’t possibly know it was there. No one would have cause to walk past that house.” One of the plants at the house in Bristol smelt strongly of cannabisCredit:SWNS.com But the pair were left traumatised and utterly baffled about what had led to the mistake. Police officers called to the property, in Winford, Bristol, were equally confused.They could smell the strong scent of cannabis outside the house but were unable to identify the source.Eventually, one of the officers contacted Alan Down, a local horticulture expert, asking for help.”The police officer who came to see me said he specialised in drugs,” Mr Down said.”He knew of several plants that smelled like cannabis but he couldn’t see them in the garden.”Mr Down told the officer to take cuttings of the smelliest plants in the couple’s garden and he soon identified the culprit as Phuopsis stylosa, known as Caucasian Crosswort. The previous owner of the house, who did not wish to be identified, had lived there from 1999 and said she believed it was already in the well-established garden when she purchased the house and had no idea where it had come from. Gardener Alan Down Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

first_imgCouncils have warned Britain is facing a care crisis Barbara Keeley, Labour’s spokeswoman for social care, said: “The shocking rise in delayed transfers of care is directly attributable to the cuts imposed by the Tory Government and will mean those needing care will have to spend their Christmas stuck in hospital.” Charities say Britain is facing a care crisis The number of elderly people forced to spend Christmas in hospital for want of care at home has doubled in six years, new figures show.Charities said a growing crisis in social care meant thousands of the most vulnerable people were forced to spend the festive season stuck in a hospital bed.The figures show 3,929 patients had to stay in hospital over the Christmas period last year, although they were medically fit for discharge – an increase from 1,995 such cases in 2010.Experts said they fear the situation will be even worse next week, with hospitals already at 95 per cent capacity amid a shortage of home helps and care home places. Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said the figures showed “disastrous” failings in the social care system, which were stripping the elderly of independence and health.“Increasing numbers are being marooned in their hospital beds, losing muscle tone and risking infection when they are medically fit enough to leave, often because of acute shortages of social care, especially of the home visiting kind,” she said.“There is no doubt that some older people’s chances of a good recovery this Christmas are being totally undermined as a result‎.” The figures, revealed by Labour, come from a “patient snapshot” which captures the numbers stuck in hospital without medical need on the last Thursday of each month. This increased from 1,995 people on December 30th 2010 to 3,929 on 29th December 2016. The last time the snapshot fell directly on Christmas was 2015 when 3,155 spent Christmas Eve stuck in hospital.A Department of Health spokesman said: “No one should have to stay in hospital longer than necessary – that’s why we’ve freed up more than 1,000 extra beds since February. Local authorities and the NHS are working hard to reduce delayed transfers of care by speeding up assessments and reducing waits for home care.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

first_imgThe A76 was closed near Kirkconnel due to a landslide, while train services were disrupted due to heavy rain flooding the railway between Linlithgow and Haymarket in Edinburgh. Here’s the latest gusts showing it’s still very #windy out there, especially in the northwest, but also as the cold front passes #StormGeorgina pic.twitter.com/PBsSc2nZW3— Met Office (@metoffice) January 24, 2018 On Monday, a team went into Observatory Gully to assess conditions but the avalanche risk was too high to deploy rescuers to search the area. Nice weather for ducks: Flooding at Tewkesbury Cricket Club in GloucestershireCredit:Ben Birchall /PA Met Office spokesman Alex Burkill said: “Storm Georgina has arrived meaning it’s very windy across much of the UK especially in Scotland.”We could see gusts of 60, 70mph and up to 80mph and could even get up to around 90mph around the western isles.”Severe weather hampers Ben Nevis hillwalker searchRescuers looking for a hillwalker missing since Sunday on the UK’s highest mountain have described how severe weather has been hampering search efforts.Two men were found by Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team close to the summit of Ben Nevis at about 6pm on Sunday, however another man who was with them is still missing.Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team said conditions have made it difficult to look for him but they plan to resume the search as soon as there is a window in the weather. High wind warnings have been extended as Storm Georgina batters the UK with gusts of up to 90mph possible.Many ferry services have been cancelled while flooding has disrupted road and rail travel.Met Office yellow “be aware” warnings for high winds across northern Scotland have been extended to 5pm.A gust of 85mph was recorded on South Uist on Wednesday morning, while there were 75mph gusts at The Needles on the Isle of Wight and Anglesey off Wales.Forecasters said gusts of 70 to 80mph are likely in northern and western parts of the Highlands and could even reach 90mph around the Western Isles. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has issued 32 flood warnings, the majority of them in the Borders and Tayside.Scotland’s Transport Minister Humza Yousaf urged people to check with transport providers before travelling: A tree blown over by high winds blocks a lane of the M27 near Fareham, HampshireCredit:Hampshire Police/Solent News  A tree blown over by high winds blocks the inside lane of the M27 motorway just after junction nine near Fareham, Hantscenter_img With high winds and persistent rain fall it has been a difficult morning in some parts of the country.Winds expected to continue throughout day so follow@CalMacFerries@ScotRail@NetworkRailSCOT@TravelineScot@trafficscotland For regular updates and plan journey ahead— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) January 24, 2018 Northern Ireland has been removed from the warning area as the strongest winds have now cleared, while yellow warnings of heavy rain which were issued for northern England, Yorkshire and the Humber expired at 11am.Flooding has also caused problems, particularly in southern Scotland with the Whitesands in Dumfries closed to vehicles due to the River Nith flooding. Ducks weather Some Caledonian MacBrayne ferry services have been cancelled due to the weather while Argyll Ferries said that due to high winds, sailings on the Gourock to Dunoon route may be liable to disruption or cancellation at short notice. Instead they searched the area using a drone which was lost as conditions proved to be “well outside its operational capability”.On Tuesday, a search and rescue helicopter tried to reach Observatory Gully, but had to turn back due to the difficult weather conditions. In a post on their Facebook page on Wednesday Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team wrote: “Today the forecast of 90 mph winds at sea level and storm force winds on the mountain with continued high avalanche risk mean that the team have reluctantly decided to delay restarting the search.”As soon as we get a window in the weather then we will resume.”Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing person and we are sorry we cannot do any more than we have already done.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

first_imgCCTV image of Corrie McKeague in Bury St Edmunds on the night he went missingCredit:Suffolk Constabluary April Oliver, 21, girlfriend of missing 23-year-old Corrie McKeague Corrie McKeague with his girlfriend April OliverCredit:April Oliver/BBC Look East  “It’s as probable as anything else and it makes it no less heartbreaking.” Assistant Chief Constable Simon Megicks said the inquiry had been reviewed by senior officers as well as external experts, and he had “absolute confidence in the way the investigation was conducted”.Mr McKeague, who was based at RAF Honington in Suffolk, was last seen on CCTV at 3.25am on September 24 as he walked into the refuse collection area in Bury St Edmunds. Corrie McKeague in Bury St Edmunds on the night he went missing. Mr McKeague’s father Martin told the Daily Mirror he fears the airman might have killed himself.The 49-year-old said he thought his son knew he was going to become a father, which might have affected his mental state.He said: “I just can’t help thinking this would have weighed on him heavily and he may have actually chosen to get in that bin that night knowing what would happen. The inquiry into the disappearance of RAF gunner Corrie McKeague will be stood down and passed to a cold case team, police have confirmed, as the airman’s father said he fears he might have killed himself.Mr McKeague was 23 when he was last seen walking through Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, in September 2016 after a night out with friends.Police conducted two searches of a landfill site at Milton near Cambridge last year, with the first search lasting 20 weeks and the second, lasting seven weeks, concluding in December. No trace of Mr McKeague was found.It is thought Mr McKeague might have climbed into a waste bin and was taken away by a bin lorry, prompting the landfill search.Suffolk Constabulary said in a statement on Monday that investigators had been through all realistic possibilities in detail and that there was no evidence of foul play. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott said: “It is extremely disappointing that we have not been able to find Corrie. I can only imagine the strain Corrie’s family have been under over the past 18 months and I thank them for their patience and understanding.”Whilst the investigation has drawn to a natural conclusion we will continue to work with the family to provide answers to their questions and help them understand what may have happened.”Since Corrie disappeared, police have been exploring all proportionate and relevant lines of enquiry.”We have now reached a point where we are unable to make any further progress, and have gone as far as we realistically can with the information we have. If any new, credible and proportionate enquiries relating to Corrie’s disappearance emerge we will pursue them.”Video: The search for Corrie McKeague Police quickly realised that the movement of his mobile phone signal matched that of the bin lorry, which had picked up the contents of a wheelie bin.The signal from the phone stopped at around the time the lorry reached the Barton Mills area about 14 miles away. The lorry was immediately impounded, but no forensic clues linking it to Mr McKeague’s disappearance were found.last_img read more

 Great crested newt  He added that it is common for Suffolk churches to be located on the edge of or outside settlements.”Often, but not entirely because of the 14th century post-plague relocations of villages, this relationship is strongly characteristic of the area,” he said. These could include bat boxes, swift nesting boxes and native planting, he said.”We were not aware of the historical presence of great crested newts nearby and certainly believe that none exist in the pond nearby to the application site,” he added.Mr Smith also addressed concerns from people who claim the planned chapel would be unsightly and could draw celebrity-spotters to the area. The proposed flint chapel would hold a congregation of around 24.The application states there is a need for the chapel as “it is every person’s right to be able to have a place of retreat for contemplation and prayer, for religious observance, celebration of key life and family milestones, marriages, christenings and so forth”.A wedding licence would be needed if Sheeran planned to marry there.An expected decision date on the planning application is not available, the council’s website said. “It is also the case that private chapels are generally sited away from their host houses for the purpose of providing a visible feature in the landscape encouraging the contemplation of the viewer.” An artist’s impression of the chapel Ed Sheeran wants to build It is illegal to disturb the animals or obstruct access to areas where they live and breed, with the protected area extending up to 500m from their breeding ponds, the wildlife trust said.Paul Smith, of Apex Planning Consultants, said: “The applicant has responded promptly to this matter and has also commissioned an appropriate survey that will identify the presence of great crested newts or otherwise, propose mitigation measures as appropriate and recommend measures to enhance biodiversity.” Responding to one objector who “contends that the chapel will attract attention from the public and media”, Mr Smith said it would be sited on private land approximately 230m from the road.”Therefore we do not agree that at such distance from public land and views it will generate the attention he (the objector) purports,” he wrote.”Indeed, his argument somewhat demonstrates why the applicant requires a private chapel for private non-denominational contemplation.”He said claims that the chapel would be “a blot on the landscape, destroying views” were not based on facts and “discredit the high-quality architecture”. Ed Sheeran, who was launched a hunt for great-crested newts after objections to his plan for private chapelCredit:Ben Birchall/PA Ed Sheeran has been hit with the curse of the great-crested newt as his plans to build a private chapel on his estate have been put on hold.  The pop star has now been forced to commission experts to hunt for the protected amphibians around his land in East Anglia.The 27-year-old singer-songwriter, who announced his engagement to long-time girlfriend Cherry Seaborn in January, has submitted a planning application for the Saxon-style structure to Suffolk Coastal District Council.But a string of concerns have been raised, including from Suffolk Wildlife Trust which said there were records of great crested newts in the area in 2015 and it is possible that ponds within the site boundaries “could be breeding sites for this species”.Great crested newts, Britain’s largest newt species, have declined over recent years and are now legally protected. Ed Sheeran, who was launched a hunt for great-crested newts after objections to his plan for private chapel An artist's impression of the chapel Ed Sheeran wants to build  Great crested newt Credit:Mike Powles/Oxford Scientific RM Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Promising: Turner teeing off as a youngster Credit:Family photograph Ash Turner playing golf in his family's back garden with his father Simon Ash Turner playing golf in his family’s back garden with his father SimonCredit:Family photograph To this day Mr Spence remains Turner’s mentor. He coached the youngster through the Wee Wonder junior programme when he was just six, playing off scratch at 14-years-old and representing England in each age group and is now alongside him at Carnoustie.Speaking before the start of The Open, Turner said of his unusual route into the sport: “The main problem was that I couldn’t put my heel on the floor properly and would only walk on my toes. When I fell over, I wouldn’t put my hands out, so for the first three years at school I had to wear a crash helmet.” “It was immediately obvious how good he was, even at the age of four,” he said.By the age of six doctors were able to tell Mr Turner and his wife Angela that their son had managed to control and overcome the worst symptoms of the Ataxia.“There’s no doubt the golf helped him improve his motor skills and balance and now he’s reaping the fruits of that, playing in a major tournament like The Open,” said Mr Langford. “It’s created such a buzz at the club. Everyone here is willing him to achieve.”Turner, now 22, qualified for Carnoustie by finishing top of Final Qualifying at Hollinwell last month. Last week, he won £800 after finishing 10th in a minor tour event in Leeds and now finds himself going up against the likes of golfing superstars such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy. Promising: Turner teeing off as a youngster  Even at that age Turner’s natural ability shone through, said Mr Langford. He added: “My dad had played a lot of golf when he was younger. And so my parents bought me some plastic clubs to see if it would help. And it did.” When Ash Turner developed a rare form of cerebral palsy after a freak childhood accident his parents turned to golf to help him improve his balance and coordination.Remarkably it helped the young Ash regain control over his limbs, so much so that he is now competing in that most prestigious of golf tournaments, The Open.Turner, who teed off at Carnoustie on Thursday, was left with  cerebral palsy after falling into a fish tank and fracturing his skull at the age of one.The potentially fatal condition, called Ataxia, affected his arms and legs and left him with poor coordination and balance, requiring the toddler to wear a crash helmet for the most normal of activities.But as well as using standard physiotherapy to help Turner, his father Simon signed him up to his local golf club, Kenwick Park, in Louth, Lincolnshire, where he fell under the wing of its professional, Paul Spence.Michael Langford, the club’s director of golf, told The Telegraph: “Ash’s father played a lot when he was younger and thought it was the kind of activity that would help him. Golf requires balance and to be good on your feet. Just swinging a golf club at any age improves your coordination.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said: “On the basis of the evidence gathered I have decided to refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider any potential criminal charges over the interaction two police officers had with Dalian Atkinson. Two officers who Tasered the former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson moments before he died could face criminal charges after a police watchdog passed a file of evidence to prosecutors.The 48-year-old died 90 minutes after a West Mercia Police officer shot him with a stun gun in the street where he grew up in Telford, Shropshire, in the early hours of August 15, 2016. His death was passed to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, who have now briefed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for the consideration of potential criminal charges.The IOPC  stated on Thursday: “The CPS referral marks the end of the IOPC investigation during which three West Mercia Police officers were interviewed twice under criminal caution and served with gross misconduct notices. The actions of the third officer have not been referred.”The police constables had attended the incident in Meadow Close, Trench and were involved in detaining Mr Atkinson outside the address prior to him being taken to hospital by ambulance.”Mr Atkinson died at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford on Monday 15 August, 2016.”The investigation gathered evidence which indicates that police contact with Mr Atkinson involved the use of a Taser, followed by a period of restraint and other uses of force. ” It was previously reported Mr Atkinson had been arguing with his father at the address.  “This has been a lengthy and complex investigation and I am grateful for the patience shown by all concerned. We have kept West Mercia Police, Dalian’s family, and HM Coroner informed during the course of the investigation.”The IOPC investigation report has also been sent to West Mercia Police to determine whether or not disciplinary proceedings should follow, and shared with HM Coroner to assist a future inquest.Although a referral to the CPS is made when the IOPC investigation indicates that a criminal offence may have been committed, it does not always mean charges will be brought.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Russell Bishop claims the police have spent 32-years building a case against the wrong manCredit:Ken Mason Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows were sexually assaulted and strangled in Brighton in 1986Credit:PA Russell Bishop claims the police have spent 32-years building a case against the wrong man Joel Bennathan QC told jurors: “Only one person is on trial here sitting in the dock – Russell Bishop.”But the law allows a defendant like him to point out facts, ask questions, to the jury that might suggest the possibility that another person exists who may have carried out these awful attacks.”We will ask questions of witnesses to show that when the girls went missing there was someone very close to them who has no alibi. “That someone made comments after the killings that are far more incriminating than anything Russell Bishop said. That someone is someone who may actually – unlike Mr Bishop – been able to order Nicola Fellows to meet him in Wild Park.”That someone has a guilty secret – that he has been complicit in the sexual abuse of Nicola Fellows, which shows an interest in paedophilic sex.”In the end it might mean he could not let Nicola Fellows tell the world what has been happening. That person is her father, Barrie Fellows.” Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows were sexually assaulted and strangled in Brighton in 1986 A lawyer for the sex predator accused of murdering two nine-year-old girls has blamed one of their fathers, saying the police have spent “32 years building a case against the wrong man”.Russell Bishop, 52, is currently on trial at the Old Bailey accused of sexually assaulting and strangling Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway in woods in Brighton in October 1986.He was originally cleared of the murders in 1987, but was jailed for life three years later for the kidnap and attempted murder of  another seven-year-old girl.In an opening defence statement at the Old Bailey, Bishop’s lawyer said the former roofer would claim that Nicola’s father, Barrie, has a “guilty secret” and was complicit in the sexual abuse of his own daughter. Bishop, formerly from Brighton, East Sussex, denies two charges of murder and the trial continues. Mr Bennathan suggested the police had “spent 32 years building a case against the wrong man”.The trial has heard how Nicola and Karen went missing while out playing together in Wild Park after school.Following a search by police and volunteers, the girls were found dead in a wooded den the next day.The Court of Appeal had ordered a fresh trial in light of new DNA evidence after Bishop was cleared of the girls’ murders in 1987.Some three years after his acquittal, Bishop was convicted of the kidnap, indecent assault and attempted murder of a seven-year-old girl at Devil’s Dyke, also on the South Downs. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Mrs Ashbrook added: “The path would also need to be shifted off its true line which would require a further formal diversion order. We would object to this and it would have to be determined by the Secretary of State for Environment. The path could not be moved unless this diversion order was confirmed.“We believe the fence would also obstruct a footpath which runs to the north of the bridleway.”Mr Getty’s grandfather, Jean Paul Getty, was born in the American state of Minneapolis in 1892, and married five times. He founded the Getty Oil Company and by 1957 was named by Fortune magazine as the richest living American. When he died in 1976 he was estimated to be worth more than $6 million.Despite his vast wealth, he was known to be frugal and bargained down the ransom of his grandson, after Jean Paul Getty III, was kidnapped and had his ear cut off in 1973.Mr Getty, who was born Tara Gabriel Gramophone Galaxy Getty in 1968, was last night unavailable for comment. The area has signs warning that CCTV is in operation in the area John Paul Getty Junior and his wife Talitha wearing Moroccan caftans  However, his plans have been met with anger amid concerns they would make a public path seem private and ultimately force the right of way to be moved.The Henley-based Open Spaces Society, Britain’s oldest national conservation body, along with Buckinghamshire Ramblers, Cycling UK and Buckinghamshire County Council are fighting the application.Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, said: “The farm is in a lovely, quiet valley in the heart of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  “Deer fencing would be an eyesore, in particular for users of the bridleway which is an attractive, open route with a wide path on a direct line.“The fencing would result in the path being narrowed in two places, causing a pinch point for walkers, riders and cyclists; this would adversely affect their enjoyment and ease of use.“With electronically-controlled gates, these works would make the whole area appear private, threatening and urban. Already the owner has erected discouraging notices about CCTV; the fencing would make this situation worse.” The area has signs warning that CCTV is in operation in the areaCredit:David Rose/The Telegraph  John Paul Getty Junior and his wife Talitha wearing Moroccan caftans Credit:Patrick Lichfield/Conde Nast Collection Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Kieran Foster, national off-road advisor of Cycling UK, wrote to Wycombe District Council opposing the plans claiming they would “narrow the width of the existing bridleway, making use less attractive and potentially increasing conflict between users”.He adds that the “interference” would create new “inconveniences” for cyclists, horse riders and disabled people who would have to open and close “gates twice in the space of a short distance”.“The excessive use of gates is a particular bugbear for cyclists,” he continues. “The difficulty and disadvantage of opening gates, along with their restricted width and latches is widely complained about by many of our members.”He quotes from a 2010 case law in which it was ruled that having gates on a public route may “have the psychological effect on walkers of indicating that they were entering private property and discourage some from entering.”It is understood that in a previous planning application Mr Getty’s representatives had complained that some people walking along the route had stopped to take photographs of the properties, which include a gym and games room. It was even claimed that passersby could see in to one living room to watch a large television fitted to a wall. Another sign directs people on a "preferred" route As the grandson of an oil tycoon who was once the richest man in the world, it may be understandable that Tara Getty fiercely guards his privacy. The fact his elder half-brother was kidnapped and had his ear cut off while his grandfather, J Paul Getty, haggled over the ransom, makes his penchant for solitude seem even more inevitable.But, an attempt to make an “exquisite” public path that runs directly in front of his Buckinghamshire farm “appear private and threatening” has enraged campaigners, many concerned that the Getty estate has grown already exponentially in size.The vast property, which includes an old farm and recently built mansion, already has public notices warning CCTV is operating, while another sign urges people to use a “preferred bridleway route and footpath avoiding driveway”.Mr Getty, an ecological conservationist and company director, wants to erect 6ft (1.8m) high deer fencing and two electronically controlled black metal gates along that public route near his family home in Ibstone.–– ADVERTISEMENT –– Another sign directs people on a “preferred” routeCredit:David Rose/The Telegraph read more

There was a time when aspiring artists went to art school to learn how to draw, paint and sculpt before breaking the rules. Now, decades after David Hockney, Peter Blake and R B Kitaj honed their craft at the Royal College of Art in London, visitors to the 2019 postgraduates’ final show will find an MA student whose art involved changing their name by deed poll, in the pursuit of anonymity and gender neutrality. The new name? “Name Surname.” If only Michelangelo had known, he need not have bothered spending all those years painting the Sistine Chapel. “It was a process of elimination really,” the student told The Sunday Telegraph. “I wanted to minimise my identity on paper to as minimal as possible,… read more

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “And it’s not just the individuals who are benefiting. It is also for the benefit of society, training doctors and midwives, subsiding investment in local communities and world- leading research.“This ensures the UK will continue to lead the world in the creative arts, and produces the inventors of the future. It is an investment worth making.”. Mr Hillman said students would be “quite content” that taxpayers were picking up an ever greater proportion of loan bills.An analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies earlier this year found that arts graduates cost the taxpayer £35,000 each. Degrees in “creative arts” subjects – which includes Music, Drama, Fine Art and Design Studies – are the most costly to the taxpayer since so few alumni earn enough money to pay back their student loan in full.  Of the £9 billion that the government spends on higher education each year, more than £1 billion is on creative arts courses alone, where three-quarters of the total amount dished out in loans is picked up by the taxpayer. Economics degrees are the least costly to the public purse, with each one costing an average of £11,000 to the taxpayer, with just a quarter of the loans written off.Chris Skidmore, the universities minister, said he believed universities were a good investment for tax payer. Speaking at the Festival of Higher Education at Buckingham University he said: “Ultimately it is good value for money. Look at what international students are willing to pay – far more for their degree in the UK – because they know they are getting world class education. Almost half of student loans are now paid for by the taxpayer – 57 per cent more than two years ago, government forecasts show.Undergraduates taking out loans in 2018-19 will pay back just 53 per cent themselves, while the remaining 47 per cent will be covered by the public purse, according to official projections.This is the greatest proportion that taxpayers have ever had to subsidise and will cost £7.4 billion this financial year.Figures for last year’s cohort of students show the taxpayer picking up 45 per cent of the cost of loan repayments, up from 30 per cent the previous year.Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said: “It’s a big sum and a lot of people don’t know that it’s so high. Students think they are paying all the cost of their education themselves but actually taxpayers are picking up nearly half of the sum.”Graduates need to start repaying loans when they earn £25,000. All loans are written off after 30 years, leaving the taxpayer to foot the bill for the rest.Previously, graduates started repaying loans when they earned £21,000 but this was raised in 2017, which accounts for some of the reason why the amount repaid by graduates fell the following year. read more