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Police review ‘race hate’ probe into journalist Darren Grimes and David Starkey

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police review race hate probe into journalist darren grimes and david starkey

Police are set to review a ‘race hate’ investigation against journalist Darren Grimes and David Starkey to ensure it’s ‘proportionate,’ after the historian referred to the ‘damn blacks,’ during a YouTube interview.  

Scotland Yard launched a probe against Mr Grimes, 27, for allegedly stirring up racial hatred, after sharing his interview with Starkey 75.

During the interview, radio presenter and author Mr Starkey claimed ‘slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain’ at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests. 

Scotland Yard’s decision to probe Mr Grimes, who was previously accused of violating electoral spending rules during the 2016 EU referendum, has sparked a freedom of speech backlash from politicians and journalists.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, ex-Home Secretary Sajid Javid and former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron have all slammed the Met Police’s pursuit of Mr Grimes. 

Lord Macdonald, a former Director of Public Prosecutions, called the police probe ‘sinister and foolish’ and described the investigation as a ‘political stunt’.

Today Mr Grimes tweeted that Metropolitan Police was reviewing its investigation. 

He said: ‘The police have cancelled my interview with them on Friday and announced a “senior officer” has been appointed to conduct a review into the investigation to ensure it “remains proportionate”. They say they’ll update me in “due course”.

Journalist Darren Grimes says he will demand a copy of the Crown Prosecution Service's advice to police, warning the investigation into him set a 'dangerous,' precedent

Journalist Darren Grimes says he will demand a copy of the Crown Prosecution Service’s advice to police, warning the investigation into him set a ‘dangerous,’ precedent

Mr Grimes, 27, is accused of stirring up racial hatred after sharing an interview on YouTube with historian David Starkey, who claimed 'slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn't be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain'

Mr Grimes, 27, is accused of stirring up racial hatred after sharing an interview on YouTube with historian David Starkey, who claimed ‘slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain’

Mr Grimes said he would be requesting a copy for the Crown Prosecution Service’s advice to police, whether officers decide to proceed or not, warning it set a ‘dangerous,’ precedent. 

He added: ‘This vexatious claim against me should never have been investigated. At a time when many have been propelled into misery as a consequence of the lockdown strategy, it is a gross abuse of taxpayer cash and police time.

‘We need an urgent review of the unprecedented use of this legislation to attack press freedom. The worrying thing is that had it been someone unable to kick up a fuss like I did they would have been hauled in and had to face police action over a vexatious complaint like this.

‘Scotland Yard has said a senior officer would be looking at the investigation to see if it was “proportionate”.’  

In a statement, Metropolitan Police confirmed Mr Grimes’ update. 

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Darren Grimes said a senior Met Police officer was reviewing an investigation into him and Mr Starkey to see if it was 'proportionate'

Darren Grimes said a senior Met Police officer was reviewing an investigation into him and Mr Starkey to see if it was ‘proportionate’

A spokesperson from the Met Police said: ‘On 4 July, the Metropolitan Police Service was passed an allegation from Durham Police of a public order offence relating to a social media video posted on 30 June.

‘The matter was reviewed by officers and on 29 July a file was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for early investigative advice.

‘On 25 September early investigative advice was received and officers began an investigation. 

‘No arrests have been made.On Monday, 12 October a senior officer was appointed to conduct a review of the investigation to ensure it remains proportionate and that all appropriate lines of inquiry are being considered.

‘Whilst this process takes place, two scheduled interviews have been postponed. We remain in contact with the CPS.’ 

Since the investigation has come to light, Mr Grimes has also been backed by Douglas Murray, associate editor of The Spectator magazine, and the Free Speech Union, whose general secretary Toby Young called the Met’s inquiry ‘absurd’.

The blogger, who came to prominence as a pro-Brexit campaigner, admitted he should have ‘robustly questioned’ Starkey about his comments, but said the decision to investigate him raises ‘serious repercussions for freedom of expression’.

Yesterday, Mr Grimes turned his fire on the BBC for staying silent on what he called ‘one of the most important cases regarding freedom of speech in this country’. 

Starkey, 75, has apologised for his ‘blundering use of language’ but warned that the probe would ‘further chill public debate and freedom of expression’.

Starkey also said he would fight against any allegation of criminal wrongdoing. 

In an exclusive statement to MailOnline, Mr Grimes said: ‘I must admit that I am not used to such silence from the BBC when it comes to attempts to take me to court.

‘It does seem strange that when a former director of public prosecutions, the Home Secretary, the former Chancellor and a host of others have spoken out about the importance of the law protecting freedom of speech, and the absurdity of the Met’s actions, that our national broadcaster should stay so silent.

‘Surely the threat of facing prosecution for remarks made by guests in interviews is something that should greatly trouble any broadcaster?

‘This is one of the most important cases regarding freedom of speech in this country and yet the BBC has said nothing – I’d suggest that they are failing in their obligation to inform the nation.’

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Journalist Darren Grimes has accused the BBC of 'failing in its obligation to inform the nation' by not reporting the Metropolitan Police's probe into his interview with David Starkey

Journalist Darren Grimes has accused the BBC of ‘failing in its obligation to inform the nation’ by not reporting the Metropolitan Police’s probe into his interview with David Starkey

Mr Grimes, Ben Bradley MP and Toby Young, general secretary of the Free Speech Union, are all questioning the BBC's silence on the Met Police's investigation of the Right-wing blogger. Mr Young said Tim Davie, the BBC's new Director General (pictured), should have been 'one of the first people to condemn this assault on the freedom of the press'

Mr Grimes, Ben Bradley MP and Toby Young, general secretary of the Free Speech Union, are all questioning the BBC’s silence on the Met Police’s investigation of the Right-wing blogger. Mr Young said Tim Davie, the BBC’s new Director General (pictured), should have been ‘one of the first people to condemn this assault on the freedom of the press’

Mr Bradley, the Tory MP for Mansfield, told MailOnline: ‘Frustrating that media outlets that were so keen to publicise Darren’s previous run ins with the Electoral Commission as an attack on Vote Leave, but subsequently did not really publicise those charges being dropped, seem so reticent to publicise his case now… particularly as the implications for media and journalism are quite stark, if interviewers can be criminalised for the views of their interviewees. 

‘You’d think that would be something that the BBC took very seriously.’

Mr Young, general secretary of the Free Speech Union, took aim at Tim Davie, the BBC’s new Director General, claiming he should have been ‘one of the first people to condemn this assault on the freedom of the press’.  

‘If Darren Grimes is threatened with arrest because someone he interviewed said something controversial, then Jeremy Vine will be next.

‘But instead the BBC has decided to ignore the story altogether. The sad truth is the leadership of the BBC has been captured by the Woke cult.’ 

Tim Farron, the former Lib Dem leader, added: ‘There might be more than meets the eye here, but on the face of it this is completely ridiculous'

Tim Farron, the former Lib Dem leader, added: ‘There might be more than meets the eye here, but on the face of it this is completely ridiculous’

However, the Met Police have come under fire for its decision to investigate Grimes, with Tory backbencher Sajid Javid calling the decision ‘plainly absurd’

However, the Met Police have come under fire for its decision to investigate Grimes, with Tory backbencher Sajid Javid calling the decision ‘plainly absurd’

Ben Bradley, Conservative MP for Mansfield, angrily tweeted: ‘God save the world when people being offended makes something a criminal offence!!'

Ben Bradley, Conservative MP for Mansfield, angrily tweeted: ‘God save the world when people being offended makes something a criminal offence!!’

Douglas Murray, author and editor of The Spectator magazine, said: This is not the behaviour of a police force in a free society. 'Hauling someone into a police station for something someone said to them in an interview? Shame on the @metpolice uk'

Douglas Murray, author and editor of The Spectator magazine, said: This is not the behaviour of a police force in a free society. ‘Hauling someone into a police station for something someone said to them in an interview? Shame on the @metpolice uk’

Calvin Robinson of Defund the BBC said: ‘A young, independent journalist is being interviewed by the police, under caution, and stands accused of a public order offence of stirring up racial hatred over remarks made by a guest during an interview – and yet the BBC have remained strangely silent on the issue.

‘The BBC is obliged by its charter to deliver journalistic excellence, not this editorialising of the news to fit their campaign agenda.’ 

A spokesman for the BBC declined to comment. 

Today TV historian Starkey said he is also being investigated by the Met Police. His incendiary comments, made during the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, led to his resignation from his fellowship at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. 

He also lost a book deal with HarperCollins and apologised for his remark. 

The Met Police wrote to Grimes on October 7, asking him to attend an interview he was accused of stirring up racial hatred by sharing his interview on YouTube.  

In a statement, Starkey said the Met Police sent him an email via his inbox at the Bow Group, a conservative think-tank where he is a Vice-President.

However, Starkey said the Group binned the email after assuming it was a hoax, owing to its ‘wording’. He said the ‘effect of this delay and confusion has been to throw the focus of the police investigation wholly on Mr Grimes’, which he called ‘unfortunate and grossly unfair’.

Starkey apologised for making the remarks during the hour-long interview with Grimes, but denied committing a public order offence. He continued: ‘The focus on Mr Grimes has raised fundamental questions about the freedom of the press and public debate.

The Public Order Act 

Grimes is being investigated by the Met Police under the Public Order Act.

Before the introduction of the Public Order Act 1986, policing public order was based on various relevant common law offences, and the Public Order Act 1936.

Several factors influenced the introduction of the Public Order Act 1986. Significant public disorder, such as the Southall riot in 1979, the Brixton riot that extended to other cities in 1981, and the national miner’s strike and associated disorder between 1984 and 1985 – in particular the Battle of Orgreave in June 1984 – and the Battle of the Beanfield in June 1985.

Furthermore, the 1983 Law Commission report, Criminal Law: Offences Relating to Public Order recommended updating the law.

However, the police have been accused of misusing its powers. During the 2009 G20 London summit protests, for example, journalists were forced to leave the protests by police who threatened them with arrest.

Scotland Yard’s investigation of Grimes has been criticised by free-speech advocates because it stretches the use of the 1986 Act. 

According to the Crown Prosecution Service: ‘The purpose of public order law is to ensure that individual rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are balanced against the rights of others to go about their daily lives unhindered.’

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‘As I said in my original apology, my principal concern was that my blundering use of language and the penalties it has incurred would further chill public debate and freedom of expression.

‘This fear is being fulfilled more quickly than I thought. And it is shared by many senior voices of all political persuasions who have intervened to say that this police investigation is neither proportionate nor in the best interests of preserving proper freedom of expression and reporting.

‘Despite this, I will, of course, cooperate with the police in this matter.’

He added: ‘This morning, Tuesday, October 13, I was forwarded an email from the Metropolitan Police. It was sent on October 7, the same day that the Met also approached Mr Grimes. His email reached him directly. Mine, however, was sent to The Bow Group.

‘Though I have a titular position as a Vice-President, I have no day-to-day contact with the Group. At the time, the wording of the email led the Group to assume that it was a hoax, of which they receive a great many, and it was binned.

‘The recent press publicity about the Met’s approach to Mr Grimes made the Group realise that it might be genuine and, as I have said, it was sent to me early this morning.

‘The effect of this delay and confusion has been to throw the focus of the police investigation wholly on Mr Grimes. This is unfortunate and grossly unfair.

‘Mr Grimes is a young, aspiring journalist and his role in the affair is – at most – secondary. I have apologised unreservedly for the words used and I do so again today. It was a serious error for which I have already paid a significant price.

‘I did not, however, intend to stir up racial hatred and there was nothing about the circumstances of the broadcast which made it likely to do so. The remarks occurred in the context of an interview which lasted close to an hour and in which I celebrated the contribution of BAME people to British history and culture.

‘I will defend myself robustly against any allegation of criminal wrongdoing.’  

In a statement to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Grimes said the police investigation had ‘serious repercussions for freedom of expression’. 

Mr Young, general secretary of the Free Speech Union, told MailOnline: ‘The suggestion that Dr David Starkey may be guilty of stirring up racial hatred is absurd. 

‘The only person he stirred up hatred against is himself and he has paid a heavy price for it. He has also unreservedly apologised for his remarks.

‘The Public Order Act, which criminalises stirring up racial hatred, is intended to preserve public order, not regulate speech and debate.

‘If the police start abusing it in this way to intimidate and harass people who dissent from woke orthodoxy they will undermine the rule of law.’

Meanwhile, Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors, which aims to protect media freedom, said the organisation was ‘deeply concerned by the threat such an investigation poses to free speech and the chilling effect it could have on the media’s ability to interview controversial figures’. 

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven told The Times that ‘offensiveness is not a crime and for the police now, weeks later, to target the journalist who interviewed him is both sinister and foolish’.

He added: ‘It looks like they are letting themselves be used as part of a political stunt – and, what’s worse, a stunt that is deeply threatening to free speech.’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer yesterday came under fire for refusing to criticise Scotland Yard’s pursuit of Mr Grimes while speaking on LBC.

He said he believed the authorities had to investigate people to ‘go over the line’, adding: ‘I think it does sometimes have to involve the police.

‘There has got to be a level of tolerance of course, but there is a line which can be crossed, and it’s very important that it is investigated, and in some cases prosecutions. When people go over the line it’s right that it’s investigated.’  

The case will be raised at the Commons home affairs committee this week by Conservative MP Tim Loughton, who said Met Commissioner Cressida Dick should be questioned over a ‘vexatious investigation’.

Former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said: ‘Grimes is not responsible for Starkey’s appalling comments. In a free society, we surely don’t do things like this?’ 

Starkey made the comments on Mr Grimes’s YouTube channel on June 30, at the peak of the Black Lives Matter protests. He later apologised for his ‘bad mistake’.

Mr Grimes, who founded pro-Brexit group BeLeave during the 2016 referendum, called for a change in hate crime laws to protect journalists.

He added in a ‘free and democratic’ society, journalists must be free to ‘interview a wide range of people, including those likely to make controversial remarks’. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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LeAnn Rimes poses NUDE on social media: ‘My time to be unabashedly honest about what psoriasis is’

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leann rimes poses nude on social media my time to be unabashedly honest about what psoriasis is

She recently opened up about what it was like to be a 17-year-old girl on the set of Coyote Ugly 20 years ago.

Now, singer LeAnn Rimes is being ‘unabashedly honest’ about another life experience – specifically, her struggles with the skin condition known as psoriasis.

In honor of World Psoriasis Day on Thursday, the Can’t Fight The Moonlight singer, 38, posed in two stunningly candid nude photos on her Instagram, which display her fit figure partially covered in red spots.

Baring all: Singer LeAnn Rimes is being 'unabashedly honest' about another life experience ¿ specifically, her struggles with the skin condition known as psoriasis

Baring all: Singer LeAnn Rimes is being ‘unabashedly honest’ about another life experience – specifically, her struggles with the skin condition known as psoriasis

The first photo saw LeAnn from the side, sitting on her heels in the grass outdoors.

Her arm was placed just in front of her breast and her blond hair cascaded over her shoulder. 

The second picture was taken from behind, showing the entirety of Rimes’s back showing the patches of psoriasis up close.

Her tattoo saying ‘Love’ was visible lower down on the small of her back. 

In honor of World Psoriasis Day: The Can't Fight The Moonlight singer, 38, posed in two stunningly candid nude photos on her Instagram

In honor of World Psoriasis Day: The Can’t Fight The Moonlight singer, 38, posed in two stunningly candid nude photos on her Instagram

WHAT IS PSORIASIS? 

Psoriasis is a skin disorder that causes skin cells to multiply up to 10 times faster than normal, according to webmd.

‘This makes the skin build up into bumpy red patches covered with white scales. They can grow anywhere, but most appear on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back,’ it was added. 

Psoriasis usually appears in early adulthood. 

For most people, it affects just a few areas. In severe cases, psoriasis can cover large parts of the body. The patches can heal and then come back throughout a person’s life, the site added.

The symptoms of psoriasis vary depending on the type you have. 

Some common symptoms for plaque psoriasis – the most common variety of the condition – include: Plaques of red skin, often covered with silver-colored scales. 

‘These plaques may be itchy and painful, and they sometimes crack and bleed. In severe cases, the plaques will grow and merge, covering large areas.’ it was added.

It can also affect the health of nails. 

Psoriasis can’t be passed from person to person though it does sometimes happen in members of the same family. 

People with psoriasis can also get a type of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis. 

It causes ‘pain and swelling in the joints.’ Between 10% to 30% of people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis, stated The National Psoriasis Foundation. 

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In the caption, the two-time Grammy winner discussed how her journey in life has been about ‘excavating pieces that I’ve been hiding and bringing them to the light.’

‘Music has been my gift, and why I’m here,’ LeAnn also said. ‘But I want to give a voice to these other pieces of me. And I want to give a voice to what so many other people are going through. This is finally my time to be unabashedly honest about what psoriasis is and what it looks like.

‘You know when you say something you’ve been holding in for so long, and it’s such a sigh of relief?’ she continued. ‘That’s what these photos are to me. I needed this. My whole body—my mind, my spirit—needed this desperately.’

In her bio, the How Do I Live songstress linked to a confessional essay she penned for Glamour Magazine about her condition, where she shared more details.

Under the heading ‘LeAnn Rimes Is Done Trying to Hide Her Psoriasis’, she shared how she first was diagnosed when she was only two years old.

And while it’s been 16 years since her last flare-up, the stresses of 2020 had caused her psoriasis to return.

‘This time Rimes refuses to keep it a secret,’ the article said.

‘These weren’t the days when there were commercials about psoriasis on TV or open discussions about skin conditions. No one was talking about this,’ LeAnn wrote in the essay about when she was first diagnosed. 

‘And certainly not when I signed my first record deal at 11. In the world we lived in, our “flaws” were not invited to the forefront. 

‘I tried everything I could to treat it: steroid creams, major medications — I even tried being wrapped in coal tar with Saran Wrap,’ she continued. ‘And when I was in public, I did I everything I could to hide it. Onstage I’d often wear two pairs of pantyhose or jeans — even in 95-degree heat.’

Later in the essay, Rimes addressed the new photos specifically.

‘When I look at these photos, I see so much more than my skin,’ she wrote.

‘Before this shoot, my husband would look at me like, “I don’t even see that,” which I obviously didn’t understand. I’d think, How can’t you see it?! It’s all over me! I think I see what he sees now.’

‘It’s amazing how small we can keep ourselves. When you finally allow yourself to step outside of what you’ve been caging in, the whole world opens up,’ she later added. 

In the caption: The Grammy winner discussed how her journey in life has been about 'excavating pieces that I¿ve been hiding and bringing them to the light'

In the caption: The Grammy winner discussed how her journey in life has been about ‘excavating pieces that I’ve been hiding and bringing them to the light’

Spiritual: The How Do I Live songstress this week penned a confessional essay about her condition, where she shared more details; seen on Instagram

Spiritual: The How Do I Live songstress this week penned a confessional essay about her condition, where she shared more details; seen on Instagram

Psoriasis struggle: While it's been 16 years since her last flare-up, the stresses of 2020 had caused LeAnn's psoriasis to return; seen here in Januar

Psoriasis struggle: While it’s been 16 years since her last flare-up, the stresses of 2020 had caused LeAnn’s psoriasis to return; seen here in Januar

'Before this shoot, my husband would look at me like, "I don¿t even see that," which I obviously didn¿t understand. I¿d think, How can¿t you see it?! It¿s all over me!' she said in the essay of husband Eddie Cibrian; seen together in January

‘Before this shoot, my husband would look at me like, “I don’t even see that,” which I obviously didn’t understand. I’d think, How can’t you see it?! It’s all over me!’ she said in the essay of husband Eddie Cibrian; seen together in January

And later on Thursday, the singer took to her Instagram Stories to thank fans for the ‘overwhelming outpouring of love’ she received since posting the revealing photos.

She went on to say that the reason she allowed herself ‘to be seen so deeply’ was to connect with others sharing in the struggle with psoriasis.

‘So many out there who relate to this, who relate to me,’ she added, ‘just know that you’re not alone.’

‘I wanted to share in our humanness. You are loved and you are worthy.’ 

Later on Thursday: The singer took to her Instagram Stories to thank fans for the 'overwhelming outpouring of love' she received since posting the revealing photos

Later on Thursday: The singer took to her Instagram Stories to thank fans for the ‘overwhelming outpouring of love’ she received since posting the revealing photos

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Zoo keeper who stole two PENGUINS among £25,000 worth of rare birds is jailed for nearly three years

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zoo keeper who stole two penguins among 25000 worth of rare birds is jailed for nearly three years

A ‘callous and cruel’ ex-zoo keeper who broke into his former workplace and stole £25,000 worth of rare birds including two penguins has today been jailed.

Bradley Tomes, 25, was rumbled after he sold two tiny Humboldt penguins named Pablo and Penny on Facebook to an animal collector who became suspicious.

He also stole 12 spoonbills which were the only group of the rare flamingos in the UK – and left eight of them to die in his care, a court heard.

Preston Crown Court heard how Tomes broke into South Lakes Safari in Cumbria, where he had worked for four years up until 2016, on two occasions.

The former bird-keeper carried out the ‘carefully coordinated’ burglaries in July and October 2018.

He was caught red handed when he tried to transport the penguins to the collector’s home and was arrested by officers during the exchange on January 16, 2019.

At the time he denied all matters and told officers he was an animal trader.

Ex-zoo keeper Bradley Tomes broke into his former workplace and stole £25,000 worth of rare birds including two penguins

Ex-zoo keeper Bradley Tomes broke into his former workplace and stole £25,000 worth of rare birds including two penguins

The court heard how he made up a ‘ridiculous’ story claiming he had purchased the penguins for £1,500 from a man in Scotland.

But the rare penguins were microchipped and tracked back to the zoo.

Tomes pleaded guilty to stealing 12 spoonbill birds on July 22, 2018 and then two Humboldt penguins and three macaws on October 27 of the same year.

He also admitted transporting and selling the animals.

Tomes, of Preston, Lancs., was jailed for two years and eight months.

Judge Beverley Lunt told Tomes his actions demonstrated how ‘callous and selfish’ he was.

Jailing him, she said: ‘You carried out a carefully coordinated burglary.

‘You stole 12 spoonbills, these are rare birds. As a result of the damage caused by leaving a gaping hole, other birds also escaped which have never been seen again.

‘Three other spoonbills also escaped but thankfully were recovered. The others weren’t and their fate is unknown.

‘During your time at the zoo you had dealt with the aviary. So you knew this group of spoonbills was the only one in the UK.

‘You knew they were a family group from a breeding programme. You destroyed that group.

‘You didn’t care, you saw them as a commodity you could sell. You let eight die, so you caused even more suffering.

‘This was a callous and cruel crime. The only excuse you can make is that at the time you needed money for alcohol and drugs. Why would you steal 12 birds, which were worth £20,000?

‘You caused animals unnecessary suffering for your greed.

‘This crime demonstrates how callous and selfish you were.

‘You only cared about the money you could obtain.

‘You were arrested in January 2019 when you were caught red handed trying to retrieve the penguins you sold them to to avoid the police.

The court heard how he made up a 'ridiculous' story claiming he had purchased the penguins for £1,500 from a man in Scotland

The court heard how he made up a ‘ridiculous’ story claiming he had purchased the penguins for £1,500 from a man in Scotland

‘You came up with a ridiculous story for how you came to have the penguins.’

Prosecutor Andrew Brown told the court how Tomes cut a hole in the side of an aviary late at night on July 22, 2018 to steal the rare tropical birds.

Sadly, none of the 12 spoonbills valued at more than £20,000 have been recovered since the defendant’s arrest.

The court heard eight died and the remaining four were sold.

Despite suspicions, investigators were unable to find sufficient evidence to arrest Tomes.

In October that year, he once again broke into the zoo.

Police visited Tomes’ home but were unable to find aviaries which would link him to the burglary but it was later discovered that he kept them at his uncle’s property.

Mitigating, Simon Christie told the court Tomes had turned to alcohol and drugs following the death of his grandmother and the breakdown of his relationship.

Mr Christie said: ‘Bradley Tomes was a young boy devoted to the care of animals.

‘When he was interviewed for the job at the zoo he had no qualifications but he impressed so much they took him on.

‘He was known for his ability to care for birds.

‘He was a very popular and devoted animal lover.

‘In 2018 there were a variety of significant problems which changed Bradley’s attitude and behaviour.

‘He lost his grandmother, his relationship broke down and he turned to alcohol and drugs.’

The court heard the defendant was convicted of animal neglect and sentenced to 20 weeks in prison suspended for a year in July 2019.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Gang admit plot to fly drugs and phones into prison by drone

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gang admit plot to fly drugs and phones into prison by drone

Three men have admitted a plot to smuggle cannabis and mobile phones into a London prison using a drone.

Jamie Duggan, 30, Kye Hardy-King, 28, and Craig Kearney, 30, were foiled when their four-propeller drone was spotted hovering above Wandsworth jail four years ago. 

It led to the a high-speed police chase which ended after 69 seconds when Kearney accelerated to 91mph and crashed his Peugeot, killing his nursery worker girlfriend. 

Along with inside man Duggan and Hardy-King, he will now face sentencing at Kingston Crown Court next month after pleading guilty to conspiracy to convey prohibited items into a prison and conspiracy to supply psychoactive substances.

Hardy-King was part of of a gang that stole more than £400,000 of designer goods England captain John Terry’s mansion in Oxshott, Surrey, in 2017. 

Some of the star’s luxuries were found in his home and he was handed a 12-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to one count of handling stolen goods.

The men tried to fly a drone into Wandsworth prison in southwest London (pictured)  in 2016

The men tried to fly a drone into Wandsworth prison in southwest London (pictured)  in 2016

Kearney was jailed for eight years in 2018 for killing 25-year-old Acacia Smith while attempting to flee two unmarked police cars after their drone plot unravelled. 

A white four-propeller drone was found close to the scene of the crash on Wandsworth Bridge Road in the early hours of August 9, 2016.

Some 174g of a herbal synthetic cannabis-type substance was discovered in the car along with nine miniature mobile phones, four USB flash drives, cables and a memory card wrapped in cellophane.

An examination of the drone found it had been switched on at Hardy-King’s home in Hounslow, west London, earlier that evening.

It had been flown for three minutes and 14 seconds and was 110m in the air outside the prison for 13 seconds before being brought back down.

Duggan, a Wandsworth prison inmate, was the inside man who would receive the smuggled items.

He had received a message from Kearney that read: ‘We gotta go n do duggy drone 2nite.’

Kearney was jailed for eight years in 2018 for killing 25-year-old Acacia Smith while attempting to flee two unmarked police cars after their drone plot unravelled

Kearney was jailed for eight years in 2018 for killing 25-year-old Acacia Smith while attempting to flee two unmarked police cars after their drone plot unravelled

Hardy-King was part of of a gang that stole more than £400,000 of designer goods England captain John Terry's mansion in Oxshott, Surrey, in 2017 (Terry and wife Toni pictured on holiday at time of the raid)

Hardy-King was part of of a gang that stole more than £400,000 of designer goods England captain John Terry’s mansion in Oxshott, Surrey, in 2017 (Terry and wife Toni pictured on holiday at time of the raid)

Duggan was jailed for 12 years in 2017 as part of a gang who blew up cash machines to steal hundreds of thousands of pounds in a 10-month spree.

Senior Crown Prosecution Service prosecutor Paul Goddard said: ‘Drones are a scourge on our prisons and have contributed to blighting them with illegal substances, phones and other illicit items.

‘This greatly impacts on the ability of authorities to be able to keep prisoners safe and stop criminal enterprises from working from the inside.

‘The prosecution was able to show that Kearney, Duggan and Hardy-King were all working together in this conspiracy to get psychoactive substances and mobile phones into Wandsworth prison.

‘The CPS has been working closely with the police in this complex case providing advice and guidance at various stages.

‘These guilty pleas have brought an end to a long and thorough investigation by the police who have worked incredibly hard to piece together all the evidence needed for this successful prosecution.

‘We take the dealing of substances and other illegal items inside prisons extremely seriously and will work with our criminal justice partners to prosecute those who break the law.’  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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