first_imgThe Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has been criticised for failing to treat as a disability hate crime a case in which a disabled man was forced to work for a pittance and live in a shed for 35 years.Three people were convicted unanimously by a jury last week of requiring the 52-year-old man to perform forced or compulsory labour, after a four-week trial at Oxford Crown Court.The man, who has learning difficulties, was forced to live in a brick shed that was described as unfit for human habitation, and to undertake heavy manual labour, working for more than 12 hours a day, for which he was paid just £5 a day.If he failed to work hard enough he was beaten, on at least one occasion with a metal bar.The three defendants also applied for and collected his benefits – worth £139,000 – for 13 years and as a result were also convicted of conspiracy to defraud following a trial last November.They will be sentenced next month for this charge, and the forced labour, but CPS has already confirmed to Disability News Service that the offences have not been treated as disability hate crime.A linked case, which in June last year saw another four defendants convicted of forced labour, involving another man with learning difficulties in the same area of Oxford, was also not treated as disability hate crime.Thames Valley Police, which carried out both investigations, was unable to comment on the latest case this week because the officer dealing with the case was on leave.But a CPS spokesman said: “Disabled people face criminal behaviour every day. “Sometimes, this will be motivated by hostility towards their disability and on other occasions they will be in at-risk situations and exploited because of that.“We considered prosecuting this case as a disability hate crime but could not identify any evidence to show the offence had been committed because of hostility towards the victim based on his disability.“The offenders saw an opportunity to exploit the victim for their own personal gain.“Sentencing is a matter for the courts but the CPS will ask that a victim’s disability is taken into account.”Anne Novis (pictured), a leading disabled hate crime campaigner and a coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network, said: “Repeatedly we have to ask the question, ‘Why?’“Why is it not a disability hate crime when a disabled person is abused, humiliated, stolen from, made to do work they do not want to do?“For us, it is common sense that if someone is targeted due to perceived ‘vulnerability’ and that ‘vulnerability’ is due to being a disabled person then that is hate crime.“No matter what the law or the CPS say, we, disabled people, are the experts. We know what is or is not hate crime and it is our voice, our perception, and that of the victim that should take precedence.“It is obvious that the justice system still has a lot of work to do on this issue. Such cases do not inspire our confidence.”Meanwhile, a new CPS report has shown that the number of cases of disability hate crime prosecuted in 2015-16 increased by more than 40 per cent compared with the previous year, rising from 666 to 941.The number of convictions also rose by more than 40 per cent, from 503 to 707, although the conviction rate fell slightly, from 75.5 per cent to 75.1 per cent (it was as high as 81.9 per cent in 2013-14).The report says CPS will “identify and execute further work necessary to address the relatively low conviction rate”, comparing it with the overall hate crime conviction rate of 83.2 per cent.The number of cases in which the sentence was increased because the court accepted the offences were disability hate crimes also rose, from 5.4 per cent of successfully prosecuted disability hate crime cases in 2014-15 to 11.9 per cent of such cases in 2015-16. This rate had been as low as 0.6 per cent in 2013-14.The CPS report said the figure still remained “considerably lower” than for other hate crime strands, and promised to work internally to “sustain continuing improvement”, while work would “also be undertaken with the courts to ensure consistent application of sentence uplifts”.The report also revealed that the proportion of both 10-13 year olds and 14-17-year-olds involved as defendants in disability hate crime prosecutions fell from 4.9 per cent and 23.5 per cent in 2007-08 to 1.3 per cent and 9.6 per cent in 2015-16.The report says: “The CPS benefits from a strong relationship with communities affected by disability hate crime as a result of a combination of structured engagement and transparent performance and hopes that, together with an improved conviction rate, community confidence will continue to grow.“In turn, it is hoped that this will provide an environment in which increased numbers of those affected by hate crime will feel able to report.”Stephen Brookes, another leading hate crime campaigner and DHCN coordinator, said the increase in prosecutions was “good news”.But he warned against complacency, and added: “There are still far too many inconsistencies in police, CPS and the judiciary responses, and the gap shown between good and bad practice is massive.”He said the work done by the network had been “a key part of the improvements seen today, and the message from us is, ‘The fight isn’t won yet.’“Rather, we are at the beginning of the real battle of getting closer cooperation between all partners, criminal justice system, disabled people, academics, and the media, who can help with the message that disability hate crime is on its way out.”last_img read more

first_img 0% Tags: culture • Music • theater Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Cline started the theater in 2011 as a space that could support the underground art scene. He wanted to create a place that was “good for the soul.” That includes multimedia plays like Just Another Rock N Roll Nightmare and Just Another Bloody Valentine can create a sense of community and maintain the culture of a place.“I owe it all to my supporters and donors,” he said referring to the money he needed to pursue the permits.  “Without them I couldn’t have gotten anywhere.” Cline is crossing his fingers that the Lost Church will soon be fully licensed and hopes that his experience will show others that opening a small theater is still possible, even in the increasingly costly Mission District.The next event at the Lost Church is on June 27th featuring Addie and the Subtrax and the Littlest Birds. And they have more events lined up for the rest of June for anyone interested in underground musicians. center_img The Lost Church,  a small theater at 65 Capp St. that has provided an intimate music and theater experience for six years, came somewhat closer to becoming a legitimate space in June when the Planning Department approved a conditional use permit. “It is a huge step,” said Brett Cline, the director/owner, who has been trying to get the theater fully permitted for the past three years “But it is only a first step to obtaining all the permits and licenses that I need.” Next, Cline will meet with the Building Department to get authorization for the use of the building as a theater.The process to getting the conditional use permit – needed to operate as a theater in a residential area – was arduous and confusing, he said, but he is glad to finally have it. last_img read more

first_imgTHE group got a well-earned rest and a day of activities from start to finish, writes Mike Rush, Head of Youth.The day started with White Water Rafting on the Olympic course. This always goes down well with all concerned, a little disappointing this year with no Derek Traynor (no reported injury) or his sidekick Steve Leonard (again no reported injury) taking part in the activity.We placed the dangerous ones in a boat together, this included a member of staff with Neil Kilshaw (aka Killer) joining the crazy gang. Needless to say Killer had four out on the first white water corner.The lads made a play for the staff boat and with a little luck and help from the guide the six staff members came out one after the other.On a different note the staff boat had its own problem with Tommy Martyn pushing people out the boat which was not in the team briefing…The kids enjoyed the chance to relax and as the pictures will show they took to it likes ducks to water.Following a good feed we headed off to go karting.The first race for the younger players was an easy win for Lewis Galbraith, although there was a hint of a rumour that he did have a 13 hp kart and not a 9 hp kart; Matty Fozard will still be moaning next season.The second race which was brought to an end early due to poor driving from the young men – and was won by Lewis Foster with Dom Speakman in second place.The staff plus Bradley Ashurst, Danny Yates, James Tilley and Adam Swift was won by Adam with Eric “Discovery” Frodsham 2nd, and Andy “Rodney Trotter” McDonough in third. Andy was also pulled over for dangerous driving which for those on the track is no surprise.Once again Thomas Martyn cheated and overtook others in the no overtaking area… Nothing more than you would expect reallyLeo (Ste) had the gaff of the day placing his driving gloves on the wrong way with the grips on his knuckles. I am not sure it would have made any difference as his feet struggled to reach the pedals so he was only able to get 50 % power anyway.Next year we must remember his driving seat as it just isn’t fair on him. (Kailum please remind your Dad to lend Leo your seat)Bradley gave Leo a run for his money with the question: “do these hair nets come in different sizes?”And in third place Jamie Tracey with: “I don’t need sun cream… this white water rafting is inside isn’t it?”The last one for the day is from Chris Webster who informed the Physio “Rodney” that his ankle was painful. At this point Rodney told him to ice it. Ten minutes later Chris approached the Physio to inform him he didn’t know what was wrong now but his ankle was numb…Training starts again tomorrow so back to the important stuff.last_img read more

first_img The retail side of the development would include a 7,500 square foot aquarium, restaurants, and a brewery.Site plan for Blake Farm, a new development off Highway 17 in Pender County (Photo: Trask Land Company)The shellfish-themed aquarium would receive state funding and be a branch of the North Carolina Aquariums system.This part of Pender County has grown up a lot over the years, but the project’s new neighbors don’t mind the change.Related Article: Crash in Brunswick County backs up traffic on US 17“Nothing looks the same down this road, absolutely nothing. I just go with the flow. I don’t let any of it bother me about the change,” said Elizabeth Edens, who has lived off this stretch of Highway 17 since 1956.The site plans for the development were submitted to the Pender County Technical Review Committee and will be discussed this Wednesday. Site of possible new aquarium off Highway 17 in Pender County (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A new aquarium could soon be coming to Pender County. It is included in the plans for a new development off Highway 17 south of Hampstead, across from Scotts Hill Loop Road.Trask Land Company of Wilmington is in charge of the 1,300 acre project, which would be called Blake Farm.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_img “It’s frustrating and I know I am speaking for a lot of people but it’s frustration and fear those are the emotions that we are feeling right now,” said Francesca Donarye who works now as a paralegal at the Vanessa Gonzalez’s immigration law firm.Donayre’s future in the U.S. lies in the hands of Congress. She migrated to the U.S. with her parents when she was seven. In 2012 she’s received DACA status.  Since last September she and her family have had to scramble for answers.“They just keep playing and playing and they’re not really giving us a solution,” Donarye said after we asked her about if she watched the President’s address.Related Article: Solemn public pays tribute as Bush lies in state in RotundaShe along with her employer, Gonzalez, were distraught from how the President painted the picture of immigration in the Unites States.“What I’ve seen out of the Trump administration is a lot of misinformation about how immigration law works in the first place.,” Gonzalez said.The White House unveiled a four-tiered proposal first giving “Dreamers” a 10- to-12-year path to citizenship. Then creating a $25 billion trust fund to strengthen border security. Requesting a limit the number of green cards available to the relatives of U.S. citizens and end the diversity visa lottery.Gonzalez says her work load has only increased since Trump took office. Since his September order on DACA, she’s also had a paralegal who’s future she’s also uncertain about.“We have staff here in the office who have DACA and we as a staff have to decide at some point are we going to have to have a conversation that you can no longer work here when you’re work permit expired,” Gonzalez said referring to Donarye. “That did happen when we hired we had that conversation because it was after Trump’s announcement.”Gonzalez adds that several parts of the President’s plan are flawed in an already slow and complex process.“We already have in place what he seems to be asking for with the merit-based system. There are already visas for professors, for athletes and for specialized people.”Gonzalez also says the alleged chain migration that caught the president “boo’s” the other night is not true. Her and Donarye see first hand how long the immigration process can take.“People wait years and years to be able to become a U.S. Citizen,” Donarye said.A judge allowed for current recipients to renew their DACA applications. Donarye has applied for renewal. She does not know when she will hear back. Now she and her family wait for what happens before DACA ends March 5th.“We’re wondering what’s the next step, what’s going to happen.” WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Last night’s State of the Union hit a rocky point when President Donald Trump laid out his pillars of reform to DACA and the immigration process.The president was met with “boo’s” when he talked about ending what his office calls chain migration, claiming immigrants can help any family member follow them into the US.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_img On Saturday, shuttles will run from 7:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m.Parking at the mall will be free, and the charge for riding the bus will be $4.00 per person round trip for adults and $2.00 per person round trip for children, while children under 5 years of age can ride for free with a fare paying adult.The express shuttles will operate on 15 minute intervals from 7:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m., with the last shuttle leaving Downtown Wilmington at 1:45 p.m.Related Article: Wilmington council gets update on rail realignment planIndividuals wishing to stay downtown after 1:45 p.m can use their express shuttle ticket to board a Wave Transit bus for a ride back to Independence Mall. Bus Route 202 will take passengers from Wave Transit’s downtown transfer center, located at 2nd Street and Princess St., to Independence Mall.Parking at Independence Mall is located in the lot behind Firehouse Subs. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you want to avoid trying to find a place to park downtown Wilmington for the Azalea Festival parade, then you can catch a ride from Independence Mall, which is now known as The Collection at Independence.Wave Transit is operating shuttles from the mall to downtown.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_imgNEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — For families who have a child struggling with an addiction, it is full of ups and downs. Mothers and fathers came together Friday night to give each other some support.MPAC, or Mothers Praying for Adult Children, hosted its annual conference at Myrtle Grove Baptist Church.- Advertisement – “24/7, all I could think about was how to fix him,” Kathy Gardner said.Battles with her son left Gardner desperate for a shoulder to cry on. She says all she wanted was her son to live a trouble-free life.“When you have an adult child who’s old enough to know better, who you raised and trained them better, you can’t make them think good thoughts,” Gardner said. “You can’t make them say all the right words, go to all the right places. That’s their decision.”Related Article: North Carolina fights rising hepatitis C infectionsGardner found peace through MPAC. The group welcomes mothers who have children struggling with addictions.Gardner found that she was not alone.“When people come, they’re embarrassed. There’s a stigma out there. We try to help love on them, and help them not to feel so embarrassed, and that they are not going this alone,” Carman Poindexter said.Poindexter knows that struggle all too well. Her son battled addiction for years, which is what led her to start MPAC.The group is holding its yearly conference on Friday and Saturday. This year’s message is the power of positive words.Gardner has come to learn that her son’s choices do not define her as a mother“Today, nothing has changed,” Gardner said. “He is still like he was then, but I’m different. I understand that I’ve done my job as a mother, and I’ve done it well.”Both mothers and fathers are welcome at the conference. The second session is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.If you would like to get involved with MPAC, email mpacmom@gmail.comlast_img read more

first_img SharePrint The compilation of evidence against Joseph Bonnici started on Monday morning. Bonnici is accused of killing his mother Marija Lourdes Bonnici and his sister Angele Bonnici in cold blood.During his arraignment, Bonnici pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him. He had however confessed to having killed them to the police.Prosecuting police inspector Keith Arnaud told the court that the accused had given three statements to the police. Bonnici had reported his mother and sister as missing with the police, prior to his father reporting them as missing after they failed to turn up for a prison visit. Bonnici’s father is serving a 31-year prison sentence after he was found guilty of killing their next door neighbours.Why did he kill them?The prosecution told the court that when they asked the accused why he had resorted to killing his relatives, he had said that it was bottled up anger which led him to do this. Arnaud told the court that on one hand the accused believed that his sister had alleged she was sexually abused by her brother while their mother on the other hand was instigating his sister to report him.Arnaud further said that no police report was ever filed relating to the abuse while the victims had never sought assistance. Bonnici in one of his statements had said that he had heard the women colluding against him, the court heard.Inspector John Spiteri said that Angele’s friend had confidentially told him that Bonnici was sexually abusing Angele. The accused denied these claims, and insisted that she was spreading these rumours so that he would buy her a BMW.Bonnici told Inspector Spiteri that back in 2009; his girlfriend had committed suicide in the same house. In her suicide note, she wrote how his mother never liked their relationship and that now she could rest.The methodArnaud described how Bonnici told the police that he had spent time planning his mother’s and sister’s murder. After his confession, he said that after killing his relatives, he carried their corpses to a field in Gudja which was owned by the family.Bonnici described how he enjoyed the fact that it was raining on the day of the two were murdered. Security cameras showed that Angele and Marija were both in their pajamas. However, the cameras stopped working at 9pm, because Bonnici switched off the main electrical switch. The event took place in their garden, where he walked behind Angele and shot her in her head. After, he also hit her with a mallet. He similarly killed his mother later. Bonnici then placed a plastic bag around the women’s heads, and placed them in a trailer before proceeding to bury the corpses. After the burial, he went to sleep, the court heard.On the following day, the accused went to buy a power wash with which he cleaned the garden. He also burnt the sacks which he had used to cover the floor. Bonnici later disposed of the gun and the mallet. He had buried his mother first and then his sister on top of her, covering the bodies in lime, to decrease the smell.The weapons used Bonnici eventually led the police to where he had hid the gun. He then explained how to use the firearm that he created himself. The mallet was thrown away in a facility of Wasteserv, and weighed 6.2kgs.The accused has a number of registered firearms which he uses for hunting. However, he didn’t use any of these for the murder as they made too much noise.He shot Angele twice in the head, in her temple and in her eye. Her face was also scarred as a result of being hit by the mallet. He also shot his mother near her right eye. Their legs were both tied.The father’s responseInspector John Spiteri had received phone calls from Żejtun’s Police Station reporting about missing persons. On 28 March Joseph Bonnici received a phone call from his father Paul Bonnici from prison. The father informed his son that he was worried because he never missed a call with his wife, which took place every day at the same time.The father also mentioned that he had sold the house to his son before he was arrested. This had caused some tension between the son and his sister.Paul Bonnici informed the Court regarding an outstanding civil case he is facing, where he and his wife Marija were asked to pay €80,000 to compensate the victims. The accused alleged that his mother and sister might have fled the country to prevent paying the €80,000. However, the Police concluded that this theory was not reasonable, due to the fact that Angele’s electronic equipment and cheques were left in her room, and Marija’s mobile and purse were also left there. The Police also found that the victims did not carry any passports in their names, and therefore, couldn’t travel. It was at that moment that the police filed a missing persons report.The Police also talked to the victims’ neighbours, and Paul Bonnici’s siblings.After the murderFollowing the murder, Bonnici attempted to try to cover up the murder. For example, he went to look for his sister at work, yet left immediately when they informed him she was not there. He also tried to call her one day after the murder.The accused was heard saying that he did something wrong, after getting arrested.The murder took place after Bonnici’s girlfriend fell asleep in another room.Bonnici’s girlfriend testifies Bonnici’s girlfriend, who has been with him for nine years, testified in Court on Monday.She told the Court that she visited the police station twice on Friday. One of which was because Bonnici called her saying he’s sorry without giving her any context.She explained how Bonnici works as a flower deliveryman and therefore, he a van and tools at his disposal. Bonnici and his girlfriend lived next door to each other, and even share the same electricity bill.The accused’s sister Angele had once told his girlfriend that Bonnici had sexually touched her when they were young, saying that their mother was aware of the incident. His current girlfriend also stated that she was aware about his ex-girlfriend and that she committed suicide.On the night of the murder, Bonnici’s girlfriend entered the house to find that there was no electricity and went to sleep.The girlfriend of accused said that he had never been violent towards her. On the contrary, he had saved her from an abusive relationship. She continued to say how he always treated her respect and love, and that he’s the best person she knows.The case was adjourned for 15 April.Inspectors Keith Arnaud, John Spiteri and Roderick Attard are prosecuting.Lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri are appearing as defence counsel for the accused.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

first_imgArchdiocese of MiamiArchdiocese of Miami Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Peter Baldacchino to head the Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico. The Catholic News Agency reported that the Bishop is the first diocesan bishop associated with the Neocatechumenal Way to serve in a mainland U.S. diocese.The 58-year-old bishop has served as an Auxiliary Bishop in Miami Florida since 2014. He was ordained priest in 1996 at the Archdiocese of Newark.Baldacchino was born in Malta to a family of four children. His family joined the Neocatechumenal Way while he was still a child. He was not initially drawn to the priesthood. He read for a degree in science at the University of Malta. At the age of 28, he attended World Youth Day in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, after which he became more involved in the Neocatechumenal Way.Baldacchino served for over a decade as a missionary in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. He speaks Maltese, English, Italian, Creole and Spanish.The Diocese of Las Cruces was established in 1982. According to 2015 estimates, it has more than 236,600 Catholics, accounting for just over 42% of the area’s population.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement Yahoo has started freeing up Yahoo IDs like that have been inactive for at least 12 months so users like can finally get a useful email address. The company gave users just over a month to login if they hadn’t in the last year, and now it has launched a “wish list” for those interested in getting a new name.Head to and enter up to five usernames, in order of most wanted to least wanted. Then enter your current Yahoo email address. Hit the Submit button and you’re good to go.[related-posts] – Advertisement – When you’re done, you will get the following message:If you’re first in line for a username, we’ll email you a link to claim it in mid-August, 2013. After that, you can add usernames to a watch list so you’re the first to know when they become available.Curiously, you can fill out this form as many times as you want. It’s not clear if doing so will overwrite your last submission or not, but we’d guess that it probably does.If your first choice isn’t available, Yahoo will work its way down your list. Next month, Yahoo will send out emails letting its users know which of their picks is available, with a link for claiming them within 48 hours.To communicate to another site that a username has a new owner, Yahoo will allow them to “ask” for a new type of validation when sending an email to a specific user. The field, which can be requested via an email’s header is called “Require-Recipient-Valid-Since,” a new standard being published with the IETF.Facebook helped Yahoo with this initiative, and here’s how the verification method will work with the social network:If a Facebook user with a Yahoo! email account submits a request to reset their password, Facebook would add the Require-Recipient-Valid-Since header to the reset email, and the new header would signal to Yahoo! to check the age of the account before delivering the mail. Facebook users typically confirm their email when they sign up for the service or add new emails to their account, and if the “last confirmed” date that Facebook specifies in the Require-Recipient-Valid-Since header is before the date of the new Yahoo! username ownership, then the email will not be delivered and will instead bounce back to Facebook, who will then contact the user by other means.Criminals will nevertheless look for ways to exploit this new header, but will probably mainly focus on sites that haven’t implemented it yet. Thankfully, even Yahoo expects that “a very small percentage” of its users had an active email address with the company that had a “short, sweet, and memorable” ID that could be re-used.Source: TNWlast_img read more