A man who recruited his parents and a group of his friends to kill a love rival has been jailed for life.
Daniel Grogan, 20, was “consumed with hatred and jealousy” of Jay Sewell, 18, after finding out he was seeing his ex-girlfriend, the Old Bailey heard.
Mr Sewell was attacked by a group of people in Lee, south-east London, on 11 December 2018.
Grogan was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 21 years having previously been found guilty of murder.
The court was told Grogan deliberately engineered a stand-off with Mr Sewell and his ex-girlfriend Gemma Hodder near to his family home.
Ms Hodder, 18, had driven her partner and some of their friends from Kent to see Grogan when they were set upon by a group armed with knives, hammers, a 4ft (1.2m) fireman’s axe and wooden sticks.
Mr Sewell was fatally attacked through the car window while his friend Charlie Pamphlett was stabbed in the back but survived, jurors were told.
Judge Wendy Joseph QC said Grogan “desired only revenge on Gemma and Jay” and had been driven by “self serving anger beyond logic”.
The 20-year-old was also jailed for five years for wounding with intent and three-and-a-half years for violent disorder, with the sentences to be served concurrently.
Other members of Grogan’s family and friends also received jail sentences for their parts in the killing:
- Grogan’s 58-year-old father Robert, who had armed himself with an axe, was sentenced to 14.5 years for manslaughter, six years for wounding with intent and three-and-a-half years for violent disorder
- His 55-year-old mother Ann was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years for manslaughter and three-and-a-half years for violent disorder to be served concurrently
- His friend and neighbour Charlie Dudley, 26, of Grove Park, was jailed for 16 years for manslaughter, six-and-a-half years for wounding with intent and three-and-a-half years for violent disorder, to be served concurrently
- His cousin Liam Hickey, 19, of Eltham, was sentenced to three years detention in a Young Offenders Institution for wounding with intent and two years for violent disorder, to be served concurrently
Others were previously sentenced over the attack:
- Francesca Grogan, 30, of Sibthorpe Road, was jailed for 12 months for violent disorder
- Jamie Bennett, 32, of Sibthorpe Road, was sentenced to 20 months in prison for violent disorder
- A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, was handed a nine-month rehabilitation order and a supervision order for violent disorder.
A mother was stabbed three times in front of her child in an unprovoked attack in south London.
The victim, 36, was pushing her child in a buggy when a man attacked her from behind in Downton Avenue, Streatham Hill, on Monday.
The knifeman did not speak to the victim before he stabbed her at about 17:20 GMT then ran off.
Police said the woman’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. The child was not hurt.
Neighbours told the BBC they heard the woman screaming and came out to help.
A man first on the scene said the victim told him: “I’ve been mugged.”
Two people said the wounds looked as if they were to the victim’s face or head area.
It is understood the woman was on the phone to her husband at the time and that he arrived soon afterwards.
No-one has been arrested. The Met said the suspect was a black man, about 6ft tall and wearing dark clothing.
Officers have been examining CCTV footage and are appealing for witnesses.
Christmas dinners have been served to Londoners who are reliant on the city’s homelessness services.
Hairdressers and opticians were also made available at City Hall before guests were given a three-course meal.
Last year, 8,855 people were seen rough sleeping in London, an 18% increase since last year, and more than double the number in 2010.
“Events like this help bring a sense of community back in to London,” Claire, a former rough sleeper, told the BBC.
Claire, who spent 30 years either living on the streets or in prison, said: “It’s the type of event that does matter. It forms partnerships and builds bonds.
“If it wasn’t for the support of St Mungo’s, I’d either be dead or doing what I was before.”
Guests were chosen from the thousands of Londoners that currently receive assistance from services funded by City Hall and delivered by charities St Mungo’s and Thames Reach.
But Claire said services were still “hit and miss”.
“Where I live I’m still waiting for support with my mental health,” she added.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “St Mungo’s and Thames Reach are struggling with finances.
“Since I became mayor we’ve more than doubled the amount of money we’ve spent on rough sleeping and the size of our outreach team.
“But we’re just scratching the surface. We’ve not got the money or the resources to do much more – as it is I’m criticised for going outside my remit and my power.
“It is both heartbreaking and shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do.”
Last year 15,470 people were accepted as being homeless by London councils.
There were 55,000 families living in temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and hostels.
Hundreds more people are estimated to be sleeping on London’s night buses.
Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeper Services at St Mungo’s, said: “It’s wonderful that the Mayor has opened the doors of City Hall for this festive event.
“Christmas can be a time of mixed emotions for clients in our services and our staff work hard to support those who stay with us over the holiday period.”
Black cab rapist John Worboys has been handed two life sentences with a minimum term of six years for attacking four more women.
The 62-year-old, who is now known as John Radford, was jailed in 2009 for assaults on 12 women in London.
The four victims came forward after the public outcry caused by the parole board ruling he was safe to be freed.
Sentencing Worboys, Mrs Justice McGowan said she did not know when “if ever you will cease to be a risk”.
In 2009, Worboys was locked up indefinitely for the public protection with a minimum of eight years after being found guilty of 19 sex offences against 12 women between 2006 and 2008.
Prosecutor Duncan Penny QC told the Old Bailey that psychiatrist Philip Joseph found Worboys had been “fantasising” about attacking women since 1986.
A probation report in August this year found “he is potentially just as dangerous now as the point of the first sentence”.
After the four women came forward, Worboys, of Enfield, admitted two charges of administering a drug with intent to commit rape or indecent assault.
He also pleaded guilty to two further charges of administering a substance with intent to commit a sexual offence.
Mr Penny said the first victim was targeted in 2000 or early 2001 after a night out at a wine bar in Dover Street in Soho.
The second victim, a university student living in north London, was picked up after a night out with friends at a club on New Oxford Street in 2003.
Worboys’ third victim was picked up after a night out on King’s Road in 2007 where he told her he had won £40,000 at a casino and offered her champagne.
The court heard Worboys told the fourth victim he had won the lottery and offered her and her friend miniature bottles of champagne.
Mr Penny said: “She woke up in bed the following morning. The bedclothes had not moved and her hands were crossed over her chest, which was unusual.
“She was sufficiently unnerved to check herself. There were no visible signs she had been touched.”
Mr Penny told the court: “The consistent themes throughout, together with the content of what took place, seems to be the profound effect not knowing what happened has had in each of these women throughout their lives, as a result of having been unfortunate enough to get into the defendant’s black cab.”
Police believe Worboys may have carried out more than 100 rapes and sexual assaults on women in London.
Becki Houlston, who has waived her right to anonymity, said Worboys drugged her in Bournemouth.
“He was pretty pre-meditated from the get-go, and I was a woman on my own,” she told the BBC.
“He is highly manipulative and relentless. It becomes easier to just accept a drink to shut him up.”
In Ms Houlston’s case, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was not enough evidence to prosecute.
In January 2018, the Parole Board said Worboys would be freed after serving 10 years, but victims challenged the decision.
Among reasons given for refusing the Worboys parole were his “sense of sexual entitlement” and a need to control women.
Reacting to the sentencing, the CPS’s Tina Dempster said: “John Worboys is a dangerous predator who still poses a clear threat to women.”
A GP who cited Angelina Jolie and Jade Goody to instil fear in his patients about their health has been found guilty of sexually assaulting 23 women.
Manish Shah preyed on cancer concerns to carry out invasive intimate examinations for his own sexual gratification, the Old Bailey heard.
He convinced his victims to have unnecessary checks between May 2009 and June 2013.
He was convicted of 25 counts of sexual assault and assault by penetration.
Jurors acquitted 50-year-old Shah, of Romford, of five other charges.
They were told afterwards he had already been found guilty of similar allegations relating to 17 other women, bringing the total number of victims to 23.
He will be sentenced for all the offences on 7 February. The BBC’s health editor Hugh Pym said it was one of the biggest cases of its kind involving one doctor.
The trial heard Shah mentioned a news story to one patient about Hollywood star Jolie having a preventative mastectomy, before asking if she would like him to examine her breasts.
In another instance involving a different complainant, he mentioned TV personality Goody – who died of cervical cancer – and advised an examination was in her best interests, it was claimed.
Prosecutor Kate Bex QC told the trial: “He took advantage of his position to persuade women to have invasive vaginal examinations, breast examinations and rectal examinations when there was absolutely no medical need for them to be conducted.”
One of Shah’s patients told the BBC how she became one of the GP’s victims.
“He would say you need to have these sexual health tests, to make sure you’re safe – you never know if somebody goes with somebody else even though you might have a safe partner,” she said.
“He was just encouraging the tests along when I didn’t think anything of it, I thought if a doctor suggests it you pretty much go along with it.
“He just duped so many people. He used our weaknesses and fears and took complete advantage. But not one time did I actually think he was doing anything untoward.”
The NHS in London said it “extended sympathies” to the victims and added: “As soon as the allegations came to light, swift action was taken and we have supported the police throughout their investigation.”
The family of a 12-year-old boy killed in a hit-and-run near a school say they are “devastated” by his death.
Harley Watson was struck near Debden Park High School in Loughton, Essex, at about 15:20 GMT on Monday.
A 51-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of his murder, as well as the attempted murder of four other teenagers and a 23-year-old woman who were hurt in the crash.
Harley’s family described him as a “good, kind, helpful and lovely boy”.
In a statement, they said: “We are so devastated by what has happened.
“We would like to thank everyone for their kind wishes and concern.
“However, as a family we would like people to respect our privacy and allow us to grieve in peace.”
Essex Police said the 51-year-old man was arrested in a pub car park in Fiddlers Hamlet at 23:00 on Monday.
Ch Supt Tracey Harman said there “may be connections” between the crash near Debden Park High School and an earlier incident of a car mounting a pavement near Roding Valley High School in Loughton, 10 minutes before the fatal collision.
The force has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct based on “previous contact” it had had with the arrested man.
It is understood all the injured children – two 15-year-old boys, a 13-year-old boy, and a girl, 16 – are pupils at the school.
Debden Park’s head teacher Helen Gascoyne, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and all those affected. The school will be open [on Tuesday] with a number of counsellors on hand to support our community.”
Christian Cavanagh, executive head teacher, described Harley’s death as “a young life so tragically lost”.
He said: “This young man had made his mark on the school and was liked and loved by staff and students. We will consult with the family and our school community to decide how best to commemorate his life.”
‘I’ve been hit by a car’
Donna Mills, the mother of Alfie Barnes who was one of the 15-year-olds struck by the car, said he was “still in shock… battered and bruised”.
“He remembers the car coming towards him, he remembers getting hit, but it is a bit of a blur. He hit his head and I think he blacked out for a bit,” she said.
“Alfie rang me and said ‘mum I have been hit by a car’, so I shot down there as fast as I could. It was horrendous.
“It was… horrible to see, kids laying on the floor, just terrible.”
Essex Police said officers are looking for a silver Ford Ka “likely to have damage to [its] front”.
Earlier, the force took the step of naming Terry Glover, 51, as someone they wanted to speak to in connection with the crash.
A gallery which has been shut since a break-in will reopen without the two paintings which were targeted.
An intruder forced their way into an exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery in south London on 13 November and removed two valuable Rembrandt artworks.
Police intervened before the intruder was able to take them away but the building has been shut since then.
The gallery said the two Rembrandt’s had been returned to their lenders.
However, all other artworks which make up Rembrandt’s Light exhibition will still be on display when it reopens on Thursday, a spokeswoman said.
The building had been shut while a “full investigation” into the break-in was taking place but it was now “ready to reopen”, she added.
Police described the intrusion as an “audacious attempted burglary” which had been “clearly planned in advance”.
In spite of the paintings being recovered, the intruder was able to get away by spraying an officer in the face with an unknown substance from a canister as they were being chased.
The Met said no arrests had been made over the break-in.
Prosecutors in Sweden have dropped an investigation into a rape allegation made against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in 2010.
Assange, who denies the accusation, has avoided extradition to Sweden for seven years after seeking refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012.
The 48-year-old Australian was evicted in April and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions.
He is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in London.
The Swedish investigation had been shelved in 2017 but was re-opened earlier this year following his eviction from the embassy.
Separately, the US is seeking Assange’s extradition from the UK over his alleged role in the release of classified military and diplomatic material by Wikileaks in 2010.
What did the prosecutors say?
Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Eva-Marie Persson took the decision to “discontinue the investigation regarding Julian Assange”, the Swedish Prosecution Authority said.
“The reason for this decision is that the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question,” it added.
Ms Persson said: “I would like to emphasise that the injured party has submitted a credible and reliable version of events.
“Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed; however, my overall assessment is that the evidential situation has been weakened to such an extent that that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation.”
Separately, the prosecutors held a news briefing in the Swedish capital Stockholm, saying that the decision to drop the inquiry had been taken after interviews with seven witnesses in the case.
What was the Swedish investigation about?
Assange was accused of rape by a woman and sexual assault by another one following a Wikileaks conference in Stockholm in 2010. He has always denied the allegations, saying the sex was consensual.
He also faced investigations for molestation and unlawful coercion, but these cases were dropped in 2015 because time had run out.
What has the reaction been?
There was no immediate comment from Assange but Wikileaks welcomed the Swedish move to drop the investigation.
Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said: “Let us now focus on the threat Mr Assange has been warning about for years: the belligerent prosecution of the United States and the threat it poses to the First Amendment.”
What charges does Assange face in the US?
Australian-born Assange faces a charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion in the US.
He is accused of participating in one of the largest ever leaks of government secrets, which could result in a prison term of up to five years.
In June, the then UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, formally approved an extradition request from the US.
Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla been granted extra time to respond to allegations that he racially abused Charlton Athletic’s Jonathan Leko.
The Spaniard, 33, allegedly used words that “made reference to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin”.
He had been due to respond by Tuesday, 12 November, but now has until Wednesday, 27 November.
Leeds issued a statement when Casilla was charged on 4 November saying the former Real Madrid goalkeeper “strenuously denies the allegation”.
Under rules introduced for the 2019-20 season, the minimum suspension for a player found guilty of an aggravated breach of the FA’s discrimination rules will be six matches, which can be increased depending on any additional aggravating factors.
On Saturday afternoon, the hot water went off in Alex Milsom’s shared house in west London. Discussing the problem with his housemates on WhatsApp, one person replied: “It’s because there’s a cage on the thermostat.”
“I said I would put the water back on, but obviously I couldn’t get past the new lock box,” Alex said.
His landlady had visited the property to install a clear thermostat cover over the Google Nest thermostat – which can control heating and hot water.
“We have no idea what the temperature is,” he said. “The Nest screen only lights up when you stand up close to it, but the box has stopped that from working and we can’t see the number.”
Alex, 21, has been living with six or seven others in a semi-detached house in Ealing since August. Rented from a private landlady, he pays £700 a month, and the landlady covers his utility bills.
In a multi-occupancy dwelling like Alex’s, the landlord is permitted to control the heating, with no rules against boxing off the thermostat, experts say. The same is true of a standard rental property with fewer than three tenants, if the landlord pays the bills.
But, until now, Alex and his housemates have had control over the temperature of their home and the hot water via the thermostat in the communal kitchen.
“It’s just quite funny,” he adds.
“On Sunday night I woke up in a sweat because the heating was on, but the next morning I had to shower at work because there was no hot water,” he says. The water has since returned.
Alex shared his story on Twitter on Saturday, which went viral and prompted queries over the legality of the move.
Some landlords responded to the thread by saying the move could be understandable in a situation where tenants were being careless with the heating.
So can a landlord box off a thermostat?
David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, says there are no rules around boxing off thermostats.
But adds: “It is a matter of good tenancy management and we encourage landlords to speak first with tenants before taking such action.
“In shared homes there can often be disputes between tenants who want the thermostat set at different temperatures.”
However, the issue is not clear cut.
A tenant has a right to heating and hot water, says Daniel Fitzpatrick, a partner at Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors.
But whether a landlord can box off a thermostat depends on the terms of the tenancy agreement.
“If the tenant is just paying a basic agreement where bills are not included, that could be why the landlord installed the fitting – usually thermostats can be covered,” he says.
“Should that not be the case, then there could be various actions against the landlord.
“It’s a basic right to be able to turn on heating and hot water, and it would be a breach of health and safety if the tenant could not.”
Housing experts from Citizens Advice say the legality of a landlord-controlled thermostat is likely to rely on whether it results in hazards – excess cold or possibly extreme heat.
According to the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), which governs housing conditions, heating can be centrally controlled by the landlord in a house in multiple occupation.
But the guidance adds that if this causes “unreasonable extremes in temperature” then this may represent a hazard – over which the local authority can take action against the landlord.
Risks of adverse health effects arise when indoor temperature drops below 19C, with serious health risks occurring below 16C, it says.
What can a tenant do if they are still unhappy?
Under the new Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, all residential tenancies after 20 March 2019 are required to be free of hazards.
If a tenant feels this is not the case they could try making a claim against the landlord.
But Citizens Advice says it is better to try to “negotiate amicably” if at all possible – “due to the limited security of tenure which private tenants tend to have” – and it warns of the risk of an escalating row.
“The tenants might consider trying to take control of the heating themselves by using electric heaters.
“There is a risk, however, that the landlord may respond negatively to a huge electricity bill, and perhaps seek to serve a section 21 notice (no fault eviction notice) to terminate the tenancy at the end of the fixed term, or seek to alter the rent or other tenancy terms as a condition of any renewal.”