September 2019

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Taxi driver Christopher Halliwell will die behind bars for second murder

first_img“The little things we all take for granted every day. I go to the supermarket and see her favourite biscuits and sweets and I go to put them in the trolley for a split-second, then I remember she is not here.”She is dead. That sends a wave of panic and pain in my chest, just like a knife through my heart.”The only thing I can buy her is flowers for her grave. “Since Becky was found, my future has become very different. Tell me, how can anyone get over such an enormous ordeal and loss? Just pictures and memories, a broken heart and a grave. That is all I have left of my beautiful daughter.”Detective Superintendent Sean Memory, who led the investigation, said: “I am very, very clear there must be other victims out there, whether they are sexual offences or other women that he has taken.”The offending behaviour for killing Becky – it was cold, it was calculating, as the judge said.”I can’t believe that was his first offence, from being a burglar in the 1980s to a murderer in 2003. There was a significant gap in his offending behaviour.”On top of that, Sian wasn’t murdered until 2011 so what happened in the interim eight years?”He talked candidly in 1985 about wanting to be a serial killer and I genuinely believe that’s a distinct possibility.”I will now seek to review outstanding cases, I will appeal to Christopher Halliwell again to tell the truth for once in your life and come and speak to me.” The police interview of taxi driver Christopher HalliwellCredit:PA Charlie Edwards (left) carrying the coffin of Rebecca Godden, also known as Becky, into Christ Church, Swindon for her funeral service. Credit:PA/PA Karen Edwards mother of Becky Godden talks to the press outside of Bristol Crown Court. Credit:REX/Shutterstock/REX/Shutterstock A killer taxi driver who murdered two young women made his victim’s family’s pain worse by not confessing to her death despite showing police where he had buried her body.Christopher Halliwell, 52, is already serving a life sentence for the murder of Sian O’Callaghan, 22, who he abducted in his taxi as she made her way home from a night out in Swindon in March 2011.He has been told he will now die in prison as police reveal there might be more victims after the killer confessed to a fellow inmate about murdering a girl and asking his how many people he needed to kill to become a serial killer.Halliwell confessed to killing Miss O’Callaghan and took police to her body before offering “another one” and leading them to where he had buried missing prostitute Becky Godden in January 2003. The killer then later denied murdering Miss Godden but was convicted following a two-week trial at Bristol Crown Court, at which he represented himself.He smirked at Miss Godden’s family as the jury of six men and six women returned their verdict on Monday following less than three hours of deliberations.Retired High Court judge Sir John Griffith Williams sentenced Halliwell to a whole life order on Friday and told him he will die in prison.Passing sentence, the judge described Halliwell’s account of Miss Godden being buried in the field by two drug dealers as a “cock and bull story”.He added: “Your account of the circumstances in which she met her death bears all the hallmarks of a contrived explanation designed to avoid conviction in the hope that the minimum term you are presently serving will not be increased.”But the account in which you advanced so glibly with little or no regard to the truth made no sense at all.”I have had the opportunity of observing you throughout the trial and listening to your evidence. I have no doubt that you are a self-centred and domineering individual who wants his own way. You are both calculating and devious.” Becky’s mother Karen Edwards said she spent years searching for her daughter until police told her the devastating news on what would have been her daughter’s 29th birthday.”That feeling of total devastation, disbelief, loss, pain, the flash of sudden panic that hits me in the stomach and just repulses me. It has changed my world. The world as I knew it has been totally destroyed and will never be the same, complete, ever again,” she said. Karen Edwardscenter_img “I will never be able to give her a hug ever again and make things right for her, or take her shopping, brush her hair, have a moan at her for not keeping her room tidy or taking my make-up.”No waiting up half the night for a phone call to pick her and her mates up after a night out. Becky Godden Christopher Halliwell has been found guilty of Becky Godden’s murder.Credit:PA/PA Becky Godden The police interview of taxi driver Christopher Halliwell 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


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Hundreds of police officers getting away with sexual abuse of crime victims

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. Figures also suggested there was a “disconnect” between the numbers of alleged cases and sackings as a result.HMIC said all forces should carry out a retrospective review of allegations and consider referrals to the IPCC.Mr Cunningham said: “Forces need to become far more proactive in rooting out this most serious form of corruption, rather than only dealing with it once it has been reported.”Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, said: “It is a matter of profound concern that any police officer should abuse their authority for sexual gain.”The misconduct discovered in this report is shocking – it undermines justice and public confidence and there is no place in the police for anyone guilty of this sort of abuse.”Stephen Watson, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for counter-corruption, said: “Abuse of powers for sexual gain is a betrayal of our core responsibility to protect people from harm.”It is the most serious form of corruption and it can never be justified or condoned. In recent years, we have focused on encouraging reporting and pursuing offenders.”We now need to do more to continue to root out the disease and inoculate policing for the future. We are in the process of developing a national strategy to raise the standards of all forces in preventing this form of abuse.” What can be worse than a guardian abusing the trust and confidence of an abused person?HM Inspector Mike Cunningham Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, descirbed the misconduct discovered in the HMIC report as ‘shocking’Credit:James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock HM Inspector Mike Cunningham said: “It is at least possible, probably likely, that the problem is more serious than the numbers that have been reported back to us.”It’s the most serious form of corruption. It is an exploitation of power where the guardian becomes an abuser.”What can be worse than a guardian abusing the trust and confidence of an abused person? There can be no greater violation of public trust.”Data collected by the watchdog identified 436 reported allegations of abuse of authority for sexual gain received by forces in England and Wales in the two years to the end of March.These allegations covered a total of 334 police personnel, comprising 306 officers, 20 PCSOs and eight police staff.All but one constabulary had at least one case, while more than a third (39 per cent) of the allegations involved victims of domestic abuse.Arrested suspects and people with drug or alcohol problems were also thought to be among those allegedly exploited.While forces acknowledge the seriousness of the problem, some are still failing to recognise it as a serious form of corruption, the report warned.It revealed that less than half (48 per cent) of the 436 reported allegations had been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Amber Rudd Hundreds of police officers are alleged to have got away with sexually assaulting victims of crime because forces fail to take action against them, a report has revealed.Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) laid bare the scale of the issue it described as the most serious form of corruption and rebuked forces over their efforts to root out cases.The watchdog was called in by then home secretary Theresa May earlier this year to investigate the extent of the problem.The initial findings identified more than 400 claims of abuse over two years.last_img read more


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Bar accused of encouraging underage sex for hosting under18 Pop Ya Cherry night

first_imgBisoux Lounge where promoters of an under-18s’ Valentines party have come under fire for their event allegedly encouraging underage sexCredit:Tony Kershaw / SWNS.com I used to go to under 18’s nights and they definitely weren’t advertised like that, I just can’t believe itThomas Foran Only six people are currently attending on their Facebook event for the night, but Pop Ya Cherries Parties claim the £10 tickets are selling out.Thomas Foran, 34, said: “I was coming home from work yesterday and saw these posters all over the place.”There must have been about 6 stuck up in the bus stop, a pile of them on the floor and then loads more up the high street. I’ve noticed them in Kingston too.”I was really shocked by it, it’s obviously encouraging teens to have underage sex and it’s wrong.”I used to go to under 18’s nights and they definitely weren’t advertised like that, I just can’t believe it.”The term ‘pop ya cherry’ in particular obviously implies that if you’re a virgin you should go there to have sex.”I’ve got a nephew who is 8 and nieces around the same age and I would hate having to explain to them what that means.”There are loads of school kids who get off at that bus stop so they’re obviously deliberately targeting them.”The manager of Bisoux Lounge Jay Sexton said: “The event is nothing to do with the Bisoux Lounge.”A promoter asked if they could do a under 18s event there. Which hasn’t 100% been confirmed.”So if bad press is released my solicitor will be contacting you as this event hasn’t been advertised on any of our social media, website or newsletters.”You can’t go by some random person putting up a poster up. If we had advertised then I understand what your saying but this has nothing to do with our venue.”Pop Ya Cherry have also been approached for comment. Bisoux Lounge where promoters of an under-18s' Valentines party have come under fire for their event allegedly encouraging underage sex 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. Outraged locals have spotted an onslaught of posters advertising the night at Bisoux Lounge bar in Esher, Surrey, with “piles” of them plastered across a bus stop in nearby Teddington which is regularly used by school children.They believe the “Pop Ya Cherry” metaphor is directly promoting underage sex and particularly encouraging vulnerable young girls to lose their virginities prematurely.Bisoux Lounge say they were approached by a promoter who asked if they could hold the night there and it hasn’t “100% been confirmed”. A bar has been accused of encouraging under-age sex for hosting an under 18s Valentine’s event called “Pop Ya Cherry Parties”.Teenagers are being targeted by an events company who are holding their first night in an exclusive members’ bar on February 13 for children aged 14 to 18.They describe themselves as “the newest and most exciting provider of under 18’s clubbing in the UK” and claim to throw parties that “top even the best over 18’s nights in the world”.last_img read more


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How emotional ambivalence stops people overspending when shopping on mobiles and tablets

first_imgAcademics at the University of East Anglia believe consumers feel they are not seeing the full picture on handheld devices, and fear they could be missing out on special offers elsewhere or overlooking hidden costs. Concerns about privacy and security could also cause people to put items into their shopping… Although mobile apps for shopping online are growing in popularity, shopping cart abandonment is much higher than for those using desktops because of a phenomenon called ‘emotional ambivalence.’center_img Online shopping using a mobile phone or tablet may be safer for people hoping not to overspend this January, because impulse buys are less likely than on a desktop computer, a new study has shown.last_img


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Iraq war veteran abuse inquiries nearly drove me to suicide

first_imgGuardsman Joseph McCleary, now aged 36, had been dragged through a series of investigations over the death of Ahmed Jabbar Kareem Ali, a 17-year-old Iraqi who drowned in May… The final straw for Joseph McCleary was a probe by the Iraq Fatality Investigations (IFI) team, which is now at the centre of controversy over yet another inquiry – this time into a decorated Army major, wounded in the line of duty. An Iraq war veteran has told how he was driven to near suicide by a relentless series of Ministry of Defence-funded inquiries over 15 years.center_img Ministers are under growing pressure to shut down IFI, a form of inquest chaired by Sir George Newman, a retired High Court judge, and funded by the MoD.last_img


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New Look accused of fat tax by charging more for outfits after

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. “Plus size purchases are on the increase. If you look at the statistics, there’s more money being spent on plus size clothing now then there was even three years ago.”Why should we be penalised for being slightly bigger? A lot of retailers do this. Some retailers have claimed that plus size clothes need more fabric and that’s why it costs more. That’s basically rubbish.”I used to work for a plus size brand so I do understand a lot about how it works.”Ms Wassell, 43, had been browsing online when she spotted the green striped wide leg trousers were on sale for £19.99 in New Look’s standard, tall and petite ranges, yet for sizes 18 and above they were £22.99. A New Look spokesman said: “To ensure pricing differences like these don’t happen in future, we are in the process of reviewing the pricing structure of our plus size collection in a way which works best for our customers and our business.”We are proud of the ranges we offer to our plus size customers and value all customers, no matter what their body shape or size.” It’s discriminating against those customers who are largershopper Maria Wassell An apparently identical pair of trousers in New Look's standard range cost £19.99 An apparently identical pair of trousers in New Look’s standard range cost £19.99Credit:Mercury Press She said she feels the retailer is alienating itself from vast swathes of shoppers by having price disparities on apparently identical items of clothing.Ms Wassell said: “I shop in the Curves range myself. I purchased a green striped top at the weekend from their plus size range and when I looked online that same top was £3 cheaper for those size 16 and under.”It’s discriminating against those customers who are larger. Even the trousers in their tall range, which would also require more fabric, are the same price as the normal ones. I’m annoyed.” New Look has been accused of imposing a “fat tax” after a shopper discovered a pair of trousers from its plus-size Curves range on sale for 15 per cent more than an apparently identical pair from the main collection.Retail supervisor Maria Wassell is now boycotting the High Street chain after she noticed the pricing difference when she browsed the rails at the Ashford branch.Ms Wassell, who has worked in retail for 26 years, said she was “absolutely disgusted” when she discovered a pair of green striped trousers were £22.99 in the Curves range, compared to £19.99 in the store’s standard range.The mother of two walked out of the store and went online, where she found a size 18 striped t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “tres jolie” which she paid £12.99 for the previous weekend was being sold for just £9.99 in the standard range – a 30 per cent difference.New Look said it is in the process of reviewing the pricing structure of its plus-size collection. Ms Wassell contacted New Look and claimed she was told “some products appear similar but may be slightly different”. Ms Wassell, from Ashford, Kent, said: “It’s like I’m being discriminated against for being plus size when I’m only slightly bigger than average. The average size for a British woman is now a size 16. read more


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New treatment offers up to ten months extra life for women with

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. The new treatment combines the standard weekly chemotherapy with the immunotherapy medication atezolizumab which once every two weeks.The combination works by chemotherapy “roughening up” the surface of the cancer, which enables the immune system to better recognise and therefore fight the cancer as a foreign object.Following the results of this trial, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the new treatment is now under review by health authorities who will decide whether to offer it on the NHS.Patients at St Bartholomew’s Hospital with triple-negative breast cancer are offered immunotherapy as part of ongoing trials.Triple negative breast cancer is more common in women under 40 and black women, according to Macmillan Cancer Support.It is one of the rarer forms of breast cancer, with around 15 per cent of breast cancers classified as triple negative. A new treatment could offer up to ten months extra life for women with one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, following a successful British trial.Using a combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy, the body’s own immune system can be tuned to attack triple-negative breast cancer, scientists found.The research, carried out by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, also showed that the combined treatment reduced the risk of death or the cancer progressing by up to 40 per cent.Professor Peter Schmid, a professor of cancer medicine at QMUL and the author of the trial, described the results as a “massive step forward”.“Triple-negative breast cancer is an aggressive form of breast cancer; we have been desperately looking for better treatment options,” he said.“It is particularly tragic that those affected are often young, with many themselves having young families.”Triple-negative breast cancer is one of the most deadly forms of the disease and nearly one quarter of patients diagnosed will not survive for more than five years.The standard treatment for it is chemotherapy, which most patients quickly develop resistance to. If the disease spreads to other parts of the body, survival is typically only 12 to 15 months.But with the new treatment, researchers say that survival could be extended by up to ten months.Prof Schmid, who is clinical director of the Breast Cancer Centre at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, explained that he new treatment will “significantly extend lives compared to the standard treatment of chemotherapy alone.”“We are changing how triple-negative breast cancer is treated in proving for the first time that immune therapy has a substantial survival benefit,” he said.“In a combined treatment approach, we are using chemotherapy to tear away the tumour’s ‘immune-protective cloak’ to expose it as well as enabling people’s own immune system to get at it.” read more


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Royal baby Archie first picture and everything we know about Meghan and

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have presented their newborn son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to the world, with Meghan declaring: “It’s magic, it’s pretty amazing. I have the two best guys in the world so I’m really happy.”Speaking in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle as her husband held their two-day-old child, Meghan added: “He has the sweetest temperament, he’s really calm.” As they both laughed, Harry said: “I don’t know who he gets that from.”The 7lb 3oz infant, whose name was released Wednesday afternoon, is believed to be the first mixed-race child born to a senior member of the royal family in centuries, and is a reflection of modern Britain with its culturally diverse population.  Here’s everything we know about the latest royal, from whether Archie will have a title, those birth rumours and reaction from Meghan’s estranged family.  Will Archie have a title?By deciding to call their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the Duke and Duchess have signified they will not use a title for their first born.The baby could have become Earl of Dumbarton – one of Prince Harry’s subsidiary titles – or have been Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, but instead he will simply be Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex present their newborn son to the world The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their baby son, who was born on Monday morning, during a photocall in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle Kate revealed yesterday they had no clues about the baby’s name but were eager to see the Sussexes and their new arrival.Speaking before the name was announced, she said: “As William said, we’re looking forward to meeting him and finding out what his name’s going to be so it’s really exciting for both of them and we wish them all the best.”These next few weeks are always a bit daunting the first time round so we wish them all the best.”The Prince of Wales has also spoken publicly for the first time about the birth, saying he was “delighted” at arrival of his latest grandchild.Harry’s grandmother the Queen accepted the congratulations of a Windsor Castle guest who asked: “Life is good for Your Majesty?” The Queen, who was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, was hosting a lunch on Tuesday for members of the Order of Merit and smiling said in reply “yes, thank you”. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex present their newborn son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to the world, who was wrapped tightly in a white shawlCredit:Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire A source said: “They have chosen not to use a courtesy title.”What we learnt from Prince Harry’s body language Meghan added: “He’s just been the dream so it’s been a special couple of days.”Read more: Growing up in Windsor: what will life be like for baby Sussex?  What have family members said so far?Family members spoke about the joy of the new arrival earlier this week, with the Duke of Cambridge saying on Tuesday he was “obviously thrilled, absolutely thrilled, and obviously looking forward to seeing them in the next few days when things have quietened down”. Asked how he found parenting, Harry added: “It’s great. Parenting is amazing. It’s only been two and a half days, three days, but we’re just so thrilled to have our own little bundle of joy.” Thomas Markle, the duchess’ estranged father, also offered his well-wishes on Monday. Mr Markle, a former TV lighting director, told The Sun: “I am proud that my new grandson is born into the British royal family and I am sure that he will grow up to serve the crown and the people of Britain with grace, dignity, and honour.” How was Archie’s name announced?In a statement posted on Instagram, the couple said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are pleased to announce they have named their first born child: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.”This afternoon Their Royal Highnesses introduced Her Majesty The Queen to her eighth great-grandchild at Windsor Castle. The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duchess’ mother were also present for this special occasion.” Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is pictured for the first time during a photocall in St George’s Hall at Windsor CastleCredit:Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire He added: “I’m very pleased and glad to welcome my own brother into the sleep deprivation society that is parenting.” What have Meghan and Harry said about parenthood so far?Amid surroundings steeped in royal history, Archie made his debut behind closed doors at midday today, with a small press pool of only one reporter, one photographer, three cameramen, as well as the couple’s own private photographer and a household press officer photographer.Meghan and Harry were beside themselves with joy giggling and looking into each others eyes as they spoke. The duke gently cradled his son in his arms – in a white merino wool  shawl made by G H Hurt & Son – and could not resist sneaking a peek down at him as he apparently slept. Asked who the baby takes after, Meghan, who was wearing a white dress, said: “We’re still trying to figure that out.”Harry, wearing a light grey suit, said: “Everyone says that babies change so much over two weeks we’re basically monitoring how the changing process happens over this next month really. But his looks are changing every single day, so who knows.” For all the latest royal baby news, including the name as it’s revealed, follow our liveblog. The family of three were pictured in a black and white snap showing off baby Archie to the Queen and Philip, alongside Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland.While the bookies had safely predicted the names of Prince George and Princess Charlotte, they were left confounded by the Sussex’s selection. In the days after the baby boy’s birth, they had settled on Alexander, Arthur, James, Philip and Spencer as the most likely options, with their punters preoccupied with how the couple would honour the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Archie means “genuine”, “bold” and “brave”, and is German in origin. Short for Archibald, it is now given as a name in its own right. It was the 18th most popular name for boys in England and Wales in 2017, according to the latest available figures from the Office for National Statistics.Harrison means “son of Harry” so is likely to be a tribute to the duke. Doria Ragland, the duchess’ mother, who was with the couple on Monday and is staying with them, was also overjoyed with the arrival of her first grandchild.Read more: Doria Ragland: meet royal baby Sussex’s American grandma Where was Baby Sussex born?The Duke and Duchess of Sussex kept plans for the birth of their baby private. He was initially believed to have been born in the sanctuary of Frogmore Cottage – the Sussexes’ newly renovated home on the Windsor Estate.However it later emerged that Meghan may have been whisked to a private hospital – thought to have been the Portland in London – without anyone noticing late on Sunday night. The reported move was so secretive – even senior royals were not told.The duke was at his wife’s side during the birth and he later confessed he had only had a few hours’ sleep, suggesting Meghan had spent much of the night in labour. Archie was born at 5.26am on Monday.Read more: Fois gras for mum and a beer for dad: What it’s like to give birth at The Portland read more


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Two men admit responsibility for death of bouncer who was stabbed outside

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. Two young men have pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a bouncer who was stabbed during a brawl outside an exclusive New Year party in Mayfair.Tudor Simionov, 33, was knifed in the chest during the “fast moving” fracas in the early hours of January 1 while on duty at an unlicensed party held at 80 Park Lane.On Tuesday, three young men went on trial at the Old Bailey accused of his murderOn the second day of the trial, two of the defendants – Adam Khalil, 20, from Kingsbury in north-west London, and Haroon Akram, 26, of no fixed abode – entered guilty pleas to a lesser charge of manslaughter.The pleas were accepted by the prosecution and the pair were formally found guilty of manslaughter by the jury on the directions of the judge.A third defendant, Nor Hamada, 23, of no fixed abode, has denied murder and five wounding charges and his trial continues.Jurors have heard Ossama Hamed, who is alleged to have delivered the fatal wound, has fled the jurisdiction.Prosecutor Philip Evans said the defendants were among a group of friends who had been celebrating the new year at Aquum nightclub in Clapham.In the early hours of January 1, they drove in an Audi and Jaguar to 80 Park Lane, the venue of an unlicensed New Year’s Eve after-party with “high” entrance prices, jurors heard. Nine door supervisors had been employed to control entry, including Mr Simionov.Jurors have seen a series of mobile phone clips of a group of men milling around the entrance to the party as the defendants were allegedly turned away.Akram was seen being held by one of the doormen before a scuffle began on the bonnet of a parked Lamborghini.The footage also showed Hamed, 25, wielding a knife as the fight continued, the court heard.Mr Simionov came outside to intervene in an attack on one of his colleagues and was stabbed in the chest, jurors heard.Despite being fatally injured, the victim delivered a blow and struck Hamed down, it was alleged.The whole incident took just six minutes and left five other members of staff injured, jurors have heard.Hamada is on trial alongside Adham El Shalakany, 24, of Hammersmith, west London, who denies violent disorder, and Shaymaa Lamrani, 26, of Ealing, west London, who has pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice by disposing of the knife used to stab Mr Simionov. read more


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Adolescent mens health clinic launched in Mahdia

Three adolescent and a men’s health clinics were launched on Thursday, in Mahdia.The collaborative initiative between the Ministry of Public Health and the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) is aimed at improving healthcare services for adolescents and men residing in the region.Speaking at the launch of the initiative at Mahdia’s District Hospital, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, (DCEO) Dr. Karen Boyle explained that in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine there is a disproportionately high number of pregnancy and maternal mortalities among teenagers as opposed to urban areas.(From left) Medical Officer, Mahdia District Hospital, Dr. Badel Baksh; Mahdia’s District Hospital, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, (DCEO) Dr. Karen Boyle; UNICEF’s Representative, Sylvie Fouet; Regional Executive Officer, Region Eight, Gavin GungaGuyana has been recorded as having the second highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Latin America and the Caribbean, with 97 per 1000 teenage pregnancies, after the Dominican Republic with 98 per 1000.Dr. Boyle said this is alarming since “we know that teen pregnancy is not only a health risk but is also a social risk factor that impacts our maternal motility rate and has the potential to negatively impact the economic productivity of the next generation.” Hence, it is crucial that teenage pregnancy is minimised or eradicated completely from society.”The DCEO outlined the some of the causes of teenage or unplanned pregnancy such as sexual violence and incest, power differential (men deciding when they will have sex) and intergenerational sex (young girls having sex with older men). Very often these have led to a high percentage of teens being at risk of contracting Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STDs) or the Human Immune Virus (HIV/AIDS). However, protection from these diseases is possible Dr. Boyle said.“You have to know how to protect yourself and …here at the clinic we know it has adolescent friendly (staff) to enable you to protect yourself by providing the necessary information and guidance.”According to the Department of Public Information, the DCEO underscored the need for more programmes and community groups to actively address the issue of teen health and pregnancy. To this end, she noted that the Ministry will seek partnership with the Ministries of Education, Communities, Indigenous People’s Affairs and Social Protection to provide the necessary assistance. She also called on other stakeholders to get involved in this fight.Meanwhile, UNICEF’s Representative, Sylvie Fouet explained that adolescence can be a period of challenges and vulnerability, therefore access to youth-friendly services are critical in this regard. In partnering with the Ministry of Public Health the main aim is to give young mothers and fathers the access to knowledge and information skillsMen’s Health Coordinator, Dr. Dennis Bassier, explained that menfolk will benefit from counselling and therapy sessions.  He highlighted that there are cases of men not fully comprehending the dangers of teenage pregnancy and how to care for their newborn babies. “We will provide counselling with them along with their partners to let them understand what happens,” Dr. Bassier said.Further, Medical Officer, Mahdia District Hospital, Dr. Badel Baksh highlighted that the area faces challenges as it relates to teenage pregnancy, since many teenagers practice experimentation, whether it be with drugs or sex.Some of audience at the launching of the adolescent and men’s health and early childhood initiative“There is the need for much sensitisation, hopefully at this forum, we will be able to break the cultural barrier with this population and they can know that this is the place to come for all their problems. Health is everybody’s business and we must look out for each other,” Dr. Baksh saidFollowing the launch, the visiting team made a donation of a large flat screen television and a DVD player to the Mahdia District Hospital for educational purposes. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGov’t exploring long-term solutions for early sexual activities among youthsFebruary 8, 2017In “Local News”GMI remains closed until “certain requirements are met” – EPAApril 8, 2019In “Environment”Two more maternal deaths reported, investigation launchedNovember 29, 2013In “Crime” read more