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Archie Battersbee’s life support set to end today as last-minute appeal takes place

Archie was found unconscious in his home in April after seemingly taking part in an online challenge

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Hollie Dance

A court of appeal hearing will take place this morning to discuss whether the life support of Archie Battersbee should be withdrawn.

The twelve-year-old is due to have his life support turned off at 2pm today after medics declared him as brain-stem dead and concluded that keeping him on life support is not in his best interests. 

However, the Court of Appeal has now granted a virtual hearing for 11am today after Archie’s family applied to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (UNRPD) to consider the case.

A legal ‘stay’ to prevent treatment from being withdrawn has also been put in place until 1pm today.

Archie’s mother Hollie Dance said the family felt ‘relieved’ that the government had taken the UN’s intervention seriously.

She said in a statement: “This was not a ‘request’ but an interim measures injunction from the UN.

“The anxiety of being told that Archie’s life-support will be removed tomorrow at 2pm has been horrific. We are already broken and the not knowing what was going to happen next is excruciating.”

And speaking to BBC Radio 4, Dance was adamant that her son’s future ‘shouldn’t be with the decisions of a court – or the hospital – I think this sort of decision should be made by the parents – we’ve got parental responsibility for a reason’.

She said based on evidence from cases similar to Archie’s: “I don’t think six months was not too much to ask for, before being dragged through a court”.

She continued: “I don’t think I’m holding on to hope, I’m just asking for a realistic time for my child to recover from a brain injury.

“They wanted to turn the machine off on day three. What is the rush?”

Alistair Chesser, chief medical officer for Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the Royal London Hospital caring for Archie, said: “Our deepest sympathies are with Archie’s family at this difficult time.

“We understand a court hearing will take place on Monday morning and we await the outcome. The plan to withdraw treatment will proceed unless the court directs otherwise.”

Twelve-year-old Archie was found unconscious at his home in Southend, Essex back in April after taking part in what his mother believes was an online challenge. The following month, Mrs. Justice Arbuthnot ruled that Archie was brain-stem dead, declaring in June that his treatment should be withheld. 

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Second man arrested after girl, 6, abducted and assaulted

BREAKING: The girl was abducted on Wednesday afternoon

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A second man has been arrested on suspicion of abducting and sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl in Greater Manchester.

The man remains in custody for questioning, Greater Manchester Police have confirmed.

Previously a thirty-five-year-old man was arrested, but he has since been released with no further action taken.

Officers were first called to reports of an abduction at around 4pm on Wednesday, August 17th. The child was allegedly taken into a wooded area near a disused railway in Droylsden. 

There, the girl was taken to a van where she was sexually assaulted. She was taken back to the woods before managing to find her own way to a nearby park. 

She has since been reunited with her family, and is been supported by specialist officers.

 

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Teen girl who died after getting into difficulty in water is named

BREAKING: The teenager’s body was recovered overnight earlier this week

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The teenage girl who died after getting into difficulty in a lake in Stalybridge has been named as Lucy Smith.

The fourteen-year-old’s body was recovered from water near Crowswood Drive in Stalybridge after emergency services were called out at around 6:30pm on Monday (August 15th).

Police said the body was recovered overnight and was then formally identified.

A spokesperson for the Manchester South Coroners’ Court has now confirmed that a file in relation to Lucy’s death has been passed to the coroner.

An inquest will open at a later date. Police said they do not believe there were any suspicious circumstances surrounding her death.

Detective Inspector Steven Horton, of GMP’s Tameside CID, said at the time of Lucy’s death: “Yesterday evening’s events are nothing short of devastating and my thoughts are with the friends and family of the young girl who lost her life in such awful circumstances.

“We are doing all we can to support the girl’s family at this incredibly difficult time, and we are focused on ensuring they get the answers they deserve as to how this tragedy occurred.

“From our enquiries so far, we are confident that there are no suspicious circumstances and that this is such a sad reminder of the dangers of entering open water, whatever the weather.”

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Man arrested after girl, 7, abducted and assaulted

A second man is still at large

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Google Maps & GMP

A man has been arrested on suspicion of abducting and sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl in Droylsden, though the hunt for another man continues.

Police were first called to reports of an abduction at around 4pm yesterday (August 17th). They believe the girl was taken by a man on Warne Avenue and into a wooded area near the disused railway track towards Manchester Road.

There, the girl was taken to a van where she was sexually assaulted. She was taken back to the woods before managing to find her own way to a nearby park. 

She has since been reunited with her family, and is been supported by specialist officers.

Last night, Greater Manchester Police announced that a thirty-five-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of abduction and sexual assault.

He was taken into custody to be questioned by detectives, who are ‘keeping an open-mind’ and continuing to hunt for another man who was ‘acting suspiciously’ in the area at the time.

Police released two pictures of the man, with the second image showing him on Gainsborough Road, heading towards The Snipe with his jacket removed around thirty minutes after the incident.

Anyone who sees the man should call 999, quoting incident 2270 of 17/08/2022. Other details – including sightings on CCTV, dash cam, or doorbell footage – can be passed to police via the LiveChat facility on the website or by calling 0161 856 9262.

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