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Drink drivers who kill face life in prison from today

The legislation change will also see those who cause serious injury with their driving face tougher sentencing

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Alexandre Boucher / Unsplash & Pixabay

Dangerous drivers who kill will face life sentences from today as part of changes coming into force this week.

The current penalty for dangerous drivers who kill and careless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs is fourteen years.

However, thanks to an impending change to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, judges will be able to increase these sentences to life sentences.

The new legislation will also create an offence of causing serious injury by careless driving, meaning those who inflict long-term or permanent injuries will also face tougher sentences.

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This law change – first announced back in 2017 – will only apply to offences committed in England, Wales and Scotland, with Northern Ireland having its own road safety laws.

The Crown Prosecution Service will continue to charge people with manslaughter or murder where there is evidence that a vehicle was used as a weapon to kill or cause grievous bodily harm.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said on the new legislation, as per the BBC: “Those responsible will now face the possibility of life behind bars.

“Too many lives have been lost to reckless behaviour behind the wheel, devastating families.”

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Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, added: “Drivers exhibiting the worst behaviour on the roads are a danger to us all.

“Those who behave with disregard to the risk they pose deserve the stiffest penalties when their actions rob others of their lives.”

He added: “Involuntary manslaughter already carries a maximum penalty of up to life imprisonment so it is hard to argue that killing someone with a car doesn’t warrant a possible sanction of similar severity.”

The legislation change will come into effect today, Tuesday June 28th. 

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Andy Burnham says Avanti West Coast must improve or ‘contract should be terminated’

Avanti is running a heavily reduced timetable as a result of ‘unofficial strike action’

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The BMA / Flickr & TheFrog001 / Wikimedia Commons

Andy Burnham has urged the Transport Secretary to make Avanti West Coast run more trains to Manchester or terminate the firm’s contract.

In a letter to Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the mayor of Greater Manchester said he wants Avanti to run at least two services between Manchester and London per hour by the end of the month – or have their contract removed altogether. 

The Department for Transport has today placed the train firm on a short-term contract to challenge it to deliver the urgent increase in services required.

Back in August, the train company announced it would be reducing its services between Manchester and the capital to just one per hour as a result of ‘unofficial strike action’ by ASLEF members.

And over the last three weeks, an average of 10% of Avanti West Coast services between Manchester and London were either cancelled or significantly late. 

Over this same three-week time period, over a quarter of services (27%) have failed to arrive on time, according to Granada Reports.

Yet while Avanti has said it plans to return to an increased timetable by December 11th,  Burnham said it should happen sooner, and is calling for two trains per hour by the end of October, and three trains by December.

In his letter, Burnham wrote: “Unless this happens and is clearly communicated, train travel between our most important economic regions will continue to be chaotic, forcing people into their cars or into abandoning plans to travel entirely.

“These dreadful conditions would be unacceptable at any time but are particularly so now given the wholesale collapse of the timetable, something no other train company is experiencing at anything like this scale.

“Passengers face other challenges too. Tickets are still only being released a few days in advance, making planning for individuals and businesses impossible.

“Without this commitment, I will be unable to support a new contract for Avanti.”

In response, a spokesperson for Avanti West Coast said: “We are already delivering on our commitment to increase the number of services we are running between Manchester and London, with three or four trains an hour departing Manchester Piccadilly at the key times of the day.

“We remain focused on providing a reliable train service for our customers and restoring a full timetable of three trains an hour all day between London and Manchester, in December.

“Our revised timetable, with no reliance on overtime, is also proving more reliable – in the last week, we have run 300 trains between London and Manchester, with approximately one in thirty of them cancelled, mainly because of short-notice sickness.

“That compares with one out of thirteen trains cancelled back in mid-July.

“Nevertheless, we know that at the moment we’re not delivering the service our customers rightly expect and we apologise for the enormous frustration and inconvenience this is causing.

“We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding.”

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Tributes pour in for ‘gorgeous’ mum killed in Liverpool dog attack

Police say five American bulldogs have since been ‘humanely destroyed’

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Ann Dunn / Facebook & Granada Reports

Tributes have been pouring in for the ‘gorgeous’ mum who was mauled to death by five dogs in Liverpool.

Ann Dunn, sixty-five, died after being attacked by five American bulldogs in a property on St. Brigids Crescent, Vauxhall.

Merseyside Police were called out by paramedics on Monday October 3rd at around 4:25pm. However, Ann’s injuries were too serious and she was pronounced as dead at the scene.

Police say five American bulldogs, which were found inside the property, were handed over and have now been humanely destroyed.

Ann Dunn / Facebook

Officers also confirmed that a thirty-one-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of owning a dog dangerously out of control. He remains in custody.

Following the news of her death, people who knew Ann have paid their own tributes to the mum and grandmother on social media.

One person wrote on Facebook: “RIP gorgeous lady, still can’t believe it Ann. Had some good times with you I will never forget.”

She added: “I am all so heartbroken for you kids and family right now. Don’t want to even think how they feeling… So happy I got [sic] have old chat with you on Friday even though it was only for 10 minutes, keeping looking over your family.”

Another social media user added: “Heart breaking thinking of all the family, devastated for yous all. R.I.P lovely Ann.”

Ann Dunn / Facebook

Liverpool John Moores University, where Ann worked as a cleaner, also paid tribute to their ‘hard-working and dedicated’ employee.

They said: “The university community is absolutely shocked and devastated by this tragic loss and to lose Ann in this way is just heart-breaking. Ann was hard-working and dedicated and had so many friends across the organisation. It’s just awful and she will be terribly missed.

“Our thoughts at this time are with her family and loved-ones.”

Detective Inspector Katie Coote added: “This is clearly a very distressing incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the lady who died.

“Our enquiries remain ongoing as we seek to establish what has happened and I would urge anyone who could assist our enquiries to get in touch.”

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Man arrested after woman killed by ‘five dogs’ in Liverpool

The dogs have since been ‘humanely destroyed’

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Granada Reports & BBC Breakfast

A man has been arrested after a woman was killed after she was attacked by five dogs in a house in Liverpool.

Merseyside Police were called out by paramedics yesterday (Monday October 3rd) after reports a sixty-three-year-old woman had been attacked by the animals inside a property down St. Brigid’s Crescent in Kirkdale.

The woman, who is yet to be formally identified, died at the scene following the attack at around 4.25pm. 

Police say five American bulldogs, which were found inside the property, were handed over and have now been humanely destroyed.

A thirty-one-year-old man has since been arrested on suspicion of owning a dog deemed to be dangerously out of control. He remains in custody.

An investigation into the incident remains ongoing and a post-mortem will be carried out to establish the exact cause of death.

Detective Inspector Katie Coote said: “This is clearly a very distressing incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the lady who died.

“Our enquiries remain ongoing as we seek to establish what has happened and I would urge anyone who could assist our enquiries to get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to DM @MerPolCC or @CrimestoppersUK on Twitter. Alternatively, they can be contacted via telephone on 0800 555 111 quoting reference 22000731247.

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