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Teenage motorist who killed mum-of-three after inhaling laughing gas jailed

The driver was also found to have used cocaine and cannabis before the hit-and-run

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A teenage motorist who killed a mum-of-three after driving into her outside of a bar in Wigan has been jailed.

Jacob Gaskell also injured two other pedestrians when he mounted the pavement in his Land Rover Freelander down Ormskirk Road, Pemberton on the evening of Friday April 8th, one day before his nineteenth birthday.

The incident happened just two months after he was handed a two month suspended sentence for a previous driving offence. 

Bolton Crown Court heard that Gaskell had been inhaling laughing gas at the wheel, while blood tests later showed he had used cocaine and cannabis before the crash.

GMP

Prosecution barrister Rachel Woods told the court that Gaskell had picked up a number of passengers in Garswood and was driving to Pemberton, with one of the passengers reporting that Gaskell was speeding and going through red lights.

The passenger also said Gaskell inhaled nitrous oxide from a balloon while driving before mounted the pavement, smashing into three pedestrians and hitting the pub wall and a lamp post.

The other two victims were twin brothers Jack and Ben Atherton, with the latter suffering a fractured lower spine and three bleeds to the brain after being ‘catapulted’ into the air.

Following the crash, Gaskell fled the scene on foot, leaving mum-of-three Laura Hazeldine, forty-four, dying outside of the pub.

Hazeldine, lived and worked as a maths teacher in Cambridgeshire, but had been visiting her family at the time of the incident.

GMP

She suffered catastrophic injuries and was rushed to Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, where numerous attempts to resuscitate her were made. However, she later died in the hospital.

Laura’s mum Gillian Webster read out a moving victim impact statement in court,  “She was a loving, kind person… Laura touched the lives of everyone she met.

“Laura’s life was working hard and being the best mum, daughter, sister, work colleague and teacher, while studying for her degree in mathematics.

“We will never forget the severe injuries she sustained and her fight for life that night as I watched her sadly pass away.”

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Mitigating, Andrew Nuttall said nineteen-year-old Gaskell had mental health issues including low moods and an emotionally unstable personality disorder, likely caused by his persistent drug use from the age of fourteen.

He told the court: “[Gaskell’s] thoughts and expressions of remorse are not for himself but for the victim’s family and friends.

“He is not going to be forgiven for what he did and he will have to live with his shame and this tragedy for the rest of his life. He’s not much more than a boy and it will be a potentially long life for him learning to live with what he has done.”

Gaskell was handed a nine-year prison sentence and a ten-year driving ban which will start when he is freed.

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Mount Snowdon has officially changed its name following a petition

The petition got 5,000 signatures

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Raintheone / Wikimedia & George Hodan / Public Domain Pictures

Mount Snowdon has officially had a name change, following a petition which garnered 5,000 signatures.

A county councillor from Gwynedd brought forward a motion which encouraged the local authority to drop the English name of both Snowdon and Snowdonia, leading to the petition.

Councillor John Pughe Roberts said the reason for implementing the motion was ‘all down to respect’ for both Wales and the Welsh language.

Caff55 / PxHere

The petition urged the National Park to formally use the Welsh names Eryri for Snowdonia and Yr Wyddfa for Snowdon.

And now, the Snowdonia National Park Authority will use both Welsh names, rather than the English versions.

Officials at the National Park voted in favour of the move earlier this month, saying it was ‘a mark of respect for our cultural heritage’.

Naomi Jones, head of cultural heritage at the Snowdonia National Park Authority, said: ”Many public bodies across Wales have moved to use both the Welsh and English names, or the Welsh name only, when referring to Yr Wyddfa and Eryri, as have many of the mainstream English-language press and filming companies.

“This is very encouraging, and gives us confidence that this change in the Authority’s approach will be accepted for the benefit of the Welsh language and as a mark of respect to our cultural heritage.

“We have historic names in both languages, but we are eager to consider the message we wish to convey about place names, and the role they have to play in our current cultural heritage by promoting the Welsh language as one of the National Park’s special qualities.

“By referring to our most renowned landmarks by their Welsh names we give people from all over the world the opportunity to engage with the Welsh language and its rich culture.”

Raintheone / Wikimedia

However, the National Park will still legally have to use both the Welsh and English names in any official documentation.

Snowdon is one of the most well-known landmarks in the UK, and stands at 3,560ft – making it the highest mountain in Wales.

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Man arrested following three attempted kidnappings of schoolgirls

A 33-year-old was arrested.

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Greater Manchester Police

Police have arrested a man following their release of CCTV footage featuring a car they believe was used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle reportedly attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on November 21st.

Detectives also think the same man ‘possibly’ tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

Now police have confirmed that a 33-year-old man was arrested by officers today, Monday November 28th, on suspicion of three counts of attempted kidnap.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Officers identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield, of GMP’s Salford CID, said: “Although we have made this arrest, we are still very much looking to speak to anyone who may have information or dashcam footage, which could help us to establish the circumstances.

“We understand that the local community will be concerned but we are doing all we can to solve this investigation.

“I’d urge anyone who knows anything at all to please get in touch as soon as possible. In particular we are interested in the movements of a Black Vauxhall Astra 08 plate with a silver driver’s wing mirror cover; the passenger side is black.”

Police are still keen to speak to anyone with dashcam footage from the following times:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm
  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am
  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

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Police believe this car was used in three attempted kidnappings of schoolgirls

Do you recognise the vehicle?

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Greater Manchester Police

Police have released CCTV footage of a car they believe was used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on November 21st.

Detectives also think the same man tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield said: “It’s very important that we get this man identified and off the streets as soon as possible.”

Police have identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Anyone with dashcam footage from the following times, officers are keen to speak to you:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm

  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am

  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

 

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