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HOW was the bedroom tax for you? Did you manage to save for your next egg? Did you keep up with payments? The Housing association Valleys to Coast in Bridgend thanks you for fighting on through the austerity crisis by sending you a letter in the post and the chance to pick up a 60p ‘Creme Egg’.
Locals are welcome to take their own (rotten) eggs round to the Money Matters team and return the favour.
ON 12 Dec 1966, Harry Roberts, John Witney and John Duddy were convicted of the murders of David Wombwell, Christopher Head and Geoffrey Fox.
The murders were known as the Shepherd’s Bush murders as well as the Massacre of Braybrook Street.
On 12 August 1966:
Harry Roberts, John Witney and John Duddy were sitting in a Standard Vanguard estate preparing for a robbery when 3 unarmed policemen in plain clothes – David Wombwell, Christopher Head and Geoffrey Fox – pulled up near them in a Triumph 2000 Q-car, and started asking questions about their insurance and MOT.
Because they were carrying guns and thought were would be arrested they shot the policemen dead and drove off. A local resident made a note of the van number plate and they were later caught.
The hunt for the killers was on:
The Independent recalled the murders:
As two of the officers started to search the van, Roberts drew a 9mm Luger pistol and shot DC Wombwell through the left eye, and then shot DS Head in the back as he tried to flee. As the dying officer staggered away Roberts tried to shoot him in the head, but his gun jammed twice.
PC Fox had remained in the police car. Duddy fired a revolver at the officer twice from close range through the passenger window. Both bullets missed, but a third shot hit him in the left temple. The shot caused the policeman’s foot to push down on the accelerator and the car jumped forward, running over the body of DS Head and getting stuck there, with smoke pouring from its rear wheels. All three Metropolitan Police officers died from the gunshot wounds.
Roberts went on the run, hiding on Epping Forest.
It took 96 days before he was caught after one of the biggest manhunts the British police had mounted.
Roberts knew how to hide. He would later say:
“I was a sergeant and we used to go out on ambushes in the jungle. I would fire the first shot and then everyone would blast away… When I returned to Britain, I took up my old life as a criminal. I teamed up with Witney and we did dozens of armed robberies together – on betting shops, post offices. The most I earned was £1,000 from a single job. Witney was the eldest, the boss: he knew the best places to rob. Duddy joined us later…
“I was only caught because I was stupid. I had been trying to break open a safe at a * * factory and was late getting back to my camp. I had to cross a main road and had a blue holdall with me – no one in the country had a bag like that.”
All three were sentenced to life in prison.
John Duddy died in Parkhurst prison on 8 February 1981.
John Witney was released in 1991.
Roberts lives. In 2004, he spoke to the media. He had served 30 years and wanted parole:
“I don’t want to be Harry Roberts the cop killer. The media talk as if the shootings were yesterday: this keeps alive this image of me as a 30-year-old cop killer. I’m not that person any more. The Home Secretary is just responding to the media hype about me. When does punishment becomes vengeance? I feel my treatment has turned into institutionalised vengeance.”
His time in prison had not been uneventful:
In 2009, The Mail alleged that Roberts was no victim:
In April, The Mail on Sunday exclusively revealed how from his cell Roberts orchestrated a five-year campaign of intimidation against Joan Cartwright, 65, and her son, including horrific attacks on her animals. Mrs Cartwright works at an animal sanctuary in the Midlands, where Roberts worked on day release from Sudbury open prison.
When she secretly complained about his behaviour, he was moved from an open prison to a closed one.
But he then initiated his hate campaign in a bid to stop Mrs Cartwright and her son giving evidence against him at a parole hearing. The triple murderer rang Mrs Cartwright up to five times a week for nearly four years from Channings Wood prison in Devon.
The calls included terrifying veiled threats that coincided with the attacks on her animals. In the worst incident, a horse’s head was hacked at with an axe the night before Mrs Cartwright and her son were due to give evidence.
Another of Mrs Cartwright’s horses had to be put down days after her husband Peter had resisted giving Roberts a character reference. Other assaults between 2002 and 2006 led to a horse losing an eye; a donkey dying after its pelvis was shattered, probably with a baseball bat; the family’s pet cat being electrocuted, and a peacock being strangled.
Roberts also coerced Mrs Cartwright to visit him in jail, so he could repeat his threats to her face.
Not nice. But Roberts’ is a folk hero to some, well at least to those who want to cock a snook at the cops. His name continues to be evoked in song:
“Harry Roberts is our friend, is our friend, is our friend / Harry Roberts is our friend, he kills coppers.”
The band Chumbawamba replaced Hare Krishna with a tribute to Harry Roberts:
You can buy a Harry Roberts T-shirt:
And you can watch the TV show of the novel:
The Times reviews:
He Kills Coppers, confidently adapted by Ed Whitmore from the Jake Arnott novel, is based on the story of Roberts, a small time, semi-deranged crook who knew how to use guns because he had handled them in the Army.
The Times again:
He Kills Coppers is superior, feel-the-lining-on-this stuff – bafflingly good for ITV1. Spall is a low, sure, hypnotic note – a cocksure, slightly bent rookie detective in 1966; all fags, Brylcreem and tarts. The great casting continues with the mesmeric Kelly Reilly as a prostitute who is both fragile and brassily capable: a certain kind of working-class girl you got in “the olden days”, who was a feminist before feminism was invented
After the deaths come the myth and the glamour…
IN 1973, Dolly Parton released the song Jolene. It would become a smash hit.
Mark Wigmore gives some background to the great song:
There are several myths and legends about Dolly Parton’s song “Jolene.” It’s been said that the song is about a bank teller who had been flirting with her husband. There’s another story about a ten-year-old girl named Jolene who asked Parton for her autograph after a concert. But the real story is that of Parton striking out on her own after parting ways with her long-time mentor, Porter Wagoner...
Jolene was her first single after Dolly made the decision to embark on her solo career. It was released in October of 1973 and reached the number one position on the country charts in the U.S. and Canada in February of ’74. It was also her first song to cross over to the pop charts. “I Will Always Love You” followed suit a few months later. By the middle of 1975, Dolly had five number one hits in a row and a bona fide superstar was born.
But did you know that when played at 33 RPM, it sounds like this:
Spotter: Fraser Nelson
FLASHBACK to May 12, 1984:
Subway commuters point to a poster sporting a caricature of a nearly nude Walter Mondale that promotes the current issue of Penthouse Magazine at a Times Square Station in New York. CBGB, the birthplace of punk rock, is gone. No longer can visitors to Coney Island plunk down a few coins to play the unsettling attraction called “Shoot the Freak.” And seedy, edgy, anything-might-happen Times Square? These days, it’s all but childproof. Around countless corners, the weird, unexpected, edgy, grimy New York _ the town that so many looked to for so long as a relief from cookie-cutter America _ has evolved into something else entirely: tamed, prepackaged, even predictable. (AP Photo/Jim Lukoski, File)
THE latest from yet another of that long line of “sex doctors” who would tell us all how to do it. Which is that you might be having sex that average number of times, two or three times a week, but you might also not be having sex for long enough. For, amazing though this might be to the young among us, well known to the more weighted with years, women can take longer than men to reach orgasm.
Now, a leading sexual health doctor has claimed the average couple has sex two to three times a week. But, many men are not able to hold out long enough to satisfy their partners, Dr Harry Fisch claims.
The urologist, from New York Presbyterian Hospital, says about 45 per cent of men orgasm within two minutes of starting penetrative sex, which is much too quick for the average woman. He adds that most women need five to seven minutes to reach orgasm, Nerve.com reports.
Hmm, sounds like it might be necessary to offer some comfort to a very large number of unsatisfied women out there. Fortunately there is indeed a method of doing this: have sex more often.
READING old romance comic books is like slipping into the subconscious mind of the mid-century female. It was a time when their entire well-being and happiness revolved around dumb men; when every single action and decision was predicated on pleasing oblivious males. Thus, in comic after comic, with rarely an exception, you have the requisite scene of the beautiful female lying in bed pining desperately over some clueless oaf.
No doubt, it’s still pretty common for females to fantasize over men. Women’s Lib made great strides towards creating a more level playing field, but it didn’t do away with human nature. To a certain extent, the cliché is a timeless truth: girls will be girls, and boys will be boys.
JOSIE Cunningham is the victim of a Twitter hunt. Righteous of Twitter is in favour of killing the mum-of-two who said she would abort her child to appear on Big Brother. These clear thinkers would leave Josie’s children motherless and possibly orphaned. The “bitch”, “c*nt” and “slag” had it coming. We’ve compiled a selection of the more robust tweets. They all seem sincere and devoid of humour. And, remember, that what you say on Twitter can earn you a prison sentence two and a police raid.
But there is a caveat, if the Twitter police don’t like you (see Emma West should be raped and “Let’s hunt him down”) you really can say what you like. Free Speech, it turns out out, is only free on Twitter if the illiberal mob agree that their target is fair game and won’t snitch on you.
Let’s kick off with a call for the children to be taken away from their mother, whose been jailed for having an abortion:
Josie’s ability to say something shocking has scored her a Sun front page, a slot on ITV’s Daybreak and the chance to be commented on by columnists, like the Sun’s Jane Moore. The Sun’s cheque book sets them up, and the columnists hammers them in. Jane says the woman she’s not met is “greedy, callous and dangerously deluded”.
She had a happy childhood in a semi in Leeds, brought up by her hard-working and loving parents — Lisa, a retail manager, and Graham, a machine operator. She gained an impressive eight GCSEs, then studied accountancy at college with a view to serving in the Royal Navy.
STEPHEN Sutton, 19, has terminal cancer.
He aimed to raise £10,000 for charity. It was one of his 46 bucket list of things to do.
Then he posted a “final thumbs up”. He said he was “nearing the end”. People noticed. And the donations began to skyrocket.
JUSTIN Bieber has visited a shrine to Japanese war criminals, causing painful embarrassment to Japanese war criminals.
The Canadian pop star has been to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo which marks the lives of Japan’s 2.5 million war dead, including convicted war criminals who committed atrocities when the Japanese occupied large parts of China and South Korea. People like General Hideki Tojo, who was executed for war crimes in 1948.
THE BBC say it’s 60 million while The Guardian wrote that it was 120 million, The Scotsman, no doubt proud of the band’s Scottish roots, guessed 300 million.Whatever the amount was the Bay City Rollers certainly sold a lot of records although they still grumble to this day about how little they saw of the profits. Forty years ago the band was just about to become massive. The lead singer, Les McKeown, who was just eighteen when he joined the band late in 1973, had his name inked onto a million school bags and notebooks. He was the Harry Styles of the day, maybe even more popular – there was less music to go round in those days.
FOLLOWING the incredible box-office and critical success of John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978), the slasher film quickly became the go-to-format for up-and-coming horror filmmakers in the 1980s. These films had titles like Happy Birthday to Me (1981) and My Bloody Valentine (1981), and most of them concerned bloody massacres on holidays.
Although critics denigrated these slasher films as “dead teenager movies” or “knife-kill” films and slammed their apparent sense of misogyny, and formulaic story lines, the slasher craze of the epoch actually produced a number of great and memorable horror films.
SO. How did the Independent illustrate the story “Nearly 1,000 weapons confiscated from schoolchildren in the past three years”?
With a picture of some blades, scissors, a rusty strip of iron and… What’s that with the orange handles? Is it a pair of secateurs?
— The Independent (@Independent) April 23, 2014
Cancel the gardening club.
THE Journal Star has caught up with Jacob Elliott. He was arrested in the war on free speech. The Mayor or Peoria, one Jim Ardis, was very upset at the fake Twitter account, @Peoriamayor. He called the police.
Rather than laugh at Mr Ardis and advise him to respond to the spoof blog with humour and smiles, the police thought he had made a good point. How very dare anyone mock the Mayor. You can mock Jesus, God, Mohammed and even George Clooney, but mocking the Mayor of Peoria is a step too far.
Three judges agreed.
Judge Kirk Schoebein signed off on a warrant seeking subscriber information from Twitter.
Judge Lisa Wilson approved a warrant for Comcast to find out where the person who used the Internet to access Twitter lived
Judge Kim Kelley signed the warrant to search the home of the alleged parodists.
Respect for the man and his office must be preserved.
WHEN eight-track tapes hit the shelves in the latter part of the Sixties, it was seen as a godsend. All of a sudden, you could listen to your music collection in your car, or out-and-about with the new boom-boxes. There were even rumors it would completely replace the vinyl record. Yet, just over a decade later, the humble cassette tape was able to drive it to extinction. Its heyday lasted from 1968-1975, and by 1980 the poor eight-track was in history’s dustbin, a sort-of laughable derelict from the Seventies.
So what happened? Here are 8 reasons for its untimely demise.
OTHER than a brief Capri pants fad during the early Sixties, women rarely wore pants in public. It was dresses and skirts only. Then the Women’s Liberation movement hit its stride in the Seventies, and the ladies started to get in on the pants action. Just as the miniskirt had been a proclamation of the youth culture, pants became a proclamation of gender equality. If men can wear hideous corduroy bell-bottoms, by God, the women can too!
ON Twitter @DickGraceless has produced the “Daily Mail timeline of shame, for your viewing and sharing pleasure”.
THE more specious the world record, the more Anorak appreciates it. So, to Walker Harnden, 19, from Pittsboro, North Carolina, who has whistled the highest note ever.
Harnden, a student of the oboe at The UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, has had his whistle certified and posted by The Guinness Book of World Records, which reports:
The highest note whistled is a B7 (3951 Hz), which was achieved by Walker Harnden (USA) at the Hoad Recital Hall, University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA, on 7 November 2013. The “B7” note is the B just below the high C on a piano.
Anyone keen to best Harnden should know that he whistles “all the time,” up to four or five hours a day. A third of his waking day is spent whistling.
FLASHBACK to January 11, 1985: The Khat Man:
His cheek stuffed with khat, an artisan specializing in daggers and swords sits in his tiny booth at the old souk, or marketplace in ancient Sanaa, a city in North Yemen on Jan. 11, 1985 which hasn’t changed materially since the seventh century. Camel caravans and donkey carts are still in use and swords and daggers are worn by most men. (AP Photo/Aly Mahmoud)
For more on khat, see here.
THE claim is that garden centres lose £5,000 each by being forced to close on Easter Sunday. This is, of course, an intolerable imposition of Christian rules on a country that isn’t in fact very Christian any more.
However, it should be said that their claim doesn’t have quite as much power to it as they seem to think:
Garden centres want rules reviewed which force them to close on Easter Sunday, causing them to lose up to £75m in takings.
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) said trading rules, which force shops of more than 3,000 sq ft (280 sq m) to close on Easter Sunday and Christmas Day are old fashioned and should be reviewed, allowing families to enjoy garden centres for longer.
They also said the laws mean garden centres lose out on around £5,500 each by staying shut for the day.
Raoul Curtis-Machin of the HTA told BBC News: “That’s a potential economic boost to the country of up to £75m.”
It’s that economic boost to the country thing there that is wrong. It’s true that if those shops all stayed open and if they all sold £5,000 worth of gear then recorded GDP would change by £75 million. We would have £75 million more GDP recorded in the garden centre sector. However, just because garden centres are open on one extra day7 does not mean that shoppers are going to spend more in garden centres. We would expect at least some of that being spent to move from other days. Easter Monday takings, or Good Friday ones, might well fall as a result of being open on Easter Sunday.
And it’s also true that the total amount of what people spend on everything isn’t going to change as a result of people being able to buy aspidistras on Easter Sunday. What isn’t spent in garden centres will be spent in cafes, fish and chip shops, pubs, whatever.
Being open or not being open on Easter Sunday will really only change that portion of what we’re all going to spend anyway that goes to garden centres: and much of the extra turnover will be the movement of purchases at garden centres from one day to another. There won’t be any change in overall GDP as a result of their being able to open that one extra day.
All of this is nothing to do with whether they should be open on that day, whether we are being religiously sectarian in insisting upon these rules, but the argument they’re putting forward themselves just doesn’t really work.
KYRON Horman: Anorak’s look at the missing Portland, Oregon, boy in the news. Today we spot a message for Kyron’s step-mother Terry Horman on Facebook. An ‘Elizabeth Degroff-Crego’ wants Terri tortured sent to Hell: