Tag Archive: death

11-year-old’s theme park school day out ends in heartbreaking death

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TRAGIC DEATH: It is thought 11-year-old Evha Jannath may have hit her head after she was jolted out of the Splash Canyon ride and into the water at Drayton Manor

TRAGIC DEATH: It is thought 11-year-old Evha Jannath may have hit her head after she was jolted out of the Splash Canyon ride and into the water at Drayton Manor

 

The saddening news of the tragic death of 11-year-old Evha Jannath at a school excursion at Drayton Manor theme park has received thousands of messages of condolences across social media platforms.

The pupil at Jameah Girls Academy in Leicester had been on a school trip on Tuesday 9th May and tragically fell into the water in front of her horrified classmates, whilst on the five-minute Splash Canyon ride.

The youngster is thought to have been swapping seats with someone when her boat crashed into the rocks, jolting her sharply out of the rapids raft. It’s believed she may have hit her head as she fell while the current swept her away.

Drayton Manor staff dragged Evha from the rapids as her screaming friends looked on. She received advanced life support from ambulance crews before she was flown to Birmingham Children's Hospital, where she later died.

Evha’s devastated family said: “Our world was torn apart by the news that our daughter and sister Evha, had lost her life in tragic circumstances, following a school trip to Drayton Manor Park.

SPALSH CANYON RIDE: Though there are no seat belts on the ride people are encouraged to hold on to the central handle

SPALSH CANYON RIDE: Though there are no seat belts on the ride people are encouraged to hold on to the central handle

 

“Evha was a beautiful little girl who was full of love and always smiling.

“Words cannot describe the pain and loss we feel, we are devastated that we will not see our beautiful little girl again.

“We ask that you allow us to grieve in private and deal with our loss as a family.”

Evha had been unwell and off school in the days before the trip, and on the day wasn’t wearing “appropriate clothing”. So, she borrowed some from a friend making sure that she could go with everyone else from her school.

Headteacher of Jameah Girls Academy Erfana Bora said in a statement: “Evah was a lovely and sweet-natured girl loved b y everyone at the school.

“As a school and community we are trying to make sense of this terrible tragedy.

“Our thoughts are with Evha’s family and friends.

"The school will ensure specially trained staff are in school to provide our pupils and staff support at this difficult time.

"We would request that the family and the school community are given time to grieve. Please be assured that the safety and wellbeing of our pupils is our foremost priority."

An emotional George Bryan, company director of the theme park, said he was "truly shocked and devastated" by Evha's death.

Hundreds of people gathered at Jame Majid Mosque to pay tribute. A spokesman for the mosque said: "The young girl's death has shaken the community and we're all devastated.

"Obviously our thoughts are with the family after this heartbreaking news. Her family sent her off to school in the morning expecting to hear about her amazing day at Drayton Manor but the unthinkable happened.

"When anyone dies it's a tragedy but when it's a child as young as she was it's just awful.

"All we can do now is pray for her family and hold them in our thoughts.

"It will be a painful wait to hear about exactly what happened following a police investigation because at the moment all we know is she fell, not how or why."

 


 

The Splash Canyon water ride at Drayton Manor

  •     * Opened in 1993
  •     * Water rapids-style ride where guests sit in a boat and are sent down a choppy ‘river’
  •     * Consists of 21 boats holding six people each
  •     * The minimum height to ride is 0.9m (2.95ft)
  •     * Anyone under 1.1m (3.6ft) must be accompanied by an adult
  •     * Though there are no seat belts on the ride, people are encouraged to hold on to the central handle

 


 

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Teen bullied to death: More questions raised as another family is torn apart by bullies

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TRAGIC: Brandon Singh Rayat, pictured here in a tribute by his mother, Mina, was found hanged after suffering abuse at the hands of bullies

TRAGIC: Brandon Singh Rayat, pictured here in a tribute by his mother, Mina, was found hanged after suffering abuse at the hands of bullies

The heartbroken mother of a teenage boy from Leicester, who killed himself after an onslaught of relentless bullying, says her son was let down by the system.

Brandon Singh Rayat was found handed in his bedroom in August after suffering 16 months of physical and psychological abuse.

Speaking ahead of anti-bullying week, his mother, Mina, 44, said her family’s lives had been ‘ruined’.

“Those boys who were his friends once have killed him,” she said. “They have taken his life away and they have ruined our lives.

“There is a hole left in our hearts and there was no need for it.

“He had been at that school since he was 12 and never had a problem, then in April last year one day he came home and just broke down.

“One of his really good friends turned to him in class and said: 'I know where you live, I'm going to come round and rape your mum'.

“It got worse and worse over the next few months. He tried going back to school after the summer break, but they even bullied him on his birthday on 15th September.

“He came back that day and said: 'I'll kill them'.”

After being taken out of Judgemeadow Community College in Evington, Leicester, in November last year, Brandon attempted suicide on more than one occasion.

Despite calls for help from his parents, medical professionals refused to section him because they reportedly said he would feel ‘unloved’.

Mina said: “We feel totally let down, by both the school and by the doctors.” Adding: “I want other people to know that bullying needs to be taken seriously, as does young people’s mental health.”

A full inquest into Brandon’s death is due to take place until January next year.

Following his death, James McKenna, principal of Judgemeadow Community College, said the school ‘does not tolerate bullying in any form’ and would comment further after the coroner’s inquest.

“The whole school was extremely saddened by Brandon’s death, and our thoughts remain with his family,” he said.

A spokesman for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, which runs mental health services, also said it would wait until the inquest concluded before releasing a full statement.

“We were deeply saddened by the tragic death of Brandon Rayat, and extend our sincere sympathies to the family once again,” the spokesman added.

“We met with the family immediately after Brandon’s death, and their comments are reflected in the robust serious incident investigation which we have carried out.

“We remain committed to offering appropriate support to the family at this difficult time.”

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A family in mourning: Relatives will never forget ‘brave’ Asad

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FAMILY: Iram Sultana and Hafzah Khan are still coming to terms with the death of Asad Khan

FAMILY: Iram Sultana and Hafzah Khan are still coming to terms with the death of Asad Khan

Relatives of Asad Khan say they have yet to come to terms with his death, one month on from the 11-year-old’s suicide.

Iram Sultana and Hafzah Khan are the first cousins of Asad’s mum, Farheen Khan. Like many in the community, they were ‘struck to the core’ by the news of their young family member’s death, which came as a surprise to all who knew him.

Hafzah, who also has a child in Year 7, says the family remains in mourning.

“The family are still in the same pain they have been since the day he died,” she said. “We don’t want any other family to go through the same pain as we have.

“What must he have been going through at that time? We will always be wondering, what was he thinking, why did he do that, all these questions that will never be answered.

“The signs were not noticeable until after he died.”

Asad was reportedly bullied by older children at Beckfoot Upper Heaton School and took his own life around one month into starting his first academic year.

Thousands of people attended his funeral on Tuesday 4th October, as community leaders demanded ‘more to be done’ in tackling bullying in Bradford’s schools.

Iram said: “Not long ago I was a Secondary school student as well. I feel that the transition between Primary and Secondary school is very big.

“I was afraid to move up from Primary school to High school. Teachers would even say that you are the babies of the school again.

“I stood up for myself but Asad was much more contained. He was a very brave child but maybe he didn’t have the confidence to stand up to bullies. He shouldn’t have had to anyway.”

Adding that authorities should look at the possibility of ‘middle schools’, Iram continued: “The campaign to get middle schools back is something that needs looking at.

“Even if we can’t separate kids completely in a different school, there has to be a way to keep them separate in the same school.”

Whilst safeguarding students remains a priority for schools across the district, Asad’s death has raised questions about whether some pupils are too afraid to speak up.

“Kids feel embarrassed if they are being bullied,” Hafzah said. “We need to get rid of that idea.

“People don’t see bullying as a criminal offence and the police don’t either. It has become a normal thing but it shouldn’t be.

“This little boy has lost his life. So many people have come forward now and admitted that they used to get bullied. We need to break down the barrier of children feeling embarrassed about stepping forward if they are victimised.”

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Trio jailed for businessman’s death

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PRISON: Suraj Mistry, Lamar Wali, and Sander van Aalten were charged in connection with the death of Birmingham businessman, Akhtar Javeed

PRISON: Suraj Mistry, Lamar Wali, and Sander van Aalten were charged in connection with the death of Birmingham businessman, Akhtar Javeed

Decades in prison for Akhtar Javeed’s killers

Three men have been jailed for almost 40 years for their involvement in an armed robbery that led to the death of a Birmingham businessman at his factory in Digbeth earlier this year.

Suraj Mistry, 26, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Akhtar Javeed and sentenced last week to 23 years in prison. He was also sentenced to 20 years conspiracy to commit robbery and eight years for possession of firearms to run concurrently.

Lamar Wali, 19, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery and sentenced to seven years in prison.

Sander van Aalten, who was an accomplice in the planning of the murder, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and was sentenced to six years and eight months.

Mistry and Wali together with Tahir Zarif travelled from Derby to raid Direct Source 3 on Rea Street in Digbeth back in February this year.

But the raid went horrifically wrong as they threatened the manager, Mr Javeed (56), to give up the company’s takings. While Mistry held staff hostage at gunpoint Zarif led Mr Javeed from the office into the reception where he shot him in the leg as a violent warning to open the safe.

After being shot Mr Javeed attempted to escape and during the ensuing struggle was shot a further two times at point blank range in the mouth and neck. Bravely, he managed to escape before stumbling across the car park to the pavement where he collapsed and died in a pool of his own blood.

The men immediately fled the scene in a Renault Megane, picked up a second car nearby and then returned to Derby.

Detectives painstakingly trawled CCTV to piece together the sequence of events in the hours before and after the robbery, corroborating the images with mobile phone data and ANPR captures.

The jury heard how Sander van Aalten, a Dutch national − a former disgruntled employee at Direct Source 3 - drew a plan of the warehouse for his co-conspirators so they knew exactly where to go once inside.

The evidence showed that he was in contact with the offenders as they carried out reconnaissance of the warehouse in the days before the attack and used a premises he was working at as a meeting point just before and immediately after the botched robbery.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Slevin, who led the investigation, said: “The sentences handed down today reflect the severity and the part played by each individual in the planning and execution of this offence.”

The court heard that the man who is thought to have fired the fatal shots was Tahir Zarif, who fled the country to Pakistan days after the offence.

Anyone with any information regarding Zarif’s whereabouts are asked to contact West Midlands Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111

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Bullied to death: 11-year-old found ‘hanged in his bedroom’ by mother

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TRAGIC DEATH: Asad Khan (inset) was found in an unresponsive state at his home on Tile Street (pictured). He had reportedly strangled himself after being bullied at school

TRAGIC DEATH: Asad Khan (inset) was found in an unresponsive state at his home on Tile Street (pictured). He had reportedly strangled himself after being bullied at school

Tributes have been paid to an 11-year-old Bradford student who took his own life on Wednesday 28th September, leading to questions being raised about the safeguarding of children in the city.

Asad Khan was found in an unresponsive state by paramedics when they arrived at his family home on Tile Street, shortly before 4.20pm.

Reports suggest that he had strangled himself after being bullied by ‘older students’ at his new school.

Asad had only been attending Beckfoot Upper Heaton School, formerly Belle Vue Boys School, for three weeks, and had raised concerns with friends and family about being picked on.

Former Manningham councillor, Ishtiaq Ahmed, is a friend of the family and says the whole community is in a state of shock.

He said: “There are a lot of questions that need to be answered by the authorities. I understand that all schools have anti-bullying policies but they seem to be sitting on shelves collecting dust to be honest with you.

“The question remains, how robustly are they implemented?  Do schools really take these bullying policies seriously?

“I’ve said before, we need to take a zero tolerance approach to bullying and teachers need to be more aware, or perhaps have a wellbeing officer based in schools, who can approach an individual and talk about some of these issues.

“I understand that bullying has always happened and it always will. We are obviously more conscious of it now because of social media and the news. We have so many means of communication. But regardless of that, one life lost is a life lost too many.

“This child had only been in school for three weeks, so surely he must have been experiencing some extremely traumatic issues for him to have even contemplated ever taking his life. It’s just mind boggling really.

“The whole culture needs to change in schools, at government level, all the way down to grass roots level. This is a very tragic case for everyone, the local community and the whole city. My heart goes out to the whole family.”

Bradford West MP, Naz Shah, met with the bereaved parents on Wednesday evening.

She said the death was one which ‘shouldn’t have happened’ and called on the community to work together against bullying.

“This evening, 11 year old Asad took his own life. Asad had just started his new school recently and bullying is something that has been mentioned.

“Whilst many questions are being raised, and rightfully so... one thing I know for sure is that [this death] shouldn't have happened.

She added: “I believe we, [as a society], have the solutions to the issues we face within our communities.”

Assemblies were held at Beckfoot Upper Heaton School on Thursday to inform staff and students of the news and to offer counselling to those who need it.

Headteacher, Simon Wade, said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we learnt last night of the death of Asad Khan, one of the school’s newest students.

“The school is united in its grief at this sad time. The school community is working together as students, parents and staff come to terms with these events.

“All our thoughts are with Asad’s family at this terribly difficult time.”

Bradford Council leader, Susan Hinchcliffe, also offered her condolences to the family.

She said: “This is a very sad and tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family at this time.

“We made contact with the family yesterday to offer support. The council’s Education Psychology Team are also in contact with the school.”

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire police would not confirm how the young student had died until the results of a post-mortem examination were available.

The spokesperson added: “The boy was taken to hospital, but sadly died a short time later. Inquiries are continuing, but his death is not believed to be suspicious at this time.”

A petition to ‘embed sessions around bullying into the curriculum’ has since been set up with over 10,000 signatures gathered in the first 24 hours.

A link to the petition can be seen here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/bite-bullying-in-the-bud?bucket&source=facebook-share-button&time=1475219719

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Why did he die? Inquest into death of 19-year-old five years ago finally opens in Wakefield

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TRAGIC: Jagdip Randhawa was punched by amateur boxer, Clifton Ty Mitchell, during a night out in Leeds and died five days later in hospital

TRAGIC: Jagdip Randhawa was punched by amateur boxer, Clifton Ty Mitchell, during a night out in Leeds and died five days later in hospital

The family of a Hounslow teenager, who died during a night out in Leeds in October 2011, say they are still waiting for answers after it was revealed hospital neglect may have been a factor in his death.

Jagdip Randhawa died when he fell and hit his head on a concrete path after being punched by amateur boxer, Clifton Ty Mitchell.

Despite being taken to hospital, he tragically died five days later.

A three-week inquest into his death is currently underway at Wakefield Coroner’s Court, where it was revealed this past week that Mr Randhawa could have survived the incident had his hospital care been better.

The inquest heard that Mr Randhawa had been placed on a faulty ventilator during his stay at the Leeds General Infirmary, ultimately starving the 19-year-old of oxygen.

Despite the constant sounding of alarms – which were supposed to alert staff to a problem - he was left on the ventilator for 46 minutes.

Mr Randhawa’s sister, Majinder, told the jury that medical experts had told her that her brother could have survived the assault if his care had been correct at hospital.

In court, she made an emotional appeal for answers surrounding his death.

When asked by assistant coroner, Kevin McLoughlin, what she wanted from the inquest, Ms Randhawa said: “I would like to know what happened to my brother when he was taken into hospital where he should have been cared for... he was on his own - we weren't with him.

“What happened? What went so wrong? Why was he on a faulty ventilator for 46 minutes, which is not a short amount of time and how could that have been allowed to happen?”

Ms Randhawa also reiterated her family’s desire for an explanation as to how her brother could have been attacked by a man who was on bail for a separate violent attack at the time.

 “The second thing my family would like to know is how that man came to be in Leeds on that night to punch and kill my brother when he'd breached his bail so many times before?” she added.

“He was a professional boxer, he'd committed a violent offence, how was that allowed to happen?

“This must not happen to anybody else, anybody else's family, because it's really, really hard to cope with.”

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8 years of waiting: Family appeal for answers in case of father’s death

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TRAGIC: The remains of Surjit Thakar were found at the side of the M54 by workmen last year, yet his cause of death has never been discovered

TRAGIC: The remains of Surjit Thakar were found at the side of the M54 by workmen last year, yet his cause of death has never been discovered

Surjit Takhar was 37 when he was reported missing from his home in Oldbury on Wednesday 8th October 2008. He was last seen by his family nine days before and a detailed investigation was carried out at the time of his disappearance.

Nearly seven years later maintenance workers found his remains at the bottom of an embankment next to the slip road of junction 4 of the M54 in Telford on 20th August 2015.

West Mercia Police conducted a full forensic examination and a DNA profile, along with dental records, confirmed the remains were those of Mr Takhar, however the cause of his death remained unexplained.

Now detectives are re-appealing for information which will help then uncover how Mr Takhar died.

Detective Inspector Jim Munro, from Force CID, said: "We would like to hear from anyone who has information about Mr Takhar’s whereabouts around the time he disappeared.

"Crucially a phone call was made to police in January earlier this year from a caller who said they had information but no details were taken, so I would urge that person to call us again.

"Also I would like to hear from anyone who saw something suspicious on the M54 around junction 4, but didn’t think anything of it at the time."

Mr Takhar was a father of three and a much loved brother and son. His sister Saroj Binning spoke of the man they have lost: “Surjit, known as Skin amongst family and friends, had a big heart and a charismatic smile. He had a wide circle of friends in the Asian community.

“We as a family are determined to find who is responsible for his death. We are committed to gain justice for our brother Surjit. He is missed as a loving father, a brother and a son." 

His children Harry Takhar, aged 21, and 23-year-old twins Sohnia and Sohnay, joined the appeal for the public’s help.

They said: “Please can you help us get justice for our father so we can finally lay him to rest? If anyone has any information, can you please come forward?

“We have missed out on having our father in or lives for the last eight years, not knowing where he was, why he wasn’t in our lives and whether he was dead or alive.

“Now we know what happened, please could someone come forward with information on how this tragedy occurred, so we can put an end to our nightmare.”

Anyone with information should call detectives on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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“I believe her family poisoned her”

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TRAGIC: Samia Shahid was trying for a baby and her friend believes she would have made an ‘excellent mother’

TRAGIC: Samia Shahid was trying for a baby and her friend believes she would have made an ‘excellent mother’

Investigation into death of young Bradford woman in Pakistan

The bereaved friend of a woman from Bradford, who died in Pakistan in a possible ‘honour’ killing, has spoken out about her mysterious death.

28-year-old beauty therapist, Samia Shahid, died in uncertain circumstances in Pakistan on Wednesday 20th July.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has confirmed her death and West Yorkshire Police is investigating how she died.

Pakistani police have now arrested Samia’s father, Mohammed Shahid, as a suspect in her alleged murder, with media in Pakistan claiming she may have been found at the foot of some stairs.

Her first husband, Mohammed Shakeel, who she married in 2012 and left a year later, is reportedly on the run and a ‘wanted’ man.

Her friends said she had returned to Bradford in September to try to patch things up with members of her family who were unhappy that she had married an ‘outsider’ from a different Islamic sect.

She married a man from Dubai after her alleged forced marriage to her cousin in Pakistan didn’t work out.

Samia died while visiting relatives in the Punjab village of Pandori.

She was buried in a village graveyard following an immediate post-mortem, in which local police claimed to have found no visible injuries or signs of violence on her body.

LOVED UP: Samia pictured with Syed Mukhtar Kazam on their wedding day

LOVED UP: Samia pictured with Syed Mukhtar Kazam on their wedding day

Husband Syed Mukhtar Kazam, said that before she went to Pakistan, his wife's family had threatened her life.

“They were threatening us because she got married out of the family with her own will and they didn't like it,” he said.

He said his wife had travelled to Pakistan from Dubai because she thought her father was ill.

Syed said he asked his wife not to stay in Pakistan and that waiting for her to come home was ‘the longest week of his life’.

He continued: “She was naïve. She always thought about other people, not herself, maybe that's the reason she got killed.”

He is calling for another post-mortem examination to be carried out.

Samia’s friend, from Bradford, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the Asian Express: “They told me she had committed suicide and I didn’t believe it.

“It’s all about paying off the officers over there. The area where her family live runs off the family’s money as they own the village. No-one is going to let the truth out.”

The friend has ‘known Samia for ages’ wants to see ‘justice’ served for her friend who was ‘always smiling and laughing’.

“She had a forced marriage to her cousin in Pakistan and it didn’t work out. Her husband was quite abusive. He divorced her over the phone and then she got married to Syed. Her family all had doubts about him and made rumours about him,” she claimed.

“I talked to him myself and he was so sweet. There was no reason for her to have a heart attack. That’s why I believe her family poisoned her.”

Samia’s friend said she got to know the Shahid family ‘really well’.

“I knew it was a lie so I got in contact with the local embassy because she deserves justice.

“We know we can’t bring her back, but at least it will help her husband grieve her loss.

“Her family tricked her into going to Pakistan by saying that her dad was on his deathbed.”

She added: “Why would she have committed suicide when she was happy with her new husband in Dubai? It would have made more sense four years ago when she was unhappy.

“She promised her husband she would return to Dubai in seven days time. She didn’t even get chance to become a mother.”

Bradford West MP Naz Shah is also investigating Ms Shahid's death.

“I'm not going to rest until I'm satisfied I know the cause of her death - we need to investigate it fully,” said Ms Shah, who has written to the prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, calling for Ms Shahid's body to be exhumed.

“It's very suspicious circumstances,” she added.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “A report was made… last week regarding the alleged death of a 28-year-old woman from Bradford in Pakistan.

“Following this report officers engaged with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who have since confirmed her death.

“Enquiries are now continuing with the relevant authorities to establish the cause.”

The UN states over 5,000 ‘honour killings’ are reported annually worldwide, though this is believed to be an underestimation as many are never reported because of the ‘shame’ they would bring upon the family.

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Mid-air death: OAP dies on board Emirates flight from Dubai to Manchester

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UNSUSPICIOUS DEATH: The cause of death is not yet confirmed but there are reports that the man was not well before he boarded the flight

UNSUSPICIOUS DEATH: The cause of death is not yet confirmed but there are reports that the man was not well before he boarded the flight

A 71-year-old passenger died mid-flight on a plane that was bound for Manchester from Dubai.

The man passed away on a Emirates Boeing 777 passenger plane on 20th June.

Emirates confirmed this after a medical team rushed to meet the plane, which landed around 7.30am at Manchester airport.

An airline spokesperson said: “Emirates can confirm that a passenger on board today’s Emirates flight EK 21 from Dubai to Manchester passed away during the flight. Emirates expresses its condolences to the family.”

The cause of death has not yet been confirmed but there are reports the man was already ill before getting on the flight.

A Greater Manchester Police statement said: “A 71-year-old man travelling on a flight from Dubai to Manchester Airport was found unresponsive by the cabin crew.

“Despite the best efforts of the cabin crew and paramedics at the scene, the man was pronounced dead a short time later.

“There are believed to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and a file will be prepared for the coroner.”

It is understood passengers got off the flight before the body was removed.

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Three arrested after fatal shooting

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TRAGIC: Imran Khan was set to become a father next month when he was shot in Bradford

TRAGIC: Imran Khan was set to become a father next month when he was shot in Bradford

Would-be father killed just one month before baby’s due date

Detectives investigating the death of a Bradford man have arrested three men on suspicion of murder.

Imran Khan, whose wife was due to give birth next month, was shot outside his home, on Round Street, West Bowling, on Monday 6th June at around 8pm.

He was taken to hospital but sadly died a short time later as a result of his injuries.

A post mortem, held on Tuesday, showed Mr Khan, who was 30 and from Bradford, died of a gunshot wound.

The ‘targeted’ shooting led detectives to launch a murder investigation with three men from Bradford so far arrested and placed in custody.

A 21, 22 and 30-year-old are being questioned by police on suspicion of murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Scott, of the Homicide and Major Enquiries Team, said: “Our enquiries are continuing to establish the full circumstances of what happened and the events leading up to it.

“A man has sadly lost his life and I would urge anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the Round Street area at around 8pm last night to contact us, so we can fully investigate this incident.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log number 1636 of 6/6, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, who can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Indian restaurant owner charged with customer allergy death

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indian garden restaurant (800x497)

The owner of a chain of award-winning Indian restaurants has been charged with the manslaughter of a customer who died following a severe allergic reaction to peanuts.

A man with a severe peanut allergy died after eating a curry from a restaurant whose owner repeatedly ignored warnings that he could be putting customers' lives at risk, a court has heard.

Paul Wilson, 38, was found dead at his home in Helperby, North Yorkshire, after buying a takeaway containing peanuts from the Indian Garden restaurant owned by Mohammed Khalique Zaman in January 2014, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Mr Zaman has run several restaurants across North Yorkshire and York for more than 25 years, including the Jaipur Spice chain, which won the Best In Yorkshire award at the Bangladeshi Catering Association Awards in 2012 and 2013.

Zaman, 53, has gone on trial accused of Mr Wilson's manslaughter after he took a "reckless and cavalier attitude to risk" and "put profit before safety" at the restaurants he owned, the jury heard.

Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, told the court Zaman had swapped from using almond powder to the cheaper groundnut powder, containing peanuts, in June 2013 but, despite a warning from his supplier, did not warn customers that he was using peanut ingredients.

Just weeks before Mr Wilson died, a 17-year-old girl was treated in hospital for a reaction caused by a peanut allergy after eating a curry from another restaurant owned by Zaman, the court heard.

She was assured by staff that the meal would not contain peanuts, the jury was told.

Mr Wright said that a week before Mr Wilson's death, a trading standards officer found evidence of peanuts in a meal she had been told was peanut-free and discovered a box labelled blanched ground peanut in the kitchen of Zaman's Jaipur Spice restaurant in Easingwold, North Yorkshire.

She told staff that customers in all of Zaman's restaurants must be informed they were using peanuts, the court heard.

Mr Wright said that, on the night of his death on January 30 2014, Mr Wilson told staff at the Indian Garden restaurant, in Easingwold, that his meal must be nut-free.

He said the restaurant had written "no nuts" on his order and on the lid of his curry.

Mr Wright said: "Mohammed Zaman received numerous warnings that he was putting his customers' health, and potentially their lives, at risk.

"Tragically for Paul Wilson, Mohammed Zaman took none of those opportunities and ignored all of the warnings he was given.

"His was a reckless and cavalier attitude to risk and one that we, the prosecution, would describe as grossly negligent."

Mr Wright added: "Time and again he ignored the danger and did not protect his customers.

"The evidence will establish that Mohammed Zaman put profit before safety and that he cut corners at every turn."

Zaman, from Huntington, York, denies manslaughter by gross negligence, perverting the course of justice and six food safety offences. The trial continues.

Mr Wright said police and trading standards launched an investigation following Mr Wilson's death.

The prosecutor said groundnut powder was found in the kitchen of the Indian Garden and had contaminated other ingredients.

The court heard that, after requests from trading standards, signs were displayed in Zaman's restaurants stating that meals could not be guaranteed nut-free.

But Mr Wright said a test purchaser went to the Indian Garden the day after Mr Wilson's death and was assured by a staff member that they could buy a nut-free curry.

On the same day, Zaman rang his supplier and asked to swap his remaining groundnut powder for almond, the court heard.

Mr Wright said: "At last, Mohammed Zaman did something responsible to protect his customers. But it was too little and for Paul Wilson it was tragically too late."

Mr Wright said Zaman blamed others when he was interviewed by police and "took no personal responsibility".
Following the prosecution's opening, defence barrister Alistair Webster QC outlined to the jurors the issues they would have to address in the case.

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Iran billionaire sentenced to death

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Business tycoon Babak Zanjani withheld billions of pounds in oil revenue

Babak Zanjani, who is said to be worth around £9.5 billion has been sentenced to death in Iran for corruption.

Zanjani began his trade selling sheepskins in the 1980s before going on to becoming a key player in selling Iran's oil in the years when strict international sanctions were imposed over the country's nuclear programme.

He managed to establish one of the biggest enterprises in Iran's recent history, a holding that was involved in everything from owning football clubs to selling oil, transport to construction and banking both inside Iran and abroad.

Zanjani’s long trial was held in public – a rarity for such a major case in Iran, with the 41-year-old business man eventually convicted of fraud and economic crimes.

Zanjani was accused of withholding billions of dollars in oil revenue which he funnelled through his companies.

The business mogul was reportedly arrested one day after president Rouhani ordered his government to fight financial corruption.

He denies the charges, saying that international sanctions had stopped money being forwarded to Iran’s central bank.

Two other defendants were found guilty of ‘corruption on earth’, the gravest offence under the country’s criminal code, meaning they will also face the death penalty.

As well as facing the death penalty Mr Zanjani will also be forced to repay money to the state, judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejeie said at his weekly press conference.

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Police ‘could not prevent’ Hamzah death

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TRAGIC: Hamzah Khan was left to starve to death by his mother, Amanda Hutton, in 2009, whilst his body was found two years later

TRAGIC: Hamzah Khan was left to starve to death by his mother, Amanda Hutton, in 2009, whilst his body was found two years later

IPCC rules West Yorkshire officers not at fault

The shocking death of a four-year-old in Bradford could not have been prevented or predicted by police, the forces watchdog has ruled.

Hamza Khan’s body was found decomposed in a cot at the family home in 2011 after he was left to starve to death in 2009 by his mother, Amanda Hutton.

Hutton was jailed for 15 years in October 2013 after her trial at Bradford Crown Court where it was also revealed that a range of agencies, including the police, had contact with her family yet none spotted the dangers to Hamzah.

Police previously had extensive contact with the mother and her family as she was a victim of repeated domestic violence.

CRUEL: Amanda Hutton was jailed for 15 years in 2013

CRUEL: Amanda Hutton was jailed for 15 years in 2013

In a statement provided by the Independent Police Complaint’s Commission (IPCC), it was revealed that the child’s body was only found after a community officer made contact with Hutton.

The commission added that there was no misconduct by officers in the case yet added that they should have referred themselves to the watchdog upon the discovery of the body.

IPCC commissioner Cindy Butts said: “The fact that this was not reported to the IPCC until after a serious case review had been completed in 2013 meant that the process was completed without any independent scrutiny of police action.”

Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Russ Foster, added: “We acknowledge the findings of the IPCC report following the tragic death of Hamzah Khan.

“More recently the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) have provided further guidance for making referrals, but at the time of this incident, having regard to the circumstances known and this statutory guidance in relation IPCC referrals, we did not believe there was requirement to make a referral.

“What is in no doubt is the actions of officers and in particular the tenacity and dedication of a PCSO in uncovering the terrible abuse Amanda Hutton put her children through and who is currently serving a 15 year jail sentence.

“The level of professionalism by all officers involved in the investigation into the circumstances leading to the death of Hamzah Khan was found to be without fault or failure by the IPCC.”

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Two jailed for ‘wicked’ manslaughter of child

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TRAGIC: Ayesha Ali was the victim of ‘horrific levels of mental abuse’ at the hands of her mother and her partner

TRAGIC: Ayesha Ali was the victim of ‘horrific levels of mental abuse’ at the hands of her mother and her partner

Mother and lesbian lover found guilty over daughter’s death

A 35-year-old woman and her sadistic lover who created an online fantasy world have been convicted of killing her eight-year-old daughter.

The girl's mother Polly Chowdhury, 35, and lover Kiki Muddar were convicted of her manslaughter, but cleared of murder, and sentenced to 13 years and 18 years in prison respectively on Friday 6th March.

When police arrived at the family's east London flat in August 2013, they found little Ayesha Ali dead and her mother having tried to commit suicide. Ayesha had more than 50 injuries on her body.

A note, written by the mother, confessed to killing Ayesha by smothering her with a pillow and also declared her love for a man named ‘Jimmy’.

The Old Bailey heard that Chowdhury’s partner, 43-year-old Muddar, of Green Lane, Ilford, used Facebook updates and text messages to poison Chowdhury against her own daughter.

Officers sifted through more than 100,000 texts, social media messages and interactions to untangle a complicated cast of characters, the jury heard.

One alias Muddar created was spiritual guide ‘Skyman’, whom she used to convince Chowdhury into believing that Ayesha had ‘bad blood’ and needed to be disciplined to get the ‘evil spirits’ out of her.

Through a combination of painstaking investigation, technical know-how and determination over 18 months, police managed to prove none of them existed.

The jury also heard how, throughout their relationship, Muddar told Chowdhury that Ayesha was ‘evil’ and bombarded her with more than 40,000 texts with messages such as: “You have no right to ever love or like your evil daughter.”

Muddar even blamed Ayesha for making her fictional cancer worse.

In a recorded phone conversation with a friend the month before the killing, Muddar described Ayesha as ‘pure evil’ and a ‘witch’ and threatened to drown her in the bath.

Chowdhury, of Broomfield Road, Chadwell Heath, admitted during the case that after Muddar moved in with her, they smacked Ayesha and hit her because ‘Skyman’ told them to do so.

But Mr Whittam told the court a psychiatrist found that Muddar had not been delusional in her actions and understood what she was doing.

Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told the court Ayesha endured a ‘background of prolonged abuse’ and some ‘might call it torture’ because Muddar had a ‘disgust’ for the child.

WICKED: Polly Chowdhury (left) and her lover Kiki Muddar were convicted of killing Chowdhury’s daughter, Ayesha

WICKED: Polly Chowdhury (left) and her lover Kiki Muddar were convicted of killing Chowdhury’s daughter, Ayesha

“She was rational in her judgments in having a disgust with Ayesha. She did not like Polly Chowdhury putting Ayesha above her interests,” he said.

“However immoral, abhorrent and illegal her judgment, it was rational... there is no question of either defendant having been mad.”

The court heard Muddar befriended Chowdhury when they lived next door to each other in 2007 and she got sympathy by pretending she had cancer.

Chowdhury's husband Afsar Ali moved the family to get away from her influence, but Muddar eventually tracked them down, prompting the breakdown of their marriage.

Speaking to the media, Mr Ali said that when he first met Kiki Muddar, she came across as an evil person to him straight away. He said that she would avoid speaking with him and believes that Muddar influenced his wife in his absence.

Post-mortem examinations revealed Ayesha died as a result of damage to the head from a blow or blows, on 29th August 2013.

She had other injuries including carpet burns and a bite mark from her mother.

Det Insp Donna Convery said: “It took us months to unpick and investigate the web of lies that Kiki Muddar had constructed.

“In the six months before her death, Ayesha was subjected to horrific levels of mental abuse, which during the summer holidays escalated to become physical.

“She was an innocent child who was caught up in the most bizarre set of events, manipulated by two adults who were intent on causing her harm.”

 

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‘Loss of Control’ Father acquitted of murder after six-month ordeal

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Abdul Iftikhar, of Kamran Solicitors, said the right decision had been made after Butler suffered a ‘loss of control’

Abdul Iftikhar, of Kamran Solicitors, said the right decision had been made after Butler suffered a ‘loss of control’

A businessman, arrested in April 2014 following the death of his ex-partner, has been cleared of her murder after previously pleading guilty to manslaughter.

John Butler, 62, received the unanimous verdict from the jury at Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday 22nd October after a defence of ‘loss of control’ was raised by the defendant.

Butler stabbed Pauline Butler at her home numerous times on 14th April 2014 after it is alleged that she threatened to stop her ex-partner from seeing their granddaughter.

The court also heard that Pauline threatened Butler on two previous occasions with a knife.

Sentencing the defendant, the judge, Mr Justice Edis accepted that the jury had agreed Butler must have suffered from a ‘loss of control’ at the time of the attack and was thus acquitted of murder.

Representing Butler was Mr Abdul Iftikhar of Kamrans Solicitors, who says ‘justice has prevailed’ as Butler was cleared of the murder charge.

“The issue of domestic violence is one which is very real in all our communities and recently we have seen a rise in reports to the police,” Mr Iftikhar said.

“It is unfortunate to see children becoming embroiled in domestic cases but that is the sad reality of the situation which we currently have.

“Mr Butler has been acquitted of the charge of murder after we successfully argued that he suffered loss of control, a defence that rarely succeeds.”

“The father, along with his family, had to endure the traumatic experience of not only the loss of a loved one but also the legal proceedings. However, I believe the sentence passed upon Mr Butler on Thursday does justice to the circumstances of the case.”

Butler, who ran the Yeadon-based Kettley’s Furniture Centre, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter before the start of the trial.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

John Butler was acquitted of the murder of his ex-partner, Pauline Butler, after stabbing her at her home in Rawdon, Leeds

John Butler was acquitted of the murder of his ex-partner, Pauline Butler, after stabbing her at her home in Rawdon, Leeds

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Tragic family death

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The bodies of the Lad family were all found at their Clayton home earlier this week (l-r) Trisha, Jitendra, Duksha and Nisha

The bodies of the Lad family were all found at their Clayton home earlier this week (l-r) Trisha, Jitendra, Duksha and Nisha

Father murdered wife and daughters before killing himself

Four members of the same family were found dead at their Bradford home earlier this week after the father murdered his wife and teenage children before hanging himself.

The bodies of 49-year-old Jitendra Lad, along with his wife, Duksha Lad, 44, and their daughters, Trisha, 19, and Nisha, 16, were all found at their home on Blackberry Way, Clayton, shortly after 8.30pm on Monday.

It is believed that they may have been in the home for ‘some time’ before a concerned neighbour made the discovery and detectives began a murder investigation.

It has now been confirmed that Mr Lad murdered his family before hanging himself with any motive still yet unclear. West Yorkshire Police have also confirmed that they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson said it is a distressing time for friends and family but ensured the shocked neighbourhood that a full investigation was underway.

He said: “I have spoken to the family members this evening (wednesday) and updated them on the results of the post mortem examinations.

Trisha and Nisha Lad were both still in education when Mr Lad murdered them and their mother before killing himself

Trisha and Nisha Lad were both still in education when Mr Lad murdered them and their mother before killing himself

“They are continuing to come to terms with what took place at Blackberry Way, which has robbed a family of two generations, and specially trained officers are supporting them at this very difficult time.

“Enquiries are continuing into the circumstances leading to the incident and we will not be drawn on speculation while our investigation is ongoing.

“I would reiterate that we are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths and neighbourhood officers have increased patrols in the area to offer reassurance to local people.”

Superintendent Damien Miller, who leads neighbourhood policing across the Bradford District, added: “Clayton is a close-knit community and I understand that local people will be understandably upset by what has taken place and I would like to reassure people there is no wider danger to members of the public.

“Additional neighbourhood officers are in the area speaking to people and offering reassurance.”

Flowers and tributes have been laid outside the family home whilst the investigation continues with the community ‘stunned’ at what has happened.

Mr and Mrs Lad had been married for 23 years and both worked for Bradford Council in the benefits and revenue department and administration.

Youngest daughter, Nisha, was studying her A-Levels at Thornton Grammar School and Trisha was in the second year of a biochemistry degree at the University of Leeds.

Chris Sampson, Nisha’s head teacher, released a statement on behalf of the school to pass on their condolences.

He said: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by these tragic deaths. Our thoughts are with the family’s relatives and friends. We will be helping the police with their inquiry in any way we can.”

Meanwhile, a University of Leeds spokesperson added: “This is dreadful and shocking news and our thoughts are with Trisha's friends and loved ones. Staff are working with the university's counselling and chaplaincy services to help students who are affected by this tragedy and we will do all we can to support them.”

Trisha and Nisha Lad were both still in education when Mr Lad murdered them and their mother before killing himself

Trisha and Nisha Lad were both still in education when Mr Lad murdered them and their mother before killing himself

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Wife of legendary Yash Chopra to remember his life and work

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The death of Yash Chopra in 2012 left the Bollywood film industry bereft of its most iconic filmmaking talent.

Now the life and work of the legendary writer, director and producer is set to come into focus during a unique event on 7th June, as part of the 16th annual Tongues on Fire London Asian Film Festival: Europe's oldest and most respected showcase for independent South Asian arts and cinema.

REMEMBERING: Yash Chopra’s wife Pam Chopra  (here with son Udhay) will talk about her husband’s work

REMEMBERING: Yash Chopra’s wife Pam Chopra
(here with son Udhay) will talk about her husband’s work

'Remembering Yash Chopra' will see Pam Chopra, the late director's wife, in conversation with  Rachel Dwyer, the respected Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema at London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and an authority on the work of Yash Chopra, having penned a comprehensive biography on the filmmaker a decade before his passing.

Veteran actor Anupam Kher, who appeared in a string of Yash Chopra productions, including such famous films as 'Darr', 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge', 'Mohabbatein' and 'Lamhe', to name but a few, will also make a special appearance during the event, to be held at the prestigious British Academy of Film and Television Arts in London.

The evening promises a unique and unprecedented insight into the two most important aspects of Yash Chopra's life: his cinema and his family.

LEGEND: Writer, director and producer - Yash Chopra’s death in 2012 left a huge hole in Bollywood

LEGEND: Writer, director and producer - Yash Chopra’s death in 2012 left a huge hole in Bollywood

Writing soon after the director's passing, Professor Dwyer said: "The work of Yash Chopra is one of the glories of Indian film, his career bridging the Hindi cinema of the 1950s and the globalising India of today.  Nothing made him happier than making films; then having his family and friends around him for a great meal: ‘Family, films and food’.

His wife Pamela was the centre of his world and his strength."

Pam Chopra, who married Yashji in 1970, was the filmmaker's closest confidante and most scrupulous critic and worked variously as a producer, writer and costume designer on a number of her husband's most memorable hits, including 'Kabhie Kabhie', ' Silsila' and 'Dil To Pagal Hai'; all that whilst forging a successful career in her own right as a playback singer.

Mrs Chopra's tete-a-tete with Professor Dwyer will be preceded by a documentary short film written and directed by award-winning Delhi-based documentary filmmaker Vinky Singh.

Titled 'The Master Stroke', Singh's film delves into Yashji's use of the 'Navarasa' - the nine essential emotional themes that are the fundamental building blocks of Indian art - in the unforgettable and timeless music that became the cornerstone of his films.

The evening will be capped off by another documentary charting Yashji's phenomenal career in Bollywood and a performance by Mrs Chopra herself.

 

‘'Remembering Yash Chopra’,
part of the 2014 Tongues on Fire London Asian Film Festival
Date: Saturday 07th June 2014
Time: 8.30pm - 10.30pm
Venue: BAFTA - 195 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LN.
Tickets: www.tonguesonfire.com

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Surgeon investigated over deaths

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A former consultant surgeon from the Worcestershire Royal Hospital is now part of a police investigation after a number of patients died in his care.

Sudip Sarker is currently being probed by police over the death of at least three of his patients, William Jones, 84, Daphne Taylor, 81, and Jean Thomas, 80, whose passing were subject of a joint inquest in December 2013.

Officers would not specify if there were any other incidents involved in the investigation, and said patient confidentiality meant no names could be given at this time.

INVESTIGATION: Sudip Sarker, formerly of Worcestershire Royal Hospital, is currently being probed by police following the deaths of a number of his patients

INVESTIGATION: Sudip Sarker, formerly of Worcestershire Royal Hospital, is currently being probed by police following the deaths of a number of his patients

Mr Sarker, a colorectal surgeon, began working at the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in August 2011 yet just over one year later, in October 2012, he was excluded.

He reportedly had double the death rate of other doctors at the hospital and one in five of his patients had to be readmitted after procedures he carried out.

Earlier that year, restrictions were understood to have been placed on him after the Royal College of Surgeons was asked by the Trust to review his clinical practice.

North Worcestershire Superintendent Kevin Purcell said the investigation began after police received a letter the same month as the inquests.

“We were made aware that there were a number of concerns in relation to the deaths of patients in 2012 who had been under Mr Sarker’s care,” Supt Purcell said.

“We are in the early stages of obtaining the relevant information from hospitals and other health organisations in order to conduct our investigation.”

SCENE: Worcestershire Royal Hospital, where Mr Sarker worked for just over a year, said they are co-operating fully with the investigation

SCENE: Worcestershire Royal Hospital, where Mr Sarker worked for just over a year, said they are co-operating fully with the investigation

He added that the families of the patients who were the subject of the inquest had been informed and updated on the situation.

“This is a complex matter which will undoubtedly take a considerable amount of time to investigate thoroughly,” he added.

“We are very mindful of the importance of patient confidentiality and the impact on the wider community.

“We will continue to liaise with the key partner agencies involved and people can rest assured that we will be conducting our inquiries in a sensitive and appropriate manner as befitting an investigation of this nature.”

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust issued a statement to say it is ‘co-operating fully’ with the investigation.

“The Trust would like to reassure patients and their relatives that as soon as it became aware there was a potential problem the Trust acted swiftly and responsibly to protect its patients,” it read.

“A separate review of all patients who had any contact with Mr Sarker (outpatient appointments or minor procedures) is being performed by a team of specialist external surgeons.

“Patients in this group who require further assessment/investigation are also being invited back to the hospital.”

The statement also said that every patient, who had been under the care of Mr Sarker, had had their medical records reviewed and where concerns were raised, the reviews were recalled for further assessment.

Anyone who is concerned about their treatment can call the Trust's enquiry line on 01527 503812 or email surgeryreview@ worcsacute.nhs.uk.

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