A 16-year-old boy accused of raping of an eight-year-old girl in a Manchester park will appear in court on Monday 26th June.
Greater Manchester Police said officers were called to the park in Moston just before 6.55pm on Saturday 24th June after reports the girl had been raped and the offender had been chased off by members of the public.
The teenage boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested in a nearby shop and will appear in custody at Manchester Youth Court on Monday, Greater Manchester Police said.
The victim is being provided with support from specially trained officers.
Inspector Dave Whelan said: "I know this incident has understandably caused a lot of unrest in the local community, particularly among those who were in the nearby area at the time but I want to assure everybody that we have launched a full investigation.
"We treat all reports like this with the utmost seriousness and as such officers swiftly attended the scene and arrested a teenage boy within 16 minutes of the initial call coming in.
"We would like to thank the local community who assisted in our initial inquiries earlier today.
"Local residents may notice an increased police presence in the area so if you have any information about the incident or concerns that you wish to raise with officers, then I would encourage you to either approach them directly or call police."
Detectives have urged the public not to speculate over their investigation.
"We are aware of a lot of local speculation regarding the investigation and we would ask that this please stops to allow the investigation and legal process to continue without prejudice," it said.
Anybody with information should contact police on 101, quoting incident number 1984 of 24/06/17, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Not many eight-years-olds can say they have had a drawing published on the front of a renowned national magazine cover, yet one Bradford schoolgirl can do just that.
Ayesha Akhtar pipped 11,000 other entries from across the UK to land the cover image on the latest celebratory edition of Radio Times – designed to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday.
The competition, launched in March, asked children from across the country to a design birthday card for the Queen for the chance to feature on the iconic front cover.
It was up to judges - writer and illustrator Judith Kerr, Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell, BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz, Radio Times Editor Ben Preston and Radio Times Art Director Shem Law - to select the winning picture.
Ayesha’s award-winning entry, an eye-catchingly purple and gold majestic crown design, was a unanimous choice for the judges.
Judith Kerr said: “Ayesha’s drawing will work brilliantly on the cover. I think the Queen would approve.”
Blue Peter’s Lindsey Russell added: “I wanted to find a cover that felt like a celebration – Ayesha’s design really does that.”
CLASSY DESIGN: Ayesha is a student at Dixons Manningham Academy
On being presented with her winning cover, Ayesha said she could not believe she had won with her sparkling design.
“I feel elated and I’m so happy that the Queen will get to see my way of drawing,” she added.
“I came up with my design because the Queen wears her crown at special occasions - like birthdays.
“I did it in pencil first and then went over it in paint and glitter.
“If I met the Queen, I’d tell her how kind she is and that she’s the best Queen in the world.”
Thousands of entries were submitted for the competition and judged across three age groups – eight-years-old and under, 9-12, and 13-18 years.
Nadia Charawala, aged 12 years old from Worcester Park, won the 9-12 year category, with a patriotic tea cup design, whilst Emily Gorton, aged 13 of Epsom, won the 13-18 year old category, with a vivid red, white and blue bunting design.
Ben Preston, Radio Times Editor, praised the enthusiasm shown toward the project.
He said: “Does the Queen still hold a place in the affections of the young?
“There is no more eloquent answer to this question than a teetering tower of cardboard boxes that grew steadily in a corner of the Radio Times office over the past month.
“The results are a joy. Corgis, handbags, crowns, red buses, horses, carriages and hundreds of smiling, benevolent grey-haired ladies.
“Here is proof of an enduring, shared affection among a new generation for the Queen. Many congratulations - and thanks - to everyone who took part.”
The winning design is featured on the front cover of the new issue of Radio Times, with the age category winning designs featured on the inside pages, alongside the 6 runners-up in each category.
SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS: The devastated widower of a teenage girl, who was burnt alive by her mother in an honour killing, says his in-laws lured his wife back, promising her a ‘proper wedding reception’
Pakistan honour killing
The funeral of a teenage girl from Lahore, who was allegedly burnt alive by her own mother for marrying a man without the consent of her family, has taken place this week.
17-year-old Zeenat Rafiq had been subjugated to severe torture, which resulted in her death.
She had been tied to a bed, doused with fuel and set alight on the morning of Wednesday 8th June; just days after the couple had acquired their marriage licence.
Zeenat’s mother, Perveen Bibi, reportedly made no attempt to hide her crime.
Witnesses from the low-income neighbourhood state where Zeenat was from said that her mother went out into the street, took off her shawl and starting beating herself, shouting and confessing: “People! I have killed my daughter for misbehaving and giving our family a bad name.”
The teenager had run away from her traditional Punjabi family home and married Hassan Khan - who is a Pashtun - on 29th May.
According to family members, Parveen had made it clear that she would not tolerate her daughter marrying a Pashtun.
Now the young grieving husband, Hassan Khan, said his wife had been duped into returning home.
In a television interview he said: “After living with me for four days following our marriage, her family contacted us and promised they would throw us a proper wedding party after eight days,” he said.
“Zeenat was unwilling to go back to her home and told me that she would be killed by her family, but later agreed when one of her Uncles guaranteed her safety.
“She didn't want to go but my family then convinced her. How were we to know they would kill her like this?”
“After two days, she called me and said that her family had gone back on their word and asked me to come to get her, but I told her to wait for the promised eight days. Then she was killed.”
Lahore police have arrested Zeenat’s mother and said they were looking for her brother, who had recently flown in from Dubai.
Zeenat was laid to rest by her husband's family before dawn on Thursday 9th June in Lahore. Police said none of her relatives came forward to claim her body.
This is the third so-called ‘honour killing’ in Pakistan in as many months, when women who go against conservative rules on marriage and love are fatally attacked.
This was a particularly rare example of the crime according to officials, as it was carried out by a woman.
The victim’s husband told reporters the two had been, ‘in love since [their] school days’ but the family had rejected several marriage proposals, forcing them to elope last month.
Sheikh Hammad, a local police official, said Parveen confessed to killing her daughter saying, ‘I don’t have any regrets’.
The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has reported that nearly 1,100 women were killed by relatives in Pakistan last year in so-called honour-killings. Many more cases go unreported.
Last week, 19-year-old Maria Sadaqat was tortured and burned by a group of people in a village near Murree for refusing a marriage proposal from the son of the owner of a school where she taught.
Police have also investigated the murder of a teenage girl who was burnt to death by village elders near Abbottabad because she helped a friend to elope.
The Punjab province, where the two latest attacks happened, passed a landmark law in February criminalising all forms of violence against women.
However, more than 30 religious groups threatened to protest if the law was not repealed.
On Twitter, people from across the world voiced their opinion on the tragedy.
Emel Yildiz said: “RIP Zeenat Rafiq, you didn't deserve the death you received and I hope justice is served and this honour killing crap will one day be left behind.”
Tim Kentley Klay said: “May her death be a sign for change.”
And Faizan Lakhani commented: “Wish they can understand there's no honour in honour killing.”
ITCHY AND SCRATCHY: A large number of ants are living inside 12-year-old Shreya Darji’s ear canal
Indian girl has over 1,000 ants removed from her head
A 12–year-old girl from Deesa, in Gujarat, western India, has around ten giant ants crawl out of her ears daily, her parents say.
One thousand ants were removed from Shreya Darji’s ear canal by doctors in August last year, when she started complaining of a tickling sensation in her ear.
Her parents say they have tried everything, from traditional medical aids to witch doctors, but the ants keep emerging from her ears.
Dr Jawahar Talsania, 58, senior Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon, in Gujarat, told the Daily Mail: “We have conducted all possible scans on the child including an MRI and CT scan but they are all normal. We cannot find any abnormality in her ears.
“She doesn’t experience any kind of pain - despite the ants biting her - and no damage has been found to the eardrums.”
He continued: “The family live a normal life and they have a healthy environment so we can’t even blame their living conditions. We’ve not seen anything like this in our medical history.”
Dr Jawahar said the medics had attempted to rid the mini creatures through a number of methods, including asphyxiating them drops, but to no avail.
A laparoscopic camera has even been used to look inside Shreya’s ear to check for an egg chamber.
“We don’t believe the ants are laying eggs inside the ear as we've not spotted a queen ant inside,” he added.
“We are completely perplexed.”
Father Sanjay Darji, 40, who runs a small television repair business in Gujarat, said his daughter would sit in school and the ants would continue to creep out of her ear.
He’s terrified the condition is getting worse and said: “I have done everything I can. I have taken her to the best doctors but they have failed to solve the problem. I just hope things get better.
“I’m worried about her future and how this will affect her studies. She is a brilliant child and she’s already missed a lot of school.”
Shreya is currently under video surveillance in an Ahmedabad medical unit.