Tag Archive: graduate

Criminology graduate LIED about Muslim taxi driver’s sexual abuse

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SENTENCED: Criminology graduate Sophie Pointon, 22, pleaded guilty to perverting justice at Leeds Crown Court and sentenced to 16 months

SENTENCED: Criminology graduate Sophie Pointon, 22, pleaded guilty to perverting justice at Leeds Crown Court and sentenced to 16 months

 

An innocent father-of-five taxi driver went through “hell” as he was outcast by the local Muslim community after a 22-year-old student falsely accused him of groping her.

The taxi driver had refused to accept Sophie Pointon’s kebab-soaked £10 note when they reached the Hyde Park area earlier this year. Following this, the driver said the “very drunk” student then became abusive and ran around the car opening doors.

Leeds Beckett University graduate Pointon told the police that she had been sexually assaulted in the back of the cab which she had been picked up in, after a night out in Leeds city centre.

Pointon, whose dream was to become a police officer, had rang 999 in the early hours of April 22nd and narrated a bunch of lies. She continued the deception by signing a statement, giving an account of the 'attack'.

But the case against the hard-working cabbie never even went to court, as a telephone recording of the incident, with his taxi firm, cleared him of any wrongdoing.

She eventually broke down in tears and asked if she could drop the charges when her account was challenged by police.

At Leeds Crown Court on Monday 18th September, Pointon who graduated this summer with a BA Honours in Criminology, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and was handed a 16-month prison sentence.

In an emotional and moving victim impact statement the taxi driver described how the claims had left his life and reputation in tatters.  

The Asian father-of-five told the court that he was a practising Muslim - and the accusations had caused him to be shunned.

He was also banned from entering the homes of his colleagues and friends.

He said: “I am now extremely reluctant to take lone females in case I am accused again.

“The girl who accused me is the same age as my own daughter - I cannot comprehend why she made this allegation.

“I feel religiously tainted from this, and no help from the police or the courts can help that.

“Friends stopped speaking to me and letting me in to their homes. People in my community do not even want to be seen with me.”   

Kate Bisset, prosecuting, said the driver was interviewed and said he could recall Pointon being 'extremely drunk' when she got into his car holding a kebab.

The prosecutor said that the taxi driver didn’t think much of it at the time because such incidents with people who are intoxicated are not unusual.

A recording of a conversation between the driver and a phone operator at his taxi office supported the cabbies account.

The court heard a GPS tracker fitted to the car also revealed Pointon's description of the taxi journey to be untrue.

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Graduating is a family affair: Leeds graduate’s ‘pinteresting’ ceremony

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HISTORY: Motaber Khan (centre) received his degree 84 years prior to his great-grandson

HISTORY: Motaber Khan (centre) received his degree 84 years prior to his great-grandson

An international student is walking in the footsteps of his great-grandfather this month, after graduating from the University of Leeds.

Adnan Intekhab received his MSc in global supply chain management from the local university on Tuesday 13th December, 84 years after his ancestor – Motaber Khan – picked up his degree from the same institution.

Proudly wearing the same university tie pin his great-grandfather did at his graduation, Adnan says it was a great experience studying in the city.

“I was interested in studying at the University of Leeds because of the family connection,” he explained.

“I have loved my time at Leeds. The course was even better than I expected.”

FAMILY HEIRLOOM: The tie pin has now been worn in two different graduation ceremonies at the University of Leeds

FAMILY HEIRLOOM: The tie pin has now been worn in two different graduation ceremonies at the University of Leeds

Motaber attended the University of Leeds from 1929, opting to move to the city whilst his home country of India was still under colonial rule.

Despite the number of overseas graduates being very low at the time, he went on to graduate as a Bachelor of Commerce in 1932.

Adnan, 24, is also a Bachelor of Commerce, having studied at his home university in Hyderabad for three years, from 2011, before opting to study in the UK for an MSc in Supply Chain Management.   

It isn’t only the choice of course and university the two relatives have in common, with the newly graduated Adnan even living in accommodation close to Motaber’s old digs.

GRADUATION: Adnan Intekhab proudly graduated from the University of Leeds wearing his great-grandfather’s university tie pin

GRADUATION: Adnan Intekhab proudly graduated from the University of Leeds wearing his great-grandfather’s university tie pin

“I have been able to retrace my great-grandfather’s footsteps; for example, he lived on Regent Park Terrace, Hyde Park and I lived nearby on St. Mark's Street,” Adnan added.

“It is still a residential place inhabited by students – it is strange to think of him being there all those years ago.”

Just under 3,000 students attended graduation ceremonies at the University of Leeds last week.

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Meet the mini graduates! Inaugural graduation ceremony rewards uni kids

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SUCCESS: (l-r) Rodica Koffi-Ebah, Aldona Zadworna and Luis Jarada, received their Leeds Children’s University degrees last month

SUCCESS: (l-r) Rodica Koffi-Ebah, Aldona Zadworna and Luis Jarada, received their Leeds Children’s University degrees last month

Child-size caps and gowns were at the ready last month as over 60 children celebrated their first graduation following their academic achievements at Leeds Children’s University.

The event was staged and organised by Leeds Trinity University.  Children as young as seven received their degrees from the newly installed Chancellor and England footballer, James Milner.

Over the past year, the young academics (aged between seven and 14) have participated in a number of events in school, in their own time and at Leeds Trinity.

Preceding the graduation was the official appointment of James as the Chancellor, who received his scroll of office from Hannah Begum, the Leeds Children’s Mayor.

Professor Margaret House, Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University, said: “Yesterday’s ceremony marked two very special moments. Firstly, the graduation of our future professionals, leaders and entrepreneurs, and secondly, the installation of James Milner, an inspirational Chancellor and athlete for the children to look up to.

“The children have taken part in numerous activities to gain their certificates, from a Mathletics club, to producing school newspapers. They’ve also had the opportunity to attend some fantastic events at Leeds Trinity University, such as a ‘Parliamentary Democracy Day’ with Stuart Andrew MP and an ‘Introduction to the Newsroom’ event during Journalism Week with Jason McCartney MP.”

CELEBRATE: Graduates from the Leeds Children’s University celebrate with chancellor, James Milner

CELEBRATE: Graduates from the Leeds Children’s University celebrate with chancellor, James Milner

Children involved in the initiative were from Holy Family Catholic Primary School, St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School, St Philip’s Catholic Primary and Nursery School and Holy Family Catholic High School.

“Leeds Trinity University positions itself at the heart of the local community,” Professor House said.

“Many of our students and staff actively volunteer as part of Leeds Children’s University, in a bid to inspire and encourage young people to develop a love of learning from an early age.

“Given our organisations’ shared values, becoming the base of Leeds Children’s University was an easy decision for us, as we were keen to be heavily involved in a scheme that helps young people to make the most of their abilities and interests, regardless of the background into which they were born.”

Launched in November 2014 and based at Leeds Trinity University, Leeds Children’s University aims to promote social mobility by providing high quality, exciting and innovative learning activities and experiences outside normal school hours.

At the heart of both organisations is an ambition to raise aspirations, boost achievement and foster a love of learning.

Leeds Children’s University is part of the nationwide Children’s University Trust, of which more than 100,000 children are members.

James Milner, England footballer and Chancellor of Leeds Children’s University, added: “I’m delighted to have been formally installed as Chancellor, it truly is a great honour. I hope to raise awareness of the benefits and skills that can be gained by taking part in extra-curricular learning activities.

“Through my own experiences of the commitment and drive it takes to pursue dreams and ambitions outside of the classroom, I hope I can inspire the members of Leeds Children’s University.”

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Poor student drop-out risk ‘higher’

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university studentPoor university students are more likely to drop out and less likely to graduate with a good degree, even if they started their course with similar grades to their richer peers, according to research.

It suggests that those from deprived backgrounds may do less well in higher education because they did less well at school, and also that they may need more support while at university to make sure they leave with decent results.

The study, published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) analysed information on English students who began studying at a UK university between 2004/05 and 2009/10.

Researchers found that in general, students from the most disadvantaged homes are 8.4 percentage points more likely to drop out of university within two years of starting their course, compared to those from the most advantaged backgrounds.

They are also 13.3 percentage points less likely to complete their degree within five years, and 22.9 percentage points less likely to graduate with a first or 2:1.

There are still "significant" differences even when a student's own grades are taken into account, the study found.

Among students who began university with similar grades to take the same degree course, those from the poorest backgrounds are still 3.4 percentage points more likely to drop out of their studies than those from the richest homes.

And they are still 5.3 percentage points less likely to complete their degree and 3.7 percentage points less likely to achieve a first or 2:1.

The findings indicate that a key part of any measures to cut inequalities in the degree chances between the richest and the poorest students should be to "increase the attainment of those from the poorest families earlier in the school system," the study says.

It also argues that the fact that youngsters from deprived backgrounds do less well on average at university than their richer peers, even when they have similar prior attainment, suggests that poor students may need extra support at university to enable them to succeed.

Study author Claire Crawford said: "Our research highlights that there are large differences in university outcomes by socio-economic background, a substantial proportion of which can be explained by differences in attainment earlier in the education system.

"While improving the attainment of students from disadvantaged backgrounds at school is likely to aid their performance at university as well, we find non-negligible differences in university outcomes between students from different socio-economic backgrounds at the same university, studying the same subject, who arrived with the same grades.

"This suggests that universities may wish to focus on improving the progression and performance of students from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as widening access."

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