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Legal News Articles

Duncan Lewis Solicitors does not have direct involvement in the cases and events covered in these articles. These are articles that exist in the public domain and are used by Duncan Lewis purely for informative purpose.
Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Companies Contribute To the Cost of Divorces For Staff (30 November 2011)

British companies are contributing to the costs of their employees’ divorces to ensure that their employees stay focused on work, it has been claimed. A Manchester-based legal firm has reported "marked increase" in the amount of firms willing to meet a proportion of the cost of legal fees for employees facing divorce. Some companies considered their staff members so vital that they were prepared to pay for their entire legal fees.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Lawyer Left “Horrified” After Finding Squatters in Home (30 November 2011)

A lawyer has told of his horror upon discovering that squatters had taken over his half-renovated £4million home. Hamish Lal claimed that seven Eastern Europeans and one Briton had occupied his three-floor Victorian home in Highgate for a month, claiming that they could not afford the cost of London rental homes.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

IoD Warns Of “Unsustainable” Executive Pay (30 November 2011)

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has described pay rates for business executives as "unsustainable" and claims that executives’ incomes are damaging businesses in the view of the public. Simon Walker, the director general of the IoD, has urged for action to limit executive pay packages that fail to be linked to business performance.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Family Allow To Continue With Damages Claims against Two Police Forces (30 November 2011)

A High Court judge has ruled that the relatives of a woman murdered by her former partner in 2009 can continue with their compensation claims against the police. Joanna Michael, from Cardiff, called for the help of the emergency services twice while being attacked by former partner Cyron Williams, yet when officers finally arrived at the scene of the crime in St. Mellons, she was found to be dead.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Bed-Ridden Benefits Claimant Caught Dancing At Wedding (30 November 2011)

A benefits cheat who claimed to be bed-ridden has been handed a jail sentence after he was caught dancing on camera at a wedding. Mohamed Bouzalim had received nearly £400,000 in benefits payments. Mr Bouzalim will face almost seven years in prison following admitting his guilt to charges of fraud, deception and assisting illegal entry into the UK.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Row Erupts Over Warning Signs on Rocks at the Beach (29 November 2011)

A Welsh council has been criticised by its local chairperson of tourism and commerce for putting health and safety warning signs on rocks at the beach. Gwynedd council has installed signs on to the six large boulders that were used at Tywyn Beach to form a man-made headland. The signs urge the public to refrain from climbing on the rocks.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Sick Family Fear Homelessness Following Being Denied Priority Council Accommodation (29 November 2011)

A single mother-of-two is living in fear of homelessness following being denied priority council accommodation, despite all three family members suffering from heart problems.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Small Businesses May Benefit From Delay in Pension Scheme Enrolment (29 November 2011)

Thousands of small firms are to receive a boost when plans are uncovered to postpone the enrolment of staff into a pension scheme. Companies employing less than 40 staff members will be informed that they are able to delay plans to enrol their staff into a pension scheme by one year. The move is set to reduce the burden on small businesses and enhance growth.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Hospital Cleaner Allegedly Contacted Female Patient on Social Networking Website (29 November 2011)

A hospital has launched an investigation following claims that a cleaner had made contact with a female patient after looking through her medical records. The mother-of-two was reported receiving treatment at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary’s accident and emergency department at the time of the cleaner accessing her personal information. The woman claimed that she received a message from the cleaner via her Facebook page the following day.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

School Caterers Warn Over the Return of Unhealthy Snacks (29 November 2011)

School caterers are warning of the impending return of unhealthy food to schools in England. Caterers claim that they have been receiving requests for unhealthy foods in schools. They claim that the requests derived from some of the new academy schools in England. These schools are not required to follow existing healthy eating guidelines. The Government states that it trusts in these schools to act in the best interests of their pupils. It claims that there is reason why academies will not serve healthy foods to their pupils.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Network Rail to Face Charges over Teenagers’ Railway Deaths (28 November 2011)

Network Rail is to face charges over the deaths of two teenage girls at an Essex level crossing in 2005. Fourteen-year-old Olivia Bazlinton and thirteen-year-old Charlotte Thompson died when an express train at Elsenham struck them in December 2005.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Hampshire Father Remains Hopeful That Children Can Be Buried In UK (28 November 2011)

A Hampshire man, whose two children were found dead in Turkey, remains hopeful that he can bury his children in the UK. Justin Mellersh believes that his two children, Yaanis, aged eight, and Mira, aged six, have already been buried in Turkey. The two children were discovered dead with their mother, Elke.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

First-time Buyers’ Share in Market Hits Three-Year Low (28 November 2011)

The number of first-time buyers making up the housing market has fallen to its lowest level in almost three years, estate agents have claimed. Experts in the field have now called upon the Government to increase their efforts to support people attempting to enter into the property market.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Enhanced Mental Health Unit Opened (28 November 2011)

An enhanced mental health unit has been opened near Lancashire to provide service users from the Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust with the ‘step down’ care that they require. The new unit, known as Fellside, is home to 20 step down beds and remotely supervised ‘flat lets’.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Billion Pound Scheme to Aid Young Jobless (28 November 2011)

Nick Clegg has told of how a £1 billion scheme will help to create subsidised training placements to provide the young jobless with hope for the future. The youth contract scheme is set to provide employers with subsidies worth £2,275 to enable them to employ 160,000 18 to 24-year-olds for six months over the course of three years.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Xbox Live Gamers Hit By Cyber Fraud (25 November 2011)

It has been reported that fraudsters have been garnering thousands of pounds from online gamers by tricking them into disclosing personal information. Thousands of Xbox Live gamers are believed to have been subjected to the scam in which fraudsters gain access into Xbox Live accounts and successfully attain details, including credit card numbers.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Scottish Tenants Incurring the Cost of “Illegal Fees” (25 November 2011)

Letting agents in Scotland have been found to have been cashing in on the naivety of their tenants by requesting that they meet the cost of illegal fees, according to the housing charity, Shelter.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

North Wales Teacher Jailed For Sexual Activity with a Child (25 November 2011)

A teacher has been handed a four-year jail term following having sex with a 14-year-old girl. A court has heard that John Grindell, a high school music teacher, had become infatuated with his victim. He gave the girl alcohol and had sex with her when she was drunk. Mr. Grindell, who had initially been charged with rape, is said to have been eagerly waiting for the girl’s 16th birthday while on bail.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Mentally Ill Patients Struggle To Receive Emergency Treatment (25 November 2011)

Individuals with mental health problems are facing difficulties when trying to attain emergency treatment, campaigners claim. A review conducted by the mental health charity, Mind, has highlighted the scope of difficulties patients with mental health problems face when trying to get help from their local crisis teams and general hospitals.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

England’s Home Care Service Providers to Face Fresh Care Quality Commission Inspections (25 November 2011)

Providers of home care services based in England are to face a fresh Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection from April of next year. The CQC is set to report on 250 home care service providers.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Government Unveils Affordable Homes Plan (24 November 2011)

The Government has announced its plans to enable first-time buyers to borrow a maximum of 95 per cent of the value of a home, using Government underwriting. The plans are a part of David Cameron’s plans to tackle the lack of affordable homes in England and includes a fund worth £400 million designed to kick-start the housing market.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Church of England Bishops Criticise Benefit System Reforms (24 November 2011)

Eighteen Church of England bishops have openly criticised the Government^s welfare reform proposals. The bishops have expressed their concerns over plans to limit the sum of money any household is able to claim in welfare benefits to £500 per week. Both the Archbishop of York and the Archbishop of Canterbury have backed their criticisms. The Government claims that the changes to the benefits system have been designed to prevent benefit dependency.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Children's Commissioners Predict Rising Levels of Child Poverty (24 November 2011)

Children^s commissioners are predicting that the UK will suffer from increased levels of child poverty as it attempts to deal with its economic problems. The commissioners, who fight for children^s rights, claim that the cuts are already having an impact on “key children^s services”.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Mother Falls into Coma Following Use of Hair Dye (24 November 2011)

A mother has fallen into a coma following the use of a home hair dye product. The family of 38-year-old Julie McCabe, who is alleged to have experienced a severe reaction to the hair dye, has been warned that she has an eight per cent chance of surviving. Mrs McCabe remains on life support following using the dye three weeks ago. Doctors have warned that in the event that Mrs McCabe survives, she may be permanently brain-damaged.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Exclusions across Wrexham Schools Exceeds 1,200 Pupils (24 November 2011)

Figures from Wrexham Councils have revealed that in excess of 1,200 pupils have been excluded from schools across Wrexham in the past year. Of these exclusions, 381 were due to violent incidents.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Britons Injured Overseas Face Lower Compensation (23 November 2011)

Changes to European law mean that Britons who sustain serious injuries while overseas could be hit by reduced compensation.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Catholic School Warned Over Discriminatory Entry System (23 November 2011)

An oversubscribed Croydon Catholic school has received a warning from the Office of the Schools Adjudicator, following giving priority to the children of parents actively involved in church related activities through its entry system.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Scotland Tackles NHS Fraud (23 November 2011)

Scotland NHS’ counter fraud team has successfully saved the health service a total of £43 million since its formation 11 years ago. The team has been hailed for securing the sentencing of a surgical theatre technician who was found to have stolen £23,000 in medical equipment.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

NHS Staffing Levels under Threat, Says RCN (23 November 2011)

Nursing leaders have warned of a “crisis” within the NHS, following the publication of Royal College of Nursing (RCN) data that revealed that over 56,000 jobs either have been axed, or are at risk of being axed, across the UK. The data has been obtained from NHS trusts and includes the analysis of papers from board meetings, forward planning documentation, and annual and strategic reports.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Ex-SAS Soldier Faces Jail for Child Sex Abuse (23 November 2011)

An ex-SAS soldier from Hereford could be facing a lengthy prison term, following being convicted of sexually abusing two girls. Ian Tuckley, 32, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was said to be obsessed with child pornography. He subjected one of the girls, now aged 19, to 13 years of sexual abuse. His second victim, now aged ten, was also sexually abused over the course of several years. One of Mr. Tuckley’s victims fell pregnant because of his sexual abuse. The girl was forced by Mr. Tuckley to have an abortion.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Preston Social Club Allowed To Keep Licence Following Cage Fighting Event (22 November 2011)

A Preston social club that played host to a cage-fighting event involving young children has been granted permission to retain its licence. However, the club must adhere to a set of conditions when considering staging future events.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Major Legal Reforms May Affect Immigration Cases (22 November 2011)

According to recent reports, Britain is expected to secure major legal reforms aimed at preventing the European Court of Human Rights from overruling immigration cases. Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has told of how an agreement is likely to be reached to prevent individuals from being granted the freedom to repetitively challenge the deportation rulings of UK judges.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Long-term Sick Should Be Independently Assessed, Says New Review (22 November 2011)

A new Government-backed review has suggested that the long-term sick should not be signed off work by their GPs but must instead attend an independent assessment service. The review also proposes that companies that employ the long-term sick should be granted tax breaks.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Increase in Divorce Rate amongst Over-60s (22 November 2011)

A new study has found that Britain has witnessed an increase in ‘silver separations’. Pensioners proved to be the only age group in which the divorce rate is increasing. On approaching retirement, and with a lack of work routine, many over 60s have been coming to the realization that they no longer wish to stay with their partner. Some claim to have discovered that they have a lack of a connection upon their children leaving the nest.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

E.coli Outbreak at Bangor Nursery (22 November 2011)

A Bangor nursery has been hit by an outbreak of E.coli. One of the children attending the Bangor University-operated Tir Na Nog Nursery was diagnosed as being infected with E.coli, as has an adult associated with the premises. Four other individuals have fallen ill and are currently being tested, in addition to the other well children who attend the 50-place nursery.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Worker Dies in Airbus Factory Accident (21 November 2011)

A man has died while working at a garage on the premises of the Airbus factory in Broughton, North Wales. Donald Williams, 62, was rushed to the Countess of Chester Hospital following the accident but died later as a result of his injuries. North Wales Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have launched an investigation into the accident.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Tenants Hit By Increased Rental Costs (21 November 2011)

A recent survey has revealed that the cost of renting in England and Wales has increased for the ninth successive month. However, the rate at which the rises have been occurring has slowed.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Preston Charity Scammer Admits Fraud (21 November 2011)

A Preston father, who claimed to have secured the attendance of Peter Andre at a charity event, has admitted his guilt to fraud charges. The crimes of Shaun Bradbury centred on a charity project known as Dominic’s House that was set up in honour of his two autistic sons.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Police Launch Social Media Campaign Over Baby Death (21 November 2011)

Lancashire Police have launched an online campaign to attempt to trace the mother of a young baby found dead in the county. Lancashire Police have recorded a direct appeal to the woman, which is set to appear on their YouTube page. Detective Inspector Martin Clague claimed that they had turned to these websites, as they formed a “part of people^s everyday lives”. Mr. Clague added that in using popular social networking and video hosting websites, the force were able to reach a wider audience.
The body of the young boy was discovered on October the 1st in Spen Brook, just yards from the Kirkham Boys Brigade Club. Police believe that the body was that of a full-term baby.

Mr Clague claimed that the force’s main priority was to trace the baby’s mother so that she could be offered the support that she may require. He added that the force urged the women to come forward to provide information about the baby’s death.

Duncan Lewis’ childcare law solicitors specialise in all aspects of childcare law. The department is proud to approach each case with a level of understanding only achievable through specialising in childcare law. Whether involving social services or a private law matter, it is important to be represented by those who understand how the law may affect you and your family. The team can provide essential advice and representation to parents, other relatives and children’s guardians in a wide range of public law proceedings. Full public funding is typically granted to all parents involved in public law cases, regardless of their financial means.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Associated Press Journalists Warned Over News Tweets (21 November 2011)

The Associated Press news agency has reprimanded a small number of its journalists for releasing news on Twitter ahead of publishing it online. The news agency issued staff with the warning, following certain staff members sending tweets over the Associated Press journalists arrested during the Manhattan Occupy Wall Street camp. An email from the company’s executives followed, reminding staff of the company^s social media policies.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

South Wales Mother Challenges Littering Fine (18 November 2011)

A mother-of-three has been fined £465 for littering, after ordering that her case be heard in the courts of law. Tracey John was seen dropping a cigarette on the pavement near to her home by a litter enforcement officer. She refused to meet the cost of the £75 on the spot fine and her case was referred to the magistrates’ court. Yet, Ms. John refuses to pay the fine and is prepared to be handed a jail term, claiming that she is “sticking up” for smokers’ human rights.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

North West Veterans to Receive Dedicated Mental Health Support Service (18 November 2011)

Ex-military personnel in the North West are to benefit from a new mental health support service. Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Military Veterans’ Service will provide essential mental health support services to veterans and their immediate family in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and Merseyside. The service has been introduced in response to the recommendations issued in Fighting Fit, a government report into the accessibility of mental health support services for ex-military personnel.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Fraudsters Target Flintshire Cash Machine (18 November 2011)

Fraudsters have targeted a cash machine on a busy Flintshire high street, in an attempt to clone debit cards. Flint councillor, Alex Aldridge, claimed that some residents in the North Wales town have experienced losses totalling hundreds of pounds following using the NatWest cash machine. Councillor Aldridge has told of how there may have been around 30 fraudulent withdrawals because of the actions of the cash point con artists.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Fertility Unit Destroys Cancer Patients’ Frozen Sperm (18 November 2011)

A NHS fertility unit has come under fire following destroying the frozen sperm of male cancer patients. The sperm samples derived from men preparing to undergo treatment for conditions such as leukaemia and testicular cancer. The men had chosen to have samples of their sperm frozen, as their treatment could have left them infertile.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Charity Urges Government to Help Runaway Children (18 November 2011)

A recent report released by the charity, the Children’s Society, has revealed that few runway children are reported to the police as missing. The study found that over the course of one year, 84,000 children aged 16 years old or younger ran away from their own homes in England overnight. Of these children, only 17 per cent were reported to the authorities as missing. The charity has therefore called upon the government to ensure that the plight of runaways is made a top priority.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Wrexham House Converted Into Cannabis Growing Factory (16 November 2011)

A rented property near Wrexham was converted into a large cannabis-growing factory that would have provided its tenants with over £70,000, a court has heard.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Schools Advised To Not Force Pupils to Eat Food (16 November 2011)

The School Food Trust has advised schools not to force their pupils to finish their main course before receiving a pudding. The Trust suggests that requiring pupils to finish everything that is on their plate is “counterproductive”. Several head teachers had requested the advice of the Trust in relation to whether or not their staff should ensure that pupils finished their main courses prior to being granted a pudding.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Mother Jailed For Force-feeding Baby to Death (16 November 2011)

A mother found guilty of force-feeding her baby to death has received a three-year prison term. Thirty-one-year-old Gloria Dwomoh, a nurse from London, forced her ten-month-old daughter, named Diamond, to consume solid food from six months of age. Diamond died in March of last year. The Old Bailey was informed that the cause of Diamond’s death was pneumonia that resulted from food blocking her airways. Miss Dwomoh had always denied causing her daughter’s death.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Mentally Ill Woman Avoids Prison Term for Offensive Graffiti (16 November 2011)

A woman charged with spraying graffiti on buildings in Peterborough city centre in September has narrowly escaped a prison sentence. Twenty-four-year-old Samantha Moss sprayed offensive words and pictures on Peterborough’s Town Hall and on several banks and building societies, causing over £12,000 worth of damage. Miss Moss had previously been summoned to appear in court over a vandalism spree in December 2009.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Lorry Driver Jailed For Failing to Take Rest Breaks (16 November 2011)

A judge has handed a lorry driver a 30-week jail sentence for failing to take adequate rest breaks. Andrew Clorley, from Wrexham, admitted his guilt to altering tachograph records upon running out of permitted working hours. Mr. Clorley worked behind the wheel of a 44-tonne articulated lorry carrying chipboard, Mold Crown Court heard.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

London Property Prices to Increase By 20 Per Cent over Next Five Years (15 November 2011)

Experts have forecasted that property prices in London will increase by almost 20 per cent in the next five years. London’s property market is predicted to remain Britain’s most resilient, with the greatest increases to be seen by some of central London’s most sought after neighbourhoods.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Four-year-old Provides Evidence in Child Abuse Trial (15 November 2011)

A four-year-old boy who sustained life-threatening injuries after allegedly being stamped upon has become the youngest child in history to provide evidence in a criminal trial in the UK courts of law.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Benefits Cheat Claimed £140,000 to Buy Property (15 November 2011)

A woman who stole £140,000 in benefits was handed a jail term for her fraudulent actions. Jennifer Myrie used a range of aliases to help her to attain enough housing benefit to purchase property worth £500,000. The 50-year-old, who was employed in social work, also fraudulently claimed income support and jobseeker’s allowance. Basildon Crown Court was told of how the relatives residing in her properties also made fraudulent claims for housing benefit. Together, they received £140,000 over a total of seven years.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Actor Receives Six-Month Driving Ban Following Refusing Breath Test (15 November 2011)

A famous comedy actor, renowned for appearing in TV sitcom, My Family, has received a six-month driving ban after refusing to take a breath test.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

200,000 Disability Living Allowance Claimants Received Aid without Interview, According to Official Figures (15 November 2011)

The Department for Work and Pensions has revealed that around 200,000 Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claimants were handed financial support in 2010 in the absence of a personal assessment. Official figures show that 94 per cent of all first-time DLA claimants begun receiving financial aid after just filling out the official paperwork.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Car Insurer Admiral Sees Record Number of Personal Injury Claims (14 November 2011)

Car insurer Admiral has told of how record numbers of personal injury compensation claims are likely to impact its growth in profits. The Cardiff-based firm recently claimed that the ban on personal injury referral fees will influence its full-year earnings.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Prisoner Cleared Of Stabbing Guard (14 November 2011)

A prisoner serving three life sentences has been cleared of charges of attempted murder and wounding with intent. Frankland Prison inmate, Kevan Thakrar, admitted his guilt to lashing out when in possession of a broken bottle but argued that he was acting in self-defence.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

140,000 Toddlers to Receive Free Early Education (14 November 2011)

Hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged two-year-olds in England will have the opportunity to enrol on nursery places without charge under a new Government scheme. Under Government proposals, all two-year-olds from low-income families will be provided with 15 hours’ "early education" without charge each week. The pilot scheme, which was introduced by Labour, is set to be extended across the nation in September 2013.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Council Care Cuts Deemed Unlawful By High Court Judge (14 November 2011)

A High Court judge has ruled that a council’s eligibility criteria for social care provision to be unlawful. The case against Isle of Wight Council was pursued by the relatives of two autistic men.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Dance Teacher Jailed For Grooming Teenage Pupil (14 November 2011)

A dance teacher who began a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old pupil at his dance school has been handed a jail term of three years and nine months. The court has heard how Christopher Freeman’s inappropriate relationship was uncovered in December 2010. In March of this year, magistrates handed Mr. Freeman a three-year community order. Following the trial, the teenager divulged further details of their sexual activities, leading to Mr. Freeman’s re-arrest. The dance teacher later admitted his guilt to sexual activity with a child.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Former Olympic Youth Ambassador Handed Two-Year Prison Term (11 November 2011)

A former Olympic youth ambassador has received a two-year jail term for taking part in the civil unrest in London in August. 18-year-old Chelsea Ives, from east London, admitted her guilt to burglary, damaging property, and violent disorder. The court was informed that Miss Ives was involved in rioting in Enfield, North London and in Hackney, east London. In 2008, the teenager was granted the role of Olympic youth ambassador for Waltham Forest. She had therefore put her name forward to voluntarily help at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Judge Overturns Ban on Abducted Child Appeal (11 November 2011)

A senior judge has overturned a publicity ban, allowing lawyers to appeal for information relating to the abduction of a four-year-old girl.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

First-time Home Buyers Increase by 35 Per Cent, Claims Persimmon (11 November 2011)

House builder Persimmon has claimed that the number of first-time homeowners has increased by over 35 per cent in comparison to last year. Persimmon claimed that visitor levels and house prices remained stable yet cancellation rates proved to be at an all-time low. Persimmon stated that weekly rates for private sales from the beginning of September 2011 proved to be 19 per cent greater than during the same time last year, and added that it had benefited from sales of £460 million that had been already reserved past 2011.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Father and Sons Jailed For Driveway Fraud (11 November 2011)

A man and his twin sons have received a prison term after conning thousands of pounds out of elderly and vulnerable individuals in return for carrying out inadequate building work. Francis Tomney, Thomas Tomney, and Francis Tomney Jnr. targeted people across Lancashire, Hertfordshire, and Greater Manchester. The three main offered to perform driveway maintenance for extortionate sums of cash. One of their 80-year-old victims was informed by the men that a chemical sealant was used on his driveway when the fraudsters had in fact used milk.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

High Achieving Graduates To Be Offered Greater Incentives to Become Teachers (11 November 2011)

High achieving university graduates are to be offered incentives of £20,000 to become teachers in a bid by the Government to enhance state education standards. Generous bursaries will be offered to the brightest of graduates wishing to enter into employment as teachers of shortage subjects, including science and mathematics. The plans are part of the Government’s teacher training system overhaul that came because of a slip in school standards in comparison to those of other developed nations.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Migrants May Be Required To Earn £35,000 to Permanently Settle In Britain (10 November 2011)

Plans to cut the number of skilled migrants who are granted the freedom to settle in Britain permanently have been unveiled by Government advisors. The proposals have been designed to cut net migration from its current yearly total of 60,000 to 20,000.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Preston Teenager Attacked For Mobile Phone (10 November 2011)

A Preston teenager has been attacked in broad daylight for possessing the latest mobile phone. The 17-year-old apprentice IT employee was followed while walking through Preston’s Guild Hall. He was punched in the face by his attacker and was left bleeding as his attacker tried to steal his iPhone. Preston police have launched an appeal to identify the attacker. The teenage victim is said to have been left traumatised by the ordeal.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Youngsters to Face Bleak Future, Warns Employment Study (10 November 2011)

The results of a recent employment study have warned that youngsters across Britain are likely to face a bleak future due to employment “black spots”. The Work Foundation-backed research study highlighted concerns that young people residing in the north of the UK were increasingly likely to be lacking in education, work, and training due to insufficient employment opportunities. The study has called on the Government to increase their investment in towns and cities north of the country.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Wales to Be Hit Hardest By Benefit System Changes, Claims Research Study (10 November 2011)

Duncan Lewis’ welfare benefits solicitors understand that the constant changes to the welfare system renders it difficult for their clients to receive the support that they are entitled to. The welfare benefits team are able to explain the types of benefits their clients should be entitled to receive and are able to assess clients’ eligibility for benefits.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Lancashire Neighbours Clash over Band Practise Noise (10 November 2011)

Neighbours residing in a quiet Lancashire cul-de-sac have put forward their objections to plans for a local band to practise in a room only a few yards from their properties. The residents of Gower Court in Leyland claim that the noise deriving from the band’s twice-weekly rehearsals will prove intrusive, particularly in the summer months when they choose to spend time in their own gardens.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

£500 Million to Aid Delayed Building Projects (9 November 2011)

Public money totalling £500 million is to be invested in private housing and commercial building projects in England. Ministers claim that building projects have been delayed due to issues with road access, flood risks, and contaminated land. They believe that the money will allow local enterprise partnerships in England to overcome these hurdles.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Teenage Girl Denies Murder Plot (9 November 2011)

A teenage girl from Chester has denied constructing an elaborate plot to kill a debt collector. Liverpool Crown Court has heard of how Rachael Hanna Horton had plotted to murder Martin Ithell before trying to hide evidence of her actions. Mr. Ithell died after being shot and stabbed in March of this year.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Property Prices Increased By 1.2 Per Cent in October, Claims the Halifax (9 November 2011)

UK property prices increased by 1.2 per cent in October when compared to September but have dropped over the past year, claims the Halifax. The lender stated that house values had dropped 1.8 per cent in comparison to a year ago. The Halifax described the housing market has “highly resilient”, regardless of the deteriorating economic forecast. The average UK home was valued at £163,311, according to the Halifax. Its valuation is based upon its own mortgage statistics.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Medical Secretaries in Northern Ireland’s Western Trust to Strike (9 November 2011)

Northern Ireland’s Western Trust medical secretaries have voted in favour of strike action in later this month. Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA), their trade union, claims that Western Trust medical secretaries received less pay than comparable colleagues in the remainder of Northern Ireland^s trust areas. The union stated that in excess of 30 medical secretaries had been forced to endure an income gap of £4,000 due to a new grading process.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Hull Authorities Investigate Body Mix-up Claims (9 November 2011)

Authorities in Hull have launched an investigation into claims that the corpse of a man believed to have been buried almost ten years ago has been found. The man died while held in police custody. The man’s sister has told of how the family had felt “shocked and appalled” upon hearing the news.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Inquest Finds Faulty Railway Points to Blame for Woman's Death (8 November 2011)

An inquest into the death of a woman in a Cumbria train crash has found that inadequately maintained points were to be held responsible. Pensioner Margaret Masson from Glasgow died following the derailment of a Virgin train in February 2007. The train travelled over a set of “degraded” railway points at 92 mph before careering down an embankment. The crash left 88 people injured.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Chinese Woman Charged With Murdering Irish Husband (8 November 2011)

A Chinese woman has been charged with murdering her husband in Northern Ireland. Suwei Shang is accused of stabbing 51-year-old Damien Keenan at his home in Derry on November the 1st. He died a day later. Miss Shang, who was in part-time employment as a cleaner, is said to have been aware that she was being charged with the murder. The serious crime branch of the Police Service of Northern Ireland claims to possess evidence that links Miss Shang to the murder charge.
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Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Paisley Woman Accused of Murdering Son (8 November 2011)

A Paisley woman accused of the murder of her 23-month-old son has gone on trial at the High Court in Glasgow. Kimberley Hainey has pleaded not guilty to murdering the boy. She is also charged with the assault and neglect of her son between September 2008 and March 2010.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Judge Hands Out a String of Sex Abuse Sentences (8 November 2011)

A judge who has jailed three men over sex offences in Ceredigion has spoken about his hopes that the sentences would serve as a deterrent in the event of a “cult of offending”.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Plaid Cymru MEP Fined Over Failure to Pay TV Licence (8 November 2011)

A Plaid Cymru MEP has pleaded guilty to failing to meet the cost of her TV licence payment after protesting over the way in which Welsh television channel S4C is run and funded. Jill Evans’ action formed a part of a Welsh Language Society campaign. Miss Evans admitted her guilt at Pontypridd Magistrates’ Court and has been handed a fine of £500. She will also be required to pay £60 in court costs in addition to a victim surcharge of £15.
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Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Golfer Awarded £400,000 after Being Stuck In the Eye by Golf Ball (7 November 2011)

A man who lost his eyesight in one eye following being struck by a golf ball has been awarded around £400,000 in compensation. Anthony Phee was hit by the golf ball over four years ago whilst playing a round of golf at the West Lothian-based Niddry Castle golf course. Mr. Phee sued James Gordon, who struck the fatal shot, in addition to the golf club. Mr. Phee described the incident as a “harrowing experience”.
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Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Psychic Charged With Benefit Fraud (7 November 2011)

A woman from Neath fraudulently claimed £33,000 worth of benefits while in employment as a sex chat line operator and tarot reader, a court has heard. Fifty-year-old Dawn Pearson advertised her services through Psychic TV and charged customers £1.53 per minute for their calls. The woman had previously claimed that she was too sick to work. A Swansea Crown Court judge handed Miss Pearson a 12-week suspended jail sentence and ordered her to perform 180 hours’ worth of unpaid community work.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Department of Transport Statistics Reveal an Increase in Road Deaths (7 November 2011)

Statistics from the Department of Transport have shown that the number of road deaths has increased in the first half of 2011. 940 deaths were reported on the roads in the first half of this year - a 6.7 per cent rise on the number of people killed on the road during the first half of 2010.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Carer Stole from Housebound Pensioner to Repay Loans (7 November 2011)

A Lancashire woman stole from an elderly man while in employment as a carer for his ill wife. Victoria Nicholson admitted her guilt to three counts of fraud following stealing a total of £850 from the housebound pensioner. Miss Nicholson was working for Holywell Care, a company offering a home care service, at the time of committing the offences. Sabe Connor, the owner of Holywell Care, described Miss Nicholson as a valued worker and told of how she had been cleared to work for the company by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).
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Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Head of UK Border Agency Suspended Over Passport Check Claims (7 November 2011)

The Home Office has suspended the UK Border Agency (UKBA) head following claims that certain passport checks failed to be conducted during the summer. Two additional UKBA officials were also suspended. The suspensions follow allegations that UKBA staff were instructed to relax identity checks for non-EU nationals. UKBA staff hold the responsibility for checking passports and performing immigration raids.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Unison Trade Union Members Vote In Favour Of Pension Strike (4 November 2011)

Union trade union members have voted for striking against pension scheme changes. 245,358 members – 78 per cent - voted in favour of a strike. This means that a large national strike is likely to be held on the 30th of November. Following the result of the ballot, Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, put out pleas to Unison members to call a halt to a strike.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

London Paramedic Killed By a Single Punch (4 November 2011)

A London paramedic died after being punched once in the face during an unprovoked attack. Twenty-eight-year-old James Hodgkinson of Islington was attacked after watching a cricket match at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Mr. Hodgkinson visited several drinking establishments after the match and was ready to leave one bar when he was struck by Jacob Dunne. The single punch knocked Mr. Hodgkinson over, causing him to hit his head on the concrete pavement. Mr. Hodgkinson died in hospital nine days after the incident.
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Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Lancashire Foster Carers Benefit From New Payment Structure (4 November 2011)

Lancashire foster carers are set to benefit from the introduction of a new payment structure based upon their childcare skills and experience. The changes are the result of a review by Lancashire County Council into the way in which it grants allowances to its foster carers.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Doctors Told To Encourage Long-Term Ill to Work (4 November 2011)

Draft guidance from the General Medical Council (GMC) has informed doctors to encourage patients suffering from long-term illnesses to remain either in employment or avail of return to work schemes.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Council Worker Awarded £1,250 for an Injured Back (4 November 2011)

A Lancashire council worker has been handed £1,250 in personal injury compensation for injuring his back. The worker claimed that his role involved the repeated carrying of a heavy tray of refreshments and that this was the cause of his back injury. The Lancashire County Council worker was among the 179 workers who pursued award-winning employer liability claims from the council over the last five years.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Ministers Rule against Amendment to Pension Age Concession (3 November 2011)

The Labour party has failed to force Government ministers to increase their efforts in aiding the thousands of women due to lose out on their pension claims as a result of a rise in the state pension age in 2020.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Man Receives Prison Term for Stalking Ex-girlfriend (3 November 2011)

A Nottingham man responsible for posting sexual images of his ex-girlfriend online has received a four-month jail sentence. Twenty-three-year-old Shane Webber stalked 22-year-old Ruth Jeffery via social networking sites. Mr. Webber, of Clifton, sent information about Miss Jeffery to her relatives and strangers.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Councils to Be Made the Subject of Adoption Performance League Tables (3 November 2011)

Councils who succeed at speedily placing children in their care with adoptive parents will be hailed in a new performance league table scheme. The move will also name and shame councils who fail to act so swiftly. Currently, English local authorities are required to find adoptive parents for children in their care within 12 months of putting the children up for adoption.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Carmarthen Traders Fight Parking Meter Plans (3 November 2011)

Businesses in a Wales town are fighting new plans to install parking meters on a busy town centre road. They claim that the plans to charge people for parking near to the shops would drive customers away and hence, would negatively impact their business.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

South Wales Recycling Company Fined For Legionella Risk (3 November 2011)

A Merthyr Tydfil recycling firm has been handed a fine for insufficiently controlling a Legionella risk during a Legionnaire^s disease outbreak in September 2010. While Merthyr Industrial Services (Biomass) Limited was not held responsible for the outbreak, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) agreed that the company had put its workers and the general public at risk. The company received a £600 fine from Merthyr magistrates and was ordered to pay costs totalling £8,577.
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Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Police Officer Unanimously Cleared Of Sexual Assault Charges (2 November 2011)

A police officer has been unanimously cleared of sexual assault charges by a Crown Court jury. PC Gareth Roscoe was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl at the police station at which he worked.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Pension Scam Woman Ordered To Repay £158,000 (2 November 2011)

A woman who claimed a pension following her husband’s faking of his own death has been the subject of a £158,000 confiscation order. Forty-three-year-old Sophie Sanchez was handed a two-year jail sentence in December 2010 for defrauding a Marlow branch of HMV in which her husband, Alfredo, was employed as a web designer up until 2004.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Occupational Pension Contributions Slump to a Record Low (2 November 2011)

An Office for National Statistics (ONS) report has found that the number of individuals contributing to an occupational pension has fallen to a 54-year low. In the last year alone, 8.3 million individuals paid into occupational pensions.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

North Wales Letting Agency Shuts Down Without Warning (2 November 2011)

A North Wales letting agency has unexpectedly shut down, potentially leaving hundreds of tenants and landlords out of pocket. Tenants and landlords who worked with Shotton-based Eazy Let Limited claim that the letting agency has failed to contact them for weeks.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Multi-Million Pound Couple Must Divorce In English Courts (2 November 2011)

A Greek tycoon must divorce in the English courts of law, according to a Court of Appeal ruling. Pyrros Vardinoyannis and his Brazilian wife met in St. Tropez. While they initially set up home in London, the couple also spent a considerable amount of time in Milan, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles, Crete, and Gstaad.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Teenage Girl Dies in Hang Glider Training Flight Crash (1 November 2011)

A teenage girl has died after crashing a hang glider during a training flight, police have said. The incident, which occurred in Ashbourne in Derbyshire, is currently under a joint investigation by Derbyshire Constabulary and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Preston Campaigners Celebrate Rejected Housing Plans (1 November 2011)

Campaigners are celebrating the rejection of a plan to construct 550 new homes on a former Preston golf club. Since 2008, residents in the former golf club’s surrounding areas have been battling against plans for a large housing estate to be built on the 70 hectares of land. Northern Trust, the owner of the site, had already faced a rejection by Preston Council and a Planning Inquiry yet the firm appealed against the Planning Inspector’s decision to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who agreed that the plans should not receive approval.
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Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Parents Forced To Pay For Play Scheme Care Following Early School Closure (1 November 2011)

Parents will be required to meet the cost of sending their children to a £100-per-week play scheme in the event that they are unable to make alternative arrangements for their children when Tidemill Academy in Deptford closes early for Christmas.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Fine Defaulters to Face Benefits Cut (1 November 2011)

The Government is set to introduce a new measure for individuals who fail to meet the cost of fines handed out for criminal convictions. Under the new scheme, fine defaulters could lose a maximum of £25 per week in benefits.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Legal News

Bolton Teenager Found Guilty Of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving (1 November 2011)

A teenager has been handed a four-and-a-half-year youth detention sentence following killing his girlfriend by driving recklessly on a country lane in Greater Manchester. 19-year-old Michael Partington’s driving was described as “angry and aggressive” at Liverpool Crown Court. The court was told how he had reached speeds of up to 70 mph on a back road in the village of Haigh.  Read more...

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