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Cancer is terrible to live with and it's even worse now  :angry048:
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/student-dies-sepsis-after-ringing-23568942?utm_source=mirror_newsletter&utm_campaign=daily_morning_newsletter2&utm_medium=email

Student dies from sepsis after ringing GP surgery 25 times to be refused appointment

University student Toby Hudson was unable to speak to anyone at the practice because of a faulty phone system and eventually gave up and called again the next day to be told he could not be seen for at least 48 hours

By Katie Mansfield

01:07, 26 FEB 2021Updated08:56, 26 FEB 2021

A 19-year-old died from sepsis after trying 25 times to get through to a GP surgery only to be refused an appointment, an inquest heard.  University student Toby Hudson was unable to speak to anyone at the practice because of a faulty phone system and eventually gave up and called again the next day to be told he could not be seen for at least 48 hours.  The tragic teenager was told that due to him being registered at another surgery in his university town of Southampton, Hants, he could either wait two days to re-register or go to an urgent care walk-in centre.  Toby died two days after he had first sought help at the Wyke Regis & Lanehouse Medical Practice in Weymouth, Dorset.  An inquest into his death in Bournemouth heard Toby had previously been a patient at the Weymouth practice.  However, when he moved to Southampton to study chemistry at university he registered at a new clinic closer to campus.  He had been suffering from a cough for around two months before he returned to his family home in Weymouth in the summer of 2019.  Toby was suffering from swollen glands and 'puffy' tonsils and a sore throat when his parents told him to speak to a GP.  He attended the centre and was seen by nurse practitioner who wrongly diagnosed him with tonsillitis and gave him antibiotics, the inquest heard.  Over the next 24 hours his condition deteriorated and his parents called 999 when he became unconscious. He went into cardiac arrested in the back of the ambulance and a back-up crew was called.  He was delayed in getting to hospital after the back-up crew went to the wrong location. Toby was later taken into theatre at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester but died at hospital that night.  Toby's father, Peter Hudson, described the day of his son's death on July 4, 2019 as he returned home to find him under a blanket and looking pale.   He helped him into the wet room of the house where his son's eye's rolled back in his head, there were bubbles of spit in his mouth and he briefly lost consciousness.  Mr Hudson said: "I felt there was no urgency. I had to press for action to be taken and for our concerns to be heard.  There were issues with communication. The back-up crew went to our home address and at from what neighbours have told me they had trouble finding the house.  They were knocking on doors before they realised what had happened.  They then had to travel almost three miles to where the ambulance actually was through Weymouth summer traffic and through roadworks.  We have a lot of concerns about his care."

Giving evidence, Dr Matthew Brook, a partner at the Wake Regis & Lanehouse Medical Practice, admitted issues with the phone system due to a high patient load and said a review has since taken place.  Dr Brook said the correct procedures had been followed. According to national guidelines, temporary residents should only be seen by a GP if they do not require urgent care.  Nurse practitioner Briony Jefferis said she was 'not remotely worried' about Toby's symptoms when she examined him at the urgent care centre in Weymouth Community Hospital, saying he 'did not show any signs of sepsis '.  The inquest continues.
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/i-told-cancer-after-giving-23544101?utm_source=mirror_newsletter&utm_campaign=daily_evening_newsletter2&utm_medium=email

'I was told I had cancer after giving birth then I had to say goodbye to my baby'

Charities CLIC Sargent and the Teenage Cancer Trust are joining forces to make sure that every young person has a hand to hold through their cancer journey

By Poppy Danby

12:38, 23 FEB 2021Updated13:40, 23 FEB 2021

Being diagnosed with cancer is one of the most harrowing experiences that a person could ever go through.  Yet due to the current pandemic, this moment is being being made even more devastating, as young people, between the ages of 16 to 25 are receiving the news they have cancer alone.  And young patients are being forced to face treatment, scans and hospital appointments by themselves.  In a poll by charity, CLIC Sargent, it was discovered that 90 per cent of young people had experienced treatment alone in hospital due to coronavirus.  As a result, the charity have teamed up with the Teenage Cancer Trust to launch the Hand2Hold campaign to urge the Government to ensure that all young people have somebody by their side during treatment and beyond.  We spoke to those who had been through it to find out just how important it is.

I WAS TOLD I HAD RELAPSED AND HAD TO FACE TREATMENT ON MY OWN

Hearing the news that his oesophageal cancer had returned for a second time, George Hatfield, 20, from Liphook near Guildford, was over 200 miles away from his family.  The Musical Theatre student was away studying at SLP College in Leeds when he received the devastating news and has since faced all of his chemotherapy treatment on his own.  George says: “It was very very difficult. At the time we were thinking everything was going to be great. I’d just had my scan, I had no symptoms of my disease any more, I wasn’t feeling tired all the time and I had the energy to be back dancing and singing every day. I felt really good.  I had my independence back as I was living away from home again too.  But then I got a phone call to tell me that the scan result wasn’t good news.  I was away from my family during a lockdown and it was really really tough.”

George was first diagnosed with the illness in July 2019 and at the time he was told that he was youngest person to ever have his condition.  He says: “It was really really scary. The view of cancer is often view bleak. And I was more scared about going through chemotherapy than anything else.”

Luckily George was allowed to have people with him through his first bout of chemo between August and December 2019.  However, when he relapsed in July 2020 and again in October 2020, he had to go through treatment alone.  He says: “It’s really hard, as a lot of treatments don’t make you feel great. By the end of the day having chemo, I’m quite weak and unstable on my feet and walking is quite hard.  Walking out of the hospital on your own can sometimes be quite difficult and scary especially when you’ve got covid all around. You feel really vulnerable and anxious at times like that.  I have chemotherapy every three weeks and it’s very difficult taking yourself back into a hospital and into a chair that you know is going to make you feel ill again.  Without a family member of a friend it is quite emotionally taxing.”

And for George, it’s the little things that make a difference.  He explains: “It’s just having a family member or friend to help you with the things you feel bad asking a nurse for.  I feel bad asking a nurse for an extra pillow or a hot drink because my throat feels a bit rough.  They have a lot of other patients to make sure they’re okay and sort their treatment out too.”

George is still undergoing treatment. But he hopes the campaign could make a difference to his future.  He says: “Just to have a family member come to your treatment and sit with you during that day would make a very lonely time much easier.”

I WAS TOO POORLY TO ASK THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

Harry Groves, 22, first realised that something was wrong in September 2019, when he lost a lot of weight and developed a large lump on his neck.  Just weeks later and the day after his 21st birthday he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma.  Harry says: “It didn’t sink in immediately when I was told. It was over time and now looking back that I realise what an ordeal it was.  It wasn’t quite the 21st birthday you want to remember.”

Harry was prescribed six months of chemotherapy, which began in November 2019.  However, from the start of March 2020, he had to go to his appointments alone.  Harry says: “I chose to have my treatment at a local hospital but it made me quite isolated as I was the only person under 60 in the unit. Having my mum there made it much less isolating.  It’s such a long day when you’re there by yourself and some of the older people weren’t quite as with it as I was, which was quite scary.  I was sat on my own, feeling embarrassed and poorly. So I would just try and sleep to make the day go quicker.”

And not having his mum with him made it harder for Harry to understand important information.  He says: “My mum had a lot of questions to ask about the follow up after my last treatment but I just went home and hadn’t though about asking questions about medication.  I was so used to her being there and finding things out when I was too poorly to ask. It was really hard.”

Harry Groves, 22, first realised that something was wrong in September 2019, when he lost a lot of weight and developed a large lump on his neck.  Just weeks later and the day after his 21st birthday he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma.  Harry says: “It didn’t sink in immediately when I was told. It was over time and now looking back that I realise what an ordeal it was.  It wasn’t quite the 21st birthday you want to remember.”

Harry was prescribed six months of chemotherapy, which began in November 2019.  However, from the start of March 2020, he had to go to his appointments alone.  Harry says: “I chose to have my treatment at a local hospital but it made me quite isolated as I was the only person under 60 in the unit. Having my mum there made it much less isolating.  It’s such a long day when you’re there by yourself and some of the older people weren’t quite as with it as I was, which was quite scary.  I was sat on my own, feeling embarrassed and poorly. So I would just try and sleep to make the day go quicker.”

And not having his mum with him made it harder for Harry to understand important information.  He says: “My mum had a lot of questions to ask about the follow up after my last treatment but I just went home and hadn’t thought about asking questions about medication.  I was so used to her being there and finding things out when I was too poorly to ask. It was really hard.”

Dragging her suitcase through the Christie Hospital in Manchester, Sophie Mulligan, was in tears as she waved an emotional farewell to her mum in the car park.

The 24-year-old was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in April 2015. But, despite chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, it returned for the third time in February 2020.  And Sophie had to go for specialist treatment 70 miles away from her home in Liverpool.  She says: “My mum drove me from Liverpool to Manchester and literally dropped me off at the door with my suitcase.  I had to walk in and I knew that I wasn’t going to be seeing her for a good few weeks while I had my treatment.  She was crying, I was crying and I was trying to lug this suitcase on my own.  As soon as I was through those doors I knew I was alone and I wasn’t going to see anyone that I knew until I was discharged again.  All kinds of things run through your head. You think, what if things get really bad and I get really ill and I don’t make it through?”

She adds: “The distance made me feel more isolated too because I wasn’t even in the same city as all my family.”

And Sophie’s family weren’t even allowed in to give her clean clothes.  he says: “If I wanted clean clothes or snacks, my mum would have to drive to Manchester, give a bag of clean clothes to a security guard who would bring the bag up to the ward I was on.”

Instead, Sophie had to settle for phone calls and facetimes. But even that was sometimes too much.  She says: “One day I was running a really high fever and had a really bad headache. It was the worst pain I’d had in my life.  I really could have done with someone there because I didn’t want to look at a screen.  I needed someone there to talk to me and have a hand to hold. It would have made all the difference.”

And Sophie is determined that something needs to change.  She says: “You can’t take on cancer alone, you just can’t do it.  Your family and friends are your support network. They are the people that keep you going.  I look back sometimes and wonder how I survived those three weeks completely isolated.”

I WASN’T ALLOWED TO SEE MY NEWBORN BABY

After being told she had Hodgkins Lymphoma in May last year, Molly Burns had just one hour to plan what was going to happen to her newborn daughter Matilda, as she wasn’t allowed to see anyone during her hospital stay and first round of chemotherapy.  Molly, 25, from Birmingham, says: “I was in pieces. My other half, Declan, rushed me into hospital but because of covid, there was no way that Matilda could come with me, so we needed to figure out what was going to happen especially as Matilda was purely breastfed.  We were given an hour to discuss what was going to happen. It was information overload and stress.  Getting a diagnosis and then also being separated from your daughter all at once is awful. I was a mess.”

Molly was in hospital for a week while they carried out scans, blood tests, a biopsy and she began chemotherapy.  She says: “After Dec left, I didn’t see anyone for a week.  I was on so much medication that they were telling me stuff and I just couldn’t remember.  There were two other people on the ward who had cancer. One was a similar age to me but I just couldn’t talk to her, I didn’t want to know what was coming.  I was sat in bed all day and I couldn’t sleep until 1am every night.  Having someone in the hospital was the only thing I wanted. Even if it was just for an hour a day, just having a bit of normality would have meant the world.”

And Molly couldn’t even video call her little girl.  She explains: “Matilda got very emotional. Even hearing my voice she got a bit teary, so it was really hard.”

Molly finished treatment in October but she’s hopeful that the rules will change so that nobody has to endure the same experience.  She says: “You’re just sitting there with the drugs running through you and there’s nothing else to think about.  But with someone by your side you can have a different conversation.  It sounds like such a small thing but it makes such a big difference. I don’t think its negotiable. It’s needed.”

To find out more about the Hand2Hold campaign visit: www.teenagecancertrust.org/hand2hold or www.clicsargent.org.uk
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I'll never understand how a mother can do that to her own child  :soapbox:
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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-9270999/Charlotte-Churchs-biological-father-died-coronavirus-aged-56.html

Charlotte Church's biological father Stephen Reed dies from coronavirus, aged 56 without ever reconnecting with his estranged daughter

*  Mr Reed was admitted to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, with Covid-19 before Christmas, and it is understood he later died at his home
*  He walked out on wife Maria and two-year-old Charlotte to start a new life with hospital podiatrist Alison, who he married 33 years ago
*  In 2008, he made a heartfelt public plea begging Charlotte for a reconciliation, and even turned up at her home
*  Charlotte had previously declared she had no intention of getting reacquainted with her biological father or his immediate family and called them 'strangers'
*  The classical singer stayed loyal to her mother Maria and stepfather James, who had adopted her when she was three
*  Charlotte, who was dubbed 'Voice of an Angel', previously told how finding fame at the age of just 11 tore her family apart
*  Charlotte rose to fame when she performed Andrew Lloyd Webber's Pie Jesu over the telephone on This Morning in 1997
*  She went on to sell 10 million records worldwide and has an estimated wealth of £10 million, but has remained largely out of the limelight for the past few years

By Roxy Simons For Mailonline

Published: 22:36, 17 February 2021 | Updated: 08:37, 18 February 2021

Charlotte Church's biological father has died of coronavirus aged 56 without being able to reconnect with his estranged daughter, it was revealed on Wednesday.  Stephen Reed was desperate to make amends with the former Voice Of An Angel child star, 34, who he walked out on when she was just two.  Mr Reed was admitted to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, with Covid before Christmas.  It is understood he later died at his home in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan with his family at his side.  A post mortem examination was carried out for the Glamorgan Coroner but it is understood there will be no inquest because he died of natural causes.  It is believed Charlotte and her father did not make up prior to his death, and he did not meet her two children Ruby, 13, and Dexter, 12.  MailOnline has contacted Charlotte's representatives for comment.  In 2008, Mr Reed made a heartfelt public plea begging Charlotte for a reconciliation, and even turned up at her home.  Ten months after her daughter Ruby's birth, and as she was pregnant with her son Dexter, Mr Reed said: 'Please get in contact with me I still love you.  It upsets me very much that I've got a grandchild who I don't know and another on the way, but what can I do?  When I see photos of Ruby, I see a lot of myself in her. I'm a good dad. I think I would be a good grandparent. I don't see what the problem is.'

Charlotte had previously declared she had no intention of becoming reacquainted with her biological father or his immediate family.  In an interview at the time, she claimed: 'They are strangers to me. I don't know if they are moral.  Ignorance is bliss. I'm staying in my own ignorant bubble, right or wrong.'

Mr Reed walked out on wife Maria and then two-year-old Charlotte to start a new life with hospital podiatrist Alison, who he married 33 years ago.  The couple have two sons Luke, 32, and Alex, 28, and several grandchildren.  Mr Reed was a former computer engineer but became a successful beekeeper.  His business, the Wildflower Honey Company, is a regular at food festivals and agricultural shows in Wales and the West Country.  Charlotte lived just 12 miles away from her estranged father in the village of Dinas Powys where she runs a private school.  She was engaged to former Wales and British Lions rugby star Gavin Henson when her natural father tried to get in touch in 2008.  Charlotte stayed loyal to her mother Maria and stepfather James, who had adopted her when she was three.  The classical singer told of her fears of losing James after he was diagnosed with a rare terminal blood disorder, AL amyloidosis, in 2019.  At the time, she said of his illness: 'It's absolutely terrifying the idea of not having him around. I rely on him for so much, he's my buddy, my absolute best friend and has been for years.'

Charlotte married musician Johnny Powell in 2017 and the couple welcomed a baby girl together in August last year.  The musician previously told how finding fame at the age of just 11 tore her family apart.  Opening up about the traumatic time, Maria said: 'When Charlotte left home, it was very, very brutal and very sudden, she broke my heart, I ended up having a nervous breakdown.' 

Adding that she is still in therapy, Maria added: 'It's early days but I'm trying to do something about it now, I've always suffered with mental health issues, mine are quite complex.  We stayed in Cardiff which was really important, if I'd have moved her to London, I think that glitz lifestyle could have got the better of us, but we always went back to our roots.'

Charlotte rose to fame at the age of just 11 when she performed Andrew Lloyd Webber's Pie Jesu over the telephone on This Morning in 1997.  She went on to sell 10 million records worldwide and has an estimated wealth of £10 million, but has remained largely out of the limelight for the past few years.
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/i-tell-dad-brother-taken-23423280?utm_source=mirror_newsletter&utm_campaign=12at12_newsletter2&utm_medium=email

'I had to tell dad my brother had taken his own life I'll never forget his reaction'

PE teacher Adam Bardouleau, from West Sussex, has taken on a gruelling running challenge to mark what would have been his brother's 30th birthday to raise awareness of suicide and mental health

By Zoe Forsey  Lifestyle Editor

11:21, 11 FEB 2021Updated11:37, 11 FEB 2021

The last time Adam Bardouleau saw his big brother Matt, he was his normal happy self.  They were both at their family home in West Sussex, having a laugh and exchanging small talk before heading out to go about their days as normal.  But just a few hours later, Adam, 26, got a call that would change his life forever, and he would then have the devastating job of telling his dad that Matt had taken his own life.  Recalling the terrible day in August 2019, Adam tells The Mirror: "I saw him on the day he passed away and he was absolutely fine. There was never any indication of what he would do that day. Everything was normal.  He was a very happy person. The amount of messages we've had from his friends and people he worked with saying he was the life and soul of parties and always lightened the mood.  People were saying he would always make work bearable.  On the outside he was so happy."

Matt was working in retail at the time, but had just been offered a new job which was set to be the beginning of an exciting new career.  Police called Adam's family to say they had found Matt's car at Beachy Head, a popular walking spot near Eastbourne.  They didn't think much of it, assuming he had just gone for a run, but thought it odd that the police had called them.  Adam was about to head out to cricket training, but decided to call Matt's best friend and the two of them drove up to Beachy Head to find out what was going on.  On the drive they continued calling him, until on one of the attempts somebody answered saying they had found Matt's wallet, keys and phone.  When they arrived they started searching the area, and 45 minutes later the coast guard told them they had found Matt.  Adam drove to the hospital, but his dad called while he was on route meaning he had the heartbreaking job of giving him the news.  He said: "I had to tell dad what had happened.  His reaction is something I will never forget. All I do was hear him down the phone.  I remember the day after and for several weeks after, it was just numbness. There is nothing to liken it to.  It's an awful feeling I can't explain. Even if someone else has been through a similar experience , you can't relate because everyone goes through it so differently.  Some days are harder than others. Different things trigger different memories.  Walking past his bedroom is difficult, just having all those memories there.  Birthdays and Christmas are difficult, they're just not the same.  As a family it's been really difficult. We're a tight family anyway but it's brought us even closer.  It was a very traumatic time for his friends and family."

Adam is now determined to share Matt's story to raise awareness of suicide and mental health.  He said: "We're trying to make people aware it's okay to not be okay.  As a family, we didn't see that Matt was struggling. It was a complete shock.  It was difficult to take because he was this big brother figure. It can still come down to not wanting to show weakness. I think that's probably why he kept it under wraps."

To mark what would have been Matt's 30th birthday, Adam took on a gruelling running challenge as part of the Move For Mind fundraiser.  Matt loved exercise and the outdoors, and was a regular at the gym, which is why Adam decided on a fitness challenge.  He originally set himself the goal of running 100 miles in 30 days for the Move For Mind event, but half way through the challenge decided to set the bar even higher.  He said: "Matt loved being outdoors and being active, so this was quite fitting.  When I first started the challenge I thought 100 would be real challenge. When I was going into to the running I thought I can do this and I'm actually quite enjoying it.  I started with a 10K and loved it, so I just kept going."

He ran different distances every day, including two half marathons, battling the awful January weather.  Friends and family members joined him on most of his runs, but lockdown restrictions meant he had to turn down offers of support he could only exercise with one person at a time.  It has its struggles and the weather didn't help.  There were times I was really struggling physically and my legs had seen better days.  Where I've had so much support and so many donations, that's really spurred me on.  Knowing that it's going to be helping someone out there and raising awareness of mental health really kept me going."

He originally set himself a fundraising target of £200, thinking that people may not be able to donate due to it being in January and the pandemic.  But before he even put his trainers on on January 1, he had already raised £1,000, and his total is now over £6,000.  "It's incredible really. It showed how many people cared about the cause.  It's great seeing the money come in but the whole point of this was to raise awareness.  If what I've done helps one person, that's brilliant. I'd take that over the money."

And he's already seen the impact of his efforts, and has been contacted by several people who have shared their experiences.  He's also been able to pass on information to some people who have said they are struggling at the moment.  To sponsor Adam's incredible challenge, click here.
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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9248809/Video-reveals-instant-police-officer-KNEW-Shannons-mother-involved-daughters-kidnap.html

The moment Karen Matthews' mask slipped: New video reveals instant detective KNEW Shannon's blubbing mother was involved in her daughter's kidnap during 'strange' interview

    Shannon Matthews was nine when her mother planned her kidnap in 2008
    Detective Inspector Chris Walker said he found Karen Matthews' interview odd
    She was convinced that Shannon was warm and safe and 'alive and well' 

By Isabella Nikolic and Dan Sales For Mailonline

Published: 09:50, 11 February 2021 | Updated: 12:52, 11 February 2021

The moment Karen Matthews accidentally revealed she was involved in her daughter's disappearance emerged for the first time last night as was shown saying missing Shannon was 'in a nice warm environment'.  Detective Inspector Chris Walker said the remark, captured in a newly-uncovered video of an interview with Matthews in Dewsbury station, had immediately sounded alarm bells.  Matthews who was in on the kidnap plot had insisted missing Shannon, nine, was in a 'nice warm environment' despite claiming no knowledge of her whereabouts.  But in fact she had been taken in a staged abduction cooked up by her and her boyfriend's uncle Michael Donovan.  The warped conspiracy had been dreamt up to try to claim any reward money offered over the little girl's disappearance, believed to have been inspired by an episode of Channel 4 hit Shameless.  Detective Inspector Chris Walker, of West Yorkshire Homicide and Major Enquiry team, revealed he found it bizarre that Matthews seemed completely confident that Shannon was warm and safe.  The mother had been brought in for questioning after details had begun emerging about members of her family and circle of friends.  She told officers: 'It just feels empty now, the house, without her. It's not like Shannon.  She's timid, she's scared of the dark and everything. So that's how I know something's wrong.  She's out there somewhere in a nice warm environment but the person who's got her is not coming forward which is what we'd like really.' 

Shannon went missing in March 2008 on her way home from a swimming lesson in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.  Matthews was seen crying on the news as she pleaded with the public to help her find her daughter.   Police launched a £3.2million search for missing Shannon, only to find that she had been tied up and drugged in Donovan's home for 24 days.  The little girl had been hidden in a divan bed in his bedroom with a list of rules of how to behave.  He and Karen Matthews planned to 'discover' Shannon after a while and claim a £50,000 reward for her safe return.  It was later revealed that Karen was going out with Donovan's nephew Craig Meehan.  Mr Walker told a new Channel 5 Documentary that it seemed as though Karen was 'personally convinced' that Shannon was with someone else and was 'alive and well'.  He added: 'It did raise suspicions in my mind that she had some idea of what had happened to Shannon and at that time there was absolutely nothing to link her to Shannon's disappearance.'

Detective Constables Nick Townsend, 61, and Paul Kettlewell, 68, were the officers who found Shannon.  Mr Kettlewell said: 'I was elated. As we went down the stairs it was like carrying my own child.'

Mr Townsend added: 'Nobody ever thought we'd see Shannon Matthews alive again.  It's hard to describe the emotion. You just want to cheer.'

The officers had visited Donovan's flat and were told that a downstairs neighbour had heard 'tiny footsteps'.   Mr Townsend said: 'That's when my spidey senses really started tingling. I couldn't believe what I had heard.' 

They found an elasticated strap with a noose on the end which Donovan would put around Shannon's waist so she could go to the toilet but not leave the flat.  The schoolgirl was not physically harmed during her time in the flat, although she was fed sleeping pills to sedate her and seemed 'lost;.  Life for Shannon in her makeshift prison was also governed by a set of rules scribbled on a sheet of paper, which police found on top of a television set.  The note banned her from going near windows, making any noise or banging her feet.  Several words were underlined to stress their importance. She was, however, allowed to play her Super Mario computer games and her music CDs.   The initials 'IPU' were at the bottom and represented a threat Matthews would make against her daughter, ranting 'I promise you'. 

Shannon was taken into care and given a new identity.   Mother-of-seven Karen and accomplice Donavan were found guilty of kidnapping, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice in December 2008.  Their Leeds Crown Court case had heard a passionate closing speech from Julian Goose QC that branded her a 'consummate liar'.  He told the jury: "She has lied and lied and lied again. To the police, various friends and you in this court.  She has lied so often and so much that she has reached the point where all she can say is 'I was confused' and then blame everybody else except herself.  You know, as we all do from life experiences, that people who tell lies have to stick to the lie because if they change it they get found out.  You may think ladies and gentleman, as you can be sure about it, she has been found out for the dishonest and, we say, wicked liar that she is."

Both were sentenced at to eight years behind bars.   Judge McCombe told them: 'The offences were truly despicable.  It is impossible to conceive how you could have put this young girl through the ordeal you inflicted upon her.  It is incomprehensible you could have permitted your friends, neighbours and in your case, Matthews, even your children to sacrifice time and energy in searches for the supposedly missing child.'

Since leaving prison Donovan has vanished but Matthews has been frequently seen in public.  She lives in a secret location in the south of England under a new identity, which cannot be disclosed for legal reasons.  It was revealed last year she had found love with a paedophile handyman who had been doing up her house.  Paul Hunter, 58, was jailed for five years in 2010 for abusing his former stepdaughter, who bravely waived her anonymity last year.  He had been working as a driver taking the elderly to hospital and disabled teenagers to college.  Back in January 2010 Oxford Crown Court heard his offences took place between 2006 and 2009 when his victim was aged between 15 and 17.  Saunders, of Blackbird Leys, Oxfordshire, was only caught after he was jailed for eight weeks for benefit fraud in May the previous year.  Photographs of the victim were found on his mobile phone.  He was jailed for five years and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.  Hunter and Matthews got engaged over Christmas 2019 but she had to buy her own Princess Diana-style ring herself.  Shannon is also subject to a lifelong anonymity order alongside her siblings.

The tragic case of Shannon Matthews and her feckless mother Karen

19 February 2008 Shannon Matthews is last seen outside her school in Dewsbury

20 February Police announce a massive search for the missing girl

21 February 200 volunteers join the local police search party

1 March Shannon's mother Karen issues an emotional public appeal for the safe return on her daughter

12 March Reward offered for information leading to Shannon's whereabouts is increased to £50,000

14 March Shannon is found inside the base of a divan base at the home of Michael Donovan in Batley Carr. Over the next few weeks Donovan, along with Shannon's mother and stepfather, are all charged for separate offences

23 January 2009 Matthews and Donovan are sentenced to eight years each of kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice

April 2012: Matthews is released from prison after serving half her sentence. She was given a new taxpayer-funded identity and home. She is banned from seeing Shannon and her other children, who were put in care.

2020:  Mother-of-seven Matthews is revealed to be living a new life, under a new name and has turned to God in southern England
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It's terrible how bad getting COVID is for everybody.
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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9243979/Lord-Sumption-blasts-inhumane-10-year-jail-terms-travellers.html

Grant Shapps ends any hope of holidays foreign OR domestic this year amid backlash at Matt Hancock's 10-year prison sentence for travellers who lie about visiting Red List countries

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has poured cold water on holiday hopes warning no guarantees this year
    Government is facing a backlash over threat of 10-year sentence for lying about visiting countries on 'red list'
    Former Supreme Court justice Lord  Sumption said term is 'extraordinarily high' compared to other offences
    Arrivals from the 33 'red list' countries are being forced to pay £1,750 to quarantine in hotels for 10 days

By James Tapsfield, Political Editor For Mailonline and Luke May For Mailonline

Published: 06:43, 10 February 2021 | Updated: 10:21, 10 February 2021

Grant Shapps today warned people not to book any holidays at home or abroad yet as ministers face a major backlash over threatening to jail travellers for 10 years if they lie about having been to 'red list' countries.  The Transport Secretary made clear there is no guarantee that breaks will be possible at all this year, saying he did not want to 'raise people's hopes'.  The grim comments came amid anger at the extreme border crackdown unveiled by Matt Hancock yesterday in an effort to stop mutant coronavirus strains.  Former Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption branded the mooted maximum 10-year prison term for travellers who try to hide their movements 'inhumane' pointing out it is longer than for some sex offences.  And ex-Attorney General Dominic Grieve said courts would never impose the 10-year sentence, which he branded 'draconian'.  However, questions were raised this morning over whether the law is going to be changed at all with some Cabinet ministers suggesting Mr Hancock was just pointing to the current provisions in the Forgery Act.  And Mr Shapps insisted the move was 'appropriate'.  It's up to 10 years, it's a tariff, it's not necessarily how long somebody would go to prison for,' he told BBC Breakfast.  'But I do think it is serious if people put others in danger by deliberately misleading and saying that you weren't in Brazil or South Africa, or one of the red list countries, which as you say does include Portugal.  I think the British public would expect pretty strong action because we're not talking now just about, 'oh there's a lot of coronavirus in that country and you might bring some more of it back when we already have plenty of it here'.  What we're talking about now are the mutations, the variants, and that is a different matter, because we don't want to be in a situation where we later on discover that there's a problem with vaccines.'

In other rollercoaster developments in the coronavirus crisis today:

~  There are claims Pfizer and Oxford University's Covid vaccines both cut the risk of falling ill with the disease by 65 per cent after just one dose;
~  Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have been given their first coronavirus jab, Clarence House has revealed;
~  Plans to help school students catch-up from a year of Covid disruption were thrown into doubt last night after teaching unions issued a fresh pay demand;
~  Mr Shapps has revealed his 89-year-old father is fighting for his life in a Covid ward after catching the virus in hospital.

Asked during a round of interviews this morning what the prospects were for the restrictions easing in time for the summer, Mr Shapps said: 'It is a fact that right now it is illegal to leave your home to go on holiday.  At the moment that is off the cards.  I don't want to unnecessarily raise people's hopes. The truth is we just don't know how the virus will respond both to the vaccines and how people will respond...'

Mr Shapps told Sky News: 'I can't give you a definitive will there or won't there be the opportunity to take holidays this next year, either at home or abroad.'

He added: 'I don't know what the situation will be by the middle of the summer. Nobody can tell from the point where we sit right now.'

Mr Shapps also told the BBC: 'You shouldn't be booking holidays right now, either internationally or domestically.  Until we know the route out of lockdown, which we can't know until we have more data, more information on vaccines as well, please don't go ahead and book holidays for something which, at this stage, is illegal to actually go and do - whether it's here or abroad.  And, further down the line, I simply don't know the answer to the question of where we'll be up to this summer.  It's too early to be able to give you that information. You would want to wait until that's clear before booking anything. So the best advice to people is do nothing at this stage.'

Lord Sumption's article in The Telegraph suggested ministers who only considered the positives of the term, without considering the cons, are 'unfit to hold office'.  He then suggested Mr Hancock should lose his position as Health Secretary, which he has held since July 2018.  Lord Sumption said: 'A spell in another department which has to cope with the collateral damage, would do him, and us, a power of good. Try Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, or perhaps Culture, Media and Sport.'

In a comment piece published yesterday, Lord Sumption wrote: 'Does Mr Hancock really think that non-disclosure of a visit to Portugal is worse than the large number of violent firearms offences or sexual offences involving minors, for which the maximum is seven years?'

The measures come amid continuing concerns over home-grown coronavirus strains as scientists advising the Government added one detected in Bristol to its 'variant of concern' list.   Former attorney general Dominic Grieve also told the paper: 'The maximum sentence of 10 years for what is effectively a regulatory breach sounds, in the circumstances, unless it can be justified, extraordinarily high.'

Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme he added: 'The reality is that nobody would get such a sentence anyway, the courts are simply not going to impose it.  You certainly shouldn't do it, it's not however proportionate to suggest that someone should be sent to prison for 10 years.  You only have to look at the sort of offences that attract a maximum of 10 years, it's a mistake of the government to suggest something which is not going to happen.  My view is that good government is about proportionality and sounding off with suggestions of draconian and disproportionate sentences for an offence is a mistake.  The fact is I have no doubt that if this is properly tailored a person who does this might receive a custodial sentence and if somebody who is normally a law abiding individual, that will doubtless do them a lot of damage and act as an adequate deterrent.'

Mr Grieve added: 'It needs to be explained plainly and simply to people rather than exaggerated in this fashion.'

Mr Hancock had earlier told MPs: 'I make no apologies for the strength of these measures, because we're dealing with one of the strongest threats to our public health that we've faced as a nation.'

He also confirmed a new 'enhanced testing' regime for all international travellers, with two tests required during the quarantine process from Monday.  Those who fail to take a test face a £1,000 fine, followed by a £2,000 penalty and an extension to their quarantine period, to 14 days, if they miss the second test.  Mr Hancock indicated the quarantine measures might be in place until the autumn if vaccine booster jabs are needed in response to coronavirus variants.  He told the Commons that 16 hotels have been contracted to provide 4,600 rooms for the quarantine programme, which begins on Monday.  The Scottish Government said this approach is 'not sufficient' so it is requiring all international travellers arriving into Scotland to stay in a quarantine hotel.  No international flights are currently operating to Wales or Northern Ireland, but Stormont's chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride said it is 'crucially important' for the nations to work together to stall the arrival of new and concerning strains from abroad.  Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth claimed the public wants the Government to 'go further' on border measures.  'Our first line of defence is surely to do everything we can to stop (new variants) arising in the first place,' the Labour MP said.

'That means securing our borders to isolate new variants as they come in. He's announced a detailed package today but he hasn't announced comprehensive quarantine controls at the borders.'

Travel trade organisation Abta said requiring passengers to pay for multiple tests once leisure travel is restarted would have 'serious cost implications' and 'hurt demand'.  A spokeswoman urged ministers to 'develop a roadmap to reopen travel'.  Single adults will be charged £1,750 for a 10-day stay in a quarantine hotel, which covers the hotel, transfer and testing.  Meanwhile, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) added the variant detected in Bristol to its 'variant of concern' list.  A strain identified in Liverpool was also classed as a 'variant under investigation'.  Public Health England's Dr Susan Hopkins said the relatively slow rise in cases of the South African and Bristol variant is 'reassuring'.  But she warned that controlling them will become much more challenging as lockdown is relaxed.  Health officials said they had so far found 76 cases of the Bristol and Liverpool variants in the UK.  Both those variants contain the E484K mutation, a genetic change also found in both the South African and Brazilian variants, which experts suggest may be better at evading the human immune response.  The Department of Health and Social Care also said extra coronavirus testing will be carried out in the borough of Lambeth, south London, after a case of the South African variant was discovered.  In a more positive development, The Sun reported official data from tests on the Pfizer vaccine showed a single dose could reduce the risk of infection by around 65% in both older people and young adults after as little as two weeks.
 
Locked up for 10 days at a cost of £1,750, three Covid tests, £10k fines for escapes and 10 YEARS in prison for trying to cheat the system: Our essential guide to hotel quarantine starting Monday

Matt Hancock finally unveiled England's draconian new quarantine programme for Britons arriving home from Covid hotspots abroad.  The long-awaited and much debated scheme will see travellers arriving back from 33 Red List nations forced to stay in hotels for 10 days at their own expense before being allowed to go home.  The action has been taken to prevent the influx of foreign strains of Covid-19, like those that have emerged in South Africa and Brazil.  While Mr Hancock finally revealed many details in the Commons today, mystery still surrounds the locations of 16 hotels that have been signed up to the scheme, with just six days to go until they welcome their first paying guests.  It is believed that hotels on Bath Road near Heathrow Airport are on the list, including Novotel Heathrow Crowne Plaza and the Thistle.  Here we outline all you need to know about the new quarantine system.

Who has to quarantine in a hotel and for how long?

Arrivals from Red List nations will have to quarantine at a Government-designated hotel for 10 days.  It affects British arrivals from 33 countries deemed high risk of new variants.  Nationals of those countries are already refused entry to the UK and most direct flights have already been banned.  The countries include all of South America, large parts of Africa - including South Africa - and the United Arab Emirates.   Portugal is the only European country currently on the list, which is reviewed on a weekly basis.  There is no way around the 10-day stay. While arrivals from non-Red List nations can be freed from home quarantine after five days if they pass a test, this option is not available to Red List arrivals.

How much will it cost?

It will cost the travellers up to £1,750 each for a 'quarantine package', although the Government is paying the upfront cost and will bill them afterwards.  This cost includes 'assigned government transportation, food and drinks, accommodation in a government approved facility, security, welfare and testing'.  The cost goes up by £650 for each additional person over the age of 12, and another £325 for every child aged between five to 12. Under-fives go free.  Scotland, which is introducing a similar system on Monday, is charging £1,750 for individual travellers, plus an additional supplement for each other passenger if they are not travelling alone.  This suggests that families who are in a household group may pay less per-person than groups of friends. 

Where are these hotels?

None of the hotels involved in Number 10's quarantine plan have been named for 'commercial reasons'.  Mr Hancock declared that 4,600 rooms have now been secured by the government from 16 establishments.  But Department of Health bosses said the chains were being kept secret and refused to explain why they needed to be tight-lipped about who was involved.  Rob Paterson, the UK chief executive of Best Western Hotels, last week said his company was being 'kept in the dark' by ministers about the scheme.  While the St Giles Hotels chain last week said rooms in its site near Heathrow Airport were ready to host travellers. Its sister site in the Philippines is already working in a similar role.

What happens when I arrive? 

Those who have been in red list countries are likely to be kept separate from other arrivals and escorted from their plane, train or ship through designated lanes to a coach, which will take them to their hotel.  Where children are travelling with adults, two interconnecting rooms should be allocated. If this is not possible, the largest rooms and suites should be made available to families.  Three meals a day per guest will be left outside the hotel rooms. There will also be tea and coffee facilities, fresh fruit and water.  Security staff will be on each floor to ensure people stay in their rooms. Guests are allowed out to smoke or for a breath of fresh air – but must be escorted by a guard.

What if I try to leave the hotel before finishing my quarantine?

Failure to stick to the hotel quarantine will be punishable with a fine of up to £10,000, Mr Hancock said.  Last year quarantine was attempted for a small number of people who had been in Wuhan, the Chinese epicentre of the contagion.  A group of more than 80 people were flown into the UK and taken to former nurses accommodation at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral.  Their accommodation was kitted out with bedding, games consoles and Barbies ahead of their 14 days in quarantine.  But the scheme attracted negative headlines when the isolated Brits held staff to 'ransom', with one security guard alleging that the evacuees know they can threaten to leave the secure unit and 'get whatever they want'.  One person tried to leave before completing the 14-day stay after his return from China, breaking the contract they signed before they were rescued.  The tough new rules are designed to prevent the same happening on a much larger scale this time around.

Can't I just lie about where I have been?

Mr Hancock said that arrivals who lie on their passenger locator forms about visiting 'hot spot' countries, in order to avoid hotel quarantine, face up to a decade in prison.  The maximum punishment puts the offence in a category with some of the most serious, alongside things such as carrying a firearm with intent. Sentences for rape can be shorter than 10 years, although the maximum for that level of crime is life.   The Health Secretary told the Commons: 'People who flout these rules are putting us all at risk.  Passenger carriers will have a duty in law to make sure that passengers have signed up for these new arrangements before they travel, and will be fined if they don't, and we will be putting in place tough fines for people who don't comply.  This includes a £1,000 penalty for any international arrival who fails to take a mandatory test, a £2,000 penalty for any international arrival who fails to take the second mandatory test, as well as automatically extending their quarantine period to 14 days, and a £5,000 fixed penalty notice rising to £10,000 - for arrivals who fail to quarantine in a designated hotel.'

He added: 'I make no apologies for the strength of these measures, because we're dealing with one of the strongest threats to our public health that we've faced as a nation.' 

What about taking Covid tests?

Red List arrivals will be required to test negative for coronavirus abroad, no more than 72 hours before departure, using a kit that meets UK government standards.  They will be tested again on day two and day eight of quarantine, with costs included in the wider charge of the hotel stay.  The tests required are the PCR variety rather than the quicker and cheaper lateral flow.  The same requirement for a negative test result 72 hours before departure applies to arrivals from non-Red List nations.  Once in the UK, they must isolate for 10 days at home or in private accommodation, with the authorities able to check that they are obeying the rules.  Tests will be required on day two and day eight of isolation at a combined cost of £210, and must be booked through a government portal in advance of travel. The portal will be launched on Thursday.  The test and release scheme which allows non-Red List travellers to leave isolation if they test negative after five days is staying in place. Many essential business travellers are likely to take this option.  However, Mr Hancock suggested even though they will not be subject to quarantine after the five-day test, they will still be required to have tests on day two and days eight. That means they could be screened four times in total.

What if I'm going to Scotland or Wales?

All travellers landing at Scotland's airports will be forced to quarantine for 10 days at their own cost, the country's Transport Secretary has said.

Michael Matheson told MSPs that six hotels have been block-booked in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, with up to 1,300 rooms available.

The Transport Secretary said the cost to an individual traveller would be £1,750, with an additional supplement for each other passenger if they are not travelling alone, and costs will cover the accommodation as well as two Covid-19 tests during the 10-day period.

The Scottish Government has previously said it would go further than UK Government proposals. 

A Welsh Government spokesman said Wales will be adopting the new border measures announced for England.

The spokesperson said: 'This will include all people returning to Wales from 15 February being required to book and pay for tests before they travel. This will be done through the UK portal, whether a person has been in a Red List country or not.

'People returning to Wales from Red List countries are doing so through other ports in the UK, primarily via England. From 15 February, all arrivals in England will be required to isolate in designated hotels.

'This includes anyone planning to travel on to Wales, and they will need to enter a designated hotel for quarantine in England. This will need to be booked before travel.'

When will the quarantine rules be relaxed?

This is a question that the travel industry and many Tory MPs would like an answer to.

Furious backbenchers savaged Mr Hancock over a 'forever lockdown' today after he warned border restrictions may need to stay until autumn — despite figures showing the UK's epidemic is firmly in retreat. 

Hotels were told it will last for an 'initial period' until March 31 – but this can be extended at a stroke, with rolling seven-day notice periods.

Asked when the new rules will be relaxed, Mr Hancock replied: 'We want to exit from this into a system of safe international travel as soon as practicable and as soon as is safe.'

He said work is ongoing to assess the current vaccines against variants of the virus, adding: 'If that isn't forthcoming then we will need to vaccinate with a further booster jab in the autumn, which we're working with the vaccine industry.

'These are the uncertainties within which we are operating and hence, for now, my judgment is the package we've announced today is the right one.'

Former chief whip Mark Harper, chairman of the lockdown-sceptic CRG bloc of around 70 MPs, urged the government to reconsider its approach with Covid likely to be a permanent issue. 'If the virus continues to mutate, surely the risk is going to be there forever,' he said.

Tory MP Craig Mackinlay told MailOnline that he was sceptical about the border crackdown and it might do 'more damage than it tries to solve'. He added: 'This whole trying to stop things from coming in, I think we are way beyond that frankly. The virus does its own thing no matter where it is.'

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy firm the PC Agency, said the government needs to signal restrictions will be diluted from the start of April so travel can recover.

He said 'The government needs to signal that these tougher restrictions will be diluted from the start of April, enabling travel to recover again.

'Otherwise, the huge drop in travellers and number of flights will push the sector over a cliff-edge, with the resulting hundreds of thousands of job losses and business failures.'

He added: 'The outlook may seem cloudy right now, as government tightens restrictions for those entering the UK.

'But, when infection and mortality rates are much lower and the NHS is not under pressure due to vaccines taking effect, then there is no reason for such measures to be in place.'

Will I get a refund? 

The plan represents a huge headache for holidaymakers who have already booked breaks.  If their country is on the red list and their airline or tour operator does not cancel the holiday, they will not be legally entitled to a refund.   There is no guarantee travel insurers will pay out on claims following the changes.  This could force people to choose between going ahead with their holiday and the costly quarantine that may follow or not turning up for the break they've paid for.  If plans are cancelled by the companies involved, you are entitled to a full refund within seven days for flights, or 14 for package breaks.

How will the new border rules work? 

Matt Hancock has announced details of the tougher border measures to MPs.

TEN YEARS IN PRISON 

Mr Hancock said that arrivals who lie on their passenger locator forms about visiting 'hot spot' countries, in order to avoid hotel quarantine, face up to a decade in prison.  It affects British arrivals from 33 countries deemed high risk of new variants. Nationals of those countries will be refused entry to the UK and most direct flights have already been banned.  The countries include all of South America, large parts of Africa including South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

HOTEL QUARANTINE

Arrivals from Red List nations will have to quarantine at a Government-designated hotel for 10 days.  It will cost the travellers £1,750 each, although the Government is paying the upfront cost and will bill them afterwards.  Attempts to break out of the quarantine before the 10 days are up could result in a fine of up to £10,000.  They are not eligible for the five-day 'test and release'  scheme.  None of the 16 hotels involved in Number 10's quarantine plan have been named for 'commercial reasons'.

REPEATED COVID TESTS

Red List arrivals will be required to test negative for coronavirus 72 hours before departure, using a kit that meets UK government standards.  They will be tested again on day two and day eight of quarantine, with costs included in the wider charge of the hotel stay.

NON-RED LIST ARRIVALS

The same requirement for a negative test result 72 hours before departure applies.  Once in the UK, they must isolate for 10 days at home or in private accommodation, with the authorities able to check that they are obeying the rules.  Tests will be required on day two and day eight of isolation, and must be booked through a government portal in advance of travel. The portal will be launched on Thursday.  The costs are not yet known but PCR tests typically cost around £120 a time.

TEST AND RELEASE

The test and release scheme - which allows non-'red list travellers' to leave isolation if they test negative after five days is staying in place. Many essential business travellers are likely to take this option.  However, Mr Hancock suggested even though they will not be subject to quarantine after the five-day test, they will still be required to have tests on day two and days eight. That means they could be screened four times in total.

Six in ten Britons say they 'could cope well' with ten days in hotel quarantine

From Monday, UK residents returning from 33 countries will have to isolate for 10 days in hotels.  Now, a YouGov poll has revealed that most Britons think they'd cope well with the quarantine.  Forty four percent think they would cope fairly well in this situation, while a further 16% think they would cope very well.  A third (34%) say they would either not cope very well (19%) or not well at all (15%).  Women (37%) are slightly more likely than men (31%) to say they wouldn't cope well in hotel quarantine.
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