The Independent

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Transgende­r woman guilty of rape when she was a man

A transgende­r woman has been found guilty of raping two women when she was a man. Isla Bryson committed the crimes before she transition­ed to female. A six-day trial at the High Court in Glasgow heard Bryson raped two women: one in Clydebank in 2016 and one in Drumchapel, Glasgow, in 2019. She met both her victims online, with prosecutor­s saying she “preyed” on vulnerable women.

Bryson denied the charges, telling the court she “would never hurt another human being”. After less than a day of deliberati­on,

a jury found her guilty of both rape charges. Bryson’s bail was revoked and she has been remanded in custody until 28 February to allow Lord Scott to gather “as much informatio­n as possible” on her before deciding her sentencing.

Excess deaths hit two-year high

The number of excess deaths registered each week in England and Wales has hit its highest total for nearly two years. Some 17,381 deaths were registered in the seven days to 13 January – 2,837 above average for the time of year, according to the Office for National Statistics. This is the highest number of excess deaths since 3,429 in the week to 12 February 12, when the UK was experienci­ng its second wave of Covid-19 infections and vaccinatio­ns had only recently begun.

On that occasion, deaths involving coronaviru­s accounted for 37 per cent of all those registered. But in the most recent week, Covid-19 accounted for just 5 per cent of the total – meaning other factors are likely to be driving the high level of mortality. Health experts have suggested a number of factors could be behind the increase, with Covid-19 playing only a minor part. The surge in flu cases in the run-up to Christmas is likely to have had an impact. PA

Chef ‘cockroach bombed’ kitchen in act of revenge

A chef who released 20 cockroache­s from a jar into a pub kitchen has been sentenced after his actions were spotted on CCTV. Tom Williams, 25, released the insects into the kitchen area of the Royal William IV pub in Lincoln, following a dispute with his former boss over holiday pay. Williams had an argument over unpaid holiday pay after he left his job and threatened to “cockroach bomb” the kitchen, Lincoln Crown Court heard. As a result of the 25-year-old’s actions, the pub lost about £22,000 because it was forced to close for a deep clean.

“The effect it has had on staff and families is large,” the pub’s owner said in a statement that was read out in court. The court

was told Williams had declined to comment. Williams was sentenced to 17 months imprisonme­nt suspended for two years after he pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary with intent to cause criminal damage and failing to surrender for his trial. He will also have to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work.

Avanti told to give more notice over rail ticket sales

Train operator Avanti West Coast has been ordered to stop releasing tickets just a few days ahead of travel. Rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road has warned the company it must submit an improved recovery plan for producing timetables by 2 February or face “formal measures”. Passengers wanting to book tickets for weekend travel this month have only been able to purchase tickets a few days in advance, leading to claims that many people are being denied cheaper tickets.

Weekday tickets have also been released far later than the 12week booking window normally used by operators. Avanti West Coast said the delay has been caused by the requiremen­t to produce bespoke timetables – which happens in partnershi­p with Network Rail – during engineerin­g work. Tickets can only be made available for sale once timetables are confirmed. PA

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 ?? (PA) ?? Is l a Bryson arrives at the High Court in G l asgow
(PA) Is l a Bryson arrives at the High Court in G l asgow

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