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Two hikers die in separate falls in Northern Ireland
Two hikers died yesterday in separate falls while walking in the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland, police said. The men died within an hour of each other at around midday. One was walking on Wee Binnian and the other on Slieve Commedagh, both in County Down. Police Service of Northern Ireland Inspector Frances McCullough said emergency services arrived but both men died at the scene. The officer said the deaths were not being treated as suspicious. Another man in the area was injured with a suspected broken ankle in a third fall later on.
Green Party star who hired father failed to formally flag his child rape charges
A rising star in the Green Party did not clearly tell colleagues her father had been charged with serious sex crimes against a child before appointing him as her election agent, an independent inquiry has found.
Aimee Challenor hired her father David Challenor during the 2017 general election and 2018 local council elections while he was on bail. The 50-year-old had been charged with 22 offences in November 2016, including the rape and torture of a 10-year-old girl. The investigation found Challenor posed a “major safeguarding risk” during his time working for his daughter. The inquiry, by Verita, said Ms Challenor, a transgender activist who was in the running to become the Greens’ deputy leader, committed a “serious error of judgment”. David Challenor, of Coventry, was jailed for 22 years in August 2018 after he was found guilty of 20 offences. A court heard how he held his victim captive in the attic of his family home, where he electrocuted her while playing out sadomasochistic fantasies.
Investigators found Ms Challenor’s only attempt to alert the party of the charges was a “brief, informal and ambiguous” 2016 Facebook message to two other members of the national executive, Matt Hawkins and Clare Phipps. Verita investigators also found they “closed the matter off too quickly”. Ms Challenor’s omission allowed her father to mix with young activists and members’ children at events up to just weeks before his trial. Ms Challenor, 20, was suspended by the party pending the investigation. She later resigned, accusing the party of transphobia. The Green Party said in a statement: “We apologise unreservedly for any concerns that this will have caused and any safeguarding risks it may have given rise to.”
Yellow vest campaigner released on bail
Yellow vest activist James Goddard joined his supporters in a pub over the weekend after being released by police following his arrest. The pro-Brexit campaigner was detained in London on Saturday on suspicion of a public order offence but later bailed without charge until early February. A police spokesperson said the arrest was related to incidents that took place in Westminster, on the same day pro-Remain MP Anna Soubry was called a “Nazi” while giving live interviews outside parliament. The activist’s arrest came during a day of mass rallies across the capital after a number of recent pro-Brexit protests in London, including demonstrations outside parliament. A cross-party group of MPs signed a formal letter to Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick after Ms Soubry was harangued by a group of men as she made her way back to parliament on Monday.
Man held after boy of 11 is killed in hit and run
A motorist is being questioned in custody after an 11-year-old boy was killed in a hit and run on Saturday. The child, named as Taylor Schofield, was treated at the scene in Beswick, Manchester, but died later in hospital. A grey Volkswagen Golf believed to have been involved in the crash was found abandoned nearby. A 31-year-old man later attended a police station and was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. Floral tributes were tied to a lamppost near the scene of the incident yesterday. One message read: “No words will describe how missed you will be little man x Rest in paradise x.” A black Manchester United away shirt was also tied to the post.
Northern Ireland’s Wee Binnian mountain, where a hiker died yesterday