Month: September 2019

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Is Aaron Judge The Next Babe Ruth … Or The Next Jeremy

Average3073.23252.1 3Fred Lynn19752823.83233.3 1Aaron Judge20173345.1—— 10Joc Pederson20153243.1261-0.1 1ST HALF2ND HALF 12Greg Gross19742913.03851.3 After the latest chapter of Aaron Judge’s breakout season — a dominant Home Run Derby performance that was as impressive in its ease as it was in its raw power — the New York Yankees right fielder seems poised to take over as baseball’s elusive superstar ambassador.“[He] can become the face of the game,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters at the All-Star Game. “He is a tremendous talent on the field and really appealing off the field.”Perhaps. Like the previous “face of baseball,” Derek Jeter, Judge plays in the biggest media market, for baseball’s highest-profile team. (One that happens to be having a surprisingly good season, its recent slide notwithstanding.) There’s a reason more people have Googled Judge in each month this season than have searched for possible future GOAT Mike Trout in any month of his career.That’s an awful lot of pressure to heap on a guy who’s still technically an MLB rookie, of course, and his game still has flaws. Although he’s having one of baseball’s all-time great rookie seasons, even a player as gargantuan as Judge might be dwarfed by regression to the mean before the season is over.Even if Judge gets swallowed whole by the regression monster, though, his phenomenal first half tells us a lot. Just as former Knicks guard Jeremy Lin’s dominant early games suggested he would become at least a pretty good player — which has been (kinda) true — it’s almost impossible to have even a half-season like Judge’s without at least panning out as a good ballplayer, if not something much more.Let’s put some of his numbers to date in context: His 30 home runs at the All-Star break tied for the 26th most by any player — rookie or not — since 1913;1The earliest season for which’s split finder has data. his .691 slugging percentage was tied for 75th. He was one of only 44 players to post a first-half batting average of at least .320 and an isolated power of at least .350. Overall, his on-base plus slugging (OPS) was 101 percent better than league average, the 90th-best first half in that department that any hitter has enjoyed since 1913.Most impressive is Judge’s company on that top-100 list: Babe Ruth (10 times), Ted Williams (eight), Lou Gehrig (five) and so forth. Twenty-five of the 52 players who appeared on the list are in the Hall of Fame, and many of those who aren’t either will be (Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera), should be (Larry Walker, Edgar Martinez), would be if not for a scandal (Barry Bonds, Shoeless Joe Jackson) or could eventually be (Bryce Harper).And among rookies, Judge’s first half was virtually peerless. According to, he generated 5.1 wins above replacement (WAR) in the months of April, May and June. Since 1974,2The first year tracked monthly WAR splits. no other rookie has broken 5 WAR in the first three months of a season, and only one — Chris Sabo in 1988 — has even earned 4 WAR. Judge is easily off to the best first half of a rookie season in modern history. 3Corey Seager20163433.83443.7 25Jose Canseco19863422.53400.4 7Devon White19873413.43551.2 6Mike Trout20122583.63816.3 But the history of great rookie seasons also shows how strong the pull of regression can be: The average player on this list ended up producing only two-thirds as many WAR in the second half of his rookie campaign as he did in the first. For every Trout, who started strong (despite a delayed call-up) and then decimated the league down the stretch, there were more cases like Devon White, Joc Pederson and even Sabo, all of whom struggled to recapture the magic of their first-half performances.Judge will likely face a similar fate. Based on his batted-ball numbers, we’d expect Judge to be hitting .303 right now, not .329. Although nobody hits the ball harder, Judge’s .426 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) stands out even next to the game’s other hard hitters, suggesting some kind of second-half downturn is probably in order.3Although, as my ESPN colleague Paul Hembekides pointed out, BABIP doesn’t include home runs. If you add Judge’s homers into his BABIP, he’s hitting a ridiculous .516 when he doesn’t strike out — the best single-season mark in history. Likewise, Judge has hit a staggering 42 percent of his fly balls out of the park, another relatively luck-driven number that will likely come back down to earth. (Even the most powerful hitters can sustain a homers-per-fly rate of only 25 to 30 percent.)4Sometimes this particular stat can be more sustainable than we’d expect on its face because of park effects, but Yankee Stadium is much more of a haven for left-handed power hitters than righties like Judge. And while Judge has drawn plenty of walks and shown good plate discipline for a rookie, he’s also whiffed a lot. His low contact rate might become problematic as pitchers study his weaknesses and develop more sophisticated strategies against him.Given all that, it would be very surprising if the regression bug didn’t bite Judge during the season’s second half.If and when that does happen, some folks will surely blame it on the dreaded “Home Run Derby curse” — the idea that participating in the contest (much less winning it as Judge did) mucks up a player’s swing over the rest of the season. This topic has been researched to death over the years, with various studies finding it to be a myth … or maybe slightly real. While it’s true that far more Derby participants have fallen off in the second half than have improved, there’s an obvious selection bias at work, too: In order to be picked for the contest in the first place, players need great first-half power numbers — most likely well above their career norms. By regression to the mean alone, we’d expect a group of players selected specifically because they had an abnormally great first half to decline in the second.For what it’s worth, I tried to account for this effect by measuring Derby contestants against a control group of hitters who had similar first-half power numbers (as measured by at-bats per home run) but didn’t participate in the contest.5In each season, the control group had to include players who logged as many plate appearances, as many at-bats per homer and as high an OPS as the lowest-ranked Derby participant in each category. That left me with a sample of 416 hitters in the control group since 2002, versus 122 Derby contestants. Since 2002, the average Derby participant saw his OPS decline by 56 points in the second half of the season — but the average member of the control group also saw his OPS fall by 49 points, a negligible difference.However, there is one area where Derby participants did drop off a bit more than we’d expect: raw power. While the control group’s average isolated power (or slugging percentage minus batting average) fell 25 points, the Derby group’s average dropped by 36 points. Both groups saw an identical 0.5 percentage-point dip in hard-hit ball rate, but Derby hitters hit slightly fewer fly balls than we’d expect based on the control group,6A decline of 1 percentage point, versus a 0.6-percentage-point dip for the control group. and their rate of home runs per fly fell by 2.8 percentage points, compared with a decline of 1.7 percentage points for the control group.Either way, the overall cost of participating in the Derby is (at most) quite small compared with the toll exacted by regression to the mean.And said regression will probably be Aaron Judge’s biggest enemy in the second half of the season. Sadly, no player can escape its clutches for very long — not even the most wildly entertaining hitter on the planet. PLAYERSEASONPAWARPAWAR 10Tim Raines19812413.11220.7 18Dan Uggla20063022.83811.5 16Kent Hrbek19822742.93170.4 The best rookie first halves of the modern eraMost wins above replacement (WAR) in April/May/June of a player’s rookie season since 1974 20Juan Samuel19843542.73830.4 2Chris Sabo19882934.22890.5 8Evan Longoria20083023.22062.4 3Albert Pujols20013323.83443.5 12Eric Hinske20022993.03511.6 22Nomar Garciaparra19973582.63763.8 20Willie Randolph19762712.72281.8 22Butch Wynegar19762832.63390.9 12Alvin Davis19843083.03702.3 22Billy Hamilton20143032.63081.1 12Ichiro Suzuki20013743.03643.0 Source: FanGraphs 16Kris Bryant20152942.93563.7 18Mark McGwire19872842.83572.2 8Mike Piazza19932883.23144.3 read more

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About Those Falcons Play Calls …

Related: Hot Takedown Even if the Patriots had stopped Freeman short of the sticks on 3rd-and-1, it would have run 30 more seconds off the clock, and an average Matt Bosher punt would have placed the Patriots inside their own 20-yard line with less than eight minutes to play. Instead, the Falcons’ only turnover of the game gave the Patriots the ball 5 yards from the red zone with 8:24 left on the clock. Even an unsuccessful run and decent punt at this juncture might have been enough to win the game, considering that the Patriots would go on to score the game-tying touchdown with just 57 seconds left. (Then again, having one fewer minute may have just meant that the Patriots would have scored even faster.)Incredibly, Shanahan and the Falcons later doubled down on their mistake.On the ensuing Falcons possession, Ryan gripped it and ripped it. The Falcons moved from their own 10-yard line to the Patriots’ 22 with a 2-yard run sandwiched between two deep passes. They then ran once, for a loss of a yard, shaving 44 seconds off the clock. Then, Shanahan dialed up another pass — and Ryan took his fifth sack.“You don’t think, just run the ball and make your guy kick a 50-yard field goal,” Shanahan told reporters after the game. But wait — why wouldn’t you think that?Running two more times, even for no gain, would have forced the Patriots to burn two timeouts. The Falcons were on the Patriots’ 23-yard line; a field-goal attempt from there would have been 40 yards, not 50. Falcons kicker Matt Bryant has made 78.2 percent of his career kicks from between 40 and 49 yards. With the score 28-20, going up by 11 with less than four minutes to play would likely have been as effective a dagger as going up by 15.In the end, Shanahan, Ryan and the Falcons offense can point to just about any metric and say they put together a masterful offensive game. They averaged a whopping 7.5 yards per play over the course of the game, far more than the Patriots’ 5.9, or even the Falcons’ league-leading regular-season average of 6.7.But sometimes the best performance in a vacuum isn’t the optimal performance in a game situation. That’s something Shanahan, reportedly set to become the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, is going to have to learn. Every Super Bowl loser wants a do-over, but no team has had as disastrous an ending as Atlanta had in the final nine minutes of Super Bowl LI. If the Falcons were given 1,000 do-overs, they would have been expected, according to ESPN’s win probability model, to win the game 996 times.All the Falcons needed was one more point, one defensive stop or perhaps even just one more minute of burnt clock to zero out the New England Patriots’ 0.4 percent chance to surmount a nigh-insurmountable lead.Why didn’t they?“I think we ran out of gas,” Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said at his post-game press conference. Even so, Quinn’s offensive machine should have been able to coast to the finish line after being up 28-12 with possession of the ball and less than 10 minutes to play. Instead, bad decision-making turned domination into capitulation.The Falcons, as I wrote one FiveThirtyEight’s Super Bowl live blog, had been stunningly effective on the ground all game. The Patriots’ rush defense ranked fourth in Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) this season, yet the Falcons had piled up 94 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries.Starting at the 9:40 mark, Falcons running back Tevin Coleman ran on first and second down, getting injured on the latter play but setting up 3rd-and-1 from the team’s own 36-yard line. Rather than dial up another clock-eating run, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan called a pass play. Coleman’s backfield partner, Devonta Freeman, whiffed on his blocking assignment, and Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was strip-sacked.After the Patriots capitalized on the turnover with a touchdown, the Falcons ran 11 offensive plays — and only two of them were runs. Despite needing more than anything to wind the clock down to zero, Shanahan gave only two more carries to Freeman, who’d been averaging 8.2 yards per carry until that point.This is where football coaches, who spend numerous hours micro-analyzing schemes and matchups as they build out their game plans, can lose the forest for the trees. It may well be that Shanahan had a perfect play called up for that situation, or a matchup he knew Ryan could exploit. Ryan, after all, had completed 13 of 16 passes to that point; another short completion seemed like an easy ask. But the Falcons needed to maximize their chance of finishing the game with more points, not their offensive efficiency. Should Terrell Owens Be In The Hall of Fame? read more

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Mens Basketball No 13 Ohio State dominates High Point 8264 in final

Ohio State freshman guard Luther Muhammad (1) shoots a three-pointer during the first half of the game against Purdue-Fort Wayne on Nov. 11. Ohio State won 107-61. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorNo. 13 Ohio State (11-1, 2-0 Big Ten) came back from a 16-2 run by High Point (6-6) to eventually take the lead before running away with a 82-64 win in its last non-conference matchup of the season.Ohio State secured its 18-point victory against the Panthers after shooting 70.8 percent from the field in the second half, making 5-of-10 attempts from deep.After taking a 14-6 lead early in the first half, the Buckeyes allowed High Point to score 16 of the next 18 points, giving the Panthers their first lead of the game. High Point hit from two 3s during the run while the Buckeyes were only 1-for-9 from deep.After the Panthers took a 22-16 lead, the Buckeyes responded with a 19-6 run of their own to close out the half. Freshman guard Luther Muhammad connected on three 3-pointers in the first half en route to 14 points, both career highs with a half still to play.Muhammad finished the game with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting. While Muhammad surged offensively, he also played lockdown defense, limiting High Point junior guard Jahaad Proctor to only four points, making two of nine attempts from the field. Proctor was the Panthers’ leading scorer entering the game.Sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson also gave life to the Buckeyes’ offense with two 3-pointers during the run, finishing with 17 points, four rebounds and three assists Overall, the Buckeyes shot 43.3 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3 in the first half, taking the lead despite the Panthers connecting on 52 percent of their shots. The Buckeyes extended their lead early in the second half with seven quick points from senior guard C.J. Jackson, finishing the game with 20 points, leading all scorers. After the shaky first half, the Buckeyes only allowed 36 points in the final 20 minutes, limiting the Panthers to 37.9 percent from the field.Four Buckeyes ended the game with double-digit point totals and eight Buckeyes scored.The Buckeyes will stay home on Jan. 5 as they begin the bulk of their Big Ten schedule against No. 8 Michigan State at noon. read more

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Its our time to pay him back Campaign launched to cover vet

first_imgWorking horses such as Big Lad were once a common sight around Manor Lodge.Manor Oaks Farm had four when it was sold in 1938 to make way for the Manor housing estate.Now the horse is a key attraction at the restored farmhouse and is available for hire across Sheffield.So far, around £200 has been donated to help Big Lad and several people have left messages of support. A fundraising campaign has been launched to help pay for Big Lad’s medical treatmentCredit:Just Giving Big Lad with Manor Lodge farm ranger Ethel WorthingtonCredit:Johnson Press/SWNS He can’t feed on grass so is having to stare longingly at donkeys Rosie and Lilly as they frolic in the fieldfarm ranger Ethel Worthington A fundraising campaign has been launched to help pay for Big Lad's medical treatment Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img A fundraising campaign has been launched to help pay for the treatment of a beloved work horse called Big Lad.The Clydesdale shire horse often gives demonstrations of traditional farming methods and can usually be spotted at a 16th-century manor lodge.But he has recently been under the weather and, following blood tests, Big Lad was diagnosed with laminitis – a painful inflammatory condition of the tissues. Now heritage bosses have launched a campaign to help pay for his medical treatment.Staff and volunteers at Manor Lodge in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, are waiting for the results of ultrasound and blood tests to find out the seriousness of the illness is.Farm ranger Ethel Worthington said: “We are very sad that Big Lad is ill. Big Lad has been part of our team for many years and is much loved by staff, volunteers and the public. We hope he gets better very soon.”We are crossing our fingers that it is not so serious, but for now he is on painkillers and antibiotics.”He can’t feed on grass so is having to stare longingly at donkeys Rosie and Lilly as they frolic in the field.”We want to get Big Lad on the road to recovery as soon as possible. Any donations towards Big Lad’s vets fees would be greatly appreciated and could help make a big difference.” John Clarke wrote: “He has helped so many children and adults at outside open days to realise their potential – it’s our time to pay him back.”Another supporter, Helen Herman, who donated £30, wrote: “Get well soon.” Big Lad with Manor Lodge farm ranger Ethel Worthingtonlast_img read more

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Mary Berry to lead new rival to the Great British Bake Off

first_imgMary Berry is being lined up to join Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins in a new BBC cookery competition, after Paul Hollywood became the only Great British Bake Off presenter to follow the programme to Channel 4.BBC sources said that the corporation is considering launching a rival toBake Off with three of its original presenters. Hollywood has signed a three-year deal, said to be worth around £1 million, to move with the hit baking show to its new home. Hollywood’s BBC contract was said to be worth around £75,000 a series,with the baker thought to have quadrupled that deal to move to Channel 4.In a statement, Hollywood said: “It’s been a huge part of my life in the past few years and I just couldn’t turn my back on all that.” As well as needing three new members of the presenting team, it is understood that the programme will run to more than its usual one hour length when it airs on Channel 4, after executives at the broadcaster took the decision not to cut the running time in order to accommodate advertising breaks. Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry Berry, 81, confirmed on Thursday morning that she had turned down the chance to transfer to Channel 4, after the show’s makers, Love Productions, secured a £25 million a year deal with the commercial broadcaster.Her announcement was rushed forward by the BBC after Hollywood informed the corporation on Wednesday evening that he had agreed a deal with Channel 4.Berry said that she had elected to stay with the BBC “out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one”.  Mel and Sue have already announced their departure Credit:Love Productions  The BBC is understood to have told Berry that she will be placed at the heart of the corporation’s cookery line-up and will be styled as the broadcaster’s number one television chef until she chooses to retire.Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s director of content, said there were plans to “cook up more unmissable shows with [Berry] in the future”.Sources said that a cookery contest featuring the 81-year-old, as well as former Giedroyc and Perkins, was already under discussion.center_img Perkins and Giedroyc announced two weeks ago that they would not “follow the dough” to Channel 4, after declining to enter negotiations with the commercial broadcaster.Berry is also understood to have refused to enter formal talks with Channel 4, with sources there confirming they had only “sporadic” contact with the presenter’s agent in the weeks since it was announced that Bake Off was leaving the BBC.The corporation would face stiff opposition if it attempted to copy the format of Bake Off too closely. Love Productions, the company that owns the brand, forced the BBC to pay damages after accusing the broadcaster of “ripping off” the format to create Hair, a BBC Three show about amateur hairdressers. Mary Berry declined to return to the Bake Off on Channel 4Credit: Mark Bourdillon/BBC  Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Heading ball in football brings memory problems for up to 24 hours

first_imgHeading the ball appears to affect memory temporarily  A recent study of Rugby players found they had suffered only low level memory problems after concussionsCredit:Andrew Fosker/Seconds Left/REX/Shutterstock After just a single session of heading they found that memory test performance fell by between 41 and 67 per cent.Cognitive neuroscientist Dr Magdalena Ietswaart from Psychology at the University of Stirling, said: “In light of growing concern about the effects of contact sport on brain health, we wanted to see if our brain reacts instantly to heading a football.“Using a drill most amateur and professional teams would be familiar with, we found there was in fact increased inhibition in the brain immediately after heading and that performance on memory tests was reduced significantly.“Although the changes were temporary, we believe they are significant to brain health, particularly if they happen over and over again as they do in football heading.“With large numbers of people around the world participating in this sport, it is important that they are aware of what is happening inside the brain and the lasting effect this may have.” A recent study of Rugby players found they had suffered only low level memory problems after concussions Dr Angus Hunter, Reader in Exercise Physiology in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, added: “For the first time, sporting bodies and members of the public can see clear evidence of the risks associated with repetitive impact caused by heading a football.“We hope these findings will open up new approaches for detecting, monitoring and preventing cumulative brain injuries in sport. We need to safeguard the long term health of football players at all levels, as well as individuals involved in other contact sports.”However a study published last week by the University of Glasgow found that retired rugby players do not appear to suffer major problems in later life even if they suffer multiple concussions playing the game.Tom McMillan, professor of clinical neuropsychology from the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at Glasgow, said: “Despite a high number of repeat concussions in the retired rugby players, effects on mental health, social or work function were not evident some 20 years after they had stopped playing.”Overall, there is not a suggestion of widespread decline in daily function in ex-rugby internationalists who had a high number of repeat concussions.”Although some differences in memory were found, these were mild overall and their cause uncertain.”In recent years, doctors have noticed that high impact sports such as American football, ice hockey and rugby can lead to cognitive decline in later life, similar to that experienced by boxers. Heading the ball during a football match could cause memory problems for up to 24 hours, researchers have found.Although there has been several studies showing the dangers of concussions during contact sports, there has been none looking at the impact of regular smaller blows to the head.Researchers at the University of Stirling asked a group of football players to head a ball 20 times fired from a machine designed to simulate the pace and power of a corner kick.  They tested the players’ brain function and memory before and after the experiment, the results of which were published in the journal EBioMedicine. Memory performance dipped by up to 67 per cent Memory performance dipped by up to 67 per centCredit:Mark Pain, Rex, Shutterstock The researchers say it is unclear whether the changes to memory would still remain temporary after repeated exposure to heading the ball over a long period of time.Football often involves intentional and repeated bursts of heading a ball leading doctors to fear it could have long-term health implications.Concussions suffered in sport have been linked to neurodegenerative disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive degenerative disease of the brain. Heading the ball appears to affect memory temporarily  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Tom Hardy proves popular with Mothers Day CBeebies viewers

first_imgToo busy being spoilt on #MothersDay? #TomHardy is available on @BBCiPlayer👉— CBeebies Grown-Ups (@CBeebiesHQ) March 26, 2017 Despite my son now being 10 years old I still seem to be watching #BedTimeStories for some reason…? #TomHardy @CBeebiesHQ #happymothersday— Sarah (@sazmogz) March 26, 2017 Hardy, 39, made a similar splash when he returned on Sunday night to read There’s A Bear On My Chair, by Ross Collins.One fan wrote on Twitter: “Couldn’t tell you what tonight’s #cbeebiesbedtimestory was about…. #TomHardy is so fricking dreamy,”Another said: “The kids are asleep. I have @CBeebiesHQ #BedTimeStory on. I’m not even sorry.””Happy #MothersDay to me and although my baby is 22 I don’t feel any shame in settling down to watch,” said another. Dear God I’m sitting watching #TomHardy on @CbeebiesBBC wishing he really WOULD jump out in his underwear… #bedtimestories— Zoe Redhead (@zRedhead01) March 26, 2017 #TomHardy reads “There’s a Bear in My Chair,” and it’s wonderful. (“You Must Bring a Hat” is still my favorite, tho.) #HardChoices— PeakyBlindersFanGirl (@APBFanGirl) March 26, 2017 Thank you #TomHardy The time has come to say goodnight It’s the end of a lovely day 💕 #MothersDay— Rosie Joy Glover (@DelectionPie) March 26, 2017 One fan tweeted after watching Hardy read the story about an angry mouse trying to move a bear from his chair: “Have just self-combusted…!!””Tom Hardy and his bedtime story, I need to take a moment after hearing it,” gushed another.center_img Yes, dreams really do come true. 😍 🙌 Tom Hardy reads a @CBeebiesHQ Bedtime Story especially for #MothersDay. 💤 📚 Tonight 6.50pm. 💕— BBC (@BBC) March 26, 2017 Tom Hardy gave women across the nation a Mother’s Day treat when he read the Bedtime Story on children’s TV channel CBeebies once again.The heartthrob actor was a big hit when he read the night-time story to pre-schoolers on New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day with plenty of mothers confessing they tuned in after their children were in bed. The Taboo star followed in the footsteps of other big names such as David Hasselhoff, Damian Lewis, Sir Derek Jacobi and James McAvoy in signing up for the CBeebies slot, which sees celebrities reading soothing stories as children are tucked in to bed.On December 31 he snuggled on the sofa with his rescue dog, Woodstock, and told the story of a boy going to a party from the book You Must Bring A Hat, by Simon Philip and Kate Hindley. He read Tom McLaughlin’s The Cloudspotter on Valentine’s Day. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Charlene Downes murder breakthrough as man 51 arrested more than a decade

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A 51-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering teenager Charlene Downes who disappeared more than a decade ago.Charlene Downes was 14 when she vanished in Blackpool, Lancashire, on November 1 2003 but CCTV footage of her last movements was only released last month.The suspect, who lived in the area at the time, is in custody for questioning.Officers made several arrests for historical sexual offences last year during a case that has become the largest and longest investigation in Lancashire Police’s history, involving numerous media appeals and a £100,000 reward offered. Charlene’s murder investigation has been dogged by problems ever since in launched.A 2007 murder trial collapsed because of police errors and the IPCC watchdog ruled the force’s blunders mean the killer may never be found.Last year a cold case team revisited the investigation and discovered CCTV footage of Charlene walking with her sister Rebecca on the day she vanished.It was finally released on the 13th anniversary of her disappearance in November and again for a fresh appeal on the BBC’s Crimewatch Live Roadshow last month.At the time of its release, her mother Karen said if it had been shown closer to the time she vanished it could have led to vital evidence from witnesses.She is taking civil action against Lancashire police and is seeking damages and a public apology over their handling of the investigation.In 2007 kebab shop boss Ilyad Albattikhi was acquitted of Charlene’s murder and his co-defendant Mohammed Reveshi was acquitted of helping dispose of her body.But a planned retrial in 2008 was dropped due to lack of evidence and the forensic blunders. The two men were paid almost £250,000 each in compensation. Charlene Downes, 14Credit:Greater Manchester Police center_img Charlene Downes, 14, But they were said to not be directly connected to Charlene’s murder as the probe into the teenager’s disappearance is also looking at the wider issue of child sexual exploitation in the resort.No trace of her has ever been found but detectives believed her body was chopped up and “gone into kebabs” at a takeaway in the seaside resort.Last month her parents Karen and Robert vowed to sue the force after crucial CCTV footage of her last movements sat in their archives for 12 years.But on Tuesday Lancashire Police finally announced a major breakthrough in the cold case, saying the 51 year-old man was currently in custody.last_img read more

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Pensioner found guilty of toddlers 1968 murder after victims brother then aged

first_imgShe went on have a baby son by him, born three months after Paul died.The couple split in 1970 and he never saw Peter again until Mr Booth faced him in court and told the jury what he saw.In graphic evidence, a baby doll was marked up to show the different injuries found on Paul’s body and shown to the jury.Home Office pathologist Dr Mark Egan then hit the doll’s head on a hard surface to show how the skull fracture could have been caused.Dearlove, who had no previous convictions, moved to London after his split with Mrs Booth, and started a new life.He married, had two daughters and is now a grandfather. Dearlove was 21 when he moved in with Carol Booth, now deceased, and her three children, and told the jury he liked them but did not love them. “However, sadly Paul was not given the opportunity to live his life due to the cruel and wicked actions of David Dearlove.”This was a man who entered Paul’s life and was supposedly to act as a father figure to Paul.”A man, who was supposed to care for him and look after him.”Instead of doing this he ended Paul’s life in the most violent way.”The actions of David Dearlove on October 1 1968 not only physically killed Paul but also destroyed his memory.”He was buried into an unmarked grave the location of which remains unknown and he was not spoken about for many years.”However, we now believe as a family that this court case has shown everyone that Paul did live a life and that his memory will never be forgotten.” He and his sister Stephanie Marron also said they had suffered assaults and cruelty at the hands of Dearlove while in the household. The house in Haverton Hill, Stockton where Paul Booth died David Dearlove and Paul Booth, in a photograph that was posted on Facebook Credit:Cleveland Police Paul was not given the opportunity to live his life due to the cruel and wicked actions of David Dearlove.Paul Booth’s family The house in Haverton Hill, Stockton where Paul Booth diedCredit: Cleveland Police Photo issued by Cleveland Police of Paul Booth in September 1968center_img John Brennan from the CPS said: “For almost 50 years David Dearlove has lied about the death of his stepson, who he said fell out his bed and accidentally injured his head…Those lies have been exposed thanks to Peter Booth, and Dearlove will now face the consequences of his horrendous actions.”Alongside Mr Booth’s testimony the CPS was able to present medical evidence that assessed the injuries Paul suffered five decades ago in light of scientific developments since then.”This included evidence concerning bruising to Paul’s ankles, which supported Mr Booth’s account that Dearlove had grabbed him and swung him into the fireplace that evening.”Thanks to Mr Booth’s bravery and that of his sister who also assisted the investigation, as well as the clear evidence presented to the jury, Dearlove will be held to account for Paul Booth’s death.” Dearlove denied all of the allegations, but today, he was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life with a minimum term of 13 years. He was also jailed for four years to run concurrently with the life sentence for three child cruelty offences. Mr Justice Males said Peter had been “haunted” by his childhood memories.He said Stephanie had tried to bury the memories but had been forced to relive them when she gave evidence in court. A man who witnessed the murder of his brother when he was three-years-old has been praised for his bravery in coming forwards 49-years later to secure the conviction of his stepfather for the killing having been “haunted” by his memories. Peter Booth went to the police after he became incensed when he saw a photo on Facebook of his little brother Paul sitting on David Dearlove’s knee.The trial heard how Paul was taken ill at his home on Rodney Street, in Haverton Hill, Stockton, on the evening of October 1, 1968.He suffered a fractured skull and bleeding around the brain, and died hours later.The child was in the sole care of Dearlove, who said it was a tragic accident from Paul falling from his bed on to an uncarpeted concrete floor.Police investigated at the time but no action was taken and an open verdict was recorded at Paul’s inquest.But five decades later, Peter came forward and said he had seen Dearlove swing Paul by his ankles and bash his head on the fireplace through the living room door when he went downstairs to get a drink.  David Dearlove and Paul Booth, in a photograph that was posted on Facebook  Outside court, Paul’s family said he would have celebrated his 50th birthday this year but instead he lies in an now-unidentifiable grave at the Haverton Hill baptist church, since closed and demolished.In a statement they said: “Thinking about this makes us sad, as Paul would have been a man, no doubt married and more than likely with children of his own. Photo issued by Cleveland Police of Paul Booth in September 1968Credit:Cleveland Police/PA Wire Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Continue Reading Pensioner found guilty of toddlers 1968 murder after victims brother then aged
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Salisbury spy attack Toxic nerve agent hotspots could still be in the

“But those hot spots will still be in the locations we are talking about. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Toxic levels of the nerve agent used to attack Sergei Skripal and his daughter could still be present at “hot spots” around Salisbury, Government scientists have warned.A small amount of the deadly Novichok substance is thought to have been used in liquid form to target the former Russian agent, 66, and Yulia, 33.Work is to begin decontaminating nine locations across the city where experts think the substance could still be present, in a multi million-pound operation which could take months to complete.Officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), joined local council, police and health representatives to update residents on the clean-up process at a public meeting on Thursday evening.Asked whether the chemical remains at the same “lethal” level as the day it was put on Mr Skripal’s door, Defra’s chief scientific adviser Ian Boyd said: “We have to make an assumption that in certain circumstances there will be relatively high concentrations, probably in very, very specific locations, which could be at levels that could be toxic to individuals.”That’s an assumption, it’s also one we’ve tested in some circumstances and we do know that there are hot spots like that around, so we have to make those assumptions that some of the hot spots we’ve still got to find. Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills from Wiltshire Police said it would be “business as usual” as operations move to other sites in and around the city.Other areas earmarked for chemical cleaning include two ambulance stations, a car compound and the home of poisoned police officer Nick Bailey.Mr Skripal’s home, which is still part of the police investigation, will be the last to be decontaminated. “In these locations, there may well be higher concentrations that we still have to find, but we already know there are some high concentrations within those locations.”The meeting was held as work began to replace police cordons around the Maltings area in the city centre, the nearby Zizzi restaurant and the Mill pub with more robust hoardings.Residents were told the Bourne Hill building, housing Salisbury’s police station as well as Wiltshire council’s offices will close for up to eight weeks from Friday.The decontamination work will focus on the evidence room and two lockers inside the station, which were sealed off after the March 4 attack. read more

Continue Reading Salisbury spy attack Toxic nerve agent hotspots could still be in the