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News in Brief: 2/8/2014

EDUCATION: Scottish local authorities were ordered by the government yesterday to carry out more rigorous consultation before shutting any school, particularly those in rural areas.

SNP education minister Alistair Allan said the new rules would “strengthen the rights of communities” and provide “important safeguards for rural schools.”

The changes will also give communities the right to challenge inaccuracies in council proposals. If closure plans are rejected, the school concerned cannot be considered for closure for five years.


DRUGS: The heartbroken mother of a 16-year-old boy who died after taking ecstasy yesterday told the dealer who supplied the drugs of the devastation that her close-knit family and friends are still trying to cope with.

Fiona Spargo-Mabbs was speaking as Nicqueel Pitrora,18, from Croydon, was jailed for five years after admitting being concerned in the supply of class A drugs on January 17 this year.

She struggled to read out her moving victim impact statement at Isleworth Crown Court about the death of her son Daniel.


COURTS: A defendant who smuggled a blade into court cut his own throat moments after he was sentenced, it was revealed yesterday.

The 20-year-old suffered what police said were “serious lacerations” in the self-inflicted injuries at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court in Huddersfield on Thursday afternoon.

A security guard was slightly injured in the disorder which broke out when the defendant was sentenced to 16 weeks in jail for assault and criminal damage.


POLICE: Five police officers are under investigation for misconduct in the handling of the search for murdered pregnant teenager Jayden Parkinson.  

The 17-year-old was reported missing more than two weeks before her body was found, it was revealed yesterday.

She was strangled by violent ex-boyfriend Ben Blakeley, 22, on December 3, 24 hours after she told him she was expecting his child.

After Blakeley’s conviction for murder, watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission revealed details of its investigation into how Thames Valley Police dealt with the case.


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