Connect with us

News

Man using his tortoises as an alibi back in court on knife charges

A MAN who claimed he was carrying a knife in public to prepare food for his pet tortoise has appeared in court. David Spedding, 56, was spotted with the steak knife in the Castle pub, in Blackpool, Lancs, on May 27. But when he was arrested and charged with possession of a bladed article, Spedding, […]

Published

on

A MAN who claimed he was carrying a knife in public to prepare food for his pet tortoise has appeared in court.

David Spedding, 56, was spotted with the steak knife in the Castle pub, in Blackpool, Lancs, on May 27.

Spedding’s tortoises at Blackpool illuminations
NORTH WEST NEWS SERVICE

But when he was arrested and charged with possession of a bladed article, Spedding, of Bamber Bridge, Lancs, produced his pet tortoises – JR and Lola- and claimed he carried the knife to chop vegetables for them to eat.

He even produced the pets – who travel everywhere with him – as character witnesses when he appeared at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court last month.

Spedding was bailed to appear at Preston Crown Court where he entered a plea of not guilty.

A trial date was set for March 5 next year when the court heard Spedding is keen to show his photos and videos of his pets to the jury.

At home on Spedding’s shoulders and inflatable T-rex
Facebook
Taking a dip in a pool like their turtle cousins
Facebook
Hanging out on the deck with a friendly iguana
Facebook
Tortoise love . . . JR and Lola paying their respects after the bombing in Manchester
Facebook

Outside court, he said: “They go everywhere with me. I didn’t want security to take them so I’ve left them with a carer but they will be along soon.

I’ve come here on my birthday.”

Continue Reading

News

Woman, 26, jailed for falsely claiming soldier had raped her after he rejected her

A 26-YEAR-OLD woman has been jailed after falsely claiming that she had been raped by a soldier after he had “rejected her”. Rebecca Palmer, from Swindon, Wiltshire, was found guilty at Winchester Crown Court of four offences of perverting the course of justice. She also pleaded guilty to five offences of malicious communications and three […]

Published

on

A 26-YEAR-OLD woman has been jailed after falsely claiming that she had been raped by a soldier after he had “rejected her”.

Rebecca Palmer, from Swindon, Wiltshire, was found guilty at Winchester Crown Court of four offences of perverting the course of justice.

Rebecca Palmer, from Swindon, Wiltshire, was jailed today for five years

She also pleaded guilty to five offences of malicious communications and three offences of perverting the course of public justice.

A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokeswoman said she made the fake allegations against a 22-year-old soldier serving with the King’s Royal Hussars, based in Tidworth.

Joanne Jakymec, chief crown prosecutor, said: “Rebecca Palmer indulged in consensual sexual activity with the victim, but on being rejected by him embarked on a malicious campaign which led to him being arrested on more than one occasion and held in custody for periods of time.

“She repeatedly made false allegations, including that of an allegation of rape, and sent malicious communications to both the victim and members of his family.

“The jury at Winchester Crown Court heard how the defendant became so embroiled in her own lies that she told others, and the police, that she was pregnant but on questioning claimed to have lost the baby during a purported suicide attempt.

“She invented fake friend profiles and produced false correspondence hoping that these would be accepted as supportive evidence of her false claims.

“She falsely claimed that the victim had taken revenge on her by posting intimate pictures of her on Facebook.”

Ms Jakymec added: “Rape is a very serious offence and this case should not detract genuine victims of this crime from coming forward and reporting.

“Our thoughts go to the victim in this case and we hope that this verdict will allow him to move on.”

Palmer was jailed for five years.


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.


 

Continue Reading

Facebook

Tax dodger who swindled £850,000 caught boasting on Facebook of golf trips and visits to new lover during day release from her three-year prison sentence

A SHAMELESS £850,000 tax fraudster has boasted on Facebook of enjoying luxurious trips to top golf courses just months after she was jailed for almost four years. Donna Mackay, 44, and her ex-husband Michael Howard, 45, were convicted of orchestrating a massive tax scam while running their multi-million pound security systems business. The devious pair […]

Published

on

A SHAMELESS £850,000 tax fraudster has boasted on Facebook of enjoying luxurious trips to top golf courses just months after she was jailed for almost four years.

Donna Mackay, 44, and her ex-husband Michael Howard, 45, were convicted of orchestrating a massive tax scam while running their multi-million pound security systems business.

Pressteam
Donna Mackay, right, outside Hamilton Sheriff Court with her mother Nessie Sheilds, left, following her conviction[/caption]

The devious pair ran MDH Ltd from their £400,000 home in Motherwell, Lanarkshire.

They spent thousands of pounds on globetrotting and cars before investigators uncovered their wrongdoing.

Eventually she was sentenced to three years and nine months behind bars while her former partner was given a three year term for his role in the scheme in March.

But now, less than seven months after being jailed, Mackay has been snapped on the world famous Swilcan Bridge as she played a round at the Old Course in St Andrews.

She told pals on Facebook that it was a “fantastic experience”.

Mackay posted: “Best day ever. Legs like jelly trying to make contact with the ball.”

The 44-year-old, alongside her ex-husband Michael Howard, 45, was convicted of orchestrating a massive tax scam while running a multi-million pound security systems business
Pressteam
The 44-year-old, alongside her ex-husband Michael Howard, 45, was convicted of orchestrating a massive tax scam while running a multi-million pound security systems business[/caption]

The tax cheat has also been enjoying regular visits to her new Highland home to see her partner, Lesley Mackay.

Prison bosses have now given her four days each fortnight to spend “at liberty”, before she returns to a house in the grounds of HMP Cornton Vale near Stirling where she is serving her sentence.

Mackay has also claimed she will soon be enjoying week long home visits while she prepares for full release in August next year.

Despite her conviction and jail sentence, she brags about getting to spend four days however she chooses every ten days
Pressteam
Despite her conviction and jail sentence, she brags about getting to spend four days however she chooses every ten days[/caption]

Mackay, during her period of release mid-sentence, tees off during a luxurious golfing trip
Pressteam
Mackay, during her period of release mid-sentence, tees off during a luxurious golfing trip[/caption]

Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell said: “This woman’s trial would have cost the taxpayer an absolute fortune but people may have felt there was some justice at the end of it.

“But now we see she is enjoying all the privileges of freedom and using social media to let everyone know about it.

“There should be an inquiry into this immediately as the public will want to see why in this case it appears that crime does pay.”

During her liberty days, Mackay has attended a BMW prize giving at Brora Golf Club near her home, played golf, been out for numerous meals and long countryside walks with friends and family.

She has also attended a community gala day.

On her days off, Mackay boasts of her meals out with friends and family
Pressteam
On her days off, Mackay boasts of her meals out with friends and family[/caption]

The fraudster is shameless about her exploits
Pressteam
The fraudster is shameless about her exploits[/caption]

She’s also told pals on the social network that while at HMP Cornton Vale she is studying for a psychology degree.

And when she’s not on her liberty days, she is given daily access to the streets of Stirling, where the prison is located.

In a series of posts, she wrote: “Feels like I’ve won the lotto. I’m in the houses outside Cornton Vale they are lovely! Out and about in Stirling every day, oh and I start back doing my 2nd year of my degree on the 1st Sep.

“It’s ironically been a great experience, the girls are all lovely – some sad stories. I’ve made some fantastic friends.

“Home visits now, every two weeks for four days then it goes to seven nights home, seven nights as a guest of Her Majesty.

“Had great support from all the family and friends so that makes it so much easier.

“Miss Lesley and the Highlands soooooo much but we’re stronger for going through this – can’t keep good women down.

“Counting the days and appreciating every moment home.”

Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell has said that Mackay's Facebook posts make it seem like crime DOES pay
Alamy
Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell has said that Mackay’s Facebook posts make it seem like crime DOES pay[/caption]

Mackay failed to pay £531,400.01 in VAT, £150,892.61 in income tax and £162,731.47 in National Insurance between February 2010 and December 2013.

Her ex was only convicted on the VAT charge.

They flew on luxury trips to the Cayman Islands, Mexico and stayed in the plush Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

They had two expensive Range Rovers and bought a top-of-the range Aston Martin which brazen Howard called his ‘weekend car’.

Their home also boasted a sauna, gym, private bar, games room, a garden clubhouse, six bathrooms and 13 flat-screen televisions.

HMP Corton Vale in Sterling, where Mackay is serving her sentence
Alamy
HMP Corton Vale in Sterling, where Mackay is serving her sentence[/caption]

In March, Sheriff Vincent Smith told the pair: “Depriving the public purse of taxes due is a very serious offence and must be dealt with severely.”

Both Mackay and Howard appeared back in court earlier this week for a proceeds of crime hearing as prosecutors try to recoup as much from the pair’s fraud as possible.

A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service told The Sun Online: “We do not comment on individual prisoners.

“A rigorous risk assessment is undertaken prior to any offender being granted unescorted leave.

“Those on home leave are released on license conditions. Home leave is an important part of reintegration as an individual can be tested on how they cope in the community.”


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.


 

Continue Reading

Explainers

Who is Christine Keeler, where is she now, how did she meet John Profumo and what is the Arne Jacobsen chair photo?

SHE was the showgirl whose colourful love life propelled her to the centre of the most famous British scandal of the 20th century – and helped bring down the government. As a new BBC drama is set to retell the story of sex, espionage and suicide, here’s what you need to know about Christine Keeler […]

Published

on

By

SHE was the showgirl whose colourful love life propelled her to the centre of the most famous British scandal of the 20th century – and helped bring down the government.

As a new BBC drama is set to retell the story of sex, espionage and suicide, here’s what you need to know about Christine Keeler and the Profumo Affair.

Christine Keeler was a 19-year-old model and cabaret dancer when she started an affair with Cabinet minister John Profumo
Getty

Who is Christine Keeler?

Christine Keeler was born in Uxbridge, Middlesex, in 1942 and raised in Berkshire by her mum and step-dad.

She claimed in a later memoir she was sexually abused by her step-father, who she said beat her mother and drowned her puppies.

She also said she aborted her own child with a knitting needle after falling pregnant to a US airman aged 17.

Still only a teenager, Christine was a topless cabaret dancer in London’s Soho when she met society man-about-town Stephen Ward.

He introduced her to a whirlwind party scene involving what were described as orgies attended by aristocrats and VIPs.

It was through Ward that she met both Cabinet minister John Profumo and Soviet spy Yevgeny Ivanov in 1961. She had affairs with them both.

When the love traingle came to light two years later, fears of a Cold War security leak sparked a lurid scandal that rocked the government and had the public transfixed for months.

It made Christine Keeler one of the most famous women in the world in 1963.

John Profumo was forced to quit as a Cabinet minister after lying to the House of Commons about the affair
Hulton Archive - Getty

When did Christine Keeler meet John Profumo?

John Profumo, then 46, was Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan’s government when he met 19-year-old Christine.

His first sight of her was when she climbed naked out of the swimming pool during at a party at Lord Astor’s country house Cliveden.

They began an affair that lasted from a few weeks to several months, according to various accounts.

At the same time, Christine was sleeping with diplomat Yevgeny Ivanov, an intelligence officer and the Soviet Union’s naval attache in London.

Some accounts claim MI5 hoped to use Keeler as a “honey trap” to persuade Ivanov to defect, and were alarmed when they found out she was also seeing Profumo.

They warned the minister off being associated with Ward’s seedy circle, and he ended the affair.

It remained hidden from the public until 1963 when her disintegrating love life thrust her into the spotlight.

A jealous boyfriend, Lucky Gordon, fired bullets at Ward’s front door as she hid inside, and the subsequent Old Bailey trial caused rumours to swirl in Westminster.

Profumo lied to the House of Commons, denying any impropriety with Keeler, but was later forced to quit in disgrace, followed months later by the prime minister.

Ward was put on trial for living off immoral earnings – accused of pimping Keeler, Mandy Rice-Davies and other girls. He killed himself on the eve of the guilty verdicts.

Keeler, who always denied she was a prostitute, was jailed for nine months for perjuring herself during Gordon’s shooting trial.

The famous Lewis Morley portrait of Christine Keeler sitting astride a copy of an Arne Jacobsen plywood chair
Lewis Morley/National Portrait Gallery

What is the famous Arne Jacobsen chair photo?

At the height of the scandal, Christine Keeler sold her story to newspapers around the world and was the subject of a proposed film, the Keeler Affair, which was never released in the UK.

To promote it, she agreed to pose naked for photographer Lewis Morley in a studio in Peter Cook’s Establishment Club.

Her modesty was covered by the curved back of a bent plywood chair – a copy of the iconic Model 3107 by Danish designer Arne Jacobsen.

Sales of the Jacobsen chairs surged off the back of the photo, which was reproduced around the world, and many retailers rushed out knock-off designs to cash in on its popularity.

David Frost and Dame Edna Everidge are among the famous people who have been photographed sitting astride the same chair, which is now an exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

What has happened to Christine Keeler since?

Christine had two brief marriages and two children but has mostly lived alone.

She is now 75 and reported to be living in sheltered housing in South London.

She claims most of the money she made from newspaper stories was spent on lawyers in the 1970s.

Christine has written a number of books about her role in the scandal.

In an interview to publicise her most recent memoir in 2012, she said she was estranged from her two children.

She said: “My children don’t want to be associated with that bloody whore Christine Keeler. It’s awful but that’s the way it is.”

She was played by Joanne Whalley in Scandal, the 1989 film about the Profumo Affair.

Christine Keeler with her friend Mandy Rice-Davies during the trial of Stephen Ward in 1963
Hulton Archive - Getty

When does The Trial Of Christine Keeler start on BBC?

Filming begins in the UK for this new series in 2018, so it will be out later that year.

The show, written by Apple Tree Yard screenwriter Amanda Coe, will run for six episodes on BBC One.

Casting has not yet been revealed.

Coe said: “I’m excited to have the opportunity to bring a fresh lens to a story that has become a powerful fable of our national identity.

“The astonishing story of Christine Keeler and the so-called Profumo affair is the Salem Witch Trial meets OJ Simpson – a perfect storm of gender, class, race and power that resonates into the world we’re living in today.”

Executive producer Kate Triggs said: “In 1963 Britain changed irrevocably. Old certainties about class, race and sex exploded.

“And 19-year-old Christine Keeler was the flame that lit the touchpaper. This is a story about change: a story for our times.”


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368 . We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.


Continue Reading

Trending