A man who recruited his parents and a group of his friends to kill a love rival has been jailed for life.
Daniel Grogan, 20, was “consumed with hatred and jealousy” of Jay Sewell, 18, after finding out he was seeing his ex-girlfriend, the Old Bailey heard.
Mr Sewell was attacked by a group of people in Lee, south-east London, on 11 December 2018.
Grogan was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 21 years having previously been found guilty of murder.
The court was told Grogan deliberately engineered a stand-off with Mr Sewell and his ex-girlfriend Gemma Hodder near to his family home.
Ms Hodder, 18, had driven her partner and some of their friends from Kent to see Grogan when they were set upon by a group armed with knives, hammers, a 4ft (1.2m) fireman’s axe and wooden sticks.
Mr Sewell was fatally attacked through the car window while his friend Charlie Pamphlett was stabbed in the back but survived, jurors were told.
Judge Wendy Joseph QC said Grogan “desired only revenge on Gemma and Jay” and had been driven by “self serving anger beyond logic”.
The 20-year-old was also jailed for five years for wounding with intent and three-and-a-half years for violent disorder, with the sentences to be served concurrently.
Other members of Grogan’s family and friends also received jail sentences for their parts in the killing:
- Grogan’s 58-year-old father Robert, who had armed himself with an axe, was sentenced to 14.5 years for manslaughter, six years for wounding with intent and three-and-a-half years for violent disorder
- His 55-year-old mother Ann was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years for manslaughter and three-and-a-half years for violent disorder to be served concurrently
- His friend and neighbour Charlie Dudley, 26, of Grove Park, was jailed for 16 years for manslaughter, six-and-a-half years for wounding with intent and three-and-a-half years for violent disorder, to be served concurrently
- His cousin Liam Hickey, 19, of Eltham, was sentenced to three years detention in a Young Offenders Institution for wounding with intent and two years for violent disorder, to be served concurrently
Others were previously sentenced over the attack:
- Francesca Grogan, 30, of Sibthorpe Road, was jailed for 12 months for violent disorder
- Jamie Bennett, 32, of Sibthorpe Road, was sentenced to 20 months in prison for violent disorder
- A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, was handed a nine-month rehabilitation order and a supervision order for violent disorder.
A mother was stabbed three times in front of her child in an unprovoked attack in south London.
The victim, 36, was pushing her child in a buggy when a man attacked her from behind in Downton Avenue, Streatham Hill, on Monday.
The knifeman did not speak to the victim before he stabbed her at about 17:20 GMT then ran off.
Police said the woman’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. The child was not hurt.
Neighbours told the BBC they heard the woman screaming and came out to help.
A man first on the scene said the victim told him: “I’ve been mugged.”
Two people said the wounds looked as if they were to the victim’s face or head area.
It is understood the woman was on the phone to her husband at the time and that he arrived soon afterwards.
No-one has been arrested. The Met said the suspect was a black man, about 6ft tall and wearing dark clothing.
Officers have been examining CCTV footage and are appealing for witnesses.
Christmas dinners have been served to Londoners who are reliant on the city’s homelessness services.
Hairdressers and opticians were also made available at City Hall before guests were given a three-course meal.
Last year, 8,855 people were seen rough sleeping in London, an 18% increase since last year, and more than double the number in 2010.
“Events like this help bring a sense of community back in to London,” Claire, a former rough sleeper, told the BBC.
Claire, who spent 30 years either living on the streets or in prison, said: “It’s the type of event that does matter. It forms partnerships and builds bonds.
“If it wasn’t for the support of St Mungo’s, I’d either be dead or doing what I was before.”
Guests were chosen from the thousands of Londoners that currently receive assistance from services funded by City Hall and delivered by charities St Mungo’s and Thames Reach.
But Claire said services were still “hit and miss”.
“Where I live I’m still waiting for support with my mental health,” she added.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “St Mungo’s and Thames Reach are struggling with finances.
“Since I became mayor we’ve more than doubled the amount of money we’ve spent on rough sleeping and the size of our outreach team.
“But we’re just scratching the surface. We’ve not got the money or the resources to do much more – as it is I’m criticised for going outside my remit and my power.
“It is both heartbreaking and shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do.”
Last year 15,470 people were accepted as being homeless by London councils.
There were 55,000 families living in temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and hostels.
Hundreds more people are estimated to be sleeping on London’s night buses.
Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeper Services at St Mungo’s, said: “It’s wonderful that the Mayor has opened the doors of City Hall for this festive event.
“Christmas can be a time of mixed emotions for clients in our services and our staff work hard to support those who stay with us over the holiday period.”
Black cab rapist John Worboys has been handed two life sentences with a minimum term of six years for attacking four more women.
The 62-year-old, who is now known as John Radford, was jailed in 2009 for assaults on 12 women in London.
The four victims came forward after the public outcry caused by the parole board ruling he was safe to be freed.
Sentencing Worboys, Mrs Justice McGowan said she did not know when “if ever you will cease to be a risk”.
In 2009, Worboys was locked up indefinitely for the public protection with a minimum of eight years after being found guilty of 19 sex offences against 12 women between 2006 and 2008.
Last year, the Parole Board overturned a decision to release him and ruled that he should remain in prison, citing his “sense of sexual entitlement”.
Prosecutor Duncan Penny QC told the Old Bailey that psychiatrist Philip Joseph found Worboys had been “fantasising” about attacking women since 1986.
A probation report in August this year found “he is potentially just as dangerous now as the point of the first sentence”.
After the four women came forward, Worboys, of Enfield, admitted two charges of administering a drug with intent to commit rape or indecent assault.
He also pleaded guilty to two further charges of administering a substance with intent to commit a sexual offence.
Mr Penny said the first victim was targeted in 2000 or early 2001 after a night out at a wine bar in Dover Street in Soho.
The second victim, a university student living in north London, was picked up after a night out with friends at a club on New Oxford Street in 2003.
Worboys’ third victim was picked up after a night out on King’s Road in 2007 where he told her he had won £40,000 at a casino and offered her champagne.
The court heard Worboys told the fourth victim he had won the lottery and offered her and her friend miniature bottles of champagne.
Mr Penny said: “She woke up in bed the following morning. The bedclothes had not moved and her hands were crossed over her chest, which was unusual.
“She was sufficiently unnerved to check herself. There were no visible signs she had been touched.”
Mr Penny told the court: “The consistent themes throughout, together with the content of what took place, seems to be the profound effect not knowing what happened has had in each of these women throughout their lives, as a result of having been unfortunate enough to get into the defendant’s black cab.”
Reacting to the sentencing, the Crown Prosecution Service’s Tina Dempster said: “John Worboys is a dangerous predator who still poses a clear threat to women.
“I would like to pay tribute to the bravery of all women who came forward and today helped keep a prolific sex offender behind bars.”
Harlequins number eight Alex Dombrandt would flourish in the international environment, says England scrum-half and club team-mate Danny Care.
The uncapped 22-year-old is thought to be pushing for a place in England’s Six Nations squad after starring for Quins of late.
“He reads the game so well, he’s smart and makes the right decisions all the time,” Care said.
“You put him in an England shirt and he is only going to excel.”
Care believes Dombrandt would provide England with an extra dimension if he made his international debut.
The former university student is on head coach Eddie Jones’ radar after appearing for an England XV in a non-cap game against the Barbarians in May.
There also appears to be an opening at the back of the scrum, with Billy Vunipola the only specialist number eight in the Rugby World Cup squad after Bristol’s Nathan Hughes fell out of favour.
“For me he’s got everything. He’s hungry for it, he’s got the work-rate and the work ethic, and he’s a good boy,” Care told the Rugby Union Weekly podcast.
Dombrandt only broke into the Quins first team a year ago after completing his undergraduate studies at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
But after a breakthrough season last time around, he recently signed a new deal to stay at The Stoop despite firm interest from Northampton Saints.
“He went to uni, did it properly and enjoyed himself, but he’s got a chance to play professional rugby and he’s grasped it with both hands,” Care added.
“I’m not picking the England squad, but 100% [he should be in].
“I just think if you throw him in there, and you have him running lines alongside Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Joe Marler – which attacker is the defender going to take?
“He is different, and there aren’t many of him around. And he can play six [blind-side flanker], seven [open-side flanker] or [number] eight.”
A 12-year-old boy killed in a hit-and-run outside a school has been named locally as Harley Watson.
He was struck near Debden Park High School in Loughton, Essex, at about 15:20 GMT on Monday.
A 51-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of his murder, as well as the attempted murder of four other teenagers and a 23-year-old woman who were hurt in the crash.
One of the victims was described by his mother as “battered and bruised”.
It is understood all the injured children – two 15-year-old boys, a 13-year-old boy, and a girl, 16 – are pupils at the school.
Debden Park’s head teacher Helen Gascoyne, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and all those affected.
“The school will be open [on Tuesday] with a number of counsellors on hand to support our community.”
Christian Cavanagh, executive head teacher, described the Harley’s death as “a young life so tragically lost”.
He said: “This young man had made his mark on the school and was liked and loved by staff and students.
“We will consult with the family and our school community to decide how best to commemorate his life.”
‘I’ve been hit by a car’
Donna Mills, the mother of Alfie Barnes who was one of the 15-year-olds struck by the car, said he was “still in shock… battered and bruised”.
“He remembers the car coming towards him, he remembers getting hit, but it is a bit of a blur. He hit his head and I think he blacked out for a bit,” she said.
“Alfie rang me and said ‘mum I have been hit by a car’, so I shot down there as fast as I could. It was horrendous.
“It was… horrible to see, kids laying on the floor, just terrible.”
Essex Police said officers are looking for a silver Ford Ka that was “likely to have damage to [its] front”.
Earlier, the force took the step of naming Terry Glover, 51, as someone they wanted to speak to in connection with the crash.
A senior police officer convicted of possessing a child abuse video on her phone has been told she faces “immense” career consequences.
A court heard Novlett Robyn Williams failed to report her sister for sending the “disturbing” clip last year.
While jurors at the Old Bailey accepted Williams did not view the material, they rejected her claim she was unaware of its presence on her phone.
She was ordered to carry out 200 hours’ community service.
Williams had denied the charge, saying she “zoned out” when she received the video.
The jury was told she was one of 17 people to receive the 54-second clip via WhatsApp, and prosecutors had argued there was no way she could have missed its arrival in her inbox.
They said a response sent to her older sister Jennifer Hodge, saying “please call”, was evidence that she wanted to discuss the content.
Judge Richard Marks QC, sentencing, told the Old Bailey her “grave error of judgement” was likely to have “immense” career consequences.
The court heard Williams, who was commended for her work after the Grenfell Tower disaster, had an exemplary disciplinary record, was highly regarded for her work and was awarded the Queen’s Policing Medal for distinguished service in 2003.
Judge Marks told her it was “completely tragic you found yourself in the position you now do” considering her “stellar career in the police force over 30 years”.
She was cleared of a charge of corrupt or improper exercise of police powers in failing to report the distribution of an image.
As the prosecuting barrister, Richard Wright QC, noted, this is a “sad” case for all those involved, particularly for Robyn Williams who could well lose the job she cherishes.
She was the only one to be prosecuted of the 17 people who received the child abuse video.
Two individuals reported it, but no action was taken against the other 14, raising concerns among her supporters that she’s been unfairly targeted.
Did it have to end up in a trial at the Old Bailey? Or could the Superintendent have been dealt with through internal misconduct procedures, given her 36 years’ distinguished service?
There is also a wider question for all of us about our legal responsibilities when we’re sent material on social media that we haven’t asked for.
This case has demonstrated the risks of not reporting and deleting footage that contains illegal content.
Williams’ sister Jennifer Hodge, 56, of Brent, was ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service having been found guilty of distributing an indecent image of a child.
The social worker had denied sending the video, which she received from her partner and allegedly depicted a young girl performing a sex act on a man.
Her barrister Andrea Brown also told the court the conviction had “destroyed her relationship” with her police officer sister, who is her only immediate family member.
Hodge’s partner Dido Massivi, 61, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended for two years as well as 200 hours of community service.
The bus driver had denied two counts of distributing indecent photos and one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image portraying a person having sex with a horse.
Prosecutors said there was no suggestion the defendants derived any sexual gratification from the images but all three will be placed on the sex offenders’ register – Hodge and Williams for five years, and Massivi for 10.
Both Hodge and Massivi were also sacked from their jobs following their arrest, the court heard.
Scotland Yard said Williams remains on restricted duties but that would be “reviewed now criminal matters are complete”.
Prosecutors in Sweden have dropped an investigation into a rape allegation made against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in 2010.
Assange, who denies the accusation, has avoided extradition to Sweden for seven years after seeking refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012.
The 48-year-old Australian was evicted in April and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions.
He is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in London.
The Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement: “Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Eva-Marie Persson has today decided to discontinue the investigation regarding Julian Assange.
“The reason for this decision is that the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question.”
The prosecutors said the decision had been taken after seven witnesses in the case had been interviewed.
A man embarked on a series of “depraved” sex attacks on women and children, one as young as 11, a court has heard.
Joseph McCann is accused of 37 offences against 11 alleged victims, including rapes, kidnap and false imprisonment, over two weeks in April and May.
The Old Bailey heard the 34-year-old snatched two women off London streets and told one he would “never release her” as he raped her multiple times.
Mr McCann of Harrow denies the charges.
The jury was told one 25-year-old woman was abducted as she walked home in Walthamstow, east London, just after midnight on 25 April.
Prosecutor John Price QC said the defendant told her “to stop screaming or he would stab her” then dragged her into a car “and drove off”.
The court heard the woman was raped “many times” in various locations over the next 14 hours and subjected to acts of “shocking depravity and violence”.
“He made her call him ‘daddy’ and say that she was a child. At one point the man parked the car near to a school, saying that he wanted to make her rape a child,” Mr Price said.
Later the same day, and while still holding the woman prisoner, the defendant abducted a 21-year-old woman in Edgware, north London, as she walked along the street with her sister, the court heard.
CCTV of the woman being bundled into a silver people carrier just after midday was played to the jury.
Mr Price said she “suffered a similar fate” to the 25-year-old woman before the pair managed to escape while in Watford where Mr McCann had booked a hotel room for two nights.
He told the jury they would have come to “further harm” but one of the women hit their captor over the head with a vodka bottle and some builders “bravely” intervened to prevent them being recaptured.
Premiership and European champions Saracens have been deducted 35 points and fined £5.36m for breaching salary cap regulations in three seasons.
The punishment comes after an investigation into business partnerships between chairman Nigel Wray and some of the club’s players.
Saracens will appeal and have described the sanctions as “heavy-handed”.
A Premiership Rugby statement said both punishments would be suspended if Saracens chose to review the decision.
Official league tables have already been updated to show Sarries bottom of the Premiership with -26 points.
Saracens ‘absolutely devastated’ by punishment
The charges relate to a failure to disclose player payments in each of the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
Saracens previously claimed they “readily comply” with salary cap rules and were able to spend above the £7m cap because of the high proportion – almost 60% – of home-grown players in their squad.
The club apologised for “administrative errors relating to the non-disclosure of some transactions” to Premiership Rugby Limited, but added it will “continue to vigorously defend this position especially as PRL precedent already exists whereby co-investments have not been deemed part of salary in the regulations”.
In a separate statement, Wray said: “This is absolutely devastating for everyone associated with this amazing group of players, staff, partners and fans.
“It’s been acknowledged by the panel that we never deliberately sought to mislead anyone or breach the cap.
“That’s why it feels like the rug is being completely pulled out from under our feet. We will appeal all the findings.”
During an independent disciplinary panel hearing, Saracens saw their challenge of the validity of the regulations on competition law grounds rejected.
Premiership Rugby introduced their salary cap in 1999 to ensure the financial viability of all clubs and the competition.
The regulations are also designed to control inflationary pressures on clubs’ costs and provide a level playing field for clubs and a competitive Premiership.
“The decision upholds both the principle of the salary cap and the charges brought following an extensive investigation,” a Premiership spokesperson said.
“We’re pleased this process has reached a conclusion.”
‘The biggest story in English club rugby history’
Analysis: BBC rugby union correspondent Chris Jones
Saracens have been the dominant force in the domestic game for the best part of a decade – scooping seven major titles and providing the spine of the England World Cup team – but that success will now be considered tainted.
How long has it been going on? Will the club keep their titles? What will happen with their appeal, given they insist they were involved in legitimate business dealings with players? What happens now to the current squad, which may need to be dismantled, especially with a £5m fine and the threat of relegation?
And what do players, coaches and fans at other clubs think, given everyone is affected in some way by this? On that note, do any other clubs in the league have something to hide?
Like with the Bloodgate scandal involving Harlequins 10 years ago, the fallout to this will be significant and lengthy, and will damage the integrity of the Premiership just at the point the league is looking to launch a global expansion.
This is probably the biggest story in English club rugby history.
Sarries a sporting powerhouse
Saracens have developed into a true sporting powerhouse during the past decade, winning five Premiership titles and three European Champions Cups since 2010-11.
Two of those domestic titles came in the timeframe that Premiership Rugby have been investigating, with Mark McCall’s side winning 53 of 72 league and play-off matches during that period.
They have been equally dominant in European competition, having lifted the trophy in three of the past four seasons.
In the five seasons Saracens have finished as Premiership champions, a 35-point deduction would have meant them not reaching the play-offs by finishing in the top four, but would also not have seen them relegated.
They would have finished 10th last season had the same punishment been imposed.
Saracens have won two of their three Premiership matches so far this season.
They started the current Premiership campaign with a significant number of their star players still on World Cup duty.
Of the 31-man squad representing England in Japan, seven players came from Saracens – including captain Owen Farrell and forwards Mako and Billy Vunipola.
Full-back Elliot Daly, another member of the side that went on to lose the final against South Africa on Saturday, will join Sarries following the conclusion of the tournament.