Worden Park vigil held for Manchester attack victims

Crowds gathered in the hometown of Saffie Rose Roussos to pay tribute those killed in Monday’s terror attack at Manchester Arena.

Community leaders in Leyland called for the town to choose love as it came together united in grief for Saffie, eight, and Georgina Callendar, 18, from nearby village Hesketh Bank, who died as they left the Ariana Grande concert.

In a message read by Rev David Gibb, of St Andrew’s Church, Leyland, Georgina’s mum Leslie Callendar, said: “Thank you so much for the vigil. All your thoughts and well wishes are appreciated.

“Our beautiful daughter will be looking down with her usual big smile.

“Lots of love and many thanks.”

Flowers left by mouners

More than 1,000 people attended the vigil in Worden Park, Leyland, many in tears as pink balloons filled the sky in memory of Saffie, Georgina and the victims of Monday’s attack.

The Mayor of South Ribble, Mike Titherington, said: “When tragedy strikes as it did in Manchester on Monday it is easy to be overcome by despair.

“We condemn the mindless acts of violence that inflict so much pain and we are rightly shocked and appalled.

“We want to show our support and solidarity with all those who are suffering such pain.

“We want to do something and sometimes we don’t know exactly what to do.

“If we could heal the heartache, we would.

“If we could turn back the clock so that it never happened, we would, but we can’t.

“What we can do – and whatever we do will seem inadequate – but what we can do is come together like this as a community and strengthen our bonds, unite in our defiance of evil and strengthen our determination in the values we hold dear: tolerance, respect, human dignity and compassion.”

Georgina Callandar died after the explosion at Manchester Arena

Messages of love and support were read by Fr Jonathon Cotton, of St Mary’s RC Church; Rev David Gibb, of St Andrew’s Church; Sandra Crawford, of Leyland Baptist Church.

In a message from the Muslim community, Maulana Abdul Qadeer, said: “No parent should have to bury a child and especially not as a result of the deplorable and mindless actions of a madman acting on his own, not in the name of Islam.

“As a scholar, I say on behalf of Muslims worldwide, we condemn all such actions.

“The night of May 22, 2017, will be deeply etched into our memories forever. Manchester was once previously rocked by IRA bombings in 1992. It took decades for that wound to partially heal and now this.”

Quoting the Quran, Qadeer said: “ If anyone killed to cause mischief in the land it would be as if he had killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if the had saved all the lives.”

He added: “Our hearts go out not only to the families of Saffie and Georgina, snatched before their time but to the other innocents and their families whose lives were stolen that night. Our deepest sympathies are conveyed to all.

Flowers for the victims

“Acts like this will not divide us, but will, we hope, bring us closer together.

“Acts like this are not committed in the name of Islam. The mindlessness of psychopaths and lunatics should never be reason to drive us apart.”

Members of the emergency services paraded onto the park as a minute’s silence was held to honour Saffie, Georgina, and those killed and injured.

As the silence came to an end, the crowd cheered in thanks for the men and women who worked round the clock to help in the aftermath of the bombing.

Emergency services during the minute’s silence

As the vigil came to an end, mourners lay flowers, teddies and candles in tribute to Saffie and Georgina, and signed books of condolence, which will be presented to the girl’s families.

Ariana Grande’s song, One Last Time, brought many of the crowd to tears as they remembered the former Tarleton Community Primary School pupil and Runshaw College student, who were killed as they left the concert.

An appeal to raise money for the families of the victims of the Manchester bombing has been set up and has topped the £1.5million mark. You can donate here.

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8 year-old Tarleton schoolgirl confirmed dead in ‘terror attack’ at Manchester Arena

Tributes have poured in after an eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos was killed in the ‘terrorist attack’ at Manchester Arena.

Dozens of floral tributes have been left at The Plaice fish and chip shop in Hough Lane, Leyland which Saffie’s family are believed to run. The restaurant was closed but well wishers have left cards and flowers to the popular youngster.

The eight-year-old was at the concert with her mother Lisa Roussos and Saffie’s sister, Ashlee Bromwich, aged in her 20s, from Leyland, Lancashire, who are both now in separate hospitals being treated for injuries, friends have said.

Saffie was the second victim to be named after Georgina Callander. 18, also from Tarleton, was identified earlier today.

Chris Upton, headteacher at Tarleton Community Primary School, spoke of his devastation of the loss. He said: “News of Saffie’s death in this appalling attack has come as a tremendous shock to all of us and I would like to send our deepest condolences to all of her family and friends. The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking.

“Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.

“Our focus is now on helping pupils and staff cope with this shocking news and we have called in specialist support from Lancashire County Council to help us do that. We are a tight-knit school and wider community and will give each other the support that we need at this difficult time.”

The news comes after a desperate appeal was made to trace the whereabouts of Saffie. Friends of the family shared an appeal on Facebook in a desperate bid to trace her.

Kate Tinsley, whose daughter Jessica is best friends with Saffie at Tarleton Community Primary School near Preston in Lancashire, said earlier: “I’ve tried to contact Saffie’s mum and none of the messages have gone through on the phone.

“Jessica has gone to school today not knowing a thing. My daughter is best friends with her in school. Everybody is worried, the whole village. Everybody is in bits waiting for news, just some news that she’s okay, she’s alive.”

Another family friend posted the Facebook appeal to help the desperate search for the missing school girl.

Earlier she said: “My friend Lisa and her daughters Ashlee and Saffie were at the concert last night. Saffie-Rose, 8 years old is still missing.

“Her mum Lisa and sister Ash are in hospital with shrapnel injuries which are not life threatening but Saffie is still missing.”

Hundreds of people are desperately searching for loved ones in the aftermath of a terror attack at Manchester Arena which left 22 dead and at least 59 injured.

Thousands of teenagers were inside the arena for a concert by Ariana Grande on Monday night, and Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins has confirmed children are among those killed.

Facebook has activated its safety check feature so people can let loved ones know they are safe, and an emergency helpline, 0161 856 9400, has been set up for those searching for loved ones.

Two hotels near the arena, the Holiday Inn and Premier Inn, both took in stranded children in the immediate aftermath and looked after them overnight.

Among those searching for children was Charlotte Campbell, who has not heard from her 15-year-old daughter Olivia since the attack.

Ms Campbell, who lives in Manchester, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I last had contact with her at half past eight last night.

“She was at the concert, she’d just seen the support act and said she was having an amazing time and thanking me for letting her go.

“She was with her friend Adam, Adam was found about half an hour ago, he’s in hospital but Olivia has not been found yet.”

Ms Campbell said she had been at home “phoning everybody, hospitals, police, all these centres that the children have been put in”.

“Her dad is actually in Manchester looking for her.

“I’ve got friends out looking for her, I’ve got people I don’t even know out looking for her.”

Around 60 people caught up in the terror attack were reported to have been taken in by Holiday Inn hotels near the arena.

Holiday Inn was unable to confirm the number of people it was helping but said it had supported them throughout the night by offering “immediate refuge”.

A spokeswoman said: “The hotel teams at Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre and Holiday Inn Express Manchester City Centre – Arena have both been working closely with the emergency services throughout the night, supporting members of the public who needed immediate refuge.

“The hotels are fully operational and continue to offer support.”

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Son attacked his father after he fell down stairs drunk

A son who launched a “frenzied and sustained” attack on his drunken father while he was seriously injured from falling downstairs has been jailed for 26 weeks.

Preston Crown Court was told John Harvey junior, 25, claimed father John Harvey senior had inflicted years of physical abuse on him – facts accepted by prosecutors in the case.

Sporting a crucifix and blazer jacket, he looked straight ahead as barristers revealed none of the family members wanted to make a statement about the incident, which happened at an address in Penwortham on New Year’s Eve.

At around 3.30am police received an emergency call from his mother and when they attended they found Mr Harvey senior lying at the foot of the stairs.

The court heard there was blood on the staircase.

The man had suffered a deep facial wound and his son was arrested on suspicion of assault when he told them: “I’ll admit I hit the c**t – I want the c**t to admit what he did to me.”

The older man told officers if he was “10 years younger I’d have battered him”.

Harvey, of Howick Cross Lane, Penwortham, admitted causing actual bodily harm.

Prosecuting Steven Swift said: “He pleaded guilty on the basis that he returned home and his father attacked him at the top of the stairs. He was not responsible for the lacerations – they were caused when he fell.

“Despite his injuries, he continued to be aggressive. The defendant admits punching him beyond reasonable self defence.

“He was angry at the aggression and the physical abuse he and other members of his family had suffered over many years.”

Judge Simon Newell was told a 12-year-old girl had witnessed the attack.

After struggling at the top of the stairs, Mr Harvey senior began to go downstairs but fell halfway. He suffered a scalp haematoma and fractured nose.

The defendant punched him at least 20 times.

Jacob Dyer, defending, said: “I appreciate there are aggravating features because the complainant was badly injured and a child was present.

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Jail for vigilante duo who beat sex offender to a pulp

One man has been jailed for life and another for 10 years following a vigilante attack which left a sex offender so badly injured he was unrecognisable.

Marcus Hartley, 24, and Richard Lowry, 33, took the law into their own hands when they discovered their friend and neighbour, Anthony Bullough, was a convicted sex offender.

A police officer who knew Mr Bullough said he could not recognise him when he saw him lying unconscious on the ground, following the attack in Chorley on November 4 last year.

The men met at the accommodation they shared for ex-offenders in Gordon Street, Chorley, and became friends.

But when Hartley and Lowry discovered Mr Bullough’s convictions were for possession of indecent images of children their attitudes towards him changed, Preston Crown Court heard.

They began to harass him, playing loud music and shouting insults at him through the door of his ground-floor flat.

On November 3 last year, Hartley and Lowry were drinking and playing loud music in the flats upstairs from Mr Bullough.

Mr Bullough, who had previously spoken to the housing association about threats from his neighbours, became so concerned by their behaviour he climbed out of the window and fled the flat.

But Hartley and Lowry followed him and attacked him on wasteland close by. Hartley punched him to the ground and the to men set about punching and kicking him to the head and face in a brutal and savage attack.

At around 1.50am, two workmen discovered Mr Bullough lying unresponsive on the ground, and called emergency services.

Mr Bullough was taken to hospital in a coma and underwent CT scans which showed bleeding to his brain and fractures to his jaw, eye socket and cheekbones.

He had to undergo surgery and was fed through a tube.

As Mr Bullough lay in hospital in a coma, Lowry contacted his ex partner asking her to wash a bag of clothing, at around 2.30am.

The bag contained bloodied footwear and jeans belonging to both defendants.

Six months after the attack, Mr Bullough remains in hospital and needs assistance with walking and daily care.

He started eating solid food last month but is not expected to be able to leave hospital until June, at the earliest.

Hartley and Lowry pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and appeared at Preston Crown Court to be sentenced.

The Honorary Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown, said: “It was clearly a brutal, nasty and sustained assault and such was the nature of it that when he was observed lying unconscious in the street his injuries were so bad he could not be recognised.

“There was an element of premeditation, and certainly a sense of revenge because you understood him to be a convicted sex offender.

“You were taking the law into your own hands and behaving as a vigilante.”

Judge Brown said Hartley was a dangerous offender who had previously served a prison sentence for an attack on his own father, who had recently been discharged from hospital. Lowry had convictions for domestic violence and arson, the court heard.

Judge Brown jailed Hartley for life with a specified term of five and a half years.

Lowry was jailed for 10 years.

Mr Bullough had been given a community order in March 2014 for possession of indepent images.

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Probe into blazes in Preston

Police are probing a suspected arson attack on a car which spread to nearby garages.

Firefighters were called to Hawkhurst Road, Preston, at around 5 am today.

A car had been set alight and a Preston fire crew worked to extinguish the blaze and stop it from badly damaging two nearby garages.

At around the same time, there were fires outside a shop in nearby Castleton Road and in bins in Falcon Street. One theory is that they may be connected.

Police are investigating.

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Police appeal after man kicked in the head in serious assault outside Yates

Police are appealing for information after an assault in the centre of Preston.

The incident happened at around 5.10am on Friday, March 31.

Two men approached a group waiting to get in a taxi near Yates on Church Street in Preston. The men said it was their taxi and the group refused.

The men then assaulted a 25-year-old man, punching him twice and kicking him in the head. Another man was also assaulted before the two men left the scene.

One of the suspects is described as a white male with short light hair wearing a black t-shirt, with the second man described as Asian wearing a grey hoodie.

Police are urging anyone who witnessed the attack to call officers immediately.

PC Carmen Whittle, of Lancashire Police, said: “We have launched an investigation following a vicious assault in Preston city centre.

“A man has been seriously assaulted and another male attacked.

“If you witnessed either incident, please call us immediately.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting crime reference SA1704525.

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Runshaw College students caught up in Westminster attack

Runshaw College students on a trip to London were in the area moments before the Westminster Bridge suspected terrorist attack.

The college announced through its Twitter account that students on a social science and law trip were “fine” and that they are “hoping to return home as scheduled.”

Student Lucy Cottier wrote: “So scary thinking that we could have been caught up in this terrorist attack”, but added that everyone was safe.

The incident, which is being described by Scotland Yard as “a terrorist attack, until we know otherwise”, involved one male who drove into pedestrians on the pavement of Westminster Bridge, before crashing into the perimeter fence of the Houses of Parliament and stabbing an on-duty police officer with a large knife.

The attacker, who was shot by a plain-clothed armed officer shortly after, was described as a middle-aged male.

Preston MP Mark Hendrick wrote: “Thoughts [are] with the families of killed/injured in today’s incidents.”

He added that “colleagues [are] still locked in the Chamber near my office, near the special gallery”.

What the Met have to say

Commander BJ Harrington of New Scotland Yard said: “Since 14:40hrs this afternoon (Wednesday, 22 March) the MPS has responded to an incident in the area of Parliament Square, and the Senior National Coordinator has declared this a terrorist incident.

“And although we remain open minded to the motive, a full counter-terrorism investigation is already underway – this is led by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.

“At this stage, I will confirm what we know has happened, but I will not speculate.

“We received a number of different reports – which included a person in the river, a car in collision with pedestrians and a man armed with a knife.

“Officers were already in the location as part of our routine policing operation. Immediately, additional officers were sent to the scene and that included firearms officers.

“We are working closely with the London Ambulance Service and the London Fire Brigade.

“There is an ongoing investigation being led by the Counter Terrorism Command and we would ask anybody who has images or film of the incident to pass those to police.

“We know that there are a number of causalities, including police officers, but at this stage, we cannot confirm numbers or the nature of these injuries.

“Our response will be ongoing for some time as it is important that we gather all possible information and evidence.

“Public safety is our top priority and we are reviewing our policing stance across London and throughout the course of this afternoon, there will be additional police and officers deployed across the Capital.

“I would like to ask the public to remain vigilant and let us know if they see anything suspicious that causes them concern and dial 999 immediately.”

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