The Telegraph 2024-05-02 16:00:38


Bus leaves Peckham without migrants after protesters disrupt removal

A coach set to move asylum seekers from a hotel to the Bibby Stockholm barge has driven off without any migrants onboard after protesters disrupted their removal.

Dozens of people wearing Covid face masks surrounded the vehicle outside the Best Western Hotel in Peckham, south London, slashing its tyres to stop the migrants from being removed from the hotel. Electric bikes have also been placed under the front and rear wheels.

After protesters, who had formed a human chain linking arms around the coach, were removed by police, the vehicle drove off with no migrants on board.

Sharing a video of police moving protesters away from the coach earlier today, James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, said: “We will not allow this small group of students, posing for social media, to deter us from doing what is right for the British public.”

Downing Street also urged the protesters to allow immigration officers to get on with their duties.

The Home Office is understood to have postponed the transfer of the migrants from the hotel to the Bibby barge but is believed to be intent on going ahead with the move.

Follow the latest updates below. 

License this content

‘Sword killer’ attacked man in home while four-year-old girl slept, court told

A 36-year-old man charged with the murder of a teenage schoolboy during a sword attack also broke into a nearby home where a four-year-old girl was asleep and attacked her father, a court has heard…

Live Biden says pro-Palestinian protesters have ‘no right to cause chaos’ – follow latest

Student protesters do not have the “right to cause chaos,” Joe Biden has said, after pro-Palestinian demonstrations swept campuses across the US.

The US President said he did not oppose “peaceful protest”, but criticised activists who have destroyed university property, intimidated Jewish students, and forced the cancellation of lessons.

“There’s the right to protest, but not the right to cause chaos,” he said shortly after an encampment at California’s UCLA was cleared by police in a pre-dawn raid this morning.

“People have the right to get an education, the right to get a degree, the right to walk across the campus safely without fear of being attacked.”

He added: “There should be no place on any campus, no place in America, for anti-Semitism, or threats of violence against Jewish students.”

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, claimed Mr Biden was failing to stop a “radical left revolution taking place” before heading to a New York court for his “hush money” trial this morning.

Follow below for the latest updates.

License this content

Trains delayed after spectacular lightning storms cut power

Commuters are facing delays and several buildings have been damaged after a night of heavy rainfall and thunderstorms…

Why didn’t you report Post Office to police, former senior lawyer asked

A former Cartwright King lawyer has said “he does not know” why he did not call police or inform Fujitsu after witnessing Gareth Jenkins, architect of the faulty Horizon IT system, failing to disclose information to the courts. 

Martin Smith faced questions from Sam Stein KC over why he did not take further action once admitting to witnessing Mr Jenkins beaching his duty as an expert witness. 

After a long silence, Mr Smith said “I just don’t think that was something we thought of” in regards to Mr Jenkins, whose breach of duty was also not disclosed to Fujitsu, who were contracted by the Post Office.  

“Myself and Mr Clarke did not discuss that – the fact that we were potentially witnesses or the possibility of informing the police or Fujitsu,” Mr Smith confirmed when pressed by Mr Stein. 

The inquiry heard that Mr Smith and Simon Clarke, then a barrister at Cartwright King, became “suspicious” of Mr Jenkins as early as 201, when they recorded a phone call with the Fujitsu engineer. 

Gareth Jenkins, understood to have been instrumental in developing the Horizon software, is under police investigation over his role in the Post Office scandal.

His testimony given in court cases that the Fujitsu IT system was working correctly was central to convictions and repeatedly used by Post Office lawyers.

Following Mr Smith and Mr Clarke’s self-conducted “mini-investigation” into Mr Jenkins, only internal advice on his credibility was provided with no suggestion that an independent inquiry should take place. 

It came on Mr Smith’s second day giving evidence to the Post Office Inquiry after hearing from Chris Aujard, the organisation’s former most senior in-house lawyer, over the course of the morning. 

Mr Aujard admitted to feeling “deep regret” for failing to ask questions following a 2016 report into the Horizon system and said he did “not recognise” a cover-up taking place at the company. 

Flora Page asked Mr Aujard if the board was going into “cover-up” mode as concerns around the burgeoning scandal grew, to which he replied: “If it was that, I certainly didn’t recognise it at the time.”

License this content

MCC investigates ‘misappropriation’ of club funds

MCC is investigating a “misappropriation” of funds and the club’s treasurer has ordered a review of its financial controls, Telegraph Sport can reveal…

‘Dine and dash’ solicitor struck off after refusing to pay £43 to delivery driver

A “dine and dash” solicitor has been struck off after ordering a £43 takeaway from Just Eat and shutting the door on the delivery driver without paying.

Kerry Ann Stevens insisted she had already paid for the food online but this was untrue and the cost of the meal was subsequently deducted from the driver’s wages, a professional tribunal heard.

The solicitor, who specialised in criminal law, had also been arrested for another offence in which she left a Harvester restaurant without paying a bill of £60, the panel was told.

Stevens was found guilty of two counts of fraud at a magistrates’ court and has now been thrown out of the profession after the tribunal found her guilty of misconduct for her “premeditated and deliberate” acts.

‘No doubt whatsoever’

Because she practised in criminal law, she would have been in “no doubt whatsoever” that she was committing a crime, the panel found.

The hearing of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal was told that in January 2021, Stevens ordered £43.47 worth of food from a kebab shop via the Just Eat app.

A driver arrived at her home address just after 8pm to deliver the food and asked Stevens for payment. But the Essex-based solicitor insisted she had already paid when she placed the order and as the driver rang the restaurant to confirm, she shut the door in his face.

Bill deducted from driver’s salary

The Essex Grill kebab shop said Stevens had not paid for the food and that the delivery driver knocked on her door for several minutes but she did not answer.

The bill was subsequently deducted from the driver’s salary.

The solicitor, who qualified in 2016, told the police she believed her boyfriend had paid when placing the order online.

The panel heard that the year before, Stevens and her boyfriend ordered £60.91 worth of food at a Harvester restaurant in Rayleigh, Essex.

Partner had taken her bank card

After they had finished eating, Stevens’s boyfriend left the restaurant and she told a member of staff that she was unable to pay for the food as her partner had taken her bank card.

The solicitor said she would return to settle the bill and provided both her telephone number and her passport to staff.

Later that same evening, the restaurant’s duty manager called Stevens and confirmed that payment could be taken over the phone but the solicitor said she had no other cards to pay with and agreed to come back in the morning to pay the bill.

But the following day, the manager tried to call Stevens on the phone number provided and the call failed to connect.

Reported to the police

Months later, she contacted the Harvester’s care team via email and said she would need to collect her passport.

The manager contacted her again using a second telephone number which was later provided and said she would need to pay the bill and retrieve the passport.

The restaurant reported her to the police.

In March 2022, Stevens attended Suffolk magistrates’ court in Ipswich, where she was found guilty of two counts of fraud and ordered to pay a total of £1,943 in costs and compensation.

Professional misconduct

The professional tribunal struck her off as they found her convictions amounted to professional misconduct.

The panel said: “In assessing culpability, the tribunal found that the motivation was personal financial gain.

“The offences were premeditated and deliberate.

“Ms Stevens had complete culpability for these matters, as reflected in her convictions.

“In assessing the harm caused, there was obvious harm caused to the profession by a solicitor committing criminal offences, particularly when it was for financial gain.

“In this case, there had been loss caused to the Harvester restaurant and to the delivery driver from the Essex Grill who effectively had to pay for Ms Stevens’s meal.”

‘Element of attempted concealment’

The panel said there was an “element of attempted concealment” from Stevens as she shut the door on the delivery driver and evaded the attempts made by the Harvester to pay off her debt.

It added: “The tribunal further noted that Ms Stevens’s area of practice was criminal law.

“Ms Stevens would have therefore been in no doubt whatsoever that she was committing criminal offences on each occasion.”

She was also ordered to pay costs of £4,489.

License this content