The Telegraph 2024-06-10 09:01:47

European elections latest: Giorgia Meloni’s party wins EU elections in Italy

Giorgia Meloni has won the European elections in Italy and her party will send the most MEPs to Brussels and Strasbourg…

Michael Mosley lay undiscovered for five days, CCTV shows

Dr Michael Mosley’s body lay undiscovered just yards from a beach resort for nearly five days, it emerged on Sunday, as his wife said he “so very nearly made it” to safety…

Man’s wife and son killed in front of him by dangerous driver

A man watched as his wife and son were killed after a dangerous driver ploughed into them head-on and hid from the police.

Angela Boyack, 59, and her son Stephen, 22, were driving back along the A632 Chesterfield Road near Kelstedge, Derbyshire, when Joshua Hill, 27, crashed into them.

He had been attempting to overtake a car in his BMW X3 in the rain and collided head-on with Angela’s Hyundai i20 travelling in the opposite direction, killing her instantly.

Stephen, who had been driving the car, suffered serious injuries and was taken to the hospital where he died shortly after.

William, Angela’s husband, was driving with his elder son behind his wife and witnessed the collision.

Hill pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, causing death by driving while unlicensed or uninsured, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident.

He was jailed for 13 years at Derby Crown Court on June 7, 2024.

In a victim impact statement, William said: “I am still constantly having the most horrific and soul-sickening flashbacks to the collision which continue to be crippling for me.

“Losing my wife, Angela, and my son Stephen, has ruined my life in every sense of the word and meaning.

“If losing Angela was not enough, I lost my youngest beautiful gentle giant of a son. This has utterly and totally destroyed me. He was only 22 years old and had his whole life to live.”

Hill ran from the scene of the collision, stopping a passing motorist and asking for a lift into Chesterfield, before getting the bus to Sheffield.

He then hid at various properties in the city for two days before being arrested on Dec 11, 2023.

Hill, who was from South Yorkshire, initially denied the charges before entering a guilty plea on the first day of his trial in May 2024.

William said: “There are no words in the English language to describe the disgust and contempt that I have for Hill. The fact he stood there watching the carnage that he had perpetrated and didn’t help. 

“I will never forgive him or forget his actions and the damage he has done.

“To put myself, my son, my family and friends through so much heartache and uncertainty whilst knowing his guilt and culpability in the deaths of two people, the fact that he knew he was guilty and refused to acknowledge his actions which caused the death of two innocent souls, then waiting for almost five months to admit to what the evidence clearly shows.

“The heartache, stress, pain and desolation are unbearable. Why, why did you do this? That is what I want to know.”

Detective Constable Ian Niven, who led the investigation, said: “This was an horrific collision which caused the deaths of two people who were in the area visiting family. The fact that it occurred in front of Angela’s husband and son is even more devastating.

“For Hill to then run from the scene while other members of the public rushed to help shows his blatant disregard for anyone else.

“Sadly for Angela and Stephen’s family, the consequences of Hill’s actions on that day will live with them forever as they have to face the future without their loved ones.

“While nothing can ever bring Angela and Stephen back, I hope that knowing Hill is now behind bars for some considerable time allows their family some small comfort.”

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White men have least chance of getting on BBC trainee scheme

Non-white applicants to the BBC’s flagship journalism training scheme were almost two and a half times more likely to get in than their white counterparts.

Since 2022, an average of 22.5 per cent of applicants were classed as coming from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME).

However over that same two-year period, BAME individuals made up 41 per cent of participants on the scheme.

In contrast, whites made up an average of 77.5 per cent of applicants but only 59 per cent of participants, since 2022.

This means that non-white applicants were 2.4 times more likely to be given a place on the highly coveted scheme than their white counterparts.

The two-year scheme, referred to as the Journalism Advanced Apprenticeship, provides participants with training and a potentially permanent role at the Corporation.

Females also had stronger chance

The findings were released via the Freedom of Information Act. Female applicants also had a stronger chance of getting in than men, but by a lesser degree.

Since 2022, an average of 60.25 per cent of applicants were women. But in that same period, women made up 71 per cent of participants.

In contrast, men made up an average of 39.75 per cent of applicants but 29 per cent of participants, meaning that womens’ chances of getting onto the scheme were 1.6 times higher than their male counterparts.

Neil O’Brien, who until the election was the Conservative MP for Harborough, said: “Unlike previous BBC schemes which have stated they are BAME-only, this scheme markets itself as open to anyone. But in practice there is discrimination.

“These practices will go into overdrive if Sir Keir Starmer becomes prime minister.

“People are not being treated fairly. We need to get back to hiring the best person for the job rather than basing it on the colour of your skin.”

‘Offer places based on merit’

In April, the Telegraph revealed that one in three participants on the scheme identified as white British.

A BBC spokesman said: “Similarly to The Telegraph’s Newsroom apprenticeship scheme, our apprenticeship courses enable people from a range of backgrounds to enter the media industry. We always offer places based on merit.

“We’re committed to our recruitment processes being fair to everyone, and attracting applicants that represent all parts of the UK, and like the Telegraph Media Group we’re committed to creating a diverse and inclusive culture at the BBC.

“The BBC runs many apprenticeship schemes, so it’s unclear what analysis can be determined from applications made to one course.”

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One of world’s oldest books could fetch £3m at auction

Possibly the oldest book in the world that “revolutionised the study of Christianity” could fetch up to £3 million at auction this week.

Dating from the third and fourth century, the Crosby-Schøyen Codex comprises a collection of the earliest Christian texts from Egypt at a time when “early Christians finding their feet as Christians”.

Written in Egypt by a monk, the Codex contains the oldest complete text of the Book of Jonah as well as the first epistle of Peter. For unknown reasons, it was buried and laid undisturbed for around 1500 years before its discovery.

The auction will take place on June 11 at Christie’s in London and has an estimated value of £2-3 million.

Speaking to BBC Sunday 4, Eugenio Donadoni, a senior specialist in books and manuscripts at Christie’s said: “All of the oldest books in the world are roughly dated and have now been re-dated to the third or fourth century. 

“This [The Crosby-Schoyen Codex] was previously dated the second, but they’re all around third or fourth. This could be the earliest, but you can’t say with absolute position.”

He added the texts are of huge significance to early Christianity: “It’s a cornerstone of early faith and a witness to the earliest spread of Christianity around the Mediterranean. What’s particularly fascinating about it is that it’s a self consciously assembled compilation of texts for the celebration of one of the earliest Easters and monastic communities in upper Egypt.

“It’s one of the three major finds of the 20th century that revolutionised the study of Christianity. We’re talking about early Christians finding their feet as Christians, still steeped in Jewish traditions.”

It was eventually bought by the University of Mississippi where it remained until 1981. It was acquired several times until it was ultimately purchased by Dr Martin Schøyen, a Norwegian manuscript collector in 1988 – making it the oldest known book in private hands.

It is said its preservation is due to Egypt’s dry climate.

Dr Schøyen is selling 61 of his manuscripts at the auction house, including a 13th-century Hebrew manuscript that has an estimated sale between one and a half to three million pounds. He owns one of the largest manuscript archives in the world, with 20,000 texts including 400 pieces connected to the Bible.

The 104 pages, 52 leaves, were written by one scribe over a period of 40 years.

The auction house said on its website: “The sale spans 1,300 years of cultural history and includes world heritage manuscripts such as the Crosby-Schøyen Codex, the Holkham Hebrew Bible, the Codex Sinaiticus Rescriptus and the Geraardsbergen Bible, but also Greek literature, humanist masterpieces, early English law, a historically important Scottish chronicle, and the earliest known book-binding.”

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Pagan prisoners allowed wands, tarot cards and altars – but not nudity

New rules to cope with the growing numbers of pagan prison inmates ban nudity but allow wands, tarot cards and altars.

There were 79 pagans in prisons in England and Wales at the start of the millennium, compared with 1,172 now, making them the fourth most common religion registered by offenders.

It puts them behind Christians (37,601), Muslims (14,991) and Buddhists (1,643), but ahead of Rastfarians (794) and other religious groups including Hindus, Sikhs and Jews each numbered fewer than 600.

Academics have linked the rise to the sense of belonging and the society that paganism provides in the environment of a prison. Others have pointed to its association with Right-wing ideology. 

It mirrors to some extent a rise in pagans in society, from 57,000 in 2011 to 74,000 in 2021, according to the census.

‘Skyclad (naked) worship not permitted’

The new prison guidance – covering all religions represented in prisons, from Zoroastrianism to Humanism – includes the artefacts that pagan inmates are allowed to have and how they should be handled. 

Although most wear ordinary clothes for worship, some traditions have special dress such as a hoodless robe, the guidance notes, but adds: “In prison, Skyclad (naked) worship is not permitted.”

Some pagans use tarot cards for meditation and guidance, which, governors are advised, may be allowed under the supervision of their prison’s pagan chaplain.

“If a prisoner requests to be allowed to retain a part or full pack in possession, this may be allowed, but only following a local risk assessment, to determine whether there is any reason to preclude cards being kept in possession,” it says.

Altars are allowed – “ie desk, small table, box or similar” – as long as there is space and at local discretion. They are also permitted a “flexible twig for a wand”, rune stones, pendulum, crystals, chalice and religious jewellery such as pentagram necklace or ring.

However, it warns: “Such jewellery should be risk assessed in the usual way. The wearing of a ring which symbolises the person’s adherence to paganism or a particular pagan path is common. The removal of such a ring may cause considerable distress.”

Data routinely published by the Ministry of Justice shows how many prisoners follow the major religions, but excludes paganism and Rastafarianism.

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I was at Agia Marina when they found Dr Michael Mosley’s body

For five days I watched as Greece’s emergency services scoured the tiny island of Symi for any sign of Dr Michael Mosley who disappeared during a lunchtime walk while on holiday with his wife.

Teams of firefighters, police officers and rescue volunteers could be seen every morning combing the harsh mountainous terrain in temperatures of 37 degrees for any sign of the television presenter.

Each night they returned, exhausted and dejected.

In the end, it was a bar manager who discovered the father of four’s remains, only 50 yards away from an idyllic beach resort.

At 10.20am Agia Marina was packed with sunbathers and swimmers enjoying the 30C (86F) temperatures on Sunday morning.

Accompanied by the island’s mayor, The Telegraph took a boat to the resort after spotting a team of firefighters searching a nearby network of tunnels, known locally as the Abyss, the day before.

Yet 10 minutes after we docked, a panicked shout cut through the air: “They’ve found a body.”

We scrambled to follow Ilias Tsavaris, the 38-year-old manager of the resort, up towards the hills surrounding the bay.

Clutching his nose in his T-shirt, Tsavaris strode up the side of a chain link fence on the resort’s perimeter, shouting instructions to his colleagues.

A dark mass lying on a rocky patch of ground leading upwards from the shore came closer into view. There was no doubt it was Dr Mosley.

A purple umbrella, the key item which officers had used to trace Dr Mosley’s 5km route, towards the resort via CCTV footage, lay nearby.

Bar staff further down to the beach began frantically calling the police.

Twenty minutes later, a small boat ferrying forensic experts along with several police officers, arrived at the scene.

We watched as one police officer, in his haste to reach the remains, injured his leg after trying to vault over a stone wall and had to be stretchered away by colleagues.

Half a dozen uniformed firefighters quickly followed in tow, bringing an orange stretcher.

For 40 minutes, forensic experts examined the scene and searched through the contents of Dr Mosley’s black backpack bag which lay around 20ft away.

His body was then taken away on a stretcher and carried by four firefighters onto a boat to be taken to Rhodes for a post-mortem.

All the while, holidaymakers at the opposite end of the resort continued to sunbathe and swim in the sea, seemingly oblivious to what was unfolding. A group of young Italian men played water polo with an inflatable football.

For some of the resort staff it was business as usual as they continued to take food and drink orders from the beachgoers.

Shock and disbelief was etched across Mr Tsavaris’ face as he questioned why rescuers had not found the body earlier.

“They had searched that area every day with helicopters,” he said.

A crew of firefighters had been spotted by The Telegraph searching a rocky outcrop above a subterranean network of tunnels known locally as The Abyss, near to where Dr Mosley was found, only the day before.

One of the three firefighters had only one word to say when asked about the success of the 40 minute-long search the previous day.

“Nothing,” he replied, drenched in sweat.

Asked whether they had any further idea on where Dr Mosley could be, he replied despondently: “Everywhere.”

Mr Tsavaris, recounting the discovery of Dr Mosley, said: “You don’t see a dead body every day, it is not a war zone, it’s summer you are supposed to have fun and swimming.”

When asked how he was coping in the aftermath of the discovery, he simply replied “OK” with an accompanying thumbs up before walking away to take orders from the customers.

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