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Family of ex-Royal Marine killed fighting IS speak of pride

The devastated family of ex-Royal Marine Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, killed in Syria fighting Islamic State militants, have paid tribute to the soldier.

In a statement, they said:

His flame might have burned briefly but it burned brightly with love, courage, conviction and honour and we are very proud of him.

– Scurfield family statement

Chemistry teacher was 'prepared to murder in Syria'

A chemistry teacher who wanted to travel to Syria to fight with Islamic State was prepared to commit "multiple acts of murder", a court has heard.

Jamshed Javeed, who allegedly planned to fight alongside Islamic State militants in Syria. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Jamshed Javeed, 30, who taught children aged 11 to 16 at a school in Bolton, last year admitted two counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.

During his sentencing hearing today, prosecutor Simon Denison QC said Javeed's intended to engage in action that would have "involved the use of firearms and/or explosives" in Syria in 2013.

Mr Denison said the father-of-one was committed to engaging in "multiple acts of murder".

Javeed, from Levenshulme in Manchester, was scuppered in his attempts to travel when his family hid his clothes along with his passport.

Javeed admitted he intended to travel to join Syrian rebels in fighting against the "vicious" Assad regime, but he claims he has never supported the aims of Islamic State "as now revealed and understood".

The sentencing hearing is scheduled to last two days.


  1. West Country (E)

'You single-handedly brought a city together'

Becky's Uncle, Joe Galsworthy, has released an emotional letter:

You were a shining light in this dark world and, as I lay in bed tonight, I'll gaze at the stars and I know the brightest one I see will be you smiling back at me - you are at peace now my beautiful niece.

Sleep tight and never forget a family's love is immovable, an uncle's love is inseparable, and for a shy 16-year-old girl who was afraid to meet new people, you single-handedly brought a city together. Forever in our hearts. From Uncle Joe."

– Joe Galsworthy, Uncle

David Cameron: Let's get on with TV debates

David Cameron said he wants to "get on" with the televised leaders debates - but again refused to confirm whether he will take part.

David Cameron reacting during Prime Minister's Questions. Credit: ITV News

Mr Miliband challenged the Prime Minister to commit to the proposed April 30 date between the two candidates, just a week before voters head to the polls.

Miliband asked Mr Cameron: "I will be at that debate - will you be at that debate?"

But the Prime Minister avoided the question, refusing to commit to the head-to-head debate.

He told Mr Miliband: "I say let's have these debates, let's get on with them before the election."

Broadcasters have proposed a series of debates, including two seven-way contests and one head-to- head between Mr Cameron and Mr Miliband during the election campaign, but the party leaders are yet to confirm whether the debates will go ahead.

Farage 'concerned' Ukip being perceived as prejudiced

Nigel Farage admitted he was "concerned" that Ukip was being perceived as prejudiced after announcing the party's immigration policy.

"I don't want this party to be perceived as anything other than an open, inclusive political party, which without doubt it is," he said following a speech in central London.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage announces the party's immigration policy. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

"I want to live in a country that is at ease with itself, where we speak the same language ... where our kids can play football with each other, and we all get on," Farage said.

He also insisted there had been "no softening" of Ukip's approach on immigration, calling it "firm but fair".


PM challenges Labour to rule out 'grubby' SNP deal

David Cameron has challenged Labour to rule out a "grubby" coalition deal with the Scottish National Party to protect Britain's nuclear deterrent.

David Cameron speaking in the Commons today. Credit: ITV News

Last month, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon told ITV News that Labour would have to agree to scrap the Trident nuclear programme in any potential coalition deal between the two parties after May's election.

Responding to a question from former defence secretary Liam Fox, the Prime Minister said he would never get involved in any coalition deal to remove Trident ahead of its planned renewal in the next parliament.

He said it was "concerning that almost three-quarters of Labour candidates oppose renewal of trident".

"Now is the time for Labour to rule out any agreement with the SNP because no-one wants to see some grubby deal between the people who want to break up the United Kingdom and the people who want to bankrupt the United Kingdom," Mr Cameron told MPs.

Farage promises 'common sense' immigration approach

Nigel Farage has promised a "common sense" approach to immigration after dropping proposals to introduce a 50,000 cap on net migration.

The Ukip leader said he would restore "sanity" by introducing an Australian-style points-based system to control who would be allowed to settle in the UK and take back control of the borders by leaving the European Union.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage unveils the party's immigration policy. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Farage claimed that under the plan, 27,000 people would have been granted entry to Britain last year and it was "very unlikely that we would need 50,000 people".

"We as a party hold no prejudice against anyone on the grounds of their nationality, their religion or their race," He told an audience in central London. "But we are calling for a return to sanity."

Court told of bizarre torture tactics used on tragic Ayesha

Tragic Ayesha Ali was tortured for months before she was found dead on the floor of her bedroom in London, a jury heard - with her mother and her mother's lover taking it in turns to deliberately terrify her during the night by wearing a bizarre monster mask.

Her mother, Polly Chowdhury, would punish her by hitting her with her hand or a wooden spoon, while Chowdhury's lesbian lover Kiki Muddar gave her a cold bath for wetting the bed.

The jury at the Old Bailey heard that they would also take it in turns to wear the scary mask in the girl's room at night to frighten her into better behaviour.

A neighbour reported hearing her screaming in the night, pleading with her mother: "Amah, I don't want to be bad, Amah, Amah I don't want to be bad."

Chowdhury and Muddar were both convicted of manslaughter today and will be sentenced on Friday.

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