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Witness foils attempted robbery of woman in Sheffield

Police in Sheffield are appealing for witnesses following the attempted robbery of a 59-year-old woman.

At 2.15pm on Monday 16 February, a 59-year-old woman was walking along Holme Lane, Sheffield, when she was said to have been approached by an unknown man who tried to steal her bag.

Another man, who witnessed it, is then thought to have challenged the suspect, who fled empty-handed in the direction of Malin Bridge.

Police would like to speak to anyone who witnessed this incident, specifically the man who intervened in order to assist the woman.

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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
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Ex-Marine killed in Syria 'wanted to make a difference'

Scurfield is believed to have died in battle on Monday.

A former Royal Marine that died fighting against Islamic State in Syria had travelled there to "help other people and to make a difference", his ex-girlfriend has said.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Jemma Weston described her former partner Konstandinos Erik Scurfield as "amazing" for "doing an unselfish act" in joining Kurdish forces' efforts against the militant group.

Scurfield was reportedly shot dead on Monday during a battle in the frontline village of Tel Khuzela.

Weston said that while they had ended their relationship, Scurfield had told her he wanted to return home to her, and said she was heartbroken at the news of his death.

Scurfield was an expert in battlefield medicine, and Weston said he believed going to help against IS was something he had to do.

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Brit killed in Syria 'originally went to give medical aid'

An ex-Royal Marine killed while fighting against Islamic State militants alongside Kurdish forces originally headed to Syria to provide medical aid, an MP has said.

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield Credit: Facebook/Jordan Matson

In an interview with Sky News, Dan Jarvis, who represents the Barnsley Central constituency, said he believed Konstandinos Erik Scurfield had travelled to the troubled region for "honourable reasons".

My understanding is that he had very significant ideological concerns about what is happening, about the actions Islamic State were taking in the region, and he wanted to make a contribution.

My understanding is that he went there to make a humanitarian contribution, he didn't go there to fight, he provided medical assistance.

In terms of precisely what's happened, we don't know yet but my understanding was that he went there for honourable reasons.

– Dan Jarvis MP, Barnsley Central

He urged anyone else with "legitimate concerns" about Islamic State not to travel to the Middle East, and instead support charities working in the region.

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North Yorkshire village to benefit from proposed fuel rebate

Drivers in some of the most remote parts of the UK, including a village in North Yorkshire, are to get a discount on petrol and diesel thanks to a rebate scheme.

North Yorkshire village to benefit from fuel rebate Credit: Press Association

The rural fuel rebate is being extended to 17 of the most isolated communities in Scotland and England at the end of May, allowing motorists living there to get 5p off every litre.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said the move will help up to 125,000 people in areas that are currently faced with some of the highest fuel prices in the country.

It is the first time that the European Union has approved a fuel discount for people living on the UK mainland.

Currently, islanders off the coast of Scotland and in the Isles of Scilly are eligible for a 5p discount on petrol and diesel because the costs of transporting fuel there means prices at the pump are much higher.

From the start of next month, people living in 17 parts of the UK will be able to register for the scheme, with the rebate then coming into effect from May 31.

Mr Alexander said: "Thanks to my action in Government, motorists across some of the UK's most remote rural areas will now benefit from a fuel discount.

"I have made introducing the rural fuel rebate a top priority because I know from my own experience that cars are a necessity, not a luxury, for people living in remote communities - and that petrol in these areas is far more expensive than the rest of the UK.

"People will see lower prices from the end of May, with filling stations in the 17 selected areas able to register for the scheme from April 1. Combined with the current fall in oil prices and the freeze in fuel duty rates nationwide, this 5p discount on fuel prices will provide a much-needed boost to families who face the highest fuel prices."

The rebate will apply in the postcode areas IV14, IV21, IV22, IV26, IV27, IV54, PH19, PH23, PH36, PH41 and KW12, all in the Scottish Highlands, as well as those in the PA38 and PA80 areas of Argyll and Bute.

In England it will help those in the NE48 area of Northumberland, the LA17 area of Cumbria, the EX35 area of Devon and Hawes in North Yorkshire.

Top teen author visits students for World Book Day

Award-winning author of teen thrillers James Dawson visited a school in Leeds this week to mark World Book Day.

James Dawson with students at The Grammar School at Leeds

His latest novel, Under My Skin, which is a modern take on the classic Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde story, was released today and he spoke yesterday to students at The Grammar School at Leeds about it.

It is a feminist teenage fiction novel concerning the tug of war for Sally’s body. I have given darkness a character of its own.

– James Dawson, author

Under My Skin is told from the perspective of a teenage girl, and Dawson championed feminist issues during his talk, praising role models like author Malorie Blackman, actor Emma Watson, Olympian Jessica Ennis Hill and he youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner and campaigner for girls’ education, Malala Yousafzai.

The students thoroughly enjoyed James’s entertaining and thought-provoking talk. I think it is important to promote a love of reading and it was wonderful to hear James address an issue which is important in society today.

– Judith Kerr, Deputy Head of English at GSAL

Hague: Miliband could 'run Doncaster'

Ed Miliband could be running Doncaster by 2018 should his progress up the town's power list continue at its current rate, William Hague has said.

Ed Miliband could be running Doncaster by 2018 should his progress up the town's power list continue at its current rate, William Hague has said. Credit: Press Association

The senior Tory mocked the Labour leader in the Commons by noting he is regarded as the fourth most influential person in the list compiled for the Doncaster Free Press.

Doncaster North MP Mr Miliband was judged to have less influence than One Direction's Louis Tomlinson, who was born in Doncaster, the council's chief executive and the town's elected mayor.

But MPs heard the Opposition leader's current ranking was a boost from last year's sixth.

To laughter, Tory backbencher Philip Davies (Shipley) told Commons Leader Mr Hague: "You were rather unfair to the leader of the Opposition.

"You were right he came fourth in the Doncaster power list but I thought it was churlish of you not to mention he'd gone up two places from last year from sixth."

Mr Hague replied: "It is a faster rate of advance than normal by (Mr Miliband) and it means he may be in with a chance of running Doncaster by the year 2018.

"So, I welcome your analysis on that."

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