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Prosecutor warns of drink-drive consequences

The Chief Crown Prosecutor for Yorkshire and Humberside has issued a warning about the consequences of drinking and driving.

We all want to have a relaxing holiday and a Merry Christmas. We’re not saying that people shouldn’t enjoy themselves. Happily, the majority of drinkers drink responsibly and do not engage in criminal behaviour. But for those who do, it’s an unfortunate but inescapable fact that alcohol and crime can go hand in hand. At the CPS we know only too well the catastrophic consequences to victims that can be caused, for example, by drink driving. Over the years, we have seen many tragic cases in Yorkshire and Humberside where drink driving has led to a death or really serious injury. The impact on victims and their families lasts a lifetime and is always devastating. The relationship between alcohol and other types of crime such as domestic violence, assault, sexual assault, murder and manslaughter is also clear. In over twenty years as a prosecutor, I have, sadly, heard enough to know that alcohol is very often a factor in many of the cases we put before the courts. Nobody wants to see another shattered life or family ripped apart. Drinking to excess could lead to a criminal conviction, with all the emotional and practical costs that entails.

– Martin Goldman, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Yorkshire and Humberside
  • If you’re under the influence of drink or drugs the chances of committing a much more serious offence are dramatically increased.
  • If there is evidence that alcohol or drugs have been involved in any crime, you’re very likely to be facing a steeper sentence if you’re convicted.
  • The results of a drink drive conviction can be severe. There are a range of sentencing options, from prison, to community orders, fines and driving bans. As well as having a criminal record and increased insurance premiums, a driving ban can have a significant impact on your life – especially if you rely on driving to do their your job.
  • A conviction for causing death by dangerous or careless driving where drink or drugs have been taken by the driver will almost always result in a prison sentence.
  • The maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs is 14 years. The maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving alone is five years in prison.
  • About a million criminal cases a year - between 40 and 50% of all violent crime –– is alcohol related.

Pupils at Doncaster's School for the Deaf perform Christmas carols

At this time of the year you'll probably hear people singing a lot of Christmas carols. But imagine if you want to join in the fun but can't hear the music. That's not stopped youngsters from Doncaster's School for the Deaf from performing festive tunes. After appearing at the town's Frenchgate Centre, they put on a very special performance for Calendar.

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Muslims for Humanity spread winter cheer

Volunteers from the Huddersfield Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) visited Children’s ward at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Hospital delivering gifts to spread seasonal joy.

The initiative is part of the AMYA’s national ‘Muslims for Humanity’ campaign. Its volunteers are aiming to bring a smile to the vulnerable and sick over the winter.

As a youth charity we try to educate young people that each of us has a social responsibility to help our local communities, especially those challenged by sickness. We are trying to do this by getting out into the community and offering smiles and some simple gifts. I was extremely touched by the warm response of the local staff who are truly inspirational people.

– Tariq Mahmood, local youth leader for Huddersfield Chapter
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British Gas customers get early warm home discount

Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/

Most British Gas customers have received their warm home discounts a month earlier than last year, according to the energy supplier. The firm said over half a million of its most vulnerable customers have received their £140 credit in time for the festive season.

This is 130,000 more than last year's figure.

The warm home discount was introduced by the Government and is delivered by energy suppliers to help those most in need such as pensioners on low incomes.

In total, British Gas expects to pay 600,000 of its customers a total of #84 million through the scheme this financial year.

Stephen Beynon, managing director of residential energy at British Gas, said:

No one should be left in the cold during the winter months, especially at Christmas. That's why we've worked hard to deliver the majority of the warm home discount before the holiday period, and give our customers who are most in need £140 to help with their energy bills.

We do a lot to help people who are struggling with their energy bills and last year we spent more than £380 million helping our elderly, disabled and most in need customers. Anyone who's worried about rising costs can - and should - contact their energy provider or a relevant charity to discuss the help available.

– Stephen Beynon,

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Tour de Yorkshire locations to be announced

The 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour de France began in Leeds Credit: Press Association

It's expected to build on the legacy of this year's Grand Depart and help the region's economy - now, some of the places on the route for next year's Tour de Yorkshire will be announced today.

The race will take place in May next year and the announcement about the full route will be made in January, with 100 days to go.

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Man shot dead in Sheffield city centre

Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A man has been shot dead and another injured as they sat in a car in Sheffield city centre.

The men, both 22, were shot in Derek Dooley Way, Sheffield, at around 10.15pm on Sunday, South Yorkshire Police said.

They were taken to hospital but the driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead. The passenger remains in hospital in a stable condition, police said.

Both men are from the Sheffield area. No one has been arrested, police said.

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