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Bradford fire brought under control by 12 crews

A fire which broke out at an industrial unit in Bradford took twelve fire crews to tackle it, say West Yorkshire Fire Service.

Bradford fire brought under control by 12 crews

The building's roof has collapsed and several cars were damaged as fire fighters tackled the blaze from outside as tyres and gas prevented them from entering.

Roads around the unit have been reopened and crews are investigating the cause of the fire.

Fraudsters jailed for 18 years

The two ringleaders of one of the UK’s largest ever cheque fraud gangs were sent to prison for a total of 18 years at Bradford Crown Court.

Charles Nyongo was sentenced to nine years in prison

The sentence follows a nationwide police operation by the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU) during which £6.5 million worth of stolen and fake cheques were seized.

Onais Hove, 43 of Barnsley, and Charles Nyongo, 43 of Hunslet, Leeds, led an organised criminal gang responsible for stealing and fraudulently manufacturing bank cheques.

The sophisticated gang intercepted completed cheques in the post, which they then altered, or photographed blank ones using smartphones to capture the legitimate details which they used to create fake cheques.

Originating in Scotland, the group’s criminality spread throughout the country to London. The gang’s victims were widespread, but included hospices, schools, golf clubs and the elderly.

Onais Hove was sentenced to nine years in prison

The stolen or fake cheques would be cashed through ‘mule’ bank accounts - third party accounts which were usually held by students or more vulnerable members of society.

The DCPCU investigation, which began in April 2012, included officers from eight police forces across the country carrying out a number of coordinated raids.

During the property searches, officers seized almost 3000 stolen or fake cheques, the most ever recorded by the banking industry, along with the specialist ink and paper used in their manufacture.

Police also uncovered computers with cheque templates and ready-made identity kits for ‘mules’ to open false bank accounts. The recovered cheques had a total value of over £6.5 million.

We have dismantled a highly organised and professional fraud gang – one of the largest of its kind ever seen in the UK. As the ringleaders, Hove and Nyongo were ruthlessly indiscriminate in selecting their victims. Their knowledge of the bank cheque system was considerable, and our investigation revealed a series of fraud factories across the country.

We are delighted to have brought these criminals to justice and to have removed the threat they posed to British banks and their customers.

– DCI Perry Stokes, Head of the DCPCU

Both Hove and Nyongo received sentences of nine years each.

The DCPCU is pro-active police unit sponsored by the banking industry and is made up of officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service.

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Large fire at Bradford industrial unit

Life sentence for double murderer

A racist alcoholic with a history of violence who murdered two of his friends in a drunken frenzied attack has been jailed for at least 30 years.

37-year-old Austin Brayford filmed the body of one of his victims on his phone in his flat in the Little Horton area of Bradford before he fled to Blackpool where he told a waitress what he had done.

Today at Leeds Crown Court he was jailed for life after admitting killing Czech national Ivo Spratek and his girlfriend Helen Dawson in July.

The court heard Brayford had never revealed a motive for the murders, but the judge concluded the killings were in part racially motivated because when he was arrested Brayford had been shouting abuse about Polish immigrants in the mistaken belief his victims were Polish.

John Hill reports:

Reward offered for violent robbery information

A reward is being offered for a violent robbery, which left a a shop owner with part of his thumb severed.

Tasawar Iqbal, 39, was attacked when four men attempted to rob his convenience store in Wibsey on Wednesday 21st May this year.

The suspects were Asian and in their late teens, wearing dark hooded tops with their hoods up and dark tracksuit bottoms. They were all described as skinny and about six feet tall.

Crimestoppers is facilitating the offer of a reward of up to £5,000 for information that is passed to the charity’s anonymous 0800 555 111 number leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

This attack was particularly violent which is why the culprits must be caught. I urge anyone with information to contact Crimestoppers immediately without the fear of their identity being revealed. No-one who provides information to Crimestoppers need ever be concerned about giving statements to police or having to go to court.

– Gemma Wilson, Crimestoppers’ Regional Manager for Yorkshire and Humberside

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Man threatened with 'meat cleaver' in Bradford robbery

A man has been threatened with what police believe was a meat cleaver during a robbery in Bradford.

It happened around 7pm on Friday October 3, at West Park Fisheries.

A 30-year-old member of staff left the shop from a back door which leads onto Young Street when he was targeted by three male suspects.

Detective Inspector Neil Banstead said: "After making threats with what is thought to have been a meat cleaver or large knife an amount of cash was taken by the suspects who assaulted the victim before leaving the scene. The victim suffered cuts to his arm and bruising to his face."

All three suspects are believed to be Asian. The first man who had the knife, was around 25 years old, 5ft 11ins tall, medium to stocky build and wearing grey cotton tracksuit bottoms and a black hooded top with a white scarf covering part of his face.

The second man, was aged in his mid twenties, and wearing a bandana over his face and possibly a leather jacket.

The third suspect was around 6ft tall and bulkier than the other two.

Det Insp Banstead added:" This was a disturbing incident that has understandably left the victim shaken and it's important these men are identified and brought before the courts."

Grand opening of £34m 'poo-powered' site

The conclusion of a two-year, £34 million project to create a self-powered sewage works in Bradford was marked with a grand opening today.

The new BioThelys Sludge Treatment Plant Credit: Yorkshire Water

Yorkshire Water’s Esholt site will become the company’s first entirely ‘poo-powered’ site thanks to one of the UK’s only operational BioThelys Sludge Treatment Plants.

The technology creates enough renewable energy to power the 750-acre site by generating biogas from the 30,000 tonnes of sludge that comes through the site each year.

Yorkshire Water Chief Executive Richard Flint and Community Engagement Manager John Bond formally open the new technology with Bradford Lord Mayor Cllr Mike Gibbons. Credit: Yorkshire Water

Yorkshire Water says it will reduce their carbon footprint by 9,000 tonnes a year.

The process also creates a product which can be used as a fertiliser by local farmers.

Police believe man died after falling ill at wheel

Police are appealing for witnesses following a fatal crash in Tingley last night.

At about 8.20pm a Renault HGV left the carriageway and collided with a lamppost on the A653 Dewsbury Road, 60 metres south of the junction with the A650 Bradford Road.

Emergency services attended the scene and the driver of the vehicle, a 52-year-old man from Bradford, was pronounced dead. It is thought he may have been taken ill at the wheel.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact police.

CCTV image of missing mother released

West Yorkshire Police has released a CCTV image of missing mother Rowena Gartland.

CCTV image of missing Bradford mother Rowena Gartland Credit: West Yorkshire Police

The camera footage was captured on Wednesday, October 1, at the Asda store, in Forster Square, Bradford between 1.15pm and 2.20pm. Rowena, 35, of Laisterdyke was reported missing in the early hours of this morning.

She was last sighted at 7:45pm the same day driving a blue Suzuki Swift, registration number Y971 RWR, at Shipley Fields, Shipley. The last contact traced her mobile phone to the Queensbury area shortly after midnight.

Rowena is a mixed race female, she is 5ft 8inches tall, of medium build, with a long, wavy, auburn, ginger weave. She was last seen wearing a beige flowery top, black leggings, white trainers and a denim jacket.

We are extremely concerned for Rowena's safety and would like to trace her as soon as possible. If anyone has any information which could help our investigation, please contact Bradford CID on 101."

– Detective Inspector Neil Benstead, Bradford CID
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