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Meredith's mother " shocked" at ruling

The mother of murdered Leeds University student Meredith Kercher said she was "surprised and very shocked" by an Italian court's decision to overturn the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

The decision by the supreme Court of Cassation is the final ruling in the case, ending the long legal battle waged by Ms Knox and her ex-boyfriend.

Ms Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in her bedroom in 2007 while studying in Perugia, Italy.

Arline Kercher, Meredith's mother, said she had heard little more about the decision other than the verdict.

She told the Press Association: "(I am) a bit surprised, and very shocked, but that is about it at the moment.

"They have been convicted twice so it's a bit odd that it should change now."

Asked whether she had any plans following the ruling, she said: "I really don't know at the moment, I haven't got any plans."

Former lovers cleared of Kercher murder

An Italian court has overturned the conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Leeds University student Meredith Kercher.

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have been cleared of the murder of Leeds University student Meredith Kercher

The decision by the supreme Court of Cassation is the final ruling in the case, ending the long legal battle waged by Ms Knox and her ex-boyfriend. Ms Kercher, a 21-year-old from Coulsdon, Surrey, was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in her bedroom in 2007 while studying in Perugia, Italy.

Her flatmate Ms Knox, a student from Seattle in the US, and Mr Sollecito spent four years in jail for the murder but were acquitted on appeal in 2011.

Ms Knox returned to the US before an appeal court threw out the acquittal and reinstated her and Mr Sollecito's guilty verdicts last year.

But Italy's highest court today overturned last year's convictions and declined to order another trial.

Ms Knox, who is now 27, awaited for the verdict in her hometown of Seattle. Her Italian former boyfriend Mr Sollecito, 30, had his travel documents seized while the court proceedings were ongoing.

The judges will release the reasons for their decision within 90 days after concluding that a conviction could not be supported by the evidence.

Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresca said earlier this week: "The interest of the family is to arrive to the end of this trial. They want to be able to remember Meredith outside of the court room."

Ms Knox said last year she would become a "fugitive" if convicted and would have to be taken back "kicking and screaming" to Italy.

Last month, she announced her engagement to 27-year-old musician and school friend Colin Sutherland, who wrote to her while she was in jail.

Following the court's decision, Ms Knox's lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said: "Finished! It couldn't be better than this,"

Prosecutors claimed that Ms Kercher, a Leeds University Student, was the victim of a drug-fuelled sex game gone wrong.

But Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito consistently protested their innocence and claimed they were not in the apartment the night she died.

Rudy Guede, a drug dealer, is serving a 16-year sentence over the deat

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Uni staff strike over pay

Members of the Unite union at Leeds University say they are effectively having their pay "eroded" Credit: Gareth Copley/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Staff at Leeds and Lincoln Universities are on strike today in a row over pay. The Unite union says it's members pay has been effectively "eroded" by 13 per cent because their pay has failed to stay in line with inflation.

Final appeal on Meredith murder

Amanda Knox Credit: ITV News

Judges could officially clear Amanda Knox of the 2007 murder of former Leeds University student Meredith Kercher today.

Italy's Supreme Court will rule whether there are grounds for a retrial against Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.

The pair were cleared of 21-year-old Merdeith's murder on appeal, 17 months ago, due to a bungled police investigation.

They were initially jailed after Meredith was found with her throat cut in the house she shared with 25-year-old Knox in Perugia.

Merdeith Kercher Credit: ITV News

A panel of judges will meet in Rome to rule whether legal codes were applied fairly.

They could order a new trial or close the case completely.

Drifter Rudy Guede is already serving 16 years for Meredith's murder

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Ex- Leeds Uni band win Mercury Prize

Mercury Prize winners Alt-J Credit: Press Association

Indie quartet Alt-J have won the prestigious Barclaycard Mercury Prize for their album An Awesome Wave. The band members, who met at Leeds University in 2007, looked stunned as they collected the award - despite long being the bookies' favourites.

After five years of hard work, the band beat acts such as rapper Plan B to win the £20,000 award at the Roundhouse in Camden, north London.

Richard Hawley Credit: Press Association

Sheffield singer-songwriter Richard Hawley, who was nominated for his album Standing At The Sky's Edge, narrowly missed out again - six years after claiming he was controversially "robbed".

Accepting the award on stage, Alt-J - which comprises Thom Green (drums), Joe Newman (guitar/vocals), Gwil Sainsbury (guitarist/bassist) and Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards) - said there were too many people to thank but did thank their parents for "not making us get jobs".

Former Leeds College of Music students Roller Trio were also nominated for their eponymously-named funk-infused jazz album .

Roller Trio Credit: Press Association

York University rises in world rankings

York University Central Hall Credit: ITV Yorkshire

York University has risen up an international league table to just outside the world's top 100 universities. York has jumped from 121st place last year to 103rd in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

But Sheffield University has fallen nine places to joint 110th and Leeds University has dropped from 133rd to joint 142nd

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