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Leeds man among eight in court over fatal arson attack

An innocent family perished in a petrol-fuelled blaze at their home when it was mistakenly targeted in a revenge attack following the fatal stabbing of a fitness coach, a court has heard.

Bilal and Jamal Taufiq

Shehnila Taufiq, 47, her 19-year-old daughter Zainab, and sons Bilal, 17, and Jamal, 15, all died when the fire engulfed their terraced house in Wood Hill, Leicester, in the early hours of September 13 last year.

Aaron Jeffers who is 21 and from Carr Mills, Buslingthorpe, Leeds and Kemo Porter, 19, Tristan Richards, 22, Nathaniel Mullings, 19, Shaun Carter, 24, Jackson Powell, 20, Aaron Webb, 20, and a 17-year-old youth who cannot be named for legal reasons, each deny murdering the family.

Opening the Crown's case against the eight defendants in their trial at Nottingham Crown Court today, prosecutor Richard Latham QC told the jury the fire was a "retribution process" for the fatal stabbing of their friend, Antoin Akpom, hours earlier.

Mr Latham told the jury the Taufiq family had no connection to the incident involving Mr Akpom or the eight defendants.

The court heard that Mr Akpom had been stabbed in the back in a "confrontation" involving two 19-year-olds, Hussain Hussain and Abdul Hakim, at around 5.30pm on September 12, less than a mile away in Kent Street. He was pronounced dead in hospital at 7pm.

Hussain was jailed for life with a minimum term of 15 years for Mr Akpom's murder following a trial at Stafford Crown Court earlier this month.

The jury was told that Hakim's mother lived two doors down from the arson attack on the Taufiq family home.

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Did Richard III undergo painful treatment for spine?

Portrait of King Richard III Credit: University of Leicester

King Richard the Third, whose bones were discovered in a car park in Leicester, could have undergone painful medical treatments for his spinal curvature, according to research from a University of Leicester researcher.

In the late medieval period, one of the cures for spinal curvature, or scoliosis, was "traction". Traction worked on the same principle on which “the Rack” worked as an instrument of torture.

The patient would be tied under the armpits and round the legs. The ropes were then pulled at either end, often on a wooden roller, to stretch the patient’s spine.

Richard III would certainly have been able to afford this expensive medical care – and his physicians would have been well aware of the standard “traction” methods for treating the condition.

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Midlands hospitals ready to take on patients from Leeds

Surgeons in theatre Credit: PA

Birmingham Children's Hospital and Glenfield Hospital in Leicester say they are ready to take on patients from Leeds General Infirmary.

Children's congenital heart surgery service has been suspended at the Yorkshire hospital whilst an internal review is carried out by the Care Quality Commission.

It's after data suggested a death rate twice the national average.

Giles Peak is the Head of Children's Heart Surgery at Glenfield Hospital. He has confirmed to ITV News Central that the hospital is ready to take on patients that need surgery.

He is awaiting a decision to be made in Leeds as to where the patients need to go.

A spokesperson for Birmingham Children's Hospital said they were also ready to take on patients in urgent cases, should the need arise.

For more on this read ITV News.

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The face of Richard III officially unveiled to the world's media

After centuries of speculation, the face of King Richard III has been unveiled

A reconstruction of the head of King Richard III has been unveiled to the world's media in London following yesterday's announcement that his skeleton had been found under a Leicester car park.

The model was built using a CT scan taken of the king's skull by the archaeological dig.

The unveiling is being held at The Society of Antiquaries in London.

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Richard III Twitter jokes

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Richard III: How researchers know it is him

  • The skeleton had suffered severe trauma to the skull and had metal arrow in its back
  • It had a curved spine, consistent with accounts of Richard III's appearance
  • The remains were found in the area where the king was recorded to have been buried after his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
  • DNA taken from the skeleton has been analysed and compared with that of Michael Ibsen, a descendant of Richard III's family.
  • Radiocarbon tests and genealogical studies have taken place
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First full picture of 'Richard III' skeleton

The University of Leicester releases an image of the first full picture of the skeleton believed to be Richard III. Credit: University of Leicester

The University of Leicester has released an image of the first full picture of the uncovered skeleton thought to be Richard III, ahead a news conference this morning to confirm whether or not the remains belong to the late king.

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