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Empty boarded up shops having 'negative impact' in Lincoln

There are claims that empty boarded up shops are negatively impacting tourism and small businesses in the centre of Lincoln.

A Business Action Group says although business is booming in parts of the city - one street in Lincoln has 18 shops on it which are now closed. But others say the city does not have a problem - and fairs well when compared to others across the country. Kate Hemingway reports:

Rapist trio jailed

A group of men are behind bars for raping a woman, even though the judge had stopped the trial as he did not think there was enough evidence.

The case centred around whether a 23-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gave consent when she was raped at flat in Lincoln in 2012.

In a rare move the Crown Prosecution Service went to the Court of Appeal in London to get the case restarted.

Senior judges there overruled the decision to halt the trial and earlier this week the three men, who all in their 40s, were found guilty,

Today they were each jailed for six years. Martin Fisher has the story:

Katie Russell from Rape Crisis then gave her view of the case to John and Claire:

CPS: Protracted attack lasted 20 hours

In a statement read to the court, the victim described how the ordeal had left her unable to form relationships and suffering from panic attacks.

She said it caused her "upset and stress".

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the victim was subjected to "a protracted attack" which "lasted 20 hours".

Lawrence English, CPS East Midlands Senior District Crown Prosecutor, said: "This was rape as it was clear the woman was in no state to consent to sex.

"While it is, of course, true that lack of memory, on its own, does not prove lack of consent, the context in this case showed that this victim was taken advantage of because she was incapacitated, and that she could not have consented to sexual activity.

"It is against the law to engage in sexual activity with someone who is clearly unable, through drink, to give their consent. We are pleased that the Court of Appeal ruled in the way it did and the case proceeded to the jury for a verdict.

"The victim in this case has shown tremendous courage in this case. She suffered an horrific ordeal because of the actions of these three men and we are satisfied to see justice has been served."

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Judge: Rapists used woman as "a shared commodity"

Judge Pini made no mention of the Court of Appeal intervention in his trial when he sentenced the trio today.

The trio were jailed for six years

He described how the woman had already had a lot to drink when she was picked up by three men, including two of the defendants, outside a Lincoln nightclub in October 2012 and taken to a party.

The judge said the woman consumed more alcohol at the party where she had sex with each of the three men in turn.

Her sexual activity with Armitage was filmed on a phone.

Judge Pini said she was "used as a shared commodity" by the defendants.

All three of you had sex with her when she was so intoxicated she was helpless.

She had lost the capacity to evaluate, discriminate and make meaningful choices.

She had no capacity to consent. You all had no reasonable belief she was consenting.

– Judge John Pini QC

The court was told that divorced father-of-two Armitage served with distinction in the British Army for 10 years, including in the first Gulf War. Segiet and Chudzicki are both Polish nationals who came to the UK to work.

Chudzicki is a father of three and forklift truck driver Segiet is a father of two.

Rapist trio jailed for six years despite judge trying to halt trial

Three men who were found guilty of raping a woman despite a judge trying to stop their trial because he did not think there was enough evidence for a conviction have all been jailed for six years.

The trio were jailed for six years

Pawel Chudzicki, 49, Michael Armitage, 44, and Rafal Segiet, 40, raped a 23-year-old woman at a flat in Lincoln in 2012.

Judge John Pini QC, who jailed the men at Lincoln Crown Court today, ordered their trial to be halted halfway through due to lack of evidence but this decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal in an unusual move.

The jury went on to convict the three men earlier this week.

Over 300 jobs lost at Cooplands

More than 300 job cuts have been made across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire after the Doncaster based sandwich and cake company Cooplands went into administration. Shops that are closing include nine in Doncaster along with the company's head office and bakery which are based in the town. Three stores in Lincoln will also close. But some of the leasehold stores have been sold and will remain open.

Abandoned pony finds new home

A pony that was found abandoned in a children's park in Gainsborough last year has finally found a new home.

Mr Nibbles was found without shelter or water on one of the hottest days in July

Mr Nibbles was found without shelter or water on one of the hottest days in July and was taken in by Bransby Horse Sanctuary.

This week the shelter said Mr Nibbles and three other ponies had found a new owner and would be staying together.

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