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Siemens reaches first jobs milestone

Job centre staff in Hull say they are confident the city can shake off its image of having one of the worst unemployment rates in the country.

It comes as figures today revealed the Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire region as a whole has the second highest rate of people out of work in the UK. That's despite improving numbers which show there are fewer people out of work than this time three months ago.

Today, the first 14 of the one thousand jobs due to be created at Siemens were advertised as part of its multi million pound investment in Hull. But as Fiona Dwyer reports the people helping job seekers say they don't have to wait for work.

Renewed appeal to find missing Bridlington man

Police are renewing an appeal to find a father of two from Bridlington who has been missing since Monday 8 December.

Damion Vernon Credit: Humberside Police

32 year-old Damion Vernon was last seen in Wakefield and has not been in touch with friends or family since his disappearance.

Police are keen to find any information about Damion, or anyone who believes they may have seen him on the day he went missing.

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Christmas post deadline looms

Today is one of the busiest days for sorting office staff Credit: Press Association

We are being urged to get cards and presents posted by the 20th December in order to arrive by Christmas. Millions of items of festive mail are expected to be handled by staff at the Sheffield Mail Centre today as Royal Mail predicts today is one of their busiest days.

Family hears how Gemma Simpson was killed 14 years ago

The family of a woman who had been missing from her home in Leeds for 14 years have today heard in detail for the first time how she was in fact killed and then dismembered by one of her friends.

Since the year 2000, the loved ones of Gemma Simpson have been desperate for news of her. Today they wept in court as they were told she'd been bludgeoned and then stabbed to death before being dumped in a shallow grave - all those years ago.

Her killer - a man - who heard voices in his head and who'd been discharged from psychiatric hospital just weeks before the attack. Jon Hill's report begins with the words of Gemma's mum Linda when she spoke to the ITV programme Missing two years after her daughter vanished.

  1. Tyne Tees

Gemma's killer released from mental hospital weeks earlier

The court heard that Martin Bell, who was 30 at the time of the attack, had known Miss Simpson for around five years.

On the day of her death, the pair met at Leeds railway station before going back to Bell's flat in Harrogate.

Bell was questioned by police after Miss Simpson was reported missing and said the young woman had called him to ask if she could stay with him but he had not seen her that day.

In July this year, Bell rang a former girlfriend and told her he had killed someone 14 years ago. He then handed himself in at Scarborough police station.

During his interviews, Bell took police to Brimham Rocks and showed them where he had buried Miss Simpson, and her remains were recovered.

He said he had visited the site four or fives times since Miss Simpson's death.

Bell told police he had considered confessing in the past but his mother was still alive and he was concerned about losing his freedom.

Paul Greaney QC, defending Bell, told the court the defendant heard voices telling him to do things and had "developed complex delusional beliefs" which saw him moving around the country because he believed a group of men were trying to kill him.

He had been sectioned in a mental hospital for around nine months in August 1999 and was released around six weeks before he killed Miss Simpson.

Mr Greaney said the doctor who discharged Bell accepted that the delusions had not disappeared at that stage.

A psychiatric report carried out after Bell's arrest diagnosed his mental illness as schizophrenia.

Mr Greaney said: "At the time of the killing, Martin Bell was suffering from a serious mental illness which substantially impaired his mental responsibility in doing what he did in killing Gemma Simpson."

He added: "The killing would not have occurred had he been well."<

Mr Greaney said if Bell had not handed himself in to police, "he would probably have gone to his own grave without ever being punished".

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, said he would sentence Bell on Friday.

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