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Pensioner pleads guilty in botched cocaine plot

A pensioner who skippered a yacht across the Atlantic in a £150 million cocaine smuggling plot has pleaded guilty to his part in the botched plot.

An Irish Navy Rib leads in the yacht Makayabella into Haulbowline naval base in Co Cork Credit: Press Association

John Powell, 70, of Silsden, West Yorkshire, entered a plea of guilty to two charges ahead of an expected trial at Cork Circuit Court in Ireland.

He is to be sentenced later today at the same court along with Benjamin Mellor, 35, of Bradford, West Yorkshire, and Thomas Britteon, 28, of Grimsby, north-east Lincolnshire.

All three were arrested on board the luxury yacht Makayabella, which was found last September in poor condition in the Atlantic Ocean, 200 miles (322km) off the south-west coast of Ireland.

Investigators in the UK also seized a 25ft (7.6m) motor boat called Sea Breeze, moored in Pwllheli, North Wales in connection with the smuggling ring.

Judge Sean O Donnabhain adjourned the sentencing until later.

M6 crash driver's wife pays tribute to "gentle giant"

Trevor Kitchingman's wife has paid tribute to him Credit: Cumbria Police

The wife of a lorry driver killed in a crash on the M6 last week has paid tribute to the man she called a "gentle giant".

Trevor Kitchingman, from Silsden, died after the lorry he was driving collided with another heavy good vehicle on the M6, south of Southwaite, on Friday 18 October.

His wife, Kath, has paid tribute to him saying:

Trevor was a very proud man with a massive heart. He would help anyone with anything and nothing was too much trouble to him. He was a very much loved gentle giant."

The driver of the other vehicle was uninjured and police are asking for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.


Evan the ambassador

He is an 8-year-old who defied doctors, and walked to school - even though he had been told he would spend the rest of his life in a wheel chair. Today, Evan Whitton from Silsden has been presented with a new challenge - to bring the Paralympic flame to Yorkshire.

Evan has Cerebral Palsy and went to America for an operation that helped him to walk - the determination that got him through hours of painful physiotherapy impressed games organisers and led to him being chosen as a Paralympic Ambassador.

Victoria Whittam has his story so far.