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Drag queen flees armed police in India after act branded 'indecent'

A female drag queen has claimed she fled from armed police in India after organisers of a women’s conference branded her show “indecent”.

Andrea Smith Credit: BPM Media

Andrea Smith, 40, from Stourbridge, performed at the Women Economic Forum, in New Delhi, to spread a message about domestic violence, dressed as her alter ego Swingerella.

She performed two different acts but it was the first one, Finding Your Voice Through Art, which caused a stir on Thursday.

It began with Andrea dressed in just a pair of knickers and nipple covers – which she said left organisers fuming.

Credit: BPM Media

The following night the mum-of-two claims she was warned military police were searching for her and that she would be detained, so she immediately fled back to the UK.

Moments after touching down at Birmingham Airport, Andrea called the Birmingham Mail to share her story.

I was invited to speak at the forum and organisers knew what sort of show I performed as they had seen the videos on YouTube. I carried out my act, and at the time nothing was said.

But on Friday, when I asked the organiser why my performance had not been put on YouTube, he tore into me.

He told me that I was indecent. He made me feel ashamed.

My show is outrageous, but they had all the links to it from YouTube and would have known what to expect.

– Andrea Smith
Credit: BPM Media

Andrea told how she suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after being involved in an abusive relationship.

Now she draws on her experiences to perform across the UK and has even been on stage at the Edinburgh Festival.

I was threatened with jail and hunted down by the police. It was really scary.

I think my performance was a bit of a culture shock to them. But it is about domestic abuse.

– Andrea Smith

No-one from the Women Economic Forum, in New Delhi, show was available for comment.


Man charged with murder over Birmingham shooting

Derek Junior Myers was shot dead last October

Detectives investigating a double shooting in Birmingham last October have charged a man with murder.

Tafarwa Beckford, from Duchess Road in Ladywood has been charged with a double shooting in Birmingham last autumn.

The 33-year-old was arrested yesterday (May 19) in connection with a disorder in Soho Hill in the early hours of 30 October 2015 that left 25-year-old Derek Junior Myers dead.

He will appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court tomorrow morning (21 May).

Last night 27-year-old Rio Sanchez-Williams was charged with the attempted murder of a 29-year-old man - who remains critically ill in hospital - and he appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court this morning where he was remanded in custody.

Police are still appealing to anyone who may have information about the shootings.

Man charged with attempted murder in double shooting case

Detectives investigating a double shooting in Birmingham last October have charged a man with attempted murder.

Soho Hill. Credit: Google Street View

Rio Sanchez-Williams, from Orchard Street in Dudley, was arrested on Thursday afternoon in connection with a disorder in Soho Hill in the early hours of 30 October that left one man dead and another fighting for his life.

Last night 27-year-old Sanchez-Williams was charged with the attempted murder of 29-year-old Marvin Duffus, who remains critically ill in hospital.

He is appearing at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Friday.

Clearly this is a significant development in the case but our investigation continues…we are determined to secure justice for the victims and their families.

Several people remain on police bail and my team of detectives continues to sift through information to identify those who were involved in this incident.

I’d still appeal to anyone with information about the shootings, and who has not yet spoken to police, to please get in touch.

– Detective Superintendent Mark Payne, leading the investigation

Derek Junior Myers, aged 25 and from Handsworth, suffered a fatal gunshot wound during the disorder and was pronounced dead in hospital on October 30.

Anyone with information that could help the investigation is urged to call 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


Sainsbury's worker sexually assaulted woman in city centre before laughing and running away

A Sainsbury’s supermarket worker sexually assaulted a woman in Birmingham city centre before laughing and then running away.

Great Charles Street in Birmingham. Credit: Google Street View

Zeeshan Rashid groped his victim as she walked near Great Charles Street underpass at 1.30am on 10 December last year.

Birmingham Crown Court heard he pulled her into his body and laughed, before fleeing the scene - and returning to work.

But his brave victim gave chase and noticed his Sainsbury’s uniform and he was later identified via CCTV.

Rashid, 35, of Parkes Street, Smethwick, was sentenced to a two-year community order after admitting sexual assault. He was also ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work and put on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

The court heard that the victim was walking near Great Charles Street underpass when she became aware of a man running down the steps behind her.

His arms were outstretched and he said “sorry” before grabbing her around the chest with both arms.

This was described as a ‘got you’ laugh but the victim did not know this man from Adam.

She was by now terrified that she might be raped. She was alone and no one else was around.

He then let go and ran to where he came from.

In her anger she ran after him for a short time and she noticed he was wearing a Sainsbury’s uniform.

– Patrick Sullivan, prosecuting

The woman reported the attack to the police who were able to identify Rashid from CCTV.

When quizzed the supermarket worker said he had been on a night shift at the Martineau Place branch and had gone out to get a sandwich when he committed the offence.

You committed a nasty and disturbing sexual assault on a waitress who was making her way home through Birmingham city centre.

Bizarrely, you chose to do this during a break from your night work at Sainsbury’s and so you were wearing your uniform when you were following her.

– Judge Phillip Parker QC
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