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Former police chief James Sharples denies "painting adverse picture" of Liverpool fans

A former Chief Constable of Merseyside has denied trying to paint an adverse picture of Liverpool fans at Hillsborough.

Sir James Sharples had described seeing supporters drinking before the FA Cup semi-final in Sheffield.

Meanwhile, the inquests have heard from a former South Yorkshire officer who says he was intimidated into changing his statement about the disaster.

Andy Bonner reports:

Eight-year-old at the centre of a benefits row

The Department for Work and Pensions has apologised to a mother from Lancashire after benefits for her disabled daughter were stopped because her husband works in Germany.

Laura Jolliffe was told that as her husband was paying national insurance in Germany where's he's currently working on a contract for his employer BAE systems, it was up to that country's government to come up with the money. Ralph Blunsom reports:

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Ted's all smiles as he leaves hospital with family by his side

Ted Robbins leaves Wythenshawe Hospital with, from left, daughter Molly, wife Judy and son Jack. Credit: Manchester Evening News.

Comedian Ted Robbins has left Wythenshawe Hospital with his family at his side.

Ted collapsed three weeks ago as he performed in the opening night of Phoenix Nights at Manchester Arena.

The star, who plays Den Perry in the Peter Kay comedy, has undergone two minor operations.

He was released from hospital 10-days-ago and is now recovering at home.

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Police hunt Salford man who escaped from Lancashire prison

Connor Smith-Macphee. Credit: Greater Manchester Police.

Police are hunting a man from Salford who has escaped from prison.

Connor Smith-Macphee, 21, was jailed for nine years in 2013 for conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to burglary, conspiracy to kidnap, possession of a firearm without authority and possession of a prohibited weapon.

He was recently re-categorised as a Category D prisoner and sent to Kirkham prison.

He fled the jail on February 22.

"Although Smith-McPhee was convicted of very serious offences and has committed a further offence to enable his escape on Friday we do not believe that he currently poses a risk to the general public.

“However, we obviously are keen to locate him, or for Connor to hand himself in to police as soon as possible.

“We believe others may be offering him refuge and those individuals are being warned that they too face possible arrest for shielding him from police.”

– DI Robert Cousen, Greater Manchester Police.
  • Anyone with information about Smith-McPhee's whereabouts is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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