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CCTV released as police hunt would-be thief who said sorry to his victim

A would-be bag thief apologised to his victim and stayed to help her following his bungled robbery attempt in Salford.

Between 4pm and 4.30pm last Wednesday, January 7, the 65-year-old victim was travelling along Talbot Street on her mobility scooter when the offender rode alongside her and attempted to snatch her handbag.

The pensioner held tight and following a brief struggle the offender pulled at it with such force that he caused the mobility scooter to topple over, causing damage to it and a minor injury to the victim in the process.

He then replaced the battery pack into the scooter and apologised before riding off on his bicycle.

Police have released CCTV footage of the offender in an attempt to try and identify him.

The offender probably saw the woman’s bag sitting in the basket of her mobility scooter and thought he could quickly swipe it and ride off.

“He hasn’t counted on her dogged determination to keep hold of her possessions and in the ensuing struggle has used excessive force, pulling the scooter and woman over.

“The fact he apologised and stayed to help indicates that he has a conscience and also demonstrates a level of remorse.

“However, no matter his actions after the fact, those before it are inexcusable and we need to identify him.

“If anyone recognises someone from the CCTV I would encourage them to get in touch.”

– Detective Constable Jill Vescovi, Greater Manchester Police


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Begg: Government's Henning response was 'not adequate'

Moazzam Begg has told ITV News the government's response to his offer to help secure the release of Alan Henning was "not adequate".

Mr Begg said the "government did not really want me to send out the messages that I needed to get Alan Henning released" when he approached officials on two occasions.

Asked how he could have helped Mr Henning's cause, Begg said his experience as a Guantanamo detainee, use of the Arabic language and his previous help in securing the release of hostages in Syria would have resonated with his captors.

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Ex-FCO minister confirms Moazzam Begg meeting

Former Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alistair Burt has confirmed he met with Moazzam Begg to discuss the British hostage Alan Henning and was "confident" the FCO dealt with it "appropriately".

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Henning family 'would have agreed' to Begg negotiating

Relatives of murdered British hostage Alan Henning have told ITV News they would have agreed to former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg negotiating for his release if they had been asked.

Moazzam Begg speaking to ITV News. Credit: ITV News

Begg today claimed he offered to help the government secure the aid worker's release but was told he would not be allowed to directly contact Islamic State.

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Begg 'knew who was holding murdered Alan Henning'

Moazzam Begg says he may know the people who were holding murdered British aid worker Alan Henning.

Mr Begg told BBC Radio 4's Today programme said he knew militants "much higher up the ladder" in Islamic State, and had previously helped secure the release of hostages being held by extremist groups in Syria.

Alan Henning was murdered by militants in a video released on Friday. Credit: PA Wire

He revealed he approached the Foreign Office twice with offers to help, and while he was in prison he was told he could deliver a message to IS.

However, the government said the message could only be delivered through an intermediary and not by Begg directly.

Begg claimed the government's "attempt to demonise and to criminalise" him prevented him from delivering a direct "heartfelt" statement to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi which may have helped Henning's cause.

Earlier, CAGE, a human rights organisation represented by Begg, accused the government of "squandering" an opportunity to help Mr Henning.


Teenage solider from Eccles admits making a nail bomb

A teenage rifleman has admitted making a nail bomb.

Ryan McGee pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to two charges, one of possessing the Anarchists Cook Book contrary to terror laws, and one of making an explosive device.

The 19-year-old, from Eccles, was bailed at the Old Bailey to be sentenced on a date to-be-fixed.

The first charge states that between May 31 2013 and November 29 2013 at Salford in Greater Manchester he possessed a document containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

The second charge states that between September 1 2013 and September 3 2013 at Salford he made an explosive device.

Hero gran saves driver engulfed in flames at petrol station

Edith Ellison and her son Neil Credit: Manchester Evening News

A granny and her son are being hailed heroes after leaping to the rescue of a driver who became engulfed in flames at a petrol station.

The Manchester Evening News say the man was filling a bottle at a Morrison's in Eccles to use in his camper van cooker when it caught fire.

The blaze, thought to have been sparked by the hot weather then spread to his hands.

Luckily, Edith Ellison, 64, and her son Neil, 42, were on the forecourt, Edith smelt burning and shouted for her son who sprinted into the shop and got a fire extinguisher and put out the flames.

Read the full story here.

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Protest against mental health cuts

Protest against mental health cuts Credit: Granada Reports

Hundreds of protestors have been marching through Eccles in protest at cuts to mental health services. Campaigners from Bolton, Salford and Trafford took part in the rally. They're angry at proposals to reduce the number of beds by 20 percent over the next two years.

NHS England say they've been working solidly to ensure high quality care.

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