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Isle of Man girl pens thank you song

A nine year old girl from the Isle of Man has become a hit on the internet with a musical thank you for the hospital staff who treated her in Liverpool. Grace Lee sang "Lean On Me" at a packed shopping centre to help raise money and awareness of the Alder Hey Children's Charity. The video of the event has attracted thousands of viewers. Amy Mulhern has been to meet Grace and her family

Lessons must be learned say tiger death family

The family of the young zoo keeper killed by a tiger in South Cumbria say they want lessons to be learned. Sarah McClay, who was 24, was attacked at the South Lakes Wild Animal Park in May last year. An inquest jury this afternoon returned a narrative verdict after hearing the tiger had walked through an open door into the keepers corridor of the tiger house. Fiona Marley Paterson has our report tonight:


Pioneering Ebola research in Liverpool

Research work is being carried out in Liverpool which it's hoped could lead to a cure for the devastating ebola virus. Experts at the Institute of Infection and Global Health believe an existing drug could be adapted to fight the disease which has claimed thousands of lives in Africa. Tim Scott reports from the University of Liverpool on what could be an important breakthrough:

Santa on a zipwire

A group of Santas have been flying high over Liverpool city centre. The group were dressed in full Santa suits as they embarked on a zip wire challenge to help launch this year's Liverpool Santa Dash. Around 10,000 people are expected to take part in the 2014 event on 7 December.

Going... Credit: BTR Liverpool
Going... Credit: BTR Liverpool
Gone Credit: BTR Liverpool

Sarah McClay's family make statement after inquest verdict

The family of a woman who was killed by a tiger at an animal park in Cumbria have released a statement. 24 year old Sarah McClay was pounced on in the keeper's corridor of the tiger house at South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Cumbria before she was dragged by the back of the neck into a den and then to an outside enclosure. An inquest today delivered a narrative verdict.

Her boyfriend David Shaw has released a joint statement with Miss McClay's mother, Fiona.

"Sarah's death has been difficult for us all and we hope that today's conclusion will help us move forward in some way.

"While this inquest has been a necessary step and has allowed us to understand some of the events on the day in greater detail, it cannot bring Sarah back to us

"Our thanks go out to all of Sarah's friends, colleagues and well-wishers who have stood by us and who have offered their emotional strength to us. Your support has helped us through this traumatic time."

Glasgow-born Miss McClay had worked at the park for more than two years and was well experienced with working with big cats which she saw as a "privilege".

Her mother, a 50-year-old housekeeper from Linlithgow, West Lothian, said it was her daughter's "dream job" after she had visited the park as a child.

Giving evidence, she also said Miss McClay was "a meticulous person to the extreme" who did not have any health or money problems.

Mrs McClay said her daughter would not have blamed the tiger for the attack and would not want it to be killed.

Colleagues spoke of her "bubbly" personality, her passion for the job and her ability to engage with people, especially children.

A post-mortem examination showed among Miss McClay's unsurvivable injuries were deep puncture wounds to the neck, the back of her body, both arms and her left foot.

Park owner and founder David Gill, who designed the tiger house, told the jury how he jumped out of a digger 80 yards away and ran towards a fence on the side of the enclosure where he saw the tiger sitting over Miss McClay.

He said he struggled to get a clean shot on Padang and had targeted the top of the animal's shoulder when he fired his rifle and the tiger darted back into the house.

In a statement issued today, Mr Gill said: "Sarah McClay was a dedicated and valued member of the animal caring staff at the park.

"Her enthusiasm and friendly character were appreciated by everyone she met. Sarah was committed to the aims of the park, to conservation and to preservation of rare species as seen for example in the red squirrel project she helped to develop and run.

"Her tragic and untimely death has affected all of us at the park and she is greatly missed.

"On behalf of myself and everyone at the park I wish to convey our condolences to Mr Shaw, Fiona McClay and all of Sarah's family and friends."


Questions remain unanswered after tiger death verdict say family

The family of a woman animal keeper mauled to death when a tiger walked through an open door say they still have questions unanswered following the conclusion of an inquest into her death. Sarah McClay, 24, was pounced on in the keeper's corridor of the tiger house at South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Cumbria before she was dragged by the back of the neck into a den and then to an outside enclosure. The animal was supposed to never have access to the corridor but male tiger Padang walked straight through a door to where Miss McClay, from Barrow-in-Furness, was as she carried out her cleaning and feeding duties in the house. An inquest jury in Kendal ruled in a narrative verdict that Padang got to Miss McClay by entering two open internal sliding gates within the house and then an open door that led on to the corridor. Systems were in place at the park in Dalton-in-Furness in to ensure that animals and keepers remained apart at all times through indoor and outdoor compartments connected by lockable self-closing doors. But when staff members rushed in after the attack on May 24 last year they found the door to one of the tigers' dens ajar and not locked. Two internal sliding gates were also open which allowed Padang and his female companion, Alisha, to move in and out of a light den and a dark den to the outside enclosure. The court heard that a bolt on the top of the dark den door - which had been the one open immediately before the attack - was found to be defective in the hours following her death as the scene was examined but it could not be said if that damage had occurred before the fatality. An environmental health officer for the local authority told the jury that the top spring-loaded bolt could not be held back and it would bang against the frame when it tried to close, which left a gap of between 20mm and 25mm. The jury found that one or more of the bolts on that door extended so as to prevent it from closing into the frame. A criminal health and safety at work investigation is being held by Barrow Borough Council which licenses the park. Following the hearing, Miss McClay's boyfriend, David Shaw, 25, told reporters he had a theory as to why the door to the corridor was open but he said he was not willing to share it at this stage. He said: "We will see how things move forward. We are aware that the council in Barrow is still conducting their investigation and it would be wrong of us to say anything before they have concluded that investigation. "There are always questions that we would like answered. We know full well that we will not be able to answer some of them ever but there is the chance that some answers may come out in the investigation in time."

Sarah McClay's family say they still need answers Credit: ITV Granada

Five questioned over cathedral theft

Chester Cathedral Credit: PA

Police are questioning five people in conection with the theft of an 18th century icon from Chester Cathedral. Four men and a woman were arrested at a property in Edleston Road in Crewe. Officers also found a number of items including the 18th Century Greek Orthodox icon "The raising of Lazurus" which had been stolen from Chester Cathedral on 18 August 2014. Chief Superintendent Andy Southcott said: "I am absolutely delighted with the police investigation ....which has led to officers arresting outstanding suspects and the discovery of other items of interest. We hope that following this discovery, an extremely important icon can be reunited with its owners. We will also of course continue to investigate the other paintings to establish where they have come from. Cheshire Police takes heritage crime seriously and will continue to work with the community and other agencies to tackle the issue."

Five questioned over Chester Cathedral theft

Police arrested five people in Crewe Credit: PA

Five people have been arrested in connection with the theft of an icon from Chester Cathedral. Four men and one woman were detained at a property in Edleston Road in Crewe. Police recovered a number of items including the 18th Century Greek Orthodox icon "The Raising of Lazurus" which had been stolen from Chester Cathedral on 18 August 2014.

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