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The south's winners and losers of new university ranking system

Eight weeks today A-level students will find out if they've got into the universities of their choice.

But in the future the quality of higher education will be judged under a new grading system - the first results of that released today with a few shocks and surprises for universities here in our region.

The new system claims to focus on teaching and - not the quality of research - at the institute. It also puts a fair amount of weight on the students' views.

But it's already proving controversial with claims it's flawed and damaging - as our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford explains.

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The south east's winners and losers of new university ranking system

Eight weeks today A-level students will find out if they've got into the universities of their choice.

But in the future the quality of higher education will be judged under a new grading system - the first results of that released today with a few shocks and surprises for universities here in our region.

The new system claims to focus on teaching and - not the quality of research - at the institute. It also puts a fair amount of weight on the students' views.

But it's already proving controversial with claims it's flawed and damaging - as our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford explains.

Pride of Britain Awards returns for 2017

Nominations are now open for the 2017 ITV Fundraiser of the Year – part of the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards.

We’re looking for people with an inspirational story to tell – individuals who’ve really made a difference to others through their creative or tireless fundraising efforts.

We had two regional winners in the Meridian region last year - both going on to the final.

Last year, ITV Meridian West's winner was Tom Newton from Blandford in Dorset. He juggled several jobs including being a retained firefighter but found time to set up a charity rock festival in memory of his little brother. It's called 'Teddy Rocks' and, at the time of his win, it had so far raised more than £200,000.

Last year, ITV Meridian East's winner was David Newstead from Culverstone Green, near Meopham in Kent. David set up the Friends of Shelby Newstead fund in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital (GOSH) after it cared for his daughter, Shelby, who had been diagnosed with cancer as a his baby. She survived. Over the last 20 years, David and his team have raised an incredible £500,000 for GOSH.

Your nominee will first be considered in the ITV Regional News round of selection. Each regional winner gets to attend the star-studded Pride of Britain Awards in London, where one of the regional winners will be crowned UK Fundraiser 2017.

Your nominee must be 16 years old or over as of 22 June 2017.

Nominations close at 23:59 on Friday 25 August 2017.

If you’ve got someone in mind, head to itv.com/prideofbritain and follow the links to nominate.

Terms and conditions can be found here.

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Man jailed for grooming children via online gaming website

Cristian Ciprian Nae, 39, was sentenced Credit: Surrey Police

A man who appealed against a 19-and-a-half year prison sentence for online grooming offences against children has had his appeal rejected.

Romanian, Cristian Ciprian Nae, 39, was sentenced in Romania in March this year following a joint investigation by Surrey Police detectives and the National Crime Agency.

Surrey Police began investigating Nae in 2015, who was believed to be grooming children over the internet.

The initial child victim was from Surrey but during the investigation, officers uncovered a further nine children in other parts of the UK and Ireland who had also fallen victim to the same offender.

Detectives found that the man was operating from Romania, using a social media gaming website to make contact with his victims, who were aged between 8 and 12 years, before attempting to incite them to engage in sexual activity.

The National Crime Agency instructed their officer based in Romania to work with Surrey Police to progress the investigation with the Romanian authorities.

The fact that the sentence has been upheld demonstrates the gravity of these offences. Nae has used a social media gaming website to target young children and attempt to engage them in sexual activity, and the lengths that he went to, to deceive and target his victims is deplorable. I hope that the outcome provides some consolation to his victims.

As well as working closely with the NCA, the operators of the gaming site were pivotal in providing the information to identify further victims, closing the offender’s accounts as fast as they were identified, and providing valuable evidence in the case.”

– Detective Constable Paul Harris, Investigating officer

Jailed: Driver who blamed speeding offences on ex-girlfriend

Richard Malham was captured driving by speed camera Credit: Sussex Police

A Surrey man caught speeding twice in 90 minutes has been jailed for perverting the course of justice, after blaming the offences on his ex-girlfriend.

A red Ford Ka was recorded travelling at 44mph and 37mph in Gatwick Road, Crawley – a 30mph zone – on 12 November 2015.

The car was registered to 33-year-old Richard Malham.

Bricklayer, Malham, from Tadworth, denied any wrongdoing and instead claimed his ex-partner had been driving, despite her not having a licence and never having driven a car.

She told police she knew nothing about the offences and, on viewing the mobile speed camera van pictures, police saw a man driving the car.

In interview, Malham repeatedly denied the speeding offences – until he was shown Sussex Police's mobile camera images.

In court, he pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and was jailed for four months, and ordered to pay a £750 fine and a £115 victim surcharge.

Richard Malham claimed his ex-girlfriend had been driving when his car was captured speeding Credit: Sussex Police

Malham could have escaped with a fixed penalty notice and three points on his licence had he been honest and admitted the offences. Instead, he has been sent to prison.

By lying about speeding, he has perverted the course of justice – an offence which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment."

– Chief Inspector Warren Franklin, Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit
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