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Record levels of domestic violence cases in South Yorkshire

Almost three quarters of cases relating to domestic violence in South Yorkshire led to a charge in the past year.

South Yorkshire Police

New figures from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the force show there were a record number of domestic violence referrals, prosecutions and convictions.

The latest statistics from the CPS show that in 2013-14, South Yorkshire Police referred 2,551 domestic violence cases to the CPS.

Nearly 75% (1,890) of those referrals led to a charge, the highest volume ever recorded.

Of those prosecutions, 77% (1,360) resulted in a successful conviction

Figures issued as part of the ‘Violence against Women and Girls Crime Report 2013-2014’, show that in South Yorkshire 1,766 prosecutions were completed by the CPS for domestic violence in 2013-14, an increase of 26.3% from 2012-13.

Detective Chief Inspector Natalie Shaw, South Yorkshire Police lead on domestic violence, said: “We are committed to tackling domestic violence and bringing perpetrators of this heinous crime before the courts.

CPS statement on decison not to prosecute over Alder body mix-up

Christopher Alder Credit: Humberside Police

A CPS review of evidence in respect of the exchange two bodies at the former Spring Street Mortuary in Hull has now concluded.

The reviewing lawyer, Richard Hebbert, has concluded that there is insufficient evidence for a prosecution.

“The police investigation in this case sought to establish how the bodies of Christopher Alder and Grace Kamara came to be exchanged and whether, in the circumstances in which that happened, any criminal act was committed. I have considered a number of potential offences, " said Mr Hebbert.

“In my review of this case I considered, firstly, whether there was evidence of acts by identifiable people which caused the exchange of bodies and which amounted to a criminal offence.

However, on the evidence I have considered, it has not been possible to determine with any accuracy when or how the bodies of Mr Alder and Mrs Kamara came to be exchanged, the personnel involved, or that what happened was anything more than an error.

For these reasons I concluded that, in relation to direct responsibility for the exchange, there was insufficient evidence to give a realistic prospect of a conviction for any offence.

“I went on to consider whether any criminal offences might arise from the management of or the work practices used in the mortuary services in Hull and the East Riding.

Whilst it is clear that there were failures by mortuary staff to implement identification procedures which might have prevented or led to earlier discovery of the error, I am not satisfied that any failure was such as to meet the high test required to establish criminal liability.

“I know this will be a disappointing outcome for both families involved, who have endured the shocks which these events have provided with dignity. I have offered both a meeting to explain my decision personally to them.”

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Prisoners face guard hostage charge

Three prisoners will be charged with allegedly taking a guard hostage after an investigation by counter-terror police.

Feroz Khan, Fuad Awale and David Watson, who were all inmates at HMP Full Sutton in North Yorkshire, are accused of false imprisonment on May 26

Khan and Awale are also accused of threatening to kill the officer, and Khan will be charged with grievous bodily harm on the guard, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm on a second officer.

Following an investigation by the police's north east counter terrorism unit, the CPS has authorised charges against three men currently detained in prison.

"It is alleged that on May 26 2013 Feroz Khan, Fuad Awale and David Watson, all of whom were at that time prisoners at HMP Full Sutton, unlawfully imprisoned a prison officer and detained him against his will. They will be jointly charged with one count of false imprisonment.

"A number of demands were made during the incident which resulted in the case being handled by counter-terrorism officers and specialist prosecutors."

– Rakesh Sarin, Crown Prosecution Service