Kobe Bryant has returned to the Lakers after traveling to Germany last week for routine medical treatment on his knee.Bryant received a standing ovation as he walked on to the floor in sweats during Tuesday night’s Los Angeles Lakers preseason game against the Denver Nuggets. The all-star, who is also recovering from a torn Achilles tendon he suffered last NBA season, spoke about the progress of his injuries in a television interview.“It’s going well,” Bryant said. “I feel good. Obviously, I feel like I’m ahead of schedule. It’s about trying to get that range of motion back where I feel like I can run comfortably. The last stage is really the explosiveness and the muscle endurance, and that will come.”There is no firm return date for Bryant’s return, but he has been making light jogging runs and set shooting in the Laker’s training camp practice.“Just keep grinding. Keep working hard and getting better,” Bryant said. “I gotta get in shape, too. I’ve been sitting on my butt now for a while. I gotta get up and get moving.”
DeMarco Murray, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys, in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium on Nov. 27 in Arlington, Texas. Tom Pennington / Getty Images Walt: If you think back to that playoff run two years back, how many of those players — besides Riley Cooper, the platonic ideal of a Philadelphian — are still with Philly? Not a lot! And with Mark Sanchez to fall back on, Kelly is definitely opening his team up to some risk here, right?Neil: Sanchez backers might point out that he had by far the best year of his career in Kelly’s system last season. But that’s also kind of the point: Sanchez broke new ground by barely being above average and then parlayed it into $5.5 million guaranteed over two years — a pretty rich deal by backup standards. And now that they have Bradford, the Eagles have managed to collect the league’s two least-efficient starting QBs over the past five seasons by yards gained per pass attempt.Ben, what’s the Skeptical Football take on these guys?Ben: Foles, I love. He plays the position with the kind of aggressive win-maximizing abandon that I endorse, takes risks and throws deep when he needs to, and it has paid off with a fair amount of team success. However, it’s still unclear to me whether he actually has the skills to be a great quarterback in this league or has been running on scrappiness and good fortune alone. Take his much-maligned deep ball: Foles completed only 34 percent of his deep passes (more than 15 yards downfield) in 2014 but completed enough big plays that he gained an average of 0.23 expected points per attempt on them overall. (In fact, this was the main source of his value added for the season, as he just about broke even on short attempts.) Shrewd gambler though he may be, that combination isn’t sustainable.While Bradford has been extremely inefficient (like Neil says), it should also be noted that his career so far falls in the extremely common category of heralded quarterbacks put into a terrible situation who were serviceable but failed to turn it around single-handedly. When it comes to evaluating the first few years of a QB’s career, that’s just about the least informative scenario. If you have faith in Bradford’s skills for whatever reasons (including old-fashioned ones like scouting), your belief at least hasn’t yet been disproved. In a whole new situation like this, his trajectory is unpredictable. It won’t surprise me if he’s an all-star in a few years or if he’s out of the league entirely.If there’s a method to Kelly’s madness here, I think it’s that, given the totality of circumstances, Bradford regressing to his own personal mean would probably mean better production, while Foles regressing would probably mean worse production.As an empirical matter, this trade has me excited. How often do you get such a great opportunity to cross-compare like this? It’s two chances to see how the texture of a quarterback’s performance changes when he switches environments AND two chances to see how a team’s production changes when it’s led by different quarterbacks. No matter what happens, it’ll be an empirical coup. We should learn a lot about a lot more than just these QBs.Neil: Of course, all this assumes that Kelly is telling the truth when he says he won’t trade up in the draft to snag his former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota as the team’s long-term future at the position. And if there’s anything we’ve learned from the first few months of Kelly’s tenure as grocery-shopper (in addition to cook), it’s to expect the unexpected.Walt: The only thing less trustworthy than an Eagles fan is an Eagles coach. Quarterback Sam Bradford, formerly of the St. Louis Rams, watches a game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Nov. 9 in Glendale, Arizona. Christian Petersen / Getty Images Tuesday marked the beginning of a new year on the NFL calendar, and the Philadelphia Eagles apparently decided to celebrate the occasion with a flurry of major transactions. In response, we summoned a special FiveThirtyEight NFL roundtable, wherein Ben Morris, Neil Paine and Walt Hickey discuss the big moves, continue to debate Chip Kelly’s mad genius and ponder what all this roster reshuffling amounts to.Neil Paine: Walt, when last we convened to discuss NFL transactions, you hailed Rex Ryan for grabbing LeSean McCoy but also gave some credit to Chip Kelly for smartly freeing up cap space. Now we have the news that Kelly — in the wake of being spurned by Frank Gore — has essentially executed an old-school challenge trade at the game’s most important position, dealing Nick Foles to St. Louis for Sam Bradford. Have you embraced Kelly’s madness?Walt Hickey: As I understand it — which is barely — Kelly is either making a dramatic short in the Philadelphia jersey market, destroying the value of essentially any fan’s merchandise purchased two or more years ago, or winning the Kobayashi Maru while the rest of the league is playing Snakes and Ladders. Both situations are troubling. As a Giants fan, my only thought is: What’s his play?Ben Morris: I like to imagine that Chip Kelly and Les Snead were just chillin’ and Kelly was like, “Dude, crazy hypothetical that just popped into my head: What would happen if we just right out and switched quarterbacks? I mean, neither of us is in love with who we have, and people always say that kind of thing: ‘What would happen if you put Brady on the Broncos and Manning on the Patriots?’ Honestly, I have no idea what would happen, but could you imagine?” And then after a lengthy chortle, a tiny uncomfortable silence took over before they nearly simultaneously grinned and went, “[expletive] it.”Neil: The swap is a bit puzzling, I admit. Foles was inconsistent when healthy last season, and his staggeringly efficient 2013 campaign was driven in part by a freakishly low interception rate. But for all of Foles’s up-and-down play, he still has a far better statistical track record than Bradford, who — let’s also point out — missed all of last season with a knee injury. In fairness, Bradford was saddled with a terrible supporting cast in St. Louis, and he still carries the prestige of a former No. 1 overall draft pick. So if you squint, Kelly kind of turned a former third-round QB into the highest of first-rounders. But both of these guys have been out of college so long that it’s a real stretch to make that argument. Neil: Let’s shift gears to Thursday’s news that Kelly’s Eagles inked former Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray to a five-year, $42 million contract (with $21 million guaranteed). Ben, you wrote about Murray several times last season — what are your thoughts on Philly picking him up?Ben: The main thing to like about the Eagles signing DeMarco Murray is that they didn’t absolutely break the bank to do it. While $42 million over five years with $21 million guaranteed is a fair amount for a running back, it’s comparable to what LeSean McCoy got from Buffalo. While it likely isn’t a huge value move, the important part is that it isn’t Adrian Peterson money.The two main Murray knocks are 1) that he played behind a supposedly stellar offensive line in Dallas and 2) that he has had some fumbling problems that have negated much of his would-be Win Percentage Added over the past few seasons. These are both legitimate concerns, and — assuming it’s true that the Cowboys were only willing to offer Murray $5 million per year — it would seem his former employers took them seriously.Yet, again, the deal seems to have a fairly high upside. Both of the Murray knocks are in the “reasonable doubt” category — they’re not outright proof that Murray isn’t the real deal. And if he is, the Eagles may be getting the “ideal running back” at a reasonable price.Neil: Like you said, though, Murray’s contract ended up being only slightly cheaper than the deal given to McCoy after Kelly abruptly traded him to the Bills a little over a week ago. In addition, Murray will be 27 years old next season — the same age as McCoy (at a position where peak production comes at age 26, I might add) — and the two players have practically identical per-carry and per-game stats over the past four seasons.Walt, what keeps this from being a lateral move for the Eagles? And if so, doesn’t that just reinforce the notion that Kelly the GM is flying by the seat of his pants this offseason with no discernible plan? (Which seems especially likely in the case of Murray’s signing, since Kelly inked Ryan Mathews, another RB, earlier in the week.)Walt: This is totally a lateral move for the Eagles! But it’s a rather brilliant one. The de facto result of the past several weeks is that Kelly traded McCoy for Kiko Alonso, Murray and extra cap space. Which, honestly, seems nice. If you’re obsessed with ages and their relationship to productivity in interchangeable running backs, Neil, that’s not a terrible move, provided it was planned.Naturally, I hope this week is terrible for Philadelphia and its citizens. But these moves are exciting and matter. Looking at the 2013 roster, there’s very little continuity at skill positions — Brent Celek, Riley Cooper, Jeff Maehl and Chris Polk. That’s a lot of turnover! But I think Eagles fans just have to go for the ride here.Neil: As our colleague (and Philly sports aficionado) Jody Avirgan tweeted, being an Eagles fan is suddenly a bit like working a low-level job on the Manhattan Project: You have no idea what the master plan is — or if one even exists — but you have to trust that the smart guys at the top know what they’re doing.I do wonder how long this fan base’s patience will last if these machinations don’t quickly lead to wins. But maybe that’s how you build a winner in the NFL, by taking these kinds of chances.Ben: You can kind of see Kelly’s meta-strategy coming together: He’s going to either build a contender or crash and burn. As a gambler, I like it: He’s setting up a parlay, no doubt — but one that seems like it could pay off big if it hits.
OSU sophomore Nicolas Szerszen (9) prepares to spike the ball during a match against George Mason on Jan. 15. OSU won 3-0.Credit: Courtesy of OSUThe No. 5 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (15-3, 9-1) protected its home court at St. John Arena with a pair of big wins over No. 11 Loyola University (11-5, 6-3) and No. 13 Lewis University (11-8, 6-5) over the weekend.The Buckeyes captured the win over the Ramblers in three sets (25-20, 25-21, 25-22) Friday night. They continued their successful weekend with a hard-fought win over the Flyers in four sets (25-22, 25-14, 26-28, 25-22) the following evening.“I thought (Friday) night’s game we were really sharp in terms of our serving and our offense ran at a really high level. (Saturday) it was more of a struggle,” OSU coach Pete Hanson said. “So, one clean, nice, pretty win and one not so pretty win.”The Buckeyes kicked the weekend off with an important matchup against the two-time defending national champion Ramblers, who the Buckeyes already took care of in straight sets earlier in the year.The first set started off with strong back-and-forth scoring from each team. As the set moved along, the squads matched each other point for point. Midway through the set, however, the Scarlet and Gray took control and eventually reached the 25-point plateau. The second set began differently than the first. OSU stepped hard on the gas and flew ahead straight from the outset. The Buckeyes maintained control and held off the advances of the Ramblers to take the second consecutive set.Feeling the pressure to push the match to another set, the Ramblers came out quickly in the third frame, grabbing a lead and holding off the Buckeyes for a while. The perseverance of the Scarlet and Gray proved to be the difference, though, as they pulled themselves out of the early deficit and eventually grabbed the third set to complete the sweep.An impressive defensive performance by the Buckeyes held the Ramblers to only a .188 attack rate. Sophomore outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen, junior outside hitter Miles Johnson and senior outside hitter Christian Franceschi all contributed double-digit points for OSU. With the victory, the Buckeyes have now won all six sets they have played against the Ramblers this season.Saturday night’s matchup was another difficult test for OSU against the Flyers.In the first set, the Buckeyes jumped out to an early lead, but the Flyers wouldn’t go down easy. The Scarlet and Gray dug in, however, fending off the Flyers to go up 1-0.The second set started with an OSU surge, resulting in a solid, early lead. The tone was set for the match as the Buckeyes went on to take another set and force the Flyers into desperation mode.With their backs against the wall, the visitors were aggressive in the third set. The teams pushed back and forth, but the Flyers held off the Buckeyes and gained a two-point advantage to win the set and force a fourth frame. The final set remained just as competitive as the third. The score stayed close as the teams tried to enforce their will. Eventually, the Buckeyes were too much for Dayton to continue to fend off, and OSU grabbed the set to win the match.The Buckeyes had a .256 attack rate on the night while holding the Flyers to .225. Individually, Johnson added 21 points, Szerszen had 19 and junior setter Christy Blough contributed 43 assist on the night.“I really think they were great wins for us. Those are two good teams at the top of our conference (and) we need those,” Blough said. “I thought they were both good team wins, and I think everyone contributed both nights.”The Buckeyes are next set to travel to Long Beach, California, to take on UC Irvine on Thursday. The match is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start.
Now a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Kurt is glad the team has continued to participate after his departure. “It’s been going for about four years strong and it’s continuing to develop,” Coleman said. “It’s got a lot of youth to it, a lot of growth and a lot of room to grow.” Though he has moved on, Coleman has influenced the chapter’s leadership. “Kurt is a guy I can always call, on and off the field, for advice,” said Donnie Evege, defensive back and chapter president. “I think he set a great example for myself and everyone else on the football team.” That example was most crucial in Coleman’s final year when Evege served as vice president. “Kurt showed me how to do it his last year here,” Evege said. “I followed in his footsteps, and when he was gone, I kind of had a smooth transition into it.” Despite remaining in contact with Uplifting Athletes, Coleman does not want to dictate its decision-making. “I don’t want to tell them what disease they should be trying to raise money for,” he said. “The whole fun for me was that I got to choose which rare disease to raise money for so I felt like I had done something.” Influencing decisions or not, Coleman has done something to make a name for the organization in Columbus. “Since Kurt was actually the one to start the chapter of Uplifting Athletes … he has certainly left his mark,” Duffy said. “He has done some great work there.” Former Buckeye safety Kurt Coleman has left an enduring legacy off the field. Coleman is a founding member of the Ohio State chapter of Uplifting Athletes, a nonprofit organization that raises money for rare diseases. Coleman’s work establishing the athlete-run organization was recently spotlighted by the Big Ten Network’s Give Big program. “When we did outreach to Ohio State University we kept hearing about Kurt Coleman’s fantastic work that he had done with Uplifting Athletes,” Give Big program consultant Jeanette Duffy said. “So it just seemed like a no-brainer once we spoke to Kurt himself.” Coleman and then-OSU fullback Matt Daniels started the campus chapter more than three years ago. “How I kind of came about it is my roommate Matt Daniels and I … our dads both had cancer,” Coleman said. “We wanted to try to do something for those diseases as well as other diseases (and) … we figured that it was a great opportunity to branch out and start our own chapter at Ohio State.” When remembering his time with the organization, Coleman talks about his contributions and the fun he had helping the community. “My (most fun) time was last year when I was able to take over the whole process myself,” he said. “We had an event at Damon’s (restaurant) … to raise awareness of CMT (Charcot-Marie-Tooth) disease, which (quarterback) Terrelle (Pryor’s) father and aunt have.” One focus of the organization is to include as many members of the football team as possible. “Coach (Jim) Tressel and all the guys, they rally behind all these type of ideas,” Coleman said. “It’s nothing new to them … people are very willing to follow and participate.”
Dr Tomasz Fryzlewicz, 56, a Polish heart doctor who had worked in the NHS since 2006 was the first to face restrictions under the new rules after failing the language test three times.But Britain was banned from testing European doctors for their clinical language skills because UK doctors do not have to face similar tests.The Patients Association said it was concerned that poor communication was leading to mistakes and misunderstandings between patients and medics.Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “We hear from patients via our helpline that there are real issues with healthcare professionals from other countries, including problems with communication and a lack of understanding of processes and procedures.“If the NHS employs healthcare professionals from other countries, it must ensure that they are fully qualified and competent to carry out their duties and that they are competent enough in English to safely and effectively communicate with patients.“We are concerned that poor English skills may lead to mistakes and misunderstandings between healthcare colleagues or when patients are trying to explain their problems.” The RCS also said it was disappointing that the General Dental Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council had lower requirements for language proficiency than the GMC and has called for them to raise the bar.Dr Nigel Carter, of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “There are many excellent dental professionals coming to work in the UK from the EEA but some are hindered by an initial misunderstanding of clinical English language skills which could lead to communication issues and misinformation in the dentist/patient relationship.“These could develop into more serious problems if they are allowed to propagate and I support the RCS in their call for discussion about this while there is the opportunity for change following the recent referendum result.”A Department of Health spokesman said: “Patient safety is of the utmost importance, and we expect all healthcare professionals working in the UK to have a good command of the English language.”That is why we have tough rules, allowing the GMC and individual employers to test employees at and beyond the initial point of employment – and these cases represent just 0.002% of NHS staff.” However, those from outside Europe must pass the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) to demonstrate they know medical terms, are clear about consent, can adequately describe a procedure and are aware of treatment side effects.“The number of EEA doctors and dentists facing allegations relating to their communication skills is an issue we think the Government should be taking very seriously,” said Professor Nigel Hunt, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons.“Currently EU law makes it impossible to insist applicants demonstrate their English skills in a clinical setting. However, post-Brexit negotiations offer an excellent opportunity to change this and ensure that testing is vigorous enough to ensure patient safety.“While the professional regulators are able to require proof of the clinical language skills of non-EU applicants, the same checks do not apply to EEA applicants and our fear is that this could be putting patients at risk.“We want the same rules to apply to all non-UK professionals, regardless of where in the world they come from.”Data from the General Dental Council also showed that one quarter of complaints made about poor communication related to European dentists even though they account for just 16 per cent of the workforce. Just 4.7 per cent related to practitioners from the rest of the world, who make up 11.5 per cent of dentists.Since basic language testing came into force in 2014, the GMC said more than 1,000 European doctors seeking registration in the UK have not satisfied their English language requirements. Dr Tomasz Fryzlewicz, 56, a Polish heart doctor faced restrictions after failing an English test three times European doctors are three times more likely to face disciplinary proceedings for poor English than those from further afield because they are exempt from stringent language tests under EU law, the Royal College of Surgeons has warned.The RCS claims that the safety of patients is at risk from medics who cannot communicate properly and is calling for the rules to be changed during Brexit negotiations.Freedom of Information data from the General Medical Council showed that 29 doctors from the European Economic Area (EEA) faced allegations relating to ‘inadequate knowledge of the English language’ during 2014 and 2015.Four doctors have since been suspended or had restrictions placed on their practice with a number of cases still to be decided by the GMC.By comparison just 10 doctors from outside Europe faced similar allegations even though they make up more than double the number of doctors, nurses or dentists as those from the continent – 26 per cent compared with 11 per cent.Under rules which came into force in 2014 doctors applying to the NHS from Europe only need to score 7.5 on the International English Language Testing System, which equates to basic conversational skills. Nurses and dentists still do not have to pass the same English language qualifications as doctors Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
He added: “That’s just wrong. You have to get it out, especially over the Christmas period. That’s just nasty.“I definitely won’t be going back there again.” Media outlets suggested the rat, filmed by a stunned Martin Peaple, was ‘running amok’ inside the Primark branch after-hours.The 28-year-old, from Bexley, posted the footage on social media, explaining: “Rat running loose in Primark, Bexleyheath, and turns out that staff [knew] it was there and just left it.”He joked that others should “check their shopping” as they “might find a surprise”.Mr Peaple told This Is Local London he was enjoying a Christmas drink with friends in a pub opposite the store when he went outside for a cigarette and saw the rat.“In the pub we heard there was a giant rat outside in Primark,” he said.“So we went and there it was, running up and down. The shop was shut and it was there all night.” A rat was spotted inside Primark Credit:Reuters Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A rat apparently decided on a spot of last-minute Christmas shopping after it was spotted running around a Primark store in south-east London.The bargain-hunting rodent was seen scurrying around a window display after the budget retailer had apparently locked its doors in Bexleyheath on Christmas Eve. Facebook user Connie Smith responded to the video: “That rat looks very ill and will obviously be very stressed and scared in that situation. Perhaps people should have a little sympathy for the animal as there’s blatantly something wrong with it.”Another wrote: “A wild rat should run away, not with you. I think it’s someone’s pet that has got out.”A spokesperson for Primark said: “We can confirm that pest control were called on-site and following an investigation, have stated this was an isolate incident which has now been dealt with.”Meanwhile, this McDonald’s customer was left horrified about what he allegedly found at the bottom of his coffee.
The number of people dead and missing presumed dead after the Grenfell Tower disaster has risen to 79, police have revealed.Five of those people have so far been formally identified, said Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy.He told reporters the “awful reality” was that it might not be possible to identify all the victims. Some families have lost more than one member, he added.The announcement was followed by a minute’s silence at 11am across all Government buildings to remember the people who lost their lives and all those affected by the fire in north Kensington last week.His latest statement comes after police released new images from inside the burnt-out building. In a statement, residents criticised Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation for its reaction to the disaster.The group said: “In our meeting at Downing Street, we explained to the Prime Minister the anger of all residents towards the management of the estate over a long period of time, paving the way to this tragedy.”With the exception of very few junior officers, the estate managers have been invisible in the aftermath of the tragedy.”Mr Khan said the local community was “frustrated” and “angry” in the wake of the blaze after he attended a church service near the tower block in west London. His remarks came as Nick Paget-Brown, the Tory leader of Kensington and Chelsea council, insisted officials were on the ground “very soon” after the fire broke out following criticism from Mrs May, who said the support given to residents was “not good enough”.He also sidestepped questions over whether he felt guilty about the tragedy, telling BBC Radio 4’s The World At One: “I feel terrible about the whole position we find ourselves in. All I’m keen to say is there is an effective, co-ordinated relief effort on the ground and I’m sorry if people haven’t seen that.” Speaking outside St Clement’s Church, Mr Khan said: “There is a feeling from the community that they have been treated badly because some of them are poor.”The tragedy we’re seeing is because of the consequences of mistakes and neglect from politicians, from the council and from the Government.” The pictures show the damage inside the buildingCredit:Metropolitan Police He said it had been “incredibly emotional working in there”, adding: “On Saturday I went in myself and went to the top floor.”And it is incredibly hard to describe the devastation in some parts of that building.” Releasing a tranche of footage showing the aftermath of the blaze, Mr Cundy said: “Police teams continue their support to families, and make enquiries to cross check the number of those missing.”The news came as the Government announced those left homeless by the fire will be given at least £5,500 from an emergency fund.Residents will be given £500 in cash followed by a bank payment for the rest from Monday and will come from the £5 million fund announced by Theresa May on Friday. The pictures show the extent of the fireCredit:Metropolitan Police The Prime Minister insisted the Government was doing everything possible to help those caught up in the tragedy.Residents who met Mrs May in Downing Street over the weekend said while they welcomed the funding they had not been consulted before the announcement was made.They said: “We naturally welcome funds for those in need, though this does show once more the tendency to sideline residents’ views. New pictures have been released from the buildingCredit:Metropolitan Police The pictures were captured by a specialist police recovery teamCredit:Metropolitan Police Video footage inside the flats showed the charred remains of a kitchenCredit:PA / Metropolitan Police The move came as the official response to the crisis drew fresh condemnation from residents and London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Police have released new pictures from inside the towerCredit:Metropolitan Police Five people who had been reported missing after the disaster have been found safe and well, he added. Meanwhile, a company involved in the renovation of the tower was forced to deny cladding on the building was banned in the UK after comments made by Chancellor Philip Hammond.It was reported that the material used in the cladding covering Grenfell was Reynobond PE – a cheaper, more flammable version of two available options.Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Hammond said: “My understanding is the cladding in question, this flammable cladding which is banned in Europe and the US, is also banned here.”John Cowley, managing director of CEP Architectural Facades, which produced rainscreen panels and windows for Grenfell Tower’s cladding sub-contractor Harley Facades Ltd, said: “Reynobond PE is not banned in the UK.”Current building regulations allow its use in both low-rise and high-rise structures.”The key question now is whether the overall design of the building’s complete exterior was properly tested and subsequently signed off by the relevant authorities including the fire officer, building compliance officer and architect before commencement of the project.” Mr Cundy said the death toll may still change, but not as significantly as it has in recent days.He fought back tears as he told reporters about the scene inside the 24-storey tower in north Kensington.Footage from inside the gutted building has been released, showing the extent of the damage caused by the blaze. “At No 10 yesterday, the Prime Minister assured the group that from now on residents would be consulted on a coordinated relief effort. This has not happened with these funds.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
The Rottweiler hounding Mrs Smith’s horseCredit:Caters She said: “A horse’s reaction is to flee danger and that’s what Ella’s was trying to do. There was nothing that could be done because we usually stop and stand to let dogs pass, but because it was at the horse’s legs, it wouldn’t stand still.“These incidents happen quite often where dogs are out-of-control near the horses. It was scary for my daughter. As soon as the dog got close, her horse was up in the air on two legs.”Mrs Smith, 40, has been a victim of a similar previous incident when a dog ran at her horse causing her to fall and leaving her with broken ribs.During the Rottweiler incident, which Mrs Smith filmed, she says the dog’s owner couldn’t hear her screams as their horses were harassed. Mrs Smith added: “It’s a worry for horse riders when you come across dogs off-lead because you never know how they or the horses are going to behave. I usually shout ‘the horse will kick’ and give the owner time to put their dog on a lead while we stop and stand.” A mother has shared footage of the terrifying moment her daughter was accosted by a snarling Rottweiler while out horse riding.Tracy Smith can be heard desperately screaming for the dog’s owner to control the pet as her daughter Ella clung on during the three-minute ordeal in Oxford.Fortunately Ella, 14, is an experienced rider and was able to stay mounted. However Mrs Smith has called for dog-owners to be more responsible when their pets are around horses. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Dog-owners are advised to train a reliable recall for their pets or keep them on a lead when a horse is nearby. 14-year-old Ella chased by ‘out of control’ Rottweiler Credit:Caters
Scotland Yard is carrying out an “urgent assessment” after a rape prosecution collapsed due to the late disclosure of evidence which undermined the case.The trial of Liam Allan, 22, was halted at Croydon Crown Court on Thursday, and the judge called for a review of disclosure of evidence by the Metropolitan Police, as well as an inquiry at the Crown Prosecution Service, The Times reported.Police are understood to have looked at thousands of phone messages when reviewing evidence but it was not until the prosecution was close to trial that Met officers disclosed messages between the complainant and her friends which cast doubt on the case against Mr Allan.The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said they offered no evidence in the case on Thursday, as it was decided “there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction”.Speaking outside court, Mr Allan told The Times: “I can’t explain the mental torture of the past two years. I feel betrayed by the system which I had believed would do the right thing – the system I want to work in.” “The CPS are under terrible pressure, as are the police. Both work hard but are badly under-resourced.”Crown court trials only work because of the co-operation and goodwill of advocates and the bench – but time pressures are making this increasingly difficult.”Because of the swingeing cuts that the Treasury continuously imposes, the system is not just creaking, it is about to croak.”A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We are aware of this case being dismissed from court and are carrying out an urgent assessment to establish the circumstances which led to this action being taken.”We are working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service and keeping in close contact with the victim whilst this process takes place.”A spokesman for the CPS said: “A charge can only be brought if a prosecutor is satisfied that both stages of the Full Code test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors are met, that is, that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is required in the public interest.”All prosecutions are kept under continuous review and prosecutors are required to take account of any change in circumstances as the case develops.”In November 2017, the police provided more material in the case of Liam Allan. Upon a review of that material, it was decided that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction. Writing in the paper, prosecuting barrister and former Conservative MP Jerry Hayes said: “I told the judge that this was the most appalling failure of disclosure that I have ever encountered. “Therefore we offered no evidence in the case against Liam Allan at a hearing on December 14 2017.”We will now be conducting a management review together with the Metropolitan Police to examine the way in which this case was handled.” I can’t explain the mental torture of the past two years. I feel betrayed by the system which I had believed would do the right thingLiam Allen Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.