September 2019

The Return of MLBs Youth

In 2013, about 28 percent of all Wins Above Replacement were created by the under-25 set. That was the ninth-largest share for any season since 1976. Output from youngsters has been on the upswing since the mid-to-late 1990s, when the percentage of WAR from young players hit its nadir. That nadir happened to occur at the height of baseball’s so-called steroid era.Further research is needed on the subject, but recent work on aging curves in the post-PED (performance enhancing drug) period suggests that today’s players are better earlier in their careers, and then decline much sooner and more sharply.Given that, it’s no surprise to see the game’s fresh faces producing a larger share of wins. A few years ago, Bill James — baseball writer and pagan god of sabermetrics — was asked whether baseball was in the midst of a golden age of great young stars. James created a “young talent inventory” (pay-walled), a somewhat elaborate methodology to measure whether runs were being created or saved by players aged 25 or younger.I’m not going to delve into so intricate a technique. But I like the 25-or-under cut-off (as do other prospect-watchers), so I decided to add up the Wins Above Replacement (WAR) produced by players in that age range for every season going back to 1976, the dawn of the free-agency/arbitration era. (Before then, player movement was far more restricted than it is now.)What proportion of total WAR in all of Major League Baseball has been generated by young players? read more

FiveThirtyEights 201516 NBA Forecast

The East is still the inferior conference — the average NBA team would stand to gain about two extra wins by moving from West to East. How much is two wins worth? It’s nothing to sneeze at, but it also isn’t going to make or break a team’s fortunes. The top-ranked Cleveland Cavaliers, for instance, would still be projected to win more than 60 games if they were given the schedule of a typical Western Conference team.Then again, the Cavs have a rare stockpile of talent by the standards of the East — we think they’re far and away the best team in the conference. That’s not exactly a bold prediction; perhaps more interesting is the No. 2 ranking CARMELO bestows on the Boston Celtics, who finished last season with the eighth seed in the East. Boston’s scoring attack wasn’t very good last year, but CARMELO thinks the team’s turnaround will be fueled by major improvements on the offensive end.As for the rest of the conference, the Atlanta Hawks’ projected decline — from 60 to 46 wins — might surprise their fans, but because many of last season’s stars are expected to regress to the mean, CARMELO thinks they’ll take equal steps backward on offense and defense. Along the same lines, the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets are projected to fall out of the playoffs (particularly Brooklyn, who we project to be in the East’s cellar), while CARMELO calls for the Charlotte Hornets to ascend to the postseason after sitting it out last year.WESTERN CONFERENCE 3BullsCentral+0.115+2.04+2.147.8 7HornetsSoutheast-1.0170.017-1.039.4 10PistonsCentral+1.210-3.127-1.936.6 Here at FiveThirtyEight HQ, we’ve been pretty excited about the upcoming 2015-16 NBA season.OK, that’s a bit of an understatement.For starters, we rolled out CARMELO,1Short for, ahem, Career-Arc Regression Model Estimator with Local Optimization. our system for predicting the career of every NBA player, and we’ve been encouraging all who will listen to check out their favorite player’s projection. (Yes, our friends and families have asked us to stop.) We also used CARMELO to preview all 30 NBA teams.In each of those previews, we listed a “projected record” for the team in question to get a sense of what their fans should expect this year. But the trouble with writing these previews over such an extended amount of time is that we didn’t really get a chance to run the numbers for every team all at once. And if we had, injuries and transactions would have rendered those projections out of date by now.So to our eagle-eyed readers: Yes, we know, the projected wins for each team did not perfectly average 41-41 across the entire NBA.2They came close; on average, we were about 0.9 wins too high per team. We also didn’t adjust the numbers for strength of schedule. But we have now. Here’s an overview of each conference’s projected standings, which takes into account CARMELO’s ratings and each team’s schedule.3Our original predictions have a .996 correlation with these updated ones, so very little changed when we plugged our talent ratings into the 2015-16 NBA schedule. Unsurprisingly, the main difference came between conferences, where the same amount of generic talent in the CARMELO model will buy you more wins in the East than the West.EASTERN CONFERENCE 15NetsAtlantic-3.828-3.929-7.721.7 8JazzNorthwest+0.514+0.88+1.343.8 15LakersPacific-1.923-4.830-6.722.1 8PacersCentral-1.219-0.219-1.437.7 1CavaliersCentral+8.210.018+8.163.2 5RocketsSouthwest+4.03+0.610+4.752.6 SEEDTEAMDIVOFFNBA RKDEFNBA RKTOTWINS 13NuggetsNorthwest-4.329-0.923-5.226.3 11MagicSoutheast-1.420-0.721-2.136.1 10SunsPacific-2.624+1.96-0.738.2 In the West, the Golden State Warriors are once again our pick for No. 1 in the conference. But beneath them, there are some shake-ups: The Oklahoma City Thunder, who finished out of the playoffs last season after an incredible spate of injuries, are right back near the top of the standings, as are the new-look San Antonio Spurs. Those teams push the Los Angeles Clippers down to No. 4, highlighting just how stacked the West continues to be.CARMELO also thinks the Houston Rockets will fall from second to fifth in the conference, thanks to a declining defense. And it forecasts an extreme decline for the Portland Trail Blazers — without LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland is projected to drop from fourth in the West to 12th. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the playoff picture, our numbers call for the Dallas Mavericks to cede their No. 7 slot from a year ago to the Pelicans, while the Utah Jazz and (shockingly) the Kings battle over the conference’s eighth and final postseason berth.As mentioned above, the West figures to once again dominate the East. While the Cavaliers project as the NBA’s most talented team (by fractions of a ratings point over the Warriors), each of the next six best teams are in the West, as are six of the seven teams we project to win 50+ games. But there might be slight hope for improvement in East-West relations: CARMELO thinks the East will gain five total wins on the West, compared to last year’s split between the conferences.No matter what happens between the conferences, though, we think they’ll be represented again in the Finals by the Cavaliers and Warriors come next June.4Cleveland has a much higher probability of getting there. And we’re really looking forward to seeing how their paths potentially take them there. 12BucksCentral-3.326+0.79-2.634.4 2ThunderNorthwest+6.12+0.513+6.658.0 SEEDTEAMDIVOFFNBA RKDEFNBA RKTOTWINS 1476ersAtlantic-6.730-0.822-7.522.0 9HeatSoutheast-0.316-1.324-1.637.7 9KingsPacific-1.018+0.414-0.638.3 3SpursSouthwest+2.37+4.22+6.457.1 5RaptorsAtlantic+0.712+0.116+0.844.5 6WizardsSoutheast-1.721+1.57-0.341.0 2CelticsAtlantic+2.08+0.415+2.449.2 4HawksSoutheast+0.711+0.611+1.345.7 13KnicksAtlantic-3.527-2.926-6.424.8 1WarriorsPacific+3.05+5.01+8.161.3 4ClippersPacific+4.04+1.95+5.956.1 12Trail BlazersNorthwest-1.822+0.612-1.336.2 11MavericksSouthwest+1.49-1.925-0.638.0 7PelicansSouthwest+2.36-0.620+1.844.9 6GrizzliesSouthwest+0.613+3.13+3.750.5 14TimberwolvesNorthwest-2.625-3.128-5.724.9 read more

Justin Blackmon Finally Signs With Jaguars

Justin Blackmon is in the record books and he has not even played a game yet for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He certainly did not plan for the dubious distinction he acquired, but then who would?Blackmon became this year’s final first-round draft pick to sign a contract. The No. 5 overall will show up for his first NFL practice Tuesday after he signs a four-year deal worth $19.5 million, according to the Florida Times-Union.As it is in today’s technologically advanced times, the Jaguars announced the contract agreement with Blackmon via the team’s Twitter account.In any case, the club is ready to have the receiver with so much potential begin working on his craft with his teammates. Blackmon isn’t likely to play in the Jaguars’ first preseason game Friday against the New York Giants. New rules call for a player to have three days of non-contact work before he’s allowed to put on full pads. Starting practice Tuesday only allows for two days of non-contact work before the preseason game.Whatever the case, Blackmon will arrive with a cloud of drama hanging over him and suspect eyes because of his troubled past.The former Oklahoma State star pleaded guilty last month to drunken driving in Oklahoma. He negotiated a deal that did not included jail time.Still, it was s disturbing scenario. Blackmon was arrested in Stillwater, Okla., on June 3 and charged with aggravated DUI when he registered a .24 alcohol level, three times the legal limit. He later apologized and indicated that he would stop drinking.This arrest followed an arrest for an alcohol-related offense while at Oklahoma State, leading to speculation that the Jaguars wanted some sort of contractual protection should he run afoul of the law again.It is not clear at this time if that kind of stipulation was a sticking point in the contract negotiations. read more

Saints Coach Sean Payton to Become Free Agent

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, who is currently serving a yearlong suspension, is set to become a free agent at the end of this season after his multi-year contract extension in September 2011 was voided by the NFL within the past year according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.The extension would have kept Payton in New Orleans through the 2015 season, but a clause in the contact is the specific reason why the NFL decided to void it. The clause states that Payton could walk away from the deal if general manager Mickey Loomis was fired, suspended, or left the organization under any circumstances that were deemed to be unsatisfactory by the league.The NFL felt that the clause would have set a horrible pattern for future coaching contracts and denied the deal months before Loomis was set to serve his eight game suspension for his role in the bounty scandal.Ironically, Saints owner Tom Benson announced the extension last year which did not receive approval from the league.“I am very pleased to announce this contract extension today for Sean that will run through the 2015 season,” Benson said. “Our goal is to continue to build a tradition of winning here in New Orleans and Sean represents that tradition.”In March, Payton visited the NFL offices to appeal his suspension in connection with the bounty scandal, he then asked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about the status of his contract extension and was informed that the contract was unacceptable, according to Schefter.Both sides attempted to resolve the matter, but were unable to in numerous attempts that date back to the beginning of this year.The NFL released a statement Sunday morning, saying it had “made no determination” on the status of Payton’s contract for next year.“All contracts between clubs and their employees must be approved by the commissioner, and we do not comment on specific terms of individual contracts,” the statement said. “Any comment regarding the matter should come from Coach Payton and the Saints.”There are some in the league office that believe Payton’s contract will be put on hold, meaning he would be the head coach in New Orleans for the 2013 season. But others believe that he will become a free agent.The struggling Dallas Cowboys are one of the teams that have risen to surface in being interested in Payton if he is a free agent. Payton served as assistant head coach from 2003 to 2005 for the Cowboys and purchased a house in the city early last year.Current Cowboys coach Jason Garret is in his second year after finishing 8-8 last year. He has been scrutinized the past couple of weeks with bad play-calling and clock management issues, which has them at 3-4 for the season.Earlier in the season Cowboys owner Jerry Jones expressed that the window of opportunity was closing on his team. The Cowboys have not made a playoff appearance since 2009, and if they do not make playoffs this season he may possibly replace Garrett with Payton. read more

Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Charged with Solicitation of Prostitution

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is being charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution after he was twice videotaped paying for a sex act at an illicit massage parlor, police in Florida said Friday.Jupiter police told reporters Friday that the 77-year-old Kraft hasn’t been arrested. A warrant will be issued and his attorneys will be notified. Kraft has denied wrongdoing.FILE – In this Jan. 20, 2019, file photo, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft walks on the field before the AFC Championship NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)Jupiter police said details about the charges against Kraft will not be released until next week.The charge comes amid a widespread crackdown on sex trafficking in the area surrounding Palm Beach County. About 200 arrest warrants have been issued in recent days and more are expected. Police said they secretly planted undercover cameras in targeted massage parlors and videotaped the interactions between men and the female employees.In a statement, a spokesperson for Kraft said they “categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”The Patriots won the Super Bowl earlier this month in Atlanta, their sixth in the last 18 seasons.Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr said he was shocked to learn Kraft, who is worth $6 billion, was paying for sex inside a strip-mall massage parlor, the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.“We are as equally stunned as everyone else,” Kerr said.The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, which would prosecute the case, had no comment.Kraft lives in Massachusetts and has a home in the Palm Beach area. He is a frequent guest of President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club. Though a Democrat, he is friendly with Trump.Kraft’s wife Myra Hiatt died in 2011. He has been dating 39-year-old actress Ricki Noel Lander since 2012.The NFL did not immediately respond to a message Friday seeking comment.Most people charged for the first time for soliciting a prostitute in Florida are allowed to enter a diversion program, said attorney David Weinstein, a former prosecutor. Kraft would have to perform 100 hours of community service and pay to attend an educational program about the negative effects of prostitution and human trafficking.Kraft, who made his initial fortune through a packaging company, was a Patriots season ticket owner when he purchased the team’s previous stadium during in 1988, then used his leverage to buy the team in 1994 for $172 million to keep if from moving to St. Louis.He hired Bill Belichick to be his coach in 2000 and the team subsequently drafted quarterback Tom Brady, launching their nearly two decades of success.Under Kraft, the Patriots have been the most successful team in pro sports, having made it to 10 Super Bowls, winning six, including this year against the Los Angeles Rams.But there also have been issues involving team actions under Belichick.In 2007, the Patriots were caught filming signals from New York Jets coaches; New England was suspected of doing so against other teams, as well, and that was confirmed later on. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell fined the Patriots $250,000 and stripped them of their 2008 first-round draft pick. Belichick was fined $500,000, the most an NFL coach ever was fined.In the 2014 AFC championship game, the team — specifically, star quarterback Tom Brady — was accused by the Indianapolis Colts of doctoring footballs.The NFL concluded that Patriots employees were involved in deflating the footballs and Brady was “at least generally aware” it was being done. After lengthy legal battles, Brady served a four-game suspension at the beginning of the 2016 season and the Patriots were fined $1 million — the heftiest for a team in league history. New England was stripped of a first-round and a fourth-round draft choice.Neither Kraft nor Belichick were implicated after the investigation. read more

How The Eagles Are Winning Matters As Much As Their 20 Record

The Philadelphia Eagles are 2-0, but they’re living dangerously. The Eagles fell behind 17-0 against Jacksonville on opening day before hanging 34 unanswered points on the Jaguars defense. And Philadelphia was at it again in Monday night’s victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Trailing 20-6 at one point in the third quarter, the Eagles came back to win on a Cody Parkey field goal as time expired.Philadelphia has an average points-per-game margin of +10 so far this season, which ties it for fifth-best in the NFL. If you look at how the Eagles’ games have developed, though, you’d never guess they’d have such a positive scoring margin. To measure this phenomenon, FiveThirtyEight contributor Chase Stuart has created a metric called Game Scripts, which attempts to more accurately measure how the totality of a game played out beyond the final score line. A team’s Game Script in a given game (or season) is its average point margin at any given moment.Against Indianapolis, the Eagles had a Game Script of -4.8, meaning they trailed by nearly five points at any given moment in the game. Needless to say, teams that post a Game Script of -4.8 tend to lose. Historically, only about 17 percent of teams with that particular Game Script win the game in question. But that’s nothing compared with Philadelphia’s game vs. Jacksonville — the Eagles won despite a -7.1 Game Script. Teams with such a negative Game Script tend to win only 9 percent of the time.Adding those two winning percentages up, we’d expect the Eagles to have won just 0.26 games so far this year, based on the degree to which they’ve trailed and the amount of time they’ve spent trailing. That represents a huge difference from their actual win total (two). Through two games, it’s the biggest difference between actual wins and Game Script-predicted wins of any team since 1978 (when the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978).But that gap is probably unsustainable. After all, impressive late-game comebacks aren’t necessarily very predictive of how a team will play in the future. However, I decided to test which statistic was a better descriptor of a team like the Eagles: two actual wins in two games, or 0.26 Game Script-predicted wins?For both metrics, I looked at teams’ two-game starts to the season (excluding strike-shortened campaigns) and their records over the remainder of the season. For example, the average 2-0 team ended up winning eight games out of its next 14. So just from Philadelphia’s record alone, we’d expect them to finish the season 10-6. But the average team with 0.26 Game Script-predicted wins through two games won only 5.9 of their next 14 games, which would yield a predicted record of about 8-8 for the Eagles despite the 2-0 start.I then tested which mixture of actual and Game Script-predicted wins yielded the best prediction about how a team would finish the year. The result? Both variables carry almost exactly the same weight. Accuracy is maximized when predicting a team’s rest-of-season record by giving 50.7 percent weight to that which would be predicted from its actual record, and 49.3 percent to that which would be predicted from its Game Script. (And both variables are statistically significant.)For the Eagles, this means they aren’t quite the team we’d expect from their 2-0 record. But they also shouldn’t have their big average deficits completely held against them. Combining the two metrics, we’d expect them to finish with almost exactly seven wins in their final 14 games, which would yield a record of 9-7. read more

Meet The Personal Stats Analyst Who Helped Kevin Durant Win The MVP

Personal trainers have been a part of professional sports for decades. Personal data analysts are newer.As a trained mathematician, Justin Zormelo provided Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder with personalized analytics during Durant’s MVP season. And in his most recent undertaking, Zormelo is training a 17-year-old, 7-foot-1-inch Sudan native named Thon Maker. Zormelo’s story is told in the latest “Signals” film from FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films: “By The Numb3rs (With Justin Zormelo),” directed by Jamie Schutz.

Ohio State baseball looks to rebound in 3game series at Maryland

OSU redshirt junior right fielder Jacob Bosiokovic (17) gets ready to swing during a game against Bethune-Cookman on April 2 at Bill Davis Stadium.Credit: Edward Sutelan | For The LanternHumble pie does not taste good, but sometimes it’s necessary in order to get a dose of reality.Ohio State baseball coach Greg Beals knows this all too well after his alma mater Kent State provided that slice of truthful decadence with an 8-3 thumping Tuesday evening. OSU (19-8-1, 2-1) had been riding a seven-game winning streak, and dating back to the March 15 win over UNLV, had won 12 of its last 13 games. But the throttling at the hands of the Golden Flashes provided a blinding reality check that Beals is using as a learning experience. “It wasn’t just (Tuesday’s starter) Ryan Feltner, we all got punched in the mouth yesterday,” Beals said. “So it’s good. The competitors that we are, it’s not all bad.”OSU hasn’t faced a Big Ten opponent on the road so far this season, and the nonconference loss to Kent State was its first matchup versus a road opponent with a winning record.Now, OSU, which is 4-4 on the road, is getting set to head to College Park, Maryland, for its first-ever road series with the recently added Big Ten rival Maryland Terrapins (14-15, 1-2). Last season, the Terps took two of three games at Bill Davis Stadium in May, sending OSU into a tailspin that it couldn’t steer out of. OSU co-captain and third baseman Nick Sergakis said the Buckeyes are looking for revenge against the Terrapins after they stole a series from the Buckeyes in Columbus.  “They came into our place and kind of handed it to us a little bit,” Sergakis said. “We wanna go out to their park and do the same thing to them. They’re a good team, we have not taken them lightly. It’s a big Big Ten series.” Beals noted that OSU is more experienced and more potent on offense, leading him to believe his guys will be ready for the battle when junior ace Tanner Tully takes the mound on Friday. Scouting MarylandMaryland enters the series as losers of three of its last four games, including a frustrating series loss to High Point at home. Maryland currently sits at 1-2 in the Big Ten after dropping two of three at Iowa, and the series this weekend against the Buckeyes will open a swing of conference games that make up nine of its next 10. The Terrapins lean heavily on underclassmen for production at the plate, as their top three hitters — sophomore infielder Kevin Biondic, freshman infielder Nick Dunn and freshman outfielder Marty Costes — have accounted for a combined 11 home runs, 56 RBIs and a .325 average. The Terrapin pitching staff sits in eighth place in the Big Ten with a 4.30 team ERA, but it’s loaded with top-notch talent. The pitching staff has been led by sophomore right-hander Taylor Bloom, who leads the team with a 4-2 record and a 2.36 ERA. Perhaps most impressively, Bloom leads the Terps with 8.5 strikeouts for each walk, which is tied for 16th in Division I. “Their starting pitchers are good,” Beals said. “We’ve gotta be able to be fastball ready and make sure we’re able to capitalize on the good pitches that we do get to hit, and then most importantly, we’ve gotta stay off their breaking balls. If we can stay away from the chases and hit the pitches we’re supposed to hit, I think we’ll be good.”Back on the right trackIn the latest release of the RPI standings by the NCAA, OSU came in at 149th place out of 300 teams, meaning OSU will have to turn up the heat for the rest of the conference season in order to boost its tournament résumé. Beals stressed the importance of getting back on the winning track against Maryland as a direct way to do that, as this series is the first of four consecutive Big Ten series for the Buckeyes. A big factor for OSU to get back to their winning ways is whether redshirt sophomore pitcher Adam Niemeyer will be able to shake off the hamstring pull that caused him to exit his last start against Bethune-Cookman after just 4.1 innings of work. “We’re going to bump him back to Sunday,” Beals said. “Right now we’re going to go Tully, (senior John) Havird and Niemeyer — just buying Adam another day. There’s still some soreness and tightness in that hamstring, we’re going to learn more about it today and tomorrow.”Junior catcher and co-captain Jalen Washington said the team will be ready to open its first series in Maryland and stressed the importance of getting on a roll in the conference. “Each Big Ten series is a big opportunity for us, so we just need to get out there and get ahead of it,” Washington said. “We don’t want to look back at the end of the season and worry about losing one to Maryland when we could have taken the series from them. Each opportunity is big for us.” The first pitch in College Park is set to be thrown out at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, while Saturday and Sunday’s games are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. read more

Buckeyes fall in straight sets to Penn State

The Ohio State women’s volleyball team lost in straight sets to 9th-ranked Penn State Wednesday night at St. John Arena (25-22, 25-21, 25-18). The match featured 22 ties and nine lead changes, but OSU couldn’t seem to get in a serving rhythm. “Our serving just wasn’t great tonight,” OSU coach Geoff Carlston said. “We’ve got to go back and we’ll work on that tomorrow.” The much bigger Penn State team created problems for the Buckeyes all night on the front lines. “They changed their blocking strategy. They committed on their middles,” senior outside hitter Anna Szerszen said. “We weren’t able to adapt fast enough.” Sophomore outside hitter Emily Danks led the Buckeyes with nine points, including six kills. Reigning Big Ten Player of the Week Kelli Barhorst was held to three points as Penn State adjusted to defend her early. “We were setting the same ball to her and they we’re defending it well,” Carlston said. Sophomore setter Amanda Peterson was productive off the bench for the Buckeyes. “Amanda Peterson came in and did a nice job of changing up the flow,” Carlston said. The Buckeyes look to improve their defense as they move farther into Big Ten play. “Our defense needs to perform better on the block,” senior setter Betsy Hone said. “We need to crash in, put our helmets on and play some defense.” With the loss, OSU drops to 16-6 on the season and 4-5 in Big Ten play. They travel to Evanston, Ill., to take on 22nd-ranked Northwestern Friday night at 7 p.m. read more

Wealthy tree surgeon under arrest in hospital after girlfriend is found stabbed

first_imgNeighbours told how the couple had been in a relationship for several months, following the death of Mr Rough’s first wife from cancer two years ago.The couple were understood to have recently enjoyed a holiday together in the Lake District.Three cars belonging to Mr Rough remained parked on the driveway of his home and neighbours said they understood he also owned an ocean-going boat.Forensic officers were continuing to examine the property, while police were also at Mrs Pattenden’s nearby home in Elgar Avenue, Crowthorne.A spokesman for Thames Valley Police confirmed that the death was being treated as murder but said that the victim had not yet been formally identified.The spokesman said: “Thames Valley Police has launched a murder investigation in Crowthorne, Berkshire,“Police received a call shortly before 11.30pm on Sunday night reporting that a woman had died inside a property in Ellis Road.“A man in his mid-50s was found injured at the property and was taken to hospital with what is believed to be stab wounds where he remains in a critical condition.“Officers attended the property and a woman, aged in her early 50s, was found deceased inside the property. Her next of kin has been informed and are being supported by specially-trained officers.“A scene watch is currently in place in Ellis Road and officers will be conducting inquiries in the area as part of the investigation.”Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Ailsa Kent, from Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit, said: “A murder investigation has begun following the discovery of a woman’s body in a house in Crowthorne.“Although we are in the early stages of conducting inquiries, this is thought to have been an isolated incident and it is believed the victim was known to the offender.“I would like to appeal for any witnesses who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in that area at around the time of the incident.“Officers will be present in the area of Ellis Road and anyone who has any information or concerns can approach an officer to speak to them.” 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 company director has been arrested in hospital after his girlfriend was found stabbed to death at his home in an upmarket village in Berkshire.The 55-year-old, who runs his own tree surgery and landscaping business, was rushed to hospital suffering from a number of stab wounds and was placed under ‘technical arrest’ by detectives investigating the murder of his 53-year-old partner.Paramedics and police rushed to Michael Rough’s £500,000 detached home in Ellis Close, Crowthorne, following a 999 call.Officers discovered the body of a 53-year-old woman, named locally as Jackie Pattenden, inside the property, along with Mr Rough, who was suffering from stab wounds.He was rushed to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, where his condition was described as “critical”.Police are not believed to be looking for anyone else in connection with the double stabbing.Police said that a 55-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder but was under “technical arrest” in hospital.last_img read more

Chairman of the BMAs junior doctors committee resigns following strike backlash

first_imgThe chairman of the British Medical Association’s junior doctors’ committee has resigned, after a backlash from medics following her decision to call off planned strikes.Dr Ellen McCourt stepped down on Friday night, saying it had become clear to her that her position was “untenable”.She will be replaced by her deputy Dr Pete Campbell, a Momentum supporter from the more militant wing of the union. Dr McCourt had been in post for just four months. Well that was unexpected. @TheBMA JDC chair Ellen McCourt just resigned. What now?— Helen Stigaard Laird (@Helenlaird) November 4, 2016 Her predecessor had resigned in July after a new contract for he had backed was rejected by a vote of junior doctors.After replacing him, Dr McCourt proposed that the union embark on the most crippling strike action in the history of the NHS, with months of week-long walkouts.That triggered despair among many doctors, who feared it would risk lives, and damage the credibility of their cause.The strikes were finally called off in September, after an all-day meeting of the junior doctors committee (JDC), which was deeply divided over the issue.Since then, Dr McCourt has been under increasing attack from more militant doctors, who have accused the union of presiding over a “toothless omnishambles” in their handing of the contract. I have continued to listen to junior doctors and it has become increasingly apparent to me that my position is untenableDr Ellen McCourtcenter_img In a statement, the junior doctor said: “I led the JDC to make decisions based on the position of our membership. I have defended the rights of junior doctors to make the decisions about their futures themselves and not have this right taken away from them.”I have faithfully upheld the wishes of the majority of junior doctors to reject the contract, their desire for escalated IA (industrial action) and the decision by JDC to suspend the action.”While I was deeply honoured to be re-elected as chair of JDC, over the past few weeks I have continued to listen to junior doctors and it has become increasingly apparent to me that my position is untenable.”A number of doctors had accused the the BMA of a “betrayal” of junior doctors for suddenly abandoning the strikes just 10 days before the walkouts were due to begin.The contract has now been introduced for some doctors, starting this month. 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.last_img read more

Shelf warfare frustrated partners load cupboards with food their other half wont

first_imgA partner who feels undervalued may make an unconscious ‘oppositional’ choice to gain control  The volunteers were not necessarily being spiteful, because they were choosing brands for themselves  Those lacking relationship power and induced to feel sad, however, were more likely to pick a brand that suited their partners’ taste.”When people are sad, they tend to be more passive because they are ruminating, so they are not feeling actively oppositional toward their partners,” said Dr Brick.Co-author Dr Gavan Fitzsimons of Duke University said that future research could look into whether couples actually made ‘spiteful’ choices against their partners wishes. In the current study, the participants were only asked to select brands for themselves.“Further research could examine whether there are differences between oppositional and spiteful brain choices.“If someone were to make a truly spiteful choice then one would choose the brain that is opposition to the brad that the partner likes when the partner actually has to consume it.“We found some evidence to suggest that making oppositional brand choices can reduce relationship frustration.”The findings, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, have implications for marketing, say the researchers.”Marketers assume consumers are making conscious, deliberate choices, but actually there are other factors, sometimes even outside of their conscious awareness that are influencing their decisions,” Dr Brick added. The volunteers were not necessarily being spiteful, because they were choosing brands for themselves  A partner who feels undervalued may make an unconscious 'oppositional' choice to gain controlcenter_img Later, she might go out and buy a Diet Pepsi instead of her usual choice, Diet Coke – because she knows her partner prefers the Coca-Cola drink, say the researchers from the University of New Hampshire.”By unconsciously choosing the opposite brand their partner prefers, people might feel better without realising it,” said lead researcher Dr Danielle Brick, assistant professor of marketing at the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at New Hampshire.”We found that consumers are using brand choice as a form of behaviour to deal with conflict in relationships.”The pattern was identified in a series of psychological experiments with volunteers.In one study, nearly 300 participants were assessed for ‘relationship power’ – defined as how much control they had in the relationship –  before answering questions about their partners’ preferred brand choices in six categories, including coffee, toothpaste and shoes.They were then tricked by being told they were taking part in a visual acuity task related to letters. In fact, they were subconsciously linking their partners’ names to words that evoked frustration, sadness or neutral emotions.Finally, the volunteers were asked to choose what brands they preferred in the same six categories.Partners who were low in relationship power and had been primed to feel frustrated were more likely to select brands that were the opposite of what their partners preferred – known in marketing as “oppositional brand choices”. A secret power struggle between couples is being played out on the pantry shelves of Britain, according to psychologists.Retail therapy, it seems, is not just being used as a pick-me-up, but also to vent hidden frustrations.So if your partner starts buying an alternative to your favourite brand, then something may be up.Researchers have found that people who feel undervalued or ignored in a relationship are likely to buy a brand that is the opposite to what their partner would choose, in a small unconscious bid for control.As an example, a woman with a poor level of “relationship power” might be annoyed at being left to do the washing up again, but feel unable to speak out in case it sparks a row. 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.last_img read more

Pushy parents should leave children alone during school holidays headmaster says

first_imgPrince George, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Children should be left to play during school holidays Prince George, the son of the Duke and Duchess of CambridgeCredit: REUTERS Children should be left to play during school holidays Beeston Hall, a co-educational preparatory school for children aged four to 13, sends it alumni to the country’s leading public schools such as Eton College, Harrow School and Radley College. Pushy parents should leave their children alone during school holidays so that they can develop resilience and independence, the headmaster at one of Britain’s leading preparatory schools has said.  Rather than forcing youngsters into “tightly controlled schedules” full of CV-building activities such as musical instrument lessons, parents should let their children to entertain themselves.  Fred de Falbe, headmaster of the £23,000-a-year Beeston Hall School in Norfolk, said that it would be far better for a child’s personal development to allow them to become bored, so that they can then find creative ways to occupy their time. Writing in the summer edition of Attain magazine, he said: “Practising the violin swells the heart of every ambitious parent, but doodling with a diabolo or yoyo, seeing if you can make a glass sing with your index finger or if you can raise a single eyebrow are not yet – as far as I know – skills that are proudly added to the CV.”    It was thought to be under consideration by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as a potential school for Prince George, had they decided to live make Amner Hall in Norfolk their permanent residence.   He suggests instead that children should be left to play with paper darts, unicycle, stilts, or a Rubik’s cube.  “Not only does this add into the broth of resilience…it can prod problem-solving and self-esteem too – further totems of successful personal development,” he said.“Those left-field activities are often the consequences of boredom (rather than a tightly controlled holiday schedule) and evidence of it as a necessary motivational process. “Boredom drags children into territory where they are obliged to think for themselves, to confront a kind of loneliness and to tackle a task independently.”   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.last_img read more

Police officer dubbed King of Selfies defends posting 140mph motorway video on

first_imgSgt Tangye posted the video with the message: “This is what 140mph looks like. On route to a break in progress.”It was filmed by from the front-seat passenger during a blue light call to the scene of a suspected theft at a scrap yard.Shortly after, Sgt Tangye updated his account by tweeting: “Local units found 2 young lads in scrap yard… was the owners son and friend! No offences.”Sgt Tangye runs an award-winning blog which documents his experiences as a police officer, and has more than 15,000 followers on Twitter. Detective Superintendent Darren Rawlings, force development programme manager for Efficiency at Hampshire Constabulary, also spotted the video.He replied to Sgt Tangye’s post and said: “Why show this? Is it really necessary? Very naïve tweet. 140mph to a break in progress…”Sgt Tangye defended his driving skills on his Twitter page by saying: “Advance driving does not mean driving fast. It means progressive driving when safe to do so and regularly assessed by instructors.”As a 20 year Police Advanced driver, VIP driver, pursuits tactics advisor and SIO of fatalities, I don’t need to be lectured on safe driving.”After the advice I’ve had on how to do my job recently, I will be offering expert advice to: Plumbers, Teachers, Electricians.” 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. Many very nasty incidents have happened by scrap thieves when disturbed at night.— Sgt Harry Tangye (@DC_ARVSgt) August 6, 2017 One poster, StanStill, wrote: “Harry Tangye just loves himself to bits, the King of the Selfies. He sounds like a man who needs constant publicity to keep his ego going strong.”If there was a large animal in the road he would never have stopped at that speed. Time he was put back on the beat and take his selfie phone away.” It does nobody any good if you cannot safely get to the scene. I understand being in a hurry but 140mph is irresponsible. No reaction time.— Mika’s Seeping Wound (@JoeLoonan) August 6, 2017 This tweet received dozens of retweets, over 500 likes and more than 170 comments, many of which criticised the sergeant’s decision to hit such high speeds. I know. That’s why I’m pushing for a law change. In the mean time, I have to take a risk which is unacceptable.— Sgt Harry Tangye (@DC_ARVSgt) August 6, 2017 A police officer dubbed the “King of Selfies” has defended posting a video online showing police car travelling at 140mph along a motorway on the way to a suspected scrapyard theft. The film clip of the trip down the M5, in which the camera pans in on the speedometer to show it registering double the legal speed limit, was posted on Twitter by Devon and Cornwall Police traffic Sergeant Harry Tangye, who was criticised in August 2016 for taking a ‘selfie’ and tweeting “sorry guys and girls” while at the scene of a 19-mile long tailback on the M5 caused by a woman who tried to take her own life.last_img read more

British skier watches in horror as brother and close friend die in

first_imgRajen Mahendra, 26, from CambridgeCredit:LinkedIn His friends have described him as a “fun-loving, adventurous, kind hearted and caring person”Credit:Family handout 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. All three men were skiing the 45-degree couloir when Mr Cassagneau-Francis and Mr Mahendra lost control and plunged several hundred metres down the icy, rocky terrain, with hard, compacted snow.  Friends of Dr Cassagneau-Francis have paid tribute to him. Rajen Mahendra, 26, from Cambridge Mr Cassagneau-Francis and his friend Mr Mahendra, who were both born and brought up in Cambridge, were skiing in an area popular with off-piste skiers.But conditions are particularly unfavourable at the moment and mountain experts have warned skiers to exercise the utmost caution if considering venturing off-piste. A spokesman for the PGHM, the high mountain police in Chamonix, said: “Three British men were skiing Le Couloir Du Chapeau. It is a steep off-piste area. The snow at the moment is very hard, it is not powder skiing. The two men fell several hundred metres, within a couple of minutes of each other.“For sure these men were good skiers but the conditions are not good. An investigation has been opened into the accident.”Police refused to say whether the skiers were wearing helmets.As a teenager Mr Mahendra attended the fee paying Perse School in Cambridge, while Mr Cassagneau-Francis went to Netherhall School and then Hills Road Sixth Form College and the pair  frequently socialised together.Mr Cassagneau-Francis went on to train as a junior doctor at Newcastle University and at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, in south east London, while Mr Mahendra joined the international advertising and PR group Reprise Media.Both Mr Mahendra and Mr Cassagneau-Francis were keen sportsman and the pair had skied together with their families during the past decade.A grinning selfie of Mr Mahendra and his friends was posted on Twitter by an old schoolmate, with the caption: “Perse 2010. Older, not wiser”. Another shows him making a speech to the table of young men, dressed in a novelty Christmas jumper. They said: “Oscar was a fun-loving, adventurous, kind hearted and caring person who touched the hearts of everyone he knew. He will be sorely missed but greatly remembered by all those that know and love him. The world is a darker place without his cheeky smile & zest for life.”A spokeswoman for the men’s tour operator Inghams said: “We are working closely with local authorities in Chamonix, France, and the British Consulate, following the fatal accident involving two skiers. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of our guests at this difficult time.”According to police, there was evidence that other skiers had skied the slope in previous days.The bodies of the two men were retrieved from the mountain by helicopter and police have opened an investigation into the tragedy. Officers are due to interview Oliver Cassagneau-Francis, who was not injured, but was yesterday described as being in shock. His friends have described him as a "fun-loving, adventurous, kind hearted and caring person" Mr Cassagneau-Francis’s brother Oliver Phillipe recently finished studying for a postgraduate degree in Economics at French university Sciences Po.Before this, he studied for a BSc in the subject in his hometown, at the University of Cambridge.Like his brother he is understood to have been a keen skier, often posting photographs of himself on the slopes.On one photograph of his brother Oliver Phillipe trekking up a mountain, apparently preparing to ski off-piste, Mr Cassagneau-Francis wrote: “New skis? And when can i come see you?!?! Skype me sometime”.Stuart Macdonald, a British IFMGA mountain guide based in Chamonix, said: “This is an extremely serious couloir to ski at any time because there is a cliff at the bottom that you need to exit beforehand and it is a 45-degree slope. This is extreme skiing in any conditions, let alone Sunday’s.”It is west-facing and relatively low in altitude and the past week we have had plenty of sun and no fresh snow. All these factors mean I would not have skied that couloir on Sunday.”They may have seen tracks in the snow that they then followed, but in Chamonix, in particular, you could well be following a world-class skier.” A British skier witnessed a tragic accident in which his younger brother and a close childhood friend fell to their death in the French Alps.Experienced skier Oscar Cassagneau-Francis and his friend Rajen Mahendra, both 26, plunged several hundred metres to their deaths in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc while skiing off-piste.Mr Cassagneau-Francis’ older brother Oliver Phillipe, 28, also a keen skier, saw one of the men fall at around 11.40am on Sunday.He managed to raise the alarm with the piste patrollers who then radioed the mountain police in a desperate bid to find the pair alive.It is not known if the second skier fell while Oliver Phillipe was calling for help but he told rescuers he did not see the second fatal fall.Mr Cassagneau-Francis had been on several skiing trips, but the weather conditions on the 1700 metre high Le Couloir Du Chapeau, a steep section of the famous Grands Montets ski area, were said to be perilous, despite the glorious sunshine.last_img read more

Woman found dead with stab wounds in Twickenham while husband and sons

first_imgInvestigators outside the house. Her husband and two children were also found dead in Birling Gap, East SussexCredit:Nicholas Razzell  Investigators outside the house. Her husband and two children were also found dead in Birling Gap, East Sussex A woman in her forties has been found dead with stab wounds at home in Twickenham and her husband and two children found dead below cliffs in Eastbourne, Sussex. The 47-year-old mother-of-two was found by police shortly before 6pm last night after concerns were raised for her family’s safety.  “I haven’t really seen them, I saw Christmas lights go up but that is about it, they were a very quiet family.”A bus driver, who refused to be named, said he saw the family coming out the driveway occasionally.He said: “It is a shock, they were very nice people, pleasant.”I saw them quite a few times and you could just tell they were very nice.”A former owner of the home confirmed the house was sold in 2014 and is believed to have been rented out to the family.Anyone with information is asked to call the Metropolitan Police on 0208 721 4005, or locally to Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Glasson. The  Metropolitan Police said the body of a man and two children found an hour earlier at the Birling Gap seafront, Eastbourne, were believed to be her husband, 57, and sons, age seven and 10. A vehicle was recovered nearby. No arrests have been made and police said that at this stage they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the investigation. Neighbour Alycia Mead, 25, said: “It was about 6pm and I saw lots of flashing lights and two fire engines parked on the road.”Then about six police cars, some unmarked, came and the officers were smashing their way through the front door.”They were struggling but managed to smash through some of the windows and climbed in through the door and then I heard them say ‘she is on her own’.”They were picking their way through the garden and the shed and when I saw forensics last night I thought it must have been murder.last_img read more

Death of the cigarette on the horizon as tobacco giant invests in

first_imgThe revelation in question is a small plastic capsule into which specially-designed tobacco sticks are inserted and heated to 350C allowing… Inside a cavernous marquee filled with politicians and captains of industry, André Calantzopoulos, chief executive of tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) is preparing to unveil the future. “This revelation will change all that we know about smoking,” he announces to the expectant crowd. At the gates of the Papastratos tobacco factory, a bevy of glamorous hostesses dressed in identical black and wielding clipboards usher guests through. A helicopter whirs overhead while G4S security guards line the hill which winds down towards Athens in the distance.last_img

Six Cambridge colleges admitted fewer than ten black British students in five

David Lammy David Lammy campaignd on diversity at Oxford Credit:Stefan Rousseau/PA 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. “We are already doing a significant bit of outreach, but ultimately the university isn’t going to be able to bring about this change on its own. We need the support of schools and parents too,” the university told the Financial Times.“More needs to be done to prepare high-achieving black students for applications to Cambridge and Oxford, which is why we have significantly increased the funding we contribute to programmes like Target Oxbridge,” it added. Six of Cambridge University’s colleges admitted fewer than ten black British students in five years, and some admitted none at all in some years, new data has shown.The data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Financial Times, comes after the revelation last month that one in four Oxford colleges did not admit a single black British student between 2015 and 2017. Cambridge University said that it cannot change diversity “on its own” and called for parents and schools to help boost the number of underrepresented minorities applying to its colleges.St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, did not admit any black British students between 2012 and 2016, despite receiving between 31 and 35 applications.Magdalene College, which was the last Oxbridge college to admit women in 1988, received 40 applications from black British students but only made between three and nine offers. Downing College received 37 applications from black British students between 2014 and 2015 but made no offers.Fitzwilliam College was the only college to consistently make more than four offers to black British students in the 2012 to 2016 period.The figures were released by the University as ranges, because the small numbers involved meant that the anonymity of applicants could have been compromised.  David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, who campaigns for diversity in British universities, said: “Cambridge, and every university in the country, should be publishing all their access and admissions data every year”.“We need transparency if we are going to have progress on access to our elite institutions for students from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds,” he said.Last month, his information requests showed the lack of black British students at Oxford colleges. Mr Lammy also spoke out against the opacity of universities in not revealing data.“The fact that many colleges are admitting so few black British students that they argue that publishing the information would risk identifying individual students is itself the strongest possible evidence that there is so much work to do,” he added. read more

Young girl dies after being thrown from exploding bouncy castle

The play area was cordoned off after the incident The play area was cordoned off after the incidentCredit:ANTONY KELLY/ARCHANT He said: “I’d estimate 20,000 inflatables have been hired out this weekend. This is vanishingly rare. And they’re shipped off to Spain, to Argentina – this wasn’t the heat.”He speculated one of the bed ties – which secure the internal ribbing of the bed of the unit and separate one air chamber from another – might have broken leading to internal chambers opening into one another and causing the structure to rip open or explode.A joint investigation between the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Great Yarmouth Borough Council, and Norfolk Police has been launched to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident.It comes two weeks after fairground workers William Thurston, 29, and his wife Shelby, 26, were jailed for three years after being found guilty of the manslaughter by gross negligence of a seven-year-old girl in a bouncy castle in March 2016. Ann Weaver said: “I was sat next to it behind the barrier and I just heard a big bang and I turn around and a little girl in pink flew up and back down. They did CPR on her straight away. She looked a lot younger than four-years-old.”Brandon Lewis, Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth, tweeted: “Absolutely tragic, thoughts are with family and friends, just so sad.”Bounce About advertises five minutes on the trampoline for £2, with 15 minute sessions on other inflatables available for £3 each.Online the family business advertises rentals of rodeo bulls, bouncy castles, and bumper cars from £250.Their ‘funcity’ inflatables are marketed as being “nothing like your normal bouncy castles”, the smallest measuring 12m by 5.5m.Curt Johnson, owner of Bounce About, said it was the firm’s first major accident. He was not at the scene but said: “My condolences go out to the family after this horrific accident. I don’t know the full story. I believe it was an inflatable trampoline.”He told The Mirror the inflatable exploded “because of the heat”.The Met Office’s observatory in nearby Weybridge recorded 19.2 degrees today at 11am.The owner of an East Anglia inflatables business, who asked not to be named, said Mr Johnson and his wife either supervised children on the inflatables themselves or employed a supervisor. Norfolk Police arrived at the scene within minutesCredit:ANTONY KELLY/ARCHANT He said Bounce About has been operating on Gorleston beach for more than ten seasons, with the castles and slides inflated during the summer, and switched off and stored securely over the winter.”I know the family who look after the park and I know they look after their equipment,” he said, but rubbished the suggestion the incident could be heat-related. Summer Grant died after a gust of wind lifted an improperly secured inflatable from its moorings and sent it cartwheeling 300 metres down a hill in Harlow, Essex, the trial at Chelmsford Crown Court heard. A young girl has died after being thrown from an inflatable trampoline which exploded on a beach.Eye-witnesses have described their horror at watching the little girl in a pink dress, believed to be just four years old, thrown 20 feet into the air when the inflatable exploded with a loud bang.The Bounce About play area on Gorleston beach, just south of Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, was cordoned off yesterday and a police investigation is now underway.The play area’s owner Curt Johnson, who was not at the scene, said the trampoline had exploded “because of the heat”.Norfolk police were called to the scene at 11.15am, following reports a child had been “thrown from a bouncy castle.” Ambulance crews arrived within four minutes and the child, who was in cardiac arrest, received CPR at the scene.She was taken to James Paget Hospital two miles away but died shortly afterwards. Her family has been informed.Kara Longshaw, an eyewitness, said: “Just seen the most horrific thing in my life. A bouncy castle exploded at the beach and the child on it was catapulted about 20ft into the air. Please say a prayer for the four year old being rushed to hospital after 15 minutes of CPR.” Karen Sell said: “I heard the most enormous bang and straight away turned round. I spoke to someone who described how the girl was just thrown about 20ft into the air and landed on the floor. The bouncy castle was like a trampoline so you could jump a lot higher on it than a normal one. Norfolk Police arrived at the scene within minutes 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. read more

Father and son who forgot to pay for Fortnum Mason champagne in

Jack Vallender told the court: "By sheer accident we walked out the store and we forgot to pay." 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. Jack Vallender told the court: “By sheer accident we walked out the store and we forgot to pay.”Credit:Brais G. Rouco/Central News Jack, who lived in Stroud in Gloucestershire with his mother at the time and attended Marling Grammer School, said: “JP Morgan is one of the top firms for investment banking. If I could get my foot in the door, that would really help me.”If I could get that internship, that would be massive – it was the one thing I wanted to do. I was worried about not having enough time to do the application.” Douglas Vallender owns Valle Construction and Valdon Developments based in St Ives, Cornwall and also owns two coffee companies, Kwick.Coffee and Exspesso (corr).Douglas and Jack Vallender, of St Ives, Cornwall were each cleared of one count of theft. A father and son have been cleared of stealing champagne from Fortnum & Mason after the younger man told a court he was rushing to complete a JP Morgan job application. Douglas Vallender, 52, and Jack Vallender, 18, were alleged to have swiped champagne from the famous Piccadilly department store in London’s West End on 1 May 2017.The Cornwall based businessman and his son walked out with the bottles of bubbly worth £348 without paying. The jury returned unanimous not guilty verdicts for the pair after just 48 minutes of deliberations.It was claimed they entered the upmarket store at about 12.15pm and between them smuggled out the box of champers before being stopped in the street.Prosecutor James Cartwright said that it was a “thought out and planned theft” but the Vallenders insisted they had simply forgotten to pay.Jack told Southwark Crown Court that he was in a rush to fill out an application for an internship with banking giant JP Morgan. David Campbell, defending Douglas Vallender, told jurors that the pair admitted walking out of the shop with the bottles but they simply “made a mistake”. ‘The fact is that they are human,’ Mr Campbell said.Addressing the jury, judge Michael Howard QC said: ‘You have come to your verdict extremely quickly.’Both of them are, of course, entitled to be released immediately.’Speaking outside the courtroom, Douglas Vallender said: “We are very grateful that the correct decision was reached and can’t thank our legal team enough. It has caused a lot of hurt and upset to the family.”Asked if Fortnum & Mason should apologise, Douglas Vallender said: ‘I think they should, it’s because of them that this has come about.’A tearful Jack told reporters: ‘I used to love coming to London but now it seems like the only reason I have come up really is because of this. People see it and they just assume the worst.” If I could get that internship, that would be massive – it was the one thing I wanted to do. I was worried about not having enough time to do the applicationJack Vallender He said: “By sheer accident we walked out the store and we forgot to pay.”Referring to his son, Douglas Vallender said: “He was getting in a bit of a flap and I said, “okay, okay,” and we walked straight out of the shop, never batted an eyelid and all the rest of it.” read more