One of the architects of the last Labour governmen

first_imgOne of the architects of the last Labour government’s “life chances” strategy has described how “broken promises” by successive governments have shattered disabled people’s hopes of a genuine right to independent living. Dr JennyMorris, who led the independent living section of Labour’s Improving the Life Chances ofDisabled People strategy, said its publication in 2005 had been a “moment of hope”.But shedescribed how that sense of optimism “seemed to disappear almost overnight”,following the financial crisis of 2007-08 and the 2010 election, which led to aTory-led coalition government.She saidthat she and others working on Life Chances had made a “fatal error” by notstressing the need for a nationally-funded independent living system “based onthe principle of entitlement”, and had not paid enough attention to the growingfocus within the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on “getting people offbenefits”.Morris wasdelivering the first Lorraine Gradwell MemorialLecture, in memoryof one of the key figures in the disabled people’s movement, who died in September 2017. It is hoped the lecture will becomean annual event.She wasunable to attend in person but a film of her delivering the lecture – whichMorris called Broken Promises: Looking Backon “Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People” – was shown inManchester on Friday (8 March), followed by a question and answer session.Two disabledpeople’s organisations (DPOs) that Gradwell founded or co-founded, Breakthrough UK and Greater Manchester Coalition ofDisabled People, helpedorganise the lecture.Morrisdescribed how DWP’s emphasis on cutting the number of benefit claimants hadbeen demonstrated by the employment chapter in the 2005 Life Chances report,which spoke of work being “a component of good health” and emphasised the“beneficial health effects of work”.In the sameyear, DWP released research that would form the basis of the work capabilityassessment (WCA), which she said focused on “getting people off benefits”,“scrutinising whether people are ‘fit for work’” and “people’s supposedattitudes and motivations”, instead of workplace barriers and equalopportunities for work. Worse than that,she said, was “the denial of people’s own experiences of illness and/orimpairment”.In the lastdecade, the greatest challenges to the WCA and the introduction of personalindependence payment, she said, had often come from people with chronic illness,such as members of the Spartacus network, and, more recently, the Chronic Illness Inclusion Project.Morris saidthat she and others working on the Life Chances report had made a “fatal error”in their proposals by failing to recognise that the Independent Living Fund“had more potential to deliver a right to independent living than any reform tolocal authority social care”.  Althoughthey had “floated the idea” that independent living should be funded nationallyand “taken away from local authorities”, they did not challenge thegovernment’s insistence that this would undermine local accountability.Instead, theIndependent Living Fund was closed by the coalition government, and the“self-determination” promised by the introduction of personal budgets hadmostly “failed to materialise”.The currentsocial care system, said Morris, was incapable of delivering the right toindependent living set out in article 19 of the UN Convention onthe Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  What wasneeded, she said, as proposed by the Reclaiming OurFutures Alliance, was“a national independent living service, funded from general taxation, free atthe point of delivery, and delivered locally in co-production with disabledpeople”.She alsowarned of the failure to realise one of the key proposals of Life Chances, for thereto be a national network of user-led disabled people’s organisations (DPOs),modelled on centres for independent living.This, shesaid, “was never fully realised” and since 2010 many local DPOs had had theirfunding cut and had “found it increasingly difficult to hold onto existingcontracts to provide direct payments support services”. She added: “Suchlocal organisations are a vital part of any nationally-funded independentliving service.”And she said: “It’s at the local level and amongst disabled people ourselves that we will develop innovative ways to enable people to live ordinary lives.”Picture: Some of the audience in Manchester after the lecture, with a picture of Lorraine GradwellA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

Troubled building on 18th Street back on the market after sale falls

first_imgIn April, a commercial developer had been in escrow to buy the property, planning to lease it to a dialysis clinic. It’s unclear why Meridian, the would-be developer, pulled out. Mike Conn, Senior Vice President of Construction and Development at Meridian Property Company would only confirm that they dropped out of escrow. “We will not be pursuing anything there. We don’t have any more involvement,” Conn said. Textor, who was not a part of the negotiations between Van Natta, Meridian and the city’s planning department, said the dialysis center could have faced some hurdles convincing neighbors it would be a good fit. “The tenant is going to want to see approved plans, and the community buy-in to whatever they’re doing,” he said.  Van Natta’s project management team, which failed to pay for permits they filed and let plans lapse, had little connection to the community of merchants surrounding his would-be brewery. Speaking with Mission Local in April, the owner of a grocery store across the street from the building, Howard Ngo, said he hadn’t been able to get in touch with the owner of the decaying property.“I don’t know what’s happening over there. But it doesn’t look good,” he said then.The building has sat vacant for years. Before the dialysis center idea, other proposals for the space included a vegan restaurant, a brewery, and an organic grocery store. Instead the property sat neglected and complaints and violations accumulated. With a deal that would have restored the building but kept it structurally the same off the table, the property could feasibly be turned into housing. According to a planning department spokesperson, residential use is permitted with ground floor retail but any demolition or trying to add height to the building would be difficult to approve due to preservation concerns.  “Preliminary research tells us that the building could qualify for up to 25,000 square feet of residential spread out over nine units,” Textor, the realtor, said. “But I don’t know if that’s something that’s going to be in play. Maybe somebody just wants to do a retail component.”There’s also the matter of frequent opposition to the construction of new market-rate housing on Mission Street, as well as planning department controls meant to curb gentrification in the neighborhood.“I think it’s going to take someone who’s really creative, and also very experienced and has a mindset that they’re going to work with the community to try to figure out something that makes sense,” Textor said. He added that the worries about Mission Street becoming like Valencia Street, made it challenging for “for-profit developers.” Textor estimated that anything new on the site would take about three years to complete, but was optimistic about the potential appeal of the building if it were to be renovated. “This building is so cool,” he said. “We did a basic rendering from a marketing standpoint. It shows what the building could look like if it was rehabbed, as-is. You can see that it takes very little imagination it would take to make something really neat.”Hat tip to Capp Street Crap for pointing out the “for sale” sign on the building.  A historic and troubled property located at 2205 Mission Street at the intersection with 18th Street is for sale again after a deal with a commercial developer fell through. Its current owner, former Facebook executive Owen van Natta, is asking $7 million for the property according to the realtor for the property. He purchased it for $5 million in 2014. Clinton Textor, first vice president of investments for the San Francisco office of the realty firm Marcus & Millichap confirmed that the building is for sale. The property has a history on Mission Street that reaches back into San Francisco’s post-earthquake era and the development of the  Mission Miracle Mile district that that bloomed during the depression. “We literally hit the market  yesterday,” Textor said. “We’ve talked to forty or fifty people about this. The range of opinions about what can be done with the property is drastically different.” 0%center_img Tags: Business • development • housing • real estate Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Open Studios at the Pacific Felt Factory and elsewhere in the Mission

first_imgToday is the final day for viewing art at studios around the Mission District. Doors will be open from noon to 6 p.m. (See venues below.)We stopped in at the Pacific Felt Factory at 2830 20th St. late Saturday, and discovered compelling work by a number of artists, including Brian Singer (someguy), Rodney Ewing, Beth Davila Waldman and Azucena Hernandez.Here are a few photos. Each artist had plenty to show and most of them work in multiple mediums.Brian Singer. Abraham Lincoln. 28 x 9.5 inches. Part of a series exploring gun violence and fetishism in America. This is the gun that was used to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. The images are printed with archival ink onto pages of books about Lincoln. The books are then cut up, pages are turned on their sides and ordered to reform the image of the gun. Photo from the artist’s Instagram account. AOK Adam – 1116 Valencia St.Talavera Ballon – 3712 25th St.Gustavo Barron – 3267 19th St., #4Nathalie Fabri – 1092 Capp St.Bjorn Kleemann – 2773 Folsom St.Carrie Leeb – 3283 25th St.Reddy Lieb – 3535 19th St.Paul Madonna – 151 Potrero Ave.Doug Rhodes – 23 Clarion AlleyCalixto Robles – 151 Potrero Ave.Case – 2132 Folsom St., 1 Tags: arts • open studios Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Beth Davila Waldman. Desert Intersections No. 7, 2018. Acrylic on Plexiglas & panel, 20 x 24 inches. Photo by Lydia Chávez.Rodney Ewing, Stolen Moments, Collage, ink and dry pigment on paper, 77” x 55.5 “ (Framed). 2007. Photo from the artist’s website.Azucena Hernandez. From the Ember series, documenting the victims of police shootings. Photo by Lydia Chávez.Outside of the Pacific Felt Factory. Photo by Lydia Chávez.Other Group Studios: Independent Artists showing at their studios: 0% 1890 Bryant Street Studios (58 artists) — 1890 Bryant St.Alley Cat Gallery (2 artists) — 3036 24th St.Army Lofts / Old Sears Building (2 artists) — 3435 Cesar ChavezArt Explosion Alabama (1 artist) — 744 Alabama St.The Farm (4 artists) — 1458 San Bruno Ave.Pacific Felt Factory (8 artists) — 2830 20th St.Project Artaud (7 artists) — 499 Alabama St.Red Brick Studio (7 artists) — 3265 17th St., 3rd Floorlast_img read more

Filling a void The Mission now has exactly one Indian spice and

first_img Email Address Kunwar, originally from the city of Pokhara, Nepal, emigrated in 2009, after winning the Diversity Visa Lottery program. Two years ago, he moved to the Mission and discovered a complete absence of Indian grocery stores — the only previous store, Bombay Bazaar and Ice Cream on Valencia Street, closed in 2010.  “There is literally nothing else around here, so that’s why I wanted to do this business,” Kunwar said. He added, “People need it for convenience.” While the latest census figures from 2017 show that “Asians” — people whose heritage traces back to China, Japan, India, etc. —make up 13.4 percent of the Mission, Kunwar also thinks start-ups have a fair number of South Asian employees, living or working in the area, who might become customers. Already, he said, most of the South Asian shoppers he’s spoken with work in the tech industry. While Sroa’s son, Jyoti Sroa, oversees his two restaurants and now two grocery stores, Kunwar will manage the store day-to-day.“People want their authentic products,” said Kunwar, who explained that he can procure anything a customer needs, and he enjoys being part of the process.  “After getting that product, they are so happy — I like that.” Kunwar works with a baby monitor near the cash register so that he or his wife — when she works at the store — can stay abreast of what is happening in their apartment above the store. An aisle at the grocery store, stocked with Indian, Pakistani and Nepali items. Photo by Aleka Kroitzsh.While this is Kunwar’s first venture, for Sroa, the opening is the latest step in a journey that began in the 1980s with jobs at Winchell’s Donuts, Alpha Beta grocery and then Mollie Stone’s Market in Mill Valley. He met his wife Linda, and she can be credited for sparking his interest in restaurants. When the food at an Indian restaurant fell short on a date with his in-laws, he decided to open his own. “I don’t have a background in food — cooking or prepping,” Sroa said. “And I told Linda that I’m opening a restaurant, and she said, ‘You’re out of your mind.’ And I said,’No,’ and that’s it. So we did it, and we’ve been very successful.” He did however, have some connection to grocery stores back in Punjab: “My dad has a grocery store since 1920. I never imagined in my life that I would be doing this kind of thing.” He left his home of Jalandhar to branch out. Being the youngest son in a big family, it felt necessary. Now based in Marin, Sroa has owned Lotus Cuisine of India in San Rafael, for 22 years and Cafe Lotus, in Fairfax, for 10 years. He once owned Lotus SF in the Mission, but sold it to restaurateur Ajay Khadka. Then, in 2018, he purchased the two-story structure that is now home to the Mission spice store. Sroa walks out of the grocery store. Photo by Aleka Kroitzsh.Sroa said his role is helping Kunwar, who worked as a journalist in his own country, understand how to run a grocery store. Sroa’s associate, Sumn Bastola, who manages the San Rafael restaurant, is also helping. Sroa hopes to get Kunwar to a point where he can oversee daily operations himself. Already, he’s cut back on his own visits to once a week — the day the supply orders arrive. “I deal with so many employees,” Sroa said. He continued, “I always liked him — you go with your gut feeling. He’s a very honest person — he’s a journalist. So, I trust him.”The location of the new store is also an attempt to make buying Indian spices and foods convenient for those who live in the city. “Since you’re in the city, you can’t go to Fremont, and you can’t go to Sunnyvale,” said Sroa. “You get a better deal there, but then who wants to drive?”The new store has two main aisles with shelves stacked with imports like herbal remedies, loose-leaf masala chai, ghee, sweet biscuits and small, ready-made spice mixes, among a plethora of other items. There are fridges to the sides and in the back of the store carrying frozen foods, like samosas and naan, and fresh produce. There’s a shelf in the front dedicated to Nepali products, too. All of their products are imported from vendors in India and Nepal, like Organic India. A fridge at the back of the grocery store carrying frozen delicacies. Photo by Aleka Kroitzsh.Sroa said making a successful store requires “dreaming and breathing about the store — what the customer wants, make that list, and make it happen.” Indian Grocery & Spices is located at 3256 22nd St. The store is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hours are flexible. For more information, visit their website here. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img Bay Area restaurateur Surinder Sroa, 62, sees Indian Spices and Groceries, which opened on July 1 at 3265 22nd St., as an affirmation of his friendship with 34-year-old Dhruba Kunwar, now a business partner as well as a friend.Kunwar has wanted to open a store with Sroa since they met seven years ago at India Chaat & Sweets, in Berkeley. “I told him, ‘If you want to do it, I’ll do it for you,’” said Sroa. “I don’t need it. But I’ll do it for you. And whatever the profit comes, you know, all the expense, we’ll just divide it.” Indian Spices and Groceries at 3265 22nd St. Photo by Aleka Kroitzsh.last_img read more

CHAIRMAN Eamonn McManus talked about a very speci

first_imgCHAIRMAN Eamonn McManus talked about a “very special” season in the Manchester Evening News this week.Here is an article that appeared on Wednesday:It’s been an unbelievable season for Saints – what’s been your highlight?Very perversely, and at the time very privately, coming out of the players’ changing room after we had been beaten 17-16 by Huddersfield in our final league game absolutely confident that we would win the Grand Final four weeks later.The players had shown a level of commitment higher in that game than any throughout the season. We were clearly adapting to Nathan’s selection and tactical adjustments to reflect the losses of our key players in key positions.I could feel that players knew so in the changing room and I knew that something very special was about to unfold. It did in the following month.Four weeks after leaving the changing rooms in Huddersfield, I was on the pitch at Old Trafford facing a sea of ecstatic Saints’ fans in the Stretford End, where I had watched United all my life: it was a twilight zone experience. I was happy and relaxed.What’s encouraged you most about the season and the way Saints have performed? Not using or accepting excuses. The players did not talk about injuries, adversity or luck. They talked about challenges, adaptation, improvement and an iron will to win. There was not one iota of self-doubt for one second. Totally professional.Who’s been your most improved player? Luke Thompson. He is barely 19 and has had only a handful of first team appearances. I felt that he was the best forward on the field at Old Trafford in what was necessarily going to be a forwards’ oriented game plan for us. It was a desperate and uncompromising contest and he shone. Well done indeed Luke.After the horrific assault in the Grand Final does rugby league need to do more to cut out thuggery?These matters have to be dealt with by the appropriate body within the game and it has so been. Whilst serving his ban it is critical that Ben is now provided all due personal and professional support. His rehabilitation is now paramount.During the period of his ban he will, in reality, be no more than a 26-year-old boy who will be extremely vulnerable emotionally. We must assist him in any way that we can and accept him back into the sport. There is a person behind the player, and I am reliably informed by all that it is a good one. He must know that from all. Lance Hohaia certainly feels that way towards him also.The sport of rugby league should not be judged by this event, but by how it deals with it. This matter gives the sport of rugby league the opportunity to positively differentiate itself yet again by dealing with a high profile problem in an efficient, transparent, pragmatic and effective manner. I am confident that it will.What other steps could be taken to improve Super League?The new league structure, with a significantly improved funding base, will materially improve Super League next year. All clubs will be able to spend full salary cap without financial risk. It will be a highly competitive league every week and will produce a strong commercial platform upon which the game will readily and rapidly build.The new World Club Series to be held in February is a marvellous initiative which will appeal to the national sporting public and not just rugby league fans.We will play Russell Crowe’s South Sydney Rabbitohs at Langtree Park on February 22 as the Series’ highlight and also to determine who is the best rugby league club in the world. What we do in life echoes in eternity: strength, honour, shadows and dust indeed. I simply can’t wait.You must have been gutted to hear that your coach Nathan Brown wanted to return to Australia – what news on his replacement?Nathan had laid a strong foundation for the future as well as leaving behind a champion team. But, excitingly, it is a team that is capable of further improvement and achievement. The ethos and culture of the club has been the same throughout the history of Super League and so coaching changes can be made and absorbed very readily. A new coach will be appointed and announced before pre-season training starts. I have never been more excited about our future and that of the game.Why has he gone back? Entirely for family reasons. He has four young children and their grandparents in Australia are getting no younger. We wish Nathan, Tanya and the brood god’s speed and a happy and contented life for all in Australia.How hard will it be to replace him?We have the Club, we have the team, and we will shortly have the coach.Given Saints won most of the silverware this year are you surprised that not one of your players has made it into the England squad for the forthcoming Four Nations tournament in Australia and New Zealand?James Roby, who is one of the best players in the world, couldn’t go as he needs minor clean up surgery. After that, the only omission that perplexed me was that of Tommy Makinson. He’s had a great season and he was my man-of-the-match for the Grand Final. Thereafter we have a very young team and a few are close to, but probably a season or two away from, regular international representation. It will come.What are your hopes for next season? Merely to stay grounded and continue to improve. We will need to: Super League 2015 will be tougher and consistently more competitive.What is your favourite nickname among your players?Paul Clough is known as “the Owl “. It is not due to him being a font of wisdom. He actually is a dead ringer for an Owl when he stares at you. It is deeply disturbing.What do you want to say about the fans who were so magnificent at the Grand Final and throughout the season?Magnificent all season when their emotions and nerves have been tested to the limit. The Club had an almost spiritual feeling to it in the week before the Grand Final. I have never known the town and the fans to be so firmly behind the Club and the team. It provided a huge and serene emotional drive which became embedded in the players’ psyche.They were a magnificent advert for our Town, our club, our sport and our values. Thank you.last_img read more

DAY 17 Part One – As well as the games training

first_imgDAY 17 (Part One) – As well as the games, training and activities throughout the past three weeks, the 2015 Academy tour of Australia has given all of the staff an opportunity to meet up with friends and colleagues from years gone by, writes Ian Talbot.Former Saints coaches, Daniel Anderson, Royce Simmons, Mick Potter and Nathan Brown have all made time to come along and meet up with the tour party, chat and reminisce about good times gone by.One member of staff in particular who has more memories than most is club stalwart and record appearance holder Eric Chisnall.Eric is no stranger to Australia, having been on all six of the academy tours to date, acting as an assistant coach and mentor to the lads.This goes with his impressive playing CV, representing all St Helens, England and Great Britain on these shores.Eric got the opportunity to meet up with former Saints teammates Cliff Watson and Dave Eckersley but more importantly, and impressively, he got to sit in the same seat at the Sydney Cricket Ground that he has done several times before.Eric has played in the world renowned stadium on four occasions; two test matches for Great Britain in 1974, a World Cup game for England in 1975 and the 1976 world club championship match for St Helens against Eastern Suburbs, now known as Sydney Roosters.The lads, and the rest of the staff, always enjoy chatting with Eric, listening to stories of his experiences and about how the game was played in his day.One thing is for sure, that every person that has ever been on one of the academy tours has the utmost respect for Eric and his achievements, and having the privileged opportunity to listen, first hand, to some stories about the heritage of our game really enhances what already is a once in a lifetime experience.last_img read more

Bladen Co sheriff deputies search for missing teen

first_imgThe Bladen County Sheriff’s Office needs your help in locating Alejandra Vazquez Ramirez, 16, of 6360 NC 211 West, Bladenboro. BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office needs your help in locating Alejandra Vazquez Ramirez, 16, of 6360 NC 211 West, Bladenboro.Ramirez is an Hispanic female, five foot one inches tall, weighing 150 pounds. She has dark brown hair and brown eyes. It is not known what she was wearing at the time she disappeared.- Advertisement – Ramirez was last seen at her house on April 4. She is possibly in the company of a Ramon Hernandez Jr., 21 of 13 Welcome Drive, Red Springs, NC.The two are believed to be traveling in an older model, extended cab Chevrolet S-10 pickup, green in color.Ramirez has been entered as missing, endangered in the National Missing Persons registry.Related Article: Funeral services announced for fallen trooperIf you have any information on the whereabouts of Ramirez, please contact Investigator Greg Bullard with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office at 910-862-6960 or your local law enforcement agency. All information will be kept confidential.last_img read more

Pender Co declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Michael

first_img00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Due to the potential impacts of Hurricane Michael, a State of Emergency has been issued for Pender County.Pender County Chairman George Brown on behalf of the board of county commissioners issued the declaration effective noon, Oct. 9.- Advertisement – “Pender County has been severely impacted by Hurricane Florence,” said Brown. “Additional rainfall, high winds, and storm surge from Hurricane Michael will impact already saturated areas of the county.”“We urge our residents to secure tarps on their rooftops,” said Tom Collins, Pender County Emergency Manager. “Secure lawn furniture and items that could become flying debris.”Collins warned residents whose homes were damaged in Hurricane Florence to be mindful of weakened structures.Related Article: Community opens supply distribution site at elementary school“When the ground is this saturated, trees fall. Power lines are taken down,” he said. “If you are sheltering in place, prepare for periods of being without power. Stock up on fresh water and refresh your emergency kits.”Pender County Emergency Management will post updates on the Facebook page at and on the county’s website If you need assistance call the EM office at (910) 259-1210.last_img read more

Watch Muscat must choose to protect Life or protect votes – Delia

first_imgPoverty, abortion and the PL threat to job security were the main these which Partit Nazzjonalista leader Adrian Delia discussed at Rabat in the daily round of political activities leading up to the MEP and the local Council Elections. Delia said that government does not believe in subsidiarity because it wants to concentrate control of everything in few hands.Protection of life is paramountDelia said that the child in the womb, however tiny, is for the PN a life not a number of cells. Life starts at conception and deserves the highest protection affirmed Delia. This is where one shows where the heart lies, said Delia, whether it lies in the protection of life as it does for the PN or in the protection of a vote as the PL sees it. Delia accused Muscat of blatant vote-shopping. He said that the heart needs to beat also for those who seek to make ends meet on a meager salary or a pittance of a pension.Delia said that the central government needs to be well organised so that the very valid work carried out by the local councils is not wasted by government. He said that the present government never believed in local government or in subsidiarity since the Partit Laburista wants the hegemonic rule of the few and not the democratic participation of the many. Delia said that the local councils have been undermined by a long period of lack of elections and the removal by government of hamlets from the revised legislation.Losing the handle on taxes threatens jobsTransferring the same logic to the EP elections, Delia said that Prime Minister Muscat does not believe in the EU and in the abilities of the Maltese to contribute to this institution. He said that the Socialist group in the EP wants taxation to be decided in Europe  and this was agreed to by the Partit Laburista. Delia said that this may threaten 27,000 jobs.Concluding, Delia said that in the span of time Muscat has been in government, he did not construct a single housing unit. “That is Labour for you”, he said “the party who purportedly fights for the poor, has left them to their own devices” concluded Delia.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

Updated Maria Lourdes Agius Trial jury throws out insanity plea

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint The jury deliberating over the plea of insanity raised by the accused in the murder of Maria Lourdes Agius, have thrown out the plea.The decision was returned 8-1, in favour of rejecting the accused’ plea.This now means that the accused, Mr Michael Emmanuel must now appear in front of the Magistrates Court. Further evidence will be compiled against him.Maria Lourdes Agius: Trial jury deliberates if accused insane at time of murderThe 11 person jury hearing the case of a man who said he was insane at the time of murdering his partner, are currently deliberating the verdict.This follows the final statements by Judge Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera this morning, summing up the case.On Thursday, both the defence and prosecution delivering their final arguments to the jury, on whether the defendant Michael Emmanuel was legally insane when he took the life of Maria Lourdes Agius back in September 2018.Maria Lourdes Agius case: lawyers present their final argumentsMaria Lourdes Agius case: the accused mental state under further review“He killed her because she was possessed; he suffers from psychosis”Addressing the jury, Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera outlined the legal definition of insanity while explaining that it cannot be generalized that mental illness results in insanity. This was part of helping the jury carry out their deliberations of the evidence heard.On the topic of the defence’s evidence, the Judge explained that the defence would need to prove that the actions carried out by the accused were done unwillingly.Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera also stressed that Emmanuel had missed the first court appearance due to him being detained at a mental hospital and also refusing legal assistance.She added that there was a distinction between expert and ordinary witnesses and that jurors could make independent conclusions from the evidence and testimony about the mental health of the accused, separate of the experts.The Prosecuting lawyers are Charles Mercieca and Matthew Xuereb of the Office of the Attorney General.The defence lawyers representing the accused are Marc Sant and Dustin Camilleri.WhatsApplast_img read more