instagram envelope_alt facebook twitter search youtube_play whatsapp remove external_link loop2 arrow-down2

News in brief: Toddler ‘with tonsillitis’ had swallowed battery


A TODDLER feared to have tonsillitis was found to have had a battery the size of a 10p piece stuck in her throat for four months. Sofia-Grace Hill (pictured), who is nearly two, began struggling for breath and would only eat pureed food. Doctors thought it was tonsillitis or a viral infection. But after her symptoms persisted, an X-ray revealed the watch battery that was burning her esophagus. She may only have survived as the device was mostly used up, said surgeons who took it out. Sofia-Grace’s dad Calham, from Swindon, has no idea where she found the battery. She is now ‘doing very well’, he said.

Rapist policeman struck during his lunch break

A POLICE sergeant who raped a woman in his lunch break then returned to work has been jailed. Derek Seekings, 66, now retired from Surrey Police, visited the victim’s home while on duty, pushed her on to a bed and raped her. During a second assault she tried to push him off, to which he said: ‘Just let me finish.’ The victim was ‘traumatised’ and left feeling suicidal, she said, adding: ‘I have flashbacks which can make me feel unsafe.’ Seekings (pictured), of Farnborough, Hampshire, was jailed for 11 years at Lewes crown court after being found guilty of two counts of rape between 1994 and 2000.

Man who killed snake with screwdriver jailed

A MAN who stabbed a snake in the head with a screwdriver has been jailed for 17 weeks. Michael McCann, 26, hit the 3ft boa constrictor with a fire extinguisher and stabbed it with the tool a day after it bit him in a homeless shelter. The snake was found in a front porch with its jaw embedded to the carpet, magistrates in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, heard. RSPCA inspector Rachael Hurst said the snake, thought to be an escaped pet, died ‘a long and slow death’. McCann, who was tried in his absence, was also disqualified from keeping animals for ten years and must pay £128.

Asylum seekers’ anger at cramped barracks

AN ASYLUM seeker at a military barracks in Kent has described the conditions they are living under as ‘unbearable’. There have been reports of suicide attempts at Napier Barracks, near Folkestone, where many of the 400 residents are on hunger strike and sleeping outside, despite the cold. As dozens of residents staged a protest, waving banners and chanting ‘freedom’, one said they feared coronavirus because of the cramped conditions, adding: ‘Thirty-four of us share one shower and one toilet. ‘There is no privacy, the situation is unbearable. It’s like being in prison. I don’t feel safe.’


■ LOCKDOWN may skew how kids see gender roles in the home as seven in ten mums do more chores than ever. But more than six in ten men help with washing dishes, taking out rubbish or vacuuming, says a poll for Indesit.

■ TEACHERS blundered by sending 12-year-olds studying at home a poem filled with expletives. Harold Pinter’s American Football (a reflection on the Gulf War) features the words ‘f***ing’ and ‘s***’. Staff at Penrice School, in St Austell, Cornwall, apologised for the error.

■ TWO bison rangers are being sought to help introduce four of the mammals to 500 acres of woodland near Canterbury. Kent Wildlife Trust and the Wildwood Trust said training will include visiting sites in the Netherlands.

■ A 16-YEAR-OLD who attacked a woman police officer leaving her nose ‘hanging off’ has walked free. PC Maddie Hayes, 24, has trouble breathing after ops. The boy, who admitted grievous bodily harm, got community service in Leicester.

■ THE BBC’s Secrets Of The Museum will return for a second series after a ‘fantastic response’ from viewers. The six-part show will highlight how workers at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum conserve its 2.3million artefacts.

■ MEALWORMS may soon crawl their way on to plates after being the first insect to get the EU’s green light as food. The European Food Safety Agency ruling means the beetle larvae will be able to be used in dishes and as flour.


■ UGANDA’S president has been condemned for branding the LGBT+ community ‘deviant’ in a pre-election speech. The UN said Yoweri Museveni’s remark was ‘simply wrong’ and raised fears it could incite acts of violence and discrimination in the country.

■ ESTONIA’S premier has resigned after his party became embroiled in a corruption probe. Juri Ratas quit over the inquiry into a property development in Tallinn. His political opponent Kaja Kallas has been asked to form a new government.

■ A COMPUTER programmer locked out of a digital wallet containing £159million in Bitcoin has two chances left to guess his password. Stefan Thomas, of San Francisco, was gifted 7,002 Bitcoins in 2011 before losing a ‘digital key’.

■ A CANADIAN woman has been fined for breaking a Covid curfew by walking her husband on a lead. The couple from Quebec must pay almost £900 after trying to exploit a loophole that allows dog walkers to go outside after 8pm.