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Teenager confesses to student attack

first_imgA man has confessed to carrying out a brutal attack on an Oxford student.Kentaro Ikeda, a postgraduate student at Teddy Hall, was attacked and robbed while cycling home from the college. Ikeda, now 27, suffered injuries so serious that he is now in permanent rehabilitative care.Craig Knowles and Thomas Mack, both 18, had been due to stand trial together accused of robbing and grievous bodily harm with intent, as well as a separate charge of actual bodily harm to Abdul Rehman, an Oxford taxi driver. Knowles changed his plea to guilty at a court hearing on Tuesday. Mack denies all three charges.The prosecution told the jury at Oxford Crown Court that Mack and Knowles attacked Ikeda at around 1.45am following a night out in Oxford city centre. The victim had been working late in his college library and was cycling home with his rucksack, academic work and laptop when the attack happened. John Price, prosecuting, claimed that Ikeda was simply “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”The court heard that Ikeda was stopped on the cycle path and struck with a single blow from his own bicycle lock, fracturing his skull. His possessions and bicycle were then taken from the scene. The rucksack was later found abandoned outside garages near to the defendant’s home. The bicycle was never recovered but the lock was found in the grass nearby, covered in Ikeda’ blood.The jury were told that Mack, Knowles and two other men had spent the evening in the Red Lion pub before heading out to The Bridge nightclub. There they then were involved in a minor disturbance and left the venue. On the way home the prosecution allege that the men assaulted taxi driver Abdul Rehman. The group split, with Mack and Knowles continuing home together.According to the prosecution they then turned onto Mesopotamia Walk shortly before Ikeda entered on his bicycle. The attack occurred soon afterwards.Mr. Price said that Mack and Knowles had been drinking heavily and “were gratuitously looking for trouble.” He added that the pair had boasted of the attack afterwards and that Mack had been seen soon after the attack with a “computer organiser” that fitted the description of a device owned by Ikeda. Mack’s fingerprint was found on the victim’s academic papers which had been dumped nearby.The court heard that the two youths had sent a series of text messages to friends in the hours following the incident.In one text, allegedly sent by Mack to his friend James Smith less than an hour after the attack, he wrote “mate, you missed out. We threatened a load of men in The Bridge. I punched a Pakistani man in the back of the head and knocked him out. I gave him an uppercut to his face, he could hardly walk to his taxi. LOL.”“Then we saw a Chinese man on the way back and beat the shit out of him and robbed his bags and bike.“Mate, you should have been there. That’s how Marston boys roll.”last_img read more

McIntyre brings changes to SU, veterans learn to adapt

first_img Comments Published on September 20, 2010 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Sixty feet. That’s how the soccer team thinks of itself. Thirty players and 60 feet. Last year’s team did not view itself so simplistically. It was mired in team politics about the firing of former head coach Dean Foti. Players became more concerned with personal disagreements and less concerned with this simple number. But this year, all that really matters are those feet and what they do on the field. Of those 30 players, only 10 were on the team last year to notice the changes that have occurred since Foti was released and new head coach Ian McIntyre was hired. The veterans have embraced the new players and the changes that came with McIntyre’s coaching. ‘It can be a little bit awkward when you’re returning and you see the number of new faces in the locker room exceeds those of the returners,’ McIntyre said. ‘But the older guys are leading by example. I refer to them as the cultural architects of our program. They set the standard, and ultimately they’re the leaders of the group.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder text The most obvious change is in the playing style. McIntyre tried out a couple of formations, but for now has settled on a 4-5-1, which fosters an attacking style of play. In this formation, there is only one defensive midfielder, said senior forward L.J. Papaleo. Last year, there were two. This allows more players to push forward, leaving only five field players and a goalie behind to defend. Last year, the team played a possession game, keeping the ball in its own half and advancing little by little. For most of the returnees, the adjustments have been minimal. Senior midfielder Geoff Lytle said he does not feel he has had to make any changes to this style of play. But Papaleo has had to get used to receiving the ball up top instead of having it going through the midfield. ‘There’s more playing direct,’ Papaleo said. ‘I’m more the point man. I hold up the ball, lay it off to a midfielder. Whereas last year, it was more play the ball through to me, and I’d run on to it.’ Aside from changes on the field, the 10 returnees have encountered changes in the chemistry of the team, as well. In fact, Lytle said team chemistry was the biggest difference this year. As old and new players have gotten to know each other, integration has not been a problem. ‘In the locker room, everyone talks to everyone,’ Papaleo said. ‘Last year there were cliques, and that kind of brought our team down. Everyone’s just one unit together.’ Starting over the summer, the veterans reached out to the newcomers by sending them letters and e-mails. Sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Jones helped organize the communication. Federico Agreda, a forward who transferred from Garden City Community College, was one of the recipients. Agreda said he found the information helpful upon his arrival at Syracuse. ‘It said (things) about the life here,’ he said. ‘To keep yourself away from the trouble, the parties, the drinking. How to manage your time, especially because there are so many people here. And control yourself, because we’re part of a team here.’ This team’s slogan for the year is ‘Maximum effort is the minimum requirement.’ This saying comes from McIntyre, and so does the motivation to live by it. Whether it was the advice in Jones’ letters or an atmosphere formed during preseason, Lytle said the team has taken the saying to heart this year. Last year, it might have just been a slogan. So 60 feet, all clad in laced-up cleats with Nike socks, walk on to the field as the SU soccer team. There is no telling which players were there last year and which are just getting used to the grass of the SU Soccer Stadium. There is just one obstacle left for the returners to overcome. Said Lytle: ‘The hardest part would be understanding the new guys from Sweden.’ [email protected]last_img read more

Shoot to Kill?

first_imgTo prevent theft of navigational equipment, the RIA advised the public to keep away and not to unlawfully interfere with the aerodrome at any time as these measures will be strictly applied to the letter.Airport statement ‘ordering’ AFL to use lethal force against theft of RIA equipment receives public condemnationLiberians, especially those on social media, were shocked when a public announcement emanating from the management of the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA) ordering officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to shoot on sight or, in other words, shoot to kill (S2K) anyone trespassing on the premises of the Roberts International Airport (RIA), reached the public-sphere on Wednesday.Justifying its decision, the LAA said it observed, with grave concern, that criminals are bent on entering and are attempting to steal very important equipment from the RIA. This, the announcement noted, would have crippling effects on the operations of the Airport.The announcement, signed by LAA, noted: “The Management of the Liberia Airport  Authority (LAA) in collaboration with the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) wishes to inform the general public that additional security have been put in place at the RIA.”  This, according to the LAA, is to secure the premises of the Airport, especially the aerodrome or the airside, from theft and unlawful interferences.The new measures include stringent patrols by officers of the AFL at every entry point of the aerodrome or airside at RIA; authorization to the AFL to shoot on sight anyone who attempts to steal any of the navigational equipment within the premises of the RIA. In view of these new security measures, the RIA advised the public to keep away and not to unlawfully interfere with the aerodrome at any time as these measures will be strictly applied to the letter.The AFL responded, saying that it was taken aback by the announcement as it had no connection to such a pronouncement. AFL Chief of Staff, Major General Prince C. Johnson, III, promptly distanced the army from the LAA’s statement. He said though the AFL is there to protect the RIA, the AFL “does not take orders from the Airport Authority” and has reached no agreement with the LAA in such regard.When contacted to ascertain the authenticity of the announcement that went viral on social media, LAA General Manager, Will Bako Freeman, confirmed that the document was a product of his entity. He however admitted that “because the current one is causing a lot of confusion in the public,” since it was released, the LAA is working with the AFL and other stakeholders to rephrase the announcement.Freeman however indicated that the document did not say AFL officers should shoot people. “This is a misunderstanding of the content of the document. We want that disregarded because we are working on another one to be released tomorrow [today],” he told the Daily Observer yesterday.AFL Chief of Staff confirmed that a revision of the statement was underway, with the involvement of the Assistant Minister for Public Affairs at the Ministry of National Defense, Sam Collins. Said revision is expected today, March 22.Meanwhile, the LAA’s measure has received a barrage of condemnation, not just from the public but also some veterans of the security sector.A retired security veteran who worked with the government of Liberia for over 30 years noted that there exists no such order as “S2K” and that law enforcement agencies can only fire if they’re being fired upon. In some cases, he noted, law enforcement agencies’ hands are tied by national human rights laws or commission, as well as global instruments that we, as a country, are signatories to.“Everyone is entitled to be taken to court and arrested on specific grounds if it is deemed that s/he has committed a crime,” the veteran noted, adding: “If a group of people rioting using sticks and stones, the police or any paramilitary group can only suppress the agitation using non-lethal weapons.”Quoting universal police security law, he said “even if a group deemed to be terrorists and armed AK-47s are in front of a police team—The police still have to make sure they use non lethal methods unless fired upon by them.“Using lethal force in only self-defense or to avoid a grave public killing, an officer takes the liability on him the moment he puts his hand on the trigger. If the situation is worth a long investigation then he will fire to protect himself and those around him.“Once you fire even one round in the air or at a person, you are liable for an inquiry. The moment he shoots, the control room is to be notified and also the chief of police of that area.  They will investigate the issue, and determine under what circumstances the rounds were fired.Needless to say if you’re not a cop, you will be jailed and investigated,” the veteran, who requested not to be named, explained.A top UNMIL official, expressing surprise at the LAA’s announcement on social media, asked, “Is it ever OK to defend a policy or measure that can mean the loss of human life in order to protect material things?“It makes unclear the more truthful and important dimensions of S2K policies, mistakenly implying that loss of human life is effective at protecting equipment. It also neglects the negative consequences, which extend beyond ‘externalities’ and into the realm of unethical policy,” he said.It can be recalled that the last time officers of the AFL were given an S2K order was during the height of the Ebola outbreak in the country. They were instructed to exercise such order along the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia, in the case of any forced or illegal entry into the country at the time.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more