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As the trial of Oscar Pistorius, accused of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, kicked off Monday, TEK reported news that an offensive ad regarding a bet linked to the trial was posted online and in various newspapers. The good news Thursday is the ad will be removed.
Pistorius fired the shots that killed Reeva but denies murder claiming that she was shot in error as he believed there were intruders in his apartment.
In the UK betting giant Paddy Power offered a bet on whether or not Oscar will walk, that is be acquitted, and one female victim of abuse decided to launch a petition to get the ad removed.
Utilising last weekend's US Oscars the ad clearly said "It's Oscar Time. Money back if he walks. We will refund all losing bets on the Oscar Pistorius trial if he is found not guilty."
A day later the petition was gathering strength, was picked up by #BBCtrending and the Advertising Standards Agency in the UK said it would investigate.
Thursday it was revealed that the petition had over 120,00 signatures, the ASA had received more than 5,200 complaints about the ad and the ASA has ordered its removal.
The watchdog says that offering a bet on whether a killer will walk or not could easily be seen as offensive. It trivialises murder. It brings the advertising industry into disrepute and so much more.
The ASA rarely takes such a step but public pressure, especially due to the petition, led to their decision.
First thoughts were the bet will still no doubt stand but with no advertising it will not flourish. This could mean that the bet will also have to be pulled for financial reasons. The bet may have received some free publicity by way of the complaints but bad publicity is not useful.
Paddy Power operates out of Ireland which means ads posted there will stand. Paddy Power bosses have said the ad campaign was not meant to be an extended one but rather was linked to last weekend's Oscar ceremony and the start of the Pistorius trial.
Either way kudos to Jean Hatchett who started the petition.
"Jean Hatchet [who started the petition on Change.org] has run an incredibly fast-paced and powerful campaign on the site," said John Coventry of Change.org. "The past 48 hours have seen a powerful outpouring of support for her story which has pushed the ASA to act."
Offensive betting on the Oscar Pistorius trial
Pardew was contrite after the match, telling Sky: "It was a heat of the moment thing – I massively regret it. I think I'm going to sit down now because that's two or three incidents I've been involved in. I didn't mean to do anything aggressive but I moved my head and that's enough."
Fine but some people find it all too easy to apologise and never change their behaviour.
Others associated with the world of football have been less generous with Match of the Day host Gary Lineker calling the incident "inexcusable" and former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage called it "a shocking act".
Pardew is aged 52 so he does not have inexperience and youth as an excuse. He is an experienced manager with a track record which includes confrontations. If he cannot rein his feelings in during a match is he any good as a football manager?
Managers sometimes get sent to the stands and become embroiled in altercations but head butting a player is surely a step too far?
The mother of murdered soldier Lee Rigby has spoke Thursday about her shock at the brawl and how it made her feel.
The fight was so violent it made her think how Lee must have felt as these two brutes attacked him. With such raw wounds still open following his brutal murder Lee's mother felt as if the two men were jumping on Lee's grave for one more time. Their actions besmirched his memory and left her visibly shaken. The men's actions also caused fear as it looked as if the screen may break and the men escape into the court.
An ambulance was called after she collapsed in fear. She was however deemed fit enough to remain in court.
Members of Lee's family have braved the court during this trial. They have returned to court each day. It must have been a terrible experience, hearing over and over again evidence on how Lee died and even viewing images and footage from the murder.
The family have shown their bravery and determination to see this through to the end, for the memory of Lee. They have been tested time and again and the Old Bailey brawl was one more challenge for them.
Little wonder then that Judge Sweeney apologised after the sentence hearing ended to the family for having to witness the violent fight.
Cameras are rarely allowed in British courts. In my opinion that is good, especially in this case. The case has been reported globally but the killers did not achieve their 15-minutes of fame before the cameras.
Such violent scenes in British courts are rare if not unique, but then the brutal murder of a soldier on the streets of London, a killing that left the victim almost beheaded, was also first. We can only hope it will be the last such killing.
RIP Lee - thoughts with the family
Related reading at TEK:
Lee’s family have remained dignified throughout the harrowing months since Lee was killed. They wanted justice for Lee and wore T-shirts Wednesday expressing this wish. Genuine protesters and those wanting to support the family were present but unruly elements were also out in force.
There has been drama both inside and outside the Old Bailey where sentencing took place.
Fighting broke out in and out of the court.
During a tense stand-off outside the court members of far right groups the EDL and BNP erected a fake gallows and noose, chanting “hang them”.
In court Adebolajo and Adebowale behaved in an unruly manner refusing to stand and more. Both killers fought with staff in the dock as the judge described the killing as a 'betrayal of Islam' reports the Daily Mirror. “They shouted 'Allah Akbar' as they were taken struggling to the cells.” And in the end the judge sentenced them in their absence.
Mr Justice Sweeney was scathing as he delivered the sentence “the killers have "no insight or remorse". He said their only regret was that they were not shot dead. He said Adebolajo cannot be rehabilitated, adding that the murder had a terrorist connection. Mr Justice Sweeney says Michael Adebolajo has "no mitigation" for his offence. He has been given a whole life term. He will never be released from jail.
Michael Adebowale does NOT receive a whole life term. The 22-year-old has been sentenced to a minimum term of 45 years. He will be 67 before he is eligible for parole."
As news of the sentences drifted outside the crowd was heard cheering. The widow of Lee Rigby sobbed as the judge offered the family an apology for the violence witnessed in court today.
Around half an hour before the sentence was given police closed of the roads outside of the Old Bailey. There have been three arrests so far during the unrest outside court, one woman arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly, one man on suspicion of actual bodily harm and one man on suspicion of affray.
RIP Lee, thoughts with the family.
Like most improvements the work will have been costly but Monday the Hospitals' chief executive Phil Morley has said that HRI has probably no more than 20 years left as operational.
For some time locals have known that the hospital could not continue. In some ways it needs demolishing, and a replacement building.
But the coalition government do not want to spend money on the NHS unless they really have to.
Another semi-local hospital, where HRI patients are often transferred to, is in better condition in some ways but leaves locals with a lengthy journey to receive treatment or visit patients, if they do not have a vehicle.
Mr Morley commented that the NHS is in a dire state and acute hospitals like HRI are facing a deficit. In the immediate future that means the trust has to close 60 beds and obviously will have to reduce staff numbers. There were bed closures before I left the Trust in late 2012. Little wonder there are never enough beds in a crisis. The Hull Daily Mail reports:
• The tower block will only last another 20 years, despite millions of pounds being spent on recladding the exterior.
• A total of £25m needs to be found next year, while the efficiency target is £23m.
• Even if every single one of the 53 wards the trust runs was closed, there would still not be enough cash.
The financial squeeze has meant many jobs have already been lost. As those deciding who gets the chop locally are at the top, more often than not high fliers are receiving good redundancy packages, adding to the trust’s woes.
The Hull Trust is focusing on efficiency savings such as becoming a so-called paperless establishment. Traditionally a great deal of printer ink, time and money is spent which could be saved.
Experience tells this former member of staff though that being paperless tends to lead to more waste and reams of paper.
And sadly it may not be enough.
Ward closures will leave patients out in the cold. A shift to community, care privately funded, will fail to live up to its promises. The government is also sneaking in changes that will allow the closure of NHS hospitals as they see fit, and quickly.
The main course of action, on that one, is to ensure that the Lib Dems and the Tories are not elected in 2015.
For now make sure that you sign the petition to stop the easy government closures - NHS: What is the Hospital Closure Clause? “Health Minister Jeremy Hunt is trying to quickly change the law to make it much easier and faster to close local hospitals and A&Es without any proper consultation of local people. This comes off the back of him losing two court cases after trying to illegally shut down Lewisham Hospital. Clause 118 has been added on to the care bill, which will change the law that was used to stop Jeremy Hunt.
The sweeping new powers granted by Clause 118 mean decisions about local hospital provision could be taken in as little as 40 days, regardless of how well hospitals are performing. If this becomes law then it means that every hospital could be under threat of closure.”
Nothing is perfect and all trusts have some bad apples and some waste but where would you be without the NHS? Personally I do not like to even think about that option.