Sentenced to life aged 12: The Justin Bieber look-a-like jailed for helping to murder his friend"s stepfather after being tried as an adult

Sentenced to life aged 12: The Justin Bieber look-a-like jailed for helping to murder his friend's stepfather after being tried as an adult
Paul Gingerich sentenced to 25-years for shooting a friend's stepfatherHe was tried as an adult and is not due to be released until he is 37Story is the subject of a gripping new documentary to be aired this week

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With his floppy fringe and sweet, angelic face it is plain to see why his teachers described him as looking like Justin Bieber's cute younger brother.

But while most children his age spend their days laughing with friends with nothing more serious to consider than their latest homework assignment, Paul Henry Gingerich is enduring an entirely different reality.

In 2010, at the age of 12, Paul, from Enchanted Hills, Indiana, was sentenced to 25-years in prison for his part in shooting dead a friend's stepfather.

Childhood behind bars: Paul Henry, now 15, Gingerich sits in his cramped cell in juvenile detention

Childhood behind bars: Paul Henry Gingerich, now 15, sits in his cramped cell in juvenile detention

Killer: Gingerich was sentenced to 25 years in prison for helping kill a friend's stepfather after being tried in an adult court at the age of 12

Killer: Gingerich was sentenced to 25 years in
prison for helping kill a friend's stepfather after being tried in an
adult court at the age of 12

While his crime was undoubtedly terrible, what is perhaps equally shocking is that despite his age, Paul was tried as an adult and is now not due to be released until he is 37.

In Indiana, under extreme circumstances, children as young as 10 can be tried and sentenced in adult courts. However it is rare and Paul remains one of the youngest ever to be tried in this fashion.

Paul's life was turned upside down on a fateful day in April, 2010, when he went from an ordinary kid, who had never been in trouble for anything more serious than talking in class and not finishing his homework, to a killer.

Prison life: Paul Gingerich is due to spend three more years in juvenile detention before being moved to Indiana's notoriously tough adult prison system

Prison life: Paul Gingerich, now 15, is due to spend three more years in juvenile detention before being moved to Indiana's notoriously tough adult prison system

Paul Gingerich's mug shot

Paul Gingerich's mug shot

Killers: Gingerich (left) was sentenced to 25
years for conspiracy to commit murder. With Colt Lundy (right), then 15,
he shot dead Lundy's stepfather who they feared would not let them run
away to Arizona

Paul, an older boy called Colt Lundy and another 12-year-old called Chase Williams, had planned to run away together.

But
the then 15-year-old Lundy had told the other boys that his stepfather Phil
Danner, would never allow it, so they would have to kill him first.

Lundy
handed Paul a loaded gun and the pair crept through a window into
Danner's house where they sat in armchairs waiting for him to walk into
the room.

Victim: Paul Gingerich was found guilty of conspiring to fatally shoot 49-year-old Phillip Danner (pictured)

Victim: Paul Gingerich was found guilty of conspiring to fatally shoot 49-year-old Phillip Danner (pictured)

The other younger boy Chase Williams had refused to go in and had remained outside the house.

In his original police confession Paul
described what happened next: 'Phil turned the corner and then he
(Colt) shot him. I freaked out and closed my eyes and turned around and
shot', the Sunday Mirror reports.

The court documents
say Paul told police he simply went along with his older friend and
didn't believe his friend was serious about killing his stepfather.

But in 2010 Paul was sentenced to 25 years in prison, for conspiring to fatally shoot 49-year-old Danner.

In December last year, the Indiana Court of Appeals threw out Paul's guilty plea and sentence, saying a juvenile court judge rushed when he waived the case to adult court.

The appellate court ordered a new hearing to determine if Paul should be retried in a juvenile court.

However it is a massive gamble because if the court decides that Paul should be retried as an adult, for the more serious crime of murder, he could be sentenced to 65 years and remain incarcerated until the age of 77.

As things stand, Paul is due to spend the next three years in a juvenile facility before being transferred to Indiana's notoriously tough Adult prison system.

His attorney, Monica Foster, said: 'You really can't appreciate just how horrific the adult prison system is unless you've been there.

'For the last 30 years I've been in and out of the adult prison system in the State of Indiana and I wouldn't let my dog go there for a week, much less a 12-year-old kid.'

Tough life: Gingerich now 15, has been described as a role model at Pendleton Juvenile Correction Facility where he is currently incarcerated

Tough life: Gingerich now 15, has been described as a role model at Pendleton Juvenile Correction Facility where he is currently incarcerated

His harrowing story is the subject of a new documentary by filmmaker Zara Hayes which is due to be aired on Channel 4 later this week.

Paul's mother Nicole said: 'I'm in disbelief with the whole thing.

'Surely if you had an adult male or female who had the brain capacity of a 12-year-old, they would not be tried as an adult.'

/02/28/article-2107489-11F229BD000005DC-341_306x423.jpg” width=”306″ height=”423″ alt=”Paul Henry Gingerich” class=”blkBorder” />

Paul Henry Gingerich

Carefree: Gingerich, who will be sent to an
adult prison before he turns 21, said he wishes he had just gone home
the day he discussed killing the man with two friends in a park

Paul is now a long way from the floppy-haired 12-year-old who made that terrible decision three years ago.

Now sporting a crew cut, his grey eyes appear to have lost much of their innocence. Prison has hardened him.

But incredibly he says he is grateful for what he has,.

He says: 'I believe I have matured faster than other kids my age.

'I'm starting to think before I act more and not be so impulsive. Now I'm more grateful for what I have.'

Kelly Brook"s ultimatum to a bruised Danny Cipriani after pub crawl bus smash

'Sort your life out or it's over': Kelly Brook's ultimatum to a bruised Danny Cipriani after pub crawl bus smash

By
Emily Sheridan and Lucy Buckland

PUBLISHED:

00:58 GMT, 28 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:56 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Model Kelly Brook has reportedly given Danny Cipriani an ultimatum after the rugby champ was hit by a bus on a pub crawl.

Celebrity Juice star Kelly, 33, is thought to be worried about her boyfriends drunken antics and has issued him with an ultimatum – 'sort your life out, or it's over.'

The pair, who rekindled their romance in February, were seen looked stony faced as they headed out over the weekend with Danny, 25, on crutches with bruises covering his face.

Crocked: Danny Cipriani hobbles out of his girlfriend Kelly Brook's London home on Friday night

Crocked: Danny Cipriani hobbles out of his girlfriend Kelly Brook's London home on Friday night

A close friend told the Sunday Mirror:
'Kelly has told Danny that that he needs to sort himself out if their
relationship is going to work.

'Kelly feels quite protective over him
and is always wanting to look after him. But her friends are warning
her she could get hurt.'

Kelly, who was reunited with Danny in London on Thursday when he was discharged from hospital, looked concerned as she followed her boyfriend to a taxi on Friday evening.

Supportive: Kelly was no doubt playing nurse to her injured boyfriend after he was discharged on Thursday

Supportive: Kelly was no doubt playing nurse to her injured boyfriend after he was discharged on Thursday

Earlier that day, he took to Twitter
to thanks friends and fans for their get well messages and admitted he
was 'very lucky indeed' to have survived the accident.

He tweeted: 'Can count myself very lucky #dazedandconfused.

'Count myself v lucky…

'Find out about my knee later/monday.'

He also paid tribute to the emergency services who had rushed to his aide.

Battered: The 25-year-old leaving Leeds General Infirmary on Thursday

Battered: The 25-year-old leaving Leeds General Infirmary on Thursday

He wrote: 'Big thank you to the paramedics doctors nurses and Kylie the policewoman – made a scary situation go smoothly #tramnights.'

Danny was knocked down by a double-decker bus during a pub crawl in Leeds on Wednesday night.

On Thursday, he was photographed looking battered and bruised as he hobbled out of Leeds General Infirmary, with several deep grazes on his face.

Danny also appeared to have bruises on his left arm, which could just be seen underneath his tattoo sleeve.

Scare: Danny lying on a stretcher being attended to by paramedics on Wednesday night

Scare: Danny lying on a stretcher being attended to by paramedics on Wednesday night

Despite the accident, which
potentially could have been fatal, Danny has retained his sense of
humour, and tweeted after leaving hospital: 'My ribs are a bit sore…
Feel like I've been hit by a bus.'

Danny
was lucky not to have been injured further in the accident, which
occurred following the 14-bar pub crawl with his rugby teammates.

A
picture from the scene shows Danny strapped to a stretcher, attended to
by paramedics and Yorkshire police, as the windscreen of the number 6
bus is completely smashed in.

Witnesses said they saw the group 'running around drunkenly in the road' just before the smash at 20.39pm on Wednesday evening, with one adding: 'Every bit of the bus front window is smashed to pieces, imagine what the guy looks like.'

Danny's manager James added: 'It was a group social, I don't think you can single out Danny for certain behaviour. I haven't spoken to him yet but he is at home recovering and is a bit shaken up.'

Kate"s biggest clue to the sex of her unborn child… she buys Bugaboo buggy in baby blue

Kate's biggest clue to the sex of her unborn child… she buys Bugaboo buggy in baby blue
Duchess purchased a blue Bugaboo buggy – a celebrity favouriteShe has said she would prefer a son while William wants a daughterIf she does have a son, George is one of their favourite boys names

By
Katie Nicholl

PUBLISHED:

21:01 GMT, 27 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:17 GMT, 27 April 2013

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Top choice: The Duchess wore this polka dot dress from the British brand to the Warner Bros film studios

Hot spots: The Duchess in the Topshop dress which sold out online in an hour

It is possibly the most well-known colour code of them all – pink for a girl, blue for a boy.

So when the Duchess of Cambridge revealed she had bought a pram in light blue, Royal watchers wondered excitedly if she had dropped the biggest clue yet to the sex of her unborn child.

Kate – who is six months pregnant – told guests at a recent reception that she had chosen a buggy by designer label Bugaboo, which has celebrity fans including actress Sienna Miller and television presenter Peaches Geldof.

The buggies, which cost from 500 to 1,000 and can operate as either a pushchair or pram, come in a variety of colours and parents who do not know the sex of their baby usually prefer neutral hues such as beige, off-white or black.

The Duke and Duchess have insisted that they do not know if they are having a boy or a girl.

But although it is possible to swap some of the buggy’s accessories for those in different colours, including pink, Kate’s choice of blue will be seen as a clear hint as to her feelings about the gender.

She has said she would prefer a son while William wants a daughter.

Yesterday, Bugaboo said it had not presented the buggy to the Royal couple after being advised by officials not to send gifts.

So it appears that Kate, who was seen shopping for a Moses basket in South Kensington last week with her mother, bought the pram herself.

The Duchess, 31, revealed the Bugaboo colour when she chatted to a group of Army wives at a drinks reception in Aldershot on St Patrick’s Day.

According to one source: ‘She and some
of the other girls were talking about prams and one of the girls had her
baby in a Bugaboo.

bugaboo

Royal transport: A blue Bugaboo buggy fit for a prince

The Duchess' choice of dresses often create sell-outs and her baby purchases could do the same

The Kate-effect: The Duchess' choice of dresses often create sell-outs and her baby purchases could do the same

POLKA-DOTTY FOR HER DRESS

Her choices of dress have long spawned a rush to the shops – and this pretty polka dot outfit proved pregnancy has done nothing to dent the ‘Kate-effect’.

Just an hour after the Duchess of Cambridge arrived at the Warner Brothers film studios in Hertfordshire on Friday, the Topshop dress, which costs just 20 in the sale, had sold out online.

Now it has emerged the skater dress was bought personally by the Duchess from Topshop in Oxford Circus last month.

It is understood she arrived unannounced and spent nearly an hour browsing with her security staff, looking at the main range rather than maternity clothes.

'Kate said she has bought one in light blue. It was a
bit of a hint.’

Guardsman Lee Wheeler, 29, who met Kate at the ceremony, said the Duchess was happily discussing the Royal bump.

He said: ‘I asked her, “Do you know if it’s a girl or a boy” and she said, “Not yet”.

She said, “I’d like to have a boy and William would like a girl.” I asked her if she had any names and she said no.’

Since then, however, the Royal couple have revealed they have a shortlist of boys’ and girls’ names.

Alexandra and Elizabeth are said to be favourites for a girl, with George in the running for a boy.

Last night a spokesman for the Duchess declined to comment.

The spice of life: Sir Michael Caine reveals he eats turmeric to keep his brain sharp

The spice of life: Sir Michael Caine reveals he eats turmeric to keep his brain sharpActor says supplement containing the spice wards off effects of ageingIndian-born wife Shakira introduced him to health benefits of turmericThe 80-year-old double Oscar winner says he has 'a memory like a computer'

By
Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

20:58 GMT, 27 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:27 GMT, 28 April 2013

[headerlinks

Screen legend Sir Michael Caine has revealed his secret to keeping a razor-sharp brain – the Indian spice turmeric.

The 80-year-old double Oscar winner says a supplement containing the spice helps him ward off the effects of ageing.

Still sharp: Sir Michael Caine and his wife Shakira

Still sharp: Sir Michael Caine and his wife Shakira

And Caine is grateful to his Indian-born wife of 40 years Shakira for introducing him to its health benefits. Speaking to Hollywood chat show host Larry King backstage after a fundraising event for Alzheimer’s research, Caine said: ‘I am married to an Indian lady and have learned about Indian culture.

‘I looked into what they got and didn’t get. And one of the things they don’t get is Alzheimer’s.

‘They eat a great deal of turmeric in their food. I have been taking turmeric tablets for 30 years and I have a memory like a computer. I remember everything.’

Turmeric is commonly used in curries. It gives a rich yellow colour to foods.

Its active ingredient, curcumin, is a known anti-inflammatory and is thought to have cancer-preventing properties. It has long been used in alternative medicine as a brain and health-enhancing supplement.

Caine has starred in more than 100 films including Zulu, Alfie and Educating Rita. He was knighted in 2000, turned 80 last month – and said he was ‘delighted’ to still be active and working.

However, he revealed that his memory is not completely infallible. He said: ‘I can’t remember where I put my glasses. They are on your head and your grandkids laugh at you and that is when you look like a silly old guy.’

Brain power: Sir Michael Caine has revealed he eats turmeric to ward off the effects of ageing

Brain power: Sir Michael Caine has revealed he eats turmeric to ward off the effects of ageing

Race you to the aisle! 750 brides cross Derry bridge to beat world record

Race you to the aisle! 750 brides cross Derry bridge to beat world record

By
Anna Edwards

PUBLISHED:

01:02 GMT, 28 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:07 GMT, 28 April 2013

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They don't call it the Wedding March for nothing.

But this sea of brides – from a 91-year-old to a woman on the way to her own reception – were more interested in walk up a bridge for charity than walking up the aisle.

Around 750 women dressed in their full bridal wear gathered to cross the Peace Bridge in Derry, to raise money for a hospice.

Veils at the ready: Hundreds of brides crossed the Peace Bridge for charity

Veils at the ready: Hundreds of brides crossed the Peace Bridge for charity

Meet you at the church! Brides included a 91-year-old and a bride on route to her own reception

Meet you at the church! Brides included a 91-year-old and a bride on route to her own reception

A sea of white: Clad in their bridal gear, the women were a stunning sight

A sea of white: Clad in their bridal gear, the women were a stunning sight as they attempted to break a world record

Hundreds said 'I do' to the challenge, and sported striped socks and brightly coloured accessories as they marched across the bridge.

They gathered at Guildhall Square and cross the Peace Bridge to Ebrington Square before making the return journey to the Cityside.

The UK City of Culture saw 91-year-old Sheila Cooper take part, while Sinita Duffy, fro Waterside, is taking part in her wedding dress on her actual wedding day, UTV reported.

Rachel Bruce form the Foyle Hospice said they have a lot of people who are eager to take part.

This event was created by a group of local woman in memory of a beloved husband

This event was created by a group of local woman in memory of a beloved husband who benefited from the services provided by Foyle Hospice throughout his illness

Best foot forward! It was hoped at least 2013 'brides' - who sported fancy dress - would take part

Best foot forward! It was hoped at least 2013 'brides' – who sported fancy dress – would take part

Fuelling themselves: A participant eats a doughnut in Guildhall Square at the 'Brides Across the Bridge' event in Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Fuelling themselves: A participant eats a doughnut in Guildhall Square at the 'Brides Across the Bridge' event in Londonderry, Northern Ireland

She said: 'We've got brides coming
from all over. We have girls coming from England – parts of Liverpool,
London and Manchester – and up from Dublin.

'We have brides renting, hiring dresses, making up their own dresses, doing all sorts,' UTV reported.

One man sported a fetching pink satin dress to boost the numbers of brides taking part.

This event was created by a group of local woman in memory of a beloved husband who benefited from the services provided by Foyle Hospice throughout his illness.

Not quite something blue! The fun day meant that the hospice and its invaluable work was rewarded with a huge donation

Not quite something blue! The fun day meant that the hospice and its invaluable work was rewarded with a huge donation

The organisers aimed to attract women wearing wedding dresses for the charity event in aid of the Foyle Hospice

The organisers aimed to attract women wearing wedding dresses for the charity event in aid of the Foyle Hospice

The brides who donned their full regalia – from long veils, to puffy sleeves – were asked to pay 10 with proceeds raised going to Foyle Hospice.

Foyle Hospice has a dedicated group of Specialist Medical and Nursing Teams who provide palliative care to those suffering with a terminal illness such as Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, COPD, Heart Failure and Parkinson's.

The Hospice also provides support and comfort to the families and loved ones of patients. This care is provided free of charge to those that require it in either a Hospice or Home setting.

Scientists genetically modify cows to remove their horns in health and safety bid to cut the risk of injury to farmers and other animals

Scientists genetically modify cows to remove their horns in health and safety bid to cut the risk of injury to farmers and other animals
Genetically modified cow will be same as other livestock minus the hornsScientists to use sophisticated gene-editing technique to add extra DNAWill mean farmers no longer have to burn off horn buds in young animals

By
James Rush

PUBLISHED:

00:58 GMT, 28 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:06 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Scientists are genetically altering cows so they have no horns in a bid to make them safer.

The genetically modified dairy cow will be identical in every way to other livestock but without the horns, in order to cut the risk of injury to farmers, walkers and other animals.

The scientists are using gene-editing techniques to insert an extra DNA, which is known to halt horn growth in other breeds of cattle, into the geneome of holsteins, the world's highest-production dairy animals.

The genetically modified dairy cow will be identical in every way to other livestock but without the horns (file picture)

The genetically modified dairy cow will be identical in every way to other livestock but without the horns (file picture)

Geoff Simm, professor of animal breeding who chairs the government's Farm Animal Genetic Resources Committee, has championed the idea in a Defra report on livestock genetics, The Sunday Times has reported.

The idea is based on research at Scotland's Rural College, near Edinburgh, which allows scientists to make precise changes to DNA.

Scientists at Edinburgh's Roslin Institute are working with Scott Fahrenkrug, professor of genetics at the University of Minnesota, who is looking to create cows without horns by using the technique.

He has taken a strip of the DNA which suppresses horn growth and inserted it into cells from a holstein bull called Randy.

He told The Sunday Times: 'We have already made millions of modified cells. Next we will use cloning technology to turn some of those cells into 40 embryos and implant them into a herd of surrogate mothers, in the Midwest of America, within weeks.'

The animals will be clones of Randy, minus the horns, while their offspring should also be hornless.

The scientists are using gene-editing techniques to insert an extra DNA, which is known to halt horn growth in other breeds of cattle, into the geneome of holsteins (file picture)

The scientists are using gene-editing techniques to insert an extra DNA, which is known to halt horn growth in other breeds of cattle, into the geneome of holsteins (file picture)

Fahrenkrug said: 'Creating hornless dairy cows would decrease animal suffering, protect people and cut costs.'

Farmers have managed to breed out the ability to grow horns in beef cattle, such as Aberdeen Angus, but it has been found to be impossible in dairy breeds without affecting milk yields.

It has left many farmers having to burn off the horn buds when the animals are young, a painful procedure for the cows.

Top Gear spoilers: Behind-the-scenes look at live road show as James May drives a giant washing machine

SPOILER alert! Behind-the-scenes look at Top Gear's live road show rehearsals, with the gang driving vacuum cleaners, ironing boards… and even WASHING MACHINES
Eagerly anticipated Top Gear Live is back with a show in Amsterdam The motoring programme is broadcast in more than 100 countriesSeries 19 was another ratings success, taking the team around the world

By
Olivia Williams

PUBLISHED:

22:34 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:54 GMT, 27 April 2013

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Top Gear Live, the world's biggest live car show is returning with all three of the show's popular presenters and some wacky vehicles to show their fans.

Promising as much automotive drama as the hit BBC2 programme, the live show that has played to sell out audiences on four continents has rolled into Amsterdam this weekend.

Legendary hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are seen adding their trademark humour, alongside some of the world's most expensive, most powerful and most absurdly modified cars in this behind-the-scenes look at their rehearsals.

Scroll down for video

James May

Peeking out: James May in a vehicle made of washing machines in one of his more unusual track performances

Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May during their rehearsal of Top Gear Live at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam

Friends reunited: Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May during their rehearsal of Top Gear Live at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam

Jeremy Clarkson in a homemade contraption at Top Gear Live this week

Larking about: Jeremy Clarkson in a homemade contraption at Top Gear Live this week

The trio are promising spectacular
stunts and exhilarating motoring sequences.

Customised DIY vehicles are set to play a big role in the show with innovative uses for ironing boards and washing machines.

Top Gear has is broadcast in more than 100 countries, claiming a global audience of 350 million.

Previous stunts include driving from Switzerland to Blackpool on a single tank of diesel and once tried to convert a Reliant Robin into a space shuttle.

In 2006 Hammond nearly died while
filming a stunt at Elvington airfield near York. A tyre on his dragster
burst at 288mph leaving him with a serious brain injury.

Is that a stage Top Gear Live! in Amsterdam

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Richard Hammond

Innovative: Richard Hammond demonstrating his own special use for ironing boards

 Jeremy Clarkson

Japes: Jeremy Clarkson on one of his trademark quirky challenges

The last series, now on its 19th run, saw the trio go on a road trip across the U.S., from the Nevada desert to the Mexican border in flashy cars.

The Top Gear team have already been to Sydney and Moscow with the tour this year, and will be heading to Durban in South Africa next in June for the Top Gear Festival.

Last year it was the second most watched programme on the iPlayer, beaten only by the Olympics.

1bn raid on NHS could pay more for community care

1bn raid on NHS could pay for more community careComes amid fears that A&E departments are being flooded by patients who could be cared for at home

By
Tim Shipman

PUBLISHED:

22:49 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:06 GMT, 27 April 2013

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Ministers plan to use 1billion of the NHS budget to pay for social care – effectively tearing up the Coalition’s pledge to ringfence Health Service spending.

The move comes amid fears hospital accident and emergency departments are being flooded by patients who could be cared for at home.

Despite a promise to protect the NHS from the 11.5billion cuts the Treasury has ordered for 2015/16, the proposals could see more than 1billion funnelled from the Department of Health to local authorities.

A&E waiting times have risen and needy patients have been left on hospital trolleys

A&E waiting times have risen and needy patients have been left on hospital trolleys

Ministers will argue that pouring NHS funds into community care will enable some elderly patients and those with chronic conditions to be treated outside hospital, reducing pressure on overstretched A&E units – which will in turn save the NHS money.

But removing money from the NHS will prove highly controversial, since the Prime Minister was boasting earlier this week that the Coalition is spending more on health.

With the NHS already having to save 20billion for the four-year period of the spending review, critics will argue that other services could suffer.

Proposals could see more than 1billion funnelled from the Department of Health to local authorities

Proposals could see more than 1billion funnelled from the Department of Health to local authorities

Town hall chiefs have reduced dramatically their funding of social care as a result of budget cuts, leaving people with long-running health conditions to seek help in hospitals instead.

A&E waiting times have risen and needy patients have been left on hospital trolleys because of ‘bed-blocking’ by those who should be treated at home.

Last year nearly 900,000 waited longer than four hours and recent reports suggest some patients wait up to 12 hours to be seen.

A source said the plan was a ‘win-win’ because ‘if you look after people outside hospital you relieve the pressure on Health Service budgets’.

Non-ringfenced departments have been ordered to find cuts of around 10 per cent in their 2015/16 budgets.

Plans will be submitted on Monday to the Treasury, with the final deal announced in June.

Woman drivers pay the price of equality as their insurance premiums soar (but drops for men)

Woman drivers pay the price of equality as their insurance premiums soar (but drops for men)

, insurers are no longer able to use gender as a factor when pricing insurance.’

Opponents of the gender rules had argued – unsuccessfully – that women deserved to pay less because, statistically they were less of a risk so deserved to pay lower premiums.

Research suggests while women may have more low impact and less costly shunts such as when parking, men tend to have more dramatic and costly crashes. But the EU ruled that despite this it statistical trend was wrong to discriminate on grounds of gender.

The report said: ‘This is a huge contrast to price differences seen this time last year, when men were paying 117 more than their female counterparts on average for their car insurance.’ Then, men were paying 868 compared to women paying 751 on average.

But it added: ‘A larger price gulf remains amongst the younger age group, which currently sees 17 to 20 year old males pay 2,848 on average for their comprehensive car insurance premiums, with females of the same age paying 2,256 – a price difference of 592.’

Across the UK as a whole, average car insurance premiums have fallen by 9.8 per cent over the year.

But the most expensive comprehensive car insurance premiums are in East London where they average 1,519, closely followed by Ilford, Uxbridge, and North West London where motorists can pay more than 1,300 on average.

The Scottish Borders, North and North East Scotland enjoy the lowest comprehensive car insurance premiums paying on average 497.

For Third Party Fire and Theft cover only, average premiums for the first quarter stood at 1,169.

This represents a slight increase of 1.0 per cent year-on-year and 2.7 per cent quarter on quarter.

Gemma Stanbury, head of car Insurance at Confused.com said: ‘With the EU Gender Directive coming into effect late last year, it’s clear to see that the insurance industry has reacted to the change in legislation over the last quarter.’

Is this the end of premium rate lines to call your GP? NHS orders to doctors to drop 40p a minute charges

Is this the end of premium rate lines to call your GP NHS orders doctors to drop 40p a minute chargesAt least 1,00 surgeries still use 0844 numbers so patients can check resultsContracts say number should not more than geographical number

By
Daniel Martin

PUBLISHED:

22:37 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:59 GMT, 27 April 2013

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 NHS England is in charge of enforcing GP contracts and is taking a tougher stance with GPs

NHS England is in charge of enforcing GP contracts and is taking a tougher stance with GPs

For the first time GPs have been told by the NHS to drop plans to charge patients up to 40p a minute to ring their surgeries.

NHS England told three practices that if they brought in an expensive 0844 number, they would be in breach of their contracts.

Campaigners hailed the tough stance and said they hoped it will end the scandal of millions of patients being forced to pay sky-high phone charges for a service that should be free at the point of use.

At least 1,000 surgeries, with more than six million patients, still use the numbers so patients can book an appointment or check test results. That is despite their contracts saying no phone line should be brought in if it costs more than a normal geographical number.

Following its ruling on three practices in Warrington, Cheshire, NHS England last night warned GPs that no surgery should be using 0844 numbers, and revealed it was checking how widely they are used.

A spokesman for the organisation confirmed it would ‘act on’ the findings when the work has been completed.

It is a victory for the Daily Mail, which has campaigned for years against the use by surgeries of 0844 numbers, which originally provoked more than 3,000 complaints from the public.

Calls are no more expensive than normal on a landline, but campaigners point out that millions of people, 15 per cent of the population, no longer have a landline. Surgeries receive some of the income generated by the calls, although doctors insist they do not make a profit and the revenue is spent on installing and operating the systems.

Primary care trusts, the local NHS bodies which were abolished at the end of March, were supposed to enforce GP contracts but were accused of doing nothing to prevent surgeries from using the numbers.

Now NHS England is in charge of enforcing
GP contracts and is taking a tougher stance with GPs. The decision in
Warrington shows it is ready to veto new contracts which don’t offer
standard call charges.

The use of 0844 numbers by surgeries originally provoked more than 3,000 complaints from the public

The use of 0844 numbers by surgeries originally provoked more than 3,000 complaints from the public

The group of three GP practices in Warrington, called the CCA Partnership, dropped plans to introduce the new number after an NHS England official reminded them of their contract.

The doctors originally planned to introduce it on Monday but earlier this week they performed a dramatic U-turn.

David Hickson, from the Fair Telecoms Campaign, said: ‘This is the first time, to my knowledge, that a GP has been stopped from using a 0844 telephone number by being reminded of the terms of their NHS contract.

‘We hope that this early success for NHS England will mark the start of serious enforcement of the terms of contracts across the country.

‘The suggestion that an NHS practice can offer a “two-tier” service, by having an alternative single-line geographic number for those who are reluctant to pay to get the proper NHS service, is a shameful insult to the principles of the NHS.’

A spokesman for NHS England said: ‘We support guidance from the Department of Health that GP practices should not enter into any new contracts for telephone services that would mean patients pay more than the cost of a geographical call to their practice.

‘NHS England was established on 1 April 2013 and as part of our new role we are researching the extent of use of 0844 numbers and will act on our findings as and when this work has been carried out.’

A spokesman for the Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral office of NHS England confirmed they had intervened to stop the GP surgeries using the number.

‘It is our priority to ensure practices adhere to Department of Health guidance,’ he said. ‘This is to ensure that we can provide the best possible service to the public we serve.’