News Daily: Dropped cases figures revealed, and Worboys release protest

By Justin Parkinson
BBC News


Hello. Here's your morning briefing:

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Hundreds of cases dropped over evidence disclosure failings

Last month two rape trials collapsed after it was revealed police had failed to share evidence with defence solicitors. The cases of Isaac Itiary and Liam Allan prompted much criticism, and raised the question of how many other prosecutions have ended because of similar failures.

A Freedom of Information request by the BBC has found that the number of prosecutions in England and Wales that have collapsed because police or prosecutors did not disclose evidence has risen by 70% in two years. Last year, 916 people had charges dropped for this reason.

Angela Rafferty QC, chair of the Criminal Bar Association, blamed a "lack of investment, training and attention to the criminal justice system". But the Crown Prosecution Service said evidence disclosure failures represented just 0.15% of all prosecutions, adding that this was "still too many" and improvement was a "priority".

Two newspapers - the Sun and the Daily Mail - have threatened legal action if the Parole Board does not publish its reasons for agreeing to release convicted rapist John Worboys. They have written to the board, and Justice Secretary David Gauke, saying they will apply for a judicial review if the report on Worboys is not released within a week. Worboys, a former taxi driver, was jailed for a minimum of eight years in 2009 for drugging and sexually assaulting women passengers.

And the winners are... Ant and Dec (again)

Ant and Dec have won the best presenters prize at the National Television Award for a 17th time. They took the gong for their show Saturday Night Takeaway. Ant, whose marriage ended recently and who has spent time in rehab, said this meant "a lot" after a "tough year". Among other awards, Doctor Foster was named best drama, with its star Suranne Jones judged to have given the best drama performance. This story includes a list of all the winners.

Why stress makes you fat

By Michael Mosley, Presenter of Trust Me I'm a Doctor

Is it just greed - or is something else going on? Although self-control is important, there is mounting evidence that stress plays a significant part in weight gain. Chronic stress disrupts our sleep and our blood sugar levels. This leads to increased hunger and comfort eating. That then leads to further disrupted sleep, even higher levels of stress and even more disrupted blood sugars. In time, this can lead not only to unhealthy levels of body fat, but also to type-2 diabetes.

What the papers say

The impending release from prison of convicted rapist John Worboys continues to receive a great deal of coverage. Metro says police are looking into a fresh claim against him, which the Daily Mirror says dates back to 1997. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports on warnings from scientists that mixing herbal remedies with prescription drugs could produce dangerous side effects. And the Daily Star says the TV soap Coronation Street is going to focus on "grittier plots" in future.

Daily digest

Concert complaint Deaf mum sues Little Mix promoter

Job worries Young people share their fears and anxieties over the future

Road pricing Drivers should be charged according to where and when they use their cars, and their financial situation, report says

Fantasy author Ursula K Le Guin dies aged 88

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Today The Toy Fair 2018 - the UK's biggest showcase for toy, game and hobby trade exhibition manufacturers - opens at London's Olympia.

20:00 Sir Elton John will make a "special announcement" about his career in New York.

On this day

1965 Former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill dies at the age of 90, with his wife Lady Clementine Churchill and other members of the family at his bedside.

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