tv BBC News at One BBC News March 28, 2017 1:00pm-1:31pm BST
conviction's quashed. three cheers! cheers outside court as sergeant alexander blackman is given a seven—year prison sentence — but told he will be freed in two weeks. the 42—year—old was jailed for murder in 2013, but his conviction was reduced to manslaughter earlier this month. his wife is overjoyed. this is the moment we have all been fighting hard for. it's hard to believe that this day is finally here. we'll have the latest from court. also this lunchtime... a shake—up of prescriptions — holiday jabs, gluten—free food and fish oils may no longer be available on the nhs to save money. a rape victim says she agrees with thejudge in her case who was criticised for warning that drunk women put themselves in danger. tesco‘s fined £129 million after a two—year investigation into false accounting by the serious fraud office. and look out for the new 12—sided pound coin — it's thinner and lighter and it's out today.
and coming up in the sport on bbc news... a big loss for great britain's davis cup team. they are going to be without the injured andy murray for their quarterfinal tie against france. good afternoon and welcome to the bbc news at one. a royal marine who was sent to prison for killing an injured taliban fighter in afghanistan has been told he will be freed in two weeks. sergeant alexander blackman had his murder conviction reduced to manslaughter earlier this month, on the grounds of diminished responsibility. he's now been sentenced to seven years — but has already served three years, which means he will walk free next month. our correspondent duncan kennedy is at the royal courts ofjustice. extraordinary scenes both inside
court and outside court this morning. dozens and dozens of marines cheering, in tears, and that included alexander blackman‘s wife claire, who spoke on the steps of her relief at the decision by the judges debated rock alexander blackman was not in court, he was watching proceedings on a video link from his prison. is a story about the horrors of conflict and the legalities of war is now at an end. -- his legalities of war is now at an end. —— his story. thejubilation was —— his story. the jubilation was immediate and unbridled. marine veterans from a dozen conflicts gave full rein to their relief and delight. it was a euphoria that was then shared by the dignified reaction of alexander
lachmann‘s wife. dignified reaction of alexander lachmann's wife. we are overjoyed at thejudges‘ decision to significantly reduce our sentence such that he can be released imminently. this is the moment we have all been fighting hard for. it is hard to believe that this day is finally here. that joy was matched by hundreds of marines who have campaigned for four years to make this day a reality. i'm just overwhelmed, reduced to tears, if i'm honest. it has broken meet it up and just so relieved thatjustice has been done and now blackman is free. as a marine sergeant, alexander blackman had been a decisive leader of troops, someone who had killed 30 times for his country. but on this tour of afghanistan in 2011, he and his men went through what was called a tour from hell. they were provoked and violently targeted incessantly by
the taliban. in this field, they found an injured taliban insurgents. sergeant blackman was recorded saying this... he then pointed his gun at the insurgent. he then added... in 2013, sergeant blackman was found guilty of murder, a decision that thousands of military colleagues believed was a moral outrage. earlier this month, that conviction was reduced to manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility. rob driscoll served alongside alexander blackman and says the decision to release him now is the right one, given what they all went through. the answer to your question is, was it right what he did? and the answer would be, absolutely. when you are surrounded by absolute lunacy, then a little
bit of lunacy doesn't seem so bad. prosecutors argued that alexander blackman broke the rules of war but his supporters saw a man tormented by the horrors of combat. for his wife and for him, he is the last casualty of the afghanistan conflict. alexander blackman is currently at a prison in wiltshire and is expected to be released sometime over the next two weeks to be reunited with his wife claire. the judges said that he had been dismissed from the marines but not dishonourably. they also said that mr blackman was responsible for the killing of that taliban insurgent but that he is now a free man. duncan kennedy, thank you. the nhs in england is to consider whether gps should stop prescribing a range of medicines and treatments — including holiday jabs, gluten—free food, fish oils and painkillers such as paracetamol — that are available over the counter. the proposals, which are intended
to save millions of pounds, will form part of a major announcement on the future of the health service later this week by the head of nhs england. 0ur health editor, hugh pym, reports. the nhs is under increasing financial pressure. now, service leaders are set to closely scrutinise what's available on prescription. local health commissioners in england have drawn up a list of items which they say are unnecessary and inappropriate for prescription on the nhs. instead, patients should have to pay for them. decisions are about the total spend and we need to use that effectively. if we are effectively spending money we think on things that are of low or no clinical value, we can redirect that money to things that are more appropriate. the medicines and treatments listed include omega—3 and fish oils, some muscle rubs and ointments, gluten—free food, and travel vaccines still allowed on the nhs. there could be savings of £128 million a year. nhs england has agreed to carry out a review
and introduce new guidelines. longer term, the future of cold and cough treatments, indigestion and heartburn medication, and paracetamol on prescription will be considered. they are widely available over—the—counter at chemists. they are widely available over-the-counter at chemists. but pharmacists won there is a danger of going too far. the nhs is built on a principle of free up a point of use and it is important there was a balance between making sure the medicines are cost—effective, and we support the cost—effective review of those buttons, but at the same time we've got to make sure people are not disadvantaged because of their ability to pay for medicines. and questions are being asked about what this might mean for patients depend on free prescriptions. we've not had any clarity about what this means for elderly people, pregnant women, people are very low incomes, and i'm concerned about the people who are managing long—term conditions, managing long—term conditions, managing their pain throughout those long—term conditions. managing their pain throughout those long-term conditions. nhs england
says there won't be a ban and gps will still be free to prescribe the items to those they feel need them. the move is part of an nhs strategy to tackle rising demand. the move will form part of a major strategy announcement by the head of nhs england, simon stephens, later this week. hugh pym, bbc news. the wife of the westminster attacker khalid masood has said she is "saddened and shocked" by the atrocity. in a statement released through the metropolitan police, rohey hydara said she totally condemns his actions. masood killed four people in an 82—second rampage last wednesday. meanwhile, the mp who tried to save the life of pc keith palmer outside parliament has been speaking about what happened. i would make it clear that i was one of many that stepped forward on that dark day and our thoughts and prayers remain with those families and friends of the victims, including our own pc keith palmer. a rape victim whose case led a judge
to warn that women are more likely to be targeted when drunk has defended the comments, saying the judge was right. megan clark was raped by a man during a night out in manchester. the trial sparked controversy after the judge said the drunken behaviour of some women was putting them at risk. in an exclusive interview, miss clark, who's waived her right to anonymity, told the victoria derbyshire programme that she didn't believe the judge was "victim blaming". i think she was absolutely right in what she said, but it was taken out of context. she put the blame massively on rapists, not the victims. she just simply said to be careful, basically, which is smart advice. we need to be careful. but she wasn't at all victim blaming. she said a woman would be less likely to report a rape "because she was drunk or could not remember what happened or feels ashamed to deal with it or, if push comes to shove, a girl who is drunk is less likely to be believed than one who was sober at the time".
is that how you felt at the time? yeah, that is definitely true. you didn't think you would report something like that because you had had a few drinks? yeah, definitely. it is not the way it should be, but that was her point. that is the harsh reality. that is the way things are. rape crisis did criticise the judge's comments, they said they were outrageous and misguided. they said, as a judge and a woman, she should know better. the only person who is responsible for rape is the rapist. women are yet again being blamed for rape. that is true. only the rapist is responsible, but that was the point the judge was making, it was just taken out of context. did you everfeel shamed or blamed? at first i did, yeah. a few people i told, they kind of put it down to my behaviour. i thought it was true. i guess everybody blames themselves.
i know it is not my fault, but it is hard not to blame yourself, especially when you are in that situation. what is your message to other women when they're out and about with their mates in the summer, having had a few drinks? don't live in fear of rapists and being in danger. look after yourself, of course. know that it is not your fault, whatever happens. i guess i'd still encourage people to report it, because you have a better chance. megan clarke talking to victoria derbyshire and you can see that interview in full on the bbc website. the australian state of queensland is being lashed by torrential rain and very high winds. a cyclone has flooded streets and toppled trees on the whitsunday coast. tens of thousands of people have been told to leave their homes
along coastal areas, with warnings of dangerous tidal surges. from there, hywell griffith reports. coming to land with a mighty roar. cyclone debbie's 30—mile—wide core ripped through everything in its path, tearing into the queensland coast. australia's biggest evacuation plan in over a0 years meant people here were prepared but that didn't lessen the impact. we have more than 115,000 homes without power, we have major trees down, we are hearing reports of some quite severe structural damage. this is a dangerous cyclone. people must stay indoors. please do not go outside. at airlie beach, normally a picture postcard scene, a bbcjournalist on holiday found herself at the centre of the story. what i can see is trees bending over. there's debris flying all through the air. trees are starting to be ripped up now and there's a huge amount
of water flying through the air. it's notjust falling as rain now, it's a big mass of mist and sea, kind of, breeze coming over. even when these winds have died down, there will be another, longer lasting, problem to deal with — flooding. with two feet worth of rain expected to fall in 2a hours in some places, it means some communities could be cut off for days. the emergency services have been in lockdown, unable to respond to calls until the cyclone passes. they know the hardest days are ahead. this is a very destructive storm and storm system and i think the public and the community of queensland need to understand that we are going to get lots of reports of damage and, sadly, i think that we will also receive more reports of injuries, if not deaths, and we need to be prepared for that. for those who have sought shelter, there will be
uncomfortable nights ahead, too. sarah bromley from essex has managed to let her family know she's safe. having to wait out the weather hasn't been much fun. we've been here for almost 24 hours now, so we're a bit bored of it and hoping it passes soon, so we can go back, get some food and a bed to sleep in. the cyclone is still moving slowly inland, downgraded but still destructive on a vast scale. hywel griffith, bbc news, queensland. the time is: very our top story this lunchtime... nearly quarter past one. a royal marine who killed an injured taliban fighter in afghanistan will walk free next month after his murder conviction‘s quashed. and still to come... plagued by potholes, the roads in such a bad condition they could soon be closed. coming up in the sport in the next 15 minutes on bbc news... the summer of cricket is set for a big change with eight brand—new franchises
taking part in a city—based twenty20 tournament. tesco will pay a £129 million fine after coming to a settlement with the serious fraud office over false accounting. the supermarket admitted overstating its profits in 2014, by more than 300—million pounds. the agreement means tesco will avoid prosecution — it will also have to pay its shareholders £85 million. our business correspondent emma simpson reports. tesco in crisis. september 2014. the headlines grim. an accounting scandal, multiple investigations and billions of pounds wiped off the value of the company. the reason, it had massively overstated its profits. today the uk arm of tesco agreed to pay a penalty of £129 million from the serious fraud office. yes, it's a big fine for tesco and that represents the seriousness of the effect
and the effect it had on the share price of tesco in 2014. by doing this deal tesco has at least avoided prosecution and the board will be hoping they can now draw a line under proceedings. tesco is coughing up another £85 million to compensate shareholders who bought shares in the company in the weeks following its august update to the city, unaware that tesco had hugely inflated its profits. it's the first time the financial regulator the fca has used its powers to require a listed company to pay compensation for market abuse. tesco said it had fully cooperatedwith the cooperated with the investigation. the incident was hugely regrettable, the issues were historic and that the business had undergone a comprehensive programme of change. this deal still to be approved by a court, covers tesco stores and doesn't
address whether liability of any sort applies to the larger parent group, tesco plc or any of its employees. tesco hopes it can now put the sorry chapter behind it, although three former executives are still due to stand trial. emma simpson, bbc news. tomorrow the prime minister will trigger article 50 — and formally start the process for the united kingdom leaving the european union. it'll pave the way for two years of negotiations. but the way forward is uncharted — this is the first time that article 50 will be triggered and it's not clear exactly how talks will proceed as our political correspondent carole walker reports. it will be an historic day for the european union and the united kingdom. the formal start of exit negotiations. already the government is forging new partnerships beyond the eu, announcing a five game pound deal with qatar. tomorrow we begin
the negotiations to secure a new deep and special partnership with the european union. as we do so i am determined that we should also sees this historic opportunity to get out into the world and to shape even bigger roles for eight double britain. tomorrow the prime minister will give eu leaders a clear outline of her approach. her officials will deliver a letter to the european council, several pages long, detailing the governance principles and priorities. she will get the eu's initial response within days, the foreign secretary said her approach would be optimistic and positive. i've absolutely no doubt there will be a great deal but this country because a great deal for this country is is what is finally in the interests of our friends and partners on the other side of the channel who have a huge amount to gain. the prime minister was said at her approach to the negotiation in a statement to mps tomorrow. the government says it wants to discuss
the terms of our departure from the eu and the future trading relationship at the same time. senior eu figures said the terms of withdrawal must agree before they'll even start to talk about trade. and that's just one of many differences to be resolved. campaigners who wa nted to be resolved. campaigners who wanted britain to remain in the eu say ministers are raising expect patience that cannot be fulfilled. that everything is going to be signed and sealed and on and two yea rs, signed and sealed and on and two years, it ain't, that we will have new, sparkling trade agreements worth twice the value of the european union before we've even left, we want and now apparently we're not going to pay very much money at all. and they are urging ministers to resist pressure from hard—line brexiteers for the uk to walk away without a deal. there will be agitation for early departure, for realisation that the europeans are not serious, we should walk away andi are not serious, we should walk away and i bardy everything in my power on my bench is to make sure that does not become reality. the prime minister has met the timetable she
said the triggering article 50 by the end of march, getting the deal she wants within two years will be a much harder task. carole walker, bbc news, westminster. 0ur assistant political editor norman smith is in westminster. we know what will happen tomorrow, beyond that we are in an charted waters. i think we are getting a sense of choreography, then be in the sense of departure and we learn the sense of departure and we learn the process will not be triggered by theresa may making a statement in downing street, there won't be a debate in the house of commons, it will be triggered by a single, simple letter, written and signed by theresa may saying we want to leave the european union. that letter has been a closely guarded secret in downing street, we are told it's commercially sensitive, many ministers happens seen it, the first babel gets cider bidders when she breached the cabinet tomorrow morning, she will make a statement to mps telling them about it but even then we won't have a gun the departure, that doesn't begin until
oui’ man departure, that doesn't begin until our man in brussels marches down the coroner and hands over the letter in person to the president of the european council, donald tusk. the moment he takes hold of that letter, thatis moment he takes hold of that letter, that is the moment we begin to leave the eu and that letter is crucial. it's likely to be around 6—7 pages long but it will set out the prime minister's ambitions for brexit, what she wants from the deal, it's likely to reiterate we want to leave the single market, get back control of immigration, leave the european court ofjustice, it is, in short, likely to be one of the most closely scrutinised letters in modern political history. it certainly will be. norman, thank you. the scottish parliament is expected to back nicola sturgeon's call for a second independence referendum, in a vote this afternoon. the vote had been due to take place at holyrood last wednesday, but was postponed because of the attack at westminster. the first minister wants a referendum by the spring of 2019, but theresa may has rejected that timetable. stephen godden reports.
a piece of constitutional theatre — short on suspense but full of significance in the debate over scotland's future. for nicola sturgeon, placing holyrood at the centre of the push for another referendum is key, securing the backing of the scottish parliament to negotiate the terms of another vote with the uk government. an independence referendum should, in their words, "be made in scotland by the people of scotland." that is a principle that should be respected today. the detailed arrangements for a referendum, including its timing, must be for the scottish parliament to decide. and so, after the suspension of last week's debate, following the westminster terror attack, msps will pick up where they left off this afternoon. once again nicola sturgeon will open the debate, arguing the scottish government's case — that scots have effectively been shut out of the brexit process, something it didn't vote for, and as such, they should have the chance to choose a different path. well, the reality is
the scottish parliament will decide this afternoon whether it wishes to move forward and to give the people of scotland a democratic choice, in vastly different circumstances from anything that could have been anticipated in 2014. that's the choice for the scottish parliament to make and if the scottish parliament makes that choice later today, then we'll indicate to the uk government how that should move ahead. but on a visit to scotland yesterday, theresa may's position hadn't changed. with brexit to negotiate, now is not the time, said the prime minister, to discuss another referendum on independence. look, the prime minister has made clear that she is not ruling out a second referendum but she has laid down the conditions on which she thinks it would be appropriate. the first would be that we'd have left the european union, the second is that we are absolutely clear about the arrangements that we'll obtain. and they may not be clear at that point, there could be transitional arrangements thereafter and thirdly and crucially the people of scotland will have to want a second referendum. the support of the greens means
the scottish government will almost certainly win this afternoon's vote. a letter to downing street on the subject of what happens next will be drafted, but as yesterday's meeting between the two leaders illustrated, common ground will be hard find. steven godden, bbc news, edinburgh. 0ur scotland correspondent lorna gordon is in holyrood. tell us more about what we can expect this afternoon and what will happen next. there is a small pro—independence and station outside this parliament in support of nicola sturgeon's all for the right to hold another referendum, the debate itself interrupted last week gets under way shortly after 2pm and the keyboard will take place around 5pm. it's a simple, straightforward process , it's a simple, straightforward process, the msps press a button and the result is known shortly thereafter but in truth, we know the result already, in all likelihood it will pass the snp with the support
of the green party have a majority here. while the result is not really in doubt what happens next is bar less clear. we know the scottish government will send a letter to the uk government formally requesting, to call a referendum under section 30 of the scotland act, we don't know the timing but we know the letter will set out how they intend to fulfil the mandate that they will have been given by the scottish parliament here and with the mood music coming from westminster, the prime minister saying now is not the time for another referendum, it's not clear how this constitutional stand—off will be resolved. potholes — they enfuriate motorists and cyclists alike. now a new survey of local councils in england and wales has revealed that potholes mean that1 in 6 smaller roads are at risk of becoming damaged beyond repair — and some have less than five years before they have to be
replaced or closed. 0ur transport correspondent, richard westcott, reports. it's impossible to dodge them all these days. 0ur roads, peppered with holes. the surface crumbling away faster than it can be repaired, according to this report. it blames decades of underfunding, coupled with wetter winters and more cars and we're all paying the price. it hit two of my tyres and also dented the actual alloy wheel as well. the car went into crash mechanism. the doors on the car were disengaged and i had £500 worth of damage to my vehicle. i had an accident on my bike, where i hit a pothole and fell forward off my bike. the research found that one in six roads is so bad it may need to be replaced within five years. councils filled 1.7 million potholes in england and wales last year, which is one every 19 seconds. well, this survey is hardly going to come as a surprise to most drivers. we've been looking forjust two
minutes just outside bristol. look, a whole row of potholes on an ordinary road. according to this report, if you really wanted to fix up all the local roads across england and wales, it would cost £12 billion and take more than a decade. bus companies say their customers and drivers face being jolted around by poor roads. steve's been driving a bus around bristol for nearly four decades. i'm just upset because when they do repair them, it doesn't last very long. we talk about it all the time in the canteen, amongst drivers, our concerns about the safety for our customers and obviously actually how we have to behave on the road. we actually position the bus to avoid the potholes because some of them really give a big bash. the government says it's chipped in an extra £1 billion recently to help fill the holes but campaigners aren't impressed. every so often the government gives out a pothole fund.
it is kind of reacting to a crisis but i think we need to actually plan longer term funding and have a greater proportion of what drivers actually pay in motoring taxes ringfenced just for maintenance. because if you ask drivers, it is their number one concern. as councils feel the financial squeeze, many fear our local roads are only going to get worse. richard westcott, bbc news, bristol. the new 12—sided pound coin has entered circulation this morning. it's the first change to the shape of the coin since it was introduced in 1983. the new coins are thinner and lighter. but watch out — some vending and ticket machines may not accept the new money straight away. simon gompertz reports. here is the new pound coin and it does have some special security features apart from being 12 sided and two coloured, it's got very small writing on it and it
has a sort of hologram with a £ sign at the bottom and a specialfeature inside which means coin machines can recognise whether it's genuine or not and that's important because there are so many fakes with the old pound coin. but there is a problem for some businesses actually getting ready for this and here's one of them, amusement arcade in southend. john, what's your problem with converting the machines to take the new pound? for us, the biggest issue is obviously all of our coin mix in all of the machines needs to take the pound coin. how much does it cost? well, at the minute we got 800 coin mix so upwards of £12,000 just on reprogramming alone. doesn't take into account machines that we can't do, obviously some machines are too old to have the new coin mix in, we have to get rid of them, not only that but the man hours to reprogram... but at the moment you are putting it off, are you?
well, we don't really have a choice, we have to try and get it done as soon as we can, easter coming up for us is a seasonal business, a big factor. so you have to get it done? but for everyone else, although this is coming in today, you can still use the old pound coins until october the 15th, then they stop becoming legal tender in the shops but you'll be able to hand them into a bank. simon gompertz in southend. time for a look at the weather. here's phil avery. if you were with me at this time yesterday i started in pretty similar vein. dry enough at