tv BBC News BBC News December 30, 2021 9:00am-9:31am GMT
this is bbc news — the headlines the british socialite ghislaine maxwell is found guilty on five counts of grooming and trafficking teenage girls for abuse, by a jury in new york. maxwell procured the girls for the financier and convicted sex offenderjeffrey epstein — she faces the rest of her life behind bars. it doesn't matter who you are, no matter what kinds of circles you travel in, no matter how much money you have, no matter how many years have passed since the sexual abuse, justice is still possible. we'll be looking at the implications of the verdict for prince andrew, who is named in a lawsuit brought by a woman who says she was groomed by maxwell and abused by the prince — he denies the allegations. in other news — nhs england is to set up
new nightingale hubs to combat a potential wave of covid admissions due to omicron. an extra 4,000 emergency hospital beds are to be deployed. around eight million covid test kits will be made available to pharmacies by tomorrow after reports of shortages following the self—isolation rule change good morning. the british socialite ghislaine maxwell, daughter of the late and disgraced media mogul robert maxwell, has been found guilty of having helped her lover, the financierjeffrey epstein, sexually abuse teenage girls. the 60—year—old was found guilty on five of the six counts she faced — including the most serious charge, of sex trafficking a minor. it means maxwell could spend
the rest of her life behind bars. her legal team say they are working on an appeal. 0ur north america correspondent aleem maqbool reports. court sketches show the moment ghislaine maxwell's victims have waited decades for. after five days of deliberation, jurors decided she was guilty on five counts linked to the sexual abuse of teenagers. and it was four of her victims who helped put her behind bars. the court heard how ghislaine maxwell gained their trust. during their emotional testimony, they told the jury how she instructed them to give the late jeffrey epstein massages that turned sexual. all but one testified anonymously, using a pseudonym or just their first name. jane said maxwell participated in her encounters with epstein. "i was terrified and felt gross and ashamed. "when you're14, you have no idea what's going on," she said. kate said, after meeting epstein, maxwell asked her if she had fun, saying she was such a good girl
and one of his favourites. and annie farmer, the only victim who publicly identified herself, said ghislaine maxwell gave her an unsolicited massage. she said, "i so badly wanted to get off the table and have the massage be done." she's now said she's relieved at the verdict and that it shows even those with great power and privilege will be held accountable when they sexually abuse the young. defence lawyers attacked the accusers�* memories and motives, but that ultimately didn't help ghislaine maxwell. we firmly believe in ghislaine's innocence. obviously, we are very disappointed with the verdict. we have already started working on the appeal and we are confident that she will be vindicated. police raids of epstein�*s homes showed the duo's jet—setting luxurious lifestyle. in this photo, the pair are seen relaxing at the queen's balmoral residence when prince andrew reportedly invited the couple to the estate.
the staggering wealth on display from their opulent properties only highlighted how they used their power together over the years to lure, intimidate and silence everyone around them. house rules, including this manual, told staff to be deaf, dumb and blind, forbidding them from making eye contact with epstein. one of my clients said to me she has been living in a metaphorical prison all of these years with the psychological fallout of the sexual abuse, the deep shame and embarrassment and trauma that she has experienced and now, ghislaine maxwell is going to experience a real prison where she will have a lot of time to think about the profound damage she has caused to so many girls and young women. ghislaine maxwell will be sentenced at a later date but it seems extremely likely she will spend the rest of her life behind bars, a final fall from grace for the british former socialite who a jury here has decided wasn't
just a bystander to the crimes ofjeffrey epstein but was herself a predator and an active participant in the sexual abuse of teenagers. aleem maqbool, bbc news, in new york. in a statement posted to twitter early on thursday morning, maxwell's family said they were "very disappointed" with the verdict and had already begun the appeal process. 0ur correspondent nomia iqbal has also been following the trial for us in new york. after six days of deliberations the jury after six days of deliberations the jury returned their verdict. we were in and out of the courthouse behind me where the trial took place and saw just me where the trial took place and sawjust how engaged the jury was throughout, even before the verdict was released. they had asked the judge if they could re—examine some of the testimony is, in fact, they asked to look at the testimonies of all of the four women at the heart of the prosecution case again. at the start of the week they had asked for office supplies which was something they needed to try and
arrive at their verdict. 0ne something they needed to try and arrive at their verdict. one of the concerns that the judge had in all of this is the rising cases of omicron in the city, they have been skyrocketing and she was worried that the longer the deliberations went on for, the more chance there was of someone getting the virus and that would have of course hugely impacted the proceedings but she stressed to them to take their time, however long it took. they had gone home for christmas and returned and they were potentially facing working throughout the new year period and the weekend to arrive to their verdict. but this isn't over yet for ghislaine maxwell, she is facing another trial here in new york next year. this is a perjury trial, she is accused of lying under oath in a deposition relating tojeffrey epstein a few years ago and those are charges she also denies. 0ne ofjeffrey epstein�*s accusers, virginia giuffre released a statement in reaction to the verdicts. in the statement she says: "my soul yearned for justice for years and today the jury gave me just that.
i will remember this day always. "having lived with the horrors of maxwell's abuse, my heart goes out to the many other girls and young women who suffered at her hands and whose lives she destroyed." she goes on to say: gloria allred is a lawyer representing some ofjeffrey epstein�*s accusers. she praised the victims for their courage. yes, i represent 20 accusers of jeffrey epstein and some of them have made allegations against ms maxwell as well, they made those allegations to law enforcement although they did not testify at this trial, it was only a very limited timeframe in which charges were filed in reference to ms maxwell at this trial. but it's been
a long journey and as the us attorney said, and i even said it before he did, none of this could have happened without the courage of the victims because they testified very gravely, they were cross examined vigorously by the defence, their motives were questioned and theyjust held their heads up with dignity and answered all the questions and they made many sacrifices for the cause ofjustice and again, others who alleged they were victims also shared their information with law enforcement as my clients did. and as a result, ms maxwell was convicted and this does send a message to other sexual predators and those who would conspire to sex traffic underage girls to them that this will be taken very seriously, charges may be
filed against you, you may be prosecuted, you may end up getting sent to prison for the rest of your life as may be the case with ms maxwell so beware and do not conspire with or become a sexual predator yourself because underage girls are very vulnerable, they are easy to take advantage of and it's taken very seriously when they are preyed upon by adults who do know better. the trial of ghislaine maxwell is just one of the court cases in the us arising from the activities of the disgraced bankerjeffrey epstein, who died in prison after being charged with sex trafficking. the other is a civil law suit by virginia guiffre, formerly known as virginia roberts, against prince andrew alleging sexual assault. prince andrew has always strongly denied her claims. 0ur royal correspondent nicholas witchell reports. caught by the camera in this now infamous photograph. 0n the left, prince andrew, in the centre, the then 17—year—old virginia roberts, and on the right,
smiling for the camera, ghislaine maxwell. andrew's friendship with ghislaine maxwell goes back more than 20 years. here he is with her at royal ascot injune 2000. at the time, she was jeffrey epstein�*s girlfriend. epstein was there as well. he too was a guest of prince andrew at royal ascot. andrew spoke about his friendship with epstein and his girlfriend ghislaine maxwell in his newsnight interview. in 2000, epstein was a guest at windsor castle and sandringham. he was brought right into the heart of the royal family at your invitation. but certainly at my invitation, not at the royal family's invitation. remember that it was his girlfriend that was the key element in this. he was the, as it were, plus one to some extent in that aspect. am i right in thinking you threw a birthday party for epstein�*s girlfriend,
ghislaine maxwell, at sandringham? no, it was a shooting weekend. a shooting weekend. a straightforward shooting weekend. racing at ascot, shooting at sandringham, and a trip to balmoral. this photograph, an exhibit at maxwell's trial in new york, shows epstein and maxwell relaxing at the queen's balmoral estate. they were there at andrew's invitation. andrew categorically denies knowing of any improper activities by epstein or anyone else. his lawyers are mounting a robust defence against the civil lawsuit brought against him in new york by virginia roberts, or virginia giuffre as she is now. in a submission to the court, andrew's legal team say the case should be dismissed. they say the allegations against him are baseless and motivated by giuffre's desire for a payday at his expense. whatever the truth of those allegations, it is clear andrew had a long lasting friendship with ghislaine maxwell.
it was to her that andrew turned when virginia roberts�*s allegations surfaced. in january 2015, andrew e—mailed maxwell... "let me know when we can talk. got some specific questions to ask you about virginia roberts," he wrote. to which maxwell replied... "have some info, call me when you have a moment." however, by the time andrew did his interview with newsnight, he seemed to want to distance himself from his old friend. if there are questions ghislaine has to answer, that's her problem, i'm afraid. i'm not in a position to be able to comment one way or the other. a court in new york has now delivered its verdict on ghislaine maxwell. in a few weeks, another court in new york will consider the civil lawsuit against prince andrew, brought by virginia giuffre. andrew's lawyers will once again plead his innocence of any impropriety. nicholas witchell, bbc news.
ghislaine maxwell's biographer, nigel cawthorn, gave his reaction to bbc breakfast this morning and spoke about ghislaine's upbringing. the church early on said she was wilfully ignorant of whatjeffrey epstein was up to, then she was complicit in it. —— thejudge said. the one thing we knew from the beginning was thatjeffrey epstein had sex with underage girls because he admitted so to a court in 2008. the trial there concerned offences committed in 2005. when we have heard of evidence that ghislaine maxwell and jeffrey epstein were practicallyjoined at maxwell and jeffrey epstein were practically joined at the maxwell and jeffrey epstein were practicallyjoined at the hip so it's very difficult to believe she did not know what was going on there. there are a good deal of technicalities involved in the specific charges brought in the case which is the reason the jury has taken so long to make the decision.
next year, they have scheduled a perjury trial in this matter and of course, we will have the prince andrew hearing onjanuary course, we will have the prince andrew hearing on january the course, we will have the prince andrew hearing onjanuary the 4th, one of the reasons his lawyers are trying to get the case thrown out is that it trying to get the case thrown out is thatitis trying to get the case thrown out is that it is the jurisdiction of a manhattan court in this case, the complaint virginia giuffre said she was resident in colorado when the defence content she is actually living in australia. she had a very difficult upbringing, herfather, we all know, was a bit of a monster. when she was born, she was the youngest of the brood. her eldest brother had been in a coma after a car accident, brother had been in a coma after a caraccident, died brother had been in a coma after a car accident, died and brother had been in a coma after a caraccident, died and he brother had been in a coma after a car accident, died and he was the apple of robert maxwell �*s i and was
set to take over maxwell �*s media empire so ghislaine maxwell was practically ignored when she was a child, to the point when she was a few years older she went to her mother and said mummy, few years older she went to her motherand said mummy, i few years older she went to her mother and said mummy, i exist, that's a pretty bad start in life. she went on to work for her father who alternately bullied her and pampered her so it was a very difficult early life, she had. let's speak to cbs correspondent courtney kealy who's in new york. thank you forjoining us. what reaction has there been to the verdict? , ,., ., reaction has there been to the verdict? , ., ., ., verdict? the person who gave no reaction was _ verdict? the person who gave no reaction was ghislaine _ verdict? the person who gave no reaction was ghislaine maxwell, | verdict? the person who gave no i reaction was ghislaine maxwell, she looked impassioned and she glanced at her siblings when the verdict was read out. definitely found guilty on all but one count, this came out
late yesterday evening, we will have to see this morning what other reaction there is. but her defence is saying they are already going to contest this, they don't think this was fair. they tried during the trial to make her out as a scapegoat forjeffrey epstein, that was unsuccessful but they immediately said they will appeal. and the prosecution is saying this is a victory for all victims of sex trafficking. victory for all victims of sex trafficking-— victory for all victims of sex traffickin-. ~ . ., , , , ., trafficking. what happens now in terms of sentencing? _ trafficking. what happens now in terms of sentencing? she - trafficking. what happens now in terms of sentencing? she could | trafficking. what happens now in - terms of sentencing? she could face u . terms of sentencing? she could face u- to 65 terms of sentencing? she could face up to 65 years _ terms of sentencing? she could face up to 65 years in _ terms of sentencing? she could face up to 65 years in jail, _ terms of sentencing? she could face up to 65 years in jail, she _ terms of sentencing? she could face up to 65 years in jail, she is - up to 65 years injail, she is already 60 years old, that could be life. it looks like it will be a lengthy sentence and she is now still being held here, she has been in solitary confinement since the summer of 2020. she went back into the prison here in manhattan, she will be awaiting sentencing in the new year. ~ ., , , will be awaiting sentencing in the new year. ~ . , , , new year. when her lawyers say they are already mounting _ new year. when her lawyers say they are already mounting an _ new year. when her lawyers say they are already mounting an appeal, - new year. when her lawyers say they are already mounting an appeal, is i are already mounting an appeal, is it certain they will be given leave
to appeal? it’s it certain they will be given leave to a- eal? e . ., it certain they will be given leave to appeal?— it certain they will be given leave toaueal? h . ., ., to appeal? it's uncertain right now. it's the end — to appeal? it's uncertain right now. it's the end of— to appeal? it's uncertain right now. it's the end of the _ to appeal? it's uncertain right now. it's the end of the year. _ to appeal? it's uncertain right now. it's the end of the year. they - to appeal? it's uncertain right now. it's the end of the year. they are i it's the end of the year. they are saying they will appeal and they can, it could be a lengthy process but at the same time, she has been in solitary confinement since the summer of 2020, she remains in the correction facility here, the victims made the case, she was found guilty on five out of six counts so it will be a difficult appeal process. ﬁgs it will be a difficult appeal rocess. �* , it will be a difficult appeal prome— it will be a difficult appeal rocess. ~ , . ., , , process. as we have heard, this is not the end _ process. as we have heard, this is not the end of— process. as we have heard, this is not the end of the _ process. as we have heard, this is not the end of the road _ process. as we have heard, this is not the end of the road in - process. as we have heard, this is not the end of the road in terms i process. as we have heard, this is| not the end of the road in terms of legal processes and the future hearings arising from what happened? well, we know really what happened in this case was that the defence tried to argue these four women who were minors, or three of them were minors at the time, were doing this out of greed, that they had received settlements from the jeffrey epstein fund and they were doing this for money. now, the prosecution definitely successfully did prove
that they were underage, three of them, that this was illegal grooming and sex trafficking. but they all spoke anonymously, you had these women in the courtroom with sordid details, jeffrey epstein was very high profile not only in britain but here in the states, often photographed with top figures like donald trump, the former president and the former first lady melania trump. this would be the majority, the bigger verdict, we will have to see what happens in the perjury case and the appeal process. see what happens in the per'ury case and the appeal process._ and the appeal process. thank you for “oininu and the appeal process. thank you forjoining us- _ sport and time for a full round up from the bbc sport centre. good morning. manchester city will end the year top of the premier league table — and by some margin, as they continue to take advantage of other sides' slip ups. chelsea could only manage a draw at brighton last night
while city beat brentford to move eight points clear at the summit. 0ur correspondent andy swiss was watching. so could it be another step towards another title? an evening when manchester city strengthened their grip, although it hardly seemed that way at first. as brentford piled on the early pressure, city scrambling off the line. this wasn't in the script, but moments later it was very much business as usual. the crispest of moves and a finish to match from phil foden, city in front and proving once again just why they're top of the table. after the break, though, they couldn't quite find a second. kevin de bruyne hit the post. and even when aymeric laporte finally found the net in the closing minutes, var ruled it out for offside. still a 1—0 victory for city and it wasn't the only result that went their way. their closest rivals, chelsea, are now some eight points adrift after a dramatic night at stamford bridge. romelu lukaku put them ahead against brighton. so far, so good. but the visitors came roaring back.
adam lallana went close before the break. after it, neil maupay went even closer. chance after chance for the visitors but that equaliser seemed just out of reach. until the first minute of stoppage time when the pressure finally paid off. and it's welbeck! danny welbeck sparking last—gasp delight for brighton. 1—1 the final score. there's still a long way to go, of course, but could it be a telling blow to chelsea's title hopes? andy swiss, bbc news. so that is now ten wins in a row for manchester city, with chelsea second — and liverpool in third — nine points behind the leaders, but they do have a game in hand. the way we played, the game we should play, that's why it was a perfect performance for us because i know how the other teams come here, they suffer, how many chances they create, so we did not concede once
in the second half, and that is because the team played perfectly, the way we should play.— the way we should play. absolutely not riaht, the way we should play. absolutely not right. they _ the way we should play. absolutely not right, they had _ the way we should play. absolutely not right, they had some _ the way we should play. absolutely not right, they had some chances, | not right, they had some chances, bigger— not right, they had some chances, bigger chances, better chances. very disappointing. england's crickters will fly to sydney for the fourth ashes test without head coach chris silverwood. he's in isolation after one of his family tested positive for covid — they'll have to stay in melbourne for ten days. that's the seventh positive test in the touring party — three support staff and four family members have all contracted the virus. the match is due to start on january 5th. clearly, it's very disruptive for the players who as yet, none of them have actually tested positive but they are being tested daily. we should not forget the coach was in contact with some of them yesterday during net practice so it will be an anxious wait for the next few days to see if any england players test
positive themselves. they flight to sydney on a charter plane tomorrow, they are trying to keep them separate from everybody else, they and the australian slide together but there is no doubt it will be an anxious weekend ahead for the england players. covid news too from the pdc world darts at alexandra palace, where a third high—profile player has been forced to withdraw — dave chisnall has joined three—time winner michael van gerwen and vincent van der voort in pulling out after a positive test. we were treated to one of the matches of the tournament so far last night — michael smith beating jonny clayton, who took a two set lead before falling 3—2 behind, and needing a bullseye to level. and the deciding set went to a tie—break, smith eventually winning it at around 11 o'clock to set up a meeting with the defending champion gerwyn price. that's all the sport for now. thank you. eight temporary covid hubs
are to be set up at hospitals across england in preparation for a potential wave of 0micron admissions. nhs england says each site will have capacity for around 100 patients, and there are also plans to identify a further 4,000 beds if needed. meanwhile, almost 8—million test kits will be made available to pharmacies by tomorrow, amid warnings of patchy supplies following the changes to self—isolation rules. our health editor hugh pym reports. at the height of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, a network of so—called nightingale hospitals were set up in england at conference centres and other sites to cope with an anticipated surge of covid patients. scotland, wales and northern ireland made similar arrangements. but they were not extensively used with major hospitals preferring to retain their staff to look after covid patients, rather than lend them to the nightingales. this time, temporary structures will be set up in the grounds of eight hospitals in england. the idea is it will be easier to deploy staff and provide access to diagnostics and emergency care.
areas such as gyms and education centres could be converted or prefabricated units set up in car parks. they would accommodate patients close to being discharged and who would need minimal support, including those recovering from covid who are no longer infectious. the plan is to create 4,000 extra beds to add to the current total of about 100,000. the health secretary sajid javid said he hoped the surge hubs would not have to be used but it was right to prepare for all scenarios and increase capacity. nhs england said it wasn't yet known how many of those who caught the virus would need hospital treatment but with rising infections it wasn't possible to wait to find out. the nhs was now on a war footing. all this comes at a time when nhs trusts are under pressure because of sickness absence. some staff said they can't get pcr or lateral flow tests to get back to work and others have also reported shortages of testing capacity.
health chiefs admit it's a problem but say they are addressing it. we do recognise there are some difficulties across the country, both in pharmacies and with home testing requests. we do release and are continuing to release test slots for individuals and so they should just keep trying through the day. obviously, as the christmas period subsides, then the testing capacity should be more available to them. we do have good supplies and we will be endeavouring to get those to the right places. the uk health security agency said almost 8 million lateral flow test kits would be supplied to pharmacies by new year's eve. people wanting pcr tests should keep checking the official website as more slots were being made available each day. hugh pym, bbc news. let's speak to professor peter 0penshaw, immunologist at imperial college london and member of the uk vaccine network.
good morning and thank you for joining us. these nightingale hubs, do you think that is the right strategy? i do you think that is the right strate: ? ~ do you think that is the right strategy?— do you think that is the right strate: ? ~ , ., , , ., strategy? i think it shows is great concern within _ strategy? i think it shows is great concern within the _ strategy? i think it shows is great concern within the nhs _ strategy? i think it shows is great concern within the nhs within - concern within the nhs within government now that the number of cases is growing so fast that we have to plan for a scenario whereby the nhs cannot in its current format cope with those cases. i think the big concern is where do the staff come from to man those beds? i mean, beds are great but as someone put it graphically, they do not have a opposable thumbs, you do need people to run those beds. and it's not clear where those people are going to come from. clear where those people are going to come from-— clear where those people are going to come from. when you say it shows there is great — to come from. when you say it shows there is great concern, _ to come from. when you say it shows there is great concern, we _ to come from. when you say it shows there is great concern, we heard - there is great concern, we heard from the health secretary, he said it's about preparing for the worst but actually hoping that these beds will not be used. he sounded pretty reassuring and helpful of a more
optimistic outlook, perhaps. yes. reassuring and helpful of a more optimistic outlook, perhaps. yes, i think we all— optimistic outlook, perhaps. yes, i think we all have _ optimistic outlook, perhaps. yes, i think we all have a _ optimistic outlook, perhaps. yes, i think we all have a mixture - optimistic outlook, perhaps. yes, i think we all have a mixture of- think we all have a mixture of optimism and a feeling that we need to plan for a realistic worst—case scenario and i think this shows admirable planning for what may be a very, very large search in admissions, wejust very, very large search in admissions, we just don't know until omicron has worked its way out of the younger population and of course there are a lot of children and young adults being infected, it is now moving into older adults, some of whom still very sadly have not agreed to be vaccinated. and once it gets into that older adult population with other conditions that make them more likely to get severe disease and into those who have been unvaccinated, we will not really see the full severity of this illness and i think we must remember that we are so well off compared to most of the rest of the world for the majority of the population have
not been vaccinated at all. so i think we need to be mindful of that. when we look at the statistics and compare where we were in february in terms of the number of cases and the number of deaths versus work we are now coming to the figures tell the story in terms of whether we are at the point where it is about to potentially become endemic in a way that does not need to because the levels of concerns it has? in february an average of 60,000 cases a day, 1200 deaths a day and now 130,000 cases a day, 74 deaths per day? i 130,000 cases a day, 74 deaths per da ? ~ , . ., day? i think it is clear the severity _ day? i think it is clear the severity is _ day? i think it is clear the severity is reduced - day? i think it is clear the severity is reduced but i l day? i think it is clear the - severity is reduced but i think we mustn't be lulled into a sense of false security here. this hasn't become a mild cold, it may be causing less severe disease, it may be changing its nature a bit but it's still much worse for example than influenza. if we take that, over 60 age group, that had a
mortality rate of about 14 times influenza so if it comes down to save seven times that of influenza it's still an extremely nasty disease and we really still do not understand fully the long—term consequences of infection. i would absolutely urge everyone to get vaccinated and get themselves protected. vaccinated and get themselves rotected. ., �* , vaccinated and get themselves protected-— vaccinated and get themselves rotected. . �*, ., , , ., protected. that's obviously a point re eatedl protected. that's obviously a point repeatedly made _ protected. that's obviously a point repeatedly made because - protected. that's obviously a point repeatedly made because when i protected. that's obviously a pointl repeatedly made because when you look at what's going on in the hospitals, up to 90% of those most critically ill or the unvaccinated. at what point, i mean, how does that get dealt with longer term because can we go back to restrictions, for instance, would that be fair when so many people are vaccinated and for those who are vaccinated, it generally tends to be very mild cases? it generally tends to be very mild cases? ., , ., , . cases? it does tend to be much milder amongst _ cases? it does tend to be much milder amongst those - cases? it does tend to be much i milder amongst those vaccinated, absolutely right. it is one of the best protections we have and i think it is a scientific miracle we are
where we are in terms of vaccinations. i thinkjust to reflect again on those who sadly died, i mean, recent us studies show 35 days between the onset of symptoms and death, typically. so the people who are sadly dying currently in hospital were infected before omicron really struck. so we do have to wait and we have to wait for those deaths to be registered so there's a built—in time lag and unfortunately, we will not really know for some weeks yet what the impact of omicron is going to be on severe disease.— impact of omicron is going to be on severe disease. professor, thank you for “oininu severe disease. professor, thank you forjoining us- _ severe disease. professor, thank you forjoining us. back in _ now it's time for a look at the weather. we can cross the newsroom to matt taylor. good morning. if you have stepped outdoors today you will be aware how mild it is, and that is going to continue for a few days yet. there is a blustery wind, which is at its strongest across southern and
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