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School holidays and term dates 2017-2018 in the UK – when does October half-term end and when do the Christmas holidays start?

THE Autumn half-term holiday in October is on NOW – and with Christmas is following suit soon after, it is time to brush up on the dates for the 2017-2018 academic year. Here’s all the …



THE Autumn half-term holiday in October is on NOW – and with Christmas is following suit soon after, it is time to brush up on the dates for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Here’s all the info and what you need to know for the current school year…

 These are the holiday and term dates for YOUR kids - so get them in your diaryGetty Images These are the holiday and term dates for YOUR kids – so get them in your diary

When is the autumn half term?

Autumn half term: October 23 – 27 2017

Back to school: Monday, October 30, 2017

When is the Christmas holiday?

Depending on where you live, your kids will break up sometime between December 19 and 22.

Some schools start the new year on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, while others don’t return until Monday 8 – so check your council website.

When is the spring half term?

Again, this date varies from school to school.

Your kids will either be off between February 12 and 16 2018, or from February 19 to 23 2018.

The spring term will continue on the next Monday, and continue through to the Easter holidays.

When is the Easter holiday 2018?

Easter Sunday comes fairly early in 2018, with the big day taking place on April 1, 2018.

Because of this, most schools break up just days before the main event – on either Thursday, March 29 or Friday, March 30.

When are the summer term dates?

These dates don’t vary so much across counties.

Back to school: Monday, April 16, 2018

May Day bank holiday: Monday, May 7, 2018

Half term: May 28-June 1 2018

Back to school: Monday, June 4, 2018

Last day before summer holiday: Tuesday 24/Wednesday 25 July 2018

When is October half-term and when do the Christmas holidays start?

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Who Was In The Newcastle Grooming Gang, How Did Operation Sanctuary Snare The Child Sex Ring And What Has The Review Found?




EVIL members of a child sex grooming network who abused girls as young as 14 in Newcastle are behind bars following a huge – but controversial – investigation by Northumbria Police.

Operation Sanctuary has attracted criticism for paying a child rapist £10,000 to act as an informant for police by befriending fellow perverts and spying on parties where girls were at risk of rape.

Northumbria Police Left to right, row by row, starting top left: Abdul Sabe, Habibur Rahim, Badrul Hussain, AbdulHamid Minoyee,  Jahanger Zaman, Monjur Choudhury, Taherul Alon,  Mohammed Ali, Nadeem Aslam, Mohammed Azram,  Yassar Hussain, Saiful Islam, Eisa Mousavi,  Prabhat Nelli, Mohibur Rahman, Nashir Uddin,  Redwan Siddquee, Carolann Gallon

What is Operation Sanctuary and when did it start?

Operation Sanctuary was launched at the start of 2014 to tackle reports of widespread child sex exploitation in Northumbria – especially in Newcastle.

It brought chilling reminders of Rochdale and Rotherham where grooming gangs led shocking abuse of young girls and women.

This investigation began with one report to police in December 2013, which led to officers uncovering evidence of a pattern of sexual abuse in the area.

A team of 50 officers was put on the case and the investigation remains open.

Detectives have worked with pubs and bars in the area as well as taxi drivers, hotels, B&Bs and members of the public to build a dossier of evidence.

Police say to date 278 victims have been traced, 461 people arrested and 111 offenders have been convicted.

PA:Press Association Northumbria Police has secured 111 convictions but come under fire for its tactics

Who are the gang members and how long will they spend in jail?

Due to the scale of the investigation it was split into a number of spin-off operations.

Operation Shelter focused specifically on abuse at addresses in Newcastle’s West End and secured 18 convictions against 17 men and one woman guilty of rape, prostitution, trafficking offences or supplying drugs to victims.

They were:

Mohammed Azram, 35 of Croydon Road, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, sexual assault, supplying drugs to a victim Jahanghir Zaman, 43 of Hadrian Road, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, rape, supplying drugs to a victim Nashir Uddin, 35 of Joan Street, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, supplying drugs to a victim Saiful Islam, 34 of Strathmore Crescent, convicted of rape. Jailed for 10 years Mohammed Hassan Ali, 33 of Bentinck Street, convicted of sexual activity with a child, supplying drugs to a victim. Jailed for seven years Yasser Hussain, 27 of Canning Street, convicted of beating, possession of drugs. Jailed for two years Abdul Sabe, 40 of Dean House, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation, drugs offences Habibur Rahim, 34 of Kenilworth Road, convicted of causing or inciting prostitution, drugs, sexual assault, trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation Badrul Hussain, 37 of Drybeck Court, convicted of drug offences Mohibur Rahman, 44 of Northcote Street, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to incite prostitution, supplying drugs to a victim Abdulhamid Minoyee, 33 of Gainsborough Grove, convicted of rape, sexual assault, supply of drugs Carolann Gallon, 22 of Hareside Court, pleaded guilty to three counts of trafficking Monjour Choudhury, 33 of Phillip Place, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, supplying drugs to a victim Prabhat Nelli, 33 of Sidney Grove, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, supplying drugs to a victim Eisa Mousavi, 41 of Todds Nook, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, rape, supplying drugs to a victim Taherul Alam, 32 of Normanton Terrace, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, supplying drugs to a victim, attempted sexual assault Nadeem Aslam, 43 of Belle Grove West, convicted of supplying drugs to victims Redwan Siddquee, 32 of West Road, pleaded guilty to causing or inciting prostitution, supply or offering to supply a class B

ncjMedia Carolann Gallon was the only woman among a gang of 18 convicted of abusing white youngsters

Those not jailed will be sentenced next month.

It has been revealed brave neighbours of Carolann Gallon, known by her nickname of Chucky, campaigned to have her evicted after shocking details came to light about her part of the Newcastle sex gang scandal.

She was the only woman convicted of being part of the sex gang.

Gallon, jailed for six years, told police she had no “sympathy for the victims”.

The 22-year-old, known as Chucky, added that their suffering was “self-inflicted.”

Who is XY and what is the controversy around him being paid £10k by police?

XY is the name given to an anonymous paedophile who was paid £9,680 over 21 months to provide information for the investigation.

The man had already spent time in jail for drugging and raping a youngster and had 26 convictions for dishonesty.

He was also on a suspended sentence, but Northumbria Police still hired him as an informant and tasked him with spying on parties where girls were at risk of rape.

The day after he was recruited he was in court for another crime.

And months later he was arrested on suspicion of a sexual offence against the underage girl — although that case was dropped.

Senior officers hailed the investigation a success, but the force faced criticism over the role of the informant, known only as XY.

ncjMedia Nadeem Aslam claims a police informant may have abused girls at child sex parties

After the convictions became public knowledge and outrage about the use of XY emerged, one of the group convicted of the shocking crimes said the informant may have abused girls himself at the sickening drug-filled parties.

Nadeem Aslam, cleared of sexual offences, wrote a letter from prison, as he waits to be sentenced for supplying drugs to victims, claiming: “There were clear signs of sexual misconduct by the informant (XY).

“Even one of the girls put a statement into the judge to say XY was chilling with these girls and supplying them with drugs.”

What have child protection experts said about employing XY?

Child abuse charities have slammed Northumbria Police over the decision to place a convicted paedophile undercover in an investigation to protect children.

The NSPCC said planting him among young girls “broke every rule in the book”.

On Brown, a lead NSPCC exp­ert on tackling child sex abuse, said: “We’re appalled to learn police paid a child rapist and planted him in the midst of vulnerable young girls.

“Serious questions must be asked about the force’s approach to child sexual exploitation operations.

“However good their intentions, their misguided actions run counter to all current child protection procedures and what we know of sex offenders.”

How have police defended their actions?

Northumbria Police said it carried out a risk assessment before sending the child rapist undercover and the actions had been investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission – with the force cleared of any wrongdoing.

Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: “XY was an authorised Covert Human Intelligence Source (CHIS), an informant, who was able to report on criminality including CSE.

“He was a convicted rapist and to some of us the thought of the police engaging with such a person and paying them for information may appear repugnant, however he proved he was in a position whereby he could, and did, alert police to situations which allowed them to prevent offending and provide safeguarding measures towards potential victims.

“In the case of XY it is clear that his relationships with others have allowed the police to prevent and detect some of the most serious crimes occurring in our communities, this would not have been possible through conventional methods.”

Has XY himself spoken out about the investigation?

Speaking after the trial, XY insisted: “I’m not a monster – I’m the good guy”.

“If it wasn’t for me I know they wouldn’t have got those people. Nobody else could have got into the circles that I got into.

“I’ve put hundreds of people behind bars over the years.

“Yes, I may have had a bad past but when I left prison I tried to make a difference.

“The police have admitted that, of all the informants they ever had, I was one of the best.”

What has the review into Operation Sanctuary found?

The traumatised victims who gave evidence against a grooming gang were “disgusted” by the court process and some had to have mental health treatment after being quizzed by lawyers, the report revealed.

Treatment of the young women and girls in the Operation Sanctuary trials which centred on abuse in Newcastle was branded “inhuman” by barrister David Spicer.

Speaking after his 150-page report was published he said: “All the victims we spoke to said they were disgusted with their experience in the court and several of them had to have mental health treatment afterwards as they were suffering from trauma.”

The serious case review team spoke to eight of the 22 vulnerable witnesses who gave evidence.


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‘britain’s Worst Troll’ Uncovered By The Sun Sending Vile Abuse To Katie Price Issues Grovelling Apology




A VILE Twitter troll who targeted Katie Price and her disabled son Harvey has issued a grovelling apology.

Doting dad-of-two Josh Maddison, 28, waged a campaign of sickening abuse against celebrities.

© Glen Minikin Britain’s worst Twitter troll has been unmasked by Sun Online as dad-of-two Josh Maddison

In a statement issued to the Scunthorpe Telegraph, Maddison has issued a full apology and admitted he had let himself and others down.

He said: “I wholeheartedly apologise for my actions and deeply regret them.

“My actions are totally unacceptable and I want to apologise to all involved and to anybody who knows me.

“I have let myself down and all those people down.

“The incidents happened a number of years ago – a much younger and immature version of myself. “These incidents do not reflect my true self.

“I am ashamed and deserve to be. I understand actions have consequences and I deeply regret them.

“I hope this deters others and is a lesson to them as much as this has been to me.”

Among his victims were Gary Barlow, who he mocked after the Take That star’s baby daughter was stillborn.

Maddison, who hides behind the handle@JEMadd, also wished Lord Sugar would have a fatal heart attack and said Jewish actress Sarah Silverman should watch out for gas chambers.

The troll also attacked late TV star Terry Wogan, Apprentice star Lord Alan Sugar, Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker and the McCanns.

The Sun Online counted at least 13 sexist tweets, 18 homophobic, 68 racist and 99 tweets attacking celebrities in his account.

Maddison is a doting dad and football coach

Rex Features He has trolled Katie Price and her son Harvey

Katie Price’s disabled son Harvey, 15, was at the centre of a number of his vile tweets – with brazen Maddison even tagging the ex-glamour model so she would have to read his abuse.

When she hit out at a vile mocked up King Kong film poster featuring Harvey a different troll had posted, Maddison replied: “It’s your fat spastic son photoshopped onto the Empire State Building.

“Is your head as f****d as your caved in rancid c***.

He also referred to Harvey as “that spastic love child of you and the choccy choccy man who you said you would have aborted the other week”, and joked that his disabilities were down to “a combination of class As and Dwight Yorkes love silk.”

He later told Price to “go asbestos bobbing in hot chip pan oil”, and asked if she gave birth to Harvey during a car crash.

PA:Press Association Maddison regularly targeted Harvey Price – and called his dad ‘the choccy choccy man’

Facebook Maddison admitted ‘we all do silly things’

PA:Press Association Katie appeared in Parliament after launching a petition to end online abuse

Sun Online tracked Maddison down to a detached three-bed house on the outskirts of Scunthorpe to confront him.

According to his Linkedin, which has now been taken down, has served as a junior football coach. His current job is not known.

After we first tried speaking with him, he had posted more than 3,100 tweets on his account but completely closed it down.

It re-opened a few days later as a private account but he had deleted around 1,500 messages.

When confronted again by The Sun, Maddison, who listed his last job at Sixty Six Design in Scunthorpe, admitted it “doesn’t look good” and begged us not to expose his double life.

© Glen Minikin He claimed he couldn’t remember sending the tweet to Katie

Maddison, who once posed at a pal’s wedding with a sign saying “free Gary Glitter”, told The Sun: “I hope you’ll take this into consideration and that we were all young, we do silly things.

“We all like to have a have a laugh and stuff like that. That [the Harvey abuse] is not an area I like to go.

“I’ve grown up you know.”

Maddison also claimed he “genuinely doesn’t remember” sending one tweet, shown to him by The Sun, to Katie mocking her son – and also tried implicating his friends by claiming they may have had access to his account.

Just hours after speaking to him for the second time, Maddison’s Twitter account was closed for good and his Facebook profile brought down.

Trolling – the law

In October 2016, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) introduced new laws that could see those who create “derogatory hashtags” or post “humiliating” Photoshopped images jailed.

Inciting people to harass others online, known as virtual mobbing, is among the offences included in the guidance.

Baiting – when someone is humiliated online by being branded sexually promiscuous – is also mentioned.

The CPS also announced the launch of a hate crime consultation, issuing a series of public policy statements centred on combating crimes against disabled people, as well as racial, religious, homophobic and transphobic hate crime.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: “Social media can be used to educate, entertain and enlighten, but there are also people who use it to bully, intimidate and harass.

“Ignorance is not a defence and perceived anonymity is not an escape. Those who commit these acts, or encourage others to do the same, can and will be prosecuted.”

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Top Chef Mark Greenaway To ‘fine’ Customers Who Fail To Turn Up For Meals After 450 Bookings Cancelled In A Month




ONE of Britain’s leading chefs wants to fine customers who fail to turn up for meals after his restaurant had more than 450 cancelled or missed bookings in a month.

Mark Greenaway, 41, blamed the trend of people booking multiple restaurants and deciding where to go on a whim.

Chef Mark Greenaway is set to start fining customers who cancel bookings

The chef opened Restaurant Mark Greenaway on North Castle Street in Edinburgh in 2013 and it is regularly named among the best restaurants in the country.

But Greenaway claims people cancelling bookings at the last minute are threatening the survival of the restaurant.

The outlet seats 42 people but the chef said one night last year 22 customers who booked did not turn up.

As of next month the chef plans to introduce a penalty fee of £30 for lunch or £50 for dinner per person for tables that don’t turn up or no show on the day. Those who give 24 hours notice will not be charged.

Restaurant Mark Greenaway Greenaway claimed people cancelling bookings threatened the survival of the restaurant

Greenaway, who has appeared on television on BBC2’s Great British Menu and Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, said the current rate of no-show customers was “unsustainable” for a small restaurant.

He said: “This is something we have toiled with, believe me, and not something we want to do but as an independent restaurant we feel the time has come that we can’t simply ignore what is going on in the industry so we feel we now need to act to put an end to this lunacy of customers booking tables and simply just not turning up.

“We already have a confirmation policy in place and confirm all tables of all sizes every day, however, this changes nothing it would seem.

“To give just one month as an example, in December alone, we had 450 cancellations or no shows. This is simply unsustainable for our restaurant.

“There is nothing more frustrating than spending the whole week refusing custom, due to the fact we believe we are full on a given night, only for at times three or four tables who simply don’t show up.”


Mark Greenaway/Facebook The chef slammed customers on his facebook

Announcing his new policy on Facebook, the chef said he hoped the majority of his customers would support the move.

He added: “This is a huge step in securing the livelihood of the business and its staff.

“Hopefully this will discourage the glut of customers that seem to book two or three restaurants at a time and make a decision on the evening of where they are going to eat, this attitude must stop, and it must stop quickly.

“If you book a football match, or a concert, or a comedy show and don’t show up you forfeit your ticket, why should eating at a restaurant be any different?”

Followers of the chef on social media gave their backing to the announcement.

Chris Milrine said: “Completely agree with this. Something we have had at other restaurants including a call the same day to confirm. That is a shocking amount of cancellations.”

Amanda Steven posted: “I think this is very reasonable and in fact I think all restaurants like yourselves who have food to high standard etc.. should take deposits.”

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