These Are The Only 4 Teams With Any Chance Of Beating The

Driven by Jones and Walker-Kimbrough, Maryland had the fourth-most-efficient offense in the country according to Synergy, averaging 94.7 points per 100 plays. The only problem is that the duo doesn’t have a lot of help — during the season, only one other player on the roster made more than one 3-pointer per game, and no one else averaged double-digit shot attempts.So as Maryland moves through the tournament and considers the possibility of another matchup with UConn, the biggest question will be whether they can get some balanced scoring around their two stars. As usual, the women’s NCAA Tournament this year is all about the University of Connecticut. Led by star forward Breanna Stewart, the Huskies are undefeated and chasing their fourth consecutive title, a feat that FiveThirtyEight’s tournament forecast gives them a whopping 71 percent chance of pulling off. That makes UConn a front-runner of colossal proportions; by comparison, you could combine the title probabilities for the seven most likely champions in our pre-tournament men’s forecast and still not match the Huskies’ odds.But despite their status as heavy favorites, the UConn women still have to play their games, and that means there’s room for the improbable to become reality. The other three top seeds in the tournament — Notre Dame, Baylor and South Carolina — have each lost only one game, and all three outscored their opponents by more than 15 points per game during the season. They don’t quite have the résumés of UConn, but they are very good teams.According to FiveThirtyEight’s model, those three teams and the University of Maryland — the No. 2 seed behind Notre Dame in the Lexington region — are the only non-UConn squads with a greater than 1 percent probability of winning the championship. The odds are slim, but let’s focus on the most likely candidates to do the unthinkable.Notre Dame (9 percent championship probability)Notre Dame’s strength lies in its backcourt, with ACC Tournament MVP Madison Cable leading the way at both ends of the court. Cable finished the season ranked third in the nation in 3-point percentage, at 47.6 percent, and she was the fourth-most-efficient offensive player in the country1Minimum 300 plays. according to Synergy Sports Technology’s points per play metric. She’s also a ball-hawk on defense, averaging nearly two steals per game with a Synergy rating among the nation’s top 10 percent of individual defenders.And Cable isn’t the only two-way talent on this Irish roster. According to data from, only 52 players in Division I had an effective field goal percentage above 55 percent and a steal percentage above 3 percent this season; between Cable, freshman Marina Mabrey and reserve Hannah Huffman, the Irish have three of them in their backcourt. A proven formula for engineering upsets is maximizing possessions and making 3-pointers, and with Cable and company in the backcourt, the Irish seem to have that part of the equation down.Of course, UConn is on the opposite side of the bracket, so facing the Huskies would take getting through several other very good teams, particularly Maryland. Notre Dame has lost to UConn once this season, 91-81 in early December. But the Irish were missing their leading scorer and best frontcourt defender, Brianna Turner. With Turner back on the floor alongside Cable and that backcourt, the Irish might have a chance if they face UConn for the championship, which would be a rematch of last year’s title game.South Carolina (8 percent)No one in women’s college basketball attempted more free throws than South Carolina this season — 770 total attempts, about 24.0 per game. The vast majority of those free throws were earned by the starting frontcourt, A’ja Wilson and Alaina Coates, who averaged a combined 28.0 points, 18.8 rebounds, and 4.4 blocks per game. At 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-4, respectively, the duo is big enough to match up with anyone, but the two players are skilled and versatile enough to exploit those matchups.However, the pair was badly outplayed in South Carolina’s loss to UConn last month. Wilson chipped in 13 points and 6 rebounds — both below her season averages — and Coates was dreadful, scoring 2 points on 1-for-6 shooting from the floor. That’s how the Huskies held a team that usually averages 89.6 points per 100 plays (14th-best in Division I) to a mere 76.1 in the 12-point defeat at home. If South Carolina is going to pose any threat to UConn in a rematch, it’ll need a lot more from Wilson and Coates.South Carolina will also need some support from its backcourt. No one on the team averaged more than 3.0 assists per game, and the Gamecocks had more turnovers than assists this season. The team only made 33.1 percent of its 3-pointers, 81st in the nation. Pounding the ball inside is South Carolina’s strength, but balance might be the key for the team to hit its ceiling if it gets another shot at the Huskies.Baylor (7 percent)Niya Johnson, Baylor’s point guard, may be the team’s most important player despite averaging just 7.1 points per game and rarely shooting any 3-pointers during the regular season.2She attempted only nine threes all season long. Such is the power of her playmaking: She averaged 8.7 assists per game, 1.4 more than any other player in the country, and was responsible for 26.1 points per game between her scoring and passing. Along with the slashing game of Nina Davis, Johnson’s skills as a facilitator have helped keep Baylor among the nation’s top five teams in field goal percentage this season.But as much as those two help keep the Baylor offense afloat, defense is what drives the team. Baylor allowed the nation’s third-fewest points per play during the season and ranked third-best in opponent field goal percentage, third in rebound margin and ninth in blocks per game. Baylor has the size to match up with anyone, including UConn, and the team’s plan will no doubt be to wear opponents down with its defense.The question, however, will be whether Baylor can score enough to make it work as the team gets deeper into the tournament. It had the country’s 18th-most efficient offense, and that may not be enough against a UConn defense so dominant that it finished the year with a per-play efficiency rate that was 3.4 standard deviations better than the Division I average.Maryland (3 percent)Maryland gave UConn one of its toughest challenges this season, losing by 10 points in a December game that was closer than the final score indicated. So it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Maryland keep things tight against the Huskies in a rematch, should the opportunity present itself.Maryland has a dynamic inside-out combination in Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. The former is a powerful low post scorer who put up 24 points on 12-14 shooting against UConn. The latter is a deadly outside shooter who led the nation in 3-point percentage — at 54.0 percent, she was more than 5 percentage points ahead of the next highest qualified shooter. Together, they ranked among the most efficient high-volume scorers in women’s college basketball this season: read more

Lance Thomas Says He Did Not Break Rules at

The way former Duke star Lance Thomas sees it is different from how the NCAA did. He says he did not violate NCAA rules when he purchased nearly $100,000 in diamond jewelry during his college career. The NCAA is investigating.Thomas also indicated a willingness to speak with the NCAA about the purchase, which spawned a lawsuit by a New York jeweler and an inquiry by Duke and the NCAA of whether Thomas violated rules pertaining to improper benefits for college athletes.”I’m still working on that, but I’ll eventually speak to them,” Thomas said.Thomas has settled the lawsuit which claimed he owed nearly $68,000 to Rafaello & Co. for a purchase made during Duke’s 2009-10 national championship season. However, he said some legal details still must be worked out, after which he expects to be more willing to meet with the NCAA and comment publicly in more detail about the matter.”I do feel bad that was something that was just lingering around the university,” Thomas said. ”But everything’s going to get taken care of the right way and I hope the coaching staff and the whole university knows that those were the best four years of my life.””Everything will come out,” he added. ”But it will come out on the better end, hopefully.”The lawsuit, filed in January in Austin, Texas, said Thomas owed $67,800 for five pieces of jewelry he purchased at a cost of $97,800. The invoice, dated Dec. 21, 2009, indicates that Thomas made a $30,000 down payment and agreed to pay the balance in 15 days.Thomas started 39 games at forward for Duke in 2009-2010, his senior season, including the 61-59 victory over Butler in the NCAA championship game.The NCAA has declined to comment on the settlement and what it might mean in terms of investigating the matter. NCAA rules require student-athletes and personnel at member schools to cooperate with the organization’s inquiries, but there’s nothing to compel people who aren’t affiliated with those schools to do so.Thomas wasn’t drafted by an NBA team when he left Duke. Thomas was playing last season for the Austin Toros of the NBA Developmental League when the suit was filed. He was later called up to New Orleans, for whom he appeared in 42 games, averaging 4 points and 3 rebounds in about 15 minutes per game last season.Rafaello & Co., which also does business as A+A Diamonds Ltd., promotes itself as a jeweler that caters to professional athletes and other celebrities. On its website, the jeweler says its customers include actor Jamie Foxx, singer Alicia Keys and New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony.The firm filed a similar lawsuit against Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant last year, asserting that he owed $240,000 for jewelry he purchased between January and May 2010. The purchases occurred after Bryant had left Oklahoma State and was waiting for the NFL draft. read more

Commentary Ohio State football is simply too big to fail

I am 23 years old and have lived in Columbus, Ohio, for almost my entire life. Between having 10 players being ruled ineligible by the NCAA due to multiple scandals, the firing of a Hall-of-Fame-caliber coach, a 6-6 record and a loss to Michigan, I can honestly say that this is the worst calendar year of Ohio State football that I can remember. And yet it still began with a win in a BCS bowl game and it will end with OSU hiring a 47-year-old coach with two national titles under his belt in Urban Meyer. So what can we determine from knowing that the worst calendar year in almost a quarter century of OSU football included both a win in a major bowl game and the hiring of arguably one of the greatest college football coaches alive? It’s that OSU is simply too big to fail. And that’s something that a lot of schools can’t say. Michigan, who endured three underwhelming and two bowl-game-less years under Rich Rodriguez, certainly can’t say that, and as we’ll learn in the coming years, neither can Penn State. The reasons behind OSU’s inevitable success are tied to two factors: the state’s rich football history and the football program’s history of winning. Even if Meyer had chosen to stay retired and away from OSU, this point would’ve been proven by whoever had taken over Columbus. From Bob Stoops at Oklahoma to Nick Saban at Alabama to Pete Carroll in the NFL, there is no plethora of coaches who happen to have both stellar resumes and ties to the Buckeye state. Prior to this season, OSU had won a share of each of the past six Big Ten titles, regardless of what the NCAA record books tell you. The school has won 35 Big Ten conference titles and seven national titles, thanks to a lineage of Hall-of-Fame-caliber coaches in Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, Earle Bruce, John Cooper and Jim Tressel. And now Meyer, OSU’s first choice to join the fraternity of Buckeye coaches, has accepted the school’s offer. Unlike Michigan, who was passed on by Les Miles — a Michigan alum — twice in the past four years, OSU got its man and never even had to consider a plan B. Meyer’s idol, Woody Hayes once said, “We hate to lose, but when we do, rest assured we’ll be back, and someone will pay the price.” With the way the Buckeyes bounced back from the season they’ve had since winning the Sugar Bowl in January, Hayes would be proud. Because the Buckeyes are back, and it’s time for lesser programs to start paying. read more

Gene Smith Ohio State not just a football school

Gene Smith doesn’t mind the notion of Ohio State being known as more than just a football powerhouse. In an interview with The Lantern on March 12, the OSU athletic director said there’s no reason the Buckeyes, known perhaps most for its storied program on the gridiron, can’t be touted as a basketball school, too. Smith weighed in on the men’s basketball team, the Big Ten and more. Big Reasons behind B1G Success In the final Associated Press top 25 poll of the regular season, Big Ten basketball found itself with four teams (Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and OSU) in the top 10. Such success has carried over into the NCAA Tournament, too, as those same four squads find themselves making up a quarter of the Sweet 16. What’s behind the conference’s ascent into arguably the most-dominant league in the nation? “Well,” Smith said, “I think it’s stability.” That stability, he said, starts with coaching. “I think when you look at the coaches that we have now, a lot of good ones – and hopefully we can maintain that stability – and that says a lot about the institutions. All of us have always been committed to basketball, putting the resources in place,” he said. “We have great fans and creating the atmosphere of the games. So think all of us have tried to do that.” Such resources, inevitably, include money. OSU men’s basketball coach Thad Matta makes $3.2 million annually, according to his new contract. MSU coach Tom Izzo makes almost $3.6 million annually, Indiana coach Tom Crean’s salary is $2.24 million and Michigan coach John Beilein makes almost $2.23 million a year, according to a USA TODAY salary database. Some of it, though, is consistency in player personnel across the league, Smith said. “I think this particular year – if I remember right – there were only two underclassmen that left last year. Jared (Sullinger) and the big guy from Illinois (former Illini center Meyers Leonard),” he said. “Everybody else came back and so that’s kind of an unusual year for us. Typically, there’s more than that in the underclassmen. “So there’s some stability in that – those guys returning. You know, (Michigan sophomore guard) Trey Burke returning was huge. And (OSU junior forward) Deshaun (Thomas) returning. To me, it’s stability in that as well.” Nor does it hurt, Smith said, that some of the Big Ten’s venues are “unreal.” “Here, at Ohio State with the changes we made – whatever year we brought the students down (at the Schottenstein Center) – it was a huge change for us. And other places already had some of that in place,” he said. “But when you go to those arenas, even Northwestern, when you go to that arena – which is a small arena – they get going. “I think basketball in this league is taking a step up for a number of reasons.” Not Just a Football School Smith said when he first came to Columbus in 2005, he sat down and talked with Matta about his “vision, his long-range plan” and how the OSU men’s basketball coach could turn the Buckeyes into a “national-championship type of program.” Since Matta’s arrival in 2004, OSU has come close to reaching the sport’s pinnacle but has not quite attained it. Under Matta’s direction, the Buckeyes have reached the Sweet 16 five times, the Elite 8 twice, the Final Four twice and the national title game once. In the Big Ten, Matta has captured five Big Ten championships and four Big Ten Tournament titles. That kind of resume, arguably, reads like that of a school known for its prowess on the hardwood. But at a school like OSU, football seems to reign over all other sports – including basketball. Smith said that shouldn’t be the case. “You know, there’s no reason that, in Columbus – population north of 1.3 million, everything included – we can’t be a school that’s dominant in basketball and football and other sports as well,” he said. “The numbers are there, the population is there, the interest is there. I think when you look back over it, last year we averaged around 15,000 (people per home basketball game).” And with the Schottenstein Center’s capacity of nearly 20,000, the average attendance for an OSU basketball game is an “oversell” compared to other venues, he said. “We’re one of the bigger arenas. Most (arenas) are 15,000 (seats) or less. So that 15,000 average is demonstration of the interest in this community for basketball,” Smith said. “If you have that, and you bring your recruits into that environment then you can build it. “There’s no reason not to strive for conference and national championships in basketball and be recognized as a school that does that. Football’s always going to be the king, we know that for a lot of reasons … it’s embedded in our culture for years and years.” The difference in breaking down that inevitable fact? Smith said it’s Matta. Matta and March Madness In what once seemed like a season come undone after a 22-point loss to Wisconsin, Matta and the Buckeyes have rattled off 10-straight wins en route to a Big Ten Tournament championship, a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and, most recently, its fourth-consecutive appearance in the Sweet 16. Smith called Matta’s most-recent coaching job “marvelous.” “To watch them emerge and develop over time and get to a point where they’re really playing well together is huge,” Smith said. In particular, he pointed to the shellacking in Madison as the season’s crux and turning point. “The Wisconsin game up there, we did not play well together,” he said. “They solved that problem.” OSU will face Arizona Thursday at 7:47 p.m. at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. A win would mark back-to-back showings in the Elite 8 for the Buckeyes. read more

Thousands of hospital patients have planned operations cancelled on day of surgery

first_imgThousands of patients are having their operations cancelled on the day of their scheduled surgery, a new report has found.And tens of thousands are being forced to wait for longer than 18 weeks for routine operations, the authors said.Equipment shortages, a lack of beds and scheduling errors were the main excuses given to patients for cancelling their elective surgeries on the day, the authors said.The Patients Association warned that cancelling an operation places a “significant psychological burden” on patients.A new report from the patient charity found that during 2015 hospital trusts across England cancelled an average of 753 operations on the day. There is a significant psychological burden on patients waiting to be given a date for surgery and for patients whose surgery has been cancelledPatients Association NHS funding crisis hits waiting times. Read more of our #FeelingTheWait report here:— Patients Association (@PatientsAssoc) August 16, 2016 An NHS England spokesman said: “We have significant concerns about this report which is both misleading and statistically flawed and is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the referral-to-treatment performance standard. Waits for an NHS operation remain close to an all-time low – down from a maximum wait of 18 months over a decade ago to 18 weeks now, with the average wait less than 10 weeks.”Last month more than nine out of 10 patients were waiting less than 18 weeks to start consultant-led treatment. We continue to make strides in cutting long waits, with the number of patients waiting over a year slashed from over 5,000 recorded in March 2012 to being in the hundreds now.”In the last five years, since June 2011, the NHS has reduced the number of patients waiting more than a year for treatment by over 12,000.” “The Patients Association has noticed a clear, trend over recent years in the increasing time people are waiting for operations, as well as the number of people waiting longer for elective surgery,” said Patients Association chief executive Katherine Murphy.”Every day we hear from the people behind these statistics on our national helpline: individuals who are in pain, worried they will lose further mobility, or will take longer to recover when they finally get their surgery. Their family members and carers are also having to share the added uncertainty and pressure faced by patientswhilst they are waiting for their operations.”Overall, with the significant jump in waiting times, we are very concerned that relaxing the rules on waiting time targets as recently reported, will only exacerbate an already unacceptable situation for patients.”From the patient’s perspective, nothing positive can come from taking away NHS targets – it just means people could be waiting even longer as there will be little incentive for NHS providers to focus on efficiency.”In July, NHS officials in England announced that hospital trusts will no longer be fined for missing key targets on waiting times and cancer as part of a bid to improve finances.National fines for missing targets have been scrapped for at least 12 months and replaced with individual trust plans aimed at improving performance and finances.Hospitals will no longer be fined for missing the four-hour A&E target, the 62-day target to get cancer treatment and the 18-week goal for routine operations, such as hip and knee replacements. The NHS said it has ‘significant concerns’ about the Patients Association report, which it described as ‘misleading and statistically flawed’Credit:Dominic Lipinski/PA NHS Its annual report, Feeling The Wait, found that the total number of surgeries cancelled by individual trusts ranged from eight to 3,269.The report states: “We have grown increasingly concerned at the waits patients are facing for surgery and the amount of patients who have had their operation cancelled on the day.”It adds: “There is a significant psychological burden on patients waiting to be given a date for surgery and for patients whose surgery has been cancelled (often on the day the surgery was due to take place).”Meanwhile, the report also highlighted “substantial” increases in the number of patients who are waiting more than 18 weeks for routine operations.”This year’s report based on 2015 data shows that on the whole, waiting times are getting worse, not better,” the authors wrote.Their analysis show that the number of patients waiting for elective surgical procedures – such as hip or knee operations – over 18 weeks during 2015 was 92,739, compared to 51,388 in 2014 – a rise of around 80%.The report is based on responses to 112 Freedom of Information requests sent to NHS Trusts across England.And the average waiting times for five procedures – hip replacement, knee replacement, hernia, adenoid and tonsillectomies – are above 100 days, the Patients Association said. No patient should ever feel like a burden. #FeelingTheWait— Patients Association (@PatientsAssoc) August 16, 2016 Health officials contested the claims by the Patients Association on the number of patients waiting more than 18 weeks for routine operations.Health minister David Mowat said: “These claims are both unreliable and misleading. The latest official figures show that nine in 10 patients still wait less than 18 weeks for treatment, despite the fact that last year the NHS carried out 1.6 million more operations than in 2010.”He added: “Fewer than 1% of operations were cancelled on short notice – stable despite this rising activity – and the number of people waiting more than a year has dropped by nearly 18,000 under this Government.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Second man questioned and released without charge as police hunt Putney pusher

first_imgA second man questioned under caution has been released without charge over the assault of a woman who was pushed in front of a bus, the Metropolitan Police said.The man was arrested on August 12 after a jogger shoved a woman to the ground on Putney Bridge, south west London, in May.He was the second 41-year-old suspect to be cleared of involvement, following the release of Eric Bellquist, a US investment banker, earlier that day.A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “Detectives investigating an incident where a man appeared to push a woman into the path of a bus continue to appeal for witnesses and information.”A second man, aged 41, was arrested on the afternoon of Saturday, August 12 on suspicion of grievous bodily harm following information received in response to a CCTV appeal about the incident on Putney Bridge on Friday, May 5.”The man was taken to a south London police station and following further enquiries, he was released with no further action later that day.”This followed the arrest of a 41-year-old man on Thursday, August 10 who was eliminated from enquiries on Saturday.” He added that there had been a “positive public response to the appeal so far”, with a range of information provided to investigating officers. Mr Bellquist, 41, a millionaire partner at a private equity firm, was ruled out of the inquiry after he proved he was abroad at the time of the alleged attack.He had been detained on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm in connection with the woman shoved into the road on Putney Bridge on May 5.CCTV caught the incident, which showed the bus swerving to avoid the 33-year-old woman, who was treated for minor injuries.The suspect was also seen jogging back over the bridge around 15 minutes later, but refused to acknowledge his victim when she tried to talk to him, police said.The jogger, who is wanted on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm, is described as white man, aged early to mid 30s, with brown eyes and short brown hair, wearing a light grey t-shirt and dark blue shorts. Eric Bellquist was eliminated from enquiriescenter_img Eric Bellquist was eliminated from enquiries Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Test tube trees could save species at risk of extinction

Researchers have left no stone unturned with the vaults made to be bomb, flood and radiation proof to ensure the seeds could survive in the event of a doomsday scenarios of war or plague. Trees may have to be grown in test tubes in the future as one in five of the world’s species are believed to be at risk of extinction.Researchers from Kew Gardens are aiming to store 75 per cent of the world’s threatened seeds by 2020. They are also investigating how to freeze species and store them for future use.Scientists recently grew an oak tree in a test tube Kew Garden’s fertility lab at the Millennium Seed Bank in West Sussex.”It’s an insurance policy against extinction in the wild,” Dr John Dickie told the BBC. “In situ conservation, in a reserve, is always the best, because then evolution can happen all the time. This is a very cost-effective back-up in case that system fails.”Cryopreservation involves removing the plant embryo from the rest of the seed, then freezing it at very low temperatures in liquid nitrogen.As well as oak trees, researchers want to freeze coffee beans, cocoa plants and avocado seeds.The bank is home to nearly 40,000 wild plants and 2.2billion seeds which are kept in stringent conditions, dried and stored in vaults at -20C. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A spokesman for Kew Gardens said: “Today, 60,000 to 100,000 species of plant are faced with the threat of extinction. Plants provide the air we breathe, clean water and we all rely on plants for food. We aim to save plants world wide with a focus on plants most at risk and most useful for the future.”Together with our partners in more than 95 countries worldwide, we have already successfully saved seeds from over 13 per cent of the world’s wild plant species.”By 2020, our aim is to secure the safe storage of seed from 25 per cent of the world’s bankable plants. We target plants and regions most at risk from climate change and the ever-increasing impact of human activities.”   read more

Babes in the Wood killer Russell Bishops other victim now struggling to

Bishop is expected to die in jail following the guilty verdicts Indeed the girl did well at school, to herteachers’ surprise, going on to achieve good grades in her exams. One of her early ambitions was to become a police officer, perhaps propelled by the desire to save another child from suffering the same the fate that had befallen her.A source who knows the family told the Telegraph: “They are a close family, very down to earth, from a services background, and that helped them all.“She passed her exams at school and the family deliberately kept her out of the public gaze and surprisingly few people ever learned that she was Bishop’s victim. They are very private people and she is too. She hates to talk about it as that reminds her.” Her testimony helped convict Russell and saw him sentenced to life imprisonment for abduction, molestation and attempted murder.Thirty years later the conclusion is inescapable: if Russell had been successfully prosecuted and convicted at his original trial in 1987, he would have been in prison rather than in a position to prey on a third child.At first she appeared to have coped surprisingly well with the trauma inflicted on her by the child killer.Shortly after Bishop was convicted her mother said: “I really don’t know why she has coped so well. Maybe our child is the exception that proves the rule.“I think now she was put on earth for a reason. She survived so she could achieve something terribly important. She should have been dead, but I believe someone was looking after her that day.” Police said they believed he had “talent spotted” the girl rather than simply acted on impulse.Some time later, with incredible luck and determination, she managed to escape from the boot, even having the foresight to remove her roller skates in case they impeded her movements. The marks she left on the ceiling of the boot after desperately hammering for help later helped incriminate Bishop, providing valuable evidence for his conviction.She bravely pointed him out at an identity parade and at his trial gave evidence in person, hidden from her attacker by a curtain. Bishop is expected to die in jail following the guilty verdicts Bishop was jailed in 1990 for the sickening attack on a seven-year-old girl “She is brave, strong girl, who has managed despite everything to make a decent life for herself. But what she went through has no doubt had a significantly detrimental effect on her life and the current trial and renewed media interest in her have been tremendously painful for her.” Bishop was jailed in 1990 for the sickening attack on a seven-year-old girl After his murder of Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway, Russell Bishop’s perverted lust for little girls claimed a third victim.Just four years after being acquitted of snatching and killing the two nine-year olds in Brighton’s Wild Park, in October 1986, he bundled another girl into the boot of his car, intending to subject her to the same fate.Although she survived the kidnapping The Telegraph can reveal it has left the woman, now aged 35, suffering periodic flashbacks and severe stress, leaving her frequently unable to go to the shops or enjoy simple pleasures like a walk on her own.As a seven-year-old she was abducted from close to her home on February 4, 1990, and was later, by some miracle, spotted wondering close to a Brighton beauty spot, having been subjected to a serious sexual assault.The girl was seen walking naked along a road by a couple who had driven to Devil’s Dyke on the Sussex Downs, behind Hove. The babes in the wood murders cast a shadow over Brighton The babes in the wood murders cast a shadow over Brighton But – for all her parents’ attempt to give her a normal upbringing and avoid dwelling on the awful thought of what might have happened to her had she not escaped Bishop’s clutches – the past kept raising its ugly head.“The crime hit her harder once she grew up. She was unconscious when Bishop molested her so afterwards she only remembered being kidnapped. That protected her,” said the source.“But the family was warned that fear might surface later, and sadly that has happened. Bishop’s crimes have repeatedly been in the news, which is hard for anyone to avoid. After she grew up, even catching sight of a headline about him could trigger great distress in her. She became too anxious sometimes even to go for a walk or the local shop. It later emerged she had been playing in the street near her home, on an estate near Brighton Marina – about six miles from the spot where she was found – when Bishop snatched her and pushed her into the boot of his car, which was already open, ready for his victim. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Former wife of infamous prisoner Charles Bronson found dead aged 38

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Charles Bronson The former wife of infamous prisoner Charles Bronson has been found dead at her home aged 38. Paula Williamson, who was an actress on shows such as Coronation Street, married the notorious criminal in 2017, decades after he was imprisoned. The couple separated last summer. Staffordshire Police confirmed that they had found Ms Williamson’s body at her home in Stoke-on-Trent yesterday morning.Her death is not being treated as suspicious, with a post-mortem examination due to take place to establish her cause of death. A statement from police said yesterday: “A woman from Stoke-on-Trent who was found dead this morning has been named as Paula Williamson, aged 38. “Paula’s body was found in a house on Gordon Avenue, Sneyd Green, at around 7am.“A post mortem will take place to establish the cause of death but the death is not being treated as suspicious.“A report is now being prepared for the coroner.”Ms Williamson appeared on Coronation Street three times between 2008 and 2012, along with rival soap operas Hollyoaks and Emmerdale. However, she shot to wider prominence after agreeing to marry the man reviled as Britain’s most violent prisoner, whom she had been visiting in HMP Wakefield. A ceremony took place nine months later at Wakefield prison, after which Bronson was returned to his cell. Bronson, now 66, has spent more than half of his life in solitary confinement, after his sentence was repeatedly increased for attacking prison staff and taking them hostage.He filed for divorce from Ms Williamson last July after reportedly becoming outraged over pictures of her on a wild night out in Tenerife. She later broke down during an appearance on ITV’s Loose Women as she spoke of how the ordeal had left her “heartbroken”. Charles Bronson read more

Strictly Come Dancing star Katya Jones to divorce

The couple have not blamed Mr Walsh for their split Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. They were the focus of national headlines following a scandal on the dance show in 2018 involving comedian Mr Walsh.Russian choreographer Katya was pictured sharing a kiss with her then dance partner on a night out in London during the last series of Strictly.The incident led to the pair performing a “dance of shame” on the show, as the media scrutinised another instance of the so-called Strictly curse.Neil and Katya remained together following the scandal, and have said the well-publicised incident was not the cause of their split. Strictly Come Dancing star Katya Jones, who was photographed last year kissing her dancing partner, is to separate from her husband. The professional dancer announced her separation from her husband Neil in an official statement today, just one year after she was filmed in a passionate embrace with her then partner on the show, comedian Seann Walsh.Mr and Mrs Jones have been together for 11 years.  In August the pair posted on their social media accounts celebrating six years of marriage.  Neil, who is also a professional dancer on the show, said he was still “jumping with joy”.The couple have not blamed Mr Walsh for their split, but indicated their marriage had become more of a friendship than a romance. In an official statement, the couple said their relationship had mellowed into a friendship.It said: “After 11 years, we have made the mutual decision to separate.”We will always love each other, just in a different way as friends. This will never change what a great team we make and we are really proud of everything we have achieved together.  No matter what we do we will always support and respect each other.”A spokeswoman for the pair clarified that their decision to part was not influenced by the controversy surrounding Walsh which made front-page news.Stating that the decision was made recently, a spokeswoman said: “It would be incorrect and unfair to attribute their separation to one isolated incident.”Many people make such a decision to separate when they realise that their relationship has become more of a friendship.”They remain the very best of friends and will continue to dance together.”The dancers added that their professional lives and their careers on Strictly would not be impacted by the split. The couple have not blamed Mr Walsh for their splitCredit:Guy Levy read more