The Guardian from London, Greater London, England on December 2, 1995 · 6
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The Guardian from London, Greater London, England · 6

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Location:
London, Greater London, England
Issue Date:
Saturday, December 2, 1995
Page:
6
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6 I HOME NEWS The Guardian Saturday December 2 1995 Funeral of Leah Betts filmed for anti-drugs video Court rejects death claim THE friends, neighbours and family, of Leah Betts, the teenager who died three weeks ago after taking the drug ec-stacy, mourned her yesterday at her funeral, which was-filmed for a drugs prevention video to be shown in all British schools, writes Alex Bellas. A television crew filmed the service in Latchingdon, Essex, at the request of Leah's father, retired policeman Paul Betts. Her 11-year-old brother, William, described Leah as a "beautiful rose which stood out from all the other flowers". Her decision to donate her organs meant that from six seeds, "grew another six lovely roses". Leah collapsed at her 18th birthday party after taking an ecstasy tablet and did not regained consciousness. A photograph of her on a ventilator was widely carried by the media and became a powerful image in the propaganda war against taking drugs. The mourners included Leah's friends from Basil don College, where she was an A level student. Many people had to listen to the service outside the small church as it was relayed through speakers. They heard music from the band Oasis, a favourite of Leah's. The Rev Dr Don Gordon spoke of Leah as "a loving, lovable and lovely girl" a young woman enjoying life, sailing, swimming and socialising. Friends knew her as loyal, and knew of the convictions and principles which had led her to become an organ donor. Drug seizures last year broke the record at 108,000, up 23 per cent on 1993, official figures released yesterday show. Ecstasy seizures were up 50 per cent. Keith Hellawell, chief constable of West Yorkshire and chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers' drugs sub-committee, said that while the figures were positive, "I don't think there's any doubt that these drugs axe freely available in all parts of our community, and that's very worrying for us all." Iff jlPffi HBHBay f SaaaaaaBaaaaaaaaaaaB9Ban Janet and Paul Betts arriving at the church, where they heard their daughter described as 'a loving, lovable and lovely girl' photograph: sean dempsey No PC? No problem. Philips CD-I lets you surf the net on your TV set. , - Our 99.99 rrp Internet Starter Kit accesses World Wide Web sites, neWs groups, electronic mail, competitions and games from the comfort of your settee. Sofa so good? Well, until 31 December 95 we're also offering six months Internet subscription and sign-on with CD-Online for just 48.00 Thats a saving of 44.00 on normal rates. ,v . , ; .,,'..'' . 'y?:V;-) All you need is a Philips CD-i player with DV cartridge, a phone line and a TV As well as access to the Internet, Philips CD-i plays movies, games, music videos and audio CDs. Philips CD-i players and Internet Starter Kits are available at leading electrical and games retailers. PHILIPS PHILIPS Chris Drake In Larnaca A SOLDIER'S alleged confession that he killed a Danish tour guide was ruled inadmissible by a court in Cyprus yesterday. A detective told the court that Alan Ford, a soldier in the Royal Greenjackets aged 27, told him after his arrest last summer: "I killed the girl. 1 hit her twice with a spade on the head." Since Ford's alleged confession was not included in an eight-page statement he then wrote for the detective, the lawyers for him and the two other soldiers on trial in the Larnaca assize court were taken by surprise. The confession was ruled inadmissabie after the prosecution said it had known nothing of it until just before the day's proceedings began. Ford, Geoffrey Pernell, aged 23, of Oldbury, West Midlands, and Justin Fowler, aged 27, of Falmouth, Cornwall, are all accused of kidnapping, conspiring to rape, and killing 23-year-old Louise Jensen. The case continues. Highest bidder joins Channel 5 legal challenge Andrew Cuff Media Correspondent PROSPECTS of a smooth launch for Channel 5 received another setback yesterday when a second defeated applicant decided to launch a legal challenge over the licence award. UKTV, a consortium backed by the Canadian media giant CanWest, reversed a previous decision to accept the Independent Television Commission's decision and said it would seek a judicial review. The group bid 36.26 million for the Channel 5 licence, the .highest .bid received, but, was eliminated because it failed to pass. the. quality threshold. The independent Television Commission awarded the licence to Channel 5 Broadcasting, a group backed by giant media groups Pearson and MAI, which bid 22,002,000. Last week Richard Branson's Virgin TV, which made an identical bid, but was also failed on the quality of its programme plans, won the right in the High Court to launch a judicial review expected to begin in mid-January. John Whitney, chairman of UKTV, said: "There would appear to be a significant change of circumstances from the facts as we knew them following the award of the licence and as they have now been alleged by Virgin. "UKTV has always dis puted the findings of the ITC with respect to the quality threshold and now, in light of allegations regarding proce dural impropriety ... UKTV would be derelict in its duty if it did not take action." Virgin TV has alleged Channel 5 Broadcasting was given an opportunity to increase its funding commitment to satisfy the commission it could sustain the service, contrary to the bidding rules. A spokesman for the commission said: "The ITC remains confident it awarded the Channel 5 licence in a fair and proper manner." The only previous judicial challenge to a licence award came in 1992, when TSW unsuccessfully challenged the loss of its ITV franchise. .Channel 5 Broadcasting said it could not comment. A lengthy battle in . the courts could delay Channel 5 Broadcasting from taking key investment decisions and signing contracts with programming suppliers. . But the company still plans a January 1997 launch. Ian Ritchie, previously at the London News Network, has been appointed chief executive, and Dawn Airey's transfer from Channel 4 and appointment as director of programmes has been confirmed this week. Channel 5 is Britain's final pre-digital terrestrial station. It will be available in 70 per cent of the country, but will require the retuning of 4 million domestic video recorders before it can go on the air. Melvyn Bragg, presenter of The South Bank Show and London Weekend Television's controller of arts, is to stand down as chairman of Border Television next Easter. Heseitine offered deputy job before Tory leadership vote ICHAEL HESELTINE was informally offered the post of John Major's deputy three weeks before the Tory leadership election during which the appointment was announced, the Deputy Prime Minister discloses today. He told colleagues to vote for Mr Major after he had told the Prime Minister: "I am not going to be involved in this process," he said in an inter view with The Times. Casting new light on John Major's path to victory in the leadership battle, which ended with his re-election in a straight fight with John Redwood, Mr Heseitine said the idea of his promotion came up in a late-night Commons chat with Mr Major. "There was no agreement. he said. "It came up as a thought to be discussed. It was left on the table, so to speak. I think it was quite obvi ous that I was going to become his number two." The plan was confirmed by John Major on the morning of polling, he said. But asked whether the advance move had been intended to get his support in good time, Mr He seitine said such a "Machiavellian interpretation" had not occurred to him. He said that between the two conversations about his promotion, John Major had told of his idea, which "had been in his mind for some time ... to lance the boil" over the leadership question. . He asked my view. I said. after a moment's reflection, I that I thought it was a very sensible thing to do. That was it." Explaining why he was so firm in telling his supporters to vote for John Major, he said: "I do not believe in deceit. "If I say to John Major's face I am not going to be involved in this process I am not the sort of person who then goes round the House of Commons saying well, I may have said this to the Prime Minister but don't take a blind bit of notice you go and sort it out. I would not do that." He added that he and Mr Major would never be "prised apart" by the "pressures of politics or by the scrutiny of the media". If you care about the Environment and want a car breakdown service, choose the Environmental Transport Association as an ethical alternative to the pro-roads AA and RAC. Quote SI 87 and call 0193 282 8882 0 Britain's fastest growing motoring organisation I rA(MX7). Till-Old Post llou.-. Ilulll Kiu.l. WI.YUKIMili, KIM KS

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