Shock allegations of corruption in the West Midlands Regional Crime
Squad led to the jobs of nine top-ranking officers being axed in
August and the disbandment of the special unit.
Constable, Geoffrey Dear, took the drastic action after discovering
that essential documents went missing from a file forming part of
an investigation into the squad.
He ordered that leading top officers in charge between 1986 and
1988 should be moved out of CID to administrative duties.
This involved one detective chief superintendent, four detective
superintendents, two detective chief inspectors and two detective
Two officers were also suspended, and all serious crime squad
members from the same period were moved to non-operational duties.
Mr Dear announced his sweeping action after allegations of fabricated
evidence were claimed.
He said what had happened was bound to shake public confidence
in the detective force - at a time when "standards and morale are
higher than they have ever been."
He added: "The situation demands determined and swift action.
I have taken it."
Three life terms for murderer: John Cannan, the former Sutton
Coldfield car salesman who murdered Bristol newlywed, Shirley Banks,
and launched attacks on two other women, got three life sentences
- and the judge who jailed him said he should never see the outside
of a prison cell after committing "a series of most terrible offences."
Cannan, aged 35, was jailed in April for the murder of Mrs Banks,
the rape of a Reading housewife and a serious sexual assault against
The judge at Exeter crown court told Cannan: "You are extremely
attractive to some women. But under that there lies a most evil
violence and horrible side to your character."
Shirley Banks was abducted by Cannan during an evening shopping
trip. He kept he prisoner in his flat and later battered her to
death with a rock.
Sticky problem: It was decided that the jobs of 50 workers,
nearly a quarter of the production staff, was to be axed at the Halesowen
Bluebird toffee factory in April after the company decided to concentrate
on bulk packaging which was less labour-intensive.
stewards at the factory where generations of local people had worked,
were said to be "devastated".
Among the casualties was company production director, Roger Inman
(pictured), who was given an hour to clear his desk following a
boardroom row over the "drastic" plan.
Top firm ready to join the lead free drive: One of Wolverhampton's
biggest companies, Manders, the property, paint and ink group joined
the lead free petrol lobby in April, by converting its cars.
The company, which had a fleet of 200 vehicles, based at 50 branches
around the country, said all their cars capable of running on lead
free petrol were being converted.
The Express & Star was running a special "Let's Get Leadless"
campaign to help improve Britain's environment.
Nationally the Government wanted one in three motorists to be
lead-free by the end of the year.
The message was that using unleaded petrol made it easier on the
wallet and the environment.
Suzanne takes UK crown: Shropshire beauty Suzanne Younger
was crowned Miss United Kingdom in April to add to her Miss Wales
The 23-year-old, from St Martins, near Oswestry, was going onto
the next stage, making a bid for the Miss World title.
The blonde, blue-eyed model beat 23 other girls to win the Miss
UK contest at Birmingham's Albany Hotel.
The win guaranteed her 18,000 in cash and earnings, plus an automatic
place in the Miss World finals.
Suzanne listed swimming and horseriding as among her hobbies.
Suzanne Younger, flanked by runners-up Miss England, Raquel Marie
Jory and Miss Scotland, Victoria Lace
Boy, 5, savaged by dogs: Three rottweilers were ordered to
be destroyed after they savaged a five-year-old Birmingham boy in
The owner of the dogs, market trader, Joseph Flynn, was also ordered
to pay 1,000 compensation to young Jamie Walker who needed 21 stitches
to his injuries.
Flynn, of Sparkbrook, Birmingham, admitted keeping three ferocious
and unmuzzled dogs, Max, Syd and Gizmo. He was fined 225.
The boy's father described to Birmingham magistrates how his son
The boy was knocked off his bike and disappeared under a "mountain
His family said he would be mentally scarred for life.
'Squealer' puts bite on dogs: Plans were announced in August
for West Midlands posties to be given a new weapon against their arch
enemies - dogs.
The hand-held "squealer" was guaranteed to send even the most
determined dog running for cover.
The new ultrasonic, pooch repellant, called the Dazer, was being
considered for use in the West Midlands as well as the rest of the
country by the Post Office to cut the 6,000 dog attacks on postal
staff each year.
However some cunning canines could still come out on top - the
Dazer didn't work on deaf dogs.
In brief . . . In August it was announced that water bills
throughout the West Midlands were set to rise by 13 per cent.
Legal action was started in October against Sunseekers, the Birmingham
Travel Company which collapsed with debts of £770, 000.