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Jail for hacker who tricked BT out of pounds 51,000 in calls.

A talented hacker who tricked British Telecom's 0800 system out of pounds 51,000 worth of Internet access to feed his obsession for computer games, was jailed for two months yesterday at London's Southwark Crown Court.

Paul Turner (26), of Spooner Road, Norwich, Norfolk, described by his barrister as a "social isolate", admitted three counts of dishonestly obtaining telephone calls. He became so addicted to what he was doing he clocked up almost 1,163.3 hours in front of his terminal in just nine months.

Hopes of arms statement

A statement on the independent inquiry into the arms-to-Africa affair could be made in the next fortnight, the Commons was told yesterday.

Leader of the House Ms Ann Taylor said publication of the report by former top civil servant Sir Thomas Legg QC was expected in the last week of July.

But she warned MPs a full debate was unlikely to follow. Instead she said she hoped a statement would be made on the inquiry's findings.

New cancer drug hopes

A widely available drug used across the world to treat high blood pressure has had the unexpected side-effect of stopping cancer tumours developing, scientists have found.

Researchers from Glasgow University's medical school hope their discovery - which they called a "hidden dividend", although it remains to be proved - could shed new light on the fight against the disease. Their findings are published today in The Lancet.

Call for fraud trial shake-up

Radical reforms are needed to fraud trials to cut their length and cost, including new legislation and possibly specialised courts, the Director of the Serious Fraud Office said yesterday.

Citing the "depressing statistic" that one per cent of cases, mainly fraud, take up 40 per cent of the criminal legal aid budget, Ms Rosalind Wright said tighter controls on trials were needed.

"More tightly-focused" cases, "firmly controlled" trials and "strict time limits" on hearings will get cases to court more quickly and dealt with more efficiently, she said in her annual report.

Heat killed officer cadet

An officer cadet who took part in gruelling training run at a top military academy died of "heat injury", a post mortem confirmed yesterday.

A spokesman for the Surrey Coroner's Office said the inquest into the death of Cadet Graham Holmes would open and adjourn this morning.

The 23-year-old cadet, from Edinburgh, died in hospital on Wednesday, two weeks after collapsing with multiple organ failure at the end of a seven-mile endurance march at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

Saudi nurse case delayed

A court case in which freed Saudi nurse Lucille McLauchlan faces theft and fraud charges was yesterday adjourned for a further month.

McLauchlan (32), was not present at the brief procedural hearing, which lasted just a few minutes at Dundee Sheriff Court. The case was continued until August 13 and no plea was entered.

Vinnie's watcher held

A probation officer involved in organising the community service of footballer Vinnie Jones was arrested after trying to sell the details to a newspaper, police said yesterday.

The officer, based at Hemel Hempstead, Herts, and another person were arrested on Wednesday. Both have been released on police bail pending further inquiries, Herts police said.

Part-time Puttnam

Lord Puttnam, the film-maker and Labour peer, is to receive a pounds 22,000 salary for two days' work a week heading a new National Lottery body, the Government disclosed last night.

Culture Secretary Mr Chris Smith said he had chosen Lord Puttnam to chair the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts after an independent panel judged him to be "eminently suitable".

Post Script

An emergency UK-wide house martin survey is under way, sparked by reports of fewer birds this year.

The move by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds follows concern that not as many martins have returned to their traditional nesting sites under the eaves of buildings.

Annual monitoring schemes will help to indicate whether numbers are down, but to obtain a more accurate picture, the RSPB is asking for information from everyone with house martins nesting on their houses this year.

Members of the Society will be posting questionnaires through the doors of houses with nesting martins.

From the results it should be possible to rapidly assess whether there really has been a fall in numbers between this year and last year.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 17, 1998
Words:721
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