Cottages in front of the Seven Sisters cliffs could vanish

Why you might not see THIS stunning view for much longer: Cottages in front of the Seven Sisters cliffs could vanish after plan to shore up sea defences got tangled in red tape

  • The old coastguard cottages on the white Seven Sisters cliffs feature in films
  • The hamlet has stood for 200 years near Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex
  • Environment Agency no longer has responsibility for shoring up sea defences
  • Erosion is not being slowed as plans for a sea wall are ‘held back by bureaucracy’

It is one of the country’s most famous views, attracting millions of visitors from across the world each year.

But it could soon be lost for ever unless action is taken to shore up sea defences.

These old coastguard cottages in front of the white  cliffs have featured in dozens of films including Atonement and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. And this month the sight was recognised as Britain’s Best View in a competition in the Daily Mail.

But the land on which the hamlet of cottages has stood for 200 years near Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex, is slowly disappearing due to coastal erosion.

Britain’s Best View under threat? The Coastguards Cottages at Cuckmere Haven in Sussex are on land which is quickly eroding 

For decades the descendants of the original coastguards have worked with officials to maintain the sea defences and stop the cottages being swept away.

But in 2011 a new policy of managed coastal retreat was introduced by the Government, which meant the Environment Agency no longer has responsibility for shoring up sea defences. Residents have lodged a planning application with the South Downs National Park Authority to extend a sea wall but say they are being held back by bureaucracy.

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They say that unless they get help, the scheme could stay in the planning phase for years and the view could be lost.

Carolyn McCourt, 59, an artist who has lived in one of the cottages for nearly 30 years, said: ‘To get wrapped up in red tape and do nothing to save this view would be an unforgivable act of vandalism. Each time a storm hits the shore, it causes a little bit more damage.’

Michael Ann, 81, and wife Kitty, 72, who own nearby Cable Hut – from where a telegraph cable was laid across the Channel to France – said: ‘We need to sort out planning permission and funding for a sea wall that will give lasting protection.’

Building the sea wall in 1947. The cottages are under threat 70 years on over coastal erosion 

Resident Carolyn McCourt with dog Greta. The residents want more to be done but Government changes have left them needing help from the Environment Agency which is not provided 

Residents in the cottages on the coastline want a flood defence system to include a sea wall stretching across the front of the cliffs 

The South Downs National Park Authority said an environmental impact assessment (EIA) is required and it is now ‘awaiting a request from the applicant to determine the scope of the EIA’.

The five cottages – now converted into three homes – were built around 1820 for coastguards employed to help tackle smugglers after the Napoleonic wars.

The campaign group Cuckmere Haven SOS aims to raise an initial £200,000 towards sea defences. Readers can donate at


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Prince Philip Will Not Face Charges Over Car Crash

Royally off the hook! Prince Philip will not face any charges in the car accident he was involved in last month in Sandringham, England according to the Crown Prosecution Service Opens a New Window. .

Chief Crown Prosecutor Chris Long released a statement on Thursday, February 14 on the government website regarding the crash: “The CPS has carefully reviewed material submitted by the police in relation to a traffic collision on the A149 on 17 January this year,” Long said.

He added: “We took into account all of the circumstances in this case, including the level of culpability, the age of the driver and the surrender of the driving license. We have decided that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute. All those involved in the collision have been informed and provided with a full explanation in writing.”

The accident took place in January when the 97-year-old royal’s SUV hit a Kia, which left two women injured and a 9-month-old child unharmed. Philip — who walked away with no major injuries — surrendered his license earlier this month.

“Norfolk Police can confirm that the 97-year-old driver of the Land Rover involved in the collision at Sandringham on Thursday, January 17, 2019, has today voluntarily surrendered his license to officers,” a police spokesperson told Us Weekly in a statement on February 9. “We will follow the standard procedure and return the license to the [Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency].”

Weeks after the crash, the Daily Mail reported that 46-year-old Emma Fairweather, a passenger in the car Philip hit, would need to undergo surgery for a wrist injury she sustained in the accident.

“This has completely knocked me,” Fairweather told the Mail. “It feels the last three weeks of pain and recovery have been pointless as I now have to start all over again. It’s like Groundhog Day. I’ve never had surgery before and I’ll have this titanium plate for life.”

Philip, for his part, issued an apology to the victims shortly after the incident.

“I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident at the Babingley cross-roads,” the letterhead on the note read. “I have been across that crossing any number of times and I know very well the amount of traffic that uses that main road. It was a bright sunny day and at about three in the afternoon, the sun was low over the Wash. In other words, the sun was shining low over the main road. In normal conditions I would have no difficulty in seeing traffic coming from the Dersingham direction, but I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences.”

The note continued: “I have since learned that you suffered a broken arm. I am deeply sorry about this injury. I wish you a speedy recovery from a very distressing experience. Yours sincerely, Philip.”

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I am not wasted in the lower order: Maxwell

World Cup hopeful Glenn Maxwell insists he is not wasted in the lower order in Australia's one-day international side but hopes the team can adopt the same fearless attitude that helped it stride to the 2015 title.

Maxwell's position in the batting order remains a point of debate, for he has the skills to be in the top order but consistency has been an issue. In his past 10 ODI innings, he has been used at No.6 or No.7, having last batted at No.4 against India in Indore in 2017.

Glenn Maxwell says he didn’t bed down a role towards the top of the Australian order when he had the chance.Credit:AAP

He averages 32.31 in 90 matches but that slips to 22.16 in six matches at No.4. His lone century and highest-yielding spot in terms of overall runs has been at No.5, where he averages 33.7, but it's at No.7 where he averages 45.33 in 10 innings at a strike rate of 125.92.

Lower-order hitting will be critical on the small grounds of England during the World Cup, and Maxwell reinforced during his thundering 82 from 43 balls for the Melbourne Stars on Sunday why there could be a few lost balls should he get going.

The Victorian said he had not done enough when the situation presented itself to forge a spot at No.4 – a role Steve Smith is likely to reclaim should he be fit and selected for the World Cup.

"Look, the way we are setting up, I don't think I am wasted. The way we were trying to set up our team was pretty valid. I hadn't done enough to warrant a place in that top four or five," he said.

"I missed my opportunities. That came down to me as a player. I genuinely missed opportunities to play well for my country and play well for my spot. They gave me opportunities to bat second drop in practice games before the … England ODI series [in 2018] but I, unfortunately, didn't make the most of it and I found myself back down the order. That can be how the game goes sometimes."

Maxwell will join the Australian side through one-day series tours of India this month and against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates next month but says he is no lock for World Cup selection, having been an important piece of the 2015 title. In six World Cup innings on home soil, he crunched 324 runs at 64.8, passing 50 three times, including his lone ODI century – against Sri Lanka in Sydney. Through that tournament he was used at No.4, 5 and 6. The public discourse from Cricket Australia heading into this next showpiece event is that he will have a floating role.

"I played a similiar role at the World Cup and was able to be flexible because of the success of the top order and the way they scored their runs," Maxwell said.

"It's all well and good getting hundreds off 100 balls but the way our top order was going back in the World Cup, they were getting fast hundreds, they were explosive starters, we were ahead of six runs an over, we were 6.5 runs an over after 25 overs and we had the freedom to go: 'You know what, we can make this a cruisy win or a cruisy last 15 overs by sending 'Maxi' in and continue that or we can consolidate with different batters and make sure we can get a certain total'.

"We always played an aggressive route back then. I suppose that played into my hands by having a successful top order which is what we had back then."

A brilliant, match-turning fieldsman, Maxwell's off-spin bowling will also be important in England, for it would allow Australia to play to their strengths, that being three frontline quicks, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, a frontline leg-spinner in Adam Zampa – wrist spin shapes as being a crucial element – with Maxwell a sixth option.

Former skipper Ricky Ponting has made it clear he believes the return of batting stars Smith and David Warner from suspension could transform a side that has won only three of its past 16 matches.

That has heaped pressure on the pair to quickly regain their groove but Maxwell, Australia's Twenty20 international player of the year though still something of an enigma, maintains a team ethos of having the freedom to play "smart" cricket will be pivotal in Australia's championship defence.

"I think this team is going to need to take the game on, not so much take the game on but take it on in the way that it is cricket smart. It is good cricket shots still but it's a way of dominating the opposition. It's a solid way of playing one-day cricket," he said.

"The way we went about one-day cricket in 2015, it was just solid the whole way through. There was consistency, there was big risk but they didn't feel like risks when they were happening.

"There was Aaron Finch charging opening bowlers, hitting them over the top and you thought that was not a risk for Aaron Finch. David Warner hitting the ball over cover point for four – that's not a risk. Steve Smith hitting the ball from outside off through forward square leg – that's not a risk. That's just how the players were playing. Shane Watson muscling blokes wherever he wanted to and myself doing my thing. The way the whole team set itself up was guys just played their way and played with freedom. I think if we are going to win this World Cup, we need to be able to play with freedom and be able to express that.

"Hopefully, the bowlers can back us up the way they did in 2015. Mitchell Starc was an amazing exponent of that. I think he had 20 wickets or something like that and was instrumental in us winning. It's going to take both sides of it working together. Let's hope it does. It would be nice to be back-to-back World Cup winners, that's for sure."

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Russia vows not to shoot dozens of polar bears terrorising Arctic town

Russia vows not to shoot dozens of polar bears after they invaded an Arctic town and ‘chased terrified residents’ amid fears plan to relocate predators will end in disaster

  • More than 50 polar bears invaded town on Novaya Zemlya archipelago in Russia
  • Russian officials are preparing an urgent operation to remove the predators
  • They have vowed not to shoot animals and will transport them to new location
  • But a WWF expert in Russia warned plan to relocate them will not end in disaster 

Russia has vowed not to shoot dozens of polar bears terrorising an Arctic town amid fears a plan to relocate the predators will end in disaster.

Officials are preparing an urgent operation to sedate and remove the 52 bears after they invaded Belushya Guba on Russia’s Novaya Zemlya archipelago and started ‘chasing’ frightened locals.

The beasts will be transported a long distance away from the town – but critics of the scheme warn they could rapidly come back.

Extraordinary pictures and video show how people are living in fear in the settlement with polar bears stalking apartment blocks and scavenging at dumps.

Russia has vowed not to shoot dozens of polar bears terrorising an Arctic town amid fears a plan to relocate the predators will end in disaster. More than a dozen polar bears are pictured searching through a pile of rubbish amid a state of emergency and fears that the animals no longer feel scared of patrols

Invasion: A polar bear prowls inside a building, one of more than 50 of the endangered animals who have been terrorising residents in a remote Arctic archipelago in Russia 

The head of the local settlement said that Russia’s nature conservancy agency Rosprirodnadzor – which bans slaughtering the endangered wild animals – is sending a team to the remote islands to sedate and move the animals.

‘We have introduced a state of emergency in the settlements for an unlimited time,’ said Zhigansha Musin.

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‘We asked Rosprirodnadzor to provide us with people. They will catch the bears.

‘The predators will be put to sleep and taken out of the settlement. We will not shoot them. We already have a group of four people.’

The operation to clear the town of polar bears should begin within days after the specialists fly in on Tuesday, he said.

Aggressive: A polar bear at a playground on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in northern Russia, with parents left worried about sending their children to schools and kindergartens

Lurking: One of the polar bears, who cannot legally be shot because they are endangered 

On Sunday his deputy Aleksandr Minayev warned that residents are ‘afraid to go outside’ and ‘daily life is in turmoil’.

‘Parents are wary of letting children to go to schools and kindergartens,’ he said.

Footage shows the bears entering apartment blocks.

But a WWF expert in Russia blamed the country’s defence ministry – which controls the territory around the settlement – for failing to act sooner.

And he forecast the plan to move the bears would end in disaster.

‘Everyone knew this might happen,’ said Mikhail Stishov, WWF coordinator for Arctic biodiversity projects.

‘There are many more polar bears on shores because of lengthy absence of ice.

‘They come to the shore, attracted by human settlements which they specially like when the rubbish disposal system is not set up properly.’

Archipelago authorities had known a problem was coming, he said.

But the Defence Ministry earlier banned WWF experts from visiting the restricted military area, he said.

Presence: Two of the dozens of polar bears regularly spotted in the area. People are ‘afraid to go outside’ and ‘daily life is in turmoil’, a local official said 

He warned: ‘It’s not at all cheap and easy, to sedate and move them away.

‘We have to transport them really far, because if we just take them some 20, 30 kilometres they will be be back very soon to an area which they know has food.

‘So we are talking about a minimum of a two or three hour flight to the other side of the island.

‘And of course it will be next to impossible to move all 50 bears. But if the scientists identity a pack of leaders, or the most daring bears, then taking just them away might be worth trying.

‘The experts who will travel there have all necessary equipment and means to solve the problem.’

Alexey Kokorin, head of the WWF climate programme, said: ‘These are males, because females and cubs are hibernating.

‘But in fact both males and females see humans for just one thing – food.

Playground: One of the animals roams around a Russian yard on the Arctic archipelago 

‘I think there is no other animal like polar bears that so deliberately chases humans.

‘Once they see these strange-looking two-legged seals, they know ‘Ok, this is food’.’

Musin said: ‘I have been in Novaya Zemlya since 1983, yet I’ve never seen such a massive polar bear invasion.’

The animals are ‘literally chasing people and even entering the entrances of residential buildings’.

Shooting in the air, sounding car horns and erecting fences have all failed so far to quell the bar invasion.

Russian laws forbid the slaughter of polar bears except in specific cases where they attack humans.

The besieged town is five miles from a Russian military base.

Some experts say climate change is to blame for the bears behaviour – because the ocean is no longer frozen. 

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Minister will NOT crack down on toxic leasehold deals

Great leasehold betrayal: Minister will NOT crack down on toxic deals that trapped families and blames ‘excited’ buyers not reading small print

  • MP Heather Wheeler dismissed claims of mis-selling in toxic leasehold deals
  • Appeared to play down number affected saying it could be 12,000 not 100,000
  • She said she would prefer to rely on developers and property companies voluntarily giving families better terms than setting new legislation

A housing minister has refused to help families stuck in toxic leasehold deals.

Heather Wheeler dismissed claims of mis-selling and said fresh legislation would trigger a ‘horrendously expensive’ wave of compensation claims.

She appeared to play down the numbers affected, saying it could be as low as 12,000 and not the 100,000 cited by campaigners.

And she said buyers might have been ‘caught up in the moment’ and ‘excited’ when they signed leases for first homes.

Mrs Wheeler said she would prefer to rely on developers and property companies voluntarily giving families better terms. 

Government estimates suggest there are 4.3million homes with leases in England, 1.4million of them houses.

The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership campaign believes 100,000 families are trapped in houses that are now unsellable because their contracts are so unfair. 

Heather Wheeler MP, Minister for Housing, speaking at the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee

Some double charges every decade, while other freeholds are sold on to third parties who only allow homeowners to buy them out for exorbitant fees.

Ministers have pledged to outlaw the sale of newly built homes with leases following a public outcry. 

But Mrs Wheeler’s comments suggest those already hit by the problem will be left to fend for themselves.

Speaking at a Commons committee, Mrs Wheeler said legal advice showed legislation would be ‘horrendously expensive’, adding: ‘I’d much rather go down the voluntary route. 

There have been agreements between freeholders and leaseholders and clearly we want that momentum to carry on.’

The Mail has led the way in exposing the leasehold scandal, including where clauses make ground rents double every decade.

The issue has been dubbed ‘the PPI of the housebuilding industry’ – a reference to the mis-selling of payment protection insurance by banks. 

Joanne Darbyshire said she was mis-sold her home because of hidden and excessive ground rents

Campaigners say developers used the ‘feudal’ agreements to squeeze extra cash out of families desperate to get on the housing ladder – many with the support of the taxpayer through Help to Buy. 

Katie Kendrick, founder of the National Leasehold Campaign, said: ‘Heather Wheeler’s performance was absolutely appalling.

‘Leaseholders are in uproar about this. When your life has been blighted by this scandal and you are still living this nightmare daily, and you hear what she is saying, it is just not acceptable.

Andrea Harris ( left ) with daughter Gabriella Harris-Lowe, eight. She say she was not told about the ground rent 

‘This has been going on for years now and yet we are no further forward. Heather Wheeler just does not get it. 

Her demeanour at the committee made it seem like she did not have much respect for leaseholders and she made several flippant comments.’

Sebastian O’Kelly, a spokesman for the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, said: ‘There are 100,000 leaseholders whose lives have been put on hold by onerous ground rents. 

The Government has got to do something about this because developers have taken their customers for a ride. 

Heather Wheeler’s evidence revealed a complacent approach when there should be urgency.’

Labour’s Tan Dhesi, an MP on the housing committee, said: ‘The situation many leaseholders are faced with is shocking and the minister’s response was wholly inadequate, to put it mildly.

‘The only way to solve the problem is with legislation.’

Case studies of families trapped in toxic leasehold deals

Joanne Darbyshire, 48, and her husband Mark, 49, bought a detached three-bed house leasehold for £400,000 from Taylor Wimpey in 2010.

They were told about the £295 annual ground rent, which would double every ten years, but were given assurances they would be able to buy the freehold for £5,000.

But less than two years later the developer sold the freehold to an offshore company.

The couple – who have a son, 18, and daughter, nine – were not notified or given the right of first refusal on the freehold – a right flat leaseholders have but house leaseholders do not, due to a legal loophole.

They have since been given a quote of between £23,000 and £33,000 to buy their home in Lostock, Bolton, outright.

They have been offered an RPI-linked ground rent contract by Taylor Wimpey but say this would still mean paying £10,000 to buy the freehold.

Mrs Darbyshire, right, says: ‘There’s no end in sight. People say to me you should have read the small print but none of these things were in there.’

Andrea Harris bought a three-bedroom terraced house from Taylor Wimpey – but says she wasn’t told about ground rent.

The 39-year-old purchased the property for £160,000 with her former partner in 2008.

However, she was then hit with an annual ground rent bill of £200, which doubled to £400 last year. In another ten years it could double again to £800. Miss Harris, who lives in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, now says she cannot sell the house and cannot afford to pay down the mortgage or buy the freehold.

She says she is stuck making mortgage interest payments on a home she fears she’ll never be able to pass on to her daughter Gabriella, eight, pictured left with her mother.

Miss Harris said: ‘I wanted this to be a family home that I could pass on … but now I will never be able to do that.

‘The Government isn’t doing anything to help people like me – we’re still stuck with crippling ground rents every year.’

Home Secretary Sajid Javid vowed when he held the housing portfolio to outlaw the use of leaseholds on newly-built homes in December 2017, branding the practice ‘feudal’.

But more than a year later, campaigners say those trapped in toxic contracts are no closer to escaping them.

Despite many leaseholders claiming they were not made aware of the full terms of their contracts, and suggestions it was similar to the PPI scandal, Mrs Wheeler said she did not agree it was an example of mis-selling.

The 59-year-old, who owns her constituency home in Burton-on-Trent outright according to the Land Registry, previously sparked controversy when she tweeted that the ‘British Empire’ came first with 396 medals in the Rio Olympics, referring to Britain and countries that were formerly its colonies.

Mrs Wheeler told MPs the comparison to PPI was difficult ‘because in effect with PPI you were sold something you really didn’t need, whereas this is completely different’. 

She added: ‘There is a contract, there was legal advice but perhaps people are caught up in the moment because it is their first purchase and it is incredibly exciting.’

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She said the Government was waiting on the outcome of two reviews, one by the Law Commission and another by Lord Best, related to leaseholds.

But campaigners say neither of these are likely to help those already trapped in unfair deals.

An inquiry is being carried out separately by MPs on the Commons housing committee.


What is a leasehold property?

When a home is sold as leasehold, the buyer owns only the house itself. The freeholder owns the land, meaning the buyer has to pay ground rent each year. They may also have to pay to make changes to the property. Ownership returns to the freeholder when the lease comes to an end.

Why is this a problem?

Leaseholds have been used for many years with the freeholder charging small ground rents. But developers saw this as a way to make money and many set rents quite high – at £200 to £400 a year – and some have doubled every decade.

Can families buy their freehold?

Sometimes. But, in some instances, the freeholder sells it to a third party who then charges a sky-high fee to sell it on to the leaseholder.

Why don’t sell up?

Many find their homes almost unsellable as some lenders will not grant mortgages against homes with excessive ground rents. Potential buyers may also fear the prospect of rents doubling.

How many are affected?

The Government says there are about 1.4million leasehold houses in England. The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership estimates that 100,000 of these are affected by onerous ground rents.

So what is the Government doing?

It has proposed a ban on the future sale of newly-built houses with leases. It has also encouraged freeholders to soften the terms of lease contracts to current owners. But this is purely voluntary and campaigners say it is not enough.

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Jayme Closs’ relative was ‘not prepared’ for horrifying murder details

‘I wanted to know. I had to know — to give myself some closure’: Jayme Closs’ relative says she was ‘not prepared’ to learn horrifying details of the murder-kidnapping

  • Jodie Arnold, the cousin of Jayme’s mother Denise Closs, spoke out as details continue to emerge about the night of October 15, 2018
  • Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, has allegedly confessed to the killings of Denise and James Closs and the kidnapping of their 13-year-old daughter
  • Arnold said she was horrified to learn that Denise spent her final moment in fear
  • She said: ‘I wanted to know. I had to know — to give myself some closure’  

As new details continue to emerge in the gruesome kidnapping of Jayme Closs, a relative of the 13-year-old says she was ‘not prepared’ to learn the truth.   

Countless questions weighed on Jodie Arnold’s mind in the months after the bodies of Denise, her cousin, and James Closs were found shot to death and their daughter went missing on October 15, 2018 in Barron, Wisconsin. 

Now that Jayme has returned home and her alleged captor, 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson, is behind bars, Arnold is finding that the reality is far worse than she could have imagined. 

‘I was not prepared,’ she told People. 

As new details continue to emerge in the gruesome kidnapping of Jayme Closs, a relative of the 13-year-old’s mother Denise Closs (left) has said she was ‘not prepared’ to learn the truth. Jodie Arnold spent the almost-three months that Jayme was missing wondering what had occurred on the night of October 15, when Denise and her husband James (right) were found shot dead at their home, and their daughter was nowhere to be found. Now that Jayme has returned home and her alleged captor is behind bars, those questions are being answered 

Jayme finally returned home to Barron, Wisconsin, after escaping from her captor’s lair on January 10, nearly three months after she witnessed her parents’ murder before being abducted in a case that gripped the nation. Pictured with relatives after her rescue, Jayme is recovering from the traumatic abduction and will live permanently with her aunt in Barron

Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, was arrested on January 10 and has confessed to the murders and kidnapping. He is seen above during his first court appearance on Monday

The criminal complaint filed against Patterson details his confession to cops that he decided Jayme was ‘the girl he was going to take’ after a change sighting of her getting on the school bus when it stopped in front of him as he drove to work.    

On the night of October 15, he stole his father’s shotgun, donned a balaclava face mask and two pairs of gloves and drove to the home to carry out his plan.  

As he approached the front door under cover of darkness, Patterson saw Jayme’s father, James, standing in the large window.

Jayme told detectives that she had been woken by her dog Molly barking and noticed somebody coming up the driveway when she went to investigate.

She woke her parents and her father ‘went to the door to see what was going on.’

Patterson claimed that he yelled at James Closs to get on the ground but that he ‘kept shining a flashlight and looking outside’ while pounding on the door. Peering through the window, James Closs asked to see his badge – assuming he was law enforcement.

In that moment, Patterson said, he raised his shotgun, pointed it at James Closs’ head and pulled the trigger. James is described in the complaint as having ‘significant trauma to his face and head.’ 

After hearing the gunshots, Denise Closs called the police and took her daughter into the bathroom to hide. 

Arnold said she had long hoped that her cousin’s death was quick, perhaps while she was sleeping. 

She was horrified to learn that the 46-year-old spent her final moments in undeniable terror as she prayed that she and her daughter wouldn’t be discovered. 

Patterson allegedly told investigators that he decided Jayme was ‘the girl he was going to take’ after a change sighting of her getting on the school bus when it stopped in front of him as he drove to work. On the night of October 15, he stole his father’s shotgun, donned a balaclava face mask and two pairs of gloves and drove to the home (above) to carry out his plan. 

A massive manhunt was launched after police arrived at the Closs home four minutes after Denise called 911 and found the Jayme had disappeared

In a terrifying scene, Patterson shoved the bathroom door open and tore down the shower curtain, taking the rod with it and found Denise ‘with her arms wrapped around Jayme in a bear hug’.

Patterson told Denise to place black duct tape over her daughter’s mouth but when she ‘struggled to do that’ he put down his shotgun, took back the tape and wrapped it around Jayme’s mouth and head. 

He made the teen stand up while he ‘took and placed [tape] around her wrists, with her palms together to restrain her hands and arms.’

Patterson then taped her ankles, removed her from the tub and, as she stood beside him, he took aim at her mother’s head and pulled the trigger.  

‘Denise’s last thoughts were probably: “My daughter is next,”‘ Arnold said. ‘It makes me so heartbroken. It just wrecks me…

‘When somebody dies, it just feels a million times worse when their last thoughts are of utter despair and terror. I had been hoping it had happened so fast that it wasn’t time for her understand.’

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 Jayme’s face was plastered on billboards across Wisconsin as the desperate search dragged on

Arnold has been haunted by the gruesome, blood and brain-spattered scene described in the criminal complaint in the week since it was released. The gunshot to the head left Denise ‘with the rear backside of her head and skull plate completely removed and lying next to her body in the bathtub’.

‘I wanted to know. I had to know — to give myself some closure. Unfortunately, with some closure came a whole new level of terror for me as a mom,’ Arnold said.   

‘I lock my doors at night, but that’s not good enough if somebody wants in,’ she continued. ‘[Denise] did everything she could. They were barricaded in the bathroom hiding.

‘When you’re in your house, you do feel safe. That guy had a mission and there was nothing stopping that. Mothers everywhere, are feeling extra protective of their kids.’ 

She also pointed out the grim reality that even if she laid down her life to protect her own children, as Denise and James did, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be safe. 

‘Yes, I will die for my kids, but then you realize that doesn’t mean my kids are going to be okay,’ she said.

Jayme was found at the Eau Claire Acres estate near the town of Gordon, which is about 70 miles away from her home in Barron where she was abducted

The image above shows the cabin in rural Wisconsin where Patterson allegedly held Jayme

After the cold-blooded murders, Patterson threw Jayme in the trunk of his car and drove her to his come in Gordon, Wisconsin, about 70 miles away. 

For nearly three months he kept her in a space under his twin-sized bed and concealed her from view. She tried to escape at least twice, leading Patterson to throw a tantrum, hitting the wall and screaming to make her fearful to try to leave again. 

On the day of her escape he told her he was leaving for a few hours. She stumbled out of the home on Thursday January 10 and approached a woman walking her dog in Eau Claire Acres in Gordon telling her she was kidnapped and her abductor killed her parents. The woman took her to a neighbor’s house where they called police.

Patterson was arrested the same day and charged with two counts of first-degree homicide, one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary, according to the complaint. He is being held at Barron County Jail.

Arnold watched his court Monday court appearance on the news. She said: ‘That was hard — just to see this guy. You feel like it’s happening all over again.’    

Patterson was arrested the same day and charged with two counts of first-degree homicide, one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary, according to the complaint. He is being held at Barron County Jail

Jayme is now living with her aunt Jennifer Smith (pictured together) in Barron 

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‘He’s not far off’: Finch out of luck as well as form, says Langer

Aaron Finch just needs a slice of luck to end his extended form slump, Australian coach Justin Langer says.

Finch's international summer of woe continued in Australia's six-wicket, one-day loss to India in Adelaide on Tuesday.

Aaron Finch is bowled by India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar.Credit:AP

The Australia captain made just six – the same score he managed in the series opener. And for the fifth time in his past eight ODIs, he was bowled.

Finch's run of outs followed being dropped from Australia's Test team after scoring 97 runs at an average of 16.16 in the first three Tests of the recent series against India.

And he also battled in the ODI series last November against South Africa when making only 57 runs in three games.

Langer says Finch is not just down on form, but also down on luck.

"He's not far off. He's working so hard on it," Langer said.

"He just needs a few breaks. Every now and then you need a little break, and he'll be away again."

Langer said Finch was a rare breed of Australian cricketer in that he had been playing all three formats – Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20s.

"There's not a lot of players who play all three forms of the game now," he said.

"This is brand new territory for him, he's playing all three forms of the game.

"He is also captain of the white-ball teams, playing Test cricket – he won't be far off, when he gets going, he scores hundreds."


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Not Again! Demi Lovato’s Boyfriend Henry Hit With Lawsuit For Refusing To Pay $310K

The trouble continues for Demi Lovato’s bad news boyfriend. can exclusively reveal Henry Levy has been hit with yet another lawsuit for breach of contract, accusing him of refusing to pay for the Plaintiff’s services.

In court papers obtained from Ventura County Superior Court, Bibby Financial Services, which is a company that purchases accounts from businesses, sued Levy and his clothing company Enfants Riches Déprimés on May 17, 2018.

On March 16, 2018, the Plaintiff and Defendant entered into a written Master Purchase and Sale Agreement. The Plaintiff agreed to purchase accounts from Enfants Riches Déprimés.


“During the course of collecting on its assigned accounts, Plaintiff discovered that ERD was contacting its Account Debtors, instructing them not to pay Plaintiff, re-directing payments to itself, collecting and retaining payments from its account Debtors, and failing to remit the collected payments to Plaintiff,” the complaint alleged.

The Plaintiff is demanding ERD “cease and desist” such actions and return all payments to Plaintiff, as the Defendants have refused.

The Plaintiff claims to be damaged in the amount of over $310,280.74.

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In Levy’s response filed on July 23, 2018, he claimed the complaint “fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against Defendants.”

He then claimed he did not consent to the “alleged” contract.

“The damages alleged in the complaint were directly and proximately caused by the negligence, carelessness, fault, recklessness, lack of due care, breach of contract, deceit, fraud and other conduct, of third parties, employees, servant or contractors, for which Defendants are not responsible,” the answer read.

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Levy then filed a cross-complaint against ex-employee Brendan Thompson on August 23, 2018, who served as Chief Financial Officer. He claimed he had power of attorney over his personal banking accounts.

“Based on information and belief… Thompson knowingly misrepresented to Bibby that he has authority to bind ERD to a Master Purchase and Sale Agreement, and in fact executed a MPSA with Bibby, despite not being provided with authority to do so by ERD or its sole owner, Levy,” the counter-claim read.

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Levy claims to have never signed the MPSA, while Thompson’s name and signature is provided. He also claimed he never provided Thompson with the authority to enter agreements.

As Radar has extensively reported, Thompson sued Levy in a Los Angeles County lawsuit on July 25, 2018. He accused him of drug use, fraud, failure to pay over time wages, racist remarks, defamation and more.

In Thompson’s amended complaint filed on December 14, 2018, he accused him of being involved in an “illegal course of conduct.”

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“The conduct involved stealing money from family, friends, clients, vendors and various third parties, by authorizing and performing fraudulent credit card transactions,” the amended complaint read.

Thompson claimed Levy did it to generate false sales for the clothing company to “pay off his personal bills.”

“His intent was to fund a lavish lifestyle on other people’s money,” the filing read.

Thompson is asking for $5,000,000 in general damages.

Lovato has been inseparable from Levy since checking out of rehab. The songstress completed a 90-day stint in rehab after a near-fatal overdose.

Levy has struggled with drug use as well, as he went to multiple treatment centers for drug abuse since he was 15.

The couple was first spotted holding hands on November 10.

Stay with Radar for more on Levy’s legal troubles.

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New York Times apologizes for including racial slur in crossword puzzle: 'It is simply not acceptable'

Former New York Times editor slams publication as being unmistakably anti-Trump, younger employees throw out standards

Host of ‘Mediabuzz’ Howard Kurtz says the New York Times’s credibility has been hurt.

The New York Times apologized for including a racial slur “beaner” in crossword puzzle on Tuesday, as the editor responsible said his staff lives in "rarefied circles” and was therefore oblivious that the word is considered offensive.

“Beaner” is often used as a derogatory slur for people of Mexican descent. The term has been used in pop culture, including the 1980 film “Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie.”

The clue in Tuesday’s puzzle was “Pitch to the head, informally.”

"Tuesday’s Crossword puzzle included an entry that was offensive and hurtful. It is simply not acceptable in The New York Times Crossword and we apologize for including it," a Times spokesperson told Fox News.

Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz took to Twitter with an explanation of how the situation unfolded and why the slur was included in the puzzle.

“I am very sorry for the distraction about BEANER (2D) in today’s fine puzzle by Gary Cee,” Shortz wrote. “Neither Joel nor I had ever heard this slur before – and I don’t know anyone who would use it. Maybe we lived in rarefied circles.”

Shortz continued: In researching this puzzle, we discovered the other meaning of the word as a slur… My feeling, rightly or wrongly, is that any benign meaning of a word is fair game for a crossword.

The editor then used the word “chink” as an example, noting that it’s “benign in the sense as a chink in one’s armor.”

Shortz then declared that he might need to rethink his opinion on including words that can be considered slurs but also have a benign definition “if enough solvers are bothered.”

“I want your focus to be on the puzzle rather than being distracted by side issues. But I assure you this viewpoint is expressed with a pure heart,” he wrote. Meanwhile, for any solver who was offended by 2-Down in today’s puzzle, I apologize.”

The apology was quickly mocked on Twitter, as some users didn’t feel it came off as sincere.

“It's not a good look for the NYTimes when someone points out an obviously offensive puzzle answer prior to publication and the editor's reaction is, ‘Meh. I've never been offended by that word, so I'll let the answer stand.’ I think you guys can do better,” one user responded.

Another wrote, “I didn't know what this was, but when I googled it, the slur was the very first entry, a dictionary definition. The vast majority of results were the slur. No idea what the legitimate use of the word is.”

Back in 2005, the Washington Post examined the history of the word “beaner” when comedian Carlos Mencia was under fire for casually using it. The paper noted that it stems from the term "bean-eater" and noted that it’s typically “used mostly in crude anti-Mexican diatribes about immigrants, illegal and otherwise.”

Ethnic studies professor at the University of California, Riverside Armando Navarro told the Post, "It's a derogatory word. No, let me amend that. It's a racist word.’

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'He Didn't Have To Die!' Tinder Attacker's Dad Claims 'Gentle' Son Should Not Have Been Tased 6 Times

Erich Stelzer may have stabbed his Tinder date in a horrific rampage, but he didn’t have to die, the YouTube star’s father told in an exclusive interview.

The bodybuilder’s grieving father Harry Stelzer claimed police used excessive force on his 25-year-old son, who was tased in his Massachusetts home following his December 27 assault on Maegan Taply.

“He shouldn’t have died,” Harry insisted. “He was tased six times. Six times!”

“The police are protecting themselves and that’s what they do. We understand that. But my son was in there alive, and 15 minutes later, he was dead.”

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After the tasing, Erich became unresponsive and died en route to the hospital. However, his 24-year-old victim survived the attack.

Though Harry is devastated over the loss of his son, he says is “glad” Maegan is recovering.

“I’m glad she’s home. I’m glad she’s safe,’ he said.

According to a family attorney, Erich’s loved ones tried to get him help for paranoia and delusions before his death.

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I know my son, and I knew he was having trouble. We tried a lot of things,” Harry added.

“But I know him…He is not an evil kid.”

“He was a 6’4″ gentle giant, non-confrontational. He would walk out of places. He would walk away from confrontation.”

Despite what he may have done, Harry said he stands by his late son.

“Even if he was Charles Manson, I would protect him,” he insisted. “I mean he is my son and that’s what you’re supposed to do.

An autopsy for Erich is underway, and the death is under investigation.

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