Head coaches that began no wins through seven games, 1970-2015 1976John McKayBuccaneersYear 2944-88-133.5 2001Marty MornhinwegLions1325-2715.6 2009Raheem MorrisBuccaneers8317-3135.4 1984Hugh CampbellOilers1128-2226.7 YEARCOACHTEAMFIRST WIN IN GAME…SEASONS AS HEAD COACHRECORDWIN % 1979Bill Walsh49ers81092-59-160.9 1978Bud WilkinsonCardinals929-2031.0 Raheem Morris’s tenure in Tampa Bay is mostly remembered for how badly it ended, but it didn’t start off well, either. In 2009, his first season with the Bucs, the team started 0-7. Tampa Bay finished 3-13 and went 4-12 in 2011, the campaign that cost Morris his job. Those two terrible years were sandwiched around a surprising 10-6 season. 1971Harvey JohnsonBills1111-137.1 Although the recent examples are pretty ugly — and caution against giving any unsuccessful head coach too long of a leash — there are two inspiring names on the list for Browns fans.The late ‘80s Cowboys were a mess, just like the current Browns. In 1988, Dallas went 3-13, and replaced legendary head coach Tom Landry with Jimmy Johnson. The Cowboys went 1-15 in Johnson’s rookie season, with the sole victory coming in Washington in Week nine. Johnson quickly turned around the Cowboys in part because of his ability to accumulate high draft picks, a strategy that Jackson’s Browns are currently employing.Those Cowboys have been the blueprint for preaching patience in coaching, particularly when a coach takes over a bad team. Dallas went 36 straight games from 1988 to 1990 as underdogs; Johnson’s Cowboys weren’t favored to win a game until the 30th game of his coaching tenure. And this year’s Browns have been underdogs in every game this season, a sign of the poor roster Jackson is coaching.2Of course, Bradley’s Jaguars had a similar story: They weren’t favored until his 31st game. Inheriting a terrible roster sometimes means a team has to get worse before it can get better, and that’s exactly what happened in Dallas: The Cowboys went 1-15, 7-9, 11-5, 13-3 and 12-4 in Johnson’s five seasons with the team, with those last two campaigns ending in Super Bowl championships. 3Dallas also won another Super Bowl two years later, with Barry Switzer as head coach.And then there is Bill Walsh, the legendary 49ers coach who won three Super Bowls during his decade with the team. He inherited a San Francisco roster that was low on talent: The team sunk to 2-14 in 1978, and was without a first round pick in 1979 (which turned out to be the first overall pick) after trading those rights to Buffalo for O.J. Simpson the previous year.San Francisco went 0-7 out of the gate in 1979 under Walsh, eventually finishing 2-14. And the 49ers improved to only 6-10 in 1980, before Walsh’s influence on the team began to take hold. From 1981 to 1988, San Francisco won over 70 percent of its games, the best mark in the NFL, and won three Super Bowls. And as with Johnson, the fruits of his work yielded additional success after he left, with the 49ers winning a fourth Super Bowl in 1989 and a fifth in 1994.For Jackson and the new Browns regime, expectations were very low entering the season. That makes it impossible to know whether this 0-7 start is more like a Bradley or Gailey 0-7, or a Johnson or Walsh 0-7. The likely reality is that many of the players responsible for the next great (or even good) Browns team aren’t currently on the roster. Johnson and Walsh selected Hall of Fame quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Joe Montana in their first drafts, which laid the groundwork for the success years later. But that franchise quarterback is probably not on the current roster for Cleveland, with the team expected to take one early in the 2017 draft. That means, at this point, Cleveland sports fans anxious to figure out whether Jackson will be the league’s next great coach will have to wait. Fortunately for Cleveland fans, they still have the Indians and the Cavs.CORRECTION (Oct 28 6:55 p.m. EDT): A table in an earlier version of this article contained several errors. Six coaches were incorrectly included in the chart and have been removed: Rick Venturi, Ron Meyer, Chuck Studley, Dick Stanfel, Homer Rice, and John McVay. Two coaches who should have been included have been added: John McKay and Frank Kush. Bud Wilkinson coached two seasons with the Cardinals, not one, and compiled a 9-20 record, not a 6-10 record. Forrest Gregg coached three seasons with the Browns, not two, and compiled an 18-23 record, not a 12-16 record. Harvey Johnson coached only one season with the Bills after 1970, not two (though he did coach in 1968). Chan Gailey, like Jackson, was hired to cure an anemic offense. The 2009 Bills ranked 29th in offensive DVOA, prompting the hiring of Gailey, a coach with a long history on that side of the ball. Buffalo started the 2010 season 0-8 before Gailey got his first win; he lasted three years in Buffalo and went 16-32. 1982Frank KushColtsYear 2311-28-128.8 2009Steve SpagnuoloRams8310-3820.8 2007Cam CameronDolphins1411-156.3 2013Gus BradleyJaguars9414-4125.5% 2010Chan GaileyBills9316-3233.3 1975Forrest GreggBrowns10318-2343.9 1999Chris PalmerBrowns825-2715.6 1989Jimmy JohnsonCowboys9544-3655.0 Cam Cameron was hired to fix the Miami offense. In 2006, the Dolphins ranked 29th in scoring, so Miami hired Cameron, the offensive coordinator of the No. 1 scoring offense in the NFL (San Diego), to change things. But Cameron went 1-15 in his lone season as the Dolphins head coach, winning his only game in overtime in Week 15.The table below shows the 16 head coaches from 1970 to 2015 that began their tenure without a win through seven games. For Bradley, the only active head coach on the list, the data is current through Thursday night’s game. Steve Spagnuolo was hired by a St. Louis Rams team that went 2-14 in 2008; the former Giants defensive coordinator somehow oversaw a decline as St. Louis went 1-15 in 2009, with the lone win coming against the 2-14 Lions. Spagnuolo went 10-38 (.208) in three years with the Rams and had one of the worst coaching tenures in league history. If good things are supposed to come in threes, nobody told the Cleveland Browns. This year, the Cavaliers won the NBA championship in remarkable fashion, and the Indians are currently playing in the World Series. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s other major professional sports team is 0-7, the last remaining winless team in the 2016 NFL season.The Browns hired Hue Jackson to lead the team’s latest rebuilding effort in a move that was regarded as one of the best coaching hires of the offseason. In an offseason in which the Browns also brought in Paul DePodesta as chief strategy officer to turn the franchise around, it seemed like Cleveland had its coach of the future. But Jackson is now just the 17th coach since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to fail to win a game in his team’s first seven contests.The most recent examples are not going to inspire confidence and hope for Cleveland fans:Gus Bradley, like Jackson, inherited a terrible roster. The Jaguars went 2-14 in 2012 1The Browns went 3-13 last season. before hiring Bradley, who won his first game in Jacksonville’s ninth game of the season. After another ugly loss Thursday night, Bradley’s record with the Jaguars stands at just 14-41 (0.255). Source: pro-football-reference.com 1985Leeman BennettBuccaneers1024-2812.5
Of all the gifts Jack Nicklaus has given to the fans of golf, there’s still one that keeps on giving.In its 35th year, the Memorial Tournament is one of the gems of the PGA Tour season. Though it is not a major, it’s widely regarded as one of the best of the rest of the tournaments.“The Memorial is always mentioned as it feels like a major championship because of the international field and because of how the golf course sets up,” said Tom Sprouse, director of communications for the Memorial Tournament.Nicklaus, who is renowned for his skills in golf course design, designed Muirfield Village Golf Club in 1974 with the intent to create a golf tournament much in the style of the Masters.Muirfield was one of the first golf courses designed with the spectator in mind. With his use of mounds and amphitheaters, Nicklaus accomplished one of his long time dreams of creating a challenging golf tournament that both the players and the fans could enjoy. “Growing up I always used to watch the Memorial Tournament, which is his tournament, and it really inspired me to want to play golf,” said Bo Hoag, an All-American golfer for the Ohio State men’s golf team.Muirfield is ranked No. 19 in Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses in 2009-2010, and the No. 1 golf course in Ohio.“I thank him every time I see him for building Muirfield,” said three-time Memorial Tournament Champion Kenny Perry about Nicklaus.Nicklaus was meticulous in making sure that his course was in peak condition for this weekend.“The golf course is really good. Perfect, basically. I came here — I played Saturday and Sunday, two days in a row. That is a lot of golf for me,” Nicklaus said. “The golf course, I couldn’t find anything. I went along and I found a little bit of material that came up slightly on a bridge, so we fixed that.”With nine of the top 10 players on the PGA Tour’s money list set to compete at the Memorial this weekend, Nicklaus is anticipating another exciting tournament at the course he calls home.“Obviously the field is good. Obviously the World’s No. 1 and 2 are here. Every year we always have a good field. This year shouldn’t be any different,” Nicklaus said.The Memorial Tournament has crowned a who’s who of golfers as its champion, including Tiger Woods, Tom Watson and Nicklaus himself.Nicklaus actually held the course record for five years with a 6-under par round of 66, which he shot the very day the course opened in May of 1974.Despite great talent across the board, Nicklaus noted one sub-plot of the tournament that he will be keeping his eye on.“I think it’s probably interesting that Tiger and Phil are sort of battling for No. 1 at this point in time,” Nicklaus said. “That should be interesting here. Obviously Tiger has played better than Phil has here, but Phil has played well here.”Woods, the only four-time winner of the tournament, will return to defend his 2009 Memorial win in his first tournament since leaving the Players Championship with a neck injury earlier this month.
It normally spells doom for Ohio State when Deshaun Thomas struggles from the field, but Aaron Craft was there to pick up his slack against Michigan State Sunday – and then some. Craft sliced through the MSU defense and made a routine of getting to the rim on his way to 21 points (17 of which came in the second half) to help the Buckeyes secure a rare win against a ranked opponent. The junior guard shot 7-of-12 from the field and also dished out six assists in the 68-60 OSU victory. “(During the) second half he tore us apart,” Spartan coach Tom Izzo said of Craft’s performance. “He beat us every way you could beat us.” The win was OSU’s (20-7, 10-5) second in nine attempts against ranked teams this season and could prove to be valuable to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume. “This time of the year, we need to get something rolling,” Craft said. “The biggest thing is that we got a win against a great opponent. It doesn’t matter who scores, all that matters is that our team has more points at the end of the game. Hopefully, we can continue this going forward.” The Spartans (22-6, 11-4) led by six at halftime and nine early in the second half, but three 3-pointers, including two from Thomas, and a three-point play from sophomore center Amir Williams fueled an 18-4 OSU run that gave the Buckeyes a 45-40 lead it would never relinquish. Thomas, a junior forward, finished the game with 14 points on 4-of-16 shooting and added seven rebounds. “We made some shots,” said OSU coach Thad Matta. “I told my players at halftime we had some great looks, but we have to put the ball in the basket. Defensively, we challenged Michigan State to defend us.” OSU capitalized defensively too, forcing the Spartans into 14 turnovers that the Buckeyes turned into 19 points. MSU’s gameplan was clear from the get-go. Izzo’s squad fed the ball into the post early and often and MSU’s big men were able to capitalize. Junior forward Adreian Payne scored 12 points and grabbed 15 boards while senior forward Derrick Nix added 12 points and six boards of his own. MSU’s first 10 points of the game came in the paint and by halftime, the Spartans scored 24 points inside the key. But OSU’s senior forward Evan Ravenel was able to mitigate the damage as he scored 10 points of his own and was a physical presence defensively inside. “I know Payne and Nix were the focus of the Michigan State offense today,” said Ravenel, who was wearing an ice pack on his right wrist after the game for what he called a minor injury. “They were killing us on the boards. My drive to win the game and be physical was what drove me today to do what I needed to do for my team.” The win caps a successful week for OSU. Following a 22-point loss to Wisconsin that was OSU’s worst defeat since 2009, OSU beat Minnesota by 26 points Wednesday. “We came off our loss against Wisconsin and knew we had to win,” Thomas said. “When we become a defensive team, we put ourselves in the best position to win.” The Buckeyes sit in fifth place in the Big Ten and 2.5 games back of first-place Indiana. OSU next plays Thursday against Northwestern in Evanston, Ill. Tip is set for 7 p.m.
Ohio State freshman forward Joshua Jackson-Ketchup (9) takes the ball downfield during the Ohio State- BGSU game on Sep. 22. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorTwo goals proved insufficient for both teams as the No. 16 Ohio State men’s soccer team (7-1-1, 3-0-0 Big Ten) tied Detroit Mercy (5-2-2, 2-1 Horizon) 2-2 Tuesday night at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.The tie ends the Buckeyes’ win streak at six games and their consecutive shutout streak, which now is the all-time school record at six games. Bluem said he wasn’t overly concerned about the shutout streak coming to an end.“Maybe we were a little too uptight about that,” Bluem said. “Well we don’t have to worry about that now. Now we start a new streak.”The team may have avoided a loss, but Ohio State head coach John Bluem was not happy with the team’s effort.“For me it wasn’t a good soccer game,” Bluem said. “There wasn’t really much soccer played, it was up and down, way too many fouls, I think there was 36 fouls in the game. It’s difficult to play in an environment like that. I think that’s how Detroit wanted the game to be and for us we weren’t able to control the game.”The Buckeyes scored their two goals before the 20th minute, the first coming in the 10th minute off the foot of junior midfielder Abdi Mohamed, assisted on by forward Nate Kohl and defender Kevin Blackwood. The next goal came eight minutes later in the 18th minutes as midfielder Brady Blackwell buried the ball in the net with assists from Kohl and forward Joshua Jackson-Ketchup to give the Buckeyes the 2-0 lead.It was during the 33rd minute when the Buckeyes started to lose their momentum as the Titans’ leading scorer Spiro Pliakos buried his seventh goal of the season, jump-starting the comeback.The tying goal came on a rebound off goalie Parker Siegfried’s hands into the foot of forward Aleks Vushaj in the 64th minute.Bluem took some of the responsibility for the loss of momentum, but also acknowledged that his team lacked consistency throughout the game.“I substituted a little bit too early maybe, when we had the 2-0 lead maybe I should’ve kept that first group on the field that was playing well and see if we could push and get a third goal, so I’ll take responsibility for that,” Bluem said. “But what I think happened their team outcompeted us during stretches of the game and that hasn’t happened to us too much this year. We really have been a team that fights hard for 90 minutes and it wasn’t there tonight. It’s been a long stretch and we’ve played very well over that stretch and today we didn’t have our best game.”The game lasted through two overtimes, but the teams managed only two shots apiece over the combined 20 minutes of play, ending the game in a tie.Though his team saw both the win and shutout streak go by the wayside, Mohamed said a tie should not distract them from the upcoming schedule that includes Big Ten opponents in four of the next six games.“Eventually we were going to get scored on, it’s good to do it now and see how we react to it, so we’ll be ready for October and the challenges to come ahead,” Mohamed said. “We were looking to win, keep the streak going, but now it’s time to regroup and turn our heads to Michigan State.”The Buckeyes will travel to East Lansing, Michigan, to take on conference opponent Michigan State Sunday at 3 p.m.
Ohio State senior guard Kelsey Mitchell takes a shot during the Buckeyes’ game against Washington on Nov. 19. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorThe No. 9 Ohio State women’s basketball team (6-1) cruised to a 104-62 victory against Florida Gulf Coast (6-1) behind senior guard Kelsey Mitchell’s 34-point performance in the second round of the Play4Kay Showcase on Thursday in Las Vegas.On her fourth triple of the game, she passed Connecticut’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis to become the Division I all-time leader in career 3-pointers made. She went 11-for-15 from the field and hit 7-of-11 3-pointers. Ohio State had no issue scoring and jumped out to an early 32-9 lead after the opening quarter. It made 58 percent of its shots and Florida Gulf Coast converted just 35 percent of its shot attempts.That discrepancy extended beyond the 3-point line. The Buckeyes hit 14-of-24 shots from beyond the arc. The Eagles also made 14 3s, but attempted 42 triples.The Buckeyes dominated the glass for the second game in a row, though no player had more than six boards. Ohio State held a 47-29 rebounding advantage and scored 42 points in the paint, while the Eagles had just 16 points in the paint. Ohio State forward Stephanie Mavunga added 14 points, and guards Linnae Harper and Asia Doss dropped 17 and 10 points, respectively. Doss led the game and set a career-high with eight assists and zero turnovers.Forward Rosemarie Julien and guard Taylor Gradinjan each scored a team-leading 15 points for Florida Gulf Coast.The Buckeyes will take on the winner of Stanford and Belmont in the finals of the tournament at 11 p.m. Saturday night. In the first round on Thursday, Ohio State beat Memphis 100-69.
The number of British people defining themselves as “bisexual” has jumped by 45 per cent in just three years, according new official estimates.For the first time, more young people in the UK describe themselves as bisexual than gay or lesbian combined, the figures from the Office for National Statistics show.It is the latest evidence pointing to a shift in attitudes towards sexuality, with increasing numbers viewing their own position as somewhere on a spectrum rather than it being a black-or-white question.A survey by YouGov published last year found that half of young people, and almost a quarter of the population overall, define themselves as something other than 100 per cent heterosexual. In 2015, 2.6% of Londoners identified themselves as Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual, the highest of any English region https://t.co/6FPv44bvCk— ONS (@ONS) October 5, 2016 Benjamin Cohen, chief executive of the LGBTI publisher PinkNews, said: “More and more young people are willing to admit that their sexual orientation fluctuates; that they can be attracted to someone of the same sex or someone of the opposite sex and that there is no inherent contradiction in that. More and more young people are willing to admit that their sexual orientation fluctuatesBenjamin Cohen, chief executive, PinkNews Altogether 6.2 per cent, or 3.3 million people if the proportion was repeated across the whole population over the age of 16, identified themselves as something other than heterosexual.Significantly, however, the figures also show a marked divide between generations on the question of sexuality with bisexual identity overtaking the labels of gay or lesbian among under 25s.Overall 1.8 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds said they were bisexual, up from 1.3 per cent a year earlier. That compares with 1.5 per cent who said they were gay or lesbian. The overall numbers identified by the official estimates are still very small.Just 1.7 per cent of the population identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual in the ONS’s Annual Population Survey (APS) – although LGBT groups have long argued that official research, by its very nature, is likely to significantly underestimate the true level.Nevertheless, the ONS said the 45 per cent rise was clearly statistically significant.Overall it estimates that the number of people in the UK openly identifying as bisexual jumped from 230,000 in 2012 to 334,000 at the time of the most recent population survey carried out last year.By contrast, the number defined as gay or lesbian rose by a more modest 8.3 per cent in that time to 586,000.A further 206,000 were classed as “other” and the equivalent of 2.2 million refused to answer or said they did not know their sexual identity. The bisexual Paul Denton in Rules of Attraction (2002) “To some that may mean they label themselves as bisexual or as pansexual.“Twenty years ago people might have had those feelings but wouldn’t have acted upon them, they might have liked someone but just ignored it.“Now, because of the changing society, if you are attracted to someone you can take action.“I think that there are also a lot of quite well known celebrities who are identifying in this way, people like Miley Cyrus have described themselves as pansexual.“Those people, who are role models to young people, give them the confidence to label themselves in that way.”Pamela Cobb, an ONS statistician specialising in population, said: “In 2015, the majority (93.7 per cent) of the UK population identified themselves as heterosexual or straight, with 1.7 per cent identifying as LGB, the remainder either identifying as ‘other’, ‘don’t know’ or refusing to respond.“Young adults (16 to 24-year-olds) are more likely to identify as LGB compared with older age groups, and a higher proportion of males identify as LGB than females.” 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.
The teenager had threatened to kill the mother-of-two in social media posts and had told friends he also planned to murder his head of year and another teacher and her unborn baby.This month, an investigation into her death by the Leeds Safeguarding Children Board (LCSB) was criticised by Mr Maguire – who has called for a serious case review into his wife’s death.He told the Victoria Derbyshire programme the “disappointing” review left no-one better informed about what had happened and was a “massively missed opportunity to learn lessons”. Mr Maguire said: “This shouldn’t be about trying to make everything seem okay and hoping it doesn’t happen again.“They’re going through all this time and expense to find partial answers to these questions. If we really want to learn and protect teachers and pupils we have to know every detail of this case.“For a teacher to be murdered by a pupil in a classroom in the UK means it should be treated in the most serious of manners. We have a duty as a nation to find out as much as we possibly can because its only then we know we have learned the lessonsMr Maguire Mrs Maguire was killed in the classroom at the school where she had taught for more than 40 yearsCredit: PA Lives are at risk in British schools, said the husband of murdered teacher Ann Maguire as he criticised a review into her death.Don Maguire told the BBC he felt the “bare minimum” had been done in producing a report that found her death could not have been predicted or pre-empted.And he said until all the circumstances which led to Mrs Maguire’s death are known, it will not be possible to protect teachers and pupils.Mrs Maguire, 61, was stabbed during a Spanish lesson at Corpus Christi Catholic College, in Leeds, by student Will Cornick. “These kinds of learning lessons reviews are always done when terrible events happen, and the departments always say it could have been prevented but not predicted. It feels like they’ve done the bare minimum.”The report by independent reviewer Nick Page, who interviewed the teenager, concluded: “No individual other than Will Cornick should in any way feel responsible for Ann’s murder.”Mr Page’s review said there were no warning signs known to staff or other agencies before Cornick went to school on April 28 2014 armed with a craft knife and a kitchen knife and attacked his teacher.He suggested there were a “number of suggested refinements to practice” at the school, but added: “This is in no way to suggest that if implemented previously, they would have prevented Ann’s murder. Cornick was jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years after pleading guilty to the murderCredit: PA “What is clear to me, as the reviewer, is that no one could have predicted or pre-empted Will Cornick’s attack on Ann Maguire.”But Mr Maguire said: “This was a disaffected youth with an agenda, it was premeditated and planned. We have a duty as a nation to find out as much as we possibly can because its only then we know we have learned the lessons.”I think it needs to be looked at from a national governmental point of view and there should have been a full inquiry into it ordered in the first place.”Mark Peel, independent chairman of the LCSB, which commissioned the review, said he fully accepted the findings when the report was published.Cornick was jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years after pleading guilty to the murder, which was the only time a teacher has been killed by a pupil in a UK school.Mr Maguire added: “We need someone to be brave and say, ‘Let’s look at this properly and not leave anything unchecked’.”It shouldn’t have happened and we need to guarantee it doesn’t happen again.”A full inquest into Mrs Maguire’s death is expected to take place in 2017. 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.
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. Thousands of angry commuters faced a day of travel chaos after a lorry was blown over on the Forth Road Bridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning when the structure was officially closed to HGVs.The 40-tonne truck was toppled by a storm-force gust of wind at around 2am, when it was blown from the northbound carriageway on to the southbound lanes.The incident meant the bridge, which carries around 70,000 vehicles a day, including 10,000 lorries, remained closed during the morning and evening rush hours and was only expected to reopen at 6am on Thursday.A maintenance team was due to work on the bridge overnight, weather permitting, raising the possibility of further disruption. They were repairing what was described as the worst crash damage on the structure in its 53-year-history.The 54-year-old driver of the vehicle, operated by the Dumfries-based haulage company Currie European, has been charged with dangerous driving. He suffered minor injuries. The company later tweeted: “The HGV has been successfully moved off the bridge & welding teams are going to be working through the night on repairs.”Mark Arndt, for Amey, added: “We’re still in the process of assessing the damage caused by the HGV but we know that there is around 40m of damaged steelwork on the central grillage.”We have a full repair crew and supplies mobilised and ready to begin remedial works and we’re working flat out to reopen the bridge as quickly as possible.”Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s transport minister, said the driver was lucky to be alive and confirmed that the traffic disruption would have a financial impact.He said engineers were carrying out challenging repairs in difficult conditions and people should be prepared for delays and disruption lasting a few days.Scott Rorrison, a delivery driver, saw the lorry topple over. He said: “I was driving behind and it started to tip and sway. It was swaying quite a bit and then it went over the central reservation on to the other side.“I didn’t speak with the driver since he was across the reservation, but I saw he was standing up in his cab. I saw it was going over and the boy driving behind me stopped. I got off the bridge as quick as I could.”Murdo Fraser, for the Scottish Conservatives, said the “hard reality” was that if the SNP had opened the new Queensferry Crossing on time – it was originally due to open in December – with its wind-shielding, the incident would not have happened.Alex Cole-Hamilton, the Liberal Democrat MSP, said the disruption was “dreadful news for commuters, local residents and businesses”.The bridge was closed to high sided vehicles, motorcycles, cyclists and pedestrians at 12.30am on Wednesday. An hour later, when winds reached speeds of 65mph, the restriction was extended to all vehicles except cars.A spokesman for Currie European said its first concern was for the welfare of the driver, and added that it could not comment further while the police inquiry continued.Meanwhile, the gales caused difficult driving conditions throughout the day, with gusts of up to 75mph and ferries cancelled on the west coast.Strong winds and snow are expected to last through much of the day today with a further warning for snow valid until late on Friday. The accident on the A90, one of the country’s main transport arteries linking Fife with Edinburgh, caused 10-mile tailbacks as motorists were sent on a near 50-mile diversion via the Kincardine and Clackmannanshire bridges.Frustrated drivers and bus passengers said a journey to work that should have taken just over an hour turned in some cases into a “five hour nightmare”.The closure was a serious blow to business and to hauliers, who estimated when the bridge was closed early last year for repair work that it was costing them £600,000 a day.Meanwhile, a difficult morning for commuters heading for Edinburgh was compounded by a signalling problem at Edinburgh’s Haymarket which caused disruption to rail services in and out of the capital.The lorry was lifted off the central grille barrier during the day and removed from the bridge late on Wednesday afternoon following delays caused by continuing strong winds.However, the bridge operator Amey said the damage to the central grille barrier was serious and it would take welders several hours to repair. The HGV was blown over by winds over 70mphCredit:PA
The Crown Prosecution Service has been accused of caving in to pressure from animal rights campaigners after a second huntsman was cleared of assaulting a female protester in a matter of months.Hunting enthusiasts insist the case against Mark Melladay, who was filmed riding his horse towards the woman, should never have come to court – and said the decision to charge riders were being made “on the basis of who can shout the loudest”.Cheltenham Magistrates Court heard protester Elaine Barnett was trying to disrupt the hunt in February last year, by whipping the road to distract a pack of hounds with the Ledbury Hunt in Gloucestershire. Members of the Ledbury Hunt gatherCredit:DAVID BURGES Mr Melladay, wearing a red hunting jacket, followed the hounds through a break in the hedgerow and then tracked Ms Barnett across the road and into a thicket. However the court said that there was no evidence of contact.The verdict came weeks after Taunton Crown Court cleared Peter Doggrell of maliciously inflicting bodily harm by galloping through a gate and knocking a female protester to the ground, at a hunt in Somerset.Nicola Rawson, 43, suffered seven broken ribs in the incident which was filmed on a hunt saboteur’s camera.According to The Times, the police who investigated the videos in both instances decided to take no further action, but the CPS brought prosecutions after they were re-examined under the victims’ right to review.Tim Bonner, chief executive of Countryside Alliance, which campaigns in favour of bloodsports, accused the CPS of bending to mob rule.He told The Times: “It is very worrying that there appears to be an increasing number of cases where charging decisions are made on the basis of who can shout the loudest, not the quality of the evidence provided by the complainant.”Even the protesters who filmed the alleged assault by Mr Melladay were surprised to see him charged with such a serious offence, insisting a lesser charge would have been more appropriate.Emma Phipps, a member of the Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs who filmed the video, said: “We didn’t think it was going to go anywhere.”If we had had any say in it all, there’s no way we’d have pushed for [assault by battery] when there would be much more of a chance of getting a prosecution for common assault.“He definitely should have gone to court. What he did was wrong.”Louise Daly, the master of the Ledbury hunt, said: “We are over the moon by the verdict. It has caused a lot of stress for poor Mark and everyone involved.”The CPS disputes claims it made the decision to charge Mr Melladay – insisting the case was charged by police.A spokesman said: “”This case was charged by the police. The evidence was then reviewed by the CPS in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and we agreed there was a realistic prospect of conviction and the case proceeded to trial.”Any suggestion the CPS is influenced in its charging decisions by outside bodies is entirely incorrect.”Fox hunting was banned in 2004 but hunts are allowed to follow dogs on horseback if they are following a false scent, in a practice known as trail hunting.Animal rights campaigners, including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), claim this is just a ruse to let them break the law. If the hounds pick up a fox’s scent and catch it, it is almost impossible for the police to gather enough evidence to show it was done deliberately.Hunt saboteurs routinely try to disrupt hunts with tactics that include blowing bugles to distract the hounds and using sprays to mask the scent of a fox.Recently their tactics have evolved to target local businesses associated with fox-hunting. A hotel near Blackburn had to be evacuated because of a bomb threat when it was hosting a hunt ball, while other activists have made softer attempts to disrupt with tactics such as making fake reservations at restaurants. 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.
Andrew Roussos, father of the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena bombing, Saffie Roussos, pays tribute to his little girl during her funeral service at Manchester Cathedral. He called on friends, family and members of the public to help make his daughter the ‘most famous girl in the world’ because that was her dream. 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.