IRA bomb victim’s
father found dead
by Gary Skentelbery
TRAGIC Wilf Ball, the father of three-year-old IRA bomb victim Johnathan Ball, has been found dead at his Warrington home after suffering a suspected heart attack.
Wilf, aged 69, who lived in Grappenhall, never got over the tragedy of losing his only child in the bombing atrocity which also claimed the life of 12-year-old Tim Parry.
Separated from Johanthan’s mother Marie Comerford shortly after the bombing in March 1993, Wilf lived alone and cut a tragic figure often seen walking the streets in the nearby village of Latchford, where he did his weekly shopping.
He had recently been campaigning to be allowed to keep Jonathan’s teddies on the youngsters graveside at the Hillcliffe Cemetery after the local council ruled he had to remove memorials. He had been caring for the graveside for eleven years.
Wilf never got over losing his only child, after becoming a father for the first time late in life.
He described Johnathan as his “little Angel.”
It is thought he may have been dead for up to two days before being found by neighbours.
Peace campaigner Colin Parry, said he was shocked to hear of Wilf’s death.
“We shared a tragic background and I got to know him quite well over the years.
“It comes as quite a shock as he was in the peace centre only two weeks ago when the victims minsiter Angela Smith was visiting.
“He seemed his normal self and didn’t appear to be ill.
“Now the poor guy has gone perhaps he will find some peace from some of the problems he had in his life.”
The death has been reported to the coroner but it is not yet known if an inquest will be necessary.
University for a day!
A-LEVEL biology students from Warrington’s Priestley College went to university for a day – to experience hands-on experiments on a range of biology related subjects.
The 24 students spent the day at Manchester University, accompanied by tutors Dr Louise Norbury and Mrs Clare Lancaster.
They completed a range of tanks including extracting DNA from salmon sperm, staining and viewing chromosomes using light microscopes and observing live invertebrates – Daphnia-water fleas.
The group were also given a tour around the electron microscope unit at the university where they looked into hair parasites on the surface of a bee’s leg.
Later the group went on to visit Manchester Museum where the and were able to get involved in demonstrations about the human body in the “Life Lab”.
A college spokesman said: “Overall the trip provided an invaluable learning resource and Dr Norbury was particularly thrilled with the input from Manchester University.
“The university themselves paid for the trip, which was invaluable to us in that we were able to take as many students as wanted to attend. The group was also kept fascinated throughout due to the range of issues covered.”
Pictures show the students with one of Manchester’s famous cows and using microscopes at the university.
Sex offenders are
by staff reporter
SEX offenders and other dangerous offenders are being effectively monitored in Warrington through the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements in place in Cheshire.
This is the conclusion of the third annual MAPPA report by Cheshire Police.
Home Office Minister Paul Goggins says that the monitoring arrangements, introduced in April 2001, “have made a significant difference to the way the public is protected from the risks posed by sexual and violent offenders”.
However, police say there is no room for complacency in monitoring offenders who commit sexual or violent offences, and close co-operation and good practice among those agencies undertaking the risk management role in Cheshire has been re-inforced by new statutory provisions which:
Sees the Responsible Authority for MAPPA expanded to include the Prison Service as well as Police and Probation
Places a “duty to co-operate” upon partner agencies such as Local Authorities and Health
Allows for the appointment of two lay advisors in Cheshire – members of the public who will assist in monitoring the effectiveness of public protection arrangements in respect of violent and sexual offenders.
A police spokesman said the number of registered sex offenders resident in Cheshire as at March 31 was 429, compared to 390 last year.
“This increase is a positive indication that the mechanisms in place are efficient, as police, probation, and the prison service work together to effectively track offenders through the criminal justice process and following release into the community.
“As the system continues to develop the number of registered sex offenders will increase as offenders are required to register for five years – some for life. Each registered sex offender is monitored rigorously under the Public Protection Arrangements, ensuring that those who pose a risk of serious harm to others are identified and managed appropriately.
Detective Chief Inspector John Davis said: “In presenting this, the third annual MAPPA report to the communities of Cheshire, I am pleased to note the excellent work being achieved by police and our partner agencies in managing the risks posed by sexual and violent offenders. It needs to be borne in mind that not all offenders pose a risk of serious harm to others, but for those that do, the mechanisms are in place to ensure that they are identified and managed effectively.”
Skateboarders line up
for best-ever show
by Lesley Wilkinson
TOP skateboarders and BMX riders will stun the crowds at one of the country’s best display events being held in Warrington this weekend.
Hundreds of professional and amateur skaters will take part in the first Warrington Summer Concrete Jam on Saturday and Sunday at the Victoria Park skate park.
It is expected to feature the best skaters and BMX riders from the region, and throughout the country. It will be hosted by skate footwear and clothing brands who will bring their top UK proskate teams to the event.
The companies will offer hundreds of pounds worth of prize money, footwear and clothing and will provide music and food stalls.
On Saturday at 11.30am The Mayor of Warrington Coun Ted Lafferty will officially name the park.
Coun John Joyce, leader of the council, said: “As well as showcasing local and national talent, this event will celebrate the positive impact the skatepark has had within our local community, it really is a fantastic example of partnership working in action.
“We are looking forward to welcoming the skaters, both local and national, to Warrington and we are sure the weekend will be a tremendous success,” he added.
Money advice programme
wins praise from MP
by Lesley Wilkinson
A MONEY advice programme offering financial help for schoolchildren and young offenders, has been praised by MP for Warrington South Helen Southworth.
The Money-wise scheme is being organised by Warrington Citizens Advice Bureau to make people more aware of issues around finances.
It will include drama in schools, courses for young offenders, sessions for Sure Start clients and training for people in their first jobs, all on a money advice theme.
The MP said: “We all face a vast and bewildering array of products and services from banks, building societies and credit companies. Keeping up with the jargon and getting the best deal can be a nightmare.
“I want to make sure that everyone in Warrington gets the best deal, and that’s only possible if people know what are the best options and how to find them. The CAB is known for providing an excellent service and for being honest and fair,” she added.
Further information on money advice issues is available by visiting www.adviceguide.org.uk or calling the CAB on 01925 574 538.
Mrs Southworth said: “I hope that everyone in Warrington takes advantage of this new scheme, to help them make the best choices for their money, and make their income go further.”
by staff reporter
YOUNGSTERS from Warrington have the chance to learn the skills of passing, tackling and kicking today (Thursday) as Warrington Wolves stage a training day.
The Fun Rugby League Skills Day at the Halliwell Jones Stadium is free and open to nine to 11-year-olds.
They will have the chance to try the rugby league Skill Zone inflatable, which will be based at the Brickfield Rec area, where coaching will take place.
The event is organised by the Wolves Community Team and Powergen.
It will incorporate a stadium tour delivered by the Wolves Primrose and Blues Brothers, and offer the opportunity to meet Wolves stars who will sign autographs and answer questions.
Activities run from 11am to 3pm and youngsters are advised to bring a packed lunch and outdoor kit.
Youngsters need to pre-book the day, and should contact Debbie Blackburn on 01925 632746 to register.