NEWS

Up for sale - a mansion in the Midlands which will let you lord it like Donald Trump - because it looks like the White House.

This picturesque Pedmore property comes with its own version of the West Wing.


With a heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi, a gym and a cinema, it's everything a good mansion should be.

And with a coach house in the grounds - a standalone property in itself - the £4.25 million asking price seems to be well justified.

This rare and imposing house is set in its own 47-acre estate boasts an all-weather tennis court, a football pitch, paddocks and a very large wildlife pond.

Not to mention the original coach house, which dates back to the 17th century.

A dream home, it's no surprise that the estate has only been on the market once in the last 60 years.

 

Pedmore Hall was built on the site of the original Pedmore Manor, which was demolished in 1607.

The house as it is today was re-designed around the coach house. The staircase at the rear of the property was erected in 1670.

The current owners attached the large classical pediment and the four giant Doric order columns to the front in 2010.

These show off the blend of modern and classical architecture presented in and outside the hall.

 

Arriving visitors are welcomed by a sweeping driveway lined with fine lime trees.

The prestigious King Edward VI College is just down the road in Stourbridge, as is rugby union side Stourbridge RFC.

Estate agents Knight Frank are selling the striking property on Rightmove.

Located in the village of Shilton, this four-bedroom family home has been improved to a high standard throughout.

The agents say it has been "realistically priced for a quick sale."


On the ground floor, there are two large reception rooms, a re-fitted family kitchen with granite worktops, separate utility room and downstairs WC.

On the first floor there is a family bathroom, four good sized bedrooms with the master bedroom having a large en-suite.

Outside there is plenty of parking on the front driveway, which has direct access to the very large garage with electric garage door.

The private rear garden is bordered by ferns and has views of Saint Andrews Church.


Dream Home of the Week
Address: Cornerways, Bulkington Road, Shilton, nr Coventry, CV7 9JS

Price: £440,000

Agents: Coopers, 22 New Union Street, Coventry, CV1 2HN. 024 7655 2841

More than 1,000 young people have been charged by police in Denmark with distributing sexually explicit material.

They are accused of using Facebook Messenger to share indecent video clips of two 15-year-olds having sex.

Police said it could amount to distribution of indecent images of children, as the two people filmed are under 18.

Facebook tipped off the US authorities, who notified police in Denmark.

One thousand and four young people from across the country are facing charges after allegedly circulating the material via the messaging app in autumn last year.

Some suspects are over 18 and were called to police stations to be interviewed.

Suspects under 18 were contacted through their parents.

A Danish police superintendent said the charges come as a warning to young people never to share sex videos.

Anyone found guilty of these charges faces a possible conditional prison sentence of about 20 days.

If found guilty of distributing indecent images of children, they would be listed for ten years on a register of child pornography offenders.

There have been calls in Denmark for more to be done to prevent so-called revenge porn.

Carillion was in talks with the government since October as part of a desperate bid to stave off collapse, according to the chief executive.

Keith Cochrane says the construction giant was left with just £29m in cash by the time it went bust on Monday.

Until the last moments, directors still believed a rescue was possible, but banks became more demanding, he said.

The details are included in a document Mr Cochrane has prepared as part of the insolvency process.

His statement sets out attempts to save Britain's second biggest construction company after three profits warnings and a collapse in the share price.

 

Efforts to sell off parts of the business failed and Carillion's banks became more demanding, only agreeing fresh funding under tight new conditions that the company was unable to meet, the statement discloses.

There had been regular meetings with the government and its advisers in the final few months of 2017, Mr Cochrane says. But on 31 December a "formal request" was made for support from the government.

Even as late as last weekend, directors believed that "a constructive dialogue" was underway with banks and the government about providing short-term funding.

 

Directors wanted the government to "guarantee" more funding for four months while Carillion continued its restructuring, and be allowed to defer tax payments. Both requests were refused, according to Mr Cochrane.

But his document adds that "certain of the group's lenders took unilateral action which in the company's view undermined the group's efforts to conserve cash".

He singles out Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) as one of the banks that wanted to impose tough new lending conditions.

Running out of cash, and owing more than £1.3bn to its banks, Carillion declared itself insolvent on Monday. Rather than attempt an orderly administration of Carillion in the hope of salvaging something from the business, the Official Receiver was appointed to liquidate the business.

Accountants EY and PwC both rejected requests to become administrators because there was no money left to keep the company ticking over, Mr Cochrane says.

RBS said in a statement to the BBC that it had "provided considerable support and forbearance to Carillion over many months".

"The judgement of the bank was that the restructuring plan put forward by the company was not viable and therefore we took the difficult decision not to extend further funding and increase our exposure to the business.

"We need to balance the interests of all our stakeholders when taking these decisions, and on that basis, we regrettably were not in a position to continue to put further funds into the business."

Meanwhile, Treasury minister Liz Truss told the Commons on Tuesday that "it would be completely wrong for a public company that got itself in this state to be bailed out by the state".

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Business Secretary Greg Clark has asked for an investigation by the Official Receiver to be broadened and fast-tracked.

The conduct of directors in charge at the time of the company's failure and previous directors will be examined.

The company employed 43,000 people worldwide, 20,000 in the UK, and had 450 contracts with the UK government.

The government has said that staff and contractors working on public sector service contracts will continue to be paid. But there is concern that big projects, including the construction of hospitals and roads, will be delayed while the details are worked out.

There are also big worries for an estimated 30,000 smaller firms which have been working on Carillion projects in the private sector.

Many are owed money and face a wait to find out if they will get any of it back.

On Monday the government said that firms working on Carillion's private contracts would be paid for another 48 hours. But the latest statement from the Insolvency Serviceindicates there might be more flexibility.

It says that the liquidator is talking to Carillion's private sector clients about which services will continue; however contracts will be ended if the client no longer wants to pay for them.

"No one has been dismissed at this point and staff will continue to be paid for the work they perform," a spokesperson for the Insolvency Service said.

 

Andy Bradley is the managing director of Flora-tec, which is owed £800,000 by Carillion for landscaping services.

"The government actively encouraged businesses like mine... to get involved in public sector contracts, to make sure the little guy got a slice of the pie.

"When Carillion started to get into trouble last year we were considering that we would scale back our involvement with them.

"However... the government continued to give them billion-pound contract after billion-pound contract and that said to me, as a small supplier, that the government had done their due diligence.

"We were following the government lead... only to be given a sucker punch.

"I had to make 10 people redundant yesterday. That's 10 people with mortgages, car loans, all that stuff. It's an absolute disgrace."

 

A Canadian man has been accused of spamming streaming site Twitch with racist and homophobic messages.

In court papers, Brandan Lukus Apple was alleged to be the spammer behind attacks on Twitch early last year.

During each attack, more than 1,000 broadcasts were disrupted by the massive number of messages being sent.

Mr Apple has been charged with "mischief in relation to computer data".

No defence against the charges has been filed by Mr Apple, reported Canadian news channel CBC.

The case is due to go to court in February.

According to the court documents, Mr Apple runs a service that lets people send lots of junk messages or spam as email messages or as comments to other messaging systems.

The criminal charge of mischief emerged from work Twitch did to find out who was behind the 2017 spamming surge. About 1,000 Twitch streamers were hit in the attack which disrupted broadcasts.

At its peak, said Twitch in its court filings, chat channels were getting hit by up to 600 messages per minute.

As well as containing racial and sexual slurs, the messages linked to disturbing images, solicited obscene material and accused streamers of using software bots to exaggerate their popularity.

According to Twitch, its investigation revealed that the junk messages had been sent by a service called ChatSurge that is allegedly owned and operated by Mr Apple.

This investigation led Twitch to start a civil action against Mr Apple. It ended with the Canadian supreme court issuing an order that restrained Mr Apple from making or distributing software or services that could be used to harm Twitch.

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