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Legal news

Speeding his way to jail

Last night Chris Huhne, the former cabinet minister, spent his first night in jail for lying about who was owed the speeding points handed to him in 2003.

It is a dramatic fall from grace for a politician who was once considered one of the most dynamic ministers in the coalition. He only became an MP in 2005, but was energy secretary in the early stages of the coalition before the scandal broke.

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Chubby Checker to sue Hewlett Packard

An absolutely stonking story, this one.

Until 2012 an app, the Chubby Checker, was available to download through Hewlett Packard software for their Palm OS software. Now the original Chubby Checker is suing HP and the company that made the app, Magic Apps, for $500m.

‘Chubby’ is slang for an erection, and the app was designed to be an amusing piece of software allowing women to estimate the size of a man’s penis. You can see why they used the name – it’s great.

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The word ‘insulting’ to be removed from Public Order Act

Yesterday, Teresa May, the Home Secretary, confirmed the Government would not seek to overturn an amendment supported by peers in the House of Lords in December 2012, regarding the removal of the word ‘insulting’ from Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986.

Section 5 states that: “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” could be deemed a criminal offence. The amendment to the Act was proposed last year by the former chief Constable of the West Midlands, Lord Dear, as part of the Crime and Courts Bill.#

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‘Unreasonable’ council fines for household-waste offences to be scrapped by Government

Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, spoke on the BBC’s Sunday Politics Show this week-end. He vowed the Government will introduce legislation, in the next session of Parliament, to stop local councils fining residents for a range of infractions in putting out their rubbish for collection.

For example, according to the Telegraph, Pickles says that it is ‘ludicrous’ fines can be issued for trivial matters such as over-filling wheelie-bins, putting yoghurt pots into the wrong recycling container, and leaving bins out too long after collections.

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Care Quality Commission warning on NHS staffing levels

A story by the Telegraph published on Sunday reveals that, according to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), 26 NHS Healthcare Providers do not have enough staff ‘to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs’, which is the required standard of care for all parts of the health service.

The list of Healthcare Providers, situated throughout England, was compiled from the latest CQC inspections carried out as recently as November; it was obtained and made public by the Labour party.

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Texting driver jailed over car collision death

It seems the message that texting on a mobile phone while driving is extremely dangerous, as well as illegal, has not yet reached all car drivers.

With regard to this unsafe practice, a 29-year-old woman, Susan Noble from Armthorpe near Doncaster, was given a jail sentence at Teesside Crown Court on Monday. At an earlier hearing she had pleaded guilty to causing the death by dangerous driving of 25-year-old Alexandru Braninski, in December 2011.

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Prince Charles worried about changes to succession law

It appears an outmoded British law is to be dealt with, under the direction of the Prime Minister, David Cameron. However, the Daily Mail reports Prince Charles has some misgivings about the changes, which concern the inheritance of the throne.

The basis for succession law rests on constitutional developments surrounding the abdication of the last Roman Catholic monarch of the British Isles, James II, encouraged by the Protestant Parliament. These events culminated in the Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701, so it may be high time for some movement on the issue.

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Millionaire receives jail term for hiding money in divorce case

A claim for contempt of court at the Chancery division of the High Court in Birmingham in November has resulted in a jail term of two years being handed out to an ex-boss of the Ford plant at Dagenham. This is the longest sentence of its kind, according to a report by the Daily Mail.

David Thursfield, 67, had been the subject of a previous High Court freezing order in 2011, after a claim brought by his ex-wife, to stop him disposing of money and property she claimed he had hidden during their divorce. Although he had a string of high-profile, highly-paid jobs, Thursfield claims he is now ‘penniless’.

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Car insurance set to rise due to changing personal injury pay-outs

The Telegraph reports that drivers could see their car insurance rates rise sharply in the near future, due to an increase in insurers’ costs. The increase has been fuelled by larger pay-outs from the courts for people who receive life-changing injuries in car accidents.

Instead of just one large payment for injuries such as paralysis, courts have started awarding more Periodic Payment Orders (PPOs). PPOs are considered helpful when assessing future care needs.

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Appeal Judge rules on case of Christian who refused to work Sundays

2013 may prove to be a bumper year for legal cases involving Christian belief. Controversy is already brewing over the issue of gay marriage, and the wearing of religious symbols at work.

Additionally, according to the Telegraph, the Government has suggested the temporary relaxation of Sunday opening regulations, effective around the time of the London Olympics last summer, might be made permanent. Currently, stores larger than 280 square meters in size are allowed to open for a maximum of six hours only, under the Sunday Trading Act 1994.

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In this section you will find topical articles on current legal news stories. Have a look below to find out what is currently happening in the legal industry around the UK.

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