Britain is ‘soft target’ for Iranian revenge attacks

Britain is a ‘softer target’ than the US for an Iranian retaliatory attack in the wake of the assassination of Qassim Soleimani,  the UK’s former head of the navy and ex-national security adviser has warned.

Lord West of Spithead raised fears that British citizens and interests would be potentially easier for Iran to attack as the Tehran regime warned of “severe revenge”.

Hundreds of thousands of mourners poured onto the streets of Soleimani’s home town to receive his corpse after the drone strike which killed the general on Thursday night.

Lord West told the Telegraph: “Iran will assume that Britain would be party to any all out attack by the US and if they do then we would be a softer target…

At least 10 killed in attack on church in Burkina Faso 

 

At least 10 people including children were killed in an attack Sunday on a church in eastern Burkina Faso where places of worship have already suffered several Islamist assaults, security sources said.

The victims were attending a service at a Protestant church in the town of Hantoukoura, one of the sources told AFP, putting the death toll at "more than 10".

Around 10 "heavily armed individuals" carried out the attack in the village near the border with Niger, "executing the faithful including the pastor and children," the source said.

Another source said 14 worshippers were killed, all of them male.

Soldiers in the region were hunting down the assailants, who fled on scooters, the second source said.

The poor West African country has suffered a series of attacks on Christian targets since February, leaving 21 dead before Sunday’s attack.

Burkina Faso’s population is around two-thirds Muslim and one-third Christian.

Jihadist groups target Christian clerics as well as Muslim ones they do not consider sufficiently radical in a country where traditionally the two religions have co-existed peaceably.

 

‘High Five’ rapists jailed for sickening nightclub attack

Two men have been jailed following a landmark rape case which is thought to be the first in the country in which charges were brought without a "clear allegation" from the victim.

Italian nationals, Ferdinando Orlando, 25, and Lorenzo Costanzo, 26, were caught on CCTV giving each other a ‘high five’ and hugging after attacking a 23-year-old woman in a Soho nightclub and then abandoning her in the toilet in extreme pain.

Despite the victim being too drunk to remember the attack, or be in a position to make an allegation, police pursued the case, using CCTV footage and medical evidence.

The officer who led the case, Detective Sergeant Rebecca Woodsford, urged any woman who found herself in a similar situation to come forward, saying: "If you do not know, we will still try to help."

Ferdinando Orlando and Lorenzo Costanzo carried out the attack at a nightclub in London

The attack took place in a cupboard in the Toy Club nightclub in Soho in February 2017.

The victim had been celebrating a friend’s birthday and was described as being very drunk when she was approached by hyer two attackers on the dancefloor.

CCTV showed them taking it in turns to kiss the victim on the dance floor before escorting her to a cupboard.

Police and prosecutors argued the woman’s condition meant she was unable to consent to sex with the men.

About 16 minutes later the three re-emerged, with the defendants rearranging the victim’s clothing before they walk her to the female toilets and abandon her.

The two men then ran outside and high-fived each other, before watching back footage of the attack on a mobile phone.

The victim was found an hour later by a security guard in the toilet with severe injuries which required surgery. She lost 300ml of blood in the brutal attack.

Ferdinando Orlando was jailed for seven and a half years

The men were identified because the nightclub operated a system that scanned and stored the IDs of those entering.

The pair escaped justice for more than a year after the attack, by returning to Italy, but were eventually caught when Costanzo returned to the UK to watch an Arsenal versus Milan football match.

Orlando subsequently gave himself up and returned to the UK.

They were both jailed for seven and a half years yesterday following a trial at Isleworth Crown Court.

Lorenzo Costanzo was jailed for seven and a half years

In a victim impact statement, the woman said the rape had left her in "constant fear" and unable to relax or enjoy drinking with friends when she goes out.

She added: "When I found out more than one man was involved I felt violently ill with the thought that two men did something this horrible … to me."

Ms Woodsford said: “The CCTV evidence was key in this case.  The high fiving and hugging simply shows that what they thought of what they had done, The proud celebratory behaviour really demonstrates exactly how they felt about it. 

The maintenance cupboard where the attack took place

"I thought it was really shocking footage. I have not seen footage like that before but I really think it demonstrates the thought process and how they felt about the whole incident.”

She added: “It is the first time I have seen a prosecution result in a conviction in a case where there is no clear allegation in relation to sexual crime.

"It proves our commitment to victims of rape and people who believe they are victims of rape and that we will investigate what has 

happened.

“One of the big messages we want to give is that if you do not know, we will still try and help.”