dealer

Locked Up: Our round up of criminals jailed in Greater Manchester this week

More criminals have been locked up this week as court cases conclude across Greater Manchester.

Jail terms were handed out to a rampaging knifeman who tried to stab a policewoman and a ‘manipulative and scheming liar’ who groomed two underage boys.

Those put behind bars over the past seven days also include a man who was caught trying to smuggle people into the UK inside sofas and a county lines dealer known as ‘Manc Dave’.

Prison sentences are handed out to the worst offenders each week and Manchester Evening News reporters are in court to cover the most serious cases.

Here are some of the criminals locked up in Greater Manchester in the past week.

Oldham man who tried to smuggle people into the UK inside sofas

(Image: Home Office)

A man who was caught trying to smuggle people into the UK inside sofas has been jailed.

Arman Yusuf Rahmani, 21, was once granted asylum in the UK after entering the country in the back of a lorry.

But within two years, the Iranian national had established a criminal network to facilitate foreign nationals illegally entering the country, the Home Office said.

Rahman, of Oldham, arranged for people to be hidden inside the base of second-hand sofas before being collected and transported from France or Belgium by oblivious ‘man with van’ drivers.

Between December 2018 and April 2019, Preston Crown Court heard he hired six different drivers advertising their services on social media.

Arman Yusuf Rahmani arranged for people to be hidden inside the base of second-hand sofas before being collected and transported from France or Belgium

He arranged for them to drive from the UK to the continent where they would collect the furniture and transport it back.

The drivers did not know people were hidden inside the sofas.

They were told not to help with loading the vehicles and were distracted while the loading took place.

Upon arrival at the UK border in France, Border Force officers searched the vans and found the people hiding inside.

All claimed to be Iraqi males, under 18 years of age.

Rahmani, of Ringmere Court, Oldham, was jailed for two years and seven months last week after admitting breaking UK immigration law.

After his sentence is up, he will be eligible for deportation as a Foreign National Offender, a Home Office spokesperson said.

County lines drug dealer ‘Manc Dave’

(Image: Derbyshire Police)

County lines drug dealer ‘Manc Dave’ was arrested after being caught in a police sting.

‘Dave’ – real name Matthew Johnson – moved crack and heroin from Manchester into the Peak District after buying a drugs hotline with a regular list of clients from another dealer.

But following a tip-off Johnson, 21, was stopped by police in a Ford Focus on the A6 in Chapel-en-le-Frith on May 20, this year.

When detectives opened the car door they found Johnson lying down with his hands down the back of his trousers trying to hide several wraps of crack cocaine.

He was eventually found to be carrying seven wraps of crack cocaine and £128 in cash.

Three mobile phones were also found in the car, including the hot line which was constantly ringing after officers seized it.

Numerous messages advertising ‘high quality’ heroin and crack cocaine for sale were later found on the phones.

Johnson, of Shelley Grove, Droylsden, gave a no comment interview.

He later pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply crack cocaine.

He was jailed for four years and four months at Derby Crown Court.

Man who had JD bag filled with £4k worth of cocaine and cannabis in his kitchen

Andrew Oldham has been jailed for four years

Cocaine and cannabis worth over £4,000 was found stuffed in a JD Sports bag by police in the kitchen of a ‘persistent’ drug dealer.

Andrew Oldham, 39, from Harprurhey, was also found to have a set of electric scales and a list of debtors following the raid of his north Manchester home.

He has now been jailed for four years by a judge.

His home was raided and searched in February this year following intelligence gathered as part of Operation Sussex – which focuses on targeting gang-related violence fuelled by the sale of drugs in North Manchester Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.

In the kitchen, officers found the plastic drawstring bag filled with over £4,000 worth of drugs, individually packaged ready for distribution.

It was the second raid at the house following another warrant executed in April last year.

On that occasion, officers found over £1,500 worth of Class A and Class B drugs, as well as a mobile phone containing “orders”.

A month earlier during a stop and search close to his home, Oldham was found in possession of nearly £400 worth of cannabis and over £4000 in cash.

Oldham, of Kingsbridge Road, Harpurhey, was charged with possession with intent to supply Class A and B drugs, following the more recent find, and with possession with intent to supply Cannabis, following the searches last year.

Rampaging knifeman who tried to stab a police woman

Mahar Mansour (Image: GMP)

A female police officer was saved by her lip balm as she bravely helped to subdue a rampaging knifeman who tried to stab her.

Her colleague was slashed eight times in his leg as the pair stopped 25-year-old Mahar Mansour with another officer.

They had rushed to Harpurhey in the early hours, after receiving reports he was armed with a knife and damaging cars.

She suffered cuts and soreness but miraculously avoided more serious injury after the Vaseline she had in her pocket took the brunt, as Mansour swung his arms at her while armed with a knife.

Later, she noticed marks in the Vaseline container, which corresponded with holes in her trousers.

Both officers went to hospital but were not seriously hurt.

Mansour who sought asylum in the UK after becoming a ‘political prisoner’ in Syria, suffers from mental health problems exacerbated by the coronavirus lockdown, Manchester Crown Court was told.

He has been jailed for two years.

Teenager with 80 cannabis plants after flat fire

A 19-year-old has been jailed after being found in a flat with 80 cannabis plants, following a fire in the building.

Fire crews, police and ambulance were rushed to the blaze in Vine Street, in the Whelley area of Wigan[1] on May 18.

Luftim Hallaci had only moved into the building four days prior after being ‘promised a job’, prosecution barrister Mark Friend told Bolton Crown Court[2].

Vine Street in Wigan, where a flat fire led police to a cannabis farm
Vine Street in Wigan, where a flat fire led police to a cannabis farm (Image: Google Maps)

When firefighters entered the flat to rescue Hallaci, they found a cannabis farm and alerted police.

Along with 80 plants, it was discovered that electricity was being extracted illegally.

After receiving treatment from paramedics, Hallaci was arrested.

During his interview, he told police that he arrived in the UK on the back of a lorry in August 2020.

He spent around nine months in London, before being promised a job in Wigan.

Hallaci, who has no previous convictions, told police that his job was ‘security’ at the flat in Vine Street and admitted that he was aware of the presence of cannabis plants. However, he said he had no connection to them.

At a plea and trial preparation hearing Hallaci pleaded guilty to production of a Class B drug.

Sentencing Hallaci to six months in a young offender institution the judge said: “In my view, the offending is so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate.

“You will serve half of the sentence in custody and then be released, notionally, on licence.

“I say notionally because the authorities can now determine whether or not you should be deported back to Albania.”

Jekyll and Hyde ‘devil’ drunk who carried out terrifying attack on partner

Marvic Mhlanga (Image: GMP)

A ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ drunk who launched a terrifying attack on his partner has been forgiven by her.

Marvic Mhlanga, 44, was described as a ‘devil’ by the woman when he drinks, but said he was a ‘decent guy’ when sober.

Fuelled by Special Brew, painter and decorator Mhlanga stamped on her chest and kicked her face while she was on the floor and choked her by standing on her neck.

He then attacked her with a knife to the head, leaving her with a permanent scar.

She said she ‘hated’ Mhlanga for the attack, but ‘in time has decided to forgive him’, Manchester Crown Court heard.

The woman said she ‘doesn’t want to live her life in hatred’, and ‘hopes he has learnt his lesson’ while in prison.

During the attack in February, he stamped on her chest, kicked her in the face and stood on the side of her windpipe.

Mhlanga, of Mere Avenue, Salford, was jailed for 18 months after admitting section 20 wounding.

Man who threatened to burn a house down before hiding from police in a cupboard

A man who threatened to burn his neighbour’s house down with his children inside before hiding from arrest in a bedroom cupboard has been jailed.

Paul Brooks, previously of Shaw Street, Royton, was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court Minshull Street after pleading guilty to four offences.

The 30-year-old appeared before Mr Recorder Eric Lamb, who heard how Brooks had driven his car at his neighbour, before threatening to burn his house down.

Jack Troup, prosecuting, told the court that Brooks had been waiting outside his neighbours home on April 25, making “offensive gestures” towards the man inside after mistakenly believing his neighbour had attempted to run him off the road.

Later that day, the victim went outside to call his five-year-old child inside when he saw Brooks speaking with two of his neighbours.

After attempting to drive into his neighbour, Brooks shouted out of the car “I’m going to smash the window on your car and burn the house down with your kids in it”, before driving away.

The next day, at around 10pm, Brooks returned to the car park, and a witness heard two loud bangs coming from the area, before looking out and seeing the man next to his neighbour’s car.

Brooks had smashed the front window, and hit the rear of the car, causing around £400 in damages.

Brooks was sentenced to three terms of six months, to run concurrently, for attempted assault containing actual bodily harm, threats to commit criminal damage, and criminal damage to property.

An additional sentence of three months imprisonment was passed down for assault upon an emergency worker.

Brooks will serve half of his nine month sentence in prison, before being released on licence, and will be ordered to pay a statutory surcharge.

‘Predator’ who groomed two underage boys after they responded to his job advert

Callum Townsend has been jailed for grooming two 15-year-old boys
Callum Townsend has been jailed for grooming two 15-year-old boys (Image: GMP)

A ‘manipulative and scheming liar’ groomed two underage boys after they responded to a job advert on Facebook.

Callum Townsend was 25-years-old and living in Oldham[3] when he posted the listing in October 2018, asking people from all walks of life to apply for employment at a new café in the town centre.

A woman messaged Townsend and asked if the work would be suitable for her 15-year-old son.

At this point, he asked for the boy’s phone number, prosecution barrister David Toal told Bolton Crown Court[4].

Townsend spoke to the boy on Whatsapp, before moving the conversation to Snapchat – where messages disappear a short time after being sent and received.

Speaking over several days, the conversations became “overly friendly” according to Mr Toal.

Townsend initiated conversations on topics such as masturbation and asked the 15-year-old for a photograph in his underwear.

The court heard that Townsend has previous convictions in his home country of Northern Ireland for harassment, sexual harm prevention order breaches, and fraud.

Some of his previous convictions related to him posing as a teenage girl to speak to teenage boys online.

Townsend initially did not turn up for his trial but after he was arrested and brought before the court, he pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual communication with a child, one count of enticing a child to send an indecent image, and one count of attempting to entice a child to send an indecent image.

Townsend was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment and was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.

Man caught with £1.2m of cocaine hidden in food boxes

Eric Appaih flew 33lb of the Class A drug into the UK from Ghana

A drugs mule was caught at an airport with £1.2 million of cocaine hidden in food boxes which he claimed were for his brother in Manchester.

Eric Appaih, 49, has been jailed for six years after he flew in 33lb of the Class A drug from Accra, Ghana, to Heathrow Airport on April 30 this year.

Officers discovered the haul after searching his suitcases, which were full of boxes that appeared to contain food, such as plantain, which he claimed were for his brother, who lives in Manchester.

Inside were a total of 15 packages of cocaine with a wholesale value of £570,000 and an estimated street value of £1.2 million, while

Isleworth Crown Court heard that it was Appaih’s sixth trip from Accra to Heathrow since November 2019.

He was sentenced to six years in jail on Thursday after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to importing cocaine.

Judge Christine Agnew QC told him: “You will appreciate that the importation of Class A drugs into any country simply contributes to the scourge of drugs generally, and the courts must and do treat those who import drugs very seriously.”

The court heard that Appaih ran an import/export business buying electronic goods such as fridges and televisions in the UK and selling them in Ghana.

Man who put wheelie bin against his mum’s front door and drove into it

Stephen Wood has been jailed for 28 months
Stephen Wood has been jailed for 28 months (Image: GMP)

A man put a wheelie bin against his mum’s front door before driving into it in a moment of ‘incredible stupidity’.

Stephen Wood, 51, of Atherton Road, Hindley Green[5], then stole a box from the house containing a number of valuables and at least £10,000.

It followed an argument between the pair, prosecution barrister Thomas Sherrington told Bolton Crown Court[6].

Wood visited his mum, in Wigan[7], on February 17, but was asked to leave her house after a row.

She locked him out but a short time later, Wood returned and started kicking the front door and shouting abuse through the letterbox.

He also threatened to break the front door down.

Wood then got a green wheelie bin and put it against the front door, before driving into it and knocking the door of its hinges – it’s estimated that the damage caused was around £1,500.

He went upstairs and stole a box, which he knew to contain valuables and savings, before driving off.

Two days later, police found the car and £10,000 was still inside.

Wood’s mum believed there to be £20,000 in total but Wood said he did not spend anything and no other money was recovered.

When police arrested Wood, he was also in possession of a Stanley knife.

At the first opportunity, he pleaded guilty to criminal damage, theft, and possession of a bladed article.

He was jailed for 28 months.

Taxi driver cornered by paedophile hunters after driving 45 minutes to meet ’13-year-old girl’ for sex

(Image: Justice4Kids)

This is the moment paedophile hunters corner a taxi driver from south Manchester who had driven nearly 50 miles to meet a ’13-year-old girl’ for sex.

Dad Naveed Ashraf, 37, from Levenshulme[8], drove to Kidsgrove in North Staffordshire with a pizza for the ‘girl’ and was later found to have condoms and viagra in his car along with red roses and a gift bag.

However, the girl, who he had previously been messaging for several months, was in fact a decoy set up by the group Justice4Kids who then filmed him arriving at the meeting point and confronted him.

They also alerted police and the footage was passed to officers to ensure Ashraf, was put safely behind bars reports Stoke-On-Trent Live.[9]

He is now beginning a three-year sentence[10] for child sex offences.

The shocking footage begins with the exposers arriving at the scene on January 3 this year and quizzing the married dad-of-two being about his online sex chats with the young girl.

In the 40-minute film – which was live-streamed on Facebook – the defendant looks sheepish as his reaction to the questioning is filmed.

A camera is shined in his face as a man explains he is to be arrested for online grooming and trying to meet a child.

Ashraf, of Longden Road, Levenshulme, was jailed for three years at this week after pleading guilty to attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity; attempting to arrange or facilitate sexual activity with a child; and two charges of possession of an indecent image of a child.

He was also made the subject of an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

References

  1. ^ Wigan (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  2. ^ Bolton Crown Court (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  3. ^ Oldham (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  4. ^ Bolton Crown Court (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  5. ^ Hindley Green (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  6. ^ Bolton Crown Court (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  7. ^ Wigan (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  8. ^ from Levenshulme (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  9. ^ reports Stoke-On-Trent Live. (www.stokesentinel.co.uk)
  10. ^ beginning a three-year sentence (www.stokesentinel.co.uk)

Saturday papers: Worries over inflation hit markets hard

Top stories

  • The Times[1]: Global share markets fell sharply yesterday amid concerns among investors and traders that rising inflation could force central banks to start paring back their unprecedented stimulus measures.
  • Financial Times[2]: The EU has lost a legal bid to force AstraZeneca to speed up delivery of Covid-19 vaccines or risk billions of euros in fines, the latest round in their bitter battle.
  • The Daily Telegraph[3]: Deloitte has told its 20,000 UK staff that they can work wherever they want when Covid restrictions are lifted as the accountancy firm adopts a fully flexible approach.
  • Financial Times[4]: The chair of Toshiba has pledged a full inquiry into the ‘unacceptable events’ at the company as the industry veteran prepares to defend his position next week.
  • Financial Times[5]: Botswana has discovered what experts believe is the world’s third largest diamond, just as the market for the gems has recovered from a slump in sales due to the pandemic.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian[6]: Retail sales across Great Britain fell 1.4% last month as the government’s loosening of pandemic restrictions led to a drop in food shopping and an increase in eating and drinking in restaurants and bars.
  • The Daily Telegraph[7]: Fitch moved UK economy’s economic outlook from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’, saying the country has handled the coronavirus pandemic better than previously predicted.
  • The Times[8]: Exports of food and drink to the European Union nearly halved in the first three months of year, according to data from the Food and Drink Federation.
  • The Times[9]: Pent-up demand for new cars after the lockdowns together with tight supply from manufacturers due to a shortage of microchips has boosted earnings at Inchcape, the world’s most broadly spread motor dealer, Inchcape.
  • The Times[10]: Carnival’s Princess Cruises, the world’s largest cruise operator, is pressing ahead with plans to resume sailings from the United States as Covid-19 restrictions in the country are eased.
  • The Times[11]: Inspecs, a London-listed maker of glasses frames and lenses for brands including Superdry, has swung to an annual loss after it was knocked by disruption from the coronavirus pandemic and the costs of acquisitions and its recent flotation.
  • The Guardian[12]: Starbucks received a tax credit worth £4.4m in the UK because of losses in 2020, despite the coffee chain’s US parent company making a profit during the same period of $1.2bn.
  • The Guardian[13]: Boohoo has been accused of failing to significantly improve working conditions in its supply chain, as company co-founder Carol Kane saw off an attempt to block her re-election to the board over the issue.
  • Daily Mail[14]: Fashion giant Boohoo is set to join an official ‘list of shame’ after investors rebelled over fat cat pay.
  • The Daily Telegraph[15]: Supermarket bosses are calling for trucking rules to be relaxed urgently, after Tesco warned that a shortage of lorry drivers is forcing it to throw away almost 50 tonnes of food each week.
  • The Daily Telegraph[16]: Northern Ireland could be transformed into a post-Brexit banger-producing powerhouse even if Brussels and Britain fight a sausage trade war, experts predict.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips)[17]: BUY Dixons Carphone, BUY WH Smith, BUY Admiral, BUY RWS.
  • Daily Mail[18]: Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of Louis Vuitton owner LVMH, has bid for UK investment firm True Potential through the blank-cheque company Pegasus Europe, which is also backed by former Unicredit boss Jean Pierre Mustier.
  • The Daily Telegraph[19]: Police have launched a formal investigation called into a £2 takeover of Stobart Air, the regional airline that called in liquidators last weekend.
  • The Times[20]: Bridgepoint, a private equity firm, is working on a deal to take a significant stake in Itsu, the fast-food chain that could value the Asian restaurant business at £100m.
  • The Times[21]: HSBC has ended a long struggle to divest its loss-making French retail business with a deal that will involve the British bank taking a loss of about $2.3bn.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment)[22]: Why the furlough scheme may be doing more harm than good.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment)[23]: Aldi and Lidl in pole position after Tesco’s growth grinds to a halt.

Share this story

References

  1. ^ The Times (www.thetimes.co.uk)
  2. ^ Financial Times (www.ft.com)
  3. ^ The Daily Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  4. ^ Financial Times (www.ft.com)
  5. ^ Financial Times (www.ft.com)
  6. ^ The Guardian (www.theguardian.com)
  7. ^ The Daily Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  8. ^ The Times (www.thetimes.co.uk)
  9. ^ The Times (www.thetimes.co.uk)
  10. ^ The Times (www.thetimes.co.uk)
  11. ^ The Times (www.thetimes.co.uk)
  12. ^ The Guardian (www.theguardian.com)
  13. ^ The Guardian (www.theguardian.com)
  14. ^ Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  15. ^ The Daily Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  16. ^ The Daily Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  17. ^ The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips) (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  18. ^ Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  19. ^ The Daily Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  20. ^ The Times (www.thetimes.co.uk)
  21. ^ The Times (www.thetimes.co.uk)
  22. ^ The Daily Telegraph (Comment) (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  23. ^ The Daily Telegraph (Comment) (www.telegraph.co.uk)

June 12: Lockdown lifting delay likely; Delta cases double every 4.5 days; Hottest day of the year; Queen’s quip – Car Dealer Magazine

Johnson poised to delay Covid lockdown lifting to July

Boris Johnson looks set to delay the final lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England following another sharp rise in cases of the Delta variant.

Ministers are considering putting back the relaxing of controls planned for June 21 for up to four weeks as they race to roll out the vaccine to younger age groups.

A final decision is expected to be taken tomorrow ahead of a formal announcement by the Prime Minister at a news conference the following day.

Advert

Delta variant cases doubling every 4.5 days in parts of England

Cases of the Indian variant are estimated to be doubling every four and a half days in parts of England, new data suggests.

Public Health England said that 42,323 cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed in the UK, up by 29,892 from last week.

Growth rates for Delta cases are high across all parts of the country, it added, with regional estimates for doubling time ranging from 4.5 days to 11.5 days.

Football fans to enjoy hottest day of year as temperatures approach 30C

Football fans will enjoy the hottest day of the year so far this weekend, with temperatures hitting highs of 29C (84.2F).

Advert

The mercury will soar on Sunday afternoon, just as England take on Croatia, potentially making it the warmest June 13 on record.

Parts of the UK will be hotter than holiday destinations in Ibiza, Mykonos and even California due to a high pressure moving in from the south. 

Covid-19 vaccine pioneers celebrated in Queen’s Birthday Honours list

The life-saving work of Covid-19 vaccine design and delivery is celebrated in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, with a host of awards going to the experts who transformed the UK’s pandemic response.

Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine mastermind Professor Sarah Gilbert and the ex-chair of the UK vaccine taskforce Kate Bingham are both recognised with damehoods.

Elsewhere, Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling is made an MBE for services to racial equality in sport amid controversy over England fans booing players taking the knee.

Road safety campaigner dedicates MBE to son who died in smart motorway accident

A road safety campaigner has dedicated her MBE to her eight-year-old son who was killed in a smart motorway collision.

Meera Naran said the first person she wanted to tell about her award was her son, Dev, who died after a lorry struck his grandfather’s Toyota Yaris on the M6 in May 2018.

Naran, from Leicester, has been awarded an MBE for her services to road safety after playing an instrumental role in the development and adoption of the government’s £500m 18-point road safety plan for smart motorways.

Former Lloyds boss knighted after turning around bank’s fortunes

The former boss of Lloyds Banking Group who steered the lending giant back into private ownership after its financial crisis bailout has received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Antonio Horta-Osorio is recognised for his services to the financial sector, as well as his voluntary work for mental healthcare and culture.

Friday’s Car Dealer headlines you may have missed

Queen’s quip puts G7 leaders at ease at evening reception

The Queen has asked the question possibly on the mind of every G7 world leader – ‘Are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourself?’

Known for her wit, used to put nervous guests at ease, the Queen’s quip came as presidents and prime ministers smiled for the camera during a photo after an evening reception.

The Queen hosted an open-air reception at the Eden Project in Cornwall and was joined by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Parkrun events scheduled to return in England from June 26

Parkrun events could return in England from June 26, the organisation has said.

The free 5k Saturday morning event was due to restart on Saturday June 5, however parkrun said only about 250 of the 589 venues which had previously hosted the events had given permission for them to return.

But the organisation said yesterday that more than 500 events now have ‘full landowner permission to return’ before the end of the month.

Lawgistics on the Car Dealer Podcast

Sajid Javid seeks to raise the minimum age for marriage to 18

The legal minimum age to get married in England and Wales could be raised to 18 under backbench legislation being tabled by former chancellor Sajid Javid.

Javid said he will be introducing a private member’s Bill next week to protect vulnerable teenagers from religious and cultural pressures to marry too young.

Currently 16-year-olds may marry if they have the consent of their parents.

Holiday prices slashed in amber destinations

Holidaymakers can make huge savings if they choose a destination on the government’s amber list, new figures show.

Average prices for breaks in Portugal in July or August fell by 64 per cent in the week after the government moved the country from green to amber.

Seven-night family package breaks during the school holidays are available from as little as £180 per person. People returning to the UK from amber destinations must self-isolate at home for 10 days and shouldn’t be travelling there for holidays.

Lockdown easing sees economy grow

The easing of lockdown restrictions in April helped the UK economy grow at its fastest rate since July 2020.

The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product was up 2.3 per cent in April although it remains below pre-pandemic levels. In July last year the economy grew 7.3 per cent.

Non-essential retailers, including car dealers, drove much of the growth as they welcomed customers back into stores from April 12 in England, with clothes stores seeing a boost of 69.4 per cent.

Heathrow passenger numbers 90 per cent below pre-pandemic levels

Heathrow’s passenger numbers are languishing at 90 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, the UK’s busiest airport said.

Just 675,000 people travelled through the west London airport last month, compared with 6,769,000 in May 2019.

Naked wines’ sales fizz as alcohol home deliveries soar

With pubs shut for much of the year, online drink orders from Naked Wines have soared, the company has announced.

Bosses at the home delivery business said sales in the 12 months to March 29 jumped 68 per cent to £340.2m.

But despite the boost in sales, losses widened as the company focused on expansion to tap into the growing market. Pre-tax losses hit £10.7m compared to £5.4m a year earlier.

Halfords set to see profits almost double as public transport ditched for bikes

Halfords’ profits are set to almost double for the past year after people shunned public transport in favour of bikes and cars during the pandemic.

The cycling and motoring specialist is set for another bumper trading announcement when it updates company shareholders on Thursday.

It is expected to reveal a pre-tax profit between £90m and £100m for the year to the end of April. The bumper profit, which will also take into account the £10.7m it is repaying in furlough, compares with a £52.6m profit for the previous year.

FTSE climbs to month high after rebound in UK GDP

London’s markets made a strong finish to the week as the FTSE 100 floated to a month high after traders welcomed evidence that the economy rebounded in April.

The FTSE 100 closed 45.88 points higher, or 0.65 per cent, at 7,134.06 yesterday.

The German Dax increased by 0.78 per cent and the French Cac moved 0.83 per cent higher.

McLaren Racing set to enter Extreme E in 2022

McLaren Racing has announced that it will be fielding a car in next year’s Extreme E event.

The electric off-road series ‘aims to use racing to promote sustainability and diversity’ while highlighting the effects of climate change on some of the world’s most remote environments.

McLaren’s decision to enter the series ties in with the firm’s own sustainability plans, which have seen it commit to reducing its carbon emissions.

Get more from Car Dealer

  • Premium stories
  • Used car data
  • Magazine early access

Sizzling summer weekend 

Today, England and Wales will have plenty of sunshine, says the BBC. Eastern Scotland will be partly cloudy and dry. Elsewhere, it will remain mostly cloudy with the chance of the odd spot of rain.

Tonight, cloud is expected to thicken across the Northern Isles and north-western areas, with patchy drizzle in western Scotland and rain in Shetland. Elsewhere will continue dry with clear spells.

Tomorrow, it will be dry and sunny for most, but a band of rain will push into far northwestern areas. Very warm and humid across much of England and Wales.

Electric Vehicle Orders Are Zooming at Ford

Ford Motor Co. nearly tripled its electric vehicle sales last month, according to a company report.
The auto giant increased its EV and hybrid sales this May by 184% compared to May 2020, marking a record number of 10,364 EVs sold in a given month, t…