'Too tough sentences' spark warning

Jailing those involved in the riots for longer than they deserve risks undermining confidence in the justice system, lawyers and campaigners said today.

On the edge: How one couple in Cornwall cracked gardening by the sea

As a sailor, I respect the sea; as a gardener, I'd very much prefer to do without it, because with a sea view comes a wind, bearing salt on its wings. "The most effective windbreak," according to Your Gardening Questions Answered, "is provided by planting two kinds of hedges, a sturdy wind-resister such as blackthorn or euonymus, set in two rows four feet apart on the side facing the sea: then four feet inside that a hedge of hebes or escallonia to filter out what gets past the outer defences..." But seaside gardeners who plant the cheerless hedges four feet apart, might find that within a few years, they've not only lost half the garden to hedge, but also planted out the view.

More Treasure strewn in the wake of Frankel

No doubt the majority even of those jockeys staying locally remain scrupulously immune to the hedonism that infects Chester during this carnival. There were presumably one or two, however, who were a little uneasy to discover that the British Horseracing Authority's breathalyser unit had made one of its random appearances before racing yesterday. Whether or not he was one of them, it was Francis Norton who would ultimately suffer the embarrassment of being stood down for the day. At least he could comfort himself that very few of the Ladies' Day crowd might feel eligible to throw the first stone.

Overturn and Ahern run rings round rivals

As though provoked by the sudden, impudent opposition of the Punchestown Festival, this place pulled out all the stops yesterday. The Roodee spread out lazily beneath the sunshine, its gorgeous crush of humanity cooled by a breeze curling between the river and Chester's city wall. Out on the track, meanwhile, a filly from Ireland volunteered herself as a highly plausible Classic winner, and a trainer from just down the road achieved genuine distinction even in the oldest racecourse annals in the land. These, compounding all the benedictions since 1539, made it hard to imagine that anyone might rather be anywhere else on the Turf.

High-flying Quins eager to tame hungry Wolves

It is time to start taking Harlequins' play-off credentials very seriously indeed. The 27-16 victory on 11 March at St Helens' temporary home in Widnes was their fourth win in five games this season. While their coach, Rob Powell, is not getting carried away, he knows they have already exceeded many people's expectations for their season.

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Betts to hand Sculthorpe Widnes chance

Danny Cculthorpe is being given the chance by Widnes to revive his career after more than a year out of action. The former Wigan prop was released by Bradford without playing a game for them, because of an infection that set in after a back operation.

Chancellor opposes waste disposal on his doorstep

Cheshire residents have come together in one of the most fiercely fought campaigns to oppose municipal waste incinerators since six were proposed to dispose of their rubbish. They claim that their county is in danger of becoming "the most incinerator-contaminated place in Britain".

Monaghan signing spells end for Hicks at Wolves

Warrington have signed the Australian Test winger Joel Monaghan and announced the retirement of Chris Hicks to make room for him on their overseas quota. Monaghan resigned from the Canberra Raiders in disgrace after an end-of-season drinking session resulted in a compromising photo of him with a dog.