Richie Robins was punched and knocked unconscious but the attack continued as he lay on floor

Hackney council backs down

Hackney Council, in east London, last night backed off from a confrontation with the Government over the running of its schools, by appointing a director of education - a post which has not been filled for nearly two years.

Teenager was probably strangled

Schoolgirl Kirsty Tidman, whose dismembered torso and legs were found floating in the River Thames, was sexually assaulted and probably strangled, an inquest heard yesterday.

Men held over curry-delivery killing

Six men were arrested yesterday by detectives investigating the killing of a man stabbed to death on 21 May as he delivered a curry outside the Solicitor General's home in north London.

Torch will shine into Hackney's dark corners

As inspectors prepare to shine torches into the darkest corners of Hackney education authority in search of the reasons for its schools' under performance, the question of where education authorities go wrong is back in the national spotlight, writes Lucy Ward.

Stolen medals found after 14 years

A medal won by a private in the Boer War has been returned to his granddaughter, 14 years after it was stolen from her home.

Woking given nasty bite by underdogs

Football: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Woking 1 (after extra time)

Police shock over officer's suicide

A promising young police officer, tipped by colleagues to reach the top of his profession, has committed suicide. Fellow officers discovered the body of Detective Chief Inspector David Bass, 33, at his East London home on Sunday evening.

14 years for cab driver who preyed on women

Young, lone women who hired Devis Barthram, a 34-year-old minicab driver, did so in good faith, trusting him to take them home safely. Instead, he grossly abused their trust, spying on their every move, raping one of them and indecently assaulting three others in a reign of terror.

Kray fans turn out to reconcile Ronnie with God

The legend of the Krays has spread to a second generation, as junior followers are brought up to worship and adore the gangster twins. Six-year-old Ryan knelt at the grave of Ronnie Kray and, with as much ceremony as he could summon, laid a series of white carnations at the foot of the granite slab.

Letter: Rich kids

Kate Sampson's report on working mums and their children did much to assuage my, and no doubt other middle-class mums', guilt ("For God's sake, mum, get a job", Real Life, 16 February). I flattered myself that my intellect and energy were better used outside the home. Did our children suffer or do worse in their exams? I do not and will never know.

Boys held in hunt for machete attackers

Three teenage boys were arrested yesterday by police investigating the attempted murder of a schoolboy in Eltham, south-east London, on Friday.

Letter: Chingford line

Your story on the Greenwich Meridian ("The invisible line that could make pounds 1,000 a day", 19 January) couldn't name every location that it passes through, obviously. But here in Chingford - or "east of Enfield" as Stephen Goodwin calls it - we couldn't help feeling disappointed that no mention was made of the notable feature on our suburb's northern borders. This is Pole Hill, on whose summit, 299 feet above sea level, stands an obelisk marking the transit of the original Greenwich Meridian. There are several other places in Waltham Forest, too, where markers in the pavement indicate where the meridian passes.

Football: Vase offers meeting of mergers

Non-League notebook

Ouija killer sent to Broadmoor

A Devil worshipper who stabbed a 15-year-old boy to death after a Ouija board spelled out the word "kill" was ordered to be detained indefinitely in Broadmoor.

Fraud claims at Hackney

A formal challenge to the accounts of Hackney Council, the troubled London borough hit by Labour group splits and allegations of fraud and racism, was made yesterday to the district auditor, Chris Koelhi.
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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

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The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
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Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
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Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

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