Bethany Wales

Researcher

Articles By Bethany Wales:

Menlove and the haystack

Menlove was not an ideal neighbour. Not only was he dismissive and thoughtless, but his tendency to ignore helpful advice was the source of much frustration in the village. Vaughn, Menlove’s closest neighbour, would come to blows with the farmer almost daily. Their arguments covered a variety of topics, mostly to do with the way…

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Promise or Puff? The curious case of the Carbolic Smoke Ball

On November 13, 1891, an advert was printed in newspapers across the UK offering £100 to anyone willing to act as a human guinea-pig for a dubious new flu cure. The advert would result in consequences that are still being felt more than 100 years later, and become the benchmark against which all modern contract…

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An irrational release: The case of the black cab rapist

In November 2017, the UK Parole Board sparked a national outcry when it revealed that serial sex attacker John Worboy would be released from prison, having served just 8 years behind bars. While the decision was not out of the ordinary, the backlash was severe and resulted in two of Worboys’ victims launching legal action…

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A duty of care: The head injury that changed negligence law

The question of who has a duty of care to sick patients is one that has been explored, tested, and revised countless times by the NHS. The responsibility of medical staff to keep their charges safe has long been recognised as one of the most important agreements in British law, with failures to do so…

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How to Bury a Serial Killer

In 1966, Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were convicted of the torture and murder of five children, and sentenced to life in prison. The “Moors Murders”, so called because the killers buried their victims on Saddleworth Moor in Yorkshire, sent shockwaves through the UK, and were viewed by generations as the distillate of evil distillate….

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Shipwreck, murder, and cannibalism

In 1884, two thousand km off the coast of South Africa, four men cling to a tiny lifeboat, watching the furious Atlantic ocean engulf the yacht they had been sailing. This was not how the voyage was supposed to end. The crew, Edwin Stephens, Edmund Brooks, Richard Parker, and Captain Tom Dudley, had been specially…

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Stagecoach takes rail franchise row to High Court

In early 2019, rail operator Stagecoach made legal history, by facing down the UK government in court. The row emerged after ministers barred the company from bidding on three major franchises, East Midlands, West Coast and South Eastern. The Department for Transport branded Stagecoach’s bids “non-compliant”  after the company refused to take on long-term funding…

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When is discrimination justified? Heskett takes on the MOJ

In 2018, financial cuts for the Ministry of Justice were triggering a surprising dispute about age discrimination, and when it is justified in the work place. In response to the financial crisis, the government had slashed spending,  in a series of cuts which triggered reduced pay increases for those working in the public sector.  Employees…

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When “doing nothing” amounts to assault

In 1969, a man referred to simply as “Fagan” was convicted of battery. His crime? He did, precisely, nothing. The Police Officer’s Foot Vincent Fagan was having a bad day. A relatively new driver, he was not particularly skilled at parking, and his attempt to pull out of the way of other drivers resulted in…

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Conjoined Twins: Mary and Jodie – To Separate or not to Separate?

Maltese twins,  known publicly as Mary and Jodie, were born joined at the abdomen and pelvis in August 2000. They were delivered by C section at at St. Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, to devout Catholic parents from Malta. Early scans had revealed that the twins shared a spine and lower abdomen, although the full extent of…

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