Oxford tourist falls to death at Indian temple


Roger StotesburyImage copyright
Roger Stotesbury/ PA Wire

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Roger Stotesbury was on a “middle-aged gap year” with his wife Hilary and they were due to return home this month

A British man has fallen to his death while taking photos at a temple in India during a year-long world trip.

Roger Stotesbury, 56, was visiting Orchha, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, with his wife Hilary on Friday when he plummeted 30ft (9m) from the Laxmi Narayan temple.

The couple, from Oxford, were blogging about their “middle-aged gap year”.

The Foreign Office said it was providing assistance to the family of a British man following his death.

‘Devoted couple’

Mr Stotesbury’s family said the father of two had just finished taking shots of the scenery from the 17th Century temple, about 160 miles south of the Taj Mahal.

The couple had been due to return to the UK this month, after completing their India trip.

Image copyright
Vinod Shenoy

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Mr Stotesbury was taking photos on first floor of the Laxmi Narayan temple when he fell 30ft

A family spokesman said: “They were the most happily married couple I have ever known. They were just so devoted to each other.

“Roger took lots and lots of photographs, and he had gone to take some views from the temple.

“He put his equipment down and then he fell.”

On their blog, Mr Stotesbury wrote that his motto was to “die young as late as possible”.

The couple also wrote: “We took the view that on your deathbed you never wish you’d spent more time in the office.

“We’ve seen our two kids off into the wider world and we have no more caring responsibilities for our parents.

“So we thought now is the time to take a gap year and travel whilst we still have the health and energy. After all you only live once.”

In a statement issued on their behalf by the Foreign Office, his family said: “Roger Stotesbury was one of the most enthusiastic men who walked the planet, and was incredibly loved by his wife, children and the surrounding community.

“He brightened every room he entered. He and his wife, Hilary had planned their round-the-world gap year since the beginning of 2016 and set off on 1 November last year.

“They loved the last 11-and-a-half months of energetic travel, exploring from the bottom tip of Patagonia, right up through the Americas, to Canada, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and finally India.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are providing assistance to the family of a British man following his tragic death in India on 13 October.

“Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time.”


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Chicago stabbing part of sexual fantasy between Northwestern professor and Oxford employee, prosecutors say


A sexual fantasy plotted in an online chatroom led to the fatal stabbing of a hairstylist in July in Chicago, prosecutors told a Cook County judge Sunday at a bond hearing for a Northwestern University professor and an Oxford University employee accused in the slaying.

According to police and autopsy reports, Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau, 26, a Michigan native, was stabbed some 70 times and with such brutality that he nearly was decapitated. His throat was slit and his pulmonary artery torn. He had been stabbed 47 times in his back, chest, shoulder and abdomen. He was stabbed and cut additional times in his arms, chin, neck, hands and wrists.

Cornell-Duranleau, the 26-year-old boyfriend of since-fired professor Wyndham Lathem, 43, went to sleep in Lathem’s high-rise Chicago condo on July 26, at which point Lathem texted Andrew Warren, 56, an Oxford financial official and British citizen, that it was time to kill Cornell-Duranleau, prosecutors said.

Lathem began plunging a 6-inch dry-wall saw knife into his Cornell-Duranleau’s chest and neck, prosecutor Natosha Toller said. When the victim awoke, he began screaming and fought back.

Toller said Lathem then yelled at Warren, who was standing in a nearby doorway, and asked him for help.

Warren ran over to cover the victim’s mouth, then struck him in the head with a heavy lamp in an attempt to silence him, Toller said. As Lathem continued to stab his boyfriend, Warren left the room and returned with two kitchen knives, she said.

Warren bent over Cornell-Duranleau and joined Lathem in stabbing him, the prosecutor said.

She said the victim’s last words were addressed to Lathem: “Wyndham, what are you doing?”

Cornell-Duranleau’s body was found lying against a bedroom door of Lathem’s 10th-floor apartment, authorities said.

At the bond hearing Sunday, according to The Chicago Tribune, Lathem’s attorney Barry Sheppard submitted copies of dozens of letters attesting to his client’s character and professional achievements. He said his client “has led a life of outstanding, unblemished citizenship.”

Sheppard, as well as Warren’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood, asked for bond for the two men — a request the judge denied.

“The heinous facts speak for themselves,” said Judge Adam Bourgeois, who deemed both men potentially dangerous and ordered them to remain in custody pending trial on first-degree murder charges.

Prosecutors said Lathem and Warren had connected in an Internet chatroom about their fantasies: their plan included killing someone and then themselves.

Toller said Lathem and Warren had talked in detail beforehand about how they would kill themselves. She said Lathem was supposed to stab Warren to death as Warren was shooting and killing him.

Lathem and Warren surrendered peacefully to California authorities on August 4 after an eight-day manhunt.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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Oxford University employee charged with Chicago murder


Wyndham Lathem (left) and Andrew WarrenImage copyright
Chicago police

Image caption

Wyndham Lathem (left) and Andrew Warren were arrested more than 2,000 miles from the crime scene

An Oxford University employee has been charged with murdering a 26-year-old in Chicago.

Somerville College’s Andrew Warren, 56, and US professor Wyndham Lathem, 42, are accused of fatally stabbing Trenton Cornell-Duranleau in Mr Lathem’s flat.

Chicago Police charged the pair with first-degree murder after they were returned to the city from California.

Mr Cornell-Duranleau, a hair stylist, was found with more than 40 stab wounds on 27 July.

Mr Warren was suspended from his university job as senior treasury assistant after the body was found.

A post-mortem examination showed Mr Cornell-Duranleau had the drug methamphetamine in his system.

Mr Lathem, who has been sacked as a microbiology professor at Northwestern University in Illinois, was in a personal relationship with the victim, police have said.

He plans to plead not guilty, according to his lawyer.


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Oxford medical student dies in Nepal landslide


Lottie FullertonImage copyright
Polly Lamming

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Lottie Fullerton was trekking in Nepal when she died

Tributes have been paid to a medical student who died following a landslide in Nepal.

Lottie Fullerton was trekking on 10 August when she was hit by falling rocks and suffered a fatal head injury.

The 22-year-old, who was about to enter her fourth year at Jesus College, Oxford, has been described as “the best of people” by a friend.

About 500 people have died in floods and landslides caused by heavy rain in Nepal, Bangladesh and India.

Miss Fullerton was reportedly descending towards Tatopani in Nepal’s Mustang region when the accident happened.

Her family said her brother travelled with her to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

‘A friend to everyone’

Miss Fullerton went to Canford School in Canford Magna, Dorset. A service will be organised at Jesus College chapel in her memory.

In a statement the college said: “Lottie was a very popular member of the college and will be much missed by all at Jesus.

“A fellow student described her as ‘a friend to everyone at college’. Her tutors say she was an outstanding student, an excellent contributor, and a pleasure to teach.

“As well as being a hardworking and enthusiastic student, she played real tennis, went on the college ski trips and took part in the charity town and gown run.

“Our condolences are with her family, friends and all who knew her.”

Her friend Polly Lamming wrote an obituary to be published by the Cherwell student newspaper and said there was “no one in Jesus who does not love and respect her”.

She added: “Charlotte Fullerton was the best of people, and will always, always, be remembered as such.”


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Pakistan’s Malala ‘excited’ after winning place at Oxford University


BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) – Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize when she was 17, said on Thursday she was “excited” after winning a place to study at Oxford University.

Yousafzai said she had been accepted at Oxford to study Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. She joined thousands of other students in Britain in discovering where they will go to university after getting their final school results.

Others to have studied the same course at Oxford, one of the world’s top universities, include former British Prime Minister David Cameron and late Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Yousafzai, now 20, came to prominence when a Taliban gunman shot her in the head in 2012, after she was targeted for her campaign against efforts by the Taliban to deny women education. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

Malala Yousefzai (L) poses with fellow students Bethany Lucas (C) and Beatrice Kessedjian after collecting her ‘A’ level exam results at Edgbaston High School for Girls in Birmingham, Britain August 17, 2017.Darren Staples

“So excited to go to Oxford!! Well done to all A-level students – the hardest year. Best wishes for life ahead!” she said in a tweet. A-levels are final year exams for school students.

After recovering from the Taliban attack, she has attended school in England.

Early figures showed a fall in the number of places allocated by universities, although the proportion of students scoring top grades rose.

University admissions service UCAS said on its website the decrease in the number of university acceptances had been driven by a fall in acceptances from older students and fewer students from the European Union.

UCAS said 416,310 people had been accepted to degree courses on A-level results day, down two percent compared to 2016. But over 1 in 4 of the grades was an A or A*, the best ratings, up 0.5 percentage points on last year.

Writing by Fanny Potkin; Editing by Alistair Smout and Guy Faulconbridge


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Oxford University employee in court over US murder


Wyndham Lathem (left) and Andrew WarrenImage copyright
Chicago police

Image caption

Wyndham Lathem (left) and Andrew Warren were arrested more than 2,000 miles from the crime scene

An Oxford University employee has appeared in a US court accused of murdering a 26-year-old man in Chicago.

Somerville College’s Andrew Warren and US professor Wyndham Lathem, 42, are accused of fatally stabbing Trenton Cornell-Duranleau in Mr Lathem’s flat.

The killing on 27 July led to a US-wide eight-day manhunt for the suspects.

In San Francisco’s Hall of Justice, Mr Warren, 56, declined to fight his extradition to Chicago for questioning and was remanded in custody.

Neither of the suspects has been formally charged.

‘Presumed innocent’

The Briton appeared in baggy, orange prison-issued sweatshirt and jogging bottoms. He was filmed and photographed by the press in court.

Listening to the judge’s questions assisted by a hearing aid, Mr Warren agreed he would not oppose extradition and said he would accept a public lawyer as he could not afford his own.

Judge Edward Torpoco said: “Based on the nature of the charge, the defendant is remanded and no bail is set.”

Filming was permitted by the judge as Mr Warren had already been subject to extensive publicity as the subject of a manhunt.

After the hearing, his lawyer, Ariel Boyce-Smith, said: “Mr Warren is agreeable to being transported to Chicago, he wants the process to be started.

“I just want to remind everyone that he is presumed innocent and his agreement to go there to start the process is where we are now.”

Image copyright

Image caption

Hair stylist Trenton Cornell-Duranleau was originally from Michigan, but was living in Chicago at the time of his death

Mr Warren, who says online that he lives in Swindon, Wiltshire, has since been suspended from his job at Somerville College as senior treasury assistant.

Prof Lathem was a microbiology professor at Northwestern University in Illinois and specialised in the bacteria that caused the bubonic plague. He has since been sacked.

He appeared in court earlier this week and will be returned to Chicago for questioning.

Prof Lathem’s lawyer said he plans to plead not guilty and he described the academic as a “gentle soul”.

Earlier this month, Mr Warren handed himself in San Francisco, nearly 2,000 miles from Chicago, while Prof Lathem gave himself up in Oakland, also in California, on 4 August.

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Electric Mini to be built in Oxford


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A fully electric version of the Mini will be built in Cowley, Oxford, BMW has confirmed.

BMW said that the car, which will be a variant of its existing three-door model, would go into production in 2019.

The carmaker said Oxford would be the main “production location” for the Mini three-door model.

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BMW ‘favouring Oxford’ to build new electric Mini


BMW workers at the Cowley plantImage copyright
Getty Images

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Workers at the Cowley plant, where BMW makes Minis, had been on strike

BMW’s Oxford factory is the favoured location for building an electric version of the Mini, sources have claimed.

Two sources told Reuters the company is leaning towards the UK plant, where it has invested heavily in recent years.

The company makes about 60% of its approximately 360,000 compact cars at the Cowley factory.

A BMW spokeswoman said: “A final decision has not been taken.”

As well as Oxford, the company has built up an alternative manufacturing base in the Netherlands amid concerns about Brexit.

Reuters said its sources were “familiar with the company’s thinking” and a final decision is due in September.

‘Lose its relevance’

Between 2012 and 2015, BMW Group invested £750m to upgrade manufacturing sites in Oxford, Hams Hall and Swindon.

One source said: “If Mini became a fully electric brand in the long run, and Oxford only knew how to build combustion-engine variants, the plant would lose its relevance.”

In March, the head of BMW in the UK, Ian Robertson, said the UK was “in a strong position but it’s not the only production facility we have”.

The company said it could also build the vehicle at a plant in the Netherlands, where a plug-in hybrid version of the Mini is already being built, or a plant in Regensburg, Germany.

The threat of further strikes at the Oxford plant ended last month when Unite members accepted a revised offer over the closure of their final salary pension scheme.


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