Harvey Weinstein, 67, is almost unrecognizable as he hobbles into court

Harvey Weinstein, 67, hobbles into court with the help of an aide for hearing on sexual assault trial

  • Weinstein arrived at court in Manhattan on Friday looking frailer than in the past
  • The 67-year-old  is due to stand trial in January on five sexual assault charges
  • He denies them all and has repeatedly tried to have the case thrown out  

Harvey Weinstein was helped into court in Manhattan on Friday for a hearing on his sexual assault case.

The 67-year-old looked frailer than at his last appearance in July, clinging on to one of his aides as he made his way into the courthouse while another carried a cane. 

Friday’s hearing is to determine bail hearings again before state law changes in January.   

Weinstein will go to trial in New York in January on five counts; first degree rape, third degree rape, criminal sexual act and two counts of predatory sexual assault.  

The charges relate to two incidents involving two women; one who says she was raped by him in March 2013 and one who says he forced her into performing oral sex on him in 2006. He has repeatedly tried to have the case against him thrown out. 

Harvey Weinstein was helped by an aide into court on Friday as he arrived for a hearing on his sex crimes trial 

Weinstein walked with the help of an aide and another carried a walking stick as he arrived in court

Weinstein walked with the help of an aide and another carried a walking stick as he arrived in court 

Weinstein on Friday

Weinstein looking less frail in July

Weinstein on Friday (left) versus during a court appearance in July this year (right) 

Medals of ‘Great Escape’ hero sell for nearly £10,000 after his death in 2013

The medals of a war hero who played a key role in the ‘Great Escape’ have sold for almost £10,000.

Flight Lieutenant Leslie Broderick was in charge of guarding the entrance of one of three escape tunnels dug beneath the Stalag Luft III German prison camp.

The RAF pilot was among the 76 PoWs who famously escaped and spent three days on the run with two others before they were turned in by a farmer.

Flight Lieutenant Leslie Broderick (second from right) was in charge of guarding the entrance of one of three escape tunnels dug beneath the Stalag Luft III German prison camp

His wartime medals (pictured) have now sold at at auction to a private collector of Great Escape items for a total of £9,600

His wartime medals (pictured) have now sold at at auction to a private collector of Great Escape items for a total of £9,600

FLt Broderick was returned to the camp and put in isolation – or the cooler – for three weeks.

During that time 50 of the 76 escapees were executed by the Gestapo on the orders of Adolf Hitler.

Two of those men included Flying Officer Denys Street and FO Henry Birkland who had escaped alongside FLt Broderick.

The RAF pilot (pictured) was among the 76 PoWs who escaped and spent three days on the run with two others before they were turned in by a farmer

The RAF pilot (pictured) was among the 76 PoWs who escaped and spent three days on the run with two others before they were turned in by a farmer

His wartime medals have now sold at at auction to a private collector of Great Escape items for a total of £9,600.

Alongside them were contemporary photographs and documents and even a commemorative bag of sand from the tunnel he escaped out of.

David Kirk, of London auctioneers Morton and Eden, said: ‘We are delighted with the strong result achieved for this historically significant group of medals.

‘Medal groups to survivors of the Great Escape are very scarce to the market, especially to someone who played such a key role with one of the famous escape tunnels.

‘In addition this group included a fascinating archive of supporting documentation and personal effects, which made it even more desirable.

‘The buyer is a private collector, and was very pleased with this purchase.’

FLt Broderick served in Bomber Command’s 106 Squadron whose leader was the legendary Guy Gibson VC.

He was captured in April 1943 following a low-level bombing raid over Stuttgart.

As his Lancaster bomber turned for home it was hit by machine gun fire and burst into flames.

Alongside the medals there were contemporary photographs and documents and even a commemorative bag of sand from the tunnel he escaped out of (pictured)

Alongside the medals there were contemporary photographs and documents and even a commemorative bag of sand from the tunnel he escaped out of (pictured)

The plane was too low for the crew to bale out, so FLt Broderick crash-landed in a field near Amiens in German-occupied France.

Four of the crew were killed in the landing. The pilot and mid-upper gunner Sgt Harry Jones received minor injuries but their navigator suffered bad burns.

They were forced to give themselves up to the enemy so the airman could receive medical attention for his burns.

David Kirk, of London auctioneers Morton and Eden, said: 'We are delighted with the strong result achieved for this historically significant group of medals'

David Kirk, of London auctioneers Morton and Eden, said: ‘We are delighted with the strong result achieved for this historically significant group of medals’

FLt Broderick, who was married and came from Wandsworth, south London, was taken away from interrogation before he arrived at Stalag Luft III at Sagan, Poland, in May 1943.

Soon after his arrival the officer was given the job of ‘trapfuhrer’ of tunnel Dick out the escape routes nicknames Tom, Dicky and Harry.

His job was to unseal the entrance slab for the diggers, then seal them in again and keep watch.

After the guards discovered ‘Tom’, ‘Dick’ was abandoned and all efforts were concentrated on the main tunnel, ‘Harry’.

The tunnel was completed in March 1944 and FLt Broderick was number 52 in an original escape queue of 200.

But after the 76th man made it out the German guards rumbled the escape.

FLt Broderick spent the next 10 months at Stalag Luft III until the camp was evacuated in January 1945 as the Russians advanced from the east.

He joined the notorious ‘Long March’ or ‘Death March’ westwards which involved thousands of PoWs being walked across Poland and Germany in appalling conditions.

His group were liberated by the British army at Lubeck, nest Hamburg, on May 2, 1945.

FLt Broderick served in Bomber Command's 106 Squadron whose leader was the legendary Guy Gibson VC. He was captured in April 1943 following a low-level bombing raid over Stuttgart. pictured: The wreckage of his aircraft

FLt Broderick served in Bomber Command’s 106 Squadron whose leader was the legendary Guy Gibson VC. He was captured in April 1943 following a low-level bombing raid over Stuttgart. pictured: The wreckage of his aircraft

In his private memoirs, FLt Broderick questioned whether the Great Escape had been worth it.

He wrote: ‘I have often asked myself whether the escape of three men was worth the cost of 50 lives.

‘It is certain that the whole project kept hundreds of prisoners occupied and gave some purpose to their days. I heard that at the height of the search for escapees many thousands of German troops had been involved.

An escape tunnel (pictured) was completed in March 1944 and FLt Broderick was number 52 in an original escape queue of 200

An escape tunnel (pictured) was completed in March 1944 and FLt Broderick was number 52 in an original escape queue of 200

‘I still cannot make up my mind whether it was worthwhile. One should not lose sight of the fact that until the fifty were shot, most prisoners held the view that if you did get out, the chance of getting home from the middle of Germany was just about nil.’

FLt Broderick was demobilised in 1945 and after working as a primary school teacher on Canvey Island, Essex, he moved to South Africa in 1955 with his wife Theresa and their two sons.

He died aged 91 in 2013.

Deadly toll of escapees executed… and how WWII’s greatest PoW story got a Hollywood makeover

In the spring of 1943, RAF Squadron Leader Roger Bushell conceived a plan for a major escape from the German Stalag Luft III Camp near Sagan, now Żagań in Poland.

With the escape planned for the night of March 24, 1944, the PoWs built three 30ft deep tunnels, named Tom, Dick and Harry, so that if one was discovered by the German guards, they would not suspect that work was underway on two more.

Bushell intended to get more than 200 men through the tunnels, each wearing civilian clothes and possessing a complete range of forged papers and escape equipment.

In the spring of 1943, RAF Squadron Leader Roger Bushell conceived a plan for a major escape from the German Stalag Luft III Camp near Sagan, now Żagań in Poland 

In the spring of 1943, RAF Squadron Leader Roger Bushell conceived a plan for a major escape from the German Stalag Luft III Camp near Sagan, now Żagań in Poland 

To hide the earth dug from the tunnels, the prisoners attached pouches of the sand inside their trousers so that as they walked around, it would scatter.

The prisoners wore greatcoats to conceal the bulges made by the sand and were referred to as ‘penguins’ because of their supposed resemblance to the animal.

When the attempt began, it was discovered that Harry had come up short and instead of reaching into a nearby forest, the first man in fact emerged just short of the tree line, close to a guard tower. 

Plans for one man to leave every minute was reduced to 10 per hour.

The Great Escape starred Steve McQueen (pictured above) as Captain Virgil Hilts

The Great Escape starred Steve McQueen (pictured above) as Captain Virgil Hilts

In total, 76 men crawled through to initial freedom, but the 77th was spotted by a guard. In the hunt for the entrance one guard Charlie Pilz crawled through the tunnel but after becoming trapped at the other end called for help. 

The prisoners opened the entrance, revealing the location.

Of the escapees, three made it to safety, 73 were captured, and 50 of them executed.

… and the Hollywood film

The 1963 film The Great Escape was based on real events and, although some characters were fictitious, many were based on real people, or amalgams of several of those involved.

The film starred Steve McQueen as Captain Virgil Hilts, James Garner as Flight Lieutenant Robert Hendley and Richard Attenborough as Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett, and was based on a book of the same name by Paul Brickhill.

Contrary to the film, no American PoWs were involved in the escape attempt, and there were no escapes by motorcycle or aircraft.

Hilts’ dash for the border by motorcycle was added by request of McQueen, who did the stunt riding himself except for the final jump.

Antarctic scientists’ brains SHRUNK after they spent 14 months in an isolated research station

A group of polar explorers who spent 14 months in Antarctica came back with shrunken brains, a study has revealed.

The eight scientists and a cook had been staying on a research station close to the coast of the icy continent, to the south of the Atlantic Ocean.

But spending so much time looking at a blank landscape, cooped up in the same small building with the same people for more than a year took its toll on their minds.

MRI scans before and after the expedition revealed areas of their brains responsible for learning, emotions and memory had shrunk during the trip.

People who stayed at home, meanwhile, did not suffer the same shrinkage over the same time period and even saw some growth.

Nine people had their brains scanned before and after a 14-month stay on the isolated Neumayer Station III in Antarctica – the results showed parts of their brains related to learning had shrunk by up to 10 per cent

The study, conducted by various universities in Germany and the University of Pennsylvania, showed the brain has a ‘use it or lose it’ nature.

Because the scientists weren’t stimulating their brains enough while on the expedition, bits of them started to get weaker and shrink, like an unused muscle.

‘It’s very exciting to see the white desert at the beginning,’ Dr Alexander Stahn, who carried out the study, told Science News. ‘But then it’s always the same.’

One region of their brains – the dentate gyrus, which works to process and store information from the senses – shrunk by almost 10 per cent on average.

While other areas of the organ – it was mostly the learning centre, the hippocampus, which was affected – shrunk by around five per cent or less.

The Neumayer Station III is near the coast of Antarctica, at part of the continent which is south of the Atlantic Ocean

The Neumayer Station III is near the coast of Antarctica, at part of the continent which is south of the Atlantic Ocean

The researchers' data showed that brain volume in the expedition group decreased by between around 2.5 and 10 per cent, compared with the control group who stayed at home and actually saw increases in their brain size (top graph)

The researchers’ data showed that brain volume in the expedition group decreased by between around 2.5 and 10 per cent, compared with the control group who stayed at home and actually saw increases in their brain size (top graph)

HOW CAN ISOLATION AFFECT YOUR HEALTH? 

People who spend long periods of time alone can lose the ability to sleep properly, hallucinate, become stressed or depressed or less able to process information.

Humans are, in their basic nature, social creatures, says psychology lecturer Sarita Robinson, from the University of Central Lancashire.

Depriving the brain of interactions and stimulation can damage both physical and mental health, making people’s immune systems weaker and also triggering psychological problems.

‘One of the reasons that living in isolation is difficult is because humans are social creatures,’ Miss Robinson wrote in The Conversation.

‘Many people that have lived in isolated environments – such as researchers stationed in Antarctica – report that loneliness can be the most difficult part of the job.’

She added: ‘Loneliness can be damaging to both our mental and physical health. Socially isolated people are less able to deal with stressful situations.

‘They’re also more likely to feel depressed and may have problems processing information. This in turn can lead to difficulties with decision-making and memory storage and recall.

‘People who are lonely are also more susceptible to illness. Researchers found that a lonely person’s immune system responds differently to fighting viruses, making them more likely to develop an illness.’ 

This may have reduced the expeditioners’ emotional intelligence and made them worse at interacting with other people, Dr Stahn, who works at the Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, told Live Science.

The team were staying on the Neumayer Station III, a research station on the Ekström Ice Shelf.

Isolated and surrounded by hundreds of miles of barren snowscape, the building is on stilts and only hosts around nine people at a time.

And Antarctica is one of the most extreme environments in the world – it has a six-month summer from October to February, during which the sun almost never sets.

This is followed by six months of winter when there is almost no daylight at all. There is rarely rain or snow in Antarctica and mosses are the only plant life.

Temperatures as low as -92°C (133.6°F) have been recorded and the climate usually ranges from -10°C (14°F) to -60°C (-76°F), sometimes reaching highs of 10°C (50°F) at the coast in summer.

Dr Stahn and his colleagues scanned the brains of the researchers before and after their expedition and compared them to scans of normal people living in Germany.

They also tested levels of a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is found in larger amounts when new nerve cells are being created.

The expeditioners had around 45 per cent less BDNF than the at-home group, and it stayed lower than normal for around six weeks after they returned to society.

And the people whose hippocampuses showed the worst shrinking also performed worse on tests of brainpower than they had before they left.

Studies in rodents have found that a lack of stimulation and physical interaction shrinks the brains of animals, but how isolation affects humans is less well understood.

Dr Stahn suggested virtual reality and exercise programs could be used to try and reduce the effects.

The research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Beautician rushed to book a smear test when a client broke down about her own results

A beautician was diagnosed with cervical cancer after she rushed to book a smear test when her client broke down in tears about her own results. 

Jamie Lea Church, 34, who runs an eyebrow salon named High Brow, in Sunderland, had been putting off her smear test because life was busy, she was embarrassed to have the procedure, and felt fit and healthy.

But after hearing of her client’s ordeal, Ms Church immediately booked in and was seen just weeks later at her GP surgery.

Three days after the screening in August 2019, she was told she would need further testing because results showed she had abnormal cells.

The mother-of-three was given the devastating news the cells were cancerous in October. However, it was caught at an early stage and she was treated and already claims to be disease-free.

Now Ms Church has business cards printed with the message: ‘I spend longer doing your brows than the time it takes for a smear test, book yours now.’

Jamie Lea Church, 34, was diagnosed with cervical cancer after rushing to book a smear test when a client of hers broke down about her own results

The mother-of-three had been putting off her smear test until she had a chat with her client

The mother-of-three had been putting off her smear test until she had a chat with her client

Speaking about her diagnosis, Ms Church said: ‘I can’t even begin to tell you the whirlwind of emotions that flooded my mind.

‘I just thought of my kids, who is going to support my kids? I also thought how the hell could this happen to me?

‘But here I am sat in a hospital room being told I have cancer. The shock of that day will never ever leave me.’

The NHS invites all women between 25 and 49 for cervical screening every three years. Those aged 50 to 64 are invited every five years.

Ms Church opted to have a smear test when her client – who was being treated at the time – told of her worry over her own results. 

The chat gave her ‘goosebumps’ and she booked in for the smear test she had been dreading straight away.

She wrote on Facebook: ‘My last smear was 2014 so a little later than normal.

‘I’d love to say I’d probably have booked it after Xmas but if I’m being honest I wouldn’t have been in any rush. I mean why would I?

‘I’m a fit and healthy 34-year-old. I can do with out the embarrassment of having my bits out for all to see. Iv got enough going on with out thinking about myself [sic].’

After having her smear test, Ms Church was asked to attend Sunderland Royal Hospital, where doctors told her they had found abnormalities.

Around one in 20 women show abnormal changes to the cells of their cervix, but it doesn’t mean they have cancer. They should be referred for a more detailed exam – usually a colposcopy.

Ms Church is now cancer-free and is urging others to get their smear test. She said she would have put hers off until after Christmas because she felt healthy

Ms Church is now cancer-free and is urging others to get their smear test. She said she would have put hers off until after Christmas because she felt healthy 

Doctors performed an immediate biopsy to remove small pieces of tissue from the cervix for testing.

In most cases, the abnormalities do not mean cervical cancer. But Ms Church was told she had the killer disease.

Ms Church had the cells removed during a large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ), a procedure for very early stages of cervical cancer, according to the NHS.

The procedure may also be used for abnormal cells which aren’t cancerous. Cells are removed using a fine wire and an electrical current under local anaesthetic. 

WHAT IS CERVICAL CANCER?

Cervical cancer affects the lining of the lower part of womb.

The most common symptom is unusual bleeding, such as between periods, during sex or after the menopause, but other signs can include:

  • Pain during sex
  • Vaginal discharge that smells 
  • Pain in the pelvis

Causes can include:

  • Age – more than half of sufferers are under 45
  • HPV infection – which affects most people at some point in their lives
  • Smoking – responsible for 21 per cent of cases
  • Contraceptive pill – linked to 10 per cent of cases
  • Having children
  • Family history of cervical or other types of cancer, like vagina

Source: Cancer Research UK 

Ms Church did not have to stay overnight in hospital during her treatment but claims she suffered weeks of bleeding and cramps – but she said it was a small price to pay.

Stage one cervical cancer is usually treated with surgery and combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy, according to Cancer Research UK. 

Returning to Sunderland Royal Hospital on December 4, Ms Church, mother to Jaxon, 14, Nevaeh, 12, and Asa, eight, was given the good news that the treatment had worked and the cells were gone.

She said: ‘I’ve spent months waiting on results and having letters come through the door screaming cervical cancer.

‘It was a surreal feeling.

‘I felt like a fraud whenever I had to tell people because I wasn’t poorly, I didn’t look like I had cancer and I didn’t feel like I had cancer. It wasn’t real.

‘I carried on every single day, kept busy at work and kept my mind off it in the hope that it will all just go away.

‘But after that last procedure I got a call to meet with the consultant who told me that I am cancer-free.’

Now Ms Church is on a mission to raise awareness of the need to go for a regular smear test. 

She said: ‘My smear test picked up the cancer, I’ve been through hell and now it’s over.’

She has shared her story on Facebook and has been overwhelmed by the response – with her post receiving more than 1,000 likes and shares and more than 500 comments in just 16 hours.

Ms Church has even been contacted by a major cervical cancer organisation who are keen to share her story.

In her post the brave mum explains what is involved in a smear test in the hope of reducing the stigma around going and reminding women that the small amount of discomfort could end up saving their lives.

Ms Church said: ‘Book your smear!’

‘Yeah it’s embarrassing, but I’d take that over anything I have had to deal with since August this year.

‘I’m lucky, I feel like the luckiest girl alive right now and I’m fully aware that some aren’t so lucky. My smear test saved my life.’

WHAT IS A SMEAR TEST?

A smear test detects abnormal cells on the cervix, which is the entrance to the uterus from the vagina.

Removing these cells can prevent cervical cancer.

Most test results come back clear, however, one in 20 women show abnormal changes to the cells of their cervix.

In some cases, these need to be removed or can become cancerous.

Being screened regularly means any abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix can be identified at an early stage and, if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing (stock image)

Being screened regularly means any abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix can be identified at an early stage and, if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing (stock image)

Cervical cancer most commonly affects sexually-active women aged between 30 and 45. 

In the UK, the NHS Cervical Screening Programme invites women aged 25-to-49 for a smear every three years, those aged 50 to 64 every five years, and women over 65 if they have not been screened since 50 or have previously had abnormal results.

Women must be registered with a GP to be invited for a test. 

In the US, tests start when women turn 21 and are carried out every three years until they reach 65.

Changes in cervical cells are often caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), which can be transmitted during sex. 

In January 2018, women shared selfies with smeared lipstick on social media to raise awareness of the importance of getting tested for cervical cancer in a campaign started by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

Celebrities including model and socialite Tamara Ecclestone, former I’m A Celebrity! star Rebekah Vardy and ex-Emmerdale actress Gaynor Faye joined in to support the #SmearForSmear campaign.

Socialite Tamara Ecclestone is supporting Jo's Trust's #SmearForSmear campaign

Socialite Tamara Ecclestone supported the Jo’s Trust’s #SmearForSmear campaign

Employer invites candidates to a 7am interview but doesn’t show up himself until 6pm

Employer invites six candidates to a 7am interview but doesn’t show up until 6pm to test their patience – so, would YOU wait?

  • Jerry Doubles, from Nigeria, shared a job interview that lasted almost 12 hours 
  • He told Twitter candidates had to wait from 7am until 6pm to see the employer
  • The method of testing patience was blasted as disrespectful of candidate’s time 

An employer hoping to test the patience of prospective staff has been slammed, for making candidates wait almost 12 hours.

Jerry Doubles, from Nigeria, took to Twitter to reveal a tale he’d heard about six job seekers being asked to attend a job interview at 7am, only to be left waiting all day. 

Two of them stayed until the interviewer finally arrived at 6pm, and were rewarded with jobs for passing his test of patience.  

Some commenters said it was wrong of the employer to waste candidates’ time, but one woman confessed she had succeeded in getting a job that had the same process in the past. 

People from around the world joined a debate over the length of time job seekers should wait to be seen when invited to an interview (file image)

Jerry Doubles from Nigeria, shared on Twitter how an employer made a group of six job seekers wait 11 hours for an interview

Jerry Doubles from Nigeria, shared on Twitter how an employer made a group of six job seekers wait 11 hours for an interview 

His post inspired others to share stories of how they had waited extensive periods in the hopes of been giving a job

His post inspired others to share stories of how they had waited extensive periods in the hopes of been giving a job 

Explaining the scenario, Jerry wrote: ‘An employer invited six people for an interview at 7:00am, they were all dressed and sharp before the time. He told them to wait.

‘By 3:00pm, three had left. By 6:00pm, he came and met only two. They got the job.

‘That was the interview. Test of PATIENCE.’ 

Blasting the employer, one person responded: ‘This is insulting on so many levels, including wasting people’s time. They had to wait ten plus hours, all the while paying for parking and/or babysitting, skipping lunch, etc. It’s rude and not a company I would want to work for.’ 

Another added: ‘Any employer who pulls a stunt like this is one you don’t want to work with. They will continue to play insane mind games with you for the entirety of your employment. 

‘Some people can’t afford to be picky and they know this. Why do people think mistreating your employees is okay?’ 

A flood of responses to the post came from those arguing that the employer had no respect for the candidates time

A flood of responses to the post came from those arguing that the employer had no respect for the candidates time

A third said: ‘I have witnessed such. The employer just employed the two worst out of the six. Patience is not a criteria for interview. Someone that is lucrative won’t waste a whole day chasing shadows. Hardworking men make plans, desperate men sit and watch.’ 

Others argued making candidates wait for extensive periods reveals to the employer who can be exploited. 

‘Obedience maybe… not patience. 11 hours to wait for an interview that doesn’t guarantee you a job? Not having a life outside of work/school, and letting it be all consuming is not a healthy lifestyle,’ wrote one.

Another said: ‘A clever way of filtering out applicants with kids, or any other responsibilities beyond slaving for a living’

‘Leave your child at school and don’t feed them. Miss your dentist appointment. Your mother can wait longer in the hospital. A small business psycho wants to flex his tiny d*** by making you wait all day in a lobby. They’re testing desperation. Desperate workers are the most EXPLOITABLE,’ added a third. 

Others said the employer used the method as a way of filtering candidates who may have other commitments outside of work

Others said the employer used the method as a way of filtering candidates who may have other commitments outside of work