The Cincinnati Bengals were too much for the Atlanta Falcons to handle in the team’s first preseason open.Two new Bengals players, Giovani Bernard and Josh Johnson have established themselves as offensive tools that may help Cincinnati in the regular season.Bernard scored as he shared carries running the ball and Johnson led two second-quarter touchdown drives, which helped Cincinnati steamroll the Atlanta Falcons 34-10 Thursday night.“We’ll complement each other really well,” Bernard said. “I think people got a little taste of it tonight.”Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said he was impressed by the performance of his players.“I was impressed overall with what he did out there,” said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis of Johnson. “We know he can make plays with his legs, but throwing the ball is how a quarterback has to make a living in this league, and it was a real nice play to Brandon Tate.”The Cincinnati Bengals went 10-6 last season. They are trying to get over the hump after suffering their second straight loss in the first round of the playoffs. Their last playoff win came back in the 1990 season.
On Tuesday, NBA veteran Derek Fisher took on New York, saying he’s prepared and excited that his first NBA coaching job is with the New York Knicks — two weeks after playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.“I am experienced,” Fisher, 39, said at a press conference. “Basketball is a game that I am experienced in playing, understanding, leading in, guiding in, helping another group of people achieve the greatest gift in the world as a professional athlete, and that’s being a champion … and that’s the experience that I plan on sharing with these players, sharing with this organization.”Knicks president Phil Jackson introduced Fisher at the team’s training facility Tuesday. Yahoo! Sports reported Monday that Fisher and the Knicks were in the process of finalizing a five-year, $25 million agreement.Fisher’s relationship with Jackson was a key factor that led him to New York. Fisher won five titles while playing in parts of nine seasons for Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers.“That’s why I’m here,” Fisher said. “That’s why I took advantage of this opportunity, to be a part of that process. … We know without a doubt that we can re-establish what that means, what that is.”Jackson, who originally offered the job to another former player, Steve Kerr, said: “Derek has a long, laundry list of coaches that he’s worked under and had a tremendous amount of success, and we welcome him.”Kerr accepted an offer to coach the Golden State Warriors, spurning Jackson and the Knicks after Jackson said they had a verbal agreement. Once Kerr chose the Warriors, Jackson focused on Fisher, who played in an NBA-record 259 playoff games and won an NBA-record 161.Fisher is an 18-year NBA veteran who also served as president of the National Basketball Players Association during the 2011 lockout.
Junior forward Sam Thompson scans the court during a game against Minnesota Feb. 22 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 64-46.Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editorThe college basketball season is a grind.Teams play 30 or so games during the regular season from November until early March, but once tournament time comes around that intensity grows dramatically.For the Ohio State men’s basketball team (23-8, 10-8) to achieve its goals in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament, it will have to play in four games in four consecutive days.Junior forward Sam Thompson said Wednesday that although winning the championship could be tough, the team is ready for the challenge.“We’ve all packed to play through Sunday, and we all expect to play four games in four days so that’s what we’re going down to do,” Thompson said.The Buckeyes are scheduled to play in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament Thursday against Purdue (15-16, 5-13), a team they have beaten twice already this year. If OSU can get past the Boilermakers they will face Nebraska in the second round Friday.Each of the last five seasons OSU has played three games in three days, at least making it to the Tournament final in each of those seasons, but this year the team doesn’t have a first round bye that will allow for one less game.Senior guard Aaron Craft said the lack of a first round bye is something the players on the team have never experienced, but that they will just continue to play how they have all season.“Hopefully we can play a few games,” Craft said. “Obviously we’re in a new situation we haven’t been in since I’ve been here … It’s just another opportunity to play basketball and I hope we take the opportunity and make the most of it.”Thompson said at the end of the three day run of games players were tired, but that he has no doubt that the team will step up if given the opportunity to play on Sunday.“It’s been a little difficult,” Thompson said. “I remember last year when we played Wisconsin some guys legs were pretty heavy, there was a lot of fatigue going on. … We have the players that can do it, we’re tough enough to do it, if we’re fortunate enough to play four games in four days we will bring our best basketball then.”Craft said getting to the tournament final itself will be the motivating factor to help OSU plays its best basketball, even on tired legs.“If we’re fortunate enough to make it that far, the adrenaline and excitement of making it that far would overcome being tired or anything like that,” Craft said. “It’s at a point where you’ve just got to suck it up and get the job done and that’s what it’s going to be like if we are able to win tomorrow and able to win on Friday. We’ve just got to keep going and put yourself behind the team goal.’A big factor in tournament play is the one-and-done aspect of play, where one bad game can result in the end of a season or a career for certain players. Craft said the raised stakes raises the pressure on the players.“There’s no more second chances,’ Craft said. “If you go out and play lackadaisical you’re going to go home and no one likes to go home, there’s still basketball to be played.”Coach Thad Matta said the preparation for games doesn’t change, even with the increased pressure.“In terms of preparation, in terms of pregame speeches, in terms of what we eat it’s kind of always the same,” Matta said.The Buckeyes swept Purdue this season, winning 78-69 Dec. 31 and 67-49 Feb. 8. Thompson said the familiarity with a team like Purdue means the battle will come down to execution.“Well anytime we play Purdue we know it’s going to be a battle. They’re one of the toughest playing teams in the Big Ten,” Thompson said. “They’re going to rebound, they’re going to play in transition, they’re going to play hard so we know that we have to bring our best basketball, we know that it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Despite their record we know that we’re in for a 40 minute basketball game. We have to execute, we have to come out and play our best basketball. This is the third time we’ve played them, there’s going to be no surprises, they know what we want to do, we know what they want to do so it’s about executing.”Matta said records no longer matter because any team can beat any team.“It’s a new season for everybody right now in terms of this tournament. We have seen them (Purdue) over the last couple of weeks play some unbelievable basketball,” Matta said. “They’re a team that we know what they’re going to do defensively, we’ve got a real good feel for them offensively … They’re going to pressure you and do all of those things but we can’t give up easy baskets in transition. We got down here early because we weren’t as ready as we needed to be.”The first round game is set to tipoff at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, 25 minutes after the finish between Indiana and Illinois.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during a warmups prior to preseason action against the Carolina Panthers on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.Credit: Courtesy of TNSAfter a nearly month-long trial that began on Aug. 12, Judge Richard Berman nullified the NFL’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Thursday morning.On Jan. 18 in the AFC Championship Game versus the Indianapolis Colts, it was discovered that 11 game balls provided by the Patriots were underinflated significantly — thus launching the scandal known as “deflategate.”On May 6, lawyer Ted Wells — who had been investigating Brady’s affiliation with the tampering of the footballs — reported in the Wells Report that he had concrete evidence to show Brady’s direct affiliation with the tampering of game balls. Five days later, the NFL suspended Brady for the first four games of the 2015 season. Brady decided to appeal his suspension and arrived at NFL headquarters on June 23. A month later, on July 28, the NFL upheld his suspension and denied the NFL Players Association access to the league’s investigative notes and a request to question Jeffrey Pash, the editor of the Wells Report.Fast forward to Aug. 12, when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL met with Brady and the NFLPA in court for their first session. The NFLPA argued the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell did not have sufficient grounds for suspending Brady. Goodell’s initial punishment of four games to Brady was determined by Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement, which states, “The Commissioner and a club will not both discipline a player for the same act or conduct. The Commissioner’s disciplinary action will preclude or supersede disciplinary action by any Club for the same act or conduct.”Why the NFLPA ever agreed to such a statement is highly questioned by the media, but what ended up being the largest fault by Goodell and the NFL was the lack of access Brady and the NFLPA received.On Thursday, Berman made his official ruling, which exonerated Brady from his suspension, stating, Berman cited three “legal deficiencies” that led him to his ruling: he found that Brady did not have adequate notice of his potential discipline, was denied the chance to meet with one of the NFL’s two lead executives and was not granted “equal access to investigative files.”This ruling is one of several that has gone against Roger Goodell and the NFL in the last four years. From the 2012 “Bountygate” with the New Orleans Saints where Goodell suspended four players for a varying number of games during the season — only to be overturned and no player had to serve a suspension. During the 2014 and 2015 offseasons, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy have all been involved in separate domestic violence cases. Each player went through an appeal process in which they all won their cases and had their suspensions reduced significantly.With eight suspensions reduced from Goodell’s initial punishment in the last four years, he has yet to set a primary example for disciplinary action against players who fail to comply with league rules. Commissioner Goodell’s reputation and popularity among players and fans — or lack thereof — takes another hit due to the inadequacies of his punishments given out to players. Brady is the first to go to court and win against the commissioner and the NFL — and he likely won’t be the last.With Brady’s win against the NFL, this could start a trend of future players facing disciplinary action to take action in court. Players would not take a smaller penalty through the appeal process, but rather go to court and completely sink Goodell’s reputation — the little that is still floating above water. The public and media began to be infuriated by Goodell’s actions as commissioner when TMZ got ahold of the video where Rice physically abused his fiancée — now wife — in an Atlantic City elevator before the NFL obtained the video and took action against Rice.During Goodell’s time as commissioner of the nation’s most popular sport, he has continuously dissatisfied loyal NFL enthusiasts with his rash punishments without merit, and the disastrous 2012 referee strike is another mark on his legacy.Brady is a mere character in the continued scrutiny of Goodell’s time as commissioner. When Goodell’s contract is up in 2019, these disciplinary decisions and his unpopularity should be monumental factors in whether or not he is reinstated as commissioner of the NFL.As for Brady, he is now set to start the first game on Sept. 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and will look to put “Deflategate” behind him. Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke to reporters after the ruling, according to the Patriots’ website, saying, “Tom Brady is a classy person of the highest integrity.” He later added, “Now, we can return our focus to the game on the field.”
OSU freshman linebacker Baron Browning addresses the media on National Singing day at the Woody Hayes Athletic Complex on Feb. 1, 2017. Credit: Nicholas McWilliams | Sports EditorOhio State freshman linebacker Baron Browning will miss the remainder of spring practice with a shoulder injury, OSU coach Urban Meyer said Tuesday.Browning re-injured his shoulder he hurt during high school and Meyer said he underwent surgery Tuesday. Jeremy Birmingham of Land of 10 reported that it was a torn labrum.Sources have informed me its a torn labrum for Baron Browning, surgery this morning. Out for spring.— Jeremy Birmingham (@Birm) March 28, 2017Browning, a five-star recruit from Texas, is one of 10 early enrollees for the Buckeyes.Meyer said Browning will be full-speed by June and ready for fall camp.
Chris Holtmann claps in affirmation in the first half of the game against Rutgers on Feb. 2. Ohio State won 76-62. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorChris Holtmann had to start over. After inheriting what became the Big Ten Player of the Year in Keita Bates-Diop and forward Jae’Sean Tate from the Thad Matta regime in his first season as the Ohio State head coach, Holtmann had to mold his team into something else entirely in his second season. Ohio State was not going to be the same team during the 2018-19 season without Tate and Bates-Diop. Holtmann was tasked with rebuilding his roster from the ground up, relying on unproven talent, including a four-member 2018 recruiting class. But Holtmann had the same goal for his team in his second season as the first: getting a bid in the NCAA Tournament.“I thought we would have to play well. I did,” Holtmann said. “I thought it was if we played well, I thought it could be very, very close.” However, the rebuilding process would have to happen a lot quicker than anticipated. Ohio State would open the season in Cincinnati on Nov. 7, taking on the Bearcats in one of 14 Quadrant 1 games the Buckeyes would play this season, according to the NET rankings. Ohio State would leave Cincinnati with a 64-56 win in their first regular season matchup since 1921, as well as momentum heading into a season full of unknowns. That momentum did not remain consistent, and the unknowns were never fully answered, but when Holtmann thought about the season as a whole with his team in the NCAA Tournament as an 11 seed, it was the first game that came to mind. “It wasn’t like, ‘OK, you are going to play your way into figuring out who you are,’” Holtmann said. “We had to be pretty good on opening night or else you are missing out on an opportunity that could prove valuable, and it obviously proved very valuable.”Holtmann felt he had to create and define Ohio State’s identity prior to the first game of the season, one that was completely different than the five-seed NCAA Tournament team he had in his first season. And many aspects of that identity have remained integral as the season continued, heading into the Buckeyes’ first round matchup with Iowa State in the tournament. Sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson was key offensively against the Bearcats, leading Ohio State with 15 points, making 5-of-9 from the field. It was the first of six games in which Wesson shot over 50 percent from the field, becoming the Buckeyes’ leading scorer and rebounder, and the player many opposing defenses planned around. But Ohio State’s overall offensive approach did not prove to be based solely on Wesson from the start of the season. Instead, the Buckeyes’ approach was to be better from deep than it was a year ago. After hitting 3-of-11 from 3 in the first half, Ohio State connected on 5-of-9 in the second, leaving Cincinnati hitting 40 percent of its 3-point attempts. Despite his 2-of-7 start to the season, senior guard C.J. Jackson has continued that trajectory, hitting 38.2 percent of his shots from 3 on a team-high 152 attempts. Freshman guard Luther Muhammad, making his first collegiate start, also proved to be much more aggressive than he was throughout the regular season. He made 4-of-10 from the field, one of six games this season in which he had double-digit shot attempts, for 11 points, one of 12 double-digit scoring games. But it was not until the postgame that storylines began to be established for Ohio State. Holtmann called the win against the Bearcats a good test of resiliency for his team on the road, saying he was interested to see if that toughness would remain throughout the season. Ohio State ended the season winning five of 12 true road games, including only 2-of-7 road games against conference opponents. With the new faces on the roster, Holtmann was not ready to begin making sweeping statements on the quality of his team after one win, instead focusing on what was immediately next: tomorrow’s practice. A sweeping statement would prove to be useless to describe Ohio State. After winning 12 of their first 13 games of the season, the Buckeyes lost five of their next six games, ending the season with an 8-12 record in Big Ten play. But Holtmann did get an idea of what his players could be, from Muhammad’s fiery personality — earning a technical foul in his first game — to the leadership of Jackson and redshirt senior guard Keyshawn Woods. Holtmann said Sunday he has seen many members of his roster, including players who stepped up in the win against Cincinnati, perform in their new roles, giving them a chance at enough success for postseason play. But an identity was never truly established. “We have never coached a team with this number of new faces, and you are trying to figure out with each passing day who we are and who we are becoming,” Holtmann said. “That’s been the challenge.” And as the season continued, other storylines developed: foul trouble, Kaleb Wesson’s suspension, the freshman highs and lows, including Muhammad’s late-season struggles, and injuries to Jackson and sophomore forward Kyle Young. But to Jackson, Ohio State, through its ups and downs, achieved its preseason goal, the same goal the team had with Bates-Diop and Tate. “We did what we had to do throughout the season to put ourselves in position to make the NCAA Tournament,” Jackson said. “So at the end of the day, especially with the young team, that’s all you can ask for.” Even without a true identity, without knowing who would be the main offensive leader or the leader in the locker room, Ohio State still found a way to beat Cincinnati, a team that will go into the tournament as a seven seed. “We have had our struggles. We have, there’s no doubting that, and we all take responsibility for that,” Holtmann said. “But we have also won some games, and we won some important games certainly beginning with our very first one.”
Paul Schofield and his partner Rosalyn Davies went to hospital in Iceland after his accidentCredit:CAVENDISH/Facebook Miss Davies said: “He told them about the second incident of falling in the street and not the first. He and I were concerned about our insurance cover at that time.”We were worried that they would consider horse riding to be a dangerous sport. We didn’t appreciate at the time that the situation would become so serious and we thought that his injuries would be investigated at the hospital.”He was told he had three broken ribs, was given painkillers and was sent home by junior doctors – but once back at the apartment Mr Schofield’s condition deteriorated.The hearing was told the hospital later admitted Mr Schofield had been sent to the wrong department and that there was also an IT issue with accessing the X-ray images so that the information was passed on orally and decisions made based on that by junior staff members. Paul Schofield failed to tell doctors about the horse riding accident, instead only telling them he had slipped on volcanic dust on a pavement in Reykjavík, picturedCredit:BLOOMBERG They also concluded that there was low staffing on the day, that the hospital was busy and there was an “underestimation” of his injuries.Joanna Kearsley, the coroner, gave a conclusion of accidental death, saying: “There were a number of things that unfortunately weren’t spotted and that were missed by the hospital.”It was the missed opportunity to consider the seriousness of injury on X-ray which probably would have resulted in a CT scan. It was the falling from the horse, it was that incident which led to the splenic rupture.”I am satisfied it was the fall from the horse which prompted him to have those injuries.”I am grateful to the authorities in Iceland for providing information which can be hard when people die abroad. The report was very thorough.”In statement, Mr Schofield’s family said: “We just hope that it doesn’t happen again to anybody. The hospital have said that they are making changes. This is a good thing for other people.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Miss Davies added: “Everybody had a different horse in the afternoon. I remember there was something wrong with Paul’s saddle. The leader of the group went to fix it and said that if it happened again to tell her.”He did that again, and she went to another group to get something for him. It was some sort of gel blanket to put underneath the saddle.”The group continued on the trek, but Mr Schofield’s horse struggled to stay in single file.Miss Davies said: “I was looking back and at that point I saw that Paul wasn’t on his pony. I saw that he was on the floor and told the leader who went over to Paul.”The leader went over to ascertain the problem with Paul and I think after a couple of minutes somebody asked me if I wanted them to hold my pony so I could go over to Paul.”Then I realised he was in quite a lot of discomfort. He actually said ‘I think I may have cracked my ribs’.The couple were escorted back to their car and went to the capital to get some painkillers, but on arrival Mr Schofield slipped on volcanic rock and dust on the pavement.He was treated in the small injuries unit, but failed to tell doctors about his fall earlier that day from the horse and only gave them information about his second fall. A British tourist who suffered serious internal injuries when he fell from a horse during a family holiday bled to death after he kept the accident secret from doctors for fear it would invalidate his travel insurance, an inquest heard.Paul Schofield, 58, a businessman, went to hospital in Iceland with his long-term girlfriend after he fell from the horse during a trekking adventure.But the father of two, who assumed he had suffered cracked ribs, feared he might not be covered for treatment as his insurers might regard horse riding as a “dangerous sport”.He failed to tell doctors about the horse riding accident and instead said he had slipped on volcanic dust on a pavement in the country’s capital city Reykjavík. He and I were concerned about our insurance cover at that time. We were worried that they would consider horse riding to be a dangerous sportRosalyn Davies Unaware he had more serious injuries, Mr Schofield was discharged by junior doctors with painkillers and later collapsed in his holiday apartment.He was taken back to the National University Hospital by ambulance, where he died after surgery. Tests showed he had suffered internal bleeding as a result of a ruptured spleen.The hearing was told Mr Schofield, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, had bought the Icelandic holiday as a 2015 Christmas present for himself and his girlfriend, Rosalyn Davies. They went in April this year.The couple, whose company provides parts for heating and ventilation equipment, had previous experience of riding horses, but they had always worn a body protector when riding in the UK.Miss Davies, 53, told the hearing in Stockport: “We had taken horse riding lessons for some time a few years ago.”We booked a full day trek when we went out to Iceland, through an Icelandic company. We were offered equipment on the trek, waterproofs if you wanted them and riding hats.”We were asked if we had any experience riding before and we were split up into groups. I think it was to select a horse for us, there was a mix of experience.”Miss Davies was asked if she or Mr Schofield had any concerns about their experience riding at that point and she said ‘no’. They took part in the morning trek, which was “uneventful” and then changed horses for the afternoon session. There were a number of things that unfortunately weren’t spotted and that were missed by the hospitalCoroner Joanna Kearsley
Simon Blackburn, chairman of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: “The prevalence of dangerous used tyres for sale at some businesses is alarming and irresponsible traders have got questions to answer because they are putting lives at serious risk.”Cheap part-worn tyres might be tempting to buy but if they don’t have the correct legal markings, motorists risk buying illegal tyres which could contribute to a major accident.”Motorists buying used tyres should go to a reputable trader and check they have ‘part-worn’ stamped on them as without this mark, they are unlikely to have been checked and the retailer is breaking the law.”They should also look out for any cracks, tears, lumps and check the state of the tread before buying. “It’s also worth looking at how good a deal used tyres offer.”New tyres are available to suit all budgets, provide a safer option and should last longer, meaning they may offer better value for money in the long term.”View latest offers from Kwik Fit Cheap part-worn tyres might be tempting to buy but if they don’t have the correct legal markings, motorists risk buying illegal tyres which could contribute to a major accidentSimon Blackburn, LGA Lives are at risk as drivers are opting for dangerous second-hand tyres unaware they are up to 23 years-old and have serious defects, trading standards have warned.As many as 83 per cent of used tyres in some areas are being sold illegally, the Local Government Association (LGA) said.Part-worn tyres are being sold with serious safety defects, unsafe repairs and incorrect labelling, according to council Trading Standards teams. A tyre ready to be sold and classified as illegalCredit: LGA/PA Figures suggest that around 4.5 million part-worn tyres are being sold in the UK every year. Durham County Council officers found that only one out of 39 (2.6 per cent) tyres stocked at various dealers bore the required “part-worn” tyre marking, with 25 tyres having problems that could impair safety.Ten tyres had unsafe repairs, nine were over 10 years old and one was 23 years old. The LGA is urging motorists buying second-hand tyres to check that they bear the required “part-worn” marking, which lets drivers know that the tyre has been checked and meets legal requirements.There were 16 people killed and 908 road casualties – more than two a day – in reported accidents in the UK in 2015 where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor, according to Government figures. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Sarah Williams has been found guilty of the “savage and demonic” murder of love rival Sadie Hartley, who was paralysed with a stun gun in the hallway of her home before being stabbed more than 40 times.The 35-year-old – who was described in court as a jealous and obsessive “bunny boiler” – spent 17 months planning the “perfect murder” with her friend, Katrina Walsh, who was also convicted of the killing.Mr Justice Turner said the pair had played a “game of death” which led to the “savage butchery of a blameless woman”.”Sarah Williams, over a period of about eighteen months you plotted the murder of a woman whose only crime was to love the man you wanted for yourself, ” he said.”But let no one make the mistake of thinking that this was a crime of passion. It was a crime of obsession, of arrogance, of barbarity but, above all, it was a crime of pure evil.”You Walsh, are every bit as morally degenerate as Williams. No wonder you have been the best of friends over so many years.”They have both been jailed for life, Williams will serve a minimum term of 30 years and Walsh 25 years. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Sarah Williams, right, recruited her friend, horse riding instructor Katrina “Kitt” Walsh, left, to execute the “perfect murder” of Sadie HartleyCredit:PA When their brief relationship broke down, Mr Johnston began a new life with Ms Hartley and the pair set up home together in the picturesque village of Helmshore. Police at the £500,000 home of Sadie Hartley in the village of Helmshore, LancashireCredit:Pat Hurst/PA Williams, who was financially supported by her married boyfriend, 75-year-old David Hardwick, met Mr Johnston at the dry-ski slope Chill Factore in Manchester in 2012. “It is the most shocking and unforgettable news,” she said.”The two women who murdered my mum plotted for months to do these things and I don’t know how a human being could do this to another human being.”It’s like living a nightmare. I will never be able to forget how frightened and scared my mum would have been that night in her own home where she is meant to be safe.”Williams and Walsh, both of Chester, had denied murder. Ms Hartley, 60, a wealthy businesswoman, was murdered after answering the door to Williams at her £500,000 home in the village of Helmshore, Lancashire, in January this year.Her partner, ex-firefighter Ian Johnston, 57, who had previously been in a relationship with Williams, was away on a skiing trip at the time. She said that she was unable to put the “heartbreaking thoughts to the back of my head”. But the pair continued to exchange flirtatious text messages and explicit photographs right up until days before the murder.Mr Johnston had denied he “led her on”, telling the jury the relationship was “just sex”, but Walsh told police Williams would “do anything” to be with Mr Johnston, even planting secret tracker devices on his car to follow his movements.The jury retired its verdicts after a seven-week trial at Preston Crown Court. Sadie HartleyCredit:Lancashire Constabulary Ian Johnston and Sadie Hartley on holiday in Ecuador in 2013Credit:Lancashire Police Jurors had heard that Williams recruited her friend, horse riding instructor Katrina “Kitt” Walsh, 56, to execute the “perfect murder”.But in a plot said to be “the stuff of spy novels”, John McDermott QC, prosecuting, told the jury that police recovered Walsh’s detailed diary, chronicling the women’s plan to murder Ms Hartley. Former husband Garry Hartley, daughter Charlotte Hartley and brother Graham Cook arriving at Preston Crown CourtCredit: PA Jurors heard the pair travelled to Germany to buy the stun gun last December and, exactly a week before Ms Hartley was murdered, Walsh delivered flowers to her door in a dry run for their plans.Williams, who was a “kept woman” supported by her wealthy “sugar daddy”, Mr Hardwick, wanted to be with Mr Johnston.Ms Hartley’s daughter Charlotte said that she was unable to explain “how much pain and horror” it had brought to her family.She said that the last time she spoke to her mother was to tell her that she had got engaged while in Hawaii.In a poignant victim impact statement read to the court through the prosecutor John McDermott, she said that her mother had been “so happy”.
Some of the paintings involved in the case are thought to be by Wood, including portraits of his band mates Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stones guitarist has made a successful sideline out of painting, with some of his art selling for up to £1m. Other artworks named in the case are of stars including Jim Morrison, Princess Diana, Kate Moss and Bob Dylan, as well as works by influential French sculptor Auguste Rodin. A Cotswolds art dealer who had worked with stars including Ronnie Wood and Yoko Ono has admitted defrauding clients out of almost £500,000. Jonathan Poole was known as an art agent to the stars and had previously represented the art estates of Wood, Miles Davis and John Lennon. Poole, an accomplished wildlife artist in his own right, has held exhibitions of stars’ work at his gallery near Cheltenham as well as in London and abroad in Munich and St Petersburg. Poole, 69, of London Road, Poulton, near Cirencester, admitted just under half of 58 charges of theft and fraud relating to artwork owned at Gloucester Crown Court on Thursday. The charges concerned either the theft of works of art, pocketing a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of art, or falsely claiming to be entitled to sell artworks owned by clients. James Ward, prosecuting, said he thought some of the artworks could be held in storage. “When Mr Poole tried to kill himself in October 2012, he asked a Mr Jackson to look after his stock,” he added. “Mr Jackson has died, but paintings have been found in his storeroom.”There is a realistic prospect that some paintings are in that store in Spain, according to police investigations” Mr Ward said.The prosecutor also that the Crown would “offer no evidence on the not guilty counts at the conclusion of sentence”. Mark Sharman, defending Poole, said “He will be 70 years old in September, and is a man of no previous convictions. He has recently been diagnosed with an incurable degenerative condition, cerebral atrophy. For those reasons I request an adjournment for pre-sentence and medical reports.”Judge Michael Cullum said “I don’t see that a pre-sentence report will help.”It looks like there is only one type of sentence that’s appropriate. It looks like it has to be an immediate custodial sentence. However, there should be a medical report.”Turning to address Poole who remained seated at the back of the court, rather than in the dock, due to his mobility issues, the judge said “You will be given credit for your guilty pleas. It is clear that there has been lots of consideration of these pleas.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The case was adjourned until August 10. Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood has made his name as an accomplished painterCredit:ANDY RAIN /EPA