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Trio died when boat off Shoreham was almost 'run over'

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Three men out fishing for fun died when their boat was almost “run over” by a vessel whose skipper who was not paying enough attention, a court has heard.

Mercea “Mitch” Ilea, 40, Irinel Popovici, 41, and Treaiam Dumitrache, 50, drowned when seawater gushed into their boat.

The incident happened just off the coast of Shoreham, West Sussex, on 6 August 2017.

David Marr, 53, of Peterhead, denies failing to maintain a proper lookout.

Sole survivor Elvis Cojocariu was later found alive by a fisherman, suffering from hypothermia.

Lewes Crown Court heard Mr Marr was “entirely distracted” and only found out about the deadly near-miss his scallop dredger had been involved in from the radio, hours later.

Prosecutor David Richards said Mr Marr was “entirely unaware” of the James 2 – a 16ft (5m) angling boat, that had been bought by father-of-three Mr Ilea.

The court heard the men sailed from Shoreham Harbour, where the vessel was moored, to an area where the sea was about 131ft (40m) deep.

Mr Ilea cut the engine and they began fishing and drinking a little whiskey.

Mr Richards said the boat had lacked some of the necessary lighting, but “that did not explain” why Mr Marr “appeared not to have had the slightest awareness” of the boat.

There were life jackets on board but the four men were not wearing them, the court was told.

The men spotted Mr Marr’s vessel – the Vertrouwen – about half a mile (1km) away but did not initially think there was any need to worry.

Mr Cojocariu, giving evidence from behind a screen, said: “We all panicked, all three of us. We told Mitch that the ship was running us over.”

Mr Ilea made a hard right but it was too late and water started to enter the boat.

“The boat went down in an angle and we just said to jump into the water,” Mr Cojocariu added.

During cross examination, defence barrister Oliver Powell said: “I want to suggest to you that the reality is that you were drinking on and off all day.”

Mr Cojocariu told the court he was about a seven on a scale of one to 10 in terms of the effect the alcohol was having on him when he was on the boat.

He said when they first spotted the Vertrouwen Mr Ilea was in the cabin.

Mr Powell said: “Do you think you should have contacted him sooner once you saw the vessel coming towards you?”

Mr Cojocariu said: “We did not think that it would run us over.

“When we saw it approaching us that is when we thought it was a danger,” adding that there was “no time” to contact the Vertrouwen by radio.

The trial continues.

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Abdul Deghayes murder trial jury dismissed

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The jury in the murder trial of a man accused of stabbing another man to death in Brighton has failed to reach a verdict.

Abdul Deghayes, the brother of two British teenagers who were killed while fighting in Syria, was stabbed eight times, Hove Crown Court heard.

Daniel Macleod, 36, of Lambeth, London, denies murder, and Stephen Burns, 55, of Brighton, denies assisting him.

The jury was discharged and a retrial has been scheduled for June 2020.

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Election results 2019: Analysis in maps and charts

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have a majority of 78, with one seat left to declare.

They have won seats in traditional Labour heartlands across northern England and Wales, including Workington, Great Grimsby and Bassetlaw.

In Scotland, the SNP have made gains from all three other parties that held seats there in 2017, most notably taking Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson’s seat of Dunbartonshire East.

The interactive map below shows all the seats that have changed from one party to another. Select the “results” tab to see what has happened in the rest of the UK.

Find a constituency

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If you can’t see the map click here.

The Brexit effect

The Conservatives increased their vote share in many areas that voted Leave in the 2016 EU referendum.

By contrast they lost votes in strong Remain constituencies such as those in Scotland and London. But Labour lost votes in both strong Remain and strong Leave areas.

Strong Leave and strong Remain constituencies are those where an estimated 60% or more of the electorate voted for that option at the EU referendum.

These estimates of constituency Brexit votes were modelled by Professor Chris Hanretty, as the 2016 referendum result was only recorded by local authority and not by Westminster constituency.

The Conservatives were clear winners in constituencies estimated to have voted majority Leave in 2016. They won almost three quarters of all these seats.

By contrast, there was no clear winner among Remain backing constituencies, with a crowded field of parties all winning substantial numbers of seats.

Labour did best of all the parties but only took 40% of the constituencies that backed Remain.

Labour also straddled the Brexit divide taking a roughly equal number of Leave (106) and Remain (96) seats.

Most other parties had a clearer Brexit divide.

The nations and regions

In every nation and region of Britain, the scale of Labour’s losses outweighed any gains made by the Conservatives.

The Conservatives did lose votes in the south of England and Scotland, but these were balanced by gains in the rest of England and Wales.

The Lib Dems increased their share of the vote across the UK, but failed to translate these gains into more seats.

In Scotland, the SNP made 14 gains, and lost just one seat, while the Conservatives lost seven and Labour lost six seats.

In Wales, the Conservatives gained six seats and Labour lost six, mostly in the north east. Overall, Labour’s share of the vote was down to 41% from 49% in 2017.

The Conservatives polled consistently well across England and most of Wales, reflecting their overall 43% share of the UK vote.

You can use the interactive map below to show the vote share for other parties as well as the turnout.

Labour’s strength was concentrated in London and areas around cities in south Wales, the North East and North West. At 32%, Labour’s share of the vote is down around eight points on the 2017 general election.

Overall, they lost 60 seats and gained only one, Putney in London.

More women in Parliament

With one seat to be declared, a total of 220 female MPs have been elected. This is 12 more than the previous high of 208 in 2017.

Turnout, on what was a cold and damp polling day, was 67.3%. slightly lower than the last election in June 2017.

Read this and more articles at BBC Sussex

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General election 2019: Only Eastbourne changed hands

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The Conservatives had a good night in the South East.

Several MPs increased their majorities, and the Liberal Democrats lost their only seat in the region to them.

In a gloomy night for Labour, one of the few bright spots was the party holding on to Canterbury, a surprise win in 2017.

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