The Quotes of the Week X

Sunday 6th

“Remarkably enough, I know people must think it was a really horrific experience – it’s so much easier to take any form of punishment if you believe you actually deserve it, and I did.

It wasn’t a weekend break, put it that way. I didn’t feel sorry for myself. I thought, ‘Oh my God, this place is absolutely filthy,’ because it was Pentonville. I just thought, you get your head down.”

Singer George Michael, speaking about his prison sentence last September for a drug-fuelled crash into the front of a photo shop in London

Monday 7th

“[I knew him] as a friend. The only thing he has done against me is shoot me in the back.”

Donald Reid, a taxi driver who today gave evidence at the inquest into the deaths of the twelve victims of Derrick Bird, a fellow taxi driver who went on a shooting spree last year in Whitehaven, Cumbria before turning the gun on himself

Tuesday 8th

“I remember seeing this big black hooded masked face. I said something like ‘What do you want of me?’ The man replied in a mumbled, muffled voice ‘money’. He came and sat next to me on my left hand side. He rested his head against mine, leant over to me and said something similar to ‘Do you want to have sex?’

I had to ask him to repeat (himself) as I was so shocked by what he had said. I said ‘No, certainly not, I’m an old woman. It won’t do anything for you or me’, or something similar. I asked him not to hurt me. He didn’t say anything back. He didn’t try to restrain me at all. He seemed to take his time. The man’s manner with me was almost respectful. He was not violent or aggressive towards me but I thought he could have been.”

An unnamed deceased pensioner who was assaulted by the so-called ‘night stalker’ in 1999 and whose statement was heard today at the trial of Delroy Grant, a 53 year old former minicab driver who has been charged with 29 charges of burglary, rape and indecent assault over 17 years

Wednesday 9th

“The majority of people with cancer who are out of work want to return to work. We believe that this proposal, rather than creating an incentive to work, will lead to many cancer patients losing their ESA simply because they have not recovered quickly enough.”

From a letter to the government by an alliance of 30 cancer charities, which claims that benefit system reforms will leave cancer patients destitute

Thursday 10th

“This is the great pensions robbery and is completely unacceptable to firefighters across the UK. Expecting firefighters to work until they are 60 is wrong. Firefighting is a physically arduous job. Peak fitness is essential where seconds can cost lives. The public will not want an ageing frontline fire and rescue service.”

Fire Brigades Union leader Matt Wrack, speaking about Lord Hutton’s public sector pension plan which, if implemented, will likely result in strikes across all areas of public sector workers as they see their pension contributions go up, their pensions go down and the retirement age rise

Friday 11th

“Although we’re far from northern Japan, the quake here was very big. The first quake was very long – everyone in the office was screaming. Then we had another long one about 30 minutes after that. Paper and items were falling off the desks. We can hear the walls. We can hear the walls going back and forth.”

Ryosuke, a resident of Tokyo who was at work when the 8.9 earthquake struck Japan’s northern coast in the early hours of this morning, followed by a tsunami which devastated the island of Honshu, sparking a spiralling death count

Saturday 12th

“It had been a busy week and we hadn’t had the time to celebrate. My husband phoned to say that he was going to go to a sauna with a friend before coming over to the apartment, so I packed his towels and brought them to his office. I went home to prepare the cakes but we never heard from him again.

When the disappearances began Lukashenko crossed a moral line. The international community could have stopped him then but they didn’t. Once he realised he would never be punished, Lukashenko knew he could do whatever he liked.”

Irina Krasovskaya, a Belarusian refugee who fled to the USA with her two daughters after her husband Anatoly Krasovsky went ‘missing’, following the rise to power of Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko

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