Reading Time: 4 minutes


As Stephen Lawrence’s father Neville takes part in a new documentary about his son’s untimely death 25 years ago, he states that he forgives the murderers of his son –  he has campaigned for justice since his death and urges to keep the investigation alive but to scale it down.

Similarly Stephen’s mother, Baroness Lawrence, also urges the nation to scale down the investigation into her son’s death, as after so many years of acute suffering, she feels it is time to move on.

As we see a surge in knife and gun crime across the capital, with the increasing power of gang warfare, we also look beyond the troubled ghettos to observe the escalation of racially motivated offences – and at how we can combat the formidable forces that are gripping our streets, and indeed our nation.

We can blame the withdrawal of funding for young people, or as rappers consistently glorify gangster culture we can lay the blame at their door. But as we are searching for a solution, let us look at the parents of the offenders, by not collaborating against them, but by giving support and empathy to those who have lost control of their offspring through no fault of their own, and for the inevitable tragedy that lands at their feet.

Perhaps the help should be focused on these parents of the muggers and victims, many of whom are operating alone, with very little financial support or back-up, due to the breakdown of the extended family.

Imagine the agony of the struggling parent who has already lost their child to street crime, through no fault of their own, against the harsh reality of a losing battle in their own back yard.

So is the answer to take away the weapons, and disarm the offenders, in a fruitless attempt to lessen the murders that take place, or is it more fundamental in that getting to the core of the issue should be the starting point?

A parent’s love for their child will always remain unchallenged in any situation, and forgiveness will reign with their true ‘blood’ – and I don’t mean the ‘gangsta’ version. The sleepless nights of the parent when the child is away from home is evident in all domains, but especially when there is potential danger.

What has happened in our communities that we have buried our heads in the sand, not giving help to vulnerable friends and neighbours? If you look closely, perhaps in your own street or neighbourhood, or even your work place, there will be someone who could benefit from just a few minutes of your time.

What would it mean for the close relative of the offender, or the victim, if the agony could be prevented? We may not be able to wipe out street crime forever, but by lending a sympathetic ear to a parent in need, we could save a life in ways too numerous to imagine.

Perhaps the lyrics of this song could help you to feel the pain of a parent who is about to lose their child through street crime and gangster culture, but no matter what, will love them unconditionally – whichever side of the track they reside.

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The myth of common law marriage: what are your rights as a co-habiting couple?

The myth of common law marriage: what are your rights as a co-habiting couple?

Reading Time: 7 minutes


People often believe that if a couple live together for a certain period of time or have children together they are in a ‘common law marriage’ and will have the same rights, if they separate, as they would have if they had married. However, that is a myth in England and Wales. Sue Andrews, a partner in B P Collins’ family practice explains:

“Many people believe that cohabiting couples have equivalent rights to married couples once they have lived together for a period of time. But this is not the case in England and Wales. People who live together never acquire the same financial rights and responsibilities no matter how long they are together and regardless of whether or not they have children.

If you own a property, are moving into a partner’s property or purchasing a property together, there are things you need to consider. It might seem unromantic at such a time, however thinking about them now should avoid, at best, disagreements and, at worst, legal proceedings if things do not work out between you.

Before your partner moves in, you need to think about who is going to pay what? Also whether you intend such a payment will give your partner an interest in your property or is it simply to be akin to the rent your partner would pay if living elsewhere. Having additional money might be nice but it doesn’t follow that your partner’s payment makes it fair for them to acquire an interest in your home. They might be paying less than they previously were in rent, and you could afford the mortgage repayments and other outgoings anyway without those additional monies.

There should be a candid discussion about what you will each contribute and also whether the intention is that the other partner is to acquire an interest in your home and, if so, what and in what circumstances.

And what if a property is being purchased? Is it to be bought and owned by one partner or both? Are your shares to be equal or perhaps in line with your respective contributions to the purchase price? You should set out in a document how that property is to be owned. It could be changed over the years if, for instance, one of you reduced the mortgage borrowings or paid, from their own funds, for an extension or other works, which would impact upon the value of that property.

Documenting your agreement should avoid a bitter dispute if the relationship breaks down and your then former partner seeks to claim an interest in your home perhaps because of monies he or she paid or because he or she carried out works on the property.

Legal advice is important because each couple is different and there are a number of options, a solicitor is likely to suggest:

  • If a property is owned by one person and the other is not to acquire an interest, you can have a simple and relatively inexpensive deed of waiver to record your agreement that, regardless of payments that the non-owning person makes or work undertaken, they are not to acquire an interest in your property.
  • However, if it is agreed that they are to acquire an interest or in the event of a new property being purchased, then a declaration of trust can be prepared to record what is agreed about what each person’s interest is intended to be, or might become over time, subject to payments being made or work undertaken.
  • Another option is a cohabitation agreement. This is a more lengthy document and is likely to be suggested if a couple want to record their agreement about matters over and above property ownership. It could deal with for instance who pays what bills and if there are children it can deal with child care arrangements and support. It might seem ridiculous but we have been asked to include such things as who has control over the TV remote, puts the bins out or is to do other household chores.
  • And as cohabitees do not have automatic rights to inherit you should also consider a will.

People often feel uncomfortable about bringing up these matters however you both need clarity and certainty, and they should not be offended if the other wants to safeguard a property they already own or which may be about to purchase with their own funds after receiving a significant gift or an inheritance from a beloved deceased relative.

The options above will provide reassurance to both if the relationship comes to an end or in the event of one partner dying .

And if you later decide to marry, the marriage does create legal rights and obligations, and a prenuptial agreement could be considered.

These types of agreements and arrangements are not just for the wealthy. It is sensible to have this sense of security in relation to a home, regardless of its value and to avoid potential future conflict.

For further advice, please contact Sue Andrews on 01753 279046 or email familylaw@bpcollins.co.uk.



Reading Time: 6 minutes


by our Editor in Chief, Dee Anderson

As someone who has tried out most types of diets, from California juicing and Atkins combination to sheer starvation, believe me I have been a dedicated follower of them all – and I have lost the weight, only to have gained it back after the diet has finished.

So as a seasoned weight loss fanatic, I feel that I am more than qualified to shout about a miraculous discovery that has not only changed my life and body shape, but has altered the way I approach ‘diet’ as well as optimum health and energy.

This ‘discovery’ is in the shape of a highly experienced health practitioner, Gudrun Jonsson, whose life work has been dedicated to health issues, through the combination of healing remedies, diet and personal interaction.


Wind back to late September 2017, yes, just last year. I had been through a particularly stressful time with family issues, I had gained loads of weight and was feeling sluggish, anxious, unattractive and lacking in energy.

Around this time I was introduced to a lady who told me that she had lost a lot of weight by visiting a dietician, and as my resolution was merely in the area of shedding the pounds, I decided to give it a try.

The question of dealing with the problem at root level was way off my radar at the time, but as Gudrun explained my past mistakes in failing to address issues of digestion and acid in the system, together with high levels of sugar in the blood, I began to take it more seriously.

Gudrun focuses on a combination of the traditional healing arts from the subcontinent, biopathic treatments and the latest advances in scientific health, ageing and wellness.

Before establishing her practice in London, Swedish-born Gudrun trained and qualified as a biopath at the Institut for Biologisk Medicin in Copenhagen. Gudrun has written two bestselling books – ‘Gut Reaction’ and ‘The Gut Reaction Eating Plan’ – and has made numerous television appearances. Her success has earned her the respect of complementary and medical practitioners alike, and a devoted following among her many clients.

Drawing upon her extensive knowledge of the healing properties of plants and foods, Gudrun’s treatments lead her clients to have a more alkaline and balanced digestive function that impacts on their overall health and wellbeing. Her treatment also includes plant-based serums, oils and balms that can heal skin conditions ranging from acne to psoriasis, and can balance acidic constitutions and heal inflammation.

I have to confess that she probably caught me at the right time, as I was desperate to turn everything around in the health department, but I was in for a shock as she told me that my digestion was practically non-existent. She also explained that I was just skimming over the surface of the problem by doing all the fad diets, and that I needed to look at the core issues before I made any headway at all.

Gudrun prescribed a variety of remedies after administering the most incredible reflexology – and my admiration for her as a practitioner has grown as my health and energy has returned over the past few months, and as my body has shrunk in size – even my feet have lost their puffiness.

I now bump into old friends and acquaintances who hardly recognise me from a distance, and remark on my drastic transformation. I have bought clothes two sizes down from where I was four months ago and am loving getting into my original size 4 kitten heels again without destroying my feet.

Having said all of this, I was ready to listen, and if you do visit Gudrun you have to follow her guidance with dedication; it is not time-consuming and it is not as strict as you would imagine, but you have to be ready to change your life. Your mind, body and soul have to be working together in harmony.

I do believe in Angels, and believe they come in many manifestations. I really believe that Gudrun is a walking angel, who has been sent to me as someone who has transformed my thinking, and ultimately saved my life.

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Nailing It with Handirest – the Ultimate Manicure Must Have

Nailing It with Handirest – the Ultimate Manicure Must Have

Reading Time: 1 minute

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Shetland TV Series available to own on DVD

Shetland TV Series available to own on DVD

Reading Time: 4 minutes

ITV Studios Global Entertainment is proud to announce Shetland Series 4 & 1-4

Shetland originally created from the novels by award-winning writer Ann Cleeves who created Vera and set against a hauntingly beautiful landscape 

Shetland Series 4 available now from Amazon

Shetland Series 1-4 available now from Amazon

Starring Douglas Henshall 


Shetland Series 4

Originally created from award-winning writer Ann Cleeves’ bestselling novels, gripping crime series Shetland returns to find DI Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) facing murders from the past and present with unsettling similarities in this new single mystery. When Shetlander, Thomas Malone, has his conviction for the murder of teenager Lizzie Kilmuir overturned after 23 years behind bars, Perez must reopen the investigation. Many in the close-knit island community still believe Malone to be guilty, so when his return coincides with the murder of a local journalist, he’s very firmly in the frame. As both cases become increasingly complex, stretching to Norway and into the murky world of far right extremist groups, Perez is pushed to the limit both professionally and personally. He’s as determined as ever not to give up, but, as he closes in on the truth, the investigation will lead him closer to home that he could ever have imagined.

Shetland S1 – 4 

Originally created from the novels by award-winning writer Ann Cleeves (Vera) and set against a hauntingly beautiful landscape, Shetland follows DI Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) and his team as they investigate complex crimes within a close-knit island community. In this isolated and sometimes inhospitable environment, the team must rely on a uniquely resourceful style of policing. Series one and two are based on bestselling books Red Bones, Raven Black, Dead Water and Blue Lightning. In the third and fourth series, both single original stories, Perez first tackles a conspiracy that takes him back to the Scottish mainland, in a case that will exact a terrible personal toll on both him and his team, and must then face murders from the past and present with unsettling similarities, in an investigation that will lead him closer to home than he could ever have imagined. 

Shetland Series 4 

  • Episodes: 6
  • 2 Discs
  • RRP: £19.99
  • Runtime: 346 mins approx
  • 12 Cert

Shetland Series 1 – 4

  • Episodes: 20
  • 6 discs
  • RRP £39.99
  • Runtime: 1146 mins approx
  • 15 Cert

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