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Magician disappears with deposits

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Magic up my deposit please

Angry customers have been on the trail of a Suffolk magician for several months. Entertainer Robbie James, whose real name is Evan Boothby, was accused earlier this year of not showing up to events customers had booked him for – and then failing to return their deposits.

We spoke to more customers this week who have been trying to track him down to take legal action and get their money back. Reporter Sarah Burgess found he had moved to near Manchester and he told us he had run out of money, but had refunded those whom he felt were “due a refund”.

One customer said: “He's a good magician, because the way I see it he's done a disappearing act.”

Monks accused of abuse ask police to investigate

Staying in Suffolk, Sarah has also been investigating historic abuse allegations at an Ipswich boarding school which was run by an order of monks.

We first spoke to one of the victims in autumn this year and since our initial article was published more people have come forward with similar stories. Police are currently investigating and the order has said it has completely changed the way it deals with allegations now.

‘The best bit of revision I’ve done’

A couple of weeks ago we were contacted by a journalism student at the University of East Anglia who was writing about her friend’s battle with his landlord.

Her friend, a law student, had taken his landlord to court and won a case against him over the condition he found his halls in when he moved in last year.

We had first investigated these student rooms in June after several complaints from students that what were supposed to be new, luxury student rooms were in fact a “building site”.

Our investigation from June was used by the student, Jack Simm, as court evidence against the landlord. He argued that our article showed that months later the landlord had still failed to fix problems with the property.

Jack described the case as the “best bit of revision I’ve ever done.” The landlord meanwhile, Ben James Smith, said he had not been given enough time to repair the rooms.

Since we published, our story has been copied by national newspapers and the BBC.

Hospital’s new £7m centre needs repairs already

In September last year, the first patients started arriving at a state-of-the-art radiology centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

However, a little over a year after opening, staff noticed problems with the ceilings in the new building, according to a source who got in touch with us.

Engineers discovered problems with the structural supports in two of the four radiology rooms. They are now being repaired, but operations have had to be cancelled and one of the rooms will be out of action for several weeks. This is the last thing the hospital needs at the moment with all the other huge pressures on it.

Ambulance staff Christmas party leads to Covid outbreak

Finally, on the subject of unfortunate things happening when the NHS least needs it, we were told by sources at the East of England Ambulance Service that their Christmas party had led to a Covid outbreak among staff.

After the party in Ipswich last Thursday, one person tested positive and managers told all staff to get tested. Since then, several more staff have also tested positive and are having to isolate. The source said this was putting more pressure on those staff still working.

Is this a taste of things to come post Christmas? There are well-founded fears that the Omicron variant is going to lead to large staff shortages over winter as so many people will be forced to isolate.

We’ll be back in January and we look forward to telling you then what we’ve been up to. We hope you have a restful festive period and wish you and your families a merry Christmas and happy new year.