AI to be 'new weapon' in cancer fight


Theresa May will unveil plans to use artificial intelligence to help prevent 22,000 cancer deaths a year by 2033.

In a speech setting out how science can transform health, the prime minister will also say at least 50,000 people each year with prostate, ovarian, lung or bowel cancer will be diagnosed at an earlier stage than they would have been.

Speaking in Macclesfield, Cheshire, Mrs May will say: “Late diagnosis of otherwise treatable illnesses is one of the biggest causes of avoidable deaths.

“And the development of smart technologies to analyse great quantities of data quickly and with a higher degree of accuracy than is possible by human beings opens up a whole new field of medical research and gives us a new weapon in our armoury in the fight against disease.

“Achieving this mission will not only save thousands of lives. It will incubate a whole new industry around AI-in-healthcare, creating high-skilled science jobs across the country, drawing on existing centres of excellence in places like Edinburgh, Oxford and Leeds – and helping to grow new ones.”








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Video:
Scientists develop blood test for cancer

All of the data and technological advances needed to help cut cancer deaths are available but a system has not yet been set up to bring everything together.

Medical records, along with information about patients’ habits and genetics, will be cross-referenced with national data to spot those at an early stage of cancer.

Mrs May will also announce another target to ensure that five more years of people’s lives will be healthy, independent and active by 2035.

Around £1.4bn has already been invested in research and development for the “grand challenges” programme the targets are being set under.

Sir Harpal Kumar, chief executive officer of Cancer Research, said: “The government’s mission to revolutionise healthcare using the power of artificial intelligence is pioneering. Advances in detection technologies depend on the intelligent use of data and have the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives every year.

“We need to ensure we have the right infrastructure, embedded in our health system, to make this possible.”

Wounded Officer Had Sought a ‘Simpler Life’ Patrolling Schools


SANTA FE, Tex. — In his 23-year career on the Houston police force, patrolling rough neighborhoods and working investigations, Officer John Barnes never had to fire his gun in a confrontation, his stepfather said.

But on Friday, four months into his new job on the force that serves the Santa Fe Independent School District, gunshots erupted in the hallways and classrooms of the high school where Officer Barnes was working.

He and the force’s assistant chief ran toward the noise, and as Officer Barnes confronted the 17-year-old gunman, he took a shotgun blast to his right arm. His gun was out and his arm was extended, family members said, but it was not clear whether he had fired.

As he lay bleeding on the floor of the school, Officer Barnes urged the other officer to leave him behind and see to the students, according to his stepfather, Ronald Hatchett. The other officer later returned and tied a tourniquet around Officer Barnes’s arm.

“It was entirely within his character to do what he did,” Mr. Hatchett said of his stepson in an interview on Sunday. “He was first through the door. He suffered for being first through the door.”

Of the 13 people wounded in the deadly shooting on Friday, Officer Barnes, 49, may now face the hardest, most tenuous path. He was still in critical condition on Sunday at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and he was being heavily sedated, Mr. Hatchett said.

Officer Barnes lost huge amounts of blood after the shotgun blast shredded his right elbow. His heart stopped twice, Mr. Hatchett said — once while he was being evacuated by helicopter to the hospital, and again on the operating table. His kidney function was still “in peril,” and doctors do not yet know how his arm will be affected, Mr. Hatchett said.

“He is by no means completely out of the woods,” he said.

For a while on Saturday, the doctors eased back on the sedation, allowing Officer Barnes to open his eyes from his hospital bed, hold his wife’s hand and listen to his family tell him that they loved him.

“Everybody said, ‘You’re a real hero, John — we’re so proud of what you’ve been doing,’” Mr. Hatchett said. “We told him we’re going to be here with you.”

Image
Officer John Barnes, who was wounded in the shooting at Santa Fe High School.Creditvia Houston Police Department

Since he was 10, John Barnes had wanted to be a cop, Mr. Hatchett said. In old photos that the family has been flipping through lately, he can be seen holding a BB gun with a law enforcement officer’s posture and authority.

His mother worried about what could happen to him and tried to dissuade him from a police career, Mr. Hatchett said, “but he never wavered.”

He worked as a corrections officer in Tarrant County, which includes Fort Worth, until a spot opened up at the police academy in Houston in 1994. He struck other cadets there as friendly and engaging, introducing himself so often as “John Barnes from Tarrant County” that they nicknamed him Tarrant County.

He was interested in the intricacies of police work and asked instructors question after question, to the point that his questions ate into the cadets’ break time, according to a friend, Capt. Jim Dale of the Houston Police Department.

Among his assignments on the Houston force were investigations of sex crimes, and he once pulled a man from a burning car, family and friends said. He retired from the force in January and began working in the Santa Fe schools, where his wife, Ashley, is an assistant principal at Roy J. Wollam Elementary.

He told Captain Dale he was seeking a “simpler life,” one in which he would work closer to home and have summers free with his wife, 10-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son.

Even so, his stepfather said, Officer Barnes recognized the stress and complexities of working in a school of 1,400 students, and had trained with other officers for the possibility of a school shooting.

The force that covers the Santa Fe schools has seven officers — including a chief and assistant chief — as well as a dispatcher and auxiliary officers, according to its website. The school district’s police chief did not return a phone message seeking comment.

“They had an anti-shooter plan that they’d been working on,” Mr. Hatchett said. “John had extensive practice at the firing range to make sure his skills were up to snuff.”

His family now takes turns staying beside Officer Barnes’s bed — all except his wife, who has been there constantly since she heard the news that a Santa Fe school officer had been shot. Amid phone calls and plaudits from the governor, other political figures and higher-ups in law enforcement, Ms. Barnes told her husband’s friend, Captain Dale, that she did not see what the big deal was about what he had done on Friday.

“John’s a hero all the time,” she told him.

NASA spacecraft swings by moon, snaps 200,000 stars


NASA’s new planet-hunting spacecraft has successfully completed a flyby around the moon – snapping a photograph revealing more than 200,000 stars along the way.

The picture is the first taken since the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) lifted off from Cape Canaveral in April on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

TESS completed its lunar flyby on 17 May and the science team completed a two-second test exposure using one of the spacecraft’s four cameras.

Test image from one of the four cameras aboard the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Pic: NASA
Image:
The new NASA image shows 200,000 stars

It is centred on the southern hemisphere constellation Centaurus and reveals more than 200,000 stars.

The picture is just the beginning for NASA, as TESS is expected to cover 400 times as much sky during its mission to search for planets outside of our solar system – bodies known as exoplanets – some of which could potentially harbour life.

The spacecraft will scan the sky with its four cameras as part of an initial two-year search.

NASA says that a science-quality image, also known as a “first light” image, is expected to be released in June.

A Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida on Wednesday on SpaceX’s first high-priority science mission for NASA, a planet-hunting orbital telescope designed to detect worlds beyond our solar system that might be capable of harboring life.
Image:
TESS blasted off on a SpaceX rocket in April

TESS has a highly unusual orbit around Earth which is designed to maximise the amount of sky it can image.

It will observe nearly the entire sky to monitor for sudden dips in the brightness of nearby stars caused by planets passing in front of them.

NASA expects TESS will find thousands of exoplanets, and its James Webb Space Telescope – scheduled to launch in 2020 – will provide follow-up observations.

TESS is a NASA astrophysics explorer mission led and operated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre.

More than a dozen universities, research institutes and observatories worldwide are taking part in the mission.

Johnson: Give May 'time and space' on Brexit


Boris Johnson has called on Brexiteers to give Theresa May “time and space” to negotiate a Brexit deal.

The foreign secretary said Leave-supporting MPs should not fear betrayal on the issue of the customs union, as the government works on a “backstop” scheme which, if enacted, would see the UK stay in the trading bloc beyond 2020.

That fallback option is being worked on in the event arrangements to keep the Irish border open are not in place by the time Brexit takes effect.








4:11

Video:
Brexit Forensics: Fears UK could miss a vital nuclear deadline

There are reports the prime minister’s Brexit “war cabinet” has also discussed a plan under which Britain would stick with EU external trade tariffs until the border issue is sorted out.

But this has provoked the ire of Brexiteers, who fear that any UK involvement in the structures of the EU beyond the end of the transition could end up being indefinitely extended.

However, Mr Johnson has insisted he is convinced the PM will stay “true to her word” and agree a deal with Brussels in which the UK is not tied to EU tariffs.



Prime Minister Theresa May answers questions from MPs




35:59

Video:
Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn clash over Brexit feud

The Vote Leave figurehead is understood be one of two ministers who argued against the backstop option in the most recent meeting of the cabinet sub-committee dedicated to Brexit strategy and negotiations.

It has been devised as an alternative to an EU proposal that would see Northern Ireland stay in the customs union if there is no resolution to the border issue – something Mrs May has roundly rejected.

In his latest comments on the issue, Mr Johnson made clear he believes neither option will be necessary, because the PM will be able to negotiate a deal before either would have to be implemented.



David Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nicky Morgan warn against 'hard Brexit'




3:10

Video:
Cross-party MPs warn against ‘hard Brexit’

Speaking to journalists on a trip to Argentina, the foreign secretary said: “Brexiteers fearing betrayal over the customs backstop must understand that the PM has been very clear that neither option is an outcome we desire – we want a deal with the EU and she will deliver it.

“I’m convinced that the Prime Minister will be true to her promises of a Brexit deal – that sees Britain come out of the customs union and single market, have borders as frictionless as possible, reject European Court of Justice interference, control immigration and free to conduct unhindered free trade deals across the world.

“We must now give the prime minister time and space to negotiate this Brexit vision.”

The thorny question of Britain’s post-Brexit customs arrangements has emerged as a key issue in recent months.



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0:25

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‘Will you resign over customs row Boris?’

Mr Johnson is known to favour a “maximum facilitation” scheme, which would use trusted trader arrangements and number plate recognition cameras instead of border checks.

This is believed to be at odds with Mrs May, whose preferred option is for a “customs partnership”, which would see the UK collect EU tariffs for goods coming into Britain on behalf of Brussels.

But Mr Johnson recently branded this idea “crazy”, because it would limit Britain’s ability to strike free trade deals after Brexit.

The foreign secretary’s latest comments, whilst outwardly supportive of the PM, will be seen by some as a thinly veiled warning that the “backstop” must not become a permanent solution.

Tech Tip: Finding Your Contacts in the New Gmail


TECH TIP

Google’s recent revamp of its mail service has moved a few old features to new places, but you don’t have to look far.

Q. I’m trying to find my contacts list in the new Gmail. Where is it hidden?

A. Google’s recent revamp of its Gmail service for desktop web browsers moves a few things around. In the previous version, you could switch to the contacts list by clicking the Gmail menu on the left side of the page, but that method no longer works once you update to the refreshed Gmail.

You can now get to the contacts page by clicking the Apps icon in the upper right corner of the Gmail inbox. When you click the Apps icon, which is a square made up of nine smaller squares, it unfolds to reveal a panel of icons for other Google programs and services, including Google Photos, Google News and YouTube.

Image
In the updated version of Gmail for the desktop, you can get to your contacts from the Apps panel on the right side of the window, or by hovering the mouse cursor over a sender’s name until a contact card pops up.CreditThe New York Times

If you do not immediately see the Contacts icon in the window, scroll through the panel until you find it. You can drag the Contacts icon to the top of the collection to find it more easily in the future, and can rearrange the other icons around it as you wish. Click the Contacts icon to open your address book.

You can also edit a sender’s contact card right on the mailbox screen. To do that, hover the cursor over the person’s name in your inbox list. A contact card should pop up, showing the sender’s email address and giving you a few options, like an “Add to Contacts” button if you do not already have the person in your address book. You may see an “Edit Contact” button if you have previously added the sender. Icons for creating a new email, scheduling a calendar event, sending a text and starting a video call with that person are also available.

FTSE 100 hits record as trade war fears ease


The FTSE 100 has surged to a new record high as investors welcome the announcement President Trump’s planned trade war with China is “on hold”.

A series of factors helped push values up at the open on Monday – the index rising 0.5% and comfortably above the 7,800 point barrier in early trading which took a lead from Asia.

Chief among them, analysts said, was the US decision to postpone $150bn of threatened tariffs on Chinese imports amid apparent progress in negotiations between Washington and Beijing.

Further evidence of progress in securing a new government in Italy, after months of talks, was cited too.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Beijing
Image:
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the trade war was ‘on hold’

While the announcement signalled greater appetite for risk on stock markets, Brent crude oil prices – which hit $80 a barrel for the first time in three-and-a-half years last week – also rose.

A stronger dollar and newspaper speculation of a UK General Election in the autumn took its toll on the pound, which slid 0.5% to just below $1.34.

A weaker sterling since the Brexit vote has tended to boost share values because it bolsters the earnings of the FTSE 100’s dollar-earning constituent companies.

The market had hit a new record closing high last Thursday – defying expectations of market experts earlier this year who predicted tougher times for the index amid a fog of Brexit uncertainty and a slowing economy.

The prospect of a damaging trade war was a major factor in the market sinking below the 7,000 point mark in March.

Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets, warned other events beyond the trade dispute could dampen sentiment ahead.

He wrote: “Both sides have retracted from their threatening behaviour and the US has suspended $150bn worth of tariffs on Chinese imports.

“Let’s see if the US hopes about China buying a substantial amount of US goods become true.

“European markets are picking up the momentum where they left off last week. It is a green day across markets – at least for now.

“However, Italian markets remain a concern for us. Last week, Italian markets experienced more selling pressure because of the unrest in the political situation of the country.

“A new populist coalition government is the last thing that you want to see after the Brexit mess.”

DealBook Briefing: China May Be Winning the Trade War


Elsewhere in trade: Mr. Trump is reportedly happy to wait for as long as it takes to get a good Nafta deal. The British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, is touring Latin America this week to gin up interest in trade after Brexit. Improving trade relations with Russia is reportedly a top priority for Germany.

____________________________

Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Andrew Ross Sorkin in New York, and Michael J. de la Merced and Jamie Condliffe in London.

____________________________

The unwinding of G.E. is moving ahead

The next deal to shrink the embattled industrial conglomerate, according to Reuters: a sale of its transportation business for more than $20 billion to Wabtec, a rail equipment maker. (The transaction would reportedly be performed using one of Michael’s favorite deal structures, a reverse Morris Trust — a similar tactic to that used by G.E. to merge its oil and gas business with Baker Hughes.)

The chief executive of G.E., John Flannery, has pledged to reduce the company’s byzantine structure and focus on its fastest-growing core businesses. Making train engines isn’t part of that equation.

Elsewhere in deals: Comcast is apparently considering very seriously a bid for parts of 21st Century Fox. Dell is reportedly continuing talks with investors about a deal for VMware. Ant Financial is said to be worth $150 billion (but investors must pledge not to back any Alibaba rivals). A breakup of Britain’s big accounting firms might be a good thing. Blackstone sold its Hilton holdings.

Photo

Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos.

The new book on Theranos dives into the start-up’s scandals

“Bad Blood,” John Carreyrou’s heavily anticipated tome about the blood-testing start-up and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, is out today. (How anticipated? Jennifer Lawrence is signed to a movie based on the book, and “60 Minutes” did a segment on the failed start-up last night.)

From Roger Lowenstein’s review in the NYT:

Even for a private company like Theranos, disclosure is the bedrock of American capitalism — the “disinfectant” that allows investors to gauge a company’s prospects. Based on Carreyrou’s dogged reporting, not even Enron lied so freely.

Andrew’s bottom line: I read the book in just two sittings — it’s a page-turner. If you love narratives like “Barbarians at the Gate,” Mr. Carreyrou’s tale gets awfully close to that feeling of being inside the room, and watching a spectacular fraud unfold.

The political flyaround

• Rudy Giuliani said that Robert Mueller planned to finish his obstruction investigation by September — but only if President Trump sits down for an interview. The Justice Department’s inspector general has been instructed to look into the president’s allegations of an improper government inquiry into Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign.

• Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with an emissary of two Persian Gulf states in 2016 suggests that countries other than Russia wanted to get involved in the election. (NYT)

• The British law firm Linklaters is under scrutiny for its work on behalf of Russian oligarchs. And here’s a closer look at one of them, the billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, who has been linked to Michael Cohen.

• Scott Pruitt has run into some problems in his deregulation campaign at the E.P.A. (WaPo)

• The new U.S. secretary of health and human services, Alex Azar, is the rare Trump regulator who isn’t focused on deregulating. (NYT)

• Don Blankenship may have lost the Republican Senate primary in West Virginia, but the former Massey Energy C.E.O. is still causing headaches for the party. (Politico)

Photo

Mastercard’s cybersecurity war room.

Credit
Whitney Curtis for The New York Times

Banks look to the military in their cybersecurity defenses

Cybercrime is one of the greatest risks to the American financial sector, according to the Treasury Department.

How banks are taking that threat seriously, according to Stacy Cowley in the NYT:

Former government cyberspies, soldiers and counterintelligence officials now dominate the top ranks of banks’ security teams. They’ve brought to their new jobs the tools and techniques used for national defense: combat exercises, intelligence hubs modeled on those used in counterterrorism work and threat analysts who monitor the internet’s shadowy corners.

Elsewhere in finance: David Solomon’s era atop Goldman Sachs may start at year end — and here’s an argument why Lloyd Blankfein shouldn’t stay on as chairman. Deutsche Bank’s troubles have cast a spotlight on the firm’s chairman, Paul Achleitner. A top Citigroup banker sees investment banking revenues recovering this year.

Photo


Credit
Joel Saget/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The tech flyaround

• Antonio Tajani, the president of the European Parliament, says that Mark Zuckerberg’s hearing with the legislature will be live-streamed. Separately, Germany’s online hate speech law makes the country a lab for testing how to regulate the social network.

• A close look at why Google is under the regulatory microscope. (60 Minutes)

• Europe’s new data privacy laws are proving lucrative for technology consultants. And a new study discovered more than 200 apps and services that can aid would-be stalkers.

• Why America needs an A.I. policy. Microsoft bought an A.I. start-up to make its voice control software sound more natural.

• Tesla’s entry-level car, the Model 3, could cost much more than $35,000, making it look distinctly less mass-market. The company has made public some of the software underpinning its Autopilot system.

• Why investors in tech start-ups in the Midwest shouldn’t look for companies to emulate Silicon Valley. (The Information)

• Sony’s new C.E.O., Kenichiro Yoshida, plans to move the company away from making gadgets. (Bloomberg)

Photo

Qi Lu, who is stepping down as Baidu’s C.O.O.

Credit
Stuart Isett for The New York Times

Revolving door

• Baidu’s chief operating officer, Qi Lu, is stepping down, raising questions about the Chinese tech company’s A.I. ambitions. (Bloomberg)

Photo

Quote of the Day

“Should we own 50 percent of every company in America? That’s ridiculous, and we are a long way from that.”

Jack Bogle, on the need for limiting the power of the three big money managers (including his own firm, Vanguard) in Barron’s cover story

The speed read

• How the “Math Men” — engineers and data scientists — became the kings of advertising. (New Yorker)

• Google has reportedly removed “don’t be evil” from its code of conduct. (Gizmodo)

• Fewer companies are registering in Britain as Brexit nears. (Guardian)

• To understand inflation, think of the U.S. as two economies: one for goods, another for services. (WSJ)

• China is mining for gold in the Himalayas, which could aggravate tensions with India. (SCMP)

• Roman Abramovich’s soccer team, Chelsea, may have won the F.A. Cup, but Britain hasn’t renewed the Russian oligarch’s visa yet. (FT)

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Continue reading the main story

'Abortion was never an option for us'


In the lead up to Ireland’s referendum on abortion on Friday, we take a look at those affected by the issue on both sides of the debate.

Voters will decide whether or not to repeal the country’s Eighth Amendment, which gives equal right to life to the mother and the unborn child.

Vicky Wall, who discovered her unborn daughter Líadán had the rare genetic disorder Edward’s syndrome, believes passionately that abortion should remain illegal in Ireland.

Here, she shares her heartbreaking story with Sky News.

In 2014 I found out I was pregnant with my third child. It was a bit of a shock. I was 37. When the shock settled we were overjoyed and all went well until 24 weeks, when I was told at a scan there may be a problem with her, so we went to Dublin to get her checked.

In Dublin we were told she had Edward’s syndrome and then I was told she was incompatible with life. I didn’t know what either of those terms meant.

People will vote on whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment and end a constitutional ban on abortion
Image:
People will vote on whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment and end a ban on abortion

So I asked how could I help her, what could we do and I was told my only option was to pop to England. The doctor was insinuating an abortion to end her life.

At this moment, I was in one of the poshest maternity hospitals in Dublin, there was a 15-inch screen in front of me showing my little daughter and she was sucking her fingers, she was kicking, I could feel her kicking and I felt so protective over her. She was sick and she needed me and I would protect her.

I was given no information. I think he knew by my face that abortion would not be an option for us. It wouldn’t have been our right to abort her. She was unique and she was our daughter and she was valued to us so we decided to go back home for our care.

So we got to have scans whenever we wanted and we were allowed to bring family members down and they would sit in for the scans and get to see her growing and moving.

I asked my consultant if she was in pain or discomfort and he told me all she could feel was me loving her.

Vicky's baby Líadán was diagnosed with Edward's syndrome
Image:
Vicky’s baby Líadán was diagnosed with Edward’s syndrome

He told me to leave work and spend time with her, so I did. I came out of work and my dad built a patio at the end of the garden and we would spend the day with her talking to her, telling her Dr Seuss stories and how much we loved her. My older children would play music into my bump for her. I knew we had to spend what time we had we her.

I got to 32 weeks and she started slowing down in her movements, I was very aware of her movements and we were at home one afternoon and she had been quiet all day and a friend of mine called and I told her I was really worried about the baby.

And she told me to have some cake to get her moving – and she did, she used to move after sweet things. I was so overjoyed to feel that kick but an hour after that I got a really bad pain and Líadán never kicked again.

We knew then she was gone. We went to hospital for the scan to be sure, to check, and the scan was so still. I screamed and I felt guilty afterwards because it was a maternity hospital and there were other mothers there but it just came out.



Leo Varadkar says there is no complacency




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Irish PM says vote is ‘once in a generation’

But she died at home with her family with love and dignity and on her terms and I take great comfort in that – that we didn’t travel and we didn’t have an injection to stop her heart.

It was a Thursday and we went home and we told family and friends that she had died and everyone came around and we all had pizza and it was almost like a wake, everyone came to be around us.

We went into hospital on the Sunday to be induced and she was born on 17 August. She looked perfect, you would never have known there was anything wrong with her.

And we got to bring her home and for her family to say hello and goodbye. We got to bring her home for one day and the next day we buried her. So many people came to her funeral and that helped me so much with our grief.

Ryanair profits soar despite pilot rota blunder



Ryanair has reported a 10% rise in annual profits despite the impact of its costly pilot rota failure last autumn that hit the travel plans of 700,000 customers.

The no frills carrier said profits after tax came in at €1.45bn (£1.27bn) in the 12 months to 31 March aided, it said, by a 9% rise in passenger numbers to 130.3 million and its planes being 95% full on average.

More follows…

Murder and fraud: What happened to Carole Packman?


Carole PackmanImage copyright
Family handout

Image caption

Carole Packman disappeared in 1985 and her body has never been found

For years Sam Gillingham believed her mum had walked out on her, but the truth began to emerge when her father tried to fake his own death. Russell Causley is now serving life for his wife’s murder. As his sentence is reviewed by the Parole Board, his daughter fears she may never know why her father murdered her mother.

“There was a piece of paper which had her wedding ring on. It just said that she’d had enough, that she’d decided to leave and wouldn’t be coming back.”

Sam Gillingham was 16 when her mother Veronica – who liked to be known as Carole – vanished from the family’s suburban home in the seaside resort of Bournemouth.

She remembers frantically running up the stairs to check her parents’ room, as her father Russell looked on.

Gazing at her mother’s untouched belongings, he said confidently: “She’ll be back.”

Russell Causley, Carole Packman, Samantha GillinghamImage copyright
Family handout

Image caption

Russell Causley, his wife Carole and daughter Sam, enjoyed an affluent lifestyle

The idea that 40-year-old Carole had walked out was not implausible.

A year earlier, Russell had invited his 26-year-old work colleague Patricia Causley into the family home as a lodger.

The couple both worked in the aviation industry, but despite appearances – a sports car in the driveway of their large detached house, Rolex watches and regular trips abroad – needed extra money.

“For the first six months, things were weirdly normal,” recalls Sam, who was sharing a room with the household’s newest member. “Patricia was almost like a nanny for me.”

But as time passed, she remembers Patricia sneaking out of the bedroom late at night.

“I learned later my mother knew already that my father was having an affair,” Sam says, describing how the lodger took her mother’s place in the 20-year marriage.

Carole PackmanImage copyright
Family handout

Image caption

Carole was an aeronautical draughtswoman and travelled the world

She recalls how Carole reacted with open distress as the pair flaunted their relationship. Tensions rose in the family home and, like many teenagers, young Sam rowed with her mum – a point she now concedes meant everyone in the house was “horrible” to her.

So when her mother seemingly uprooted to find happiness elsewhere, the concept was not so unthinkable.

But as the weeks passed, Sam became increasingly concerned about her mother’s whereabouts and reported her missing to police.

A relief, of sorts, came a few months later, shortly before Christmas 1985.

The family was told by officers that Carole had declared herself safe and well at Bournemouth police station, asking that nobody bother her further.

As a consequence, Sam came to accept her mother was not coming back any time soon – something she looks back on with regret.

“It was the flippancy of thinking the problem had gone. I thought my mother was the problem in the house… I now know that was not the case.”

Sam Gillingham and Carole PackmanImage copyright
Family handout

Image caption

Sam says she feels regret for so readily accepting her mother’s disappearance

In the months following Carole’s departure, Sam’s father asked her to leave the family home.

Their relationship had been fraught, punctuated with frequent episodes of violence and bullying that had forced her to spend time in a children’s home.

Once she had left, she grew even more distant from him and concentrated on building a life with her future husband and new son.

But in 1993, out of the blue, Sam received some shocking news. Her dad – who had since taken the surname of his lover – was missing at sea and presumed dead.

Presentational grey line

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Presentational grey line

Police told Sam her father had been on a yacht off the coast of Guernsey with his common-law wife, Patricia, when he fell overboard.

A panicked Mayday message was sent to the coastguard and a major rescue operation saw helicopters and boats scouring the water.

When his body could not be found, it seemed that – just like his wife – Russell Causley had disappeared.

Sam was bereft – despite their problems, she had happy memories from her childhood, including playing chess and cribbage with her father for hours.

What she was then unaware of was that police had become suspicious of Causley’s disappearance and had begun to investigate.

Packman familyImage copyright
Family handout

Image caption

Despite tensions, Sam remembers a happy childhood with her parents

The same day Causley went missing, a mysterious “Mr Russell” had booked a hydrofoil from St Peter Port back to the mainland.

That, combined with his lover’s inconsistent account of what happened on the boat, led Guernsey Police to ask Causley’s life insurance company to alert them if a claim was made.

Sure enough, days later a claim for £790,000 was lodged on Patricia’s behalf.

“And lo and behold she goes to a pub in Brighton and Causley’s sitting in the corner,” recalls former detective Paul Donnell.

He described how officers working with the insurers followed her and swooped in with arrest warrants as the pair left the pub.

“That’s when it all starts to unravel.”

Patricia CausleyImage copyright
Family handout

Image caption

Patricia Causley moved into the family home and started having affair with Mrs Packman’s husband

Guernsey Police forged ahead with its investigation into Causley for fraud and contacted Dorset Police for background information – a conversation which took them on a completely different tangent.

“As an aside, it was mentioned that Sam had reported her mother missing some time ago and was very concerned,” says Mr Donnell.

“At that stage, we were hoping it was purely and simply a marriage breakdown – she’d left, he could give us some information, we could trace Carole and put it to bed.

“I made arrangements to speak to him – but right from the off, he was a very strange character.”

Mr Donnell remembers Causley insisting on tape-recording their conversation.

He told detectives about a letter he had supposedly received from Carole in 1991, but couldn’t give details. He also jumped in to answer any questions posed to Patricia.

A tale about how Carole had fled the family home with a man “driving a red Porsche” and had gone to “Switzerland or Canada” was also offered up.

“Well which is it?” Mr Donnell remembers asking. “What’s actually happened to Carole? Have you tried to contact her?

“He couldn’t give us a proper answer. We could see he was very controlling.”

St Peter Port

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It is believed Causley booked a hydrofoil away from St Peter Port using the pseudonym “Mr Russell”

Causley was tried, convicted and jailed for fraud in 1995.

But his peculiar interview led detectives to review Carole’s apparent visit to the police station 10 years earlier, which revealed the officer taking her details had failed to carry out basic identity checks.

The urgency of the investigation intensified further when they tracked her last confirmed sighting to a solicitor’s office, where she had inquired about a divorce.

“The solicitor had given her information and he was expecting her to come back to him,” says Mr Donnell. “That never happened.”

Police found she had stopped going to the doctor, despite having various issues. She hadn’t visited the dentist, contacted her friends, or any of the neighbours.

She had been missing for more than eight years and nobody knew where she was, or had even really looked for her.

Tony Nott, the detective chief inspector who led the investigation for Dorset Police, admits the force had been “sloppy” after Carole was first reported missing.

“It was a major mistake by the police,” he says. “I’m afraid we didn’t do well there.”

Carole PackmanImage copyright
Family handout

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Causley claimed Carole had left with a “man driving a red Porsche”

The waters muddied further when a paper trail led them to Canada, where Carole, it appeared, had been working in the aviation industry in Montreal.

But it was established it was not her – it was in fact Patricia, who had been using her work permit.

Police then found forgeries on Land Registry documents which allowed Causley to sell their jointly-owned house.

Mr Nott says “all the ingredients” were there to suggest he had killed his wife – nobody else had the opportunity or motive.

But one major obstacle remained. A body had not been found.

He described how forensic archaeologists scoured cemeteries in Bournemouth and drainpipes in the New Forest after Causley, who was in prison, allegedly confessed to inmates he had killed his first wife.

But his accounts of hitting her with an axe and disposing of her body in acid were inconsistent – deliberately so, believes Mr Nott.

“It was a game of cat and mouse,” he says.

Carole Packman and Russell CausleyImage copyright
Family handout

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Causley has never revealed the whereabouts of Carole’s body

After some of Carole’s belongings were found in a storage unit Causley had access to, the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was sufficient evidence to prosecute.

He was found unanimously guilty of murder at Winchester Crown Court in 1996 and jailed. But in June 2003 his conviction was quashed after his alleged confessions were deemed unsafe.

A retrial found him guilty a year later, after his sister broke her silence – telling jurors she had heard her brother admit his crime.

“Russell Causley is an intelligent man,” says Mr Nott. “[But] he was at a point where his marriage was beyond saving.

“Most normal people would go and see a solicitor and get a divorce. Russell Causley thought he could keep the house, keep his mistress, keep everything and get rid of his wife – get rid of her body and he wouldn’t be caught.

“Well he was wrong. He was caught.”

Sam Gillingham

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Sam remembers returning home from a day in London with her father and finding the note

Sentencing Causley to life, Mrs Justice Haslett described him as a “wicked” person.

“Not only did you kill your wife and somehow dispose of her body,” she told him. “You left your daughter in a permanent state of ignorance as to her mother’s fate.”

Fourteen years on and the absence of answers indeed continues to haunt Sam and her son Neil. She says all she wants to know is where her mother’s body is, but despite repeatedly asking her father, he has remained silent.

“If he is released from prison he will think, despite the price he has paid by losing his freedom for so long, that he was actually the one who still won,” says Sam, who regrets believing her father’s lies so easily.

“He just doesn’t care.”

Sam Gillingham with her mother Carol PackmanImage copyright
Sam Gillingham

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Sam Gillingham desperately wants to know where her mother’s body is

Neil says the passing of time has done little to ease the family’s pain.

“What hope realistically have we got, if he is released, of him disclosing where my grandmother is?

“It’s hard work, it’s draining in terms of trying to understand why someone would do what they’ve done, and continue that torment all these years on.

“You’ve got to ask yourself – who is it who’s actually serving the sentence?”

The Parole Board is currently reviewing whether to free 75-year-old Causley and Carole Packman’s family is expecting a decision before the end of the year. Dorset Police said it would continue to work with them to locate Carole’s body.