Former royal butler Paul Burrell publicly celebrated the collapse of his theft trial, after the Queen's late intervention.

The Royal household erupted in fresh controversy as a former servant accused a key aide to the Prince of Wales of raping him. The palace responded by announcing an internal inquiry.

Firefighters went on two strikes, the first for 48 hours, the second for eight days, in pursuit of a 40 per cent pay increase. Green Goddesses manned by soldiers were on the streets for the first time in 25 years.

After charges of blackmail against him were dropped, former York council leader Rod Hills accused colleagues in the Labour Party of abandoning him.

Elsewhere in the courts, three people were jailed for their part in the killing of Mick Brolly on a York city centre street. Jeffrey Parvin, a former pub landlord extradited from Canada on theft charges, appeared before the York bench. And planespotter Andy Jenkins' appeal against his conviction for spying was successful in Greece.

Unfortunately, as a Thrall worker, he came home to bad news. The company, lured to York with a hefty state subsidy, began making staff redundant at the doomed Holgate Road factory.