Friday evening news briefing: Danny Cipriani planned to kill himself, England rugby star reveals in video

Chris Price

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Cipriani reveals he tried to buy gun to kill himself

England rugby star Danny Cipriani has revealed he tried to buy a gun to kill himself as he released a video to speak out on mental health in the wake of his ex-girlfriend Caroline Flack's death. In an emotional 18-minute speech posted on his Instagram account, the 32-year-old opened up about his own struggles in an attempt to force change in society, he says. Cipriani said he had been talking to Flack regularly in the past three to four months, and that she had tried to call him and text him on Friday night in the hours before she killed herself. He was unable to take the call or respond to the text because he was playing for Gloucester against Exeter in the Gallagher Premiership. Watch his emotional video where he said "it was ultimately embarrassment and shame that killed her".

Cipriani's words come days after Flack's family decided to release an unpublished Instagram post written by the Love Island presenter before her death, revealing how she felt "within 24 hours my whole world and future was swept from under my feet." Naomi Southwell writes that for anyone who has had thoughts of taking their own life, the news of a high-profile suicide like Flack's can open a window onto the past.

Female Muslim convert plotted to blow up St Paul's

A female supporter of Islamic State plotted to plant a bomb under the dome of St Paul's Cathedral during a packed service in a bid to kill as many people as possible. Safiyya Amira Shaikh, 36, was caught by undercover officers last year as she planned to plant two explosive devices in central London, one at the historic cathedral and one at a nearby hotel. She admitted planning to carry out the devastating terrorist attack after having pledged allegiance to Isil. The Old Bailey heard how Shaikh, a convert born Michelle Ramsden, carried out reconnaissance visits to the cathedral to find the best way of evading security measures. From Hayes, Middlesex, she is thought to be Britain's first solo female Isil bomb plotter. Patrick Sawer has the details.

Farewell Dot Cotton as June Brown quits EastEnders

Actress June Brown said she has left EastEnders after 35 years of playing chain-smoking Albert Square mainstay Dot Cotton. The 93-year-old actress, whose stint on the soap began in 1985, said she has left the show "for good". Her character had not featured since an episode last month, when Dot left a voicemail for Sonia Fowler, played by Natalie Cassidy, saying she had moved to Ireland. Michael Hogan writes EastEnders producers should hang their heads in shame that they’ve neglected a TV treasure and allowed Brown to go out on a whimper. He points to a wider issue here of serial dramas not knowing how to treat elderly characters.

News digest

Video: Celebrities back suicidal bullying victim, aged 9

Social media users and celebrities around the world have rallied behind a nine-year-old boy who was bullied over his dwarfism. Quaden Bayles, from Queensland, Australia, received support after his mother posted a video of him crying and saying "I just want to die right now" after being teased at his school. The video subsequently went viral, with messages of support sent by hundreds of people, including Hugh Jackman.

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World news: The one story you must read today...

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