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Getting the message across: texts used in binge drinking study

Text messages aimed at encouraging men to think carefully about their drinking habits will be used in a major study into binge drinking.

Researchers at the University of Dundee want to recruit around 700 men aged between 25 and 44 across the Tayside, Fife, Forth Valley and Greater Glasgow areas.

The volunteers will receive regular text messages for three months, encouraging them to think about what they are drinking and why.

Researchers will then interview the men to assess whether their alcohol consumption has changed.

They will be asked again after a further nine months whether there has been any longer-term change in behaviour.

"We are hoping to work with men who have settled into a drinking pattern where they will have consumed more than eight units of alcohol on two occasions in the previous month. The standard definition of binge drinking is eight units in a session," said Professor Iain Crombie, of the Centre for Biomedical Sciences and Public Health at the University of Dundee.

"The basic idea is not to preach to them or tell them what they do. Many alcohol interventions are very 'in your face' and we don't see that as the way to go.

"What the messaging in this study will do is encourage them to think about what they are drinking, why they do it, and about how it fits with the rest of their lives.

"Text messaging is an attractive medium to use to deliver those messages. There is evidence that it can be effective, and our study will robustly test that."

In character references read to the court by Mr Metzer, Elisabetta, also known as Lisa, was described as "honest" and "trustworthy".

Jane Winkworth, founder of the French Sole shoe company, employed Elisabetta as a sales assistant in one of her stores for three-and-a-half years from October 2004.

She said Elisabetta was an "exemplary employee" who eventually became an assistant store manager, and said when she heard of the fraud allegations: "I was very shocked because this is totally out of Lisa's character."

Elisabetta currently works as a sales assistant, with her current boss Rose Wakefield, who hired her in November 2012, saying in a statement: "She has never given me any cause to doubt her trustworthiness."

The Grillos' other sisters also provided references, with Michaela saying Elisabetta was "sweet and intelligent" and Anna-Maria describing her and Francesca as being at the heart of their family.

An ex-boyfriend of Elisabetta said she appeared fond of Mr Saatchi and Ms Lawson, adding: "I remember her telling me about the Saatchi-Lawson family only in a positive way."

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