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Runway Consultation Starts – 08/04/14
The public consultation into proposals to build a second runway at Gatwick Airport opened on Friday, giving local residents the opportunity to review the plans and to have their say. There are three options for the position of the second runway, all of which are South of the existing runway towards Crawley. Anyone interested in the proposal can visit the website set up exclusively for the process www.gatwickobviously.com and have their say on which site is most suitable, although campaigners opposed to the proposal are angry that there is not an automatic selection available to select ‘no runway’.
Sinkhole Closes Road – 07/04/14
Part of the A23 near Gatwick had to be closed yesterday after a large sinkhole appeared in the road. The northbound carriageway of the A23 between the Fleming Way roundabout and the Lowfield Heath roundabout had to be closed whilst Thames Water engineers investigated. The cause of the sinkhole was a leaking high-pressured pipe and the road is likely to be closed for at least a week whilst repairs are made.
Sabotage Suspected in Train Crash – 07/04/14
Worried passengers were stuck on a damaged train for two hours after it collided with a concrete slab on Friday. The train was travelling from Horsham to London Victoria when it struck the slab, which police believe was deliberately placed on the tracks at a foot crossing near Ifield. The incident occurred at around 2.30pm and caused significant disruption on the busy commuter line.
Popular Policeman Dies - 31/3/14
One of Crawley's first police community support officers has died just six months before he was due to retire. 64 year old Ken Oldershaw had become a true part of the community through his work assisting with Neighbourhood Watch projects throughout Crawley over the last ten years. Ken died of pneumonia at Royal Marsden hospital last Friday after battling cancer.
Scarlet Fever Cases Increase - 21/3/14
Public Health England have issued a warning after cases of scarlet fever in West Sussex have doubled in the last two years. The highly contagious bacterial infection can be transmitted through the air and also by touch. Most common in children between the ages of 4 and 8, the main symptom of scarlet fever is a widespread itchy rash. Although the disease used to be deadly, if diagnosed it can be easily treated with a course of antibiotics.
Pub Staff Threatened with Knife - 17/3/14
Knife wielding burglars left a woman terrified after they broke into a pub in the early hours of Thursday morning and demanded cash. The raid at The Greyhound pub in Charlwood happened at around 5.30am, when the woman was woken by the two men breaking in. When she investigated the noise, the burglars threatened her with a knife and forced her to open a safe containing a substantial amount of money. Police believe that the pub was targeted specifically because the burglars knew exactly what they wanted.
Young Mother Killed in Car Crash - 12/03/14
A 28 year old hairdresser form Crawley on Sunday when the car that she was a passenger in crashed in Crawley Avenue. Lisa Watling was travelling with a 35 year old male companion, also from Crawley, when the black BMW Z3 sports car they were travelling in left the road near Tushmore roundabout and hit a fence. Lisa, who worked at Rush hair salon in Crawley's Queens Square, was taken to St George's hospital in Tooting but died later from her injuries. The male driver remains in serious but not life-threatening condition.
Paedophile Jailed - 04/03/14
A paedophile who preyed on vulnerable young boys under his care as a cycle sppedway coach has been jailed for nine years. 71 year old Michael James Green from Hove was a former coach at Crawley Tigers Cycle Speedway club and used that position to find his victims. He was jailed for eight years for a rape and 12 months for two indecent assaults. Following his conviction, it was revealed that Green was a mentor for Roy Whiting, the Crawley paedophile who killed Sarah Payne in 2000.
Market Traders Angry After Pitch Relocation - 24/02/14
Stall holders at Crawley market are furious after being told last week that this Wednesday's market in Crawley's Queens Square woud be their last. The council have announced that Crawley market will only be held on Friday's and Saturday's in the High Street in an attempt to revitalise that area of town. However, traders claim that the HIgh Street does not attract shoppers as it is full of pubs, banks and estate agents, not retail premises and shoppers do not want to walk over to that side of town. The market organisers claim that it is financially impossible to run the market without the Queens Square pitches and warn that the market may close if the council won't listen to them. A petition has been started.
Man Set on Fire in Graveyard - 19/02/14
A man in his 20s from Crawley is in hospital with life threatening injuries after being found on fire in a church garveyard in Horley. The man was spotted by a group of people attending a meeting at the church at around 8.30pm on Monday, who thought that a bush had been set on fire. The witnesses rushed to the man's.aid and helped him to extinguish the flames in the wet grass. The man was taken to St George's Hospital in London where he is currently in a critical condition. Police are investigatin the circumstances leading to the tragedy and are asking for witnesses.
Crawley Man Accused of Suicide Bombing - 18/02/14
A 41 year old man from Crawley has been accused of carrying out a suicide bomb attack in Syria on 6th February. Abdul Waheed Majid of Martyrs Avenue in Langley Green had had gone to the war-torn country on an aid mission, but CCTV footage of the attack on the Syrian prison suggest that Mr Mahid was responsible for the bombing.
Teenage Car Thief Injured on Motorway – 11/02/14
A 19 year old from Crawley Down had to be airlifted to hospital on Sunday after being hit by a car on the M23 following a police chase. The teenager ran onto the motorway between junction 10 and 10a after fleeing from a car he is suspected of stealing. Prior to the motorway collision, the vehicle he is suspected of driving was involved in a hit and run accident in London Road before being abandoned in Stace Way where the occupants fled on foot. Eye-witnesses say that they saw the teenager emerge from the hard shoulder before attempting to cross the motorway. Shortly after, police were seen emerging from the same vicinity. He was airlifted to hospital suffering from life-threatening injuries.
Police Shootout In Manor Royal – 26/01/14
A police chase ended dramatically today when a car suspected of carrying a fugitive was brought to a stop by armed police. A Surrey and Sussex Tactical Firearms Unit shot the tyres of a car in Flemming Way after receiving intelligence regarding one of the occupants. A man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and two other people were arrested on suspicion of harbouring an offender.
Local Man Charged with Murder – 22/01/14
A 23 year old man from Three Bridges has been charged with with the murder of a man in Crawley. Daniel Palmer from Maunsell Park was officially charged with the murder of 45 year old Joao Esteves and remanded in custody. Mr Esteves had only arrived in England from his native Protugal four days prior to his murder. During police questioning, Mr Palmer refused to make any comment. His trial date has been set fro 21st July. The two men and woman arrested on Sunday have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
Murder in Three Bridges – 19/01/14
A 45 year old man has died after being attacked in an alleyway off Haslett Avenue East in Three Bridges. Police were called at around 3.30am on Sunday morning after the Portuguese man was found unconscious. Paramedics treated him at the scene and he was taken to Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton where he died on Sunday afternoon. Two men aged 33 and 48 and a woman aged 22, all from Crawley, have been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Man Jailed for Knife Attack – 13/01/14
A 41 year old man from Solihull has been jailed for 11 years for a horrific knife attack near Crawley Lawn Tennis Club last July. Thomas Mahasoh attacked two young men with a large kitchen knife after a fight started at the birthday party being held at the club. One of the victims, 18 year old Lincoln Kombo, was stabbed in the stomach and the other, a 20 year old man, was stabbed in the leg.
Nightclub Licence Review – 10/01/14
A popular nightclub in Crawley has come under review after Sussex Police claimed that it was a hotbed for anti-social behaviour. JJ Whispers in the High Street will have the way they run the club scrutinised after a premises licence review was submitted to Crawley Borough Council. Police claim that they have been called to the venue on numerous occassions to deal with incidents of drunkenness, drunk and disorderly behaviour and even sexual assaults. The licensing meeting will be held on March 3 and the club have until February 7 to make representations to the council.
Explosion Kills Woman – 02/01/14
A woman in her 50s died after an explosion in her house in Pound Hill on New Year's Eve. Maria Woodhead was at home in her house in Banks Road when the explosion happened at around 12.30pm. Paramedics treated her after she had been taken from the house, but they were unable to save her and she died at the scene. The cause of the explosion is not yet known but it is believed that either a gas cannister or faulty boiler are to blame.
Storms Wreak Havoc Across County – 02/01/14
Families forced to leave their flooded homes, drivers fleeing their submerged vehicles, and businesses forced to close during one of the busiest times of the year have all been a result of what experts are calling the worst storm to hit the South East since 1987. Torrential rain and gale force winds struck overnight on 23rd December, resulting in flooding throughout the county. Many homes were left without electricity and Christmas preparations were either put on hold or cancelled altogether as friends and neighbours rallied to help each other. Severe flooding resulted in gridlock on many roads as motorists failed to make it through deep water. But despite a brief respite on Christmas day, there are still flood warnings in place as the bad weather continued at the end of December and into the new year.
Gatwick Shortlisted for New Runway – 19/12/13
The government have included Gatwick on a shortlist of airports suitable for expansion. If successful, Gatwick’s new runway would be situated 3000 metres south of the existing runway and it is thought to be the most environmentally friendly option being considered. However, opposition to the expansion at Gatwick claim that housing and transport infrastructure is not good enough and the local area could not cope with the demands of a busier airport.
Retailers Made Accountable for Drunks – 13/12/13
Shop keepers who sell super strength beers and ciders have been targeted by police to help them in a new drink awareness campaign. The Know Your Strength campaign is designed to stop anti-social behaviour on the streets and retailers selling alcohol could lose their licence if police believe that alcohol related incidents are attributable to alcohol purchased at the shop. It is already illegal to sell alcohol to any person that is already drunk and it is hoped that removing these super strength products will help to clean up problem areas.
Crawley Paedophile Jailed – 10/12/13
A 21 year old man from Ifield has been jailed for two years for sexual offences against three children. Lloyd Breach of Ifield Wood was found guilty of two offences of sexual assault, one of inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity, two offences of grooming, one of attempted grooming and seven charges of possessing indecent images. In addition to the two year jail sentence, Breach was given a five year sexual offences prevention order and will be on the sex offenders register for ten years.
Drink Driving Campaign Gets Under Way – 4/12/13
Sussex Police launched their new Drink Driving campaign on Saturday and have already made several arrests after tip-offs from the public. Anyone suspecting that a person is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol can text details through to the police on 65999. Any individuals charged with a drink driving offence will be publicly named and shamed by the police.
Man Shot Outside Flats – 2/12/13
A man was rushed to hospital after being blasted with a shotgun outside a block of flats in a residential area. The attack happened in Commonwealth Drive, Three Bridges at around 9.30pm on Thursday and the victim suffered extensive damage to his hand that will require surgery. Although the shooting happened in a built up residential area, residents in surrounding properties assumed that the loud bang was fireworks being let off and ignored the sound. Police cordoned off the Nokes Court area until Friday lunch time for forensic examination.
Last Chance for Failing School – 28/11/13
A Crawley school has been given one last chance to make improvements or it will be closed down. The Discovery New School in Broadfield have until December 6 to submit a detailed statement outlining how it plans to make the improvements or it will lose its government funding which will lead to its closure. The school first fell foul of Ofsted in May 2013 when a report deemed the teaching and leadership inadequate resulting in the school being placed in special measures. At the six month review earlier this month, Ofsted inspectors said that the school had made progress but were still not meeting expectations. This week, a new report highlighted the lack of financial management at the school.
District Commander Reduces Crime – 26/11/13
Twelve months after the new police district commander for Crawley took up her new position, crime in the area has fallen by 17%. Chief Inspector Justina Beeken was appointed last November and implemented her strategy for tackling crime. There were 4507 reported crimes from April to November this year compared to 5439 in the same period the previous year.
Strangers Buy Injured Boy New Bike – 20/11/13
The story of a three year old boy who was injured when a car hit him as he crossed the road has prompted local people to make donations in order to buy him a new bike. Ethan Mitchell suffered a broken leg after a Vauxhall Corsa hit him whilst he was on a pedestrian crossing on Southgate Avenue last Thursday and his tricycle was damaged beyond repair. Bystanders, including an off duty paramedic, rallied to help Ethan and his distraught mother at the scene before he was taken to East Surrey Hospital. Users of a local Facebook page then decided to donate money in order to buy Ethan a brand new bike.
Woman Attacked in Tilgate – 18/11/13
A 49 year old woman was attacked whilst she walked along a footpath on Saturday night. The woman was walking her dog along the path from Winchester Road to the K2 Leisure Centre at around 11.50pm when the man grabbed her from behind. The woman fought with her attacker, who she could only describe as of large build and wearing a hoodie, before her German Shepherd dog bit the man and he fled.
Urgent Improvements Needed at School - 14/11/13
A Crawley school has been told that it's performance is unacceptably low and that urgent improvements are required in order to avoid further action being taken against it. The Department of Education inspected Broadfield East Junior School in July has issued a Pre-Warning notice telling the school where it needs to vastly improve. In particular, the school leadership team were told that they do not demonstrate the capacity and quality to improve standards.Less than half of year 6 pupils at the school reached minimum standards in reading, writing and maths.
Local Man Killed byTrain – 11/11/13
A man from Horley was tragically killed when he was hit by a train at Gatwick Airport on Wednesday. 45 year old Darren Lansdown of Hamilton Close in Horley was hit by the train at the station at around 8.20pm, causing services on the busy London to Brighton line to be suspended for more than an hour. Police do not suspect anything suspicious about Mr Lansdown's death and an inquest was opened today.
Search for Cemetery Site Continues – 8/11/13
Crawley Borough Council are racing against time to find a suitable site for a new cemetery after their preferred option in Ifield was deemed unsuitable. Snell Hatch Cemetery in West Green is almost at capacity and even if proposals to extend the existing site are approved, a new cemetery will be required within two years. The council had identified Ewhurst Playing Fields in Ifield as an ideal site for the new cemetery but following soil tests costing £38000, the Environment Agency concluded that the water table is too high and could therefore not be used.
Storm Batters Crawley – 29/10/13
Crawley residents felt the full force of St Jude on Monday after the storm caused havoc throughout the town. Many people witnessed trees and branches being thrown around by the 90mph winds and causing damage to property. Among the more serious cases was a block of flats in Three Bridges which was hit by a falling tree at around 6.45am on Monday, causing substantial structural damage to the roof. The road between Pease Pottage Services and the roundabout was closed at around 9am after the torrential rain caused dangerous flooding.
Neglect Contributed to Deaths at Care Home - 23/10/13
After a five week inquest into the shocking conditions at a local care home, it has been reported that the neglect of staff was a contributing factor in the death of five residents. The Orchid View Care Home in Copthorne was closed down at the end of 2011 after an administration worker at the home reported the disgusting treatment she had witnessed to police. The court were told of atrocious conditions and treatment including how a resident received a lethal overdose of a blood thinning drug, how medical records were forged, how emergency pull-cords were tied up out of residents’ reach and how a male resident was discovered eating his food on the ground like a dog. Nineteen deaths at the home were investigated during the coroner’s inquest and, whilst all residents died from natural deaths, the sickening neglect contributed to five of them.
Construction Worker Dies at School - 09/10/13
A 26 year old man from Kent has died after being hit on the head by a manhole cover at Langley Green Primary School. The man was working in a manhole at the school as part of the construction team employed by Balfour Beatty Construction Services to extend the school building on Friday when the accident happened. He was flown to Royal London Hospital by air ambulance with serious injuries but died on Monday.
Man Stabbed in Car Park - 07/10/13
A young man was attacked by a group of men in broad daylight in a Crawley car park on Friday, sustaining serious injuries including a stab wound to his stomach and a broken arm. The man from London was attacked in the car park opposite St John’s Church at around 4pm but managed to stagger to Crawley Health Centre in Haslett Avenue West. An air ambulance was called but the man was taken by road ambulance to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. Three men aged between 22 and 35 have been arrested and bailed pending further investigation.
Thieves Steal Charity Money – 01/10/13
Callous thieves broke into a local community centre and stole money that had been raised for a cancer charity. The raiders broke into Maidenbower Park Community Club on Friday night by smashing a hole in the roof and then breaking a fire door window. They made off with around £400 which included money raised from a Macmillan Cancer Support coffee morning.
Arsonists Burn Down Tilgate Hut – 26/09/13
Firefighters were called to Tilgate lakes in the early hours of Tuesday morning after reports of a blaze at the hut next to the boating lake. By the time they arrived, the timber clad hut and all of it’s contents had already been destroyed by the fire, causing £10,000 worth of damage to the boating equipment stored within. Investigators at West Sussex Fire and Rescue concluded that the fire had been started deliberately. The hut is owned by Dynamic Adventures who have had to review the watersport facilities they provide as a result of the mindless vandalism.
Man Assaulted by Teenagers – 25/09/13
A 36 year old man was punched in the face as he walked along a road in Southgate, in a vicious and unprovoked attack. The man was walking along Malthouse Road at around 9pm on Monday when he was approached by three men aged between 16 and 18. The teenagers intimidated the man and removed his glasses before punching him in the face and trying to steal his briefcase. When the man would not release his hold on the bag, the attackers ran off towards the station. Two of the attackers were wearing grey hoodies and jeans and the third was wearing a grey hat, blue hoodie and jeans.
Bewbush Couple Win the Lottery – 19/09/13
A 33 year old roofer from Bewbush and his partner cracked open the champagne last week after winning £3.6 million pounds in the Lotto on Saturday 7th September. Stuart Hunt and Nicky Martin scooped the prize after matching their six numbers – 1,11,12,13,35 and 42 – but have vowed not to let the money go their heads. The parents of three children admit that it is a life-changing amount of money and will certainly have a huge impact on their lives, but claim that they won’t squander it frivolously.
Football Stadium Changes Name – 05/09/13
Broadfield Stadium, the home of Crawley Town Football Club, will change it’s name as part of a six figure sponsorship deal with the tradesman recommendation website Checkatrade.com. Crawley Borough Council who own the stadium agreed to change the name to Checkatrade.com Stadium in order to secure the five year deal. There was also good news for the local community after the football club pledged to give part of the sponsorship money to local community projects, starting with a £15,000 donation to Broadfield Community Centre.
Bewbush Couple Sentenced for Drugs Offences – 27/08/13
A husband and wife from Bewbush were sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday for drugs related offences. 34 year olds Lamin and Mariama Bojang of Petworth Court were arrested in July last year after police stopped a car driven by Lamin and discovered vast quantities of cocaine and cannabis. In a subsequent raid at their home, more drugs were discovered leading to the arrest of Mariama. Lamin Bojang was jailed for six years for possession with intent supply and Mariama Bojang was given a one year suspended sentence for possession and money laundering.
Crawley Council Leader Resigns – 16/08/13
Following months of dispute and internal fighting, the leader of Crawley Borough Council Bob Lanzer has resigned. Councillor Lanzer had been the subject of both a Conservative party and police investigations following allegations that he sexually harassed a fellow Conservative councillor Karl Williamson. The Conservative party dropped their investigation but the police issued both men with Police INformation Notices under the Protection from Harassment Act. Councillor Williamson has since changed allegiance to the UKIP party. Councillor Claire Denman will step in as Acting Leader until a permanent leader is decided in September.
Man Stabbed in Town Centre – 12/08/13
A man was attacked by two other men with a knife as he sat outside a cafe in Crawley town centre last Wednesday. The incident occurred at around 1.30pm outside the Cafe Bistro in the Broad Walk when the two Asian suspects approached the man and an argument broke out. The victim was cut with a knife and his attackers ran off. He was taken to East Surrey hospital for treatment to a stab wound.
Firework Starts House Blaze – 06/08/13
A family from Bewbush are living in a hotel after a firework set fire to their home. The family of six were asleep at their home in Stevenage Road when one of the children woke and alerted his parents to a fire in their garden at 1.50am on Friday. The fire quickly spread and set fire to the house, forcing the family to evacuate. Three fire crews from Crawley attended and put the fire out, but the family’s home was severely damaged by the fire and smoke. Police are investigating and, whilst they don’t believe it was a deliberate case of arson, they are keen to speak to a group of people seen throwing fireworks in the field behind the home.
Woman Raped in West Green Alleyway - 26/07/13
A 34 year old woman was attacked and raped as she walked along an alleyway in West Green on Sunday night. The woman was grabbed from behind by an Asian man as she walked along the path between Ifield Road and Furzefield just after 10pm. The man tripped her over before pinning her to the ground and raping her. The woman was so traumatised by the experience that she was at first unsure whether the attack took place on Sunday or Monday, but police are now confident of the date and time after initial investigations.
Police Wage War on Drugs – 22/07/13
A home in Langley Green was raided by police last Tuesday after information suggesting that drug dealing was occurring at the premises. The officers sprung at the property in Martyr’s Avenue at around 11am and discovered 18kg of cannabis with a street value of £180,000. They arrested a 26 year old man on suspicion of possession of drugs with intent to sell. Another raid was conducted on Wednesday at a home in Cotton Walk, Broadfield where they discovered cannabis plants and a sophisticated electricity system used to steal energy from nearby street lights. A 38 year old man was arrested at the scene.
Councillor Harassment Allegation Escalated to Police Matter – 18/07/13
The allegation of sexual harassment against Crawley Council leader Bob Lanzer has now been made a police matter after fellow councillor Karl Williamson made a formal complaint. Cllr Williamson had made a complaint to the Crawley Conservative Association in June, claiming that Cllr Lanzer had harassed him verbally and by text message. The allegation was escalated to a national level and investigations were under way before Cllr Williamson lodged his official complaint with the police, which takes precedence over the internal procedure.
Development Could Merge Copthorne With Crawley – 12/07/13
Plans to build 500 new homes in Copthorne would mean that only the M23 motorway would separate the village from Crawley’s boundaries. Developers St Modwen have promised significant investment in public amenities if their proposal is approved, including allotments, playing fields, infrastructure, education and road. However, there is still concern that the development to the west of Copthorne will destroy the village’s individual identity and make it just another borough of Crawley.
Two Men Stabbed at Party – 10/07/13
A fight at a party resulted in two men being stabbed and requiring hospital treatment. The incident occurred in Hazelwick Avenue near Crawley Lawn Tennis Club at around 3.45am on Sunday. An 18 year old man was stabbed in the stomach and a 20 year old man was stabbed in the leg. Both men were taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and required surgery on their wounds. A 40 year old man from Solihull was arrested on Tuesday in the West Midlands and will be brought to Sussex for questioning.
Congestion Prevention on M23 – 05/07/13
The M23 between the M25 and Crawley is set to get extra lanes in an attempt to ease future congestion. Although the motorway currently handles the level of traffic adequately, with the occasional accident causing large traffic jams, the motorway has been identified as one that could suffer from increased congestion in the future. The government have allocated £122 million to the improvement works which will turn the hard shoulder into a permanent driving lane, with emergency refuge areas created at regular intervals. Variable speed limits will also be introduced to the motorway to help improve traffic flow.
No Confidence in Conservatives – 04/07/13
The Crawley Conservative group are heading for a crisis following a motion of no confidence being tabled against the chairman and deputy chairman. Councillor John Denman, the representative for Ifield proposed the motion and Councillor Howard Bloom, the representative for Southgate, seconded it, with several other conservative members supporting the motion. The motion against chairman Lee Gilroy and deputy chairman Karl Williamson follows the implementation of a new contract from Conservative Campaign Headquarters which has caused disagreement within the group. However, Mr Williamson’s claims of sexual harassment against Crawley Borough Council leader Bob Lanzer have created a rift within the group.
School Could Lose Government Funding – 28/06/13
A Crawley primary school have been told that they they could lose their funding from the Department for Education if they do not make urgent improvements. Discovery New School in Broadfield has been placed on special measures following a recent Ofsted inspection, which rated teaching and leadership inadequate. The school, set up in 2011, uses the Montessori method of education which does not follow the National Curriculum and places the emphasis on children learning at their own pace in a suitable environment. Whilst the school disagree with Ofsted's measures and methods, they must make the improvements or have their funding terminated.
Crawley Council Boss Denies Harassment Accusation – 19/06/13
Councillor Bob Lanzer, the leader of Crawley Borough Council, has denied accusations that he sexually harassed a fellow male councillor. Mr Lanzer, the Conservative member for Pound Hill South and Worth, has been accused by fellow council member Karl Williamson of harassment by text message and verbal conversation. 26 year old councillor Williamson made the complaint to the Crawley Conservative Association last week and his allegations are being investigated.
Town Centre North Development Delayed – 13/06/13
The planning application for the second phase of the Town Centre North project has been delayed by at least six months due to uncertainty in the exact purpose of the development. Whilst phase one of the development to build a new hotel, supermarket and flats on the Sussex House site is on schedule, the use of the in The Boulevard is still being debated. The council are also unsure about the future of Crawley Post Office and although the facility is set to remain in the town, there is speculation about potentially demolishing the existing site and rebuilding or relocating.
Facebook Party Turns into Riot – 11/06/13
A teenager’s plan to celebrate the end of his exams with a group of close friends went terribly wrong after his Facebook advertisement was seen by hundreds of strangers who gatecrashed the party. 17 year old Jacob Little had sent a private invitation to 30 friends to attend a party at his parent’s bed and breakfast in Heron’s Close, Copthorne on Saturday. However, more than 200 people showed up to the party and the celebration quickly got out of hand. The teenager’s parents were on holiday in Poland at the time, but a neighbour called to tell them about the large crowds and Jacob’s father immediately called the police. Around 30 police officers, a police dog unit and a police helicopter attended the scene, but officers were pelted with bottles by the revellers as they tried to disperse the crowd. Four teenagers were arrested at the scene.
Sponsor a Brick in Crawley Museum – 07/06/13
Having seen the costs to renovate Crawley Museum increase by around £600,000 more than forecast, a local resident has suggested a fund raising opportunity to raise extra funds. Jeff Herbert from Southgate has proposed the idea that local residents could sponsor a brick in the new building for £10, thus putting their own names on a piece of locl history. The original forecasted costs were £1.7 million and a grant was obtained from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project. However, costs are now likely to be more like £2.3 million.
Teenager Attacked with Hammer – 03/06/13
A 14 year old boy was rushed to hospital in an ambulance after he was struck in the face by an adult with a hammer. The attack happened at Broadfield Barton shopping parade last Wednesday at around 9.25pm. According to witnesses, an argument had broken out between the boy and a 42 year old man and 38 year old woman. When police and paramedics arrived, the boy was bleeding from a facial wound and was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital for treatment. The man and woman were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and bailed until 13th July.
Government Contract Creates New Jobs – 31/05/13
A Crawley company secured a £600 million contract from the Ministry of Defence of defence, creating 33 new skilled jobs in Crawley and nearly 200 more across the UK. Thales, based in Manor Royal, will provide support for the Royal Navy for 10 years with it's Sensor Support Optimisation Project.
Teenager Raped Near School – 27/05/13
Police are investigating a 13 year old's claim that she was raped whilst she was walking through an alleyway in Tilgate. The girl was approached by a white man in his 30s wearing a beige coat and wellington boots near Desmond Anderson School who dragged her into some nearby bushes and raped her. The exact date of the incident is not known but happened three weeks ago.
New Mayor for Crawley – 27/05/13
Crawley's new Mayor and Deputy Mayor were officially inaugurated at Crawley Town Hall on Friday. Councillor Bob Burgess, the Conservative representative from Three Bridges was appointed as Mayor and Councillor Vanessa Cumper was made Deputy Mayor.
Priest Guilty of Sexual Abuse – 23/05/13
A former priest from Crawley has been found guilty of 36 charges of child sex abuse at Lewes Crown Court. 74 year old Gordon Rideout was jailed for 10 years after his sickening crimes, committed in the 1960s, were revealed. Rideout used to be the assistant curate at St mary's Church in Southgate and committed the majority of his crimes at a children's home in Sussex. He was found guilty of 2 attempted rapes and 34 indecent assaults.
New Neighbourhood in Crawley – 16/05/13
After years of planning and discussion, work is now due to begin on Crawley's 14th neighbourhood. The new estate to North East of the town will include 1900 new homes, a primary school, shopping parade and community facilities. The new neighbourhood will be built near near the Manor Royal estate and Balcombe Road and will include 760 affordable homes accounting for 40% of the development. Planning will begin in the Summer and building work will begin in 2014.
UKIP Success at Local Elections – 08/05/13
UKIP have become the second strongest political party in West Sussex after thrashing Labour and the Lib Dems in local elections. UKIP secured 10 seats on West Sussex County Council in the elections making them the main opposition to the Conservatives, who earned 46 of the 67 seats. The Lib Dems were the biggest losers, achieving just 8 seats whilst Labour increased from 3 to 6 seats.
Men Arrested for Bomb Alert at Airport – 07/05/13
Bomb disposal experts were forced to carry out a controlled explosion at Gatwick Airport last Wednesday after a van raised suspicions. Two men were seen lifting a barrier in order to gain access to the North Terminal short-stay car park and then abandoned the van they were driving. Having performed the controlled explosion and gained access to the van, police announced that it was not a suspected terrorist threat. The two men seen abandoning the van had been identified on CCTV boarding a plane to Majorca and when they returned yesterday, they were arrested on suspicion of theft, fraud by false representation, handling stolen goods, causing a public nuisance and money laundering.
Jobs Cut at Crawley College – 03/05/13
Around 200 jobs are at risk at Central Sussex College in an attempt to save £5 million. Bosses at the college have forecast a deficit of £6.5 million in this academic year's budget and believe that the only area to make savings is through staffing costs. Central Sussex College operate across five sites including Crawley and following an external audit it was revealed that 81 per cent of it's costs were in staff compared to a national average of 62 per cent. A full review and consultation period will now commence to identify the roles that will need to be cut.
Hopes of New Hospital Dashed – 26/04/13
The lack of enthusiasm from local GPs could spell the end of plans to create a new hospital between Crawley and Horsham. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had stated that a new hospital would be possible if it was supported and driven by local GPs. However, at a make or break meeting on Saturday held at County Hall North, very few GPs attended to discuss the proposal with MPs and those that did were unenthusiastic about supporting the venture. Local residents were excited at the prospect of the new hospital as travelling to East Surrey Hospital is both lengthy and inconvenient, but it seems that they will have to accept the inconvenience for the foreseeable future.
Crawley Man Jailed for Sexual Assaults – 22/04/13A 57 year old man from Ifield has been jailed for 10 years after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting two young girls. Robert Ingram of Lady Margaret Road was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court after admitting the 15 counts of indecent assault against the two girls, both under 14 years old. Ingram was also placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.
Crawley Runner Safe After Boston Marathon – 18/04/03
A member of Crawley Athletics Club who participated in the Boston Marathon on Monday has told how he knew nothing about the bombings until his wife called him from the UK. 40 year old Neil Smith from East Grinstead had completed the marathon and returned to his hotel by the time the bombs exploded which killed three people and injured hundreds. Mr Smith was asleep in his room when his telephone rang at 3.30pm , approximately half an hour after the bombings.
Mother and Son Die in Cottage Blaze – 10/04/13
An 83 year old woman and her 52 year old son died after a huge fire tore through their cottage in Copthorne on Saturday night. Fire crews were called to The Lodge at Great Finches Farm at 12.35am and spent nearly nine hours battling the flames. At around 9am on Sunday morning, firefighters with breathing apparatus were able to enter the burnt ruins of the property and discovered the body of the 83 year old woman. The damage to the property was so severe that the second body was not discovered until Sunday afternoon in a bedroom that had collapsed onto the ground floor. The victims have not yet been formally identified.
Crawley Team Crowned World Marbles Champions – 02/04/13
A team of marbles players from Northgate have been crowned World champions after winning the World Marbles Championships on Good Friday. The Black Dog Boozers beat the Johnson Jets (also from Crawley) in the final to earn the title. The event was once again held at The Greyhound pub in Tinsley Green where it has been held since 1932 and attracts teams from across Europe and even America.
Man Stabbed in Crawley Pub – 01/04/13
A 31 year old man was airlifted to hospital after being stabbed in the chest at The Moonraker pub in Three Bridges Road on Thursday morning. Police were called to the pub at 8.10am on Thursday after reports of a fight and arrived to discover the injured man. He was airlifted to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening. A 52 year old man was taken to East Surrey Hospital suffering from facial injuries. The pub has been closed since the incident and is not expected to re-open until later this week whilst police forensics teams investigate. It is thought that only the two men were involved in the fight and that one of the men works at the pub.
Crawley Town Football Club Up For Sale – 28/03/13
The owners of Crawley Town Football Club have made the decision to sell the club after astonishing success over the last few years. Just over three years ago, the club was in financial difficulty and wallowing in the lower leagues, with little hope of improvement. However, the new owners, supported by a fantastic management team, set themselves ambitious targets and raised the finance to achieve them. The new owners will need to invest significantly more money if the club is to continue to be successful.
Bewbush Man Jailed for Child Sex Offences – 25/03/13
A 50 year old man from Bewbush has been sentenced to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to a string of sex offences involving children. Andrew Cilia of Ivory Walk admitted to 5 counts of making indecent photographs of children, 3 counts of taking indecent photographs of children, 6 counts of sexual assaults on children and 1 count of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child. Cilia had befriended three young girls and all of the offences relating to the assaults and taking of indecent images related to the same three girls. Police became aware of his activities after discovering that he was making images available to other paedophiles via a peer-to-peer sharing website.
Council Job Share Saves £50,000 – 22/03/13
Crawley Borough Council will save £50,000 when it merges two job roles in April. Civil Enforcement Officers, responsible for enforcement of parking restrictions, and Community Wardens, responsible for litter and anti-social behaviour, have now been trained to conduct both roles simultaneously thus negating the need for the council to employ three new people to fill vacant roles.
Armed Robber Raids Broadfield Pub – 12/03/13
Two women working at the Imperial pub in Broadfield were left terrified after a masked man robbed them at gunpoint. The manager and member of staff were clearing up at 11.30pm on Sunday when the man entered the pub and forced them to empty the contents of the safe. He then escaped on foot with several thousand pounds in cash. The robber is described as tanned or mixed race, stocky and about 5ft 6ins. He was wearing a lime green mask and a green jacket.
Talented Footballer Dies in Train Accident – 11/03/13
A 26 year old man from West Green has died after he was hit by a train near Ifield railway station. Josh Lyons from West Green was struck by the London Victoria to Portsmouth train at around 8.50pm on Friday. Emergency services were called but Mr Lyons was pronounced dead at the scene. Mr Lyons grew up in Crawley and was spotted at a young age for being a talented footballer. He played at Wimbledon, Tottenham and Fulham before joining Crawley's under-18s.
Armed Robbery at Betting Shop – 01/03/13
Armed police scoured the streets of Crawley town centre on Wednesday in search of an armed robber who had threatened staff at a town centre betting shop. The man entered Ladbrokes in The Broadwalk at 7.45pm and pulled a gun from inside a green Co-Op bag. The threatened a male staff member and demanded money, before running away with hundreds of pounds. The robber was described as black, six feet tall, wearing dark clothes with a hat and scarf concealing his face.
K2 Investment Plan Put on Hold – 01/03/13
The proposed £650,000 investment at the K2 Leisure Centre has been indefinitely delayed after the new Councillor in charge of leisure and cultural services decided that the controversial plans needed further investigation and public consultation. The plans involve expanding the gymnastics and play areas but removing the bowling lanes. Councillor Duncan Crow acknowledged the huge need for increased facilities for children at the centre (which currently has a 1000 strong waiting list for children wanting to do gymnastics) but also realised the importance of facilities for the elderly.
Illegal Immigrants Arrested at Restaurant – 25/02/13
Following a tip-off from an anonymous source, the UK Border Agency raided a popular Crawley restaurant on Thursday and arrested six people who did not have the right to work in the UK. The raid at Charlie Choy's was conducted during opening hours and was witnessed by diners as the illegal workers were removed. Out of the six, three Indian men had overstayed their visas, two Indian men had entered the country illegally and a Pakistani man was a failed asylum seeker. Rajpal Singh, the manager at Charlie Choy's, claimed that all UKBA guidelines were followed when employing the men but if the restaurant can't prove that the due process was undertaken and checks made, they could face a fine of £10,000 per illegal worker.
Council Tax Frozen for Third Year – 15/02/13
Residents in Crawley will be delighted to learn that Crawley Borough Council have submitted a report stating that they do not intend to increase council tax for the third successive year. Whilst all may seem buoyant, with a plan to invest £4.6 million in local projects, the council have warned that it may not be sustainable long-term and that there is likely to be a financial deficit in 2014 /15 that will need filling.
Councillor Dismissed After Racism Claims – 13/02/13
Crawley Borough Council announced on Tuesday that Councillor Lenny Walker has been dismissed from his position of cabinet member for leisure and culture services after he made allegations of institutional racism and bigotry within the council and then failed to provide any evidence or justify his claims.
Crawley Loses Out to Horsham in Retailer Selection – 07/02/13
The chances of Crawley attracting John Lewis have been dealt a blow after the big-name retailer announced that they were now more interested in opening a store in neighbouring Horsham. John Lewis had kept a close eye on the Crawley Town Centre north development with a view to opening a branch of it's At Home department store. However, after Horsham District Council announced major investement and re-development of part of the town, the retailer feels that Horsham would be a more suitable venue for the store.
Council Cut Benefits for 2000 People – 06/02/13
Following the government reform that meant it would no longer cover the total cost of council tax benefit, Crawley Borough Council have announced that nearly 2000 people will have theri benefits cut or completely axed. The government changes left the council with nearly a £1 million pound shortfall which had to be found through cost-savings. 1200 Crawley residents have had their support decreased and 760 residents have had it cut completely.
Hospital Arsonist Jailed – 01/02/13
The man who started a fire at Crawley Hospital in order to steal money has been jailed for eight years at Canterbury Crown Court. 35 year old Thomas Ashcroft of no fixed abode pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary and arson at other premises but asked for the eight other crimes including the fire at Crawley Hospital to be taken into consideration. The three incidents he pleaded guilty to were at Medway Maritime Hospital, Kent & Canterbury Hospital and the Hilton Hotel in Sheffield. The fire at Crawley Hospital on 28th August 2012 resulted in the hospital being evacuated and caused £120,000 of damage.
Reports of Gas Leak Throughout Town – 24/01/13
Emergency services and Transco, the company responsible for fixing gas leaks, were inundated by calls on Tuesday as Crawley was hit by a gas-like smell. Worried residents and business owners throughout Crawley called to report a strong smell of gas that suddenly hit the town. Initially, emergency crews were despatched to investigate the reports until the source of the problem was discovered - a factory in France that manufacture the smell added to gas had suffered a leak and the strong winds had carried the smell across the channel. The Health Protection Agency announced that the smell was not toxic and that it would soon dispel as it mixed with the air.
Snow Problem at Gatwick – 22/01/13
Passengers at Gatwick Airport praised the benefits of the airport's £8 million pound investment in a fleet of vehicles designed to clear snow. Whilst other airports in the UK were cancelling numerous flights due to the heavy snowfall over the weekend, Gatwick managed to keep the disruption to a minimum thanks to the foresight of their investment in snow ploughs, de-icing vehicles, and blowers. Less than 100 flights were cancelled at Gatwick over the weekend although many faced delays.
Schoolboy Rescued from Mud – 17/1/13
A 12 year old schoolboy from Bewbush had to be rescued by firefighters after he got stuck in mud at Tilgate Park. Ben Peppercorn had gone to Tilgate with two friends on Saturday and were playing on a muddy embankment where ground work is taking place. Ben started to sink in the mud and called for help from his friends, but as they tried to pull him out, they also started to sink. After struggling to free themselves, the boys became scared and called 999. When the firefighters arrived, Ben was up to his neck in the mud and still sinking so they had to dig a wide hole in order to free him.
Major Retailers Close in Crawley – 16/1/13
Three major retailers have gone into liquidation in the last two weeks, leaving gaping holes in Crawley. The photography retailer Jessops announced their closure at the end of last week, closing the doors on their store in The Martletts. This week, both HMV and Blockbuster have also announced that they are experiencing dire financial difficulties and are likely to close imminently. All of the retailers blame pressures from online shopping for their trading difficulties. There was uproar at HMV as the store continued trading but refused to accept gift cards from customers, many of whom had received the cards as Christmas presents.
Man Attacked on Bus – 8/1/13
A 42 year old man was arrested by police after he verbally abused a bus driver and assaulted a fellow passenger. The man from London boarded the Metrobus 10 at around 6.30pm on Thursday and began insulting the bus driver, calling him racist. The driver asked him to get off the bus, but the man ignored him and sat opposite another passenger. As the passenger tried to leave the bus in Fleming Way, the suspect hit him around the head with his backpack and kicked him repeatedly. Witnesses called police and the man was arrested trying to board another bus.
Hospital Bans Visitors – 19/12/12
East Surrey Hospital have had to take the drastic steps of banning visitors in a bid to contain the Norovirus bug. Sick patients are being told to stay in their wards and have been advised that they will not be permitted visitors until the contamination risk is reduced. The hospital-wide ban on visitors comes just weeks after the hospital was forced to close a third of it's wards after an outbreak of the vomitting and diarrhoea bug. Patients with minor injuries are also being advised to attend walk-in injury units at Crawley and Caterham rather than attending the Accident and Emergency at East Surrey. It is hoped that the visitor ban will be lifted before Christmas Day.
Flooded School Evacuated – 18/12/12
Teachers and staff at St Margaret's School in Ifield had to think and act fast on Friday after a sudden flood hit the school. Pupils were evacuated by the staff as eight inches of water flooded the school library and two classrooms, blocking off one of the emergency escape routes. The fire service reacted quickly, isolating the electricity supply and using sandbags to reduce the damage. The exact cause of the flood is unknown at present.
Coach Company Has Licence Suspended – 14/12/12
A coach company which has the contract for many school runs in the area has had it's licence to operate suspended after a public inquiry into multiple traffic violations. Crawley Luxury Coaches will not be able to operate between January 1st and January 7th 2013 after drivers committed numerous offences, including speeding in 30 mph zones. When they were asked to identify the drivers committing individual offences, the company claimed that they could not specify which driver was in charge of the vehicle and requested photographic evidence.
Pensioner Dies in House Fire – 10/12/12
A 77 year old woman has died after firefighters rescued her from a fire in her home. The emergency services were called to the home of Joan Margaret Sawyer in Fairway, Copthorne just before 4pm on Wednesday after smoke and fire were seen coming from her house. She was pulled out of the burning house unconscious by firefighters wearing breathing aparatus and resuscitated by paramedics but died after arriving at hospital. It is suspected that the fire was started by a cigarette.
Motorway Closed After Suicide Threat – 05/12/12
The M23 motorway was closed in both directions in the early hours of Monday morning after a 20 year old man threatened to jump off a bridge running over the motorway. The man climbed over the railings of the bridge on Copthorne Road in Pund Hill near junction 10 of the motorway. Police were called to the scene and spent two and a hlaf hours talking to the man before he agreed to climb back over the barriers to safety. He was held in custody for wasting police time and will be assessed under the mental health act.
Crawley MP Votes Against Gay Marriages – 30/11/12
A Crawley MP has announced that he will vote against the legalisation of same-sex marriages after more than 300 of his Crawley constituents wrote to him expressing concern over the plan. The government are due to propose that heterosexual and homosexual marriages are equal in the eyes of the law, although they have stated that individual religious institutions should have the right to decide whether they conduct gay marriages. MP Henry Smith is a strong campaigner for gay rights, but believes that the public opposition to the proposed changes represents a strong public feeling that marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples.
Benefit Cheats Cost Council £241,000 – 28/11/12
Crawley Borough Council have released figures that show benefit fraudsters have cost the council £241,000 since April this year. The figures from a Fraud and Inspections Team include housing and council tax cheats as well as Department of Work and Pensions claimants. Two years ago, the figure was just £38,000 and last year still relatively low £82,000. However, due to the increased manpower allocated to the fraud team, the council expect to recover around 65% of the money owed.
Arson Attack in Bewbush – 20/11/12
A terminally ill cancer sufferer was targeted by callous arsonists on Thursday when his car was set alight in front of his home in Bewbush. Walter McHugh was at home with his four half-Indian teenage children when the arsonists struck. The explosion was so fierce that it melted the windows of his house and also caused damage to other cars nearby. Irish traveller McHugh had received a note prior to the attack calling him a scumbag and warning him that he would 'get what's coming to him'. Both police and fire service are investigating the attack and will not rule out racial motivation.
Neighbourhood Doctor's Surgery Moving to Town Centre – 14/11/12
Residents in Northgate are in uproar after it was announced that their local doctor's surgery will be moved to Crawley Town centre. The surgery in Woolborough Road, Northgate which is run by Saxonbrook Medical will move to Cross Keys House in Haslett Avenue West adjacent to Crawley Medical Centre. Patients are most concerned that the new surgery will be on the first floor of the building, causing problems for patients unable to climb stairs. Saxonbrook Medical claimed that their current premises were not equipped to deal with the demands of a medical practice, neccesitating the need for the move.
Schoolgirls Harassed by Teaching Assistant – 09/11/12
A 26 year old man from Billingshurst has been convicted of harassment after he bombarded teenage schoolgirls with Facebook and Twitter messages. Clive Hamilton met the girls whilst he was working on placement at a Crawley secondary school. He began to message them and make suggestive comments via the popular social networks and when he was told to stop and blocked by the girls, he set up new accounts in order to continue his harassment. Horsham Magistrates Court handed him a 12 month community order, a restraining order and a prohibition order.
Assault on Teenager In Shopping Parade – 05/11/12
A 14 year old boy was taken to hospital suffering from head and arm injuries after he was attacked by a group of men in Broadfield Barton. A 16 year old girl and a 15 year old boy were also injured in the seemingly unprovoked attack at 4pm last Tuesday. The masked men attacked the teenagers with golf clubs on the footbridge at Broadfield Barton. A 40 year old man from Crawley, an 18 year old man from Crawley and a 32 year old man from Copthorne were arrested on Thursday in connection with the attacks.
Armed Robbery at Betting Shop – 01/11/12
A member of staff was left needing hospital treatment for a broken cheek after he was struck int he face during a robbery at the betting shop where he works. The masked robbers entered the Corals betting shop in Ifield Parade at around 8.30pm on Monday and demanded that staff hand over cash. The employee was struck in the face with what appeared to be the butt of a handgun before the two robbers left the shop and escaped in a dark blue Jeep Cherokee driven by a third accomplice.
Armed Police Swoop Into Tilgate – 3010/12
Residents in Ashdown Drive witnessed a real life armed response drama yesterday, as police swooped into action following reports of a man with a gun in the area. The incident occurred at around 8am and police cordoned off a large part of Ashdown Drive and surrounding streets near Thomas Bennett Community College whilst they dealt with the situation. Sussex Police's Tactical Response Unit arrested the suspect at an address on Ashdown Drive but found no evidence of a gun, only a small amount of cocaine for personal use.
Man Assaulted at Home – 26/10/12
The shopping parade in Gossops Green was cordoned off by police on Monday after a 35 year old man was seriously assaulted in his flat above the shops. The police were called after neighbours heard a disturbance at around 3am. The man was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton with serious head and facial injuries. 31 year old Rafal Ciesluk and 30 year old Pavel Iwaniuk from Broadfield were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of the assault and theft.
Gang Arrested on Suspicion of Asian Burglaries – 16/10/12
Following a specific operation to find the individuals responsible for a spate of burglaries on Asian homes, police have arrested five people in connection with the crimes. Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of gold jewellery have been stolen from Asian homes in the past three months, resulting in police launching an operation to catch the thieves in what they called the single biggest priority in Crawley policing. Police were alerted to a suspicious Audi in Northgate on Friday, shortly after three more burglaries had been committed in Three Bridges, Northgate and Gossops Green. Two men from Essex, one from Croydon, one from London and a woman from London were arrested.
Burst Water Mains Floods Homes – 27/09/12
Three houses were flooded and dozens others had to be protected with emergency sandbag protection after a water mains burst in Broadfield on Sunday. Fire services were called out in the early hours of the morning after residents in Regents Close reported a torrent of water runnign down the street and into their homes. Several houses were evacuated whilst Southern Water crews dealt witht he busrt water main, caused by the enormous amount of rainwater that fell at the weekend.
Facebook Messages Expose Pervert – 25/09/12
A dangerous pervert was discovered by the father of his victim after he left sexually explicit Facebook messages on the boys account. 42 year old Paul Gosling from Maidenbower met the 14 year old boy at a sports club that they both played at and struck up an unhealthy friendship with the boy, who he used to drive to car parks and give him alcohol and cigarettes. Gosling had tried to convince the boy that he was gay and encouraged him to participate in sexual acts, but the boy refused. His vile acts were discovered by the boy's father when he read posts on the boys Facebook account and alerted police. Gosling was given a three year community sentence, banned from working with children and ordered to pay £1000 in court costs.
Arsonists Suspected of Starting Fire in Flats – 19/09/12
A block of flats in Southgate had to be evacuated on Monday after a fire broke out in a kitchen of one of the flats. Residents noticed smoke pouring from the flat in Caburn Court at around 11.30am and quickly notified other residents who fled the building. It took fire crews 45 minutes to put out the blaze and the 42 year old man who lived in the flat was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. After many other recent incidents involving arson at blocks of flats, Sussex Police are treating this latest fire as suspicious.
Unpleasant Smell in Crawley – 11/09/12
The Environment Agency were contacted by hundreds of Crawley residents over the weekend after many areas of the town were subjected to a foul stench, making it impossible to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. Residents are familiar with an occassional smell caused by the KPS Composting Centre in Pease Pottage, and presumed that last weekend's stench was coming from there. But, after the Environment Agency joined Crawley Borough Council to investigate, it was discovered that the smell was coming from a farm south of the composting centre spreading sewage sludge. The council are now investigating the acceptable level of smell that residents should be expected to put up with.
Disused School Hit by Arsonists Again – 06/09/12
A disused school in Crawley was targeted by arsonists for the second time in three months on Monday. Firefighters were called to the former Robert May School in Furnace Green at around 3.45pm to deal with a fire started by arsonists. The quick response meant that the fire was extinguished quickly and the building was declared safe at around 4.30pm. In June, the building was badly damaged by a much larger fire which was supposedly caused by teenagers.
Crawley Hospital Evacuated – 31/08/12
A fire on the sixth floor of Crawley Hospital on Tuesday resulted in the entire building being evacuated, except for the operating theatres, whilst fire crews battled the blaze. The fire started in a store room on Comet Ward at around 1.36pm and witnesses saw smoke billowing from the windows shortly after. The fire was put out swiftly and nobody was hurt despite the logistical pandemonium of transferring many patients to East Surrey Hospital.
Job Losses at Car Dealerships – 30/08/12
A huge car dealership in Horsham and Crawley has closed after failing to find a buyer, resulting in around 70 people being made redundant. Stevens Vauxhall, who had dealerships in Billingshurst Road, Broadbridge Heath and in Fleming Way, Crawley were closed on Wednesday and all staff were made redundant with immediate effect. Customers were re-directed to alternative local dealerships and all financial obligations will be honoured.
Bar Med Closes – 27 /08/12
The popular Bar Med nightclub in Crawley will close it's doors for the last time tomorrow to make way for the new development at Town Centre North. The historic building that used to be Crawley's popular cinema will be demolished to make way for a new Morrison's supermarket, a Travelodge hotel, cafes, restaurants and a car park.
Steward Jailed for Plane Bomb Threat – 25 /08/12
An air steward from Three Bridges has been jailed for for making a hoax bomb threat on a London - Tokyo flight. 22 year old Matthew Davis of Commonwealth Drive was jailed for six months after he admitted to scrawling the message on the toilet door during the flight which read 'The bomb on this plane will explode at 16.00 GMT unless demands are met'. After his arrest, Davis claimed that he had made the threat in the hope that the way he handled the situation would earn him commendations and career progression.
Proposed Flats Development Denied – 14 /08/12
The long-running saga to build a development of flats in Russell Way is finally over, after developers withdrew their appeal against Crawley Borough Council's decision to refuse an extension to the time the developer had to begin building. Instead, EDF Energy have submitted an application to refurbish the original offices, previously home to TSB and Seeboard.
Tulley's Farm Build Angry Birds Maze – 01 /08/12
Tulley's Farm have unveiled their new maze for this summer, based on the popular game Angry Birds. The maze was officially opened to the public on 21st July and will be open to visitors until 9th September with over 30,000 visitors expected in that time. An aerial photograph of the maze shows one of the game's birds being launched into the air, witht he name of the game being included in the complicated design.
Fundraising Pensioner Dies on Roof of Hospital – 31/7/12
A 96 year old woman participating in a charity abseil suffered a heart attack and died just minutes before she was due to commence her abseil. Gertrude Painter was preparing for the 70ft abseil from the roof of Crawley hospital in aid of 4Sight, the West Sussex Association for the Blind, on Saturday when she collapsed. Organisers tried to resuscitate her whilst waiting for paramedics to arrive but she died at the scene.
Town Centre Redevelopment to Create Thousands of Jobs – 25/7/12
Crawley Borough Council appointed a development partner last week to re-develop the North side of the town centre. Developers Stanhope Plc have pledged to create between three and four thousand jobs for local people as well as investing over £200 million in the project. The exact amount of land required for the development has not yet been confirmed, but the principle intention is to create an even greater retail experience within Crawley, including another big department store.
Another Arson Attack Risks Lives – 11/7/12
The worrying and life-threatening spate of arson attacks continued last weekend, when a communal bin storage area at a block of flats in Maidenbower was set on fire. The latest attack was at a quiet block of flats in Rawlinson Road. Fire crews extinguished the fire before it could cause serious damage to any of the homes. There have been numerous attacks of this kind in the Maidenbower, Furnace Green and Tilgate areas sine the beginning of the year and police are concerned that it is only a matter of time before one of the fires results in a fatality.
Plans to Close Horley Fire Station Revealed – 6/7/12
In an attempt to cut costs and save money, West Sussex Fire and Rescue have announced plans to close Horley Fire Station and merge the services with Crawley fire station. Horley fire station employs a crew of 28 and costs around £1.2 million per year to run. However, the station answered less than 500 calls last year, and it's closure could save the service £350,000. The plan is one of a number being discussed and will go out to public consultation before any decisions are made.
Armed Robber Escapes Empty-Handed – 2/7/12
An armed robber who stole a cash box from a security guard was forced to dump his haul and flee empty-handed after the security guard bravely gave chase. The incident occurred at the Tesco store in Three Bridges at around 12.15pm last Friday where the G4S security guard was delivering money to a cash machine. The robber threatened the guard with what is believed to be a hand gun and escaped on a motocross bike. However, the guard gave chase and was able to retrieve the cash box before the robber disappeared along a footpath.
McDonald's Manager Spared Jail – 28/6/12
The former manager of McDonald's in Crawley was given a six month suspended sentence and ordered to do 240 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to fraud. 38 year old Andrew Gurr from Bewbush was responsible for cashing up and banking money at the McDonald's restaurant when he stole money to fund his gambling habit. Over £6000 was discovered missing and Mr Gurr resigned as soon as McDonald's launched disciplinary proceedings against him.
Violent Mums Spared Jail – 18/6/12
Two young mums who attacked a woman in a night club causing potentially life threatening injuries have been given suspended sentences at Lewes Crown Court. 20 year old Leanne McGovern from Broadfield and 19 year old Naomi Parker from Horley attacked Miah Fogg at the Liquid & Envy nightclub in Crawley in May last year after Miss Fogg had made advances towards Parker's boyfriend. Parker pulled Miss Fogg to the ground and McGovern repeatedly kicked her whilst on the ground. During the assault, one of the attackers stamped on Miss Fogg's leg with a stiletto, causing a puncture wound that developed into deep vein thrombosis. Whilst the judge condemned the horrendous attack, he spared the pair jail due to the fact that they have sinceboth become mothers, giving them nine month suspended sentences and 150 hours of unpaid work instead.
Youths Arrested Over Blaze at School – 12/6/12
Six teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of arson after a blaze ripped through a former school in Furnace Green. The blaze started at the former site of Robert May school in Furnace Drive at around 12.50pm on Thursday and quickly established into a blazing inferno. Firecrews from Crawley, East Grinstead, Shoreham, Haywards Heath, Littlehampton and Shoreham took 5 hours to extinguish the fire. The six boys aged between 13 and 15 were arrested in the area and bailed pending further enquiries. A smaller fire had been lit in public toilets at Tilgate Parade shortly before the building fire.
Jubilee Beacon Lit in Tilgate Park – 7/6/12
Crawley residents came out in force at the weekend to celebrate in style the Queen's jubilee, culminating in the lighting of a special beacon in Tilgate Park. Across the town, residents gathered to celebrate as a united community, with 100's of streets holding parties to celebrate the jubilee with their neighbours. The beacon, one of 4000 lit across the country to celebrate the Queen's reign, was lit by the mayor of Crawley Keith Blake.
Pregnant Woman Stabbed – 31/5/12
Police and paramedics rushed to a house in Northgate at just after midnight last Saturday following a report that a pregnant woman had been stabbed. The 23 year old woman was treated for stab wounds to her neck and upper body before being taken to East Surrey Hospital and then transferred to St George's hospital in Tooting. Her unborn baby was not harmed during the attack. 25 year old Shahid Mahmood was arrested at the scene and will appear at Lewes Crown Court on June 15.
Brothers Stabbed in Attack at Home – 23/5/12
Two brothers were rushed to hospital after being stabbed multiple times at their home in Shaws Road, Northgate. The incident happened in the early hours of Sunday morning when an argument broke out at the brothers' house. Shaun Byrne was stabbed six times in his back, upper body and arm whilst younger brother Connor was stabbed under his arm. A 21 year old man was arrested at the scene but police are still searching for an 18 year old man seen running away from the scene.
Police Armed with Tasers – 11/5/12
Sussex Police have announced that they will be training 160 officers to use Taser stun guns. The training will be given to officers who will form part of a special response team from October 2012. Despite opposition to this level of force, Sussex Police claim that it will reduce the use of batons and pepper spray as well as the need for fully armed officers in certain situations.
Crawley Town Earn Promotion – 7/5/12
Crawley Town Football Club earned a historical back-to-back promotion on Saturday with a 1-0 win against Accrington. The win was a superb end to an emotional and eventful season for the Reds and the promotion to League 1 will guarantee more money for the club as well as bringing big teams like Portsmouth and Coventry City to Broadfield Stadium.
Car Stuck on Railway Line – 30/4/12
A careless driver took a wrong turn at the Brighton Road level crossing and found himself driving along the train tracks. The incident happened at just after 3.30am on Sunday and the line had to be closed for an hour whilst the car was removed. No damage was caused to the track.
Hundreds Gather to Celebrate St George's Day – 24/4/12
Crawley's streets were crowded with people on Sunday as the town's first St George's day parade marched through Crawley to celebrate the patron saint of England. The parade started at County Mall and ended in Queen's Square where an afternoon of entertainment was laid on for people of all ages.
Local Footballer Killed – 19/4/12
A 19 year old footballer who played for Crawley Down was brutally killed by a group of teenagers whilst enjoying a night out. Connor Saunders was out with friends in Rottingdean on Saturday night when a group of young teenagers aged 13 and 14 attacked him. He became involved in a dispute between two groups of youths at around 10.30pm and was struck to the ground where he sustained a fatal head injury.
British Airways Axe Jobs at Gatwick Airport – 18/4/12
British Airways announced cost-cutting plans this week, which could result in 500 staff losing their jobs. The proposal is for the airline giant to oursource much of it's ground crew labour to a private contractor. The jobs at risk are around 400 ramp worker and approximately 150 customer service and management staff. However, it is hoped that the company who win the contract will need to hire the staff themselves and that the majority of people made redundant by British Airways will be employed by the new contractor.
Reds Boss Quits – 11/4/12
Steve Evans, the passionate and outspoken manager of Crawley Town Football Club has controversially quit with just six games to go in the season. Evans and his assistant Paul Raynor quit on Sunday with immediate effect to join league rivals Rotherham, claiming that his new club had bigger ambitions and potential to play Championship football. First team coach Craig Brewster will take over the reins for the remainder of the season whilst the Craley board decide on a successor.
Another Arson Attack in Crawley – 2/4/12
Another arson attack in Crawley led to a block of flats being evacuated on Friday. The latest attack started when a garden shed was set alight in West Street, Southgate and was so hot that it resulted in windows in a nearby block of flats cracking and the residents being evacuated.
15 Job Losses as GAME Closes – 27/3/12
15 employees at Crawley’s two GAME stores were made redundant yesterday after retail chain went into administration. Both stores, one in the County Mall and one in The Martletts, were closed with immediate effect after administrators were appointed. Whilst it is hoped that a buyer can be found for the group, or part of it, over expansion was blamed for the company’s difficulties and it is unlikely that both stores will re-open. Gamestation in Queens Square which is also owned by GAME Group remains open.
Teenage Arsonist Arrested – 26/3/12
A teenage boy was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of arson relating to a fire at a house in Langley Green. The fire was started at the terraced house in Swift Lane at around 9pm on Friday and an elderly lady was treated for smoke inhalation after the blaze was extinguished by fire crews from Crawley, Horley and Haywards Heath. The boy was bailed until April 18 pending further investigation.
Crawley’s Olympic Torch Bearers and Route Revealed – 23/03/12
Inspirational, caring and talented people of all ages have been selected from Crawley as Olympic torch bearers as it makes its way around the country. Clare Forbes, 28, from Langley Green who lost both of her legs to meningitis at the age of 18 is one of the most inspirational people to be selected, having defied the odds to not only survive the killer disease but also to compete in marathons to raise money for charity and become the mother of two beautiful children. Clare will carry the torch through Lancing. Among the other Crawley residents to be selected are 41 year old Adam Cook from Southgate, 12 year old footballer Sam Rolph from Tilgate, and 68 year old fundraiser Maria Haines from Three Bridges. The route through Crawley has also been announced and the nine torchbearers will carry the torch through the High Street, Broad Walk, The Broadway, The Boulevard and finish in Northgate Avenue.
Man Attacked in Pub – 20/03/12A 20 year old man was found unconscious and bleeding from head injuries following an assault at a Crawley pub last Saturday. The man was found lying unconscious outside shops in the Gales Drive parade following the attack at the LB1 Bar. A 26 year old man was arrested under suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and has been bailed pending further investigation. Police are appealing for any witnesses.
Pensioner Arrested on Child Abuse Charges – 09/03/12
A 73 year old man who was formerly a priest in a Crawley church was arrested at his home near Eastbourne on suspicion of sexually assaulting children between 1965 and 1972. Allegations about the man had been made in 1972 and again in 2001 when he was arrested and questioned, but no charges were brought against him. However, following a review of historic allegations of sexual abuse against Church of England priests, the cases are being reviewed again.
Crawley Plans for Paddy’s Day – 07/03/12
The Celtic and Irish Cultural Society have released their ambitious plans for an even bigger St Patrick’s day parade in Crawley this year. The event has been organised for the last 9 years and has grown in popularity each year, attracting bigger crowds and more attractions. This year, the parade will start at Crawley train station led by the mayor and will finish in the High Street where there will be live music and entertainment for people of all ages. The parade will take place on Sunday 18th March at 1pm.
Tilgate Nature Centre Introduce Charges – 24/2/12
Crawley Borough Council have announced that they will be imposing an entry fee at Tilgate’s Nature Centre. From 31st March, visitors to the centre will have to pay £2 for adults, £1 for children aged 12 to 16 and 50p for under 12’s. The centre costs the council £300,000 per year to run and the new entry fee will help to fund this expense. The council have pledged to spend more than £600,000 on improving Tilgate Park over the next 12 months, including enlarging and improving Fisherman’s car park, refurbishing toilets, and replacing water mains.
Serial Arsonist Strikes Again – 21/2/12
Police believe that the mindless arsonist responsible for several attacks around the Tilgate and Furnace Green area in recent months is responsible for another arson attack in the area. Fire crews were called to a block of flats in Warnham Road, Furnace Green at around 3.45pm on Friday after a fire in the bin storage area spread to the communal stairwell and threatened to ignite a gas pipe. Residents were evacuated whilst fire crews dealt with the blaze.
Arson Attack at Supermarket – 20/2/12
Residents of flats above a West Green supermarket were evacuated in the early hours of Thursday morning after the store was set alight. Fire crews rushed to Archy’s Supermarket in Ewhurst Road at around 4am and dealt with the blaze before it got out of control. However, many flats above the parade of shops have suffered smoke damage. The police believe that the culprits entered the store by breaking into the Revive Hair & Beauty Salon next door.
Stoke Knock Crawley Out – 19/2/12
The mighty Crawley Reds gracefully bowed out of the FA Cup today against premiership side Stoke City. In what was billed as the biggest ever sporting event held in Crawley Town, Crawley were by no means out-classed and were unlucky to have a penalty awarded against them in the first half, giving Stoke their first goal. Despite Crawley's magnificent defence and inspired attacking, Stoke managed to grab another goal early in the second half, sending Crawley out of the FA Cup.
Popular Crawley Pub Re-Opens – 18/2/12
One of Crawley's most popular pub venues re-opened yesterday, much to the delight of hundreds of Crawley revellers. The Grasshopper in Tilgate opened it's doors on Friday night under new management with new ideas of how the superb venue should be run. In addition to providing a vast variety of nightlife attractions such as live music and DJs, The Grasshopper will also be available to hire for functions such as weddings and private parties. The owners have a mouthwatering menu including traditional pub food and exotic indian and curry dishes which they are confident will make The Grasshopper a popular choice for diners looking for great food in a pub atmosphere.
Council Tax Freeze in Crawley – 2/2/12
Residents in Crawley could be in line for a second council tax freeze in two years if councillors approve the proposal for a Government subsidy. Nationwide, the government have offered councils the opportunity to accept a government loan of the equivalent of a 2.5% council tax increase if they agree to freeze their council tax rates for residents. Whilst the freeze will be welcome news for many struggling families, it is not an outright gift and will mean that in a few years time, council tax will have to rise dramatically in order to catch up. For this reason, some local councils have declined the government’s offer in favour of managing gradual increases.
History Repeats for Super Reds – 29/01/12
Crawley Town Football Club delighted their fans and defied the odds on Saturday with a fantastic FA Cup win away from home against Hull which puts them into the 5th round of the FA cup, equalling their superb success in 2011. Once again, the win was secured by the cool boot of Matt Tubbs, who casually slipped the ball past the Hull keeper to give Crawley a 1-0 win. The Reds will face Stoke City at home on 18th February in the fifth round.
Arsonists Strike Again – 26/01/12
Two more suspicious fires last weekend have sparked fears that there may be a dangerous serial arsonist in the area. The latest attacks took place in the early hours of Monday morning in Tilgate and Furnace Green where similar incidents occurred last month. The first fire was lit in a storage cupboard at a block of flats in Hawkhurst Walk, Furnace Green at around 3.30am and was luckily quickly contained before it could cause more serious damage. The second fire was started approximately one hour later at a block of garages in Tilgate.
Wilkinsons Move to Crawley – 20/01/12
Wilkinsons, the discount homeware chain, have announced that they will be taking over the store previously occupied by TJ Hughes on the Broadway. The premises have been empty since TJ Hughes went into an administration last August and the news of another major retailer coming to Crawley will be welcomed by shoppers and other businesses alike.
Drug Gang Jailed – 16/01/12
Four local men involved in a drug dealing operation were jailed by Hove Crown Court last Friday after police presented conclusive evidence of their involvement. Two of the men were caught on April 1st last year with £450,000 of cocaine in their car at Cottesmore Golf Club and the remainder were caught at a lock-up in Colgate. Darren Henward, Andrew Billings, Albert Mouhtiseb, and Charles Smith were sentenced to between 4 and 7 years in prison for their involvement whilst two other suspects are due to be sentenced next week.
Food Giant Relocates to Crawley – 12/01/12
One of the world's biggest food companies has announced that it will move a huge part of it's UK headquarters to Crawley this year, bringing over 800 staff with it. Nestle, owners of household brands including Nescafe coffee, are currently based in Croydon but have reached capacity and have no room to expand. They will begin their relocation to City Place early this year and should have completed the move by Christmas. The company's confectionery division which makes brands such as Smarties, Milky Bar and Quality Street will continue to be based in York.
Reds Storm into FA Cup 4th Round – 09/01/12
Crawley Town FC have replicated their historic performance in 2011 with another giant-killing in the FA Cup. On Saturday, Matt Tubbs was again the hero as he smashed in a goal against Bristol City, sending the championship side crashing out of the tournament and setting up a fourth round tie with Hull City.
New Management for The Hawth Theatre – 05/01/12
Crawley Borough Council have handed over the management of The Hawth to a leisure management company who have vowed to invest in and improve the facilities at the popular venue. Parkwood Leisure manages over 80 other leisure facilities throughout the UK and have the expertise to ensure that it is run profitably and continues to provide the community with an excellent facility. The transfer in management will also save taxpayers more than £2.5 million in reduced subsidies to the theatre. Parkwood Leisure take over in February and their contract will run for 10 years.
Armed Raid at Bookies – 02/01/12
Staff at a bookmakers in the centre of Crawley were terrified when an armed robber demanded cash from them. The raider, who wore a hood and face mask, entered William Hill on The Boulevard in Crawley at around 4.30pm on Wednesday brandishing what staff believed to be a handgun wrapped in a red plastic bag. He pointed the gun at the staff and demanded that they put cash into another plastic bag. The man made off with approximately £600 in cash.
New Development to Bring 1000’s of Jobs to Crawley – 23/12/11
A brand new ‘mega’ warehouse development near Manor Royal could result in 1000’s of new jobs being created in Crawley. LaSalle Investment Management purchased the old GlaxoSmithkline site for £9 million and have already started to demolish the old building in preparation for the development of a huge new facility. The new development will be called Principal Park and will have a mixture of warehousing and industrial buildings, offices, a hotel, shops and restaurants.
Liquid Envy Nightclub Could Re-Open in New Year – 23/12/11
An application has been submitted to Crawley Borough Council to transfer the licence of the Liquid Envy building to the new owners of Luminar Leisure. If successful, the new owners could re-open the popular nightclub early in the New Year along with dozens of other nightclubs closed after Luminar went into administration in October.
Arson Attacks on Vehicles – 22/12/11
Five cars and part of a house were damaged by arsonists as they went on a terrifying rampage of destruction. Firefighters were called to two separate incidents in the early hours of Sunday morning to extinguish the fires. The first incident took place in Canterbury Road, Tilgate where two Renault Clios were completely destroyed by the fire and a Mitsubushi Shogun was damaged. The second incident took place in Sylvan Glade, Furnace Green where a VW Polo was set alight and spread to a nearby garage. Another Renault Clio was also damaged in the second fire.
Local Landlord Dies – 16/12/11
Customers of The Downsman pub in Southgate are mourning the death of their much loved landlord. Mohan Patel died on Thursday 8th December at St Thomas' Hospital in London after suffering from pneumonia. Mo was best known for his passion for pool, captaining the pub side and making hundreds of friends across the county through the organisation of pool events. His wife Sue and two sons Teejay and Sarjay worked with him behind the bar and will continue to run the pub.
Father Attacked in Front of Son – 13/12/11
A fun trip to the park for a father and son turned into a nightmare, when the man was attacked and robbed. The 38 year old victim, who would prefer to remain nameless, had parked in the car park on Tilgate Drive near the K2 leisure centre and was organising his 3 year old son inside the car when the assailant approached from behind and struck him with a blunt object. The man collapsed to the ground and the vile robber stole the victim's wallet from his back pocket and a sports bag before escaping.
Plans for Farm Festival Opposed – 9/12/11
Angry residents joined forces at Stanhill Court Hotel on Tuesday to oppose plans for a Glastonbury-style festival to take place at a farm in Charlwood. The owners of Edolphs Farm in Charlwood have been in discussions with Dansell Multimedia regarding holding a live music event and festival in the grounds of their farm next year. Dansell arranged the consultation at Stanhill Court to discuss the plans with local residents, but they did not expect the level of fierce opposition and hostility that they received. Edolphs Farm has over 150 acres of open land that would make a perfect setting for a festival as well as other live events.
Man Stabbed at Shopping Parade – 7/12/11
Police had to cordon off a Crawley shopping parade on Saturday morning after a man was found with a stab wound in his back. The victim, 30 year old Gary Moss, was walking through the parade early on Saturday when he was attacked and stabbed in the back. Hew as discovered outside the launderette in the parade at around 7.30am and taken by air ambulance to St George's hospital in London where he underwent an emergency operation. A 32 year old man was arrested for the attack.
Car Kills Boy Outside School – 5/12/11
A 13 year old boy was hit by a car and killed outside his school last Wednesday, in front of devastated friends. William Avery-Wright was crossing the B2110 Paddockhurst Road in Turners Hill in front of Worth School when he was hit by a Land Rover vehicle. He was rushed to East Surrey Hospital but later died from his injuries. The driver of the vehicle was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving but was bailed until 16th January pending further enquiries.
Concerns for Club-less Revellers – 2/12/11
Police have increased their presence in Crawley town centre during weekend nights in an attempt to prevent drunk and disorderly behaviour. Since the Liquid Envy nightclub closed, young revellers have flocked to the other late-night venues, pubs and bars in town. However, all venues have a maximum capacity and many people are being turned away at the door, leaving them drunk and grumpy on the streets with nothing to do, which often results in misbehaviour.
New Development Given Green Light – 25/11/11
Crawley Borough Council have given developers the go-ahead to commence work on the ‘ugly’ west side of town, starting with the demolition of Bar Med. The listed building had threatened to thwart plans to develop as it was not commercially viable to use as part of the scheme. However, a Heritage Impact Statement claimed that the building was of low to medium heritage significance and the new development would bring much more to the area. Work will begin on the three-storey Morrisons supermarket, hotel, restaurant and parking complex in the New Year.
Hunt for Hospital Thief – 22/11/11
Police are on the look out for a serial thief who has been praying on elderly hospital patients. The suspect approaches elderly women whilst they are being treated in hospital and strikes up a conversation before stealing their handbags and keys. The most recent incident occurred at Crawley Hospital where the thief stole keys to the woman’s home and then burgled her house in Furnace Gren. Similar incidents have occurred at East Surrey Hospital and St Georges Hospital.
New Stand Unveiled at Crawley Town - 21/11/11
A new stand named after Bruce Winfield, the co-owner of Crawley Town who died earlier in the year, was unveiled at the weekend in front of thousands of cheering fans. The Bruce Winfield stand is situated at the South terrace which was the lifelong fan’s favourite place to watch his beloved Reds. After the unveiling, Crawley went on to beat Oxford United 4-1.
Liquid Envy Closes… Permanently – 18/11/11
After months of reviews, renovations and structural changes, the Liquid Envy nightclub in Crawley has now been closed due to it’s parent company going into administration. Following a Sussex Police report to the council earlier in the year, the nightclub had made some drastic changes to improve it’s image and safety standards. Including appointing a new management team. There is a chance that another night club operator will take over the premises, but no such prospect has come forward yet.
Life Sentence for Child Murderer – 17/11/11
The evil and jealous man responsible for the death of a six year old girl has been jailed for life at Lewes Crown Court. George Sithole was found guilty of the murder of Dumo Sibanda 7 years ago when he set fire to the house that she was in. He had previously been in a relationship with Dumo’s mother and it is thought that the arson attack on her home was done in jealous vengeance. 41 year old Sithole had fled the country to South Africa days after the arson attack and was only extradited in March this year after years of co-operation between UK and South African authorities.
Olympic Torch Coming to Crawley – 11/11/11
The route for the Olympic torch was announced this week and Crawley residents were delighted to hear that it will be paraded through the town. When the torch arrives in the UK on 18th May, having been lit in Greece, it will be carried by 8,000 torch bearers through over 1,000 towns and cities throughout the country. The torch will appear in Crawley on 17th July and councillors have vowed to make the event special.
College Lift Ordeal for Seven – 04/11/11
Six students and a member of staff at Central Sussex College in Crawley had to endure seven hours stuck in a faulty lift on Monday. The lift broke down at around 1pm on Monday and engineers attempted to winch the lift to the next floor in order to rescue the trapped passengers. However, having tried and failed to move the lift, local fire crews were called to save the situation. Oxygen was pumped intot he lift shaft and bottles of water and snacks were sent into the lift via a chute. Eventually at around 8pm, the firefighters managed to move the lift using hydraulic lifting equipment, allowing them to extend a ladder down to the roof of the lift and assist the passengers to climb to safety.
Police Recruit More Specials – 03/11/11
Sussex Police are planning to recruit 120 new Special Constables across the county to add to the 310 volunteers already offering theri time and skills. Whilst Specials are unpaid, they receive the same powers and equipment as regular police and a very similar training programme. Special Constables are an excellent way to ensure that Sussex is kept safe in the wake of the huge spending cuts imposed by the government.
New Council Homes Open – 28/10/11
The keys to a brand new block of flats have been handed over to the council after work was completed least week. Aspen Court in Rushetts Way, Langley Green are the first new council homes in Crawley for more than 10 years and have been jointly funded by the council and the Homes & Communities Agency. The council hope to house residents in the 16 eco-friendly flats as soon as possible.
500 New Jobs Courtesy of Tesco – 27/10/11
A brand new distribution centre for Tesco.com will create 500 new jobs in Crawley once operational. An application was reviewed by Crawley Borough Council last week and was met with approval from most members. The 11,074 square metre depot will be built North of Manor Royal near the Ibis Hotel and the retailing giant hope to begin work very soon.
Lottery Grant for Crawley Museum – 25/10/11
Many people didn't even know it existed, but the curator of Crawley museum hopes that will change following the news that they have been given a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The museum is currently located in Goffs Park House and only have limited space for visitors. The grant will enable them to move to a larger and more central site at The Tree in Crawley High Street. The first round of the grant process has awarded £113,500 to develop the plan and should the plans be approved, the museum will be awarded a further £998,550 to facilitate the move.
Two Fires in Two Weeks at Family Home – 19/10/11
A family home in Three Bridges is being investigated by police and fire inspectors after a fire broke out in the same room 11 days after a similar incident. The first fire was suspected of being caused by faulty electrical equipment and the cause of the second blaze in the upstairs bedroom has yet to be identified. Firefighters were called to the scene to tackle the second blaze at 8pm on Monday. None of the family were at home when either of the fires broke out.
Scandalised Care Home to Close – 12/10/11
In the wake of further arrests over ill-treatment at a Copthorne care home, the owners have announced that they will close the home in the near future. A third person was arrested this week on suspicion of ill-treatment and neglect at Orchid View Care Home in Borers Arms Road. Southern Cross have begun consultation with residents and their families to discuss the best option for re-homing residents in a timely manner.
Torturers Jailed – 6/10/11
The married couple found guilty of being part of a gang who kidnapped and tortured a man have been jailed. Simon Weller and Anna Wibrew were jailed for 5 and 6 years respectively for their part in the horrific crime that took place in March 2009.
Van Driver Arrested Following Fatal Crash – 5/10/11
A van driver from Crawley has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving following a crash on the A23 at Pyecombe that left one man dead. The crash happened in the early hours of Tuesday morning when the van driven by the Crawley man crashed into the central reservation and caused a lamp post to fall onto a van travelling in the opposite direction.
Nightclub Temporarily Shut Down – 4/10/11
Following a meeting of Crawley Borough Council’s Licensing Committee, the Liquid and Envy nightclub has been ordered to close for two weeks whilst they put in place new procedures to ensure customer safety and a reduction in the number of incidents relating to the club. The improvements required include enhanced CCTV cameras both inside and outside the club, a new General Manager, qualified licence holders on each floor to oversee alcohol sales, and increased security staff. In addition, the club opening hours have been reduced by an hour to 3.30am. The club will re-open on Thursday 13th October with the new measures in place.
Nightclub’s Licence Under Review – 27/09/11
The popular Liquid Envy nightclub in Crawley is having it’s licence reviewed after Sussex Police submitted a report bringing into question public safety, crime and disorder at the club. Police have been called to over 50 incidents relating to Liquid Envy in the last year. The licensing sub committee will meet on Thursday to discuss.
Al Fresco Sex Pair Fined – 26/09/11
A couple who were caught having sex in a wooded area at Three Bridges cricket club have been fined by magistrates. Andrew Newman and Kerrie Jane Cooper were caught by police on September 9th after reports of suspicious characters in the area. The homeless couple claimed that they were living rough in the woods and were therefore only doing what they would at home.
Courageous Fund Raiser Dies – 20/9/11
The 25 year old man who visited 92 football stadiums in 92 hours to raise money for charity has sadly passed away. James Aldis took on the challenge in August to raise money for the Royal Marsden Hospital, where he had received extensive treatment during his battle with cancer. James had suffered from cancer for the last 13 years but finally lost his battle on the 12th September, a week before his 26th birthday.
Sick Thieves Steal from Crematorium – 16/9/11
The Surrey and Sussex Crematorium on Balcombe Road has been the latest victim of sick and callous thieves who will stop at nothing to steal valuable metal. The crematorium was targeted last weekend when the thieves stole around 40 brass memorial plaques from the remembrance garden. As the price of metal continues to rise, thieves have targeted many premises to steal metal, but the crematorium is the sickest yet.
Jail For Kidnappers – 9/9/11
The husband and wife who were involved in the kidnapping and torture of a 24 year old man have been told they face long jail sentences. The vile incident occurred in March 2009 when the victim was lured to a flat by a female, Sarah Wright who has already been jailed. He was then submitted to four days of horrific beatings and torture by the group of seven before he forced his release by stabbing himself in the chest with a kitchen knife. Whilst five of the attackers were jailed in January 2010, husband and wife Simon Weller and Anna Wibrew only came to trial this week and will be sentenced in October.
Police Officer Jailed For Kicking Defenceless Man – 7/9/11
A police officer from Maidenbower has been jailed for 18 months after being found guilty of kicking a man in the head whilst he was being restrained. PC Edward Prince was involved in the arrest of a man wanted for deportation in Croydon in November 2009. The suspect fled when police arrived but was caught in the street and held face down on the pavement. Whilst four officers restrained him, PC Prince kicked the him in the head, causing him to require stitches.
Wife-Killer Jailed Indefinitely – 2/9/11
A mentally ill man who stabbed his wife to death has been detained indefinitely under the mental health act. Mirza Baig of Northgate attacked his wife Shehla whilst in a car last November because he thought that she was possessed by the devil. He repeatedly stabbed her with a pen knife whilst his father drove the car they were in along the motorway.
Bar Med Makes Way for Town Regeneration – 26/08/11
The popular Bar Med venue in Crawley is set to close to make way for the first part of the town’s regeneration plan. Land Securities, owners of the site, have submitted a planning application to build a hotel, supermarket and restaurants, which would require the demolition of Sussex House where Bar Med is based. After consultation with the public, the developers have received huge support for the project and the planning application is expected to be approved meaning that work could start early next year.
Crawley’s Got Talent – 19/8/11
Crawley residents will be given the chance to demonstrate their skills in a new talent show being held in the town. Auditions for Crawley’s Got Talent will begin in October and the final will be held at the Hawth in February. Crawley Town manager, Steve Evans will be one of the judges and auditions will be held in different neighbourhoods throughout the town. CLICK HERE to visit the website for Crawley’s Got Talent and register.
Smith and Western Comes to Tilgate – 12/08/11
The American-themed restaurant chain, Smith and Western, have taken over the lease of the currently empty Bluebird pub in Tilgate Park, much to the delight of Crawley residents and park visitors. The building has stood empty since the Bluebird closed at the beginning of 2009, creating an eyesore in the beautiful park surroundings and leaving visitors with limited options for refreshments. The new Smith and Western is expected to open this Winter.
Riot Threats Close Town Centre - 10/08/11
Following the horrific riots in London and Croydon last weekend, public fear and an element of scaremongering saw many businesses throughout Crawley close their doors on Tuesday for fear of the riots spreading south. Despite the gossip on social networking sites, there were no reported incidents of violence in the town.
Vicious Thug Jailed for Three Years – 10/08/11
A violent thug who attacked a teenager with learning difficulties without provocation has been sentenced to three years in a young offenders institute. 20 year old Tariq Yusuf from Broadfield attacked the boy on 3rd February in Memorial Gardens, when he punched the boy in the face without warning, fracturing his jaw. The attack took place just months after Yusuf had robbed and punched another boy.
Innocent Man Cleared of Rape Charges – 04/08/11
A 32 year old man collapsed in court this week when he was pronounced innocent of rape charges that had been hanging over him for 3 years. Nizar Baccar of Crawley had been accused of rape and digital penetration in an incident that occurred in October 2008. Mr Baccar had been on a night out with a friend who had met and subsequently taken a woman back to another friend’s flat in Maidenbower. The woman had consented to sex with Mr Baccar’s friend but alleged that Mr Baccar and the owner of the flat had been present in the room and committed the crimes. The jury at Hove Trial Centre cleared Mr Baccar of all charges.
Autistic Man Took Own Life in Mall Jump – 20/07/11
The inquest into the death of a man who fell from the top floor of the County Mall shopping centre in Crawley heard how he had suffered from depression and had previously talked about taking his own life. 27 year old Richard Handscomb jumped from the railings at the top of the mall on October 5th last year just 3 months after he had taken an overdose and spent several weeks in hospital. Mr Handscomb had been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder after struggling at school.
Driver Airlifted to Hospital – 19/07/11
A 41 year old motorist was seriously injured in a road accident last Wednesday when his Renault Scenic was involved in an accident with a Renault van. Having been attended by local paramedics, the local man had to be airlifted to Kings College Hospital in London to be treated for ‘serious injuries’. The collision occurred on the A23 in Ifield at around 12.30pm and the road had to be closed for 5 hours causing long traffic jams around the area.
New Supermarket and Hotel Plans Unveiled – 15/07/11
Spectacular palns were inveiled this week for a new supermarket and hotel complex to be built on the old Sussex House site. The site that is currently an ugly looking, unorganised car park could create hundreds of jobs within the town and will bring new life to an area of the town that has been neglected in recent years. In addition to the Morrisons supermarket and hotel, developers have submitted plans that include new restaurants and a new car park.
Con Artist Jailed – 14/07/11
A 53 year old woman was branded 'wicked' and jailed for three years after pleading guilty to conning an elderly widower out of £11,000. Loraine Upritchard of Brighton Road in Horley befriended James Saunders after he placed an advertisement in a local paper looking for female company in 2007. Upritchard moved into Mr Saunders flat and in 2008 asked to borrow the money to pay for medical treatment. She also attempted to forge his signature on several cheques that she had stoled from his cheque book. Whilst sentencing, the judge referred to Upritchard's four previous convictions of obtaining property by deception and called her a wicked, gold-digging con-artist.
Future of School Sports in Jeopardy – 07/07/11
An association that was set up to assist schools in providing sporting opportunities to children will close in September. The School Sports Partnership were told last year that their funding had been cut by the government, but bosses were optimistic that they could raise private funding from local businesses. Following months of discussions with numerous businesses in the area, they have failed to raise sufficient support and the partnership will end in September. In the 7 years since the partnership was formed, they have achieved great things and the service will be sorely missed.
Siemens Creates Jobs at Railway Depot – 24.06.11
German engineering company Siemens has won the contract to build new train carriages for Thameslink at two depots in the UK, one of which will be based in Three Bridges. The new contract, which is expected to last until 2018 will create around 600 new jobs in Crawley and will be a huge boost to the local economy.
Travellers Damage Playing Fields – 21.06.11
A travelling community have moved in on Ewhurst Playing Field in Crawley, causing damage to the ground and upsetting local residents. A bollard has also been removed in order to facilitate access to the field but there were no witnesses to the incident and therefore police can not prosecute for criminal damage. The council will need to obtain a court order to remove the travellers, which is a costly and sometimes lengthy process.
Crawley Honours Returning Soldiers – 17/06/11
Residents and workers in Crawley lined the streets yesterday to welcome home the brave men and women of the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment. The crowds were treated to a magnificent parade from more than 250 members of the regiment as they marched from the TA centre in Kilnmead, along the Boulevard and up the High Street.
Gunmen Jailed – 16/06/11
The three men who shot an apparent stranger in Pound Hill last August have been jailed at Hove Crown Court. David Martin, Daniel Martin and Delroy Hare were given indeterminate sentences by the judge, meaning that they will serve at least 10 years and may never be released. The motive for the attack on Jaspal Sandhu of Park Way has never been discovered.
New Bus Route Direct to Hospital – 10/06/11
Metrobus have announced plans to introduce a new bus route that will take Crawley residents direct to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill. The route of the 100 bus currently takes passengers on a 50 minute journey meandering throughout Crawley and Gatwick Airport. The new service will take just 30 minutes and is expected to be launched by September.
Road Named After Crawley Owner – 01/06/11
The tragic death of Crawley Town FC owner, Bruce Winfield, during their most succesful year for the club ever, has been commemorated by naming the road leading to the stadium 'Winfield Way'. The dedicated club boss contirbuted massively to the turnaround of the club, but he sadly died before he could see his beloved club promoted. Now, he will forever be remembered by fans visiting the ground.
Local Surgery To Close – 19/05/11
Residents in West Green are furious after receiving a letter stating that their local surgery will close in September. Leacroft Medical Practice said in the letter that the surgery will close due to safety and financial issues, asking residents to travel to their sister surgery in Langley Green. However, many local people feel that they are putting profit before the safety of their patients and are rallying together to stop the closure.
Arsonists Destroy Golf Clubhouse – 16/05/11
More than forty firefighters were called to Tilgate in the early hours of Sunday morning following a report of a fire at 4am. Despite the best efforts of the fire crews, the golf club’s two storey clubhouse had been completely destroyed by the raging fire, suspected of being an arson attack. Police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen anything suspicious around the time of the fire.
School Gets Council Cash to Complete Build – 16/05/11
Staff, pupils and parents at Langley Green Primary school are jumping for joy following the announcement that West Sussex County Council will invest £4.5 million in rebuilding the school. Work was started at the school in March 2010 but was halted due to lack of funds, leaving the school looking like a building site. The new work will provide new classrooms, a nursery, library, staff room and halls.
Elderly Woman Dies in Fire - 30/04/11
A 90 year old woman died in a blaze at her ground floor flat in Ifield on Easter Monday. Despite the courageous efforts of one of her neighbours to save her, the woman was discovered in her living room by firefighters and pronounced dead at the scene.
Ambulance Thief Jailed - 25/04/11
An irresponsible thief who stole an ambulance whilst drunk and crashed it has been jailed for 16 months. The ambulance had been responding to an emergency call at the Centaur club in Langley Green when 28 year old Paul Thompson decided to take the vehicle for a dangerous joy ride in February 2010. Eye-witnesses said that he could not control the ambulance as he drove at high speeds with the lights flashing before crashing into road signs and abandoning the vehicle.
Super Reds Promoted to League Football - 14/04/11
A superb, dream season for Crawley Town Football Club has culminated in their much-deserved promotion to league football for the first time in the club's history. The victory against Tamworth last season confirmed Crawley's title as champions of the Blue Square Premier league and their advancement into the top flight of British football.
Perfect Pizza Correct Food Hygiene Report - 06/04/11
Following a recent article in the Crawley News about the most unhygienic food establishments in Crawley, All About Crawley have been contacted by Perfect Pizza in Manor Royal in order to clarify the source of the report and to re-assure customers that Perfect Pizza in Crawley have an excellent food hygiene system in place. Kambez Golmakani, the franchise owner of Perfect Pizza in Manor Royal claims that the article referred to a single incident that occurred late last year with an employee that no longer works for the company. The latest Food Safety report can be viewed by CLICKING HERE, which clearly shows that Perfect Pizza operate an excellent hygiene system.
School Turned Into Prison - 01/04/11
Despite huge protests and campaigns from local residents, the council have given the go-ahead for Crawley Forest School to be turned into a detention centre for illegal immigrants awaiting deportation. The school is currently used to teach children with emotional and behaviuoral difficulties but the school were given notice at the end of February that they would have to vacate the school by Easter. The new centre will be used to detain families, including children, whilst they wait to be deported.
Crawley Town FC Mourns Death of Owner - 24/03/11
Fans, players and staff at Crawley Town football club havebeen left devastated following the death of co-owner Bruce Winfield. Bruce had been battling cancer for a short time and died on Monday at St Catherine's Hospice. Having supported the club for over 50 years, Bruce was passionate about The Reds and has been hailed as one of the main individuals responsible for the change in the clubs fortunes.
New Leisure Plans for Tilgate Park - 05/03/11
Crawley Borough Council's new budget includes ambitious plans to vastly improve leaisure facilities throughout Crawley, including a major overhaul of Tilgate Park. The plans include re-opening the Inn in the Park pub (also known as The Bluebird), introducing boating and adventure climbing activities and also rejuvenating the walled garden and nature centre.
Crawley Town Heroes Bow Out of FA Cup - 20/02/11
Crawley Town football club saw their FA cup dream come to an end at a packed Old Trafford last night. Despite showing superb skills and dominating the mighty Manchester United for much of the game, the Crawley Reds lost the game 1-0 after a goal by Wes Brown halfway through the first half. Both the team and the fans did Crawley proud, with chants of 'Crawley' echoing around one of the most famous stadiums in the World.
Idiot Ruins Charity Video - 18/02/11
A Crawley resident has upset Crawley Town bosses, players and fans by making sick references to the Munich air disaster in the video for the football club's FA Cup charity song, organised and performed by singer Mike Dobie. The unnamed fan is seen clearly mimicking an aeroplane crashing before raising his fingers to show 1, 9, 5, 8, in reference to the plane that crashed on Munich runway in 1958, killing 23 people, including 8 members of the Manchester United football team. The man is now the focus of a police investigation and has been banned from Broadfield Stadium for life.
More Funding For Some Crawley Schools... And Less For Others - 15/02/11
Governors, teachers and parents at many of Crawley's schools have been left confused and disappointed with the announcement of how much funding each school will receive in the next year. Broadfield East Infant School will receive a bonus £137,000 but schools such as Broadfield East Junior School and Bewbush Primary will lose £86,000 and £88,000 respectively. Despite promises of increased investment by the government, this latest announcement shows that they are simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Husband Charged with Murder - 09/02/11
The husband of a woman who died after sustaining fatal knife injuries has been charged with her murder. Shehla Baig was discovered in a VW Passat outside her home in Northgate with multiple stab wounds to her leg, neck and head in November 2010. Mirza Kashif Baig was charged with her murder last Friday and will stand trial in April.
Brawlers Found Guilty - 09/02/11
Three men from Horley have been found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm during a group brawl in Crawley town centre which left a man with an umbrella spoke stuck in his head. Adam Brown, Danny Richmond and Thomas Reilly were all found guilty at Brighton Crown Court and will be sentenced on 9th March.
Super Reds Face Red Devils in FA Cup - 31/01/11
Following a truly heroic display against Torquay in the fourth round of the FA cup, Crawley Town have drawn the mighty Manchester United in the last 16 of the competition. A beautiful goal by Matt Tubbs secured the win for Crawley down at Torquay during a fast, flowing and spectacular game of football in which the Reds could have won by a lot more had they put their two penalties in the back of the net. The Reds have become the first non-league football side to reach the last 16 in over 17 years and all thoughts are now on the away fixture at Old Trafford to be held on 19th February.
Armed Police Swoop on Window Cleaner - 27/01/11
A startled window cleaner was petrified when armed police surrounded him whilst he was doing his rounds. Pete James was cleaning the windows of a house in Pound Hill without realising that it was not one of his customers. The terrified householder spotted Pete outside her bedroom window and mistook his squeedgy for a gun. The police responded quickly and the case of mistaken identity was soon sorted out.
Trial Begins for Machete Attacker - 20/01/11
A man who is accused of attempting to murder two men with a machete and causing grievous bodily harm on another in Crawley town centre has pleaded guilty to lesser charges at Hove Trial Centre this week. Antonio Batsimba from Essex has pleaded guilty to GBH with intent but the Crown Prosecution Service maintain that he intended to murder both. The trial continues this week.
Crawley Town FA Cup Dream Continues - 13/01/11
The Crawley Town Reds did themselves, their fans and the whole town proud on Monday night when they beat Championship club Derby County 2-1 to earn themselves a place in the last 32 of the biggest football competition int he UK. More than 4000 fans showed up to watch the local heroes and were rewarded with an amazing game which culminated in a breathtaking goal in injury time by Argentinian Sergio Torres.
Broadfield Shop Robbery - 02/01/11
A Broadfield shop owner was left terrified after three masked men robbed him at knife-point. The thieves entered Tollgate Express through the back door in the early hours of New Year's eve and forced the owner to hand over cash, cigarettes and alcohol before leaving through the back door again.
Fan Dies at Football Game - 02/01/11
A wheelchair bound Crawley Town fan died following a heart attack at Broadfield Stadium on New Years day. The elderly fan was taken ill before the Reds' clash with Eastbourne and, despite the efforts of two stewards and later the paramedics, the man died at East Surrey hospital later that day.
Sick Thief Steals Boys Arm - 23/12/10
A sick thief has committed an appalling crime by stealing a boys bike which still had his prosthetic arm attached to it. 14 year old Billy Terrell had left his bike outside the newsagent in Pound HIll parade whilst he popped into the shop to collect his paper round. When he returned minutes later, his bike had gone as well as the limb that was still attached to the handlebars.
Snow Brings Chaos... Again! - 20/12/10
Less than two weeks after snow brought the South East to a standstill, a fresh dusting of snow on Friday and Saturday sent the country into more chaos. Shops and businesses were unable to open, shoppers were unable to get to those shops that were able to open, the roads were gridlocked with cars unable to move and public transport came to a standstill. Furious members of the public have questioned the government and council's lack of preperation for what has become inevitable weather conditions that could be made much easier.
Part-Time Policing - 16/12/10
A new proposal from the Sussex Police Authority will see Crawley Police Station reduce it's opening hours to little more than shop opening times. The proposal suggests that the station will open from 9am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and will be closed on Sundays. Many residents have criticised the move as the workload at the station currently already seems to be too much to cope with.
Bomb Scare at Court - 14/12/10
Crawley Magistrates Court was evacuated and surrounding roads blocked off on Tueday morning following a bomb scare at the court in Woodfield Road. The court was declared safe just before midday and roads re-opened shortly after.
£200k Handout for K2 - 10/12/10
Despite the council making massive cutbacks on expenditure on the town's leaisure facilities, they have forked out a whopping £200,000 to refurbish the K2 Leisure Centre. The money will be spent refurbishing the gym at the centre and Freedom Leisure, who run the centre for the council will contribute an additional £10,000 for the work.
Teenager Falls from County Mall - 07/12/10
A teenager received serious injuries but miraculously survived when he fell three storeys from the County Mall car park, landing on the pavement in Station Way. The 18 year old was taken to East Surrey Hospital where he remains in a critical but stable condition.
Snow Brings South East to Halt - 02/12/10
For the third time in the last 12 months, snow has brought the South East of England to a standstill, causing chaos for everyone. Schools have been closed, workers have been unable to reach their place of employment and the drivers that were able to venture out have experienced extreme difficulty to travel on roads with little or no grit to clear the snow.
Young Woman Stabbed to Death - 22/11/10
A 27 year old woman died last Tuesday following a horrific knife attack as she travelled in a car. Shehla Baig received stab wounds to her head, body and leg as she travelled back from celebrating Eid with family and friends. She was found bleeding in a car outside her home but paramedics could not save her life. Two men were arrested on suspicion of murder.
Eastender Turns on Lights - 18/11/10
Crowds of people flocked to the County Mall today to see the Christmas lights turned on by Eastenders star John Partridge, otherwise known as Christian. The turning on of the lights signals the official start of Christmas shopping season, with most shops in town staying open until 8pm on Thursday nights.
Factory Ignites... Again - 17/11/10
For the second time in as many weeks, fire crews were called to tackle a blaze at a Manor Royal factory on Tuesday. After a fire tore through the Alixir Packaging factory on 4th November completely gutting the building, it was closed until the safety of the structure could be ascertained. This latest fire is thought to be as a result of combustible material igniting amidst the ashes.
Sports Funding Cut - 17/11/10
School sports is the latest victim of massive government spending cuts as the local budget to fund development throughout Crawley schools has been cut. Crawley School Sport Partnership has just been told that they will lose their £225,000 grant next year, one year before the Olympics come to England. The partnership are now seeking local businesses to help fund the deficit and continue the worthwhile project.
Armed Man Shot By Police - 11/11/10
A quiet Copthorne Street was turned into something from a Hollywood movie on Monday when armed police seiged a house to arrest a suspected armed man. Police were called to Borers Arms Road at 10pm on Monday night following a report that an armed man was threatening a woman who lived in the house. Following a 55 minute stand off, the police fired their weapons and seiged the house where they arrested the man with a gun shot wound in his hand.
Second Factory Goes Up In Flames - 06/11/10
Fire crews were called to deal with an inferno at a factory in Manor Royal on Thursday, the second within a week. The massive fire at the Alixir Packaging workshop in Faraday Road completely gutted the building, destroying all of the expensive printing equipment inside. Although a full investigation into the cause is underway, it is suspected that the fire started inside one of the printers.
Arson Attack on Factory - 03/11/10
A factory in Priestley Way was set on fire by arsonists in the early hours of Tuesday morning, requiring more than 20 firefighters to tackle the blaze. A can of petrol and a lighter were found near the scene of the Y&B Plating factory, leading police and fire investigators to assume it was a deliberate arson attack
Rock Festival Comes to Crawley - 03/11/10
A town hall licensing committee have given the go-ahead for a music promoter to stage a massive rock concert at Southgate Playing fields. The event is set to take place over the weekend of May 6 and 7 and organisers have promised a line up of top acts to please all types of musical taste.
Robbery at Newsagents - 01/11/10
A Southgate shopkeeper was injured when robbers attacked him in his store early on Saturday morning. The two robbers threatened the owner of Martin's newsagents with a knife before stealing money from the shop safe. The owner managed to grab the knife from one of the men but received a cut to his hand a blow to the head for his efforts.
New Super Jet Approved for Gatwick - 27/10/10
The huge, double-decker Airbus A380 will soon become a regular sight in the skies over Horley and Crawley. Gatwick Airport has been given permission to operate the huge Airbuses despite fears of increased noise pollution from local residents.
£225 for Dropping a Cigarette - 25/10/10
A man has been fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £225 after he dropped a cigarette butt in Crawley Town Centre. The man from East Grinstead was issued a fixed penalty notice of £80 when he committed the offence in March but refused to pay and failed to show up at court.
Paedophile Footballer Jailed - 18/10/10
A 37 year old man from Tilgate who used to play for Crawley Town Football Club has been jailed for 14 years for abusing young girls. Lee Turner was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court of raping two girls and sexually abusing four more between the ages of 10 and 12.
Death at the Mall - 06/10/10
Shoppers at the County Mall were horrified yesterday when a man in his twenties fell from the second storey and landed in the concourse outside Boots. The incident happened at 12.45pm and security guards acted quickly to cover the body and set up a curtain to conceal the horrific scene from onlookers. Emergency services arrived quickly but the man was pronounced dead at 1pm.
Police Helicopter Hunts Dangerous Yobs – 04/10/10
Sussex Police scrambled a helicopter yesterday afternoon to hunt for a group of youths seen throwing objects from a Maidenbower bridge at cars driving on the M23. Despite searching the area, police could not track down the individuals who were so recklessly risking people’s lives.
Little Boy Dies After Choking – 01/10/10
Matthew Russo, the 7 year old boy who suffered a heart attack after choking on his food at school on September 16, has died in hospital. Emergency services and staff at Manor Green Primary school were praised for their swift actions following Matthew’s accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with Matthew’s family.
Violent Thugs Jailed – 01/10/10
Three Crawley yobs have been jailed for the vicious and cowardly attack on a man and his friend. The attack happened following an argument in the Jubilee Oak pub in April last year. Victim Michael Clark and his friend left the pub but were attacked from behind in the Broadwalk. Mr Clark was kicked unconscious on the ground. Daryl Small, 22, and Lloyd Trewin were jailed for four and half years whilst companion Russell Boczek, 24 was given four years.
Stamp Down on Benefit Fraud – 26/09/10
A report released by the Audit & Governance Committee of Crawley Borough Council reveals that fraudsters have unlawfully claimed more than £38,000 in bogus benefits since the beginnign of April 2010. The corporate fraud investigation team revealed 43 cases of fraudulent housing and council tax benefit claims and 187 reports of benefit reports, the majority of which were received by anonymous tip-off. Convisted fraudsters will be forced to pay back the money by monthly instalments.
Schoolboy Chokes – 20/09/10
A 6 year old boy is in critical condition after choking on a mouthful of food and suffering a heart attack whilst at Manor Green Primary School in Ifield on Thursday. The school nurse administered CPR until paramedics arrived and took over. An air ambulance took the boy to St George's Hospital in Tooting where the boy was put onto life support machinery.
Town Centre Brawl Leaves Two Seriously Wounded – 19/09/10
An organised fight between rival gangs has left two men fighting for their lives and a mass police search for lethal weapons. The fight on Wednesday began in the open car park behind Thomas Cook in the town centre and was broken up by police called to the disturbance, but not before three men had received serious knife injuries. The two gangs consisted of Asian men who are thought to know each other.
Teenager Killed on M23 – 20/07/10
A 15 year old boy was killed whilst walking along the M23 motorway in the early hours of Sunday morning. Scott Turner, 15 from Burgess Hill had been attending a wedding at the Europa hotel when an argument with his father, Andrew 48, resulted in him leaving the party. At 1.49am police received calls from two separate motorists stating that they had hit a pedestrian. Moments later, an ambulance and unmarked police car responding to a separate incident reported hitting a body.
Killer Dog Owner Cleared – 19/07/10
Sussex Police have dropped manslaughter charges against the owner of a vicious dog that killed an 18 month old toddler, due to insufficient evidence. Urfan Ahmed from Broadfield will still appear in front of magistrates on the charge of owning a dog bred for fighting, but will not be held accountable for the death of Zumer Ahmed.
Raiders Fracture Man’s Skull – 17/07/10
A 19 year old suffered multiple injuries including a fractured skull when three attackers burst into his flat in Three Bridges. The attack happened at 9.30pm yesterday (Friday). Police arrested two men from Crawley who have been bailed pending further investigation. It is believed that the victim knew his attackers.
Sources: Our local news is sourced from other local media and our thanks for their vital coverage of local events goes to them. They include but are not limited to: Crawley and Horley Observer, Mid Sussex Times, Crawley News, All local radio stations, Crawley Borough Council and other web-based media sites.
Note: All About Crawley is an information website for all businesses in Crawley giving contact details based on the latest information we have. All About Crawley can not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, but we would appreciate your feedback if you spot any information that is not current.
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