CNWA - we 16th December 2018 - Cheshire News and Appeals
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Cheshire Neighbourhood Watch Association Week ending 16th December 2018 Cheshire News & Appeals Latest Cheshire News
Man charged in connection with four burglary incidents in Ellesmere Port
A man from Ellesmere Port has been charged in connection with four burglary incidents in the town. Wayne Boardman, of Alnwick Drive, has been charged with three counts of burglary and one count of attempted burglary. The 49-year-old has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Chester Magistrates’ Court on Saturday 8 December. The burglary charges relate to incidents on Sycamore Drive on Thursday 1 November and Joan Bartlett Drive and Tryfan Way on Friday 23 November. The attempted burglary charge relates to an incident on Blackstairs Road on Friday 23 November.
Life saving equipment installed at Ellesmere Port police station
A piece of life-saving equipment has been installed at Ellesmere Port police station.
The Automated External Defibrillator (AED), which was paid for by funds raised by the family of a well-known and much loved local pensioner, was put in place on Saturday 8 December. The device can be used by anyone - including members of the public - if someone suffers a cardiac arrest.
A charity raffle was held in August by the family of Billy Birch to raise money for the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS). A decision was made to put the money to good use by buying the vital piece of equipment. Billy, who was a local fundraiser, died in December 2017 after a short illness. He was well-known within the local community and, over the years, he had helped to raise more than £113,000 for good causes. The 76-year-old started fundraising in 1991 in memory of his wife, Sylvia. Billy’s family along with representatives from Ellesmere Port local policing unit, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), Deputy Mayor Councillor Paul Donovan and Justin Madders MP attended Ellesmere Port police station to see the defibrillator unveiled.
Inspector Ian Stead, of Ellesmere Port Local Policing Unit, said: “Billy was a well-known community advocate and throughout his life he raised thousands of pounds for local charities and good causes. Even now, 12 months on from his death, it is wonderful to see that he is still making a real difference to the local community. I’ve no doubt this life-saving piece of equipment can really be a godsend when needed and we are delighted and grateful to Billy’s family for helping to put this in place.”
NWAS operators are trained to help people in the community, who have no experience of using a defibrillator, by providing instructions over the phone on how to use them safely and effectively.
Widnes Police take part in countywide campaign to tackle knife crime
Cheshire Constabulary teamed up with local campaign group Live Your Life, Drop The Knife and partners in Widnes to carry out a knife sweep at Victoria Park recently.
Widnes police, local councillors and Halton Housing joined members of the community to search the area to try and find hidden knives, which may have been stashed away in bushes and undergrowth by carriers. The initiative is part of a Cheshire wide campaign to tackle knife crime, Operation Abolish, and the Constabulary has also been working with partner agencies, such as Crimestoppers and Trading Standards, to try and educate people about the law around carrying and buying knives.
Sergeant Neil Edgar said: “This latest event, which took place on 30 November, was to promote the initiative which aims to help reduce knife crime in Widnes. We chose Victoria Park for our first sweep, not because we had intelligence, but to make an impact and show the community that we are committed to reducing the number of people who think it’s ok to carry knives in our town.”
Reassuringly on the knife sweep on Monday, no weapons were discovered. Officers will continue to carry out these sweeps until the message is made loud and clear that Widnes has no place for violent crime.
Sgt Neil Edgar added: ““We thankfully didn’t find any knives during this sweep but we will be carrying out further community knife sweeps in the future to send out a clear message that knife crime will not be tolerated in Widnes. I would urge the public to continue to contact us if you have any information on knife crime, whether that is who is in possession of knives or where they are being stored. Together we can make Widnes a safer place.”
Louis Bamber set up the campaign group Live Your Life, Drop The Knife following the death of a family friend, 18-year-old Eddie O’Rourke, in Runcorn. Chairman Louis said: “We can’t let any more people die from knife crime on our streets. By supporting the knife sweeps I hope people will understand that this type of crime will not be tolerated in Halton. I would also encourage residents to get behind the campaign and show their support.” Posters and window stickers have been distributed to as many shops and business as possible in the town, showing support for the campaign.
Teenage gang punished following anti-social behaviour in Crewe and Congleton
Four teenage boys from Crewe who brought misery to the lives of residents have been punished for their actions.
The 15-year-old ringleader of the group, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been sentenced to four months at a youth detention and training centre. His three teenage counterparts have all been handed two-year criminal behaviour orders (CBOs). The CBOs prevent the three teenagers from associating with a number of other youths in the Crewe area and ban them from travelling on public transport without an adult. The boys – Riley Gaffney, 14, Reigan Gaffney, 15, and Jayden Burdern, 13 – have also been handed three-month curfews meaning that they must remain in their home addresses between 6pm and 6am. The orders were issued at Crewe Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 29 November as a result of partnership work between Congleton Beat Team, Crewe Beat Team and Cheshire East Councils Anti-Social Behaviour Team following a number of reports of anti-social behaviour in the those areas.
Inspector Penny Jones, from Macclesfield Local Policing Unit, said: “These youths wreaked havoc in Congleton for a number of weeks, targeting other youths and invoking fear and intimidation with people caught up in their wake. I hope that these punishments handed out by the court provides reassurance to local residents. I also hope that it sends out a very strong message that despite these boys being juveniles they are not above the law and this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated. I would like to thank the members of the public who provided information to the police to allow us to tackle these matters robustly.”
Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult social care and integration, said: “These young people’s behaviour impacted on members of the public and we had no alternative but to seek these Criminal Behaviour Orders alongside custodial sentencing for those that continue to persist with their offending. We hope the orders assist these young people by giving them the boundaries they need to improve their behaviour. In the case of a young person, taking a criminal case is always a last resort and our officers both within Cheshire Constabulary and Cheshire East Council have spent a considerable amount of time over several years to support everyone involved. However, there has to be a point at which we say, enough is enough, our residents have the right to live in peace and without fear and we must protect them from individuals who don’t respect this. We know it can be difficult but we would urge people to report anti-social behaviour to us.”
Sergeant Andy Baker, from the Crewe Beat Team, added: “The behaviour of this group of youths was totally unacceptable and I welcome the punishments that they have been given. We will continue to work closely with our partners to take robust action against those who persistently cause misery to members of our community with this kind of behaviour. I urge anyone who witnesses any of the boys breaching their orders to report it directly to us on 101. Alternatively, if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Eighteen scrambler bikes seized in three months in Runcorn
Eighteen scrambler bikes have been seized in three months as part of a policing operation to tackle off-road motorcycles being ridden in an anti-social manner in Runcorn.
Launched in September, Runcorn’s Operation Scrambler stems from an increased number of reports of youths and adults riding motorcycles dangerously on parkland, footpaths, towpaths and public roads in the town during the summer. It has seen increased patrols in hotspot areas, including off-road police bikes, and the motorcycles that have been seized are now awaiting destruction.
Sergeant Steve Watson, from the Runcorn Beat Team, said: “We launched Operation Scrambler after it became apparent during the summer that people riding off-road bikes in an anti-social manner in the town was a growing problem. We take the issue extremely seriously as it is dangerous, for both the rider and other members of the public, and the noise and disruption these nuisance bikes cause is a strong source of frustration for communities. Since we launched the dedicated operation we have seized a significant number of scrambler bikes, which will be destroyed in due course. Many of these bikes have been seized on the back of members of the public providing valuable information and I would like to thank those people for helping us to tackle the problem. I also want to encourage more people to come forward with as much information as they can give us about scrambler bikes and their riders.
Information provided from the public is pivotal to the continued success of the operation. We want information in relation to where these bikes are being stored and key factors regarding the riders, such as a detailed description of them and what they were wearing as well as potential names. Of particular value are photographs and videos of scrambler bikes and riders, but I urge people to only look to get us photos and video footage if it is safe to do so. When we have evidence of scrambler bikes being ridden in an anti-social manner we can look to have riders prosecuted and permanently seize bikes. We are also working closely with social housing landlords and will consider tenancy breaches if tenants are riding these bikes anti-socially or storing them for others to do so.”
Police have the power to seize scrambler bikes which are used in a way which causes harassment, alarm or distress. A warning is given first but if that fails to be effective and the bike is
used in an anti-social way again it will be seized under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act. All forms of motorcycles can also be seized if they are ridden on a public road unless the rider is at least 16 years old, holds the relevant licence, is covered by insurance and has paid their road tax.
Sgt Watson added: “Particularly with Christmas fast approaching, parents need to be aware of the laws regarding riding motorcycles both on and off-road. As well as being at least 16, having the relevant licence and insurance and paying road tax, your bike needs all the usual equipment to be fitted and working – for example, lights, brakes, brake lights, a horn, a speedometer, good tyres and registration plates. These are required even if it is being pushed. If you have any concerns about your child not adhering to the laws – and having their bike seized and possibly being prosecuted – do not let them have one of these bikes.”
Police have a unique crime-fighting tool as part of Operation Scrambler in a bid to deter youths from riding off-road bikes anti-socially. The SelectaDNA forensic coding spray enables police officers and police community support officers (PCSOs) to mark riders and their bikes and trace them back to anti-social behaviour at a later date. The sprays are an invisible dye, which marks the skin, clothing and bike. Officers can then use specialist lighting to identify offenders and link them to a specific incident using a unique DNA code. Anyone found to have been marked by one of the sprays, or owning a scrambler bike that has been sprayed, may be prosecuted. If a scrambler bike is found to have been sprayed it may be seized and destroyed by the police.
Anyone with information regarding youths or adults riding scrambler bikes in an anti-social manner should contact Cheshire Police on 101, give the details via https://cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Man sentenced to life in prison for murdering his friend in Warrington
A man has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his friend.
Stuart Rawling, of Wilderspool Causeway in Warrington, was told he will serve a minimum of 23 years behind bars, during a hearing on Tuesday 11 December at Liverpool Crown Court. The 32-year-old, who stabbed his friend six times – including once in the heart, had very recently pleaded guilty to the offence. The incident took place in the early hours of 16 June 2018 at a row of houses on Wilderspool Causeway, one of which had been converted into flats. Rawling and his friend - 21-year-old Declan Bunting – both lived in separate flats at an address further along the same road.
The court heard that Rawling had spent the majority of the afternoon and evening before (15 June) drinking in the nearby Causeway pub where he was a regular customer. Eventually, Declan joined him in the pub early in the evening where they were seen on CCTV laughing and smiling. At around 9pm Declan left the pub alone to go and meet his girlfriend. As the night progressed, Rawling became engrossed in his phone as he stood at the bar. He tried to contact Declan by mobile phone, making 14 calls and was heard getting increasingly frustrated when his calls were ignored.
At around 1am Rawling left the pub and made his way to a flat occupied by a friend of Declan’s knowing Declan would be there. Once inside, there was an argument between the pair – believed to have been sparked by an inappropriate remark made to another occupant of the flat. Declan told Rawling to leave and he was escorted outside but continued to repeatedly call Declan on his mobile phone another 12 times over a period of nearly two hours. During one call Rawling told Declan that ‘I’m going to go back to jail for what I do to you tonight’ and this was relayed to a witness in the flat by Declan. Clearly angry and frustrated, Rawling went back to his own flat where he armed himself with a knife and an axe. At around 2.50am Rawling called Declan to say he was outside the flat.
Upon opening the door, Rawling threw the axe towards Declan which, although hit him, didn’t cause any injury. Rawling then attempted to force his way into the flat leading to Declan arming himself and setting off a fire extinguisher in the direction of Rawling. The two men argued and Rawling was heard to tell Declan to arm himself with a weapon and as a result Declan picked up a wooden stick. A brief but violent fight took place and this ended with Declan being repeatedly stabbed by Rawling with a knife. Declan managed to run back into the flat – despite being seriously injured and covered in blood. An ambulance was called and a witness managed to flag down a nearby police officer who then desperately tried to help.
Police officers and paramedics treated Declan at the scene before he was taken to Warrington hospital. Despite the best efforts of all those involved the injuries he had sustained were so severe that there was little chance of survival and, sadly, he was pronounced dead shortly after at 3.36am.
At 3.22am Rawling was located by a police officer coming from the alleyway at the rear of his home address and he was swiftly arrested. A search of the area near to the flat where Declan was stabbed resulted in the recovery of the knife used to stab Declan.
A post mortem examination revealed that Declan had suffered six stab wounds to his back, chest and arm and concluded that he died as a result of one stab wound piercing his heart. A murder investigation was launched by the force’s Major Investigation Team and Rawling was subsequently charged with murder on the 20 June 2018.
Detective Inspector Adam Waller, who was in charge of the investigation, said: “Today justice has been served for Declan and his family. This has been a devastating and heart-breaking time for them as they continue to come to terms with their loss and our thoughts remain very much with all those who knew and loved him." By admitting his guilt Rawling has spared Declan’s family and friends the ordeal of sitting through a trial and potentially having to give evidence in court albeit they have had to wait nearly six months for this outcome. “A young life was taken at the hands of Rawling in an attack I can only describe as vicious and senseless. Arming himself with a weapon he clearly intended to do serious harm that night. Carrying a knife can be devastating for all of those involved. A young life, as in this case, can be tragically lost and a family left without their loved one. Over the past six months detectives from the force’s Major Investigation Team have worked tirelessly to piece together this case and I would like to thank all the officers and staff who have been involved. While no prison sentence will ever bring Declan back, I hope that Declan’s family take some comfort from the fact that a dangerous individual has been taken off the streets for a long time."
Tribute from Declan's family: "As a family we feel relieved that today Stuart Rawling has been sentenced for murdering Declan. Rawling finally admitted his guilt, accepting responsibility for what he has done to our son Declan. He has however made our family endure the anguish of preparing for a trial for the last six months. Rawling to us is a coward and we are so pleased that he can now no longer think he is able to scare or intimidate anyone. When we were told Dec had died our lives just shattered in to tiny pieces right there and then. We didn’t know what to think or do. We couldn’t accept what we had been told, that our boy was gone, stabbed to death. Since then our lives have been a constant struggle. We are distraught and feel broken, that a piece of us is missing. We all miss him so so much, every minute of every day. Declan was kind, loving and his family meant everything to him and him to us. Declan was so strong, so happy and so funny with the world in front of him. Now all that’s been snatched away and it makes us feel so sad, his daughter will never get to know how great her Daddy was. He’s going to miss out on her first words, first steps, her first day of school and so much more. We will always love him so very much and he is and always will be in our thoughts. We love you Declan and we are so proud of you and how brave and independent you had become. We have all lost so much and we still can’t believe you have gone. We as a family now have to live with a life sentence. Yes one man has been sent to jail for this crime but for us this is not justice for what he has done. No jail sentence will ever bring Declan back or be ample punishment for taking a young man’s life away. One day that man will be released and able to carry on with his life and see his family again. We on the other hand will never see our son, brother, grandson, nephew or friend ever again. We will never be able to fix our family after having Declan taken from us but together we’ll be there for each other and somehow get through this nightmare. Declan was a massive part of our family that will be missed forever. I don’t think we’ll ever get over this tragedy and the hole it has left. We as a family wish to send our heartfelt thanks to the members of the public, police and medical staff who tried their best to save Declan the night he was fatally injured. We would also like to thank Cheshire Police, in particular the senior investigating officer and his team for all their hard work.”
Rogue trader jailed after fleecing more than £30,000 from vulnerable residents
A rogue trader from Widnes who fleeced thousands of pounds from vulnerable residents for work that was never completed or not required has been jailed.
Dolphus Gaskin, of Tanhouse Lane, was given a four-year prison sentence at Chester Court on Tuesday 11 December. The 24-year-old had earlier pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud by false representation and one count of theft. Between January 2017 and March 2018 Gaskin travelled across England offering roof and guttering repair services. He targeted vulnerable and elderly residents, cold calling at their home and telling them that he had noticed damage on their roof or that their gutters required cleaning. Gaskin would then agree a small fee with the resident before later inflating the fee to hundreds, thousands and even tens of thousands of pounds. In many cases the work he was paid for was either never required or not completed.
Gaskin’s downfall came on 9 March 2018 when he targeted an elderly woman on Norton View in Runcorn.
He told the victim that that her gutters needed cleaning and originally stated the work would cost £40, but this was later increased to £400 – even though no work was ever completed. The incident was reported to Cheshire Police by the victim’s carers and an investigation was launched. During the investigation officers discovered CCTV footage which showed a white van registered to Gaskin had been in the Norton View area at the time of the incident.
The description of the offender provided by the victim matched that of Gaskin and officers also found ANPR and mobile phone evidence which showed that he had been in the area. After linking Gaskin to the incident officers made further enquiries to establish whether he had committed similar offences elsewhere. During their enquiries they found that Gaskin had previously been arrested for four similar offences in Avon and Somerset but the cases against him had been discontinued due to a lack of evidence. With their fresh evidence against him, the team at Runcorn decided to reopen the Avon and Somerset cases, along with two further cases in Southampton and Nantwich. A full case file of evidence was presented to the Crown Prosecution Service and Gaskin was subsequently charged with seven counts of fraud by false representation and one count of theft. After hearing all the evidence gathered against him Gaskin pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud by false representation and one count of theft. He was found not guilty of the other two counts of fraud by false representation.
Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Calvin Fletcher, from Runcorn CID, said: “To stoop so low as to defraud vulnerable residents out of thousands of pounds is despicable and I welcome the sentence that has been handed to Gaskin. “Rogue traders such as him have no regard for other people. He specifically targeted the most vulnerable members of our community with the intention of fleecing them for as much money as possible – in these cases alone we believe that he made at least £33,000. While Gaskin’s sentencing will not bring the victims their money back, I hope that the punishment he has received will give them some closure.”
DC Fletcher added: “This has been a long and complex investigation involving a number of police forces and I would like to thank all of my colleagues for the support they have provided. I also hope that this case acts as a warning for other potential victims of rogue traders. Rogue traders tend to target the most vulnerable people in the community. They may try to sell faulty goods on your doorstep or offer a particular service such as cleaning gutters, chopping down trees or laying new driveways and then deliberately overcharge for the work, which is of a very poor standard. Whatever service they are offering they all have one thing in common – taking advantage of people, especially the elderly and vulnerable, with the intention of taking as much money from them as possible.”
Ellesmere Port man convicted of murdering his dad
A man from Neston has been found guilty of murdering his dad.
Daniel Renshaw was today, Wednesday 12 December, convicted of the murder of Graham Renshaw following a seven day trial at Liverpool Crown Court. The 27-year-old, who lived alone in a flat on Drake Road in Neston, has been remanded into custody. His sentencing hearing is due to be confirmed later today. During the trial the court heard that Renshaw had been visiting his parents and older brother at their home on Seymour Drive in Ellesmere Port on 13 June. He had been drinking alcohol during the day and his brother noticed that he was acting in a strange way. Renshaw’s brother had gone to bed at around 9pm and his mum shortly after, leaving Renshaw and his dad, 52, downstairs. Just after midnight on 14 June, his brother was woken up by the sound of his dad screaming. He raced downstairs and went into the conservatory where he saw his dad, who had repeatedly been stabbed in the chest and head, sitting on the sofa. Renshaw was stood over him with a kitchen knife in his right hand and his brother noticed a second knife on the sofa – he shouted his mum, who called emergency services, as he desperately tried to help his dad, who was bleeding heavily.
Police and paramedics arrived quickly at the house and Graham was taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital. Despite the best efforts of all those involved Graham’s injuries were too severe and he died at 1.20am. A post mortem revealed that he had been stabbed a total of 19 times. Renshaw was immediately arrested at the house and charged with murder on 16 June.
Detective Sergeant Steve Currie, from Cheshire Police’s Major Investigations Team said: “We will never know why Renshaw brutally attacked his dad that night. His actions were vicious and shocking and have ripped a loving family apart. They have shown great courage and dignity throughout the investigation and the trial – they have had to re-live what happened that day and it has been a traumatic experience for them. This has been a challenging investigation and, whilst we are pleased with the successful conclusion of this case, it’s clear that there are no real winners. The Renshaw family have not only lost a loving husband and father, but their son and brother is now facing a lengthy prison sentence. I just hope that at some point they are able to start rebuilding their lives after going through so much pain and grief.”
Student police officer jailed for raping teenage girl
A former student police officer has been sentenced to 30 years for raping a teenage girl just after he clocked off duty.
Ian Naude was today (Thursday 13 December) sentenced to 30 years (25 years custodial and five years on licence) following a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court. Judge Clement Goldstone QC told the 30-year-old, who has been dismissed from Cheshire Constabulary, that he was a cold, uncaring paedophile and a very dangerous man.
Following sentencing, Detective Inspector Kate Tomlinson, the Senior Investigating Officer for this case, said: “Ian Naude is a sexual predator of the most evil kind. He joined Cheshire Police with the sole purpose of gaining a position of trust so he could prey on young, vulnerable girls. His behaviour and actions were truly appalling and the sentence handed down to him today reflects that.
“I have worked on this investigation for the past 12 months alongside a dedicated team of officers and staff. It has been a long, complex and very challenging investigation. Never would I have imagined that I would be investigating a police officer and for such horrendous crimes. It was Ian Naude’s job to enforce the law and protect people from harm. Instead he became the most dangerous of predators and betrayed the very people he swore to protect. The details of this case are hard enough for someone like me - a police officer with 24 years’ service - to hear. For the victims who had to go through it – it has left them completely traumatised. I want to acknowledge the incredible bravery that these young girls have shown – especially the 13-year-old girl who found the courage to come forward and disclose that Naude had raped her in his car.”
Naude, of Market Drayton in Shropshire, joined Cheshire Constabulary in April 2017 and, following a period of training, he was based at Crewe Local Policing Unit with a tutor constable. It was here whilst on duty that he came into contact with a 13-year-old girl after being called to an incident at her home. The incident did not involve the teenager directly but, over a 24-hour period, he groomed her, encouraged her to send him indecent images of herself and on 25 October – after clocking off duty for the afternoon – he went to her house to meet her. The girl got into his car and he drove her to a secluded spot on nearby waste ground where he sexually assaulted her and then raped her – filming part of what happened on his mobile phone. The girl’s parents raised their concerns with police on 3 November 2017 and Naude was swiftly identified as the suspect.
The force took immediate action to investigate the allegation. He was arrested the following day and was immediately suspended from duty. Naude was subsequently charged on 4 November 2017 with seven offences relating to the one victim and he was remanded into custody. He was later dismissed from the force at a special hearing. The court heard that during the course of the investigation a number of electronic devices belonging to Naude were seized and examined. These revealed a large collection of indecent images and videos of children. As detectives began to piece together the case it became clear that Naude had been scouring the internet in search of young girls – using two alter egos (Bruce Ian Wayne and Jake Green) and an image of a young man on his profile to incite his victims.
He would approach them via social media platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Kik. His user name on Snapchat was ‘King of the North’. He would always start with ‘Hi, you look pretty and interesting’ before moving quickly onto a simple ‘question and answer’ game, progressing to conversations littered with flirtatious and sexual language. He would quickly demand nude images and threaten to expose the girl to her friends if she refused. He was extremely persistent exploiting the obvious vulnerabilities of his victims. When communicating with the girls Naude would make them call him ‘Daddy’. He also sent the girls explicit photographs and videos of himself. In court it was heard that he also attempted to meet up with the girls face-to-face. As the investigation unravelled further charges were brought against Naude – 38 in total. These related to nine victims aged between 12 and 19.
During previous court appearances Naude had pleaded guilty to 31 of the 38 charges – these included two offences of misconduct in a public office. On 15 November he was found guilty of 7 offences relating to 6 girls aged 12-15. These included rape of a 13-year-old girl, sexual assault against a 13-year-old girl and arranging or attempting to meet girls under the age of 16 to commit a S9 offence of the Sexual Offences Act.
Following sentencing today, the parents of the 13-year-old girl released a statement. They said: “On 3 November 2017 the lives of our family changed forever when we discovered what had happened to our young, innocent, 13-year-old daughter. Now, 12 months later, we still cannot comprehend what took place following the night when, in a time of need, we contacted Cheshire Police for help. Ian Naude, a serving police officer, answered that call for help however, he abused our faith and trust in him as a police officer by going on to groom and rape our daughter. He entered our house, which felt at that time like a safe haven for our family, and has effectively destroyed that feeling. We do not know the long-term effects this will have on our daughter. We still cannot explain to her why this horrific and sickening abuse happened to her. We worry about how she will cope in the future, particularly when it comes the time for her to have intimate relationships based on trust and love. We worry about how we will protect our daughter in the future and feel that we cannot give her the freedom she once had as a confident and growing child for her own protection which is very saddening. There are no words to even begin to explain the pain, hurt and anger we have felt and are still feeling as a direct result of that vile and despicable man. He has destroyed our lives, our family and, most of all, the innocence of our daughter, something we will never come to terms with or understand.”
Cheshire Constabulary takes any allegations of rape or sexual assault extremely seriously. Victims should never feel ashamed talking about what has happened to them. Anyone who has experienced this type of abuse is urged to come forward and report it to the police. You can contact Cheshire Police on 101 quoting incident number IML 239410. Information can also be reported online at https://cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries, or anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.
Macclesfield teenager jailed for manslaughter
A 16-year-old boy has been sentenced to 10years after being found guilty of manslaughter after a man was fatally stabbed in Macclesfield.
A jury found the 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, guilty of stabbing 38-year-old Ian Schofield at Liverpool Crown Court on 15 November. The boy, was also found guilty of conspiracy to rob. He admitted possession of an offensive weapon at an earlier hearing.
He appeared at Liverpool Crown Court today (Thursday 13 December) to be sentenced. He was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter, five years for conspiracy to commit robbery and five years for possession of an offesive weapon - all are to run concurrently. His co-accused, a 28-year-old man who also can’t be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit a robbery. He was sentenced to five years in prison. On the evening of 6 May 2018 the teenager and the man had been drinking at an address in Bollington. They arranged to meet Ian and got a taxi from Bollington to Devon Close in Macclesfield in order to do so.
DI Sarah Oliver, who led the investigation, said: “When they met up with him, for a reason we’ll never fully comprehend, the boy produced a large knife and lunged at Ian. His actions were shocking - even to his accomplice. The single stab wound was savage and sadly proved fatal. Ian was on his way to a barbecue when he made the impromptu stop off. He never made it to the barbecue. His family’s life fell apart that day and they are struggling to come to terms with how someone could carry out such a senseless attack. What is even more tragic is that his girlfriend is due to give birth to his child, who will never get to know and love his father. The teenager has left a child fatherless and a whole family bereft of someone they loved very much. I just hope this boy can understand the immense hurt and pain he has caused this family.”
The family of Ian Schofield said: “We would like to thank the legal team, police and jury for the conviction, this will not bring Ian back but gives some justice for the loss. Ian was big hearted and did not deserve what happened to him. He is much loved and missed and will be in our hearts forever. Carrying and using knives is unacceptable and needs to carry substantial sentences to act as a deterrent for those contemplating carrying weapons.”
Widnes drug dealer jailed for more than four years
A drug dealer from Widnes has been brought to justice thanks to a stop check by a local Police Community Support Officer (PCSO).
Paul Lightfoot, of Bell House Lane, was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison at Chester Crown Court on Friday 7 December. The 50-year-old had earlier been found guilty of two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs (cocaine and heroin). At around 4pm on Sunday 17 June Lightfoot was walking on Page Lane, Widnes, when he was stopped by a local PCSO, who had reasons to suspect that he may be involved in drug dealing. Lightfoot voluntarily emptied his pockets at the request of the PCSO but during this produced a penknife. Concerned for his safety, the PCSO called for back-up. Lightfoot began to struggle and a wrap of white powder fell out of his pocket.
Two police officers swiftly attended the scene and Lightfoot was arrested on suspicion of possession of controlled drugs. He was searched, where officers discovered 29 wraps of cocaine and nine wraps of heroin. A small quantity of cannabis was also discovered during a search at Lightfoot’s home on Bell House Lane. Lightfoot pleaded not guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs but he was convicted of the offences by a jury following a three-day trial.
Following his conviction Detective Sergeant Roberts from Widnes Local Policing Unit said: “Illegal Drugs and the sale and use of such drugs has a detrimental impact on our communities and removing those involved in drug dealing from them is of paramount importance to the team here at Widnes. Officers on patrol are always briefed with intelligence from the community and as demonstrated here will use stop checks and search powers to pursue those involved and protect those affected. The sentence handed to Lightfoot sends out a clear message to other potential criminals that the use and supply of illegal drugs will not be tolerated in Widnes or elsewhere in Cheshire.”
Anyone concerned about drug dealing in their local community is urged contact Cheshire Police on 101 or online at https://cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries. Alternatively information can also be given anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111. If you are in an addiction, seek help at either our partners at CGL, Aston Dane www.cgl.org.uk or via the N.H.S. Joint operation launched to tackle high number of deliberate fires in an area of Warrington
An operation aiming to further reduce the number of deliberate bin and waste fires in Radley Common in Warrington will begin with a day of action in the area on Monday 17 December.
Around 120 fires have been started deliberately in the area since 2015, with the spate of arson incidents tying up vital resources at Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service as well as causing problems for local residents. Almost 50 households have had their wheelie bins destroyed by arsonists and a children’s playground and a park have also suffered fire damage. The number of deliberate fires in the area has reduced year-on-year since firefighters dealt with 36 incidents there in 2015.
But with Radley Common remaining a hotspot for arson incidents – there have been more than 20 deliberate fires in the area this year – Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service have joined forces to tackle the problem. Their joint operation will see them work in collaboration with Warrington Borough Council and local schools and residents’ associations in a holistic approach to trying to further reduce the number of deliberate fires in the open in Radley Common and the surrounding areas.
Operation Scattered will start with an awareness action day conducted by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service prevention staff and firefighters, Cheshire Police officers and PCSOs, housing officers and council representatives. Residents will be given fire safety advice during house-to-house visits and handed letters advising them when to leave their wheelie bins out for collection and when to bring them inside so that the bins cannot be targeted by arsonists. Leaflets will be distributed and rubbish and waste left by fly-tippers that could also be targeted by arsonists will be reported to environment enforcement officers for removal.
Sergeant Ruth Atherton said: “Radley Common is a large open space with a grassed area, a children’s playground and a community centre. It is the heart of the neighbourhood. Unfortunately the area has been blighted by sporadic anti-social behaviour in recent years. It tends to occur in the evenings under the cover of darkness and we believe that youths are responsible for the diminishing but still significant number of deliberate fires problem in the area. The vast majority of the fires involve wheelie bins that are taken from outside homes and waste that has been fly-tipped or left out by residents. We will arrest anyone we have evidence of starting such fires and will be stepping up patrols in the area as part of our joint Operation Scattered with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.”
Warrington Fire Station Manager Neil Winstanley said: “Despite year-on-year reductions in deliberate fires in Radley Common since 2015, the number of wheelie bin fires remain high. In fact, since 2014 there has been a year-on-year increase in wheelie bin fires in the area, with the rise since 2014 being a worrying 600 per cent. Those who start such fires deliberately no doubt believe that they are causing little more than a nuisance. But fire spreads quickly, so what may seem like a small fire can easily become out of control and put properties and lives at risk. Small fires that are started deliberately also tie up resources, meaning that it will take longer for fire crews to respond to actual emergencies, such as house fires. They also tie up police resources in terms of investigating arson incidents and trying to bring offenders to account for their actions. Then there is the cost of replacing things like wheelie bins and playground and park equipment damaged by arsonists, which is ultimately paid for by taxpayers. As part of Operation Scattered we will be visiting schools to speak directly to young people about fire safety. Residents, including those who have had wheelie bins stolen and set alight, will also be visited at their homes and advised about how to keep their bins safe from potential arsonists.”
The message from Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is that tackling arson is everyone’s responsibility. To make it as difficult as possible for arsonists to start fires, residents are urged to:
Store all wheelie bins away, especially at night, to avoid them becoming a target for arsonists (ideally behind locked gates)
Only place wheelie bins out on collection day and return them to your property as soon as possible after collection
Not overfill wheelie bins or leave loose rubbish around them
Never store wheelie bins by windows or doors – any fire in the bin could easily spread to your property
Not leave rubbish or waste outside that could be used to start a fire. Residents with any information or dashcam or CCTV footage regarding deliberate fires are asked to call Cheshire Police on 101, give the details via https://cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. To report a fire call Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service on 999. For more information about reducing the risk of arson visit www.cheshirefire.gov.uk .
Update regarding large fire at Chester Zoo At 11.28am on Saturday 15 December emergency services received reports of a large fire at Chester Zoo.
The blaze was in the Monsoon Forest Habitat on the site, which is the UK’s largest zoo building. Due to the scale of the fire this was declared a major incident. The zoo was immediately evacuated and a cordon was put in place. Crews – wearing breathing apparatus and using main jets – brought the fire under control and it has now been extinguished. Firefighters remain at the scene to dampen down. One person has suffered minor smoke inhalation. There are no reports of any other injuries at this time.
The zoo’s teams are now assessing the situation. They have confirmed that critically endangered Sumatran orangutans and other mammals are all accounted for and being looked after by the zoo specialist conservationists and vets.
Detective Superintendent Pete Shaw said: “Emergency services remain at the scene and we are continuing to work alongside staff at the zoo. I would like to reassure people that there is no risk to public safety as a result of this incident. Every effort has been made to minimise disruption in the local area and I would also like to thank members of the public for their co-operation and understanding. I would also like to thank staff at the zoo for their swift response and for all of their help and assistance in bringing this situation under control.”
Latest Cheshire Appeals
Crewe shoppers urged to be vigilant following purse theft in town centre As Christmas approaches officers are urging shoppers to be extra vigilant following a purse dipping incident in Crewe. Yesterday, (Tuesday 11 December) at 1pm police received reports of the theft at Asda supermarket in Crewe town centre.
PC Nick Jackson, of Crewe Local Policing Unit, said: “Purse dipping, particularly at this time of year, can be a perfect chance for thieves to strike therefore we need the public, especially the elderly community, to be extra vigilant. This type of crime tends to target the elderly and I would remind them to take some basic preventative measures, such as keeping your bag zipped and closed at all times as well as not keeping large quantities of money in your purse.”
There are a few simple precautions people can take to deter opportunistic thieves: • Walk with a sense of purpose.
• Carry your purse in a zipped-up-bag. Keep the bag where you can see it.
• Attach an audible alarm to your purse/wallet (for example purse bells)
• Never leave your bag in a shopping trolley or basket
• Make sure you are not followed or engaged in conversation by someone who might be looking for an opportunity to steal from you.
PC Jackson added: “Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) will be handing out purse ‘jingle’ bells to shoppers and they are a really useful tool to guard against this type of crime. Whether you’re an
elderly resident yourself or you have a friend or family member who would like one, please get in touch with your local PCSO or call 101 and we will get them to send you one.”
Anyone who sees someone acting suspiciously around others or has any information is asked to contact Cheshire Police on 101.
Appeal for information to help find missing Lymm man Cheshire Police are appealing for information to help find a 51-year-old man from Lymm, Warrington.
John Hawkins was last seen driving his black Mitsubishi L200 Warrior 4x4 car in Bala, Gwynedd, north Wales, at around 1pm on Wednesday 12 December. He had travelled through Corwen and Dolgellau in north Wales that morning.
John is described as white, around 6’ 2” tall with a medium build. He has brown hair and brown eyes and is believed to be wearing Karrimor-like black boots with a high-visibility trim, dirty dark blue jeans, a navy Superdry hoody with a logo on the front, a black Trespass wax jacket with a thin silver trim on the chest and a black New York Yankees cap with a frayed peak.
Police are urging anyone who sees John or has any information regarding his whereabouts to get in touch. Inspector Stuart Williams said: “Extensive enquiries to locate John are ongoing and we are becoming increasingly concerned for his welfare. I appeal to anyone who has spoken to John since he drove from his home in Lymm in the early hours of Wednesday 12 December to contact us. The same goes for anyone who believes they may have seen John, his Mitsubishi L200 Warrior 4x4 car or has any information regarding his whereabouts. If you see the car or someone who looks like John in the north Wales area or anywhere else please get in touch.”
Anyone with information that may help officers find John, no matter how small, is asked to call 101, requesting to speak to Cheshire Police and quoting IML 266581.
Witnesses urged to come forward following an aggravated burglary in Hartford Northwich detectives are urging witnesses to come forward after an aggravated burglary took place in Hartford.
At 6.15pm on Thursday 13 December a group of between four and six men, with their faces covered and wearing dark clothing, entered a house on Whitehall Drive while two occupants were inside. Carrying large screwdrivers they made demands for the occupants to hand over property before searching the house. Taking a quantity of cash the group then left the house on foot at around 6.30pm on to Whitehall Drive.
One of the men is described as white, about 6ft in height, aged in his mid to late 20s, of a heavy build with a Liverpool accent. He was wearing a tight black and grey balaclava, a navy blue nylon jacket, dark grey Puma jogging bottoms with a grey stripe down the side and black trainers. Another man is described as white, around 5ft 10 in height, of an average build and aged in his early 20s. His face was covered by a blue snood and he was wearing a maroon coloured hooded top.
Detective Constable Steve Hill, of Northwich CID, said: “These men terrified two innocent people in their own home and we’re doing everything we can to find those responsible. I’d urge the local community to come forward with any information which will help with our investigation – no matter how small. If you were in the Whitehall Drive area between 6pm and 7pm and saw a large group of men either on foot or in a car, get in touch by calling 101. I’d also appeal to drivers with dashcam footage to make contact with officers.”