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Man gets 13 years in jail for sex offences

Richard Maycroft Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

A man from March in Cambridgeshire has been jailed for 13 years after being convicted of nine counts of sexual assault and rape.

Peterborough Crown Court heard the offences by 42 year old Richard Maycroft, of Benwick Road, spanned a 20-year period and involved four victims.

Maycroft was arrested on October 28, 2013, and charged with two counts of indecent assault on a female; two counts of sexually assaulting a girl under 13; one count of rape (on a woman aged 16 or over); and four counts of sexual assault of a female.

He was found guilty on all counts.

High Court challenge to naming 'The Broads National Park'

The Norfolk Broads

The Broads Authority is being taken to the High Court over it's decision to brand Norfolk and Suffolk's wetlands as 'The Broads National Park'.

Those behind the challenge say the name is misleading because the area isn't a National Park - which is an area that has conservation rights written into law.

The authority say they're using the term as a branding exercise and it's not linked to a legal definition.


Dog owners warned about deadly new disease

Misha with her owners

Dog owners are being warned about a deadly disease that has entered the country and already left three animals fighting for their lives.

Babesiosis is a rare and often fatal disease which causes animals to experience lethargy, weakness, pale gums, red/brown urine and fever.

It is spread by infected ticks which bite animals and three dogs in Harlow, Essex, are believed to be the first in the UK to have contracted the disease.

Clive Swainsbury is practice partner at Forest Veterinary Centre group in Eastwick, Essex, which has treated the dogs.

This is potentially very serious. We are not certain but confident the disease [babesiosis] has been established in a field between the former Passmores School and the town centre.

This is a new disease to the country that originates from eastern and southern Europe.

A couple of years ago it was the situation that you would bring a foreign dog into the country and it would be tested for ticks, but this has been relaxed.

With the number of people that are bringing rescue dogs into the country it could bring the spread of infected ticks.

– Clive Swainsbury, vet

Mishka, a three-year-old Husky bitch, was given just a one per cent chance of survival after contracting the disease in October last year.

Her owners Dean Unwin, 52, and Lisa Hall, 42, were "inconsolable" when they were told she might have to be put down.

Mr Unwin, a carpet fitter, said the problems started on October 20 last year when Mishka suddenly became very lethargic.

Mr Unwin and Ms Hall, a carer in an old people's home, took her to the vets where she had an emergency hysterectomy two days later.

She got worse and worse and by the 26th there was still something wrong. We took her to the vets and they eventually found the tick.

By the 30th she was so bad they were going to put her to sleep but as a last resort they gave her a blood transfusion after they found a match.

As soon as she had the transfusion there was an improvement straight away.

– Dean Unwin, Misha's owner

Couple's new home could be bulldozed to make way for new Thames crossing

The Abbotts

A family in Essex say their dream home could be destroyed to make way for a new road network.

The Abbott family moved to Orsett near Basildon just nine months ago. They've now found out it's the potential location for a new Thames crossing - designed to take the pressure off the Dartford bridge and tunnel.

Some of the news homes that may have to be demolished

Highways England have yet to make a decision - that is expected early next year. Here's a report by ITV's Tom Savvides:

Tony Martin will not face fresh firearms charges

Tony Martin

Norfolk Farmer Tony Martin, who was jailed for shooting dead a teenage burglar, will not face any charges after a fresh firearms investigation.

Mr. Martin, now 71, served three years in prison for shooting dead Fred Barras, 16, at his home in Emneth Hungate, Norfolk, in 1999. He was initially found guilty of murder but this was reduced to manslaughter on appeal.

Police at Tony Martin's farmhouse at Emneth Hungate

He was arrested last month on suspicion of possessing an illegal firearm following a police search of his home.

It is understood this inquiry followed comments he made to a newspaper reporter about the prevalence of unlicensed firearms in the UK.

Norfolk Police confirmed that Mr Martin would face no further action.<

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Coller said:

Public safety is paramount and Norfolk Constabulary takes all reports of firearms seriously.

Following the arrest a thorough search, under Section 18 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), was conducted and officers seized a firearm, which was believed to be an air weapon.<

However following further enquiries, it was deemed not to be a viable weapon, due to its condition.

– Det Chief Insp Andy Coller

Mr Martin was living alone at his farmhouse in Emneth Hungate, nicknamed Bleak House, when he caught Brendon Fearon, then 29, and Mr Barras, 16, inside. He fired his shotgun three times towards the intruders, killing Barras.

The case provoked a national debate about the measures homeowners can take to defend their property.

Police at Emneth Hungate

Since being released from prison, Mr Martin is understood to have spent some of his time living on the grounds of the property.

In 2013 he told the Press Association he had once again confronted a burglar at the property.

He said he caught the would-be burglar while checking on an outbuilding. He drove off when confronted and Mr Martin decided not to attempt to stop him.

Tony Martin

I couldn't face going through all that again. I wished I had but, after everything I've been through in the past, I just couldn't face all that hassle again.

It isn't the first time it's happened since I've been out of prison - it's happened two or three times.

I haven't changed my views about what happened in 1999 but the whole experience has made me lose faith in the system and I didn't want to be made out as the criminal again.

– Tony Martin


Public weapon sweeps part of knife crackdown

Knifes from an amnesty project in Cambridgeshire. Credit: ITV Anglia.

Police in Northamptonshire will be carrying out weapon sweeps in public places, in an attempt to crack down on the number of hidden knives in the county.

The initiative is launched in conjunction with other knife campaigns across the country.

Officers will be out from this week.

Dog rescue team given bravery award

John Bull and Darcy in action.

A dog rescue team at Essex fire service are to be given a national bravery award.

John Bull and Darcy have helped in rescue missions in the UK and around the world - including earthquakes in Sumatra and Nepal.

They will receive the honour at the National Service Dog Bravery and Achievement Awards in April.

Police appeal for help to find man missing since 1984

David Kelly has been missing from Stevenage since 1984 Credit: Hertfordshire police

Hertfordshire police are appealing for help to trace a man who has been missing from Stevenage since 1984.

David Kelly who would now be 59-years old had been living in Kimbolton Crescent in the town before he disappeared that year.

Police say that since David's disappearance he has had no contact with any of his family and his whereabouts remain unknown.

"Sadly previous appeals have not brought any information and whilst it has been decades since his disappearance I would urge anyone who may have known David who hasn’t already contacted police, to please call us with any information. I would also ask David to make contact if he sees this appeal.”

– PC Stuart Barnett, Hertfordshire police Missing Person's Unit

"David if you see this appeal I want you to know that your brothers and sisters miss you very much and have never stopped thinking about you.”

– John Kelly, David's brother

Anyone with information should call PC Barnett at Hertfordshire police via the 101 number.

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