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Man sentenced for sexual assault in hotel gym

A woman who was sexually assaulted in a hotel gym has been praised for her bravery in speaking out.

The woman was exercising on June 26th 2016 when she was approached by a drunken Kealey O’Kane. The 34-year-old made lewd comments and sexually assaulted her before she could escape.

Mr O'Kane was convicted of sexual assault following a trial and, today, was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 month. He has also been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years and pay £1,750 in court costs.

“I would like to praise the victim for her bravery in coming forward to report this unacceptable attack. Being under the influence of alcohol is absolutely no excuse for harassing and assaulting someone and I’m pleased that he has been found guilty by the courts."

– Gary Hales, Bedfordshire Police

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Severe problems on rail due to signalling fault

Liverpool Street Credit: PA Images

There are major problems with train services to and from London Liverpool Street tonight.

Due to a fault with the signalling system between London Liverpool Street and Colchester all lines are blocked.

Greater Anglia say train services to and from these stations may be subject to disruption on all routes. Disruption is expected until at least 8pm.

More details are available here.

Council slashes funding for Children's Centres in Cambridgeshire

The budget for Children's Centres in Cambridgeshire is to be cut by £900,000 after county councillors voted to reorganise their provision.

Children's centres provide early years support and all sides of the debate agree they improve children's life chances.

The Conservatives say that the savings made today will mean more money goes to front line services for children. But the opposition say vulnerable families will be put at risk.

Pair sentenced after £30,000 of drugs found in fridge and freezer

Credit: Essex Police

A man and a woman were sentenced after £30,000 of drugs were found hidden in a freezer, birthday card and on top of a fridge.

Melanie King, 44, and Jon Rudd, 44, were arrested when officers from South Operation Raptor team raided a property in Laindon, Essex on February 21st.

The police found 400 grams of cocaine, with a street value of £20,500, hidden on top of the fridge freezer and almost a kilo of amphetamine, with a street value of £9,200, hidden in a freezer and a birthday card. Officers also uncovered drug paraphernalia and £3,680 cash.

Ms King and Mr Rudd were both charged with possessing a Class A drug with intent to supply, two counts of possessing a Class B drug with intent to supply and money laundering.

Both admitted the charges. Ms King was given an eight-month jail term suspended for nine months on October 9th and on October 12th Mr Rudd was jailed for years and four months.

The sentencing comes as Essex Police steps up its action against those involved in gang and drug crime with the launch of Operation Essex.

“We will continue to leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of those attempting to supply drugs in our county. If you are involved in this type of activity then you can be assured that we will make sure you have no place to hide.”

– Det Con Adam Blackwell, Essex Police

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Acquittal stands for optometrist who missed fatal eye condition

Honey Maria Rose Credit: ITV News Anglia

An optometrist who was convicted over the death of an eight-year-old boy, only to have the decision overturned by the Court of Appeal, will not have her case sent to the Supreme Court.

Honey Maria Rose, 36, saw Vincent Barker for a routine eye test at a branch of Boots in Ipswich. During the exam she missed an eye condition which led to his death in July 2012.

She was accused of gross negligence manslaughter, convicted last year at Ipswich Crown Court and given a suspended sentence. That decision was quashed in July this year at the Court of Appeal in London.

Vincent Barker Credit: Family photo

This acquittal will now stand after judges refused to send the case to the country's most senior judges.

The prosecution had applied to take the case to the Supreme Court, claiming the law on gross negligence manslaughter is "not satisfactorily clear" and needed to be considered by leading judges.

However, the application was turned down in a hearing lasting less than a minute, at the Court of Appeal.

Stansted airport plans to serve 17 million more passengers a year

London Stansted Airport Credit: London Stansted Airport

Stansted airport plans serve 17 million more passengers a year, without increasing the number of flights or its noise levels.

The Essex airport wants to increase its passenger cap from 35 million to 43 million to allow them to grow over the next decade. They say the planning cap must be raised so they can best use their existing capacity.

The plans come after discussions with the local community and they say it will allow them to offer more destinations, without increasing the number of flights or their 'noise footprint'. However, they had to revise down their aims for the cap from 44.5 million after concerns were raised by local residents.

Currently around 26 million passengers use the airport every year, up by 10 million from five years ago.

“These plans provide a good balance between ensuring our future growth, support for the region’s economy and addressing concerns around local environmental impacts. With clarity over the airport’s ability to grow, airlines and business partners will have the confidence to continue to invest and grow at Stansted.”

– Ken O’Toole, Chief Executive of London Stansted Airport
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