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Waveney MP slams 'wrong decision' to close Lowestoft Magistrates' Court

Lowestoft Magistrates' Court will close this summer. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The MP for Waveney Peter Aldous says that the government have made the "wrong decision" by closing Lowestoft Magistrates' Court.

The court is among several across the East that have been shut as part of government cuts.

“I believe that this is the wrong decision, taking into account the compelling evidence based case made by local court users for the court to remain open.

With the current emphasis on localisation and devolution their views should have been accepted and I am concerned that the closure will compromise access to local justice for the most vulnerable in society."

– Peter Aldous MP


Suffolk singer Lil Chris asked for help on the day of his death

Former Rock School star Lil Chris called mental health services for help on the day of his death, an inquest heard today.

Chris Hardman was found dead at his home in Lowestoft last March at the age of just 24.

The singer had been receiving treatment for depression and had spoken openly about struggling with his mental health after his music career failed to live up to its early promise.

His family said they hoped their tragedy would encourage more openness about the condition.

Serena Sandhu reports.

Family calls for better mental health education following Lil Chris' death

Chris Hardman, known as Lil Chris, in 2009. Credit: Press Association.

The family of Suffolk singer Lil Chris has called for better education around mental health.

As an inquest today concluded the 24-year-old, whose real name was Chris Hardman, had taken his own life, his sister Hannah Hardman said she hoped something positive could come from his death.

She said her brother had always been very open about his history of depression.

Chris Hardman's sister Hannah speaking outside the coroner's court. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

"The fact that young men have mental problems isn't talked about and I think, if we can taken anything from this tragedy, it would be to educate other people and to really talk about it like he did and really be open about it."

– Hannah Hardman, sister.

Fame brought 'pain and problems' for Suffolk star Lil Chris, says coroner

Chris Hardman, who was best known as Lil Chris, in 2009. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A former child star from Suffolk killed himself after fame at an early age brought "pain and problems", a coroner has said.

Chris Hardman died on March 23 last year. He was found hanged at his home in Union Road in Lowestoft.

The 24-year-old found fame as Lil Chris in the Channel 4 show Rock School and earned a record contract and a top five hit. But he later struggled with depression.

Today an inquest into his death concluded he had taken his own life.

"It's clear this was an intentional act. Christopher was a talented young man who found fame at a young age.

"But sadly that fame brought pain and problems.

"My thoughts are with his friends and family on the loss of a talented young man in tragic circumstances."

– Peter Dean, Suffolk Coroner.

Inquest to begin into death of Suffolk singer

Chris Hardman aka Lil Chris Credit: Suffolk Police

The inquest into the death of Suffolk singer Lil Chris is due to be held today.

The 24 year old reality TV star was found dead at his home in Lowestoft last March. He had struggled with depression.

Lil Chris

The 24 year old, who's real name was Chris Hardman, shot to fame 10 years ago in the Channel 4 programme Rock School.

The inquest is due to be held in Bury St Edmunds.


Events to mark Holocaust Memorial Day to take place in east

There'll be a special wreath laying ceremony in Lowestoft Credit: ITV News Anglia

Events to mark Holocaust memorial day will be taking place across the region today.

Among them a wreath laying ceremony at Lowestoft Station. It's held in recognition of the arrival of a 'kindertransport' train that arrived with 200 Jewish children from Nazi Europe in 1938.

The children were billeted at a number of places including Pontins in Pakefield.

Schoolboy taken to hospital after colliding with a car in Suffolk

The collision happened on Normanston Drive in Lowestoft Credit: ITV Anglia

A 10-year-old boy is in a serious condition in hospital after a collision with a car in Lowestoft in Suffolk.

It happened around 3.45pm yesterday, Monday 18 January, around 200 metres from the St Peters Street/ Rotterdam Road roundabout in Normanston Drive.

The boy's leg was broken and he was taken to the Norfolk & Norwich hospital by air ambulance. He is now in a serious but stable condition.

Police are asking anyone who may have seen the collision to call them.

Norfolk Zoo carries out annual headcount

It's the time of the year when zoos in our region take stock of how many animals they have in their collections. Credit: ITV News Anglia

While some of us may be counting the pennies, zoos across the country have been totting up all their animals in their annual stocking.

Banham Zoo and Africa Alive!, near Lowestoft, are home to over 200 different species.

The information they collect goes into a database, to help conservationists keep track of, and protect, endangered species.

Man jailed for attempted rape and assault

A 26-year-old man from Lowestoft has been jailed for eight years after being found guilty of assault and attempted rape.

Umaro Balde, from Marine Parade in the town, was arrested after a woman in her 20s reported being sexually assaulted at address in Marine Parade in June this year. She had been in bed when Balde had entered and carried out the assault.

The young woman said she had been frozen in fear during the attack and had pretended to be asleep.

He was today jailed for eight years for the attempted rape and six years for assault following a four day trial.

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