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Police search for missing pensioner

Have you seen Shirley? Credit: Humberside Police

Police say they are very concerned about a 72-year-old woman who disappeared from her home in Hornsea yesterday afternoon.

Shirley Sowden was last seen in Rolston Road at 4pm yesterday when she left the house telling her son she had an errand to run. She was driving a blue/purple Nissan Micra, registration Y407 JNW.

She is 5ft 6ins tall, medium build, with grey hair and spectacles. When last seen she was wearing a pale green jacket or sweatshirt.

"There is concern for Mrs Sowden as her disappearance and subsequent lack of contact with family or friends is regarded as highly unusual and out of character. She has been ill in recent days and there is a possibility she may have become poorly while out and may now be incapacitated somewhere and in need of assistance. She has also previously suffered from depression for which she has taken medication."

– Humberside Police

Police patrols have been searching the area in and around Hornsea for several hours.

Anyone who knows where she is or who thinks they may have seen her or her vehicle since 4pm yesterday, is asked to contact Humberside Police on telephone 101 immediately referring to log 421 of September 3 2015.


Man left unconscious in Hornsea gang attack

Police investigating the assault of two Hornsea men by a gang of men in the early hours of Sunday August 2 as they walked home from the resort's Floral Hall are asking for witnesses to come forward.

The two men, who were aged 52 and 29, were allegedly attacked just after 3am close to the Promenade Villas / Esplanade by 10-15 men in their 20s and 30s.

The 52 year-old victim was knocked unconscious and sustained cuts and bruises to his arms and body, internal injuries and a black eye. The 29 year-old victim sustained minor injuries.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information should contact Humberside Police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference 2129604.

Man jailed for sexual offences against vulnerable boys in Hornsea

A man has been jailed for 17 years after pleading guilty of sexual offences against vulnerable boys in East Yorkshire.

Credit: Humberside Police

41-year-old Benjamin Mercer was found guilty of 13 sexual offences against boys aged between five and 16 at Hull Crown Court.

The offences occurred throughout the 1990s in the Hornsea area of East Yorkshire, but the most recent offence occurred in Newquay, Cornwall in 2000.

Police believe that Mercer may have committed further sexual offences in the Hornsea, Newquay and Brighton areas of England and are urging any victims to contact the police.

Detective Inspector Emma Heatley said: “This is a fantastic result for Mercer’s victims, which showcased the hard work and dedication of the Protecting Vulnerable People team and has seen a dangerous predator taken off the streets. Mercer was found guilty of 13 of the 15 charges brought against him, which shows the criminal justice system treats offending of this nature very seriously. Mercer was arrested in Hornsea in 1998, however there was insufficient evidence to charge him with any offences at that time. Subsequently, further victims and information were reported to the police which have led to Mercer being imprisoned for 17 years. He is clearly a sexual predator and we believe there may be more victims of Mercer over the last 20 years. He lived and worked in Hornsea prior to moving to Newquay in 1998 and moved to the Brighton area in 2000. We are now encouraging any further victims of Mercer – no matter how historic – to come forward and call the police to ensure he is brought justice for all his offending.

– Detective Inspector Emma Heatley, Humberside Police

Football match raises more than £10,000 in memory of Hornsea teenager

A football match to raise money in memory of a teenager from Hornsea has raised more than £10,000.

Josh Fell

Josh Fell was playing football when he went into cardiac arrest. Since then his parents have raised funds for his former school in the town to hold regular routine heart screenings. They now want to widen this to the rest of the country.

More than £3000 was raised by auctioning off Dean Windass's man of the match trophyfrom the day Hull City earned a place in the Premier League.


Shopkeeper's defiance at ban on fruit and veg display

A shopkeeper from Hornsea says he has been unfairly singled out after the council told him to remove tables of fruit and veg from the pavement outside.

Alvin Wilkinson started selling the produce after a new supermarket opened, cutting his trade. Officials say customers stopping to pick items off his display are blocking the footpath. James Webster reports.

Shopkeeper says other shops' displays narrow pavements more

The shopkeeper in Hornsea, who has been told to remove his fruit and vegetables from outside his shop, says other traders on the same street are not being singled out in the same way. Alvin Wilkinson points out that their displays (below) are on narrower sections of pavements than his tables.

A fruit and vegetable display outside another shop in Hornsea Credit: ITV News Calendar

Mr Wilkinson only started selling local produce after a new supermarket opened nearby as a way of attracting customers back to his business. Since then he says trade has improved significantly.

Peaches and strawberries outside Countdown in Hornsea Credit: ITV News Calendar

Council explains reasons behind banning shopkeeper's produce display

East Riding of Yorkshire has been explaining its decision to ask shopkeeper Alvin Wilkinson to remove his tables of fruit and vegetables from the outside of his store in Hornsea.

Unlike some authorities, this council does not have a zero tolerance approach to the display of goods for sale, or advertising boards on the highway (including pavements). Instead, we try to work with businesses to strike a balanced approach. We consider the needs of businesses to attract custom and the benefits that some displays might add to the vibrancy of the town, and we balance that against the need for the free flow of pedestrians, avoiding obstructions, and an uncontrolled proliferation of signage and other displays.

This pragmatic approach can sometimes be difficult to achieve and from time to time business owners are requested to remove or reduce ‘offending’ items.

In this particular instance, following complaints received and subsequent investigation, it was found that, whilst the display itself did not cause a particular obstruction, groups of shoppers around the display meant that other pedestrians often had to move out on to the road in order to pass it. Indeed it was claimed that a child had actually been struck by a car wing mirror in the process of stepping into the road to get round the shoppers. This obvious danger was therefore not an acceptable situation, which led to the request for the removal of the display.

– East Riding of Yorkshire Council spokesperson
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