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AA says councils should scrap pay by phone parking

Credit: ITV Meridian

A new report from the AA says councils should scrap mandatory pay by phone parking as they are deeply unpopular, with two thirds of drivers refusing to use them.

The cashless parking machines accept payment by drivers calling or texting an automated service.

More and more towns in our region have adopted the technology.

As Andy Dickenson reports.

Andy spoke to Jack Cousens from the AA and Cllr Gill Mitchell Brighton and Hove City Council, Lab.

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Maternity services at Horton will be downgraded

  • Watch the video report below by Charlotte Cross
Protests have been held against the changes Credit: ITV Meridian

The maternity unit at Horton General Hospital in Banbury is set to be downgraded following a vote today by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Campaigners have been fighting proposed changes with a number of protests held.

In October, the facility became midwife-led due to problems recruiting doctors.

The decision will see the vast majority of expectant mothers travelling 20 miles down the road to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Shoppers warned to be on alert for thieves

Customers are being watched as they enter PIN numbers Credit: ITV

Supermarket shoppers in Sussex are being reminded to be on alert for thieves.

It a recent spate of incidents supermarket customers, and some other shoppers, have been watched while entering their PIN numbers. They had their purses and wallets stolen as they left the stores.

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Demo to save respite centre for young disabled

Demonstrators in Southampton Credit: Sam holder

Dozens of people have been protesting over plans to close a respite centre in Southampton which its users say is "vital".

The facility in Shirley is due to stop providing care in a bid to save three hundred thousand pounds. But familes say without it they'll have no break from caring for their children with severe disabilies.

Gardener jailed for stealing savings of 98-year-old

A man who was hired by an elderly woman as her gardener gained her confidence and then stole her savings of almost £170,000.

45-year-old Russell Scott Joy was trusted by Mary Brady to withdraw money from her bank for daily living expenses.

But he stole huge amounts of money and once bought a Land Rover. The family of 98-year-old Mrs Brady, who lived in Broadstone, discovered the theft after she was taken into hospital. She died earlier this month.

Joy, of High Street in Shapwick near Blandford, was sentenced to five years and one month in prison after pleading guilty to six counts of fraud by abuse of position.

In 2008 when he started working for Mrs Brady his landscaping business had failed, he owed money to his bank and he faced financial difficulties following the break-up of his marriage.

Russell Scott Joy stole from elderly woman Credit: Dorset Police
Victim Mary Brady Credit: Dorset Police

We are desperately sad about what happened to Mary. She lived such a wonderful life and Joy’s cruel actions and his abuse of her trust have tainted that.

Joy managed to completely pull the wool over the family’s eyes to hide what he was doing. The whole situation has been emotionally draining for everyone, but there is relief at the length of the sentence.

This was a very ugly end to a very beautiful life. We have wonderful memories of Mary and she will be terribly missed.”

– Mary Brady's family

'Heir hunter' cheated victims out of £100,000

An 'heir hunter' has been given a two-year prison sentence after admitting cheating 19 victims across the UK out of almost £100,000.

Daniel Morgan Bates, 45, of Beach Gardens, Selsey, operated as 'Morgan Bates Services Ltd', researching family trees and tracing the beneficiaries to estates of deceased people.

He tracked down each person, calling them to say they were beneficiaries of unclaimed wills and got them to sign contracts so he could claim the cash for them. He agreed to pay over the sums he got from the official receiver, less his 25 per cent, but he never did, ignoring victims, becoming aggressive or using delaying tactics.

Fraudster Daniel Bates Credit: Sussex Police

We believe Bates contacted beneficiaries from various public sources including the Unclaimed Estates List published by the Bono Vacantia Division of the Government Legal Department (GLD) to give him authority over the estate. This enabled him to administer the estate without the need or expense of a solicitor. Once he obtained control of the estate, he contacted the various financial institutions to close bank accounts and once in receipt of the estate monies into his bank account, he cut off all communication with the beneficiaries, who saw nothing of their inheritance.

In many cases the family beneficiaries were vulnerable, either elderly or unaware of the legal processes involved in probate. This made them easy targets of the fraudulent activity that Bates engaged in. Families were left in limbo waiting for an update which never came. Heir hunting is an unregulated industry. This case has highlighted the importance of seeking proper legal advice where appropriate, so that any process is fully understood, before signing over valuable documents.

Bates has failed to pay back any of the victims and we will now be taking proceedings against him to seek confiscation of his available assets. There will be a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act at Portsmouth Crown Court on 3 November.

– Detective Constable Paul Gilmour
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