ITV Meridian news in brief

News as it breaks across the region in the south, south east and Thames Valley.

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Police appeal after knifepoint robbery

British Transport Police are appealing for information after a teenage boy was robbed at knife-point on a Southend train.

The incident took place in the early hours of Tuesday onboard the 11.15pm Liverpool Street train to Southend Victoria.

As the train was arriving into Prittlewell station, around 12.20am, the suspect approached a 16-year-old boy who was sitting with his girlfriend.

“He then threatened the boy with a knife, ordering him to hand over his Blackberry mobile phone. Fearing for his safety, the victim, from Rayleigh, handed over his phone.

“Prior to this incident, the suspect began an altercation with an elderly man, who moved in an attempt to escape any violence.

“The suspect left the train at Southend Victoria with a silver pushbike. As he passed the gate he made verbal threats to a member of station staff."

– Det Const David Bishop

CCTV on the train and at stations is being viewed by detectives. It's believed the suspect boarded at Hockley station.

He is described as white, in his late teens, tall and skinny. He had light coloured hair with zig zags shaved into the back of his head.

He wore a hooded top, dark jeans and white trainers. He also wore a yellow coloured scarf in an attempt to hide his identity.

Anyone with information is asked to call British Transport Police on 0800 405040 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

This is a very detailed description and I’d urge anyone who thinks they know who it might be to contact police.

“I’d also urge the man who looked to seek refuge to come forward, as he may have key information which is vital to this investigation.”

– Det Const David Bishop

Nurse accused in Facebook care row

An Essex nurse could be struck off after being accused of accessing Facebook while caring for a critically ill child in hospital.

Titilola Orefuwa was a staff nurse at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital in Essex when the alleged incident took place in January 2010.

It is one of nine individual allegations that she will face when she appears before the Nursing and Midwifery Council's (NMC) Conduct and Competence Committee in London next Monday.

She is also accused of refusing a request by a senior nurse to change wards by replying that she would go home instead.

Ms Orefuwa, who worked at the hospital between January 2006 and April 2010, could be struck off if she is found guilty of misconduct by the NMC.


Children waiting too long for adoption

Children waiting to be adopted are spending too long in care - especially in Kent. In some cases, nearly three years.

So with children looking for loving homes, and would-be parents looking for children, why is there this delay - and why does Kent in particular have such a bad track record? Questions Sangeeta put to Jenny Whittle from the county council.

Events to support striking postal workers

Campaigners in Whitstable who're fighting to keep the Royal Mail delivery office open have planned a day of community entertainment and events to support striking postal workers on Saturday.

Delivery staff will be walking out for 24 hours as part of a day of action. They're opposed to the Royal Mail's proposals to move the office to Canterbury.

Les Miserables star to help Sussex hospice

Isabelle Allen arrives at the premiere of Les Miserables at the Empire Leicester Square, London, UK Credit: Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A star of the film Les Miserables has chosen a children's hospice to benefit from a charity collection at its premiere in her home town of Eastbourne.

Isabelle Allen, 10, stars alongside actors including Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe in the big-screen adaptation of the musical.

She plays the young Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of Fantine who is played by Anne Hathaway.

Isabelle won the role after being spotted in a production of The Pied Piper Of Hamelin at her school, Moira House.

To celebrate, a premiere of the film will be held at Cineworld at the Sovereign Harbour Retail Park, in Eastbourne, on January 11.

A charity collection will be held at the event to raise money for Chestnut Tree House children's hospice in West Sussex.

Isabelle's mum Elaine said: "Isabelle has been such a fortunate little girl recently and it makes me realise how lucky she is to have her health, something the children at Chestnut Tree House sadly don't have.

"We have almost managed to fill the cinema on January 11 and therefore hope that the public donate generously to the hospice."

Windfarm plans withdrawn

Windfarms are becoming a familiar sight along our coasts. Credit: ITV Meridian

Plans to build almost 200 wind turbines off the coast of Sussex have been withdrawn.

Energy company E.ON says that its engineers need to carry our further consultation work before they can go ahead with the Rampion project.

The company hopes to resubmit the planning application in February.


Police appeal for missing man

Have you seen this man? Credit: Kent Police

Kent Police are appealing for help to trace a man who has been missing since Christmas Eve. 50 year old Stephen Wardle was last seen at his home in Warwick Road, Cliftonville, Margate.

He is described as slim, 6ft tall with light brown receding hair. Anyone who knows his whereabouts is asked to contact Kent Police on 101.

Police appeal after station assault

Do you recognise this man? Credit: Hampshire Police

Police investigating an attack outside Basingstoke train station have released an e-fit image of a man they want to speak to.

On Thursday, December 27, at about 9.30am, a 39-year-old man was walking in the train station when he was approached by another who asked him to “take a walk” with him.

The victim refused and was punched in the back and side of the head. He then fell to the ground and was repeatedly kicked to the head.

It is believed the attacker then ran off down a footpath next to the ramp leading to the Festival Place and Malls car parks.

The victim was treated by paramedics at the scene. Fortunately, he didn’t sustain any serious injuries.

The attacker is described as a white man aged in his late 30s to early 40s and of a medium build.

PC Melanie Davis said: “This incident occurred at busy time on a weekday morning so there would have been lots of people around.

“Did you see anything suspicious? Do you recognise the man in the e-fit image?”

Anyone with information is asked to call Basingstoke Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Profits on the up for Mini

The Oxfordshire built Mini has had its best sales in the UK since its launch 11 years ago.

Last year just over two per cent more cars were sold compared to 2011. It's share of the UK market in 2012 made it the most successful year for the car.

Stabbing accused had killed mother

A woman who stabbed two strangers with a butcher's knife had killed her mother six years earlier, the Old Bailey has heard.

Nicola Edgington stabbed her mother in Forest Row in Sussex in 2005. Today she went on trial today accused of the murder of a passer-by in south east London.

She was under the supervision of a psychiatric nurse at the time.

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