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Woman fined £45k for turning home into cannabis factory

A 50-year-old woman had to pay £45,000 after she turned her Bexhill home into a cannabis factory.

Sally Peake was found growing the drug at her home in Seabourne Road in 2011.

She was charged with producing cannabis and abstracting electricity.

She pleaded guilty when she appeared in court and was given a 16-month suspended prison sentence.

Now, she has been told she must hand over £45,000 she made by producing cannabis at her home and has six months to repay the money or she could be jailed.

Lewes Crown Court was told the cannabis factory was discovered by uniformed officers on patrol who noticed the distinctive smell as they walked in the area.

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The woman was found growing more than 50 cannabis plants Credit: PA

Officers found cannabis worth more than £5,000 that had been cut, ready to be sold and its thought the plants could produce £40,000 of cannabis a year.

Police also found more than £7,000 in her home, cannabis seeds and a large quantity of cannabis in the freezer. Peake also had £55,000 in the bank.

She denied ever selling it and insisted she grew it for her own use, smoking a joint a day. However, the plants were producing more cannabis each month than Peake would use at that rate in a year.

The cannabis farm was using more than £220 a month of electricity to grow the drugs.

Woman wakes to find burglar in bedroom

A 68-year-old woman awoke to find a burglar in her Bexhill bedroom.

In the early hours of Sunday morning a person broke into a house in Bexhill and the 68-year-old woman woke up to find the person in her room.

They stole distinct antique rings, one with a pink diamond and the other with rubies as well as a string of freshwater pearls.

This was obviously a terrifying experience for the woman and we are working closely with her to establish the full facts of the incident.

We are keen to speak with anyone who may have been in the area around 1.35am or have information that could assist the investigation. The suspect is described as slim and dressed all in black except their hands, which were small, and they had a well spoken voice.

The victim said they were young but is unsure if they were a man or a woman."

– Detective Sergeant Paul Graham

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Man arrested over offensive James Bulger tweets

A man has been arrested for allegedly sending offensive tweets about murdered toddler James Bulger.

Sussex detectives arrested a 62-year old man in Bexhill on Thursday 22 May, on suspicion of sending offensive Twitter messages, contrary to the Malicious Communications Act 1993.

He was interviewed and bailed until 28 August while enquiries continue.

Officers are co-ordinating their enquiries with Merseyside Police as the Twitter messages were initially reported to that force, but the investigation in Bexhill is being carried out by Sussex Police.

Appeal to help find missing teenager

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Jake Gillespie failed to show up at school on Tuesday Credit: Sussex Police

Police are asking for the public's help to find a missing teenager from Bexhill. Jake Gillespie, who's 15, failed to turn up for school on Tuesday morning. Police believe Jake may be staying with friends in Hastings.

Sgt Dave Gill said: "Jake has in fact been missing since Saturday but he arrived home in Elderwood Close, Bexhill, for a short time on Monday morning and has not returned. We are asking Jake to get in touch to say he is OK.

We know Jake frequents skate parks in Hastings and it's possible that he may be staying with friends in the town. Local officers are aware that he has been reported missing." Anyone who knows where he is is asked to contact police. Jake is white, 5' 4'', pale with a teddy boy-style blonde haircut.

Missing teen hasn't been seen since end of March

Jake Gillespie hasn't been seen since Friday 28th March Credit: Sussex Police

Sussex Police are growing concerned for a missing teenager from Bexhill-on-Sea who hasn't been seen since the end of March.

Jake Gillespie, who is 15-years-old, was last seen at his home on Elderwood Close.

It's thought he was going to catch his bus to school in St Leonards but he never turned up.

He is also thought to have returned home on Sunday 30th March to get some clothes but he was never physically seen by his family.

There have been sightings of Jake in the Hastings town centre but it is not known where he is now.

Anyone who has seen Jake or thinks they have seen him are asked to call 101, quoting 1516 of 1/4.

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Archaeologists make discovery on site of controversial road scheme

Archaeologists from Oxford surveying the site of a controversial road scheme have found flint tools dating back 12,000 years. The scientists have been carrying out excavations along the route of the Bexhill to Hastings link road in Sussex.

Protesters say the road is unnecessary and a blight on the landscape.

But its construction is giving archaeologists a unique opportunity to discover more about the way our ancient ancestors lived. Malcolm Shaw reports.

Police release CCTV following assault on staff

British Transport Police have released images of a man they want to speak to in connection with an assault on a member of staff at Bexhill train station.

A man became aggressive and grabbed the staff member's arm in the booking hall in September. The victim was shaken up, but not hurt.

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Police release CCTV images following an assault on staff member Credit: British Transport Police

PC Pete Cooke, based at BTP Brighton, said, "Train staff are paid to do a job serving the public, not to receive abuse, and we will not tolerate any attacks of this nature."

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Police release CCTV images following an assault on staff member Credit: British Transport Police
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Police release CCTV images following an assault on staff member Credit: British Transport Police

Man dies after car crashes into parked van

At about 1.05am on Thursday 29 August a green Citroen Saxo car collided with a parked van in Holliers Hill, Bexhill.

One of the four people in the car, a man, ran off and the three other occupants were taken to hospital.

One of them, a 19-year old man, sadly died at the Conquest Hospital in Hastings, and the other two, a man aged 18 and a woman aged 19, were taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton with serious but not life threatening injuries.

Enquiries are ongoing to trace the man who ran off.

"We are asking anyone who saw what happened, or who saw the Saxo in the area immediately beforehand, to contact us via 101 or email us at 'collision.appeal@sussex.pnn.police.uk', quoting Operation Account."

– Sergeant Dave Morgan of the Sussex Roads Policing Unit at Polegate

Eastbourne couple jailed for historic sex offences

Ian St Claire and Gillian St Claire
Ian St Claire and Gillian St Claire Credit: Sussex Police

A couple from Eastbourne in Sussex have been jailed for eight years and two-and-a-half-years respectively for historic sex offences against children.

Ian St Claire was found guilty of 16 offences in relation to attacks on two vulnerable boys in Bexhill and Eastbourne.

Gillian St Claire was jailed for three offences of ill treating and neglect.

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