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Tories hang on to Bexhill and Battle with a new face

Huw Merriman secured the Bexhill and Battle seat in Sussex for the Conservatives after the departure of Greg Barker.

Mr Baker announced he would not be seeking re-election ahead of the General Election.

Mr Merriman picked up a 54% share with 30,245 votes.

UKIP came second and Labour third.

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Bexhill and Battle: count gets underway

Staff at the Bexhill and Battle count have received the ballot boxes and are beginning to count votes for the South East constituency.

Progeria campaigner Hayley Okines has died aged 17

Hayley Okines from East Sussex has died at the age of 17 Credit: Accent Press, Hayley's autobiography promotional video

Hundreds of tributes have been paid online to Hayley Okines, a 17-year-old girl from Bexhill in East Sussex, who died on Thursday. Hayley had the rare genetic condition 'Progeria' - meaning that she aged about 8 times faster than usual for a human being.

Hayley and her family shared their lives with the media as they fundraised for her medical treatment and campaigned to raise awareness of progeria. She even published an autobiography at the age of 14 called 'Old Before My Time'.

The USA-based Progeria Research Foundation paid tribute to Hayley on its Facebook page saying:

Mother and daughter, Kerry and Hayley Okines Credit: Progeria Research Foundation & the Okines family

The entire Progeria family mourns together with many as we say goodbye to Hayley Okines, our smart, beautiful and spirited English Rose, who passed away today at age 17.

"Gone from our sight, but never our memories, gone from our touch but never our hearts..." We will miss you.

We share one of our favorite photos of Hayley and her mum, Kerry. Thank you all for your kind thoughts.

– Progeria Research Foundation

Teenager assaulted in Bexhill

Police are appealing for witnesses to an assault on 18-year-old man who was attacked in Bexhill-on-Sea, on Sunday 22 March.

The victim was part of a dispute that started in Reginald Road and continued on to Victoria Road and Windsor Road between 12.45am and 1am.

He was treated at Conquest Hospital, St Leonards, for bruising and was released later the same day.

"It is possible the victim was hit with a weapon but at this stage we do not know. Please get in contact with us if you saw anything or have any information that can help us establish what happened."

– Detective Constable Paul Semple

Three men, aged 23, 24 and 27, all from Bexhill-on-Sea were arrested on suspicion of attempting to wound with intent. All three were questioned and released on bail until Thursday 23 April.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101 quoting serial 63 of 22/03. Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Badgers make themselves at home

Badgers whose setts were bulldozed to make way for a controversial road scheme in Sussex have occupied artificial homes built for them.

Officials say it proves that measures to lessen the environmental impact of the Bexhill to Hastings link road are working.

But protesters say the project is causing massive damage to the countryside. Malcolm Shaw reports.

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Eddie Izzard's fundraiser for Bexhill pavillion

Comedian Eddie Izzard Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Comedian Eddie Izzard will play a pre-Christmas fundraiser for the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill.

The town's most famous son is bringing his latest show Force Majeure to the De La Warr Pavilion to raise money for the planned auditorium works next year.

Tickets went on sale yesterday for Eddie Izzard’s intimate show, which takes place on Tuesday, December 23, from 8pm.

Police appeal after woman raped at Bexhill bus stop

Sussex police are appealing for witnesses after a woman reported being raped at a bus stop in Ninfield Road, Bexley, in the early hours of Sunday morning, November 2.

The 17-year-old victim said a man, described as black, who she recognised as seeing before in the area, approached her and raped her at the bus stop shelter.

We have given the woman all the support we can as we investigate the circumstances. We received the report at 1.50am but the attack could have happened between 11.30pm and 12.30am.

We have made a forensic search and carried out house to house enquiries. Officers are conducting patrols in the area and would welcome anyone who has any concerns to talk to them.

– DC Julian Stokes

Anyone with any information are urged to contact police on 101, email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting serial 160 2/11, or to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Soldier's rape appeal rejected

A soldier who was jailed for six years for strangling a woman in East Sussex with the intention of raping her as she walked away from a railway station has had his appeal against his conviction and sentence rejected.

Trevor Clark, 22, was staying in Bexhill when he attacked the 18-year-old woman, who was a stranger to him, in New Park Avenue at 3.40am on August 19 2012, Sussex Police said.

He was arrested six days later and found guilty of strangulation with intent to rape following a two-week trial at Lewes Crown Court in August last year.

Clark was also told he would be on licence for four years after his release and was placed on the sex offenders register for life, a police spokesman said.

He appealed unsuccessfully against his conviction and was refused leave to further appeal against that decision, police said.

Clark also appealed against the period of his extended licence, which was also rejected by the Court of Appeal.

New stamps celebrate seasides in the south east

Ten new stamps celebrating the variety and originality of the UK's seaside architecture are being launched by the Royal Mail today.

The selection features distinctive types of architecture from resorts large and small, from the Victorian and art deco eras, to 1930s' modernism up to the present day.

Among six special stamps are images of Eastbourne's blue-domed seafront bandstand, along with a modern shelter further east on the East Sussex coast in Bexhill-on-Sea.

Eastbourne's seafront bandstand is featured on one of the stamps Credit: Royal Mail

Meanwhile, a miniature sheet of four stamps has been produced, paying tribute to the piers of Llandudno, Dunoon, Brighton and Worthing, with Southend Pier as the background image.

This shelter in Bexhill-on-Sea is featured on one of the stamps Credit: Royal Mail

"This stamp issue captures the spirit of the seaside experience through the buildings and structures that are so distinctive of the UK's resorts, which were designed for the pleasure of the visitor."

– Royal Mail spokesman Andrew Hammond

All ten stamps can be bought in a presentation pack for £10.05. The miniature sheet depicting four pier stamps is available for £3.80.

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