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Happy staff at John Lewis - full report

With the economy struggling and so many big name High Street stores going under - there was good news today for one Berkshire based retail giant.

John Lewis and Waitrose, with their headquarters in Bracknell, announced a rise of more than 15% in pre-tax profits. And as an employee-owned partnership it's the staff who reap the rewards.

Penny Silvester reports and speaks to Cheryl Millington, Waitrose IT Director.

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John Lewis results due

Staff at John Lewis will be watching closely as it announces its annual results later.

The business bases its food retailing arm, Waitrose, in Bracknell in Berkshire.

John Lewis Partnership's unique co-owned business model means that annual profits are distributed to its employees rather than shareholders.

This means that every Partner at John Lewis receives a bonus which is calculated as a percentage of their pay. The same percentage is given to all Partners.

The results will announced at 9.30am.

The company is hoping that a record Christmas trading period will boost profits.

Footballer jailed for referee attack

The attack happened after a six-a-side football match Credit: Google

A footballer has been jailed for a year after attacking a referee at a six-a-side football match. James Barnett, 25, was playing in a match on an astro-turf pitch in Bracknell when he got into an argument with the referee over the colour of his top. Barnett was then shown the red card.

After the match he pushed the referee and headbutted him, before kicking him repeatedly in the body and head whilst he was on the floor. Barnett was pulled away by other players, including his team-mates, before he was later arrested. The referee needed surgery to remove some of his teeth.

Barnett, of Kings Road, West Drayton, admitted a charge of ABH.

PC Ashley Todd, of Bracknell CID, said: “Barnett was angry about being shown a red card and took out his frustration by carrying out an unprovoked and reckless assault on the victim, which could have easily been more serious."

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Trees help supermarket become 'lowest carbon branch'

Yateley Wood is helping to power Waitrose in Bracknell. Credit: Andrew Pate

The Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Gregory Barker MP, will open the new energy centre at Waitrose Bracknell today.

Mr Barker will be shown the latest 'green' technologies that make it the supermarket's lowest carbon branch and discuss how the sector can be more energy efficient.

The store now gets all its energy from locally grown wood, from plantations such as Yateley Wood (above), which is then chipped.

Two people convicted of child neglect

Two people have been convicted after a baby girl suffered serious injuries in Bracknell.

The charges relate to an incident in March last year where a seven month old girl was taken to hospital with a number of fractures to her legs.

At Reading Crown Court a 28-year-old man has been found guilty of causing GBH and child neglect and a 22-year-old woman has been found guilty of child neglect.

They cannot be named for legal reasons and have been released on bail until October 26 when they will be sentenced.

Det Con Andy Ward, who led the investigation, said it had been a lengthy and complex investigation.

He added: “The baby in this case was hurt by the people that should have been caring for her.

"Fortunately, it appears that she will make a full recovery from her injuries.”

Jail for own home arsonist

Roderick Lewis Credit: Berkshire Police

A Bracknell man has been jailed for two years after pleading guilty to arson recklessly endangering life.

Roderick Lewis, 58, from Mainprize Road, Bullbrook, pleaded guilty to the offence, which happened at his home earlier in the year.

On February 22 he poured petrol around the loft of the house, owned by a housing association, before lighting it. He then turned on the gas appliances and left the property.

Police and Berkshire firefighters discovered the roof of the property ablaze. The fire was, however, extinguished before it could spread any further.

DC Iain Watkinson said: “Lewis deliberately set this fire to his own house before leaving the property and walking off. His neighbours could have been seriously injured if the fire had spread.

“I am pleased with the sentence, which reflects the serious consequences Lewis’s crime could have had if not for the swift response.”

Man in court charged with Bracknell underpass murder

Muhammed Shafi is due to appear court today charged with murder Credit: INS

A man's due to appear in court today charged with murder a woman in Berkshire. 43 year old, Tuanjai Sprengel, was found dead in an underpass in Bracknell on Sunday.

28 year old Muhammed Shafi is due to appear at Reading Crown court accused of killing her. A postmortem revealed she died from head injuries.

Tuanjai Sprengel was found dead in a Bracknell underpass Credit: INS
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