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Islanders' fight to return home

The former residents of the Chagos Islands - who were forced to leave their homeland in the 1960s and 70s - took their long legal battle to the UK's highest court today.

The islanders, many living in Crawley, in Sussex, went to the Supreme Court to challenge a decision by the House of Lords - which dashed their hopes of returning.

The Chagos Islands are in the Indian Ocean. Families were forced out - to make way for a US air force base on the largest island, Diego Garcia. Courts later ruled that families could return to 65 of the islands - but not that one. With the story, here's John Ryall.


VIDEO: Drunk driver spotted on wrong side of carriageway

Police have recorded a 78-year-old man from Essex who was so drunk he didn't realise he was driving the wrong way along the A24.

Godfrey Maclauchlan was spotted near Cowfold in his blue Ford Mondeo driving North - on the Southbound carriageway.

Police saw him after he turned onto the A272 with his window down despite heavy rain.

In his intoxicated state he did not notice the sirens or flashing lights as police pursued him.

Maclauchlan, of Crown Road, Billericay, pleaded guilty to drink-driving at Crawley Magistrates' Court.

He was banned from driving for 12 months, fined £250 and ordered to pay £235 costs and a £25 victim surcharge.

Lightning strike causes fire

A lightning strike has caused a fire at a house in West Sussex. Fire crews were called to the property at Rother Crescent in Crawley last night.

The rafters in the roof of the house were hot by lightning, which caused a fire on the ground floor walling and curtain.

The blaze was put out out on arrival of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. An area of roof insulation was removed and damped down.

16-year-old girl thwarts two muggers

The 16-year-old girl was walking to school through an alleyway connecting Lavant Close and Gossops Drive at about 7.20am on Wednesday 14th May. She was attacked when she reached the end of the alleyway by two men who pushed to the floor and two men demanded her phone.

The girl managed to keep hold of her phone and fought off the suspects. She then ran off. One suspect is described as white, aged in his early 20s, of skinny build, and had a deep voice with a Scottish accent. He wore a red beanie style hat, a black hoody and black tracksuit bottoms which had the word Nike written in large on the top right leg.The other suspect is described as skinny and was wearing a short sleeved black t-shirt.

Anyone with information about this or witnessed the incident should contact Sussex Police via email or by ringing 101 quoting serial 0293 of 13/05.


Concern for missing teenager

Peter Crozier was last seen on Wednesday morning Credit: Sussex Police

Police are concerned for the welfare of teenager Peter Crozier, who has gone missing from his home in Broadfield, Crawley.

Peter was last seen on Wednesdaymorning at K2 Leisure Centre in Tilgate.

Peter is white, 5' 10" to 5' 11" and of slim build with short brown hair. He was last seen wearing a large black parka style duffle coat with black skinny jeans and a small Adidas bag.

"Please contact us if you know of Peter's whereabouts. We think he may still be in the Crawley area as there have been some sightings of him near to K2 Leisure Centre in Tilgate over the past couple of days."

– PC Mark Green

Concern for missing teenagers

Amasia Patel and Chloe Woolsey failed to arrive at their schools on Monday Credit: Sussex Police

Police are searching for two missing Crawley schoolgirls

Amasia Patel, 13, and Chloe Woolsey, 14, failed to arrive at their schools in Crawley as planned on Monday morning. They were seen together near the St Wilfrids School, and are believed to have walked towards the school gates.

It is believed that the girls had made arrangements to meet each other, and had packed extra clothing to prepare to be away from home.

In the past they have remained in the Crawley area, and have been known to frequent the Skate Park,and Memorial Gardens . However on this occasion there is information to suggest that they may have travelled to Kent.

Chloe is described as whites, 5' 3", and of proportionate build, with shoulder length black straight hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing St Wilfrids School uniform and carrying a large bag.

Amasia is described as Asian, 5' 7", and of medium build with very long brown straight hair, last seen wearing a green parka coat with black sleeves, and Holy Trinity School uniform. She too was carrying a large bag.

Although there is no evidence that at this stage they have come to any harm, there is naturally growing concern for their safety.

Police hunt man who stole from vulnerable pensioner

Police appealing for help to catch this man Credit: Sussex police

Police are appealing for witnesses after a burglar broke into a vulnerable pensioner's home as she slept.

The 81-year-old was woken by the sound of her doorbell in Boundary Road, Crawley, at about 11.30am on Saturday 7 February.

The victim, who was in bed, then watched as a man entered her bedroom and began searching through her cupboards.

He took a gold and pearl necklace but then left.

Police have prepared an efit of a suspect.

He is described as white, 25 to 30 and plump or stocky. He had thick bushy eyebrows, a swarthy complexion, stubble on his chin and dark eyes.

He was wearing dark clothing.

Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie to tackle burglary across the county.

Detective Constable Jodie Palmer said: "This was a very upsetting incident for the victim and we are determined to catch the man responsible.

"If you recognise the man in the efit or have any information about the burglary, please contact us urgently."

Anyone with information should call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

  1. Tom Savvides

Driver caught speeding at 118mph

Dramatic footage of a driver reaching speeds of 118 miles an hour and driving on the wrong side of the road has been released by Sussex Police. The car narrowly avoided hitting other vehicles as it was pursued by a patrol car. The driver has been jailed for a year. Police say his actions could have killed someone. Tom Savvides has this report which includes an interview with Paul Watters from the AA.

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