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Maintenance man jailed for care home sex offences

A 57-year-old Hove man has been jailed for two years after being found guilty of nine sexual offences at a care home.

Paul Brown Credit: Sussex Police

Paul Brown, of Clarendon Road, worked as a maintenance man at Springfields Care Home in Hove. He was convicted at Brighton Crown Court on September 11 for offences that took place at the care home between 2004 and 2012.

Brown was convicted on seven counts of sexual assault by touching seven female members of care staff. He was also convicted of voyeurism and being a careworker engaged in sexual activity with a mentally disordered female.

This related to kissing a vulnerable resident who was suffering with a mental disorder.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register for ten years.

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Man attacked with bag of stones in Hove

Police want to speak to a man captured on CCTV after after a shopkeeper was attacked with a bag of stones in Hove.

Credit: Sussex Police

The victim was working at a newsagents in Portland Road when a man approached him with a bag of stones and struck him over the head from behind.

He turned and fought off the attacker who fled from the shop leaving his weapon behind.

The victim suffered a cut head and bruising.

The attacker was white, slim, 20 to 30 and about 5' 10". He was wearing a green jacket, dark bottoms and blue trainers with a white trim. He was carrying a light grey or green rucksack.

The incident happened at about 8.30pm on 21 August.

This was a nasty attack but we don't know what the man's motive was as he did not take anything from the shop.

Although this happened several weeks ago, we are still determined to find the man involved. If you recognise him or know where he could be please contact us.

– Detective Constable LĂ©onie White

Parents delight after academy plans thrown out

Parents have been celebrating today after controversial plans to turn a Sussex school into an academy were dramatically thrown out. The headteacher of Hove Park had been the driving force behind conversion But late in the day he advised governors to vote against the plan, to avoid what he called "unrest and disruption" at the secondary school. Malcolm Shaw has our report.

Headteacher makes u-turn over school academy plans

There's been a dramatic about-turn tonight by a Head Teacher who had, until now, told staff and pupils that their school should become an Academy.

Derek Trimmer released a statement ahead of a crunch vote this evening - which will consider the future of Hove Park in Sussex. He HAD said that an Academy, independent of local authority control, could bring better exam results. But, many parents, as many as seven out of ten, have been opposing change. Christine Alsford looks at the background.

Sussex School U-Turn on plans for Academy status

A meeting will be held tonight on plans to convert Hove Park School Credit: ITV Meridian

A secondary school in Sussex that was hoping to become an academy has performed a dramatic U-Turn hours ahead of a crucial vote tonight.

The head teacher at Hove Park secondary school and sixth form is now urging governors to vote against a proposal to convert the school.

It comes after a fierce five month campaign of opposition by parents and campaigners who want it to remain under local authority control.

A statement issued by Hove Park head teacher Derek Trimmer - this afternoon says:

"I believe that with the level of uncertainty that exists amongst members of our community and the resulting level of opposition that may harm the progress of the children in our school, the time is not right for driving through such a change.

"Therefore I will be recommending to governors to vote against the proposed academy status and to support us in delivering our vision through continued partnership and willingness to consider a future where a family of schools could work together to benefit all the children of our community."

The meeting of governors tonight will decide whether or not to convert the school and follows months of opposition from parents and campaigners.

The Hands off Hove Park campaign have held protests, marches, held public meetings and even composed songs to voice their anger. They say academy status will make the school less accountable and fear it will be run more like a business.

In a ballot of 600 parents, more than 70 per cent voted against conversion.

And even some of the 1,700 pupils voiced their opposition with a demonstration on the school fields.

In some other parts of the region, three quarters of secondary schools have already become academies receiving extra freedoms and more control over their own budgets, timetabling and curriculum.

But Brighton and Hove has only three secondary schools that have been turned into academies because of poor performance - and high performing Hove Park would be the first to convert to academy status out of choice.

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Hunt for sexual offender who absconded from court in Sussex

Police hunt convicted rapist Credit: Sussex Police

28 year old Sarbaz Najmadeen Ali went on the run after standing trial for a serious of sexual offences against a 23-year-old man in Hastings last year.

Ali had been granted bail by Hove Crown Court that allowed him to leave the dock during the lunch break in his trial as long as he did not leave the building. However on Thursday (4 September), part way through the judge's summing up during the trial, Ali fled from the court and disappeared. Officers have so far been unable to trace him.

The jury convicted Ali in his absence of rape, attempted rape and three counts of sexual assault. All of the offences were against the same victim.

A warrant has now been issued for the arrest of Ali, of Stockleigh Road, St Leonards, who previously worked as a barber in the town. Ali is 5' 7" and when he fled court he had black hair and heavy growth around his chin.

Detective Constable Julian Stokes said: "There is no evidence to suggest that Ali will commit further offences while he is at large but we need to find and arrest him as quickly as possible. The jury has found him guilty of these nasty offences but his victim does not have justice yet as Ali has not been punished".

Anyone with information should email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk, call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

65 years under the Big Top

Now, have you ever wanted to join the circus? Well, if so, Norman Barrett could probably give you some advice. He's spent practically his entire life under the Big Top. Awarded an MBE in 2010, he is now celebrating his 65th year in the business! Andy Dickenson caught up with the legendary ringmaster in Hove.

Teachers will strike against turning school into academy

Parents went on strike last weekend against plans to turn Hove Park into an academy Credit: ITV News Meridian

Teachers at a school in Hove have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action next Wednesday against plans to turn it into an academy.

Last weekend, parents joined a march against the proposals which take Hove Park out of local authority control.

Dozens march in protest against school Academy plans

Parents have taken to the streets to protest against plans to turn a school into an Academy. They want to stop Hove Park School in Brighton being independently run, outside the control of the local authority.

John Ryall talks to Mark Steel, Comedian; Caroline Lucas MP; Natasha Steel, Campaigner; and Adam Powley, Parent, in his report.

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