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Sussex police welcome sex offender sentence

We welcome this sentence, which sends a clear message that such offences, no matter when they occurred, will be investigated and the offenders brought to justice. Sussex Police will always take accusations of this nature very seriously, no matter how long ago they occurred, and anyone who comes forward can be confident that they will be dealt with sensitively, compassionately and confidentially. I would urge anyone who has been the victim of any form of sexual assault to contact Sussex Police on 101.

– Detective Inspector Lee Horner

Former police officer jailed for sex offences with child

Michael Defries, 58, from Barnham, appeared at Lewes Crown Court yesterday afternoon for sentencing after pleading guilty to two counts of historical sexual touching against a 12-year-old girl.

Defries, formally a police sergeant with British Transport Police, was sentenced to two years in prison and was made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for 12 years.


A Taste Of History

They were once a familiar sight in our towns and cities. Most breweries used dray horses to deliver barrels of beer to pubs and ale houses, but sadly they were made redundant by mechanised horse power.

Now, though, a brewery in Sussex is turning back the clock and its horses are becoming a firm favourite with people with in and around Lewes. Charlotte Wilkins has been to see them at work.

Lewes train fight police appeal

British Transport Police are appealing for information after a fight between two groups of people on a train at Lewes train station.

The police have released an image of the man they want to speak to in connection with the incident that happened on a Brighton to Ashford train on Saturday 31st August.

Police would like to speak to this man in connection with the fight Credit: Sussex Police

Detective Constable Nigel Craig is renewing the appeal for witnesses. He said: “After the service had pulled into Lewes station, a group of men and women on the train became involved in an altercation between another group of people who were waiting to board.

“One of the women, who was part of the group, began banging on the window close to the gap between the train and the platform.

"As a concerned member of rail staff intervened, one of the men in the group rugby tackled him to the floor, causing him to fall – with the woman – close to the platform edge. The member of rail staff was left with a graze to his knee and hand.”

Woman missing from Lewes days before Christmas

Cathleen Spencer was last seen on Sunday Credit: Sussex Police

A woman from Lewes, who is suffering from the early stages of dementia, has gone missing from her home in Newton Road.

Cathleen Spencer, 59, was last seen at 10.30pm on Sunday evening (December 22).

She said she was going shopping and took a rucksack filled with carrier bags. She is known to shop at Waitrose and Tesco in Lewes. She is described as white, 5' 6", of slim build with long straight shoulder-length dark blonde hair. She has an American accent.

Anyone who sees her or knows of her whereabouts is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 quoting serial 1210 of 23/12. If she is in danger or requires medical attention, please dial 999 immediately.

Elderly woman dies after fatal fire at farm

A map of the area Credit: ITV Meridiian

An investigation has been launched after an 89-year-old woman died in a fire at a farm in East Sussex. Emergency services were called at 6.15am on Saturday to Mill Farm at Barcombe Mills near Lewes. Firefighters forced their way into the building and rescued an 89-year-old woman but she died later.

The cause of the fire is not yet known. Police know who the victim is but she has not yet been formally identified. Detective Inspector Mark O'Brien from Sussex Police said: 'This is a tragic incident and the victim's family are being supported by police and the coroner's officer.

'At this stage we are treating the cause of the fire as unexplained and we remain open minded as to how it may have started. We expect to be at the property for the next couple of days while we assess the scene and establish any causes.'


TRAINS: No trains between Lewes and Seaford

Southern trains are not running a service between Lewes and Seaford this morning.

Flooding caused by high tides has caused damage to the signalling equipment and the stability of the track at various points between the two areas.

A replacement bus service is running, calling at all stations and passengers may use Brighton & Hove buses on route 12.

  1. National

Man arrested after police shooting incident

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed that a man was arrested after special rounds were shot to stop a car on the A27 this afternoon.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Trident Gang Crime Command today carried out a 'hard stop' on a car on the A27 in Lewes, Sussex.

MPS detectives and armed officers from the MPS Specialist Firearms Command stopped the car at around 15:30hrs in relation to firearms.

No shots were fired during the stop but Hatton rounds where discharged to incapacitate the car.

There were no reports of any injuries. A suspected firearm was recovered.

A man (no further details at this time) was arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm and has been taken into custody at a local police station.

– Metropolitan Police statement
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