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Woman admits £29,000 benefit fraud

A woman from West Wittering has been given a prison sentence after falsely claimed nearly £29,000 in benefits.

Lorely Day had claimed the money for over six years without declaring that she had a substantial monthly private pension.

Miss Day received a 12 week prison sentence, suspended for 2 years, after claiming £23,369.58 in Housing Benefit and £5,629.69 in Council Tax benefit between November 2006 and January 2013.

She pleaded guilty at Worthing Magistrates Court to charges of dishonestly making false statements to Chichester District Council.

Benefit fraud is a very serious crime and we will prosecute those people guilty of it. All income and capital has to be declared, no matter what its source. The benefits system is there to help those most in need, not those who want to abuse it by claiming money they are not entitled to receive."

– Cllr Tony Dignum, Cabinet Member for Finance at Chichester District Council

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Warning after men rescued from sea

Matt West, Watch Manager at Solent MRCC, said: "If you are heading out for a swim, check the sea conditions and remember that even though the sea may look calm on the surface, there is the danger of strong currents underneath.

"Always check tide times as well so that you can avoid being cut off by the incoming tide.

"If you see someone in difficulty, you should call 999 immediately and ask for the Coastguard."

Sea rescue: First pictures

People watch on as the rescue operation takes hold Credit: Len Tyler

Three men have been taken to hospital after they became stuck on a sandbank and were then overwhelmed by the incoming tide off West Wittering.

Solent Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) was first contacted at 5.40pm this evening by West Wittering Lifeguards.

Helicopter comes into land on the beach Credit: Len Tyler

Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lee-on-Solent and Selsey Coastguard Rescue Team, along with the two RNLI lifeboats from Hayling Island, the harbour patrol boat from Chichester and the inshore rescue boat from West Wittering. Police and Ambulance were also in attendance.

A helicopter is scrambled to assist with the rescue Credit: Len Tyler

Two of the men were airlifted by the Coastguard helicopter to the QA hospital in Portsmouth, while the other was taken by ambulance to St. Richard's hospital in Chichester.

Hero jet skier rescues men from sea

Three men who got into difficulty while swimming at a Sussex beach were rescued by a jet skier, police have said.

The men, all in their 20s, were swimming at West Wittering when the drama unfolded.

Police say the jet skier helped rescue them before seven ambulances arrived to help the stricken trio.

A Sussex police spokesman said two of the men were airlifted to QA Hospital at Portsmouth. One is in a serious condition, while the other has minor injuries.

The third man was taken to St Richard's Hospital at Chichester. He is in a stable condition.

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Coastguard and lifeboat called to Sussex beach

A Solent coastguard helicopter and a lifeboat crew were called out this evening after reports that three young men got into trouble in waters at a beach in West Sussex. An RNLI spokeswoman said a lifeboat crew from Hayling Island was sent out to West Wittering at 5.45pm.

There are reports that two of the three young men were treated at the scene and have been airlifted to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. More details to follow.

Accidental death of 'extraordinarily brave' rescuer

A coroner today hailed an "extraordinarily brave" man who drowned saving a young girl who was being swept out to sea. Bulgarian Plamen Petkov, 32, gave no thought to his own safety as he leapt into the water off West Wittering, West Sussex, on May 26, to rescue five-year-old Darleen Myint.

West Sussex Assistant Deputy Coroner Joe Turner praised Mr Petkov's actions as he was overcome with exhaustion and was tragically swept away. He recorded a verdict of accidental death. The youngster's mother, San Thidar Myint, called him a "brave and honourable man" who had not hesitated to help.

Inquest for hero who died saving drowning child

An inquest is due to be held today into the death of a man who drowned trying to rescue a young girl from London as she was being swept out to sea.

Plamen Petkov, 32, entered the water at West Wittering, Sussex, after the five-year-old was being carried away by the tide.

The Bulgarian managed to reach the girl and pass her to a woman who brought her back to her family on the shore in May.

But Mr Petkov, of Westmoreland Drive, Sutton, failed to reach dry land himself and he was recovered unconscious from the water by others at the scene.

A post-mortem examination at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester confirmed he died from drowning.

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