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Robber who held gun to woman's head is jailed

A masked man who held a gun to a woman's head during a robbery at her flat in Worthing has been jailed.

37-year-old Leon Hazel has been jailed for nine years

37-year-old Leon Hazel, aka Cohen, from Hove, was convicted of robbery and possession of a firearm in March this year. He's been sentenced to nine years behind bars.

On 27 October, three men wearing Guy Fawkes masks knocked on the door of a flat in Thorn Road.

The owner of the flat, who was 21 at the time, was forced to hand over approximately £1,000 in cash, which she had saved for a trip to Disneyland for her and her young daughter.

The trio also stole two mobile phones during the robbery. No body was injured.

Police say enquiries are still ongoing in relation to two further suspects involved in the robbery.

Drivers escape 3 car accident without major injury

The carriageway had to be closed for investigations

Sussex Police said that a number of people escaped without major injuries from a crash involving three cars on the A27 Arundel Road near Clapham in Worthing.

The accident happened after 4pm on Friday 6th May. The carriageway was closed for the police to carry out investigations.

One car was very badly damaged

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Roads flooded from burst water main

Emergency services are at the scene in South Farm Road Credit: Eddie Mitchell

Part of Worthing has been flooded.

A water main has burst on South Farm Road. Police have been there and cordoned off the area.

Engineers are working on the problem.

Emergency services are at the scene in South Farm Road Credit: Eddie Mitchell

Man jailed for causing death by dangerous driving

Michael Everson has been sentenced to six years in jail Credit: Sussex Police

A Lancing man who was driving a van which left the road and crashed into a tree, killing one of the passengers, has been jailed for six years.

32-year-old Michael Everson, who's unemployed, and of Gravelly Crescent, was sentenced after appearing at Chichester Crown Court on Tuesday.

Everson was banned from driving for six years.

Everson had been at the wheel of a red Vauxhall Movano van shortly before 1am on Saturday, June 13, last year when it left the road in Offington Avenue in Salvington, Worthing, and struck a tree near its junction with Offington Drive.

Passenger Samuel Frost died at the scene.

Everson fled the scene on foot but was traced and arrested.

"Our investigation found that Michael Everson had consumed a mixture of alcohol, cocaine and cannabis in the hours prior to the collision. At the time of the collision he was also carrying four people in the front passenger seats of the van which were only designed to safely carry two people.

"His decision to drive the van that evening in such an intoxicated state, and with so many passengers, was highly irresponsible and ultimately led to the tragic death of Samuel Frost.

"The gravity of this case was further aggravated by the fact the Everson ran away from the scene in an attempt to evade responsibility for his actions."

– Sergeant Rob Baldwin, of the Sussex Road Policing unit

Man jailed for secret filming in female friend's bedroom

Theatre director jailed for secretly filming friend as she got undressed Credit: Sussex Police

A 24-year-old man has been jailed for hiding a video camera in his female friend's bedroom so that he could watch the woman getting undressed - in what she thought was the privacy of her own room.

Tarran Collins, 24, a theatre director from Shakespeare Road in Worthing was found guilty of voyeurism and two separate counts of making an indecent photograph of a child at Chichester Magistrates Court on 7th January 2016.

"She was a friend of yours. You went to her house, her family's house, under the guise of being her friend and while she was absent from her bedroom you concealed a camera in there so that you could secretly film and record her getting undressed and being naked in the privacy of her own bedroom.

"You had taken steps to acquire the camera, under an alias, so that you would not be discovered because you knew what you were doing was fundamentally wrong. She did find the camera, but not before it had been operating and filming her getting undressed. You were confronted with what you had done and you denied it."

– His Honour Judge Christopher Parker

Collins appeared before Chichester Crown Court for sentencing on 5th February and was sentenced to a maximum of 20 months with at least 16 months to be served. He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for five years.

The judge said the only mitigating factor was that Collins had undergone some voluntary therapy.

However, taking into an account a previous conviction for twelve offences of making indecent images of children for which Collins was given a suspended 12 month sentence in 2012, the judge said: "Given the escalation in your offending, the type of offending and the spread of offences here, you do pose a significant risk of serious harm to members of the public, particularly young women and teenage girls, that risk arising from your committing further specified offences.".

Concern for missing teenager

Renato Bajamaj was last seen in Worthing on the 6th January Credit: Sussex Police

Police are appealing for the public's help to find a missing teenager from Worthing.

Renato Bajamaj who's 17 and from Albania was last seen at the address he had been staying at in Brighton Road on the afternoon of 6th January.

However, he was also seen in Harrow Road in Brent, north London, on the 9th January.

He is described as white, Albanian, about 5' 5", of slim build, with brown eyes, short black hair and facial hair. He was last seen wearing a black jacket, jeans and trainers.

"We are concerned for the welfare of Renato due to him not knowing anyone within the UK and him not answering his phone.

"Please get in touch if you have any information which can help us find him and make sure he is ok."

– PC Mark Green

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Residents urged to keep doors locked after burglary

Residents are being urged to keep their doors locked following a burglary in Worthing. Police received reports a woman had attempted to steal a handbag from an address in Beeches Avenue at about 8.30pm on Wednesday (23 December).

The suspect was disturbed by the homeowner and a struggle ensued, before she fled the scene having been chased in the direction of the A27 Upper Brighton Road.

The complainant returned home shortly afterwards to discover two 70cl bottles of vodka - one of which was Smirnoff - two 70cl bottles of Bells whiskey and a 70cl bottle of Bacardi rum were missing.

It is believed the suspect gained entry to the house via an unlocked back door.

She is described as white, of slim build and approximately 5' tall with blonde hair in a high ponytail, wearing a long, heavy tan jacket and carrying a light coloured bag.

"Whilst people should be allowed to feel safe in the comfort of their own home, it is evident that burglars are active in the area and residents should keep their properties secure accordingly.

We would urge anyone with any information to contact us on 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101, quoting serial 1384 of 23/12."

– Investigating officer Tom Carpenter, Sussex Police

Residents urged to recycle Christmas trees

West Sussex residents with real Christmas trees are being encouraged to recycle them this festive season. All real Christmas trees – minus baubles, lights and tinsel – can be taken to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Site and added to the green waste container.

Some districts offer alternatives to this.

  • Worthing and Adur will collect and recycle your real Christmas tree for you at the same time as they collect your rubbish, if you put it out for collection on your usual bin day from mid-January.
  • In Mid Sussex, you cannot leave it on the kerbside, but there are 26 additional sites where you can take your real tree for recycling from 31 December until 14 January. Just be sure to place your tree in the marked bay.
  • Residents in Chichester can leave trees next to their green waste bins, but those in Arun and Horsham are asked to cut up their trees and place them inside.

If you would like more information, visit your local district council website.

Concern for missing teenage friends

Credit: Sussex Police

Police are concerned for the welfare of two teenage friends who've gone missing from Worthing.

Stacy Baldwin was last seen at her home on Monday. Her friend Lacey Eason, who's 16, went missing in Worthing on Saturday.

We believe the girls are together and have travelled to London. We are concerned for their welfare due to their age and vulnerability.

– PC Dan Johnson, Sussex Police

Stacy is described as:

  • 5' 7"
  • stocky
  • pink coloured hair worn in a ponytail
  • green eyes and a pale complexion.
  • wearing blue jeans, a black coat with a fur lined hood and blue trainers.

Lacey is described as:

  • 5' 3"
  • thin
  • brown straight shoulder length hair and a pale complexion
  • last seen wearing a knee length camel coloured coat with fur collar, blue skinny jeans, a black top and white Addidas trainers.
  • bright red lipstick and her hair in two French plaits.

Plans for 21-storey tower on Worthing seafront rejected

Plans for 21-storey tower on Worthing seafront rejected Credit: Roffey Homes

Plans to build a 21-storey block of flats on Worthing seafront has been rejected by councillors.

The £40m development would have included the tower and surrounding flats on the former Aquarena site, about half a mile east of Worthing Pier.

Planners said the building was too high and would harm local heritage.

See a video of the plans below:

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