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Former teachers in court charged with sex offences

  • Watch Malcolm Shaw's report below
Credit: ITV Meridian

Four former teachers at an independent school in Sussex have appeared in court charged with historical sex offences.

The men all worked at Christ's Hospital School near Horsham in West Sussex.

It's alleged the offences were committed against 15 young people both males and females between 1980 and 1996.

Christ's Hospital School near Horsham Credit: ITV Meridian

Today, three of the men pleaded not guilty to all the charges they face.

A fourth man, who appeared this afternoon, did not enter pleas.

They were remanded on conditional bail to appear at Lewes Crown Court next month.

Man left in critical condition after street robbery

Police line Credit: PA

A man in his 30s has been seriously injured after a street robbery in Crawley.

The local man is believed to have been punched, causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head.

A group of youths are then alleged to have made off from the scene with his wallet.

The incident happened outside Corals betting shop in Ifield Parade at around 4.50pm yesterday.

The victim was taken to St George’s Hospital in London with head injuries, where he remains in a critical condition.

A 16-year-old boy from Crawley arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent and robbery, and a 15-year-old boy from Crawley arrested on suspicion of robbery, remain in police custody.

A 23-year-old man from Crawley arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent and robbery has been released without charge.

Anyone with any information is asked to report it online quoting Operation Kempston.

“This incident has left a local man in hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries. It happened in broad daylight in a busy area of town, when a number of people would have been around. We’re keen to speak to anyone who saw what happened, or anyone who has any video or CCTV footage of the attack.”

– Detective Inspector Vicki Tomlinson, Crawley Investigations

Shoreham air disaster: pre-inquest review to be held

A pre-inquest review is to be held today into the deaths of 11 men following the Shoreham Airshow crash.

They were killed when a vintage jet crashed onto the A27 in West Sussex in August 2015.

No evidence will be heard but a date for the full inquest should be set.

The 53 year old pilot of the Hawker Hunter jet, Andrew Hill, is being investigated for possible manslaughter by gross negligence.

He has been questioned voluntarily under caution by police.

The pre-inquest review had to be rescheduled from March due to the ongoing police investigation and to allow a final report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) to be considered.

The final AAIB report, published in March, found that Mr Hill, from Sandon, Hertfordshire, was flying too slow and too low during the loop manoeuvre.

The pre-inquest review will be held at Centenary House, Woodfield Road, Crawley, at 10.30am.


Reminder of button battery dangers

Button batteries also pose a choking hazard

Parents are being reminded of the dangers of button batteries found in many children's toys.

West Sussex County Council's Trading Standards says that they are highly dangerous if swallowed as the electrical charge creates caustic soda inside the body.

In the run up to Christmas parents are advised to ensure the batteries in any toys are securely fixed in place.

The batteries can also be found in products such as animated Christmas decorations, children's thermometers and nightlights.

Crawley shows an eco friendly twist to Christmas

The eco friendly Christmas tree made up of 600 plastic bottles Credit: ITV

A Christmas tree made up of more than 600 reusable plastic bottles has been unveiled outside Crawley Library.

The tree which was designed by artist Tracey Graham was created in 2013 to show the importance of plastic recycling in West Sussex.

This tree is a striking way to highlight how plastic can be recycled and reused again and again.

As long as they are clean, dry and loose, all your plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays can be recycled.

– David Barling, West Sussex County Council's Cabinet Member for Residents' Services

Pupils & teachers call for 'fairer funding' for schools

Pupils and teachers from West Sussex have taken their fight for fairer school funding to Downing Street.

Campaigners say schools in their area receive £44 million pounds less than the national average. Some headteachers say they face having to lose staff and increase the number of children in their classes. They're calling for £20 million pounds to be made available.

Mystery child to be placed for adoption after parents disappear

The identity of the girl is unknown Credit: ITV Meridian

A little girl whose identity is unknown and whose parents cannot be found should be placed for adoption according to a High Court judge.

The youngster was taken into care earlier this year after social services staff at West Sussex County Council became concerned as a result of a call from a member of the public. Council staff and police launched investigations - and made a public appeal -in a bid to trace the little girl's parents but without success.

Mr Justice Hayden, who has analysed the little girl's case concluded that the authorities have all decided that she should be placed for adoption. The judge said all "realistic avenues" had been pursued - although he urged anyone with information to come forward.

He said council staff had named the little girl Jade - and a paediatrician thought that she was about two.

Police said the youngster had been found in Crawley in March.

"We really need to find out who this little girl's parents are. She may have connections to Crawley and West Sussex as well as Tooting or south London more generally. We ask that anyone who may know anything about her speaks to us.

"We are appealing in particular to those in the local Crawley and West Sussex area, the wider Ugandan community, or anyone who knows of a woman who has been caring for a young girl meeting the description until recently."

– Detective Sergeant Alexis Witek
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