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Review of the Year 2013: January to March
5:00am Saturday 28th December 2013 in News
- One of the world’s leading balloon artists was given an international award for his artwork. Sutton’s Graham Lee has made models of everything from Alice Cooper to a giant Spitfire aeroplane during his 25-year career. The father-of-three was given the rare award by Dewey’s Balloon Excellence for making a significant contribution to the industry.
Graham Lee with a balloon model
- Popular animal centre and aquarium Heritage Farm Nurseries was forced to close after it was hit with a 167 per cent rent rise. Families were devastated as the centre, that was open for eight years, closed by having to make 20 staff redundant.
- Sutton man Matthew Wood was killed in a helicopter crash in Vauxhall. The 39-year-old was killed after the helicopter hit a crane as he was walking to work. The family home of a man killed in a helicopter crash in was burgled in the same week whilst his
Gloria Foster died after being left to starve
- Pensioner Gloria Foster died after being left to starve for nine days after her care agency was closed in a police raid. Police and the UK border agency raided Carefirst 24 in Sutton and arrested four people amid allegations it employed illegal immigrants. Mrs Foster, who lived in Banstead, was left to starve because Surrey County Council failed to provide her with alternative care.
- A group of guerilla knitters were left heartbroken on Valentine’s Day when their work was stolen from outside a charity shop. The work, which contained 100 knitted hearts, was left outside the British Heart Foundation shop in Wallington. Within hours of the work being put up by the Woolly Coven of Carshalton it had disappeared.
- A teenager saved a widow from armed men holding a gun against her head. Three armed men tried to break into Faiza White’s home on the St Helier estate. The mum-of-three, who was recovering from breast cancer, called for help and her son’s friend beat the attackers off with a metal object.
- A catalogue of errors from local and national agencies led to the death of a teenager. Charlotte Wasey was found dead in her bedroom after taking an overdose of her mother’s insulin. The review found agencies, including Sutton Council, the NHS and the police, failed to share information in order to protect her.
- A group of vigilante motorists got their own back on CCTV cars. The Sutton branch of NoToMob followed the CCTV cars around warning drivers they were being watched and may be fined for parking infringements. The cars had taken well over £1m from drivers since they were introduced.
A Sutton branch of anti-CCTV car group NoToMOB was set up
- An 81-year-old man’s house was raided by armed police after he fired a gun at a jam jar in his back garden. John Bertram Barnes was testing his grandfather’s century-old WW1 gun. The police were tipped off by his daughter following a row about Mr Barnes buying ammunition for the gun on a trip to France. He pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm but avoided jail.