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2013 review of the year: April to June
6:00am Sunday 29th December 2013 in News
Continuing our look back at 2013 in news, we remember the events of spring and early summer.
Nanette Herbert won her battle with Kingston Council over excessive water bill charges
- Another glimpse into the failings of safeguarding in Kingston was shown when a paedophile was sentenced to 18 years for raping his own children over several years because of mistakes by police, Kingston Hospital and Kingston Council.
The man was sentenced in September 2012 but it took the review board until February to publish its critical report. They published it online for just five days drawing criticism from the NSPCC for a lack of transparency.
- A David versus Goliath battle was won by Nanette Herbert, a council tenant of Hobill Walk Surbiton, when she won a battle over years of overcharging of her water bill. Ms Herbert won £745 at Kingston County Court over the council charging her more her water than it should have done. The judge said she expected many more similar cases.
- The percentage of crimes being detected in Kingston was the lowest in seven years, although the overall number of reported crimes was also down.
Detection rates had dropped to 21 percent, leaving eight in 10 of the 10,192 crimes between April 2012 and March 2013 unsolved.
Angela Lassiter and David Wilson were kicked out of the Market Place
- Three market traders were told to pack up and leave the Market Place as they did not fit its vision for the future. Video seller David Wilson, greeting card seller Angela Lassiter and Lorna Herne, were backed by a petition of 400 signatures but were not successful in trying to stay.
- Problems at Hillcroft College for women were unearthed when the Skills Funding Agency – which provided £1.5m a year – told them progress on improving educational standards had been insufficient. Edward Davey, Kingston and Surbiton MP, spoke in their defence saying their unique status didn’t “always fit with pro forma of bureaucrats”.
The college on South Bank has since said it will consider a merger with another organisation.
- Trouble maker Liam Gallagher was on his best behaviour when he made an appearance in Kingston in a coup for Banquet Records (see above). Tickets sold out for the former Oasis frontman’s gig in McCluskeys in just 30 minutes.
Former Kingston Council leader Derek Osbourne
- Kingston’s politicians and civil servants were in shock as the council leader Derek Osbourne, the most powerful man in the borough, was arrested in an early morning raid sparked by his possession of indecent images of children. The father-of-two, who was also a board member of Kingston University and NHS Kingston, resigned by voice mail from leading the council and the Liberal Democrat party. He was later jailed for two years in October.
- A deal to keep troubled Oceana open was struck behind the scenes days before the club was to go to court to appeal against having its licence revoked. Kingston Council backed out of the court case over fears it could lose the appeal and have to pay thousands of pounds in court costs. The licence was revoked after a knife was smuggled past security and used to murder clubber Jamie Sanderson.
- A hero cop badly injured saving children from a joyrider was still waiting for compensation when he died of an accidental drugs overdose. PC Keith Gray’s June inquest heard compensation for the fractured back sustained rescuing two children from being hit a car in Croydon in November 2008 “seemed to be taking forever”. He died in a Hestia hostel in Cromwell Road in July 28 2012 after a toxic level of prescribed medicine and paracetamol was found in his body.
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