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Review of the year: October to December
6:00am Tuesday 31st December 2013 in News
Disgraced Kingston Council leader jailed, the first crash on the controversial Tolworth Greenway and proof that it really is never too late to get married... it all happened during the last three months of 2013.
Derek Osbourne arrives for his sentencing at Southwark Crown Court
- Think you’ve left it too late to get hitched? A 98-year-old finally popped the question to his 90-year-old girlfriend in October. Ted Parsons, from New Malden, got a yes from Gladys Parsons (above) and they married at Kingston Register Office with family. He said: ““If I had gone down on one knee I would have needed help to get up again.”
- A man peeing in the street hit the front page of the paper in October – photoshopped of course under a headline Don’t Worry Pee Happy. Kingstonfirst were trialling their new pop-up night time toilets to save the town centre alleyways from a flood of wee wee. But critics said they were encouraging drunk clubbers to urinate in public.
- The full scale of deception by former Kingston Council leader Derek Osbourne was revealed as he was jailed for two years for having indecent images of children. In the run-up to his sentencing question marks remained about whether he would avoid jail. But revelations he used a fake online identity to share images with other paedophiles sealed his fall from power.
- Prophets of doom on the new Tolworth Greenway believed they were proved right when the first car crash involving pedestrians stepping out in front of cars took place. The driver of the car, who suffered severe whiplash, said she braked to avoid the crossers and was hit from behind by a range rover. She said: “It has got so bad down there since they put that stuff in. “There’s going to be so many accidents. It is just so dangerous.”
- Comet journalist June Sampson, 80, was hit by a car driver by a doctor outside Kingston Hospital as she was crossing the road. She was expecting to spend Christmas in the brain injury ward at St George’s Hospital with family saying she was speaking to them but also suffering from pain and some confusion.
Readers sent in dozens of messages of support to be read out to June at her bedside.
Surrey Comet features editor June Sampson was hit by a car
- A father-of-two was found dead in a New Malden garden shed after going missing for weeks. Danny Tollworthy, who had a dehabilitating medical condition triggered by alcohol, was believed to have been sheltering there. A friend questioned why Tollworthy, who had a house in Claygate, he was in the shed suggested he may have returned to drug taking and his body shut down by drinking alcohol.
Images released by police of the riot outside Essence nightclub
- A ‘riot’ where 30 thugs wielding scaffolding and shovels brawled outside a riverside club was described as the worst in Kingston’s recent history. Trails of blood were left outside Bar Essence and two people hospitalised with another five hospitalised. The club had its licence temporarily suspended until the New Year after no-one from the club called the police.
- It may be one of the most lucrative road markings in London. But drivers who broke the rules by stopping on a box junction by Elgar Avenue and Ewell Road in Tolworth were hit with £153,835 in fines in just eight weeks. Added to the box junction by the telephone boxes in Kingston, the council, which had only taken on responsibility for policing the roads in September, raked in a quarter of a million pounds. Kingston councillor Malcolm Self said he was surprised the amount was so high.
- A beggar was exposed as a fraud after sitting outside HSBC Surbiton for years with a sign saying he was homeless. Police said Christopher Turner, 51, had a home on the Alpha Road Estate. Residents said they had heard him talking to a girlfriend saying he “had to go out to work all day”. He admitted four dishonesty offences when he appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court and was fined £113 from his benefits.
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