Other Stories In Brief

January 21st, 2011

A nearly blind man was tricked out of thousands of pounds by a couple who had cynically befriended him.

Terri Salisbury, 31, and her boyfriend Christopher Haynes, 24, took cash from his account and used his bank cards to buy jewellery, perfume and other luxuries.

The victim David Spirling, 72, came across Salisbury in an alleyway near his home in Fearney Mews, Rickmansworth in April last year, St Albans crown court heard on Friday.

Prosecutor George Heimler said: "Mr Spirling suffers from very poor eyesight. This woman volunteered to carry his shopping to his flat. She then persuaded him he needed help at home and somebody to do his shopping."

Salisbury began to buy shopping for the victim, but would never hand over the change. On three occasions she asked to borrow cash - £20, £40 and £50 - which she never paid back.

She and Haynes, who met Mr Spirling on two occasions, obtained his cash card and PIN and used it to pay bills. 88 cash withdrawals were also made, mainly by Haynes.

Other purchases made by the couple were a £235 stone pendant and charm from Harvey and Thompson's in Watford and nine carat earrings, worth £97 from Warren James. They bought baby clothing, food from Marks and Spencer, Domino Pizza and cigarettes on the card.

The fraud was put to a stop when they tried to withdraw £300 from HSBC in Rickmansworth on 12 May last year. Customer services advisor Caroline Curnell was suspicious and the pair were arrested.

Salisbury of Curtis Close, Rickmansworth and Haynes of Nicholas Close, Watford pleaded guilty to theft and fraud. The amount they admitted taking came to £3,300.

Salisbury, already a mother of one, became pregnant, after her arrest and is due to give birth in three weeks time. She had previous convictions for theft, shoplifting and threatening behaviour. Haynes had previous convictions for criminal damage, assault on police and obstructing the police.

Daniel O'Malley, defending, said: "This was a breach of trust on a elderly man with very poor sight. These two are full of trepidation and bitterly regret what they have done. It did not start with evil intent. They started off trying to help the old gentleman. They took a little bit, a little bit more and so on."

Jailing them both for 6 months Judge John Plumstead told them what they did was "repellent." He said: "You targeted a very vulnerable man. Ms Salisbury you said what you did was silly. I would describe it as wicked. You were not a couple scraping by for necessities. You spent the money on jewellery, perfume, aftershave. It was pure self indulgence. You both helped yourselves cynically"

Judge Plumstead praised bank worker Caroline Curnell. He said: "She has been a bank worker for 30 years and her vigilance and good sense led to the fraud being stopped. HSBC have also chosen to reimburse the victim and that is to their credit."

January 18th, 2011

Over the past week we have had two incidents where residents in Three Rivers have been phoned by someone claiming to be from the Council. Their story is that you have been selected to receive some of your council tax back. Both times the figure mentioned was £7,000 and a person with a strong accent then asked for personal details including bank account information.

Fortunately both times they did not get any money. Be wary of any calls from 01234 567898 or 0203 567898.  This would appear to be a countrywide scam.

These numbers are also involved in scams claiming to be from the Telephone Preferential Service wanting money to register you.

Please follow the following advice to keep you safe from scammers

Overview

Scams are schemes to con you out of your money. They usually come by post, phone or email.

Fake lotteries and prize draws, bogus psychic predictions, get-rich-quick investments and so-called miracle health cures are just some of the many tricks that scammers try. The tactics that these conmen use are so powerful that it can be difficult to say no.

Every year, three million people fall victim, losing an average of £850 each, and sometimes a great deal more. And it's not just your money that's at risk. Being taken in by a scam can be very distressing.

The scammers are clever, and all kinds of people from all walks of life get duped. If you let down your guard, you too could become a victim.

Warning signs

It sounds too good to be true: Beware of hype and extravagant promises. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

You are contacted out of the blue: You may get a phone call, email or letter from someone you've never heard of.

You have to make a quick decision: Scammers don't like to give you time to think. They will try to pressure you into making a decision by saying things like 'If you don't act now, you'll miss out.'

You have to give away bank account details: Trustworthy firms will never contact you to ask for this information.

If you see any of these signs in a letter, phone call, text message or email, it could well be a scam.

First of all, don't reply. Then bin it, delete it or hang up. And if you're still unsure, you can contact Consumer Direct for advice on 08454 04 05 06. 

December 31st, 2010

The RSPCA is appealing for information after a swan was found with a bullet wound to the head.

The blood-stained swan was spotted on the Grand Union Canal, Grove Mill, Watford on December 22.

RSPCA Inspector Will Rippon said:  "Following reports from concerned members of the public, I visited the canal and spotted a swan with dried blood on its head. Unfortunately it was very active so I was unable to get a closer look.

"So I returned the next day to attempt a rescue.  When I got closer I could see that the swan appeared to be struggling with co-ordination."

Inspector Rippon managed to catch the injured bird and took it to St Tiggywinkles wildlife hospital, where it is being cared for and is recovering well from its ordeal.

He added: "This was a cruel and senseless act that would have left the swan in considerable pain and distress."

It is unclear when the swan was shot and the RSPCA is asking anyone with information to contact the RSPCA in confidence on 0300 1234 999.

 

December 8th, 2010

Paul Phillips took revenge on his ex girlfriend by stealing jewellery worth over £30,000 from her.

Phillips, 41, met Shakumthala Oldham when she helped out at the Watford Night Shelter where he was staying.

A relationship began at the end of 2008 and he moved into her home in Scotts Hill, Croxley Green, St Albans crown court heard on Wednesday.

Simon Wilshire, prosecuting, said the property was being renovated and Phillips decided to hide Ms Oldham's jewellery in the loft while workmen were at the house.

In all 11 items were stored in the loft, valued at £46,000.

"The relationship broke down in acrimonious circumstances and after some time Ms Oldahm went to look for her jewellery and couldn't find it. She reported the matter to the police," said Mr Wilshire.

Phillips was arrested and told officers he had placed the jewellery there for safe-keeping and had not seen it since.

But a friend of Ms Oldham discovered a pawn ticket and found that on 2 June last year Phillips had gone to Cash Converters and pawned an £18,000 watch for £200. On 14 December he had returned and paid £340 to have it back.

Phillips, now of Orford Court, Magdalia Road, Porstmouth pleaded guilty to theft between 1 June and 31 October last year. He admitted taking the watch and a diamond ring worth £16,000. He had 34 convictions for 88 offences.

He denied being responsible for the theft of nine other items, worth £12,000. His basis of plea was accepted. Nothing had been recovered, said the prosecutor.
 
Defence barrister Nicholas Bull said the theft was "tantamount to spite." He said: "The relationship had broken down and he sold the items for cash. At the time he thought he was justified. He has accepted he sold items he shouldn't have."

He said Phillips was now in a new relationship in Portsmouth and his partner gave birth last Sunday.

Judge Stephen Gullick sentenced Phillips to 18 months' jail.

November 15th, 2010

Police are appealing for information and witnesses following a burglary in St Albans on Friday (November 12).
 
The burglary took place between 11.50am and 1.30pm at a property on Harlesden Road. It is believed the offender(s) gained access through a back kitchen window by breaking the window. They then searched the property and made off with various items including jewellery, a laptop and a digital camera. 
 
PC Chris Chadwick from the St Albans Intervention team is investigating and said: “This road is a popular cut through for people attending the Hatfield Road Mosque and for parents doing the school run so it is quite often very busy.
 
“I would like to hear from anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously on Harlesden Road between 11.50am and 1.30pm that day.”
 
Anyone with information is asked to call police via the non-emergency number, 0845 33 00 222.

  • Residents of St Albans are encouraged to take note of the following crime prevention advice:
  • Make sure you double-lock any UPVC doors by lifting the handle and locking it (to engage the security features) before you go to bed or leave your home (if you remove the key make sure you have a fire escape plan).
  • Check all doors are locked and all windows, including those upstairs, are secure before you go out 
  • Consider installing alarms and ‘dusk to dawn’ security lighting
  • Secure your rear garden - lock your shed, shut and lock any gates and keep fences maintained. Don’t leave ladders and tools outside - they could be used by a burglar
  • Use timer switches on lamps to give the impression somebody is at home
  • At home, keep all loose valuables out of sight of any would-be thieves.
  • Don’t leave any boxes which advertise to thieves what’s available in your home outside by the dustbin. Where possible,
  • keep your wheelie bin a good distance behind the gate or fence to prevent them being used to get into the garden.
  • Post code marking your valuables with a UV pen and registering them on a free property database like www.immobilise.com can work as a deterrent to thieves and can increase the chances of your property being recovered if it is stolen.

November 9th, 2010
 
POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following two assaults in Hemel Hempstead on Saturday, October 30.
 
At around 3am two men went to McDonalds on Jarmans Park. Having left they were chased by a group of people and were assaulted by two of the group. A 26 year old man from Buckinghamshire and a 31 year old man from Tring both suffered facial injuries.
 
The suspects are described as being Asian.
 
Detective Sergeant Gill Fawcett said: “This was a serious and seemingly unprovoked attack which has left the two victims with severe injuries. I would appeal for anyone who saw what happened or who has any information about what happened to contact police.”
 
Anyone with information is asked to call the Local Crime Unit in Hemel Hempstead on 01442 271086. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, an independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

November 9th, 2010

POLICE in Hemel Hempstead are appealing for help from members of the public as part of an investigation into an assault.
 
At around 8.30am on Saturday, November 6 a 31 year old man had been walking along Two Waters Road when he was approached from behind and hit to the head. The offender(s) didn’t take anything.
 
The victim was taken to Watford General Hospital for treatment and has since been released.
 
PC Jody Perrin is investigating and said: “I would ask anyone who saw what happened, saw anyone acting suspiciously or has any information about who is responsible to contact police.
 
“It is believed a lady stopped to the help the victim following the attack and I would particularly like to speak with this person.”
 
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Perrin on 01442 271330. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, an independent charity, on 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name and could be entitled to a cash reward.

November 1st, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following an assault in Watford on Sunday, October 31.

At around 11pm a man, who is in his 20s and from Watford, was approached by at least three men at the junction of High Street and Market Street who attacked him. He tried to get away on a bus but the men followed him and assaulted him further before running off. The victim suffered injuries to his face and body.

PC Natalie Williams is investigating and said: “This was a particularly nasty unprovoked attack and I would ask anyone with any information about what happened to contact police. I am particularly keen to speak with a taxi driver and his passengers who stopped to help the victim and anyone who was on the bus.”

Anyone with information is asked to call PC Williams on 01923 472490. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

November 1st, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and asking parents and children to consider some safety advice following a number of incidents in Hemel Hempstead in recent months.

Officers are investigating the possibility that a number of incidents, which have occurred since May and involve a man approaching young girls aged between 7 and 12 years old, may be linked. On some occasions the offender has exposed himself and on two occasions he has assaulted the children. They were not physically injured.

The incidents have occurred in Long Chaulden, Chambersbury Lane, Old House Road, Galley Hill and Shrub Hill Common. Most have happened during the day (between 11am and 8pm).

There are a number of common features in the description of the offender on each occasion which are leading police to investigate the possibility that the incidents may be linked. These are - a man with tanned skin, aged between 25 and 35, dark hair and of a slim build, between 5ft10 and 6ft tall.

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Humphries is leading the investigation and said: “Understandably parents may have concerns about these incidents and I would like to reassure them that we are taking these incidents extremely seriously and have an experienced team of officers with extensive local knowledge working on the investigation. We are making numerous inquiries to establish whether or not there is a link between these offences and to trace whoever is responsible.

“We would appeal to anyone who has any information about these incidents, recognises the man described or knows who is responsible to contact police with information. We would also ask that parents speak with their children about how to stay safe particularly with the evenings getting darker.”

If anyone has any concerns they are asked to contact police via the non-emergency number and ask to speak with their local Neighbourhood Team.

If you have specific information you can contact the investigating team on 01442 271062.

Advice to children about personal safety:
• Don’t speak to strangers
• Stay alert
• Stick to busy and well-lit areas
• Avoid short cuts through quiet, unlit, secluded or wooded areas and alleyways
• Try to keep with friends rather than walk alone
• Make sure someone knows where you are going and tell them when you’ve arrived
• If you believe someone is following you, go to the nearest busy place, such as a petrol station
• Take a mobile phone with you if you have one

November 1st, 2010

DETECTIVES are appealing for witnesses and any information following an assault on two men at the Forum in College Lane, Hatfield during the early hours of Sunday morning (October 31, 2010).

“An altercation occurred on the dance floor between two men which resulted in one of the men punching another in the face,” said Detective Constable Mike Lawrence from the Hatfield Local Crime Unit. “A friend of the victim went to intervene and we believe he was also punched by the offender.”

He said: “Although we have arrested a man in connection with the incident, we are appealing for any witnesses to come forward so we can piece together exactly what happened. Did you see the men being punched? What was it about? Did you see the two men before the assault at around 1.40am on Sunday morning (October 31, 2010)?

"We would like to speak to anyone who was at the Forum on Saturday night into Sunday morning and may have some information.”

A 25-year-old man from Welwyn Garden City was arrested on suspicion of GBH and is currently on police bail until November 26, 2010.

A 28-year-old man from Hatfield suffered a broken jaw and a 19-year-old man from Hatfield suffered a fractured nose.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0845 33 00 222 quoting reference B2/10/4178.

November 1st, 2010

iPods, laptops and mobiles – as well as cash – have been stolen during four thefts from people in Hatfield in two weeks and police are reminding people, especially students, not to advertise their property.

“To reduce the chances of being a victim of crime, don’t advertise expensive equipment like laptops and iPods to opportunist thieves,” said Welwyn Hatfield Inspector Ian Grout. “Keep your possessions hidden or leave them securely at home. Hatfield is a safe place to live and study, let’s try and keep it that way.”

Between 6.15pm and 6.20pm on October 17, a man demanded £20 from a man in Lane End. A 20-year-old man from Hatfield has been arrested on suspicion on robbery and is currently on police bail.

Four or five men frog marched a man to a cash point and told him to take out £20 at 5am in Queensway on October 26.

An iPod, mobile phone, £30 in cash and a wallet were stolen between 8.50am and 9am in Woods Avenue after two offenders approached the victim asking him for a cigarette. They are described as two black men wearing hooded tops and they made off towards Travellers Lane.

A man grabbed a bag from a man containing a laptop between 7.50pm and 7.55pm on October 28 and cycled off with it towards Haseldine Meadows.

If you have any information about these offences, please contact police on 0845 33 00 222.

November 1st, 2010

A VICTIM of an attempted burglary in St Albans has spoken of her gratitude to Herts Police after she received compensation under the Proceeds of Crime Act (2002) to get her damaged property repaired.

The victim’s patio door was smashed following the attempted break-in at her property in Cuckmans Drive, St Albans, on Wednesday, May 5.

Following the incident, a 16-year-old boy from Cambridge was charged with attempted burglary. While searching the teenager, officers found £1170 in cash, which was forfeited under the legislation as it was believed the money was the profits of his illegal activity.

The 16-year-old later pleaded guilty to the offence and others at Cambridge Youth Court and received a four month custodial sentence.

From the money that was forfeited, a cheque for £495 was given to the victim on Wednesday, October 27, to pay for the repairs. The rest of the money will be used to help the Constabulary fight crime.

The victim said: “I am really grateful to the police in using the Proceeds of Crime Act to take this money off the offender and give it to us to help repair our property.

“The police have been really supportive and have kept me up to date all the way through. Having this money to repair the door has helped me feel more secure.”

The case was thoroughly investigated by Detective Constable Zoe Austwick, with the compensation pursued by Financial Investigator Vicci Sinclair.

Zoe said: “Being a victim of a burglary can be devastating and we always work tirelessly to trace those responsible and ensure they are prosecuted. I’m pleased the offender pleaded guilty and this case reached a successful conclusion.”

Vicci added: “We are committed to using the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure criminals don’t benefit from their illegal activities but also to compensate innocent victims who have lost out financially because of someone else’s greed and selfishness. I’m delighted we’ve obtained this compensation for the victim and I hope it helps them move on from this experience.”

November 1st, 2010

DETECTIVES are appealing for witnesses and information after a man was assaulted in St Albans as he went to get into a taxi in the early hours of Saturday (October 30).

The incident happened between 2.25am and 2.35am on St Peter’s Street after the victim had just separated people involved in an argument. As he got into the taxi to go home, he was punched around the head by an offender and fell to the floor, losing consciousness.

The offender then made off as people went to help the victim. He is described as of mixed race with short brown hair and wearing a blue top. He was accompanied by another man of mixed race.

DC Zoe Austwick, who is investigating from the area crime unit, said: “This was an unpleasant incident where a man was hit and knocked unconscious after he had helped break up an altercation.

“I am appealing for anyone who was there at the taxi rank in St Peter’s Street at the time and saw any of this incident take place. In particular, we believe there was a nurse and someone from the army who may have vital information on this offence.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Austwick via the non-emergency number 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers (an independent charity) anonymously on 0800 555111.

October 28th, 2010

A MAN has been arrested in connection with a report of a rape in Hemel Hempstead on Wednesday, October 26.

A 17 year old girl is alleged to have been attacked in the St Albans Road area of the town in the early hours of the morning.

A 39 year old man from St Albans is currently being questioned on suspicion of rape.

Officers from the specialist Sexual Offences Investigation Unit are investigating. Detective Chief Inspector Glen Channer heads the unit and said: “The victim is being supported by my officers and we are taking this incident extremely seriously. I would appeal to anyone who may have seen anything in the early hours of the morning in that area or who has any information about what happened to contact police.

“We understand members of the community may have concerns about the incident and we are aware of ‘talk’ on some social networking sites. At this time, this is the only report of a rape in recent weeks in the area but would ask people to consider some safety tips particularly with the darker nights approaching.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary offers the following advice:

- Buddy up – if you go out with a group of friends make sure you go home with them too. Plan how you will get home before you go out. Take the number of a reputable taxi company with you.

- Keep some extra cash in a separate place in case your wallet or purse is stolen (for phone calls or a taxi)

- Avoid going home or getting a lift with someone you’ve just met (especially if they’ve been drinking alcohol or using drugs)

- If you must walk home – walk in groups and not on your own. Keep to well-lit areas and main roads avoiding shortcuts, alleys or parks.

October 27th, 2010

POLICE are issuing a warning to anyone thinking of falsely reporting a theft for insurance purposes after an incident this week where a man was fined for wasting police time.
 
Officers investigated a report of a theft which was alleged to have occurred in High Street, Watford in the early hours of Monday (October 25). The alleged victim, a 25 year old man from Borehamwood, claimed his iPhone 4 mobile phone had been stolen from his trouser pocket.
 
During the course of the investigation it became clear that the man’s story wasn’t going to corroborate. He admitted he had fabricated the story because he wanted a new phone and if he reported his as stolen he would be able to claim on his insurance.
 
The man was given an £80 fixed penalty notice for wasting police time.
 
Chief Inspector for Hertsmere Sue Jameson said: “This is wholly unacceptable and we won’t stand for it. If you report a theft, we will automatically investigate and use all the resources at our disposal to investigate the crime. If we find that the report is fabricated we will take action, as we did in this case.
 
“Not only does this waste precious police resources in a challenging financial climate, but false insurance claims also have a knock on effect on insurance companies and ultimately other customers.
 
“I would urge anyone thinking of taking this course of action in order to replace their mobile phone, or other property, to think twice.”

October 19th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses after an incident of criminal damage to a car in Abbots Langley at the weekend.

The incident took place at 10pm on Saturday (October 16) at the roundabout on South Way. The offender got out of his car and approached a man who was in a Silver Ford Fiesta which was parked behind. He punched the window of the victim’s car, causing it to smash, before getting back into his car and driving off.

The offender is described as black, aged between 24 and 26, around 5ft 11ins tall with a medium build. He was said to have short black spiked hair and wearing jeans and a dark smart jacket. It is believed he could have been driving a dark coloured Ford, possibly a Focus.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222 quoting crime reference C2/10/2850.

September 30th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses following a burglary in St Albans this week.

The incident occurred at a house on Partridge Road between 11.10pm on Tuesday (September 28) and 5.20am on Wednesday (September 29). It is believed the offender(s) gained access to the property through an open window and searched the property.

They stole a number of electrical items including a TV, Sat Nav, laptop and mobile phone, and made off in the victims’ Silver Jaguar S Type.

DC Ange Wade from the Local Crime Unit in St Albans said: “My appeal is to anyone who may have seen or heard anything that night, or to anyone who may have seen this car leaving the scene or abandoned somewhere.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Residents of Hertfordshire are encouraged to take note of the following crime prevention advice:
• Make sure you double-lock any UPVC doors by lifting the handle and locking it (to engage the security features) before you go to bed or leave your home (if you remove the key make sure you have a fire escape plan).
• Check all doors are locked and all windows, including those upstairs, are secure before you go out
• Consider installing alarms and ‘dusk to dawn’ security lighting
• Secure your rear garden - lock your shed, shut and lock any gates and keep fences maintained. Don’t leave ladders and tools outside - they could be used by a burglar
• Use timer switches on lamps to give the impression somebody is at home
• At home, keep all loose valuables out of sight of any would-be thieves.
• Don’t leave any boxes which advertise to thieves what’s available in your home outside by the dustbin. Where possible, keep your wheelie bin a good distance behind the gate or fence to prevent them being used to get into the garden.
• Post code marking your valuables with a UV pen and registering them on a free property database like www.immobilise.com can work as a deterrent to thieves and can increase the chances of your property being recovered if it is stolen.

September 30th, 2010

POLICE are releasing the image of a man they would like to speak to following a road traffic collision in Hemel Hempstead on August 23, 2010.

The collision between a bus and a blue Citreon ZX occurred on Adeyfield Road at around 2.20pm. The car was travelling towards the town centre and the bus was travelling towards the Adeyfield area. A passenger in the Citreon suffered arm injuries.

PC Jackie Miles is investigating and said: “The driver of the vehicle left the scene of the accident. We are keen to speak to the man pictured in connection with the investigation and would ask that he contact police. I would also like to speak with anyone who knows the man and his whereabouts to call with information.”

Anyone with information is asked to call PC Jackie Miles from the Roads Policing Unit on 0845 3300 222. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, an independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name and may be entitled to a cash reward.

September 27th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following a robbery in Borehamwood on Tuesday September 21.

The incident occurred at around 1am in Croxdale Road at the rear of a grocery store. Three men drove up the service road and entered the shop threatening a member of staff. The 35 year old man from London was also punched to the stomach before the offenders took money from his wallet and his mobile phone. The man was not injured.

The first offender is described as a black man aged in his mid to latest 20s who was approximately 6ft 1ins tall of a stocky build and with broad shoulders. He had white socks on his hands and was wearing a dark hooded jumper.

The second offender is described as a white man aged in his late teens who was also approximately 6ft 1 ins tall. He was wearing a grey hooded jumper and had light brown hair.

The third offender is described as a black man aged in his early to mid 20s. He was smaller and skinny and was wearing a blue hooded jumper and white socks on his hands.

The vehicle they were in is believed to be a dark coloured Vauxhall Astra.

Anyone who believes they saw the vehicle or the men prior to or following the incident or who has any information which may assist the investigation should contact Detective Constable Rob Fleming in the Local Crime Unit at Borehamwood on 01707 806669. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. You do not have to give your name and you could be entitled to a cash reward.

September 27th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following a burglary in Meadowlands in Bishop’s Stortford on September 29.

Between 9.30am and 11.30am offender(s) have entered the property via the front door and removed items of jewellery before leaving.

PC Nick Anstead is investigating and said: “I would like to appeal to anyone who saw an suspicious activity in the area between these times, anyone who saw someone leaving the property they didn’t recognise or anyone who has any information whatsoever to call police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Anstead on 0845 3300 222.
Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. You do not have to give your name and you could be entitled to a cash reward.

Hertfordshire Constabulary have issued the following advice to homeowners to help keep their property secure:

* Routinely check that ground floor windows and doors are closed and locked when you leave the house or go to bed. Upstairs windows should be closed and locked when the house is unoccupied.
* UPVC doors must be locked by lifting the handle and using the key to ensure all the security features are locked in place.
* Car and house keys should be kept out of sight in a safe place. Don’t leave them on display on window sills, in porches, hallways or kitchens.
* Secure your rear garden by shutting and locking any gates. Burglars can use garden tools to break in - so make sure you securely lock away any tools after use.

You can also register your valuables on the free online property database www.immobilise.com . This can help police return them to you if they are lost or stolen.

For more detailed security advice please visit www.herts.police.uk or contact your local Crime Prevention Officer on 0845 33 00 222. Fancy testing your knowledge with our virtual Secure Home game? Visit www.herts.police.uk , click on ‘Now in Herts’ and select the Operation Guardian logo.

September 20th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses following a burglary in Bushey on Friday (September 17).

The incident occurred at a property on Bournehall Avenue at 7.15pm. It is believed two offenders forced entry to the front window and climbed inside. The house alarm activated and the offenders left. No items were stolen.

The offenders were described as white and in their early 20s. One was said to be 5ft 6ins tall with dark spiky hair and wearing a blue and white chequered shirt and blue jeans.

The second is described as 5ft 10ins tall, with light brown spiky hair and wearing a beige shirt and dark jeans.

PC Paul Francis is investigating and said: “These brazen offenders gained entry to the house in broad daylight through the front of the property. I would urge anyone who saw these offenders entering or leaving the property or walking around the local area to contact me.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, on 0800 555 111.

September 15th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information from people who know a man from South Oxhey and may well know his whereabouts.

Stephen Hardwick, a 23 year old male from Otley Way, South Oxhey is wanted in connection with a serious assault on a 55 year old man which happened in Ashridge Drive on the evening of Saturday, August 14, 2010.

Officers are making efforts to trace Stephen but would urge anyone who knows Stephen or knows his whereabouts to contact Hertfordshire Constabulary on 0845 3300 222.

Alternatively call Crime Stoppers, an independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.
You do not have to give your name and you could be entitled to a cash reward.

September 15th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses following a burglary in Bricket Wood on Monday (September 13).

The incident occurred at a property on Reynards Way between 8.15am and 12.10pm.

The offender(s) forced entry to the house by forcing open the kitchen window. When inside the offender(s) carried out a search before making off with numerous items including a laptop, two digital cameras, a camcorder, jewellery and a Blackberry mobile phone.

DC Ange Wade from the Local Crime Unit in St Albans said: “We’re carrying out numerous enquiries into this burglary and are keen to determine if there were any witnesses who recall seeing any suspicious behaviour that morning.

“If you were in the area or believe you know who may have been responsible, please contact me via the non-emergency number. Also, if you have been offered any items similar to these for sale, please get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, on 0800 555 111.

September 13th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information after a 35-year-old man from Borehamwood was assaulted in Watford.

The incident occurred as he and a friend were walking along Albert Road South in the early hours of Sunday morning (12 September) at around 2.30am. An altercation is reported to have taken place between the pair and a group of men before the victim is believed to have been assaulted.

The victim sustained a serious head injury and is currently in hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Detective Constable Jennifer Vince, investigating the incident, commented: “If anyone was around at the time - which would have been a busy time with many making their way home from the pubs and clubs - and has any information which could help our investigation, please get in touch. Any detail, no matter how small, could prove vital to our enquiries.”

Four men have been arrested in connection with the incident and released on bail until October 31 whilst police enquiries continue.

If anyone has any information, please contact DC Vince on 01923 472985. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers (an independent charity) anonymously on 0800 555 111.

September 11th, 2010

A convicted sex offender who was found with nearly 2,000 child pornography images on his computer was jailed for 20 weeks yesterday/Fri.

Police raided the Rickmansworth home of Phillip Reece, 45, on Friday July 24 last year and seized his computer.

Prosecutor George Heimler told St Albans crown that Reece had previously been jailed for sexual activity with girls and boys.

When they examined his computer officers found 1,764 images child sex abuse images at Level 1, the least serious level, 15 at Level 2, 115 at Level 3 and 157 at Level 4, the second most serious level. In addition there were 12 images of extreme pornography.

Reece, of Chiltern Drive, Rickmansworth, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to seven charges of making indecent images of children, one of possessing indecent images and three of possessing extreme pornography.

Mr Heimler said Reece had been jailed for 15 months at Norwich crown court for sexual activity with children committed between October 2006 and February 2007 after he had befriended a woman in Kings Lynn over the internet.

Defence barrister Hossein Zahir said Reece was of low IQ and had not stored or distributed the images. As a result of his conviction he had received death threats, he said.

Judge Andrew Bright QC told Reece it was depressing that he had shown no insight into what he was doing. In addition to the jail sentence he said Reece must register as a sex offender for 7 years. He was banned from accessing any pornographic website and must allow police access to his computer in the future.

September 8th, 2010

Over 30 motorists were stopped and educated about the dangers of driving over the speed limit in the first day of a new initiative in Oxhey Hall and Carpenders Park.

Entitled Operation Pride, the campaign stops motorists breaking the speed limit and shows them a DVD about the impact and consequences of their actions. It aims to encourage them to change their behaviour rather than take enforcement action.
It was funded in part by Councillor Frances Button and addresses one of the neighbourhood priorities for the area – speeding/driving issues.

PC Daniel Jones, ward constable for Oxhey Hall, said: “This is a positive initiative and we are really pleased that it has generated such positive results on the first day. We take speeding in the neighbourhood very seriously and are using a variety of methods to tackle this priority, including this one. Many people who were stopped responded positively to the high-impact DVD and we are very grateful to Councillor Button for her support in funding this campaign. We hope this will be the first of many operations here.”

 

September 6th, 2010

EDWARD Arthur took exception when he saw another young man talking to a girl he knew in a bar in Watford and ended up punching him twice in the face fracturing his cheekbone.

His victim also ended up with two broken fingers which required surgery.

At St Albans crown court on Friday, Arthur, 20, of Washington Avenue, Hemel Hempstead, admitted a charge of causing grievous bodily harm to his victim on December 20 last year.

The court heard that following his arrest for that matter he was subsequently found to be in possession of 26 wraps of cocaine.

As a result, he faced a further charge of possessing a Class A drug with intent to supply.

David Chrimes prosecuting told the court police had also found a dealers list.

Judge John Plumstead sentenced Arthur to 12 months in jail suspended for two years and ordered him to perform 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was also told he must pay £800 compensation to the young man he punched in the bar.

September 6th, 2010

POLICE ARE asking motorists, particularly van drivers, to remember to remove their property from their vehicles when leaving them unattended – as well as asking residents to report any suspicious behaviour around vehicles in their neighbourhood.

The advice follows a number of vehicle break-ins across the county where property has been taken from vehicles. In particular, police have seen incidents where power tools and other equipment have been stolen from vans:

• Fishing equipment was stolen from a van parked in Bell View, St Albans between 7pm on Thursday September 2 and 3.17am on Friday September 3. Access was gained to the van by smashing the rear glass panel.
• Gardening tools were taken from a van parked in Icknield Way, Letchworth between 8pm on Sunday September 5 and 6am on Monday September 6 (this morning). The offender(s) smashed a rear window to gain access.
• A drill was stolen from a van parked on a building site in Barnet Lane, Borehamwood between midday and 12.30pm on Friday September 3. The suspects are believed to have made off in a blue Astra.
• A drill and toolbox were taken from a van parked in The Ridgeway, Ware between 5pm on August 28 and 8.30am on August 31 after offender(s) damaged a lock to gain access to the vehicle.
• Cash, a Sat Nav and tools were taken from a van parked in Highview, Hatfield between 2.50pm and 3.10pm on Friday September 3. Offender(s) smashed the window to gain access to the van.
• Property was stolen from the boot of a Ford Fiesta parked in Golf Club Road in Berkhamsted between 6.30pm and 6.45pm on Friday September 3. The offender(s) made off with a holdall, a mobile phone, clothing and a camera after breaking in via window.
If you have any information on the incidents above, or witness any suspicious behaviour in your neighbourhood, please contact police on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively please contact Crimestoppers (an independent charity) anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“We are working to track down those responsible for these crimes and you too can help by taking steps to reduce the chances of having your property stolen as well as reporting any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood,” commented County Crime Reduction Officer Dave Mance. “The very simple way of keeping your property secure is to remove it from your vehicle. A few moments to check you have taken everything with you could save you the inconvenience and expense of having to replace your valuables as well as have your car or van repaired later.

“Don’t take the chance - thieves are opportunistic and the one time you leave your property in the vehicle could be the time you get caught out.”

You can help secure your vehicle by following this common-sense advice:
• It might sound obvious, but make sure you lock the doors and shut the windows and sunroof whenever you leave your vehicle unattended.
• Remove your Sat Nav and its holder, and wipe away any suction marks as these could suggest to a potential thief that a Sat Nav is stored in your vehicle.
• Never leave any valuables in your vehicle - not even in the glove-box or boot - and keep ALL other possessions out of sight.
• Use an approved steering lock or gear clamp, and remember to set your immobiliser and alarm if you have them.
• Register your stereo, Sat Nav and any other property on the free online property database www.immobilise.com . It only takes a few minutes and could help police trace your property if it’s lost or stolen.
• If it is not possible to remove all your tools at the end of each working day, park your van in a securely locked garage, if you have one. If you don’t have an accessible garage, consider investing in a secure safe-type storage box bolted into the back of the van to provide a second line of defence against thieves.

Follow these tips and help bite back at car crime! For more advice, visit www.herts.police.uk

August 31st, 2010

Police are appealing for the public’s help after a 45-year-old woman was allegedly assaulted at a bus stop in Watford.

The incident occurred on Thursday August 19 at around 11.30am in Watford High Street at the bus stop opposite The Moons pub.

The woman, who lives in Watford, is believed to have been approached from behind and assaulted. The victim did not sustain any injuries.

The suspect is described as a female.

A woman with a number of children accompanying her was believed to have been sitting at the bus stop at the time and police are specifically appealing for this woman to come forward as she may have information vital to the investigation as a witness.

PC Lauren Shipman who is investigating the incident appealed: “If anyone was in Watford town centre at the time of the incident and has any information, please get in touch on 0845 33 00 222. I’d particularly like to speak with the woman who was at the bus stop at the time of the incident, as she may have key information which could help us ascertain exactly what took place.”

Anyone with information can alternatively call Crimestoppers

August 27th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for three lads who helped a victim of a robbery in Borehamwood on Monday (August 23) to contact them.

The incident happened at around 8.30pm in an alleyway which runs through from Caishowe Road to Hertford Road. A 14 year old boy from Borehamwood was approached by a youth and was asked to hand over his money and mobile phone. The victim refused and the offender struck him to the side of the head. The victim then handed over his Samsung mobile phone and ran off to get help and returned to the scene of the robbery.

Upon returning he was approached by three youths who stated they had stopped the offender as he fled the scene and they handed the victim his phone back. They left the area before police had arrived and officers are urging them to contact them.

The offender is described as an Asian boy, aged between 15 and 16 years, 5ft 8 tall, with a slim build, dark hair and dark eyebrows and a wispy, adolescent moustache. He was wearing a silver/grey hooded top with the hood up, matching grey tracksuit bottoms and spoke with a London accent.

The three youths who assisted were described as white boys, aged around 15-16 years. One of the boys was described as having messy ginger hair, which has been styled as being long on top and short at the back. He was wearing a purple hooded top with a large Adidas logo on the chest.

The victim suffered minor injuries as a result of the incident.

DS Mark Clawson is investigating the robbery and said: “I am trying to trace the three lads who apprehended the offender, as I believe they can assist with the investigation. If this was you, please contact me via the non emergency number 0845 3300222.”

August 27th, 2010

A DAD who turned up drunk to baby sit his children then assaulted his ex-partner and her sister was given a community order on Thursday and told to get treatment for alcoholism.

Sahrfili Matturi was in breach of a previous suspended sentence for having a bladed article, but a judge agreed not to send him to prison after hearing he had problems with alcohol and that he was now on good terms with his ex partner.

St Albans Crown Court heard that Matturi, 38, from Watford, had turned up at his ex-partner's home on July 22nd to spend time looking after his children.

Prosecuting, Victoria Oakes, said that when the woman realised he was drunk, she refused to let him baby sit and he responded by grabbing her by the wrist and dragging her to the sofa.

He also pushed her sister on the shoulders and threatened to punch his partner in the mouth if the police came to arrest him.

Defending, Alison Morgan, said her client had been born in the UK but was adopted as a baby and had gone to live in Nigeria until 1994 when he had returned to the country to study for a diploma in IT and computing.

During that time he had decided to search for his biological mother but had been devastated when she rejected him.

He had turned to drink and had been convicted of offences, including drug smuggling, for which he spent five years in prison before being released in 2006.

She said: "A statement from his partner says that although they are no longer together as a couple, they are on good terms and she describes him as a good father to her children. She said if she could have been, she would have come today to show support for him."

She added that Matturi had never before been violent to his partner and had never been violent to his children, saying: "One job someone can still do while having criminal convictions is work in IT. He has been seeking employment in IT but had received several knock-backs at the time that he went to his partner's home."

Judge Marie Catterson said the aggravating feature of the case was that it had taken place in front of his two young children in their home.

She said: "It seems to me that you have a serious problem with an addiction to alcohol which needs to be addressed."

She said she would not activate the suspended sentence but made an 18-month community order with a 12-month supervision requirement.

She also ordered him to attend alcohol treatment and a course in education, training and employment."

August 20th, 2010

Angry Joseph Lee went for a 70 year old woman with a shovel, a court has heard.

The victim put her hand up to protect her head when Lee swung the shovel, and needed three butterfly stitches for cuts she received. Daniel Siong, prosecuting at Luton Crown Court on Friday said Lee had gone to the mobile home site at St. Thomas' Road, Luton on Feb 2 this year. He woke up his brother in law, Sam Parker and demanded to be taken to Park Street, St. Albans where his mother lived.

Mr. Parker refused and Lee went over to his Mitsubishi vehicle and kicked the door causing a dent. Mr. Parker's 70 year old mother Carole came out and asked what was going on.

"Lee ran towards her shouting verbal abuse and struck out towards her head with a shovel," said the prosecutor.

Lee, 38 of Watling Street Caravan site in St. Albans pleaded guilty to criminal damage and assault causing actual bodily harm.

Recorder Tim Clark said Lee had served the equivalent of an eight month sentence on remand.

He passed a six month community order with a drug rehabilitation requirement.

He said: "This sort of behaviour is just not acceptable. You cannot go around injuring elderly ladies. I am sure you regret it now."

18th August, 2010

A reward of £250 is being offered by South Oxhey Safer Neighbourhoods Team for information leading to the arrest and disposal of person(s) responsible for a series of shed breaks and bike thefts which have occurred in the area.

The following thefts from sheds and thefts of motorcycles have occurred:

Between 11 pm on Sunday July 25th and 6 am on Monday July 26th a garden shed in Lytham Avenue was broken into. Fishing equipment including fishing bags, rods and fishing tackle was taken.

Between 10.30 pm on Thursday August 12 and 7.30 am on Friday August 13th a black Yamaha motorcycle was taken from an address on Lytham Avenue.

On Saturday August 14th between 3 am and 1.30 am a black Barossa motorbike was taken from a property on Little Oxhey Lane.

A man’s black mountain bike was also taken from an address in Birkdale Gardens between 9pm on Monday August 16th and 7.15am on Wednesday August 17th.

Sergeant Luke Mitchell, from the Three Rivers Safer Neighbourhoods Team said:

"We are committed to tracking down those responsible for committing these offences, my team of officers are working around the clock both overtly and covertly to catch these offenders, however we do need the support of the community, we urge them to phone us if the see are suspicious behaviour, we are also keen to hear from anyone that may know who is committing these offences and where the stolen property is ending up?"

“We believe the same group of people are involved in all of these thefts and I would urge anyone with information on who is responsible to come forward and speak with us on 0845 33 00 222 or in confidence through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. There is a reward for information which leads to the arrest and disposal of those responsible.”

18th August, 2010

The RSPCA is appealing for information after a two cats and three kittens were just left in baskets in-between some parked cars in Hemel Hempstead.

The cats were found between the parked cars in Fern Drive, Hemel Hempstead on Sunday by a member of the public who alerted the police, who then contacted the RSPCA.

The cats were collected by Animal Welfare Officer (AWO) Andy Eddy.

The towels inside the baskets were soaked in urine and faeces, so it is thought the cats had been left in the baskets for some time.

One basket contained three black kittens about five months old, and the other there were two young tabby cats, thought to be around one year old.

The RSPCA Chiltern branch has placed the cats in the care of fosterers.

AWO Eddy said: "Once again we are finding owners who have taken animals on, but for one reason or another have now dumped them.

"These cats had been in the basked for some time as the towels were sopping wet and soiled. The cats must have been really distressed and upset being left near a road and between parked cars. I just cannot understand why people do this; it's just heart-breaking.

"Owners have to take responsibility for their pets; they cannot just dump them when they no longer want them. We are investigating this incident, and will do all we can to find the owners of these cats."

Those found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal can face a maximum six-month prison sentence and/or a £20,000 fine.

17th August, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses following two burglaries in Gustard Wood, near Wheathampstead recently.

The first incident took place in Gustard Wood (road) between 9am and 2.24pm on Wednesday, August 4. The offenders broke a sash window, searched the property and made off with items including cash and a distinctive 1935 Omega pilot’s watch and a set of 18ct gold antique cufflinks which were engraved with 'WH'. There was also a large quantity of 'Rachael Jeffrey' jewellery stolen.

The next incident occurred at a second property in Gustard Wood (road) between 12.15pm and 2.30pm on the same day. The offenders forced open the front door, carried out a search of the property and made off with a laptop and a television.

DC Richard Fitton is investigating and said: “The burglaries both took place in a rural location but during the day and I am appealing to anyone who was in the area and believes they may have seen activity which was out of the ordinary that day to contact me.

“Also the jewellery and the watch are quite distinctive and I would ask anyone who thinks they may have seen them since to phone police.”

Anyone with information about these incidents is urged to contact Hertfordshire Constabulary via the non emergency number 0845 3300222, quoting crime reference number F2/10/1466.

Crime Prevention Advice
• Make sure you double-lock any UPVC doors by lifting the handle and locking it (to engage the security features) before you go to bed or leave your home (if you remove the key make sure you have a fire escape plan).
• Check all doors are locked and all windows, including those upstairs, are secure before you go out
• Consider installing alarms and ‘dusk to dawn’ security lighting
• Secure your rear garden - lock your shed, shut and lock any gates and keep fences maintained. Don’t leave ladders and tools outside - they could be used by a burglar
• Use timer switches on lamps to give the impression somebody is at home
• At home, keep all loose valuables out of sight of any would-be thieves.
• Don’t leave any boxes which advertise to thieves what’s available in your home outside by the dustbin. Where possible, keep your wheelie bin a good distance behind the gate or fence to prevent them being used to get into the garden.
• Post code marking your valuables with a UV pen and registering them on a free property database like www.immobilise.com can work as a deterrent to thieves and can increase the chances of your property being recovered if it is stolen.

13th August, 2010

Drunken Tony Kiely was caught on CCTV punching, kicking and stamping on a man in Watford High Street.

Kiely, 25, from Stockport, was on a night out with two friends when one of them started trouble with a group of male and female teenagers.

CCTV footage played to St Albans crown court yesterday/Fri showed a friend of Mr Kiely punch one of the youngsters in the face. Another man Jack Kenny tried to stop him and Kiely stepped in.

Prosecutor Rebecca Smith said: "Mr Kiely then grabbed hold of Mr Kenny and punched and kneed him in the face. The defendant's attack was focused on Mr Kenny, who was punched and kicked on the floor."

His friend returned to attack Mr Kenny but was pulled off by Kiely, whose black top became ripped in the struggle. As he ran off Kiely stamped on Mr Kenny's face.

The victim received a cut to the left side of his head. He told the police that he was angry that two of the girls in his group had been punched after one of them had barged into Kiely's friend.

Kiely of Newbury Road, Heald Green, Stockport was arrested nearby. He pleaded guilty to committing affray in the early hours of Saturday 18 April 2009. He was convicted of affray in 2005 and received a warning for affray in 2002. The man who started the attack is still wanted by the police.

Defence barrister Sarah-Jane Smiles said: "He does not know the people involved. The offence related to drink."  Since then she said he had changed his life around, saying he had an offer of work with a tiling firm. She said the offence was committed in April last year and there had been no further trouble.

Kiely's girlfriend had been suffering depression after the still-born birth of a child earlier this year. She said they are bringing up their two-year-old daughter together.

Judge Stephen Warner told him: "You were involved in an ugly incident - fighting in a public place. It was not instigated by you, but you ran in and got involved. Mr Kenny was fortunate he was not more seriously injured.

"Drink played a part in your behaviour and you have got a problem with violence. Ordinarily people who get involved in unacceptable public violence can expect to go straight to prison for a considerable period of time. I am only just persuaded not to send you to prison straight away. I can assure you it was an extremely close thing."

From the dock Kiely said: "Thank you."

The judge passed an 8 month jail sentence suspended for 2 years and ordered him to complete 200 hours unpaid work. He must pay Mr Kenny £400 compensation and is banned from pubs, bars and clubs for 6 months.

He warned Kiely: "If you get into trouble again this sentence is likely to be activated and you will go straight to prison."

12th August, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following an aggravated burglary in Bricket Wood on Tuesday afternoon (August 10).

The incident took place between 2.45pm and 3.30pm at a property just off Broad Acre. It is believed the occupant heard a disturbance and discovered a man in her hallway. He was armed with a metal pole and then he, and a second offender, carried out a search of the property.

The men made off with jewellery and some electrical items. A silver vehicle was seen parked outside the property around the time of the incident.

Detective Sergeant Nina Winfield from the Local Crime Unit in St Albans said: “We are very keen to find out who was responsible for this incident. The woman was not harmed at all but she was obviously very shaken. We believe the car may be linked to an incident in Chiswell Green earlier that day where a silver car, possibly a Volvo, acted suspiciously outside a house. We are following a number of lines of enquiry into the incident, but I would like to ask anyone who believes they may have seen these men or the silver vehicle in the area to contact police immediately.”

The main offender is described as white, between the ages of 25 and 35, around 5ft 9ins tall, with a slim build and short grey hair. He was wearing light coloured tracksuit bottoms and a grey jumper.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, on 0800 555 111.f

 
12th August, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses after a road rage incident in St Albans recently.

The incident occurred at approximately 1pm on Thursday, July 29 on Hemel Hempstead Road when there was an altercation at the temporary traffic lights involving the drivers of two vehicles, a white Ford transit van and an Audi A4.

Following the altercation, it is alleged the driver of the transit van made a racist comment before getting in his car and driving off. Whilst doing so, he clipped the Audi and failed to stop.

If you have any information about this incident, please contact police via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222.
A 19 year old man from St Albans has been arrested in connection with this incident. He has been released on police bail whilst enquiries continue.

11th August, 2010

A man who broke a woman's nose outside a St Albans nightclub escaped jail yesterday.

Quang Loung, 20, head-butted Jade Poole in a late night confrontation outside Batchwood Hall.

Prosecutor Neil King said the aggravating factors in the assault were the fact that Loung was under the influence of alcohol and was bigger in size and stature from his victim. He is 5 feet 11 tall, she is slender and just 5 feet 3.

Her nose was broken in two places and she needed an operation under a general anaesthetic. As a result she had suffered in her studies and had lost confidence in going out.

Loung of Lefevre Walk, Tower Hamlets, London, E3 had been convicted by a jury of causing grievous bodily harm on 14 July. He was of previous good character.

He returned to St Albans crown court for sentence after probation reports had been prepared.

Defence barrister Mumim Hashim said Loung is "extremely sorry" and hopes Miss Poole recovers. "There may have been an exchange but it does not justify what took place," he said. He said Loung had £1,000 in savings and soon hoped to get a job at City Airport, meaning he could pay compensation.

Recorder David Mayall told him: "Despite clear evidence you did not accept your responsibility and pleaded not guilty. It was a shocking affair. Only custody is appropriate as a sentence, but the only thing that allows me to suspend it is your good character. It is a touch and go decision."

He passed a 32 week sentence suspended for 15 months and order Loung to carry out 180 hours unpaid work. He must also pay Miss Poole £2,500 compensation - £1,000 within two weeks and the remainder at the rate of £100 a month.

9th August, 2010

APPEAL FOLLOWING AN ASSAULT IN WATFORD

Police are appealing for witnesses and information following an assault in Watford on Tuesday, August 3.

An altercation occurred at around 11pm in The Flag pub in Station Road. A 48 year old man from Watford suffered a broken jaw.

PC Jennifer Vince is investigating and said: “We know there were a number of people in the pub at the time and I would urge anyone with information about what happened, or with information which could assist the investigation, to contact police.”

9th August, 2010

APPEAL FOR WITNESSES AFTER ROAD TRAFFIC COLLISION IN HATFIELD

Police are appealing for witnesses and information following a road traffic collision in Hatfield on Saturday (August 7).

The incident occurred at around 8.12am when a Blue Vauxhall Corsa and White Vauxhall Combo Van were in collision on the service road of Tesco, 100yds from the junction with the A414, Great North Rd.

The Corsa left the scene but the car and driver was later located in Hatfield. The driver of the van, an 85 year old male from Hatfield, was taken to the QE2 Hospital with a head injury. He remains in hospital in a stable condition.

PC Denise Rayner is investigating the collision. She said: “We are trying to establish the circumstances of the collision. I am appealing for anyone who saw the Corsa prior to the collision, in Tesco car park or petrol station, or anyone who saw the collision occur and the Corsa driving away.

“If you believe you have information I would really like to talk to you. Please contact me via the non-emergency number, 0845 3300 222, as soon as possible.”

9th August, 2010

DID YOU WITNESS SERIOUS ASSAULT IN ST ALBANS?

Police are appealing for information and witnesses after a serious assault in St Albans at the weekend (Saturday, 7 August).

The incident occurred at approximately 3.10am on the bridge on Victoria Street. Two men in their twenties, from St Albans and London, were approached by a group of four to six black men, who are believed to be in their early twenties. The group started a fight and repeatedly assaulted the two men. The offenders then ran off.

One of the main offenders is described as black, 6ft tall, early to mid twenties, with a skinny build, goatee beard, wearing a white bandana on his head, white t-shirt and black tracksuit bottoms.

DC Gemma Badat from the Local Crime Unit in St Albans said: “This is a serious GBH where one of the victims sustained significant injuries to his face which has required reconstructive surgery.

“Although this took place in the early hours of the morning, Victoria Street is a main thoroughfare in the town and I would like to speak to anyone who may recall this incident or seen the group running from the scene.”

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