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Police name Gossops Green murder victim

Residents are still in shock as investigations continue.

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Police are continuing to investigate the murder of a woman in Crawley.

The woman has now been formally identified as Christina Abbotts, age 29, who was living at the address where she was found by police.

Police were called at 10.30pm on Friday (May 25) from friends of Christina concerned she hadn’t turned up to pre-arranged plans in London.

Officers attended a flat in Highams Hill and found her dead in a bed.

A post mortem was conducted and a preliminary cause of death is blunt force trauma to the head.

A 47-year-old man, who was at the property when officers attended, was arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody at this time. Magistrates have granted the investigating officers a further 36 hours to detain the man.

The suspect and victim were known to each other.

Detective Chief Inspector Emma Heater said: “We are supporting Christina’s family, who aren’t local to Crawley, at this very distressing time. They have asked for privacy while they start to grieve.

“We are investigating the circumstances of her death and are keen to hear anyone who might have seen or heard anything which might help with our investigation. Please speak to us in confidence with any information, however small.”

Anyone with information or who saw or heard anything suspicious is asked to contact police immediately onlinequoting Operation Grayhill.

Alternatively, you can visit Crimestoppersor contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Crime

Man jailed for making hoax bomb call in order to catch his flight at Gatwick

A man who made a hoax bomb call in an attempt to catch his flight to the USA has been jailed.

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Jacob Meir Abdellak was running late for the Norwegian flight from Gatwick to Los Angeles, so he decided to contact the police to report the threat.

The anonymous call was received at 5.47am on Friday 11 May – just eight minutes before the flight was due to depart – and a full re-screening meant take-off was delayed by 90 minutes.

Further enquiries made by Gatwick Airport Ltd revealed Abdellak was significantly late for the flight and he was denied boarding by airline staff, whom he became abusive towards. He was told to return on another date to rearrange his flight.

It was later confirmed the telephone number used to make the call was the same number linked to his booking.

The 47-year-old librarian, of Amhurst Park, Hackney, London, was arrested at Gatwick Airport on Tuesday 22 May as he attempted to board another flight to the USA.

He was charged with communicating false information regarding a noxious substance likely to create serious risk to human health, however he denied the offence throughout.

Abdellak, a French national, admitted the telephone number was his, but claimed he had lost the SIM card a few days earlier and therefore the call could not have been made by him.

But at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday (14 August), when the trial was due to begin, the defendant changed his mind and pleaded guilty.

He was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment and required to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

Gatwick Police Chief Inspector Marc Clothier said:

“This was a quite ridiculous decision made by Abdellak, who fabricated an extremely serious allegation purely for his own benefit. He was running late for his flight and thought it would be a good idea to call in a hoax bomb, however this turned out to be the worst decision he could have made.

“His actions caused the flight to be delayed, and also caused a level of fear and distress among a number of staff and passengers on board that flight.

“The consequences of making allegations about bombs, guns or similar at densely populated locations such as airports are well documented, and Abdellak’s sentence serves as a warning to others that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and offenders will be dealt with robustly.”

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