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Armed robber gets sentenced after terrifying attacking on officer

An armed robber has been sent to prison for 14 years after a string of offences earlier this year.

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Owen Smith, 29, unemployed of no fixed address pleaded guilty on August 30 at Hove Crown Court to assault by beating a police constable, possession of an offensive weapon, namely a baseball bat, robbery and taking a police vehicle without consent.

He was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Tuesday (October 30).
The offence was captioned on CCTV at the shop and petrol station.

A Tesco worker managed to escape the scene of a robbery at Redkiln Way, Horsham around 12.30am on Friday July 6 and called police reporting that two men in balaclavas armed with weapons were stealing cash, cigarettes and alcohol from the shop.

An assessment was being carried out when a police car on routine patrol happened to pull onto the Tesco Express garage forecourt and discovered the crime in progress. The officers quickly called for assistance from other units, while trying to get other members of the public, who were turning up at petrol station, to stay away.

However Smith, had seen the officers turn up and ran at them threatening them with a baseball bat. He managed to open the police car door and attack PC Ellie Young, pulling her from her seat.

PC Young received injuries to her arms, legs, neck and shoulder but bravely, she, along with her colleague PC Vicky Canales, continued to tackle Smith. Within seconds back-up arrived and Smith was Tasered and arrested. His accomplice ran off and is still being sought.

Detective Chief Inspector Justina Beeken said:

“Watching the CCTV of Owen Smith attacking our officers is absolutely harrowing, not least due to the ferocity of the attack, and I commend the officers’ bravery and commitment that evening in arresting him.

“No officer should be attacked while doing their job and I am thankful that no officers were more seriously hurt.

“I also commend those officers who ran to their colleagues’ assistance, trying to prevent Smith from getting away from the scene, without a moment’s thought for their own safety.

“Smith’s behaviour has also had an impact on those working in the Tesco Express that evening who were also threatened while going about their job.”

Horsham

Rare sea duck saved after crash-landing in Horsham

The RSPCA was called to collect a rare sea duck (on a list of threatened species) which was believed to have been blown off course and crash landed in a Sussex garden.

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The common scoter, which is an all dark sea duck was discovered in a garden at a property in Broadbridge Heath, Horsham, on the morning of November 27.

The male sea duck was unresponsive and did not appear to want to fly, and so the worried caller rang the RSPCA.

RSPCA inspector Andrew Kirby attended and took the bird to the RSPCA’s Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre, in Hastings.

He said: “I was quite surprised when I realised what type of bird this was, and it’s quite an unusual collection for the RSPCA. It’s not a bird I have ever been called to deal with before.”

Richard Thompson, wildlife rehabilitation team manager at Mallydams, said: “The scoter is doing well. He has a small fracture on the top of the keel bone, which was probably caused when he crash landed.

“Fortunately this will heal quite well. We’ve also washed the scoter in order to remove contamination and ensure that when he goes back on the water he is fully-waterproofed. He’s now out in one of pools and is showing great improvement, all being well we hope that we can release him as early as next week.

“I am so pleased that we have been able to rehabilitate him successfully so that he can then be released back to the wild.”

Sadly the UK breeding population of this diving sea duck has declined and it is now a Red List species.

It is also protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, being listed under Schedule 1. One of the main threats to this species are oil spills as wintering populations are particularly vulnerable these as well as habitat degradation.

Last year, the animal welfare charity’s 24-hour cruelty hotline received 55,821 calls over Christmas (1 December – 31 December). More than 8,000 animals spent Christmas in our care last year.

This Christmas, the charity is asking the public to support Delivering Kindness at Christmas. To donate, please visit www.rspca.org.uk/giftofkindness.

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