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Crime

Crawley man sentenced to 14 months in prison for Gatwick parking deception

The director of a Gatwick ‘meet and greet’ parking company has been sentenced to 14 months in prison and disqualified from being a director for four years following an investigation by West Sussex Trading Standards.

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Asad Bashir Malik (Jura Close, Crawley, West Sussex) and his company London Parking Gatwick Ltd, which was turning over £.1.4 million, were found guilty at Brighton Crown Court of misleading customers.

Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings are still pending.

The company said on its website that all cars left with them would be parked in a secure compound.

But in 2016 reports to West Sussex Trading Standards claimed that over 1,000 vehicles were being parked in a field in Bonnetts Lane, West Sussex.

Trading Standards officers visited two fields, Bonnetts Lane and Keepers Knight, in July 2016 and confirmed that London Parking Gatwick Ltd was using these to park its customer’s vehicles.

Some of the vehicles had been left unlocked with their windows open and keys on the windscreen. Some of the vehicles were damaged and others had been issued with parking tickets. The investigation also revealed fake customer reviews on the company’s website.

Officers contacted the customers and established that they had been misled by claims on the website.

Richard Sargeant, Trading Standards Team Manager, said:

“Malik and his company deceived thousands of customers between 2014 and 2016, causing damage to their cars and making false claims on its website.

“This was a complex investigation for our team and I am very pleased with the outcome.

“I would urge anyone using a Gatwick meet and greet business to only use a Trading Standards-approved company.”

Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of an unfair trading practice can contact Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or online via www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport


Crime

Teenager found guilty of murdering Arnold Potter named

A teenager who stabbed and killed a man in Maidenbower, Crawley has been found guilty of murder.

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Kai Gasson, 17, unemployed, from Crawley, admitted using a lock knife to wound the torso of Arnold Potter; however, he claimed he did so in self-defence.

Reporting restrictions were lifted to allow him to be named.

The 24-year-old victim sought help from a number of residents following the incident in Watson Close, Maidenbower, around 6.40pm on Thursday, November 15.

Shortly afterwards, he was found collapsed in the street. Despite the best efforts of paramedics and members of the public who commenced CPR, he was sadly declared dead at 7.17pm.

Gasson had chased Arnold (pictured above) up the street following the attack, but then made off from the scene and spent the night at a friend’s house, where he confessed to his crime and was encouraged to hand himself in to police the next day.

Man is stabbed to death in Maidenbower.

He was charged with murder and was remanded in custody ahead of a two-week trial which concluded at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday, April 18 where a jury found him guilty of murder.

It is alleged that in the events leading up to the attack, the defendant had been approached in the street by Arnold, who is reported to have held a knife to his throat and threatened to rob him of his drugs.

In response to this, Gasson withdrew a knife from his bag and used it to stab Arnold.

Following a search of his house, the defendant was further arrested and charged with possession of an offensive weapon (a knife). The jury also found him guilty of this offence as well as possession with intent to supply a class A drug (cocaine).

Photo: A replica of the knife used by Gasson

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Richardson, who led the investigation, said: “Kai Gasson has been found guilty of the murder of Arnold Potter and rightly so now faces a minimum of 15 years behind bars.

“The jury has rejected his claim that he acted in self-defence and agreed with the prosecution that he murdered Arnold Potter.

“Gasson was also been found guilty of possession of a knife and pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine.

“Knife crime hasn’t just affected the two individuals involved; it has also affected their families, friends and the wider community and my thoughts our especially with Arnold’s family at this time.

“The key element to this tragic incident is the possession of a knife in a public place, which is an extremely serious offence.

“Had Gasson not been in possession of a knife that day, he would not have stabbed anyone and he would not now be facing a sentence.

“The devastation caused by knife crime is well documented, and Sussex Police – like every other force in the UK – will not tolerate it.

“We must continue to educate people – particularly young people – that carrying offensive weapons in public is a serious offence which ruins lives. It is a common misconception that some people feel safer in possession with a knife. This cannot be further from the truth; carrying a knife makes you far more likely to be involved in a crime, whether you are the victim or the offender.

“Our message is simple: lose the knife, not your life.”

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