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Laser pen attack at planes landing at Gatwick threaten passengers safety

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Pilots of several aircraft making their final approaches to Gatwick Airport on Monday night (18 December) reported a green laser light being shone at them as they flew over the Ashdown Forest before landing.

They included inbound flights from Barcelona and Turin.

In total, five incidents were reported, mostly occurring between 7pm and 8pm, although there was also one around midnight.

Sergeant Darren Taylor said:

“We believe the person or persons responsible were located in the Hartfield area and we are keen to hear from anyone who can help us narrow down the location or who may have information. No one was injured and all the aircraft affected landed safely, but it is a potentially dangerous thing to do.” 

Anyone able to help is asked to contact police online at https://sussex.police.uk/appealresponse or to phone 101, quoting serial 1225 of 18/12.

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Crime

Man jailed for stealing charity collection tins

A man who broke into a café and stole three charity collection tins has been jailed.

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Police were alerted to the break-in at The Conservatory Café in North Street, Horsham, about 11.30pm on Monday 13 May.

Smashed windows and traces of blood were discovered at the scene and a witnesses described a man acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the offence.

Due to the description provided and the information received, a suspect was nominated.

A PCSO on patrol spotted the suspect in Hurst Road about 7pm the following evening (14 May) and noticed he had cuts on his hand consistent with a recent injury.

The suspect was identified as Kieran Blunden, 33, unemployed, of no fixed address.

Further officers attended to assist, and Blunden was arrested and charged with burglary.

He was remanded in custody to appear before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 16 May, where he was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £50 in compensation.

Blunden also admitted stealing a charity box from the Cancer Research shop in West Street, Horsham, on 14 May, and this offence was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Investigations Supervisor Dave Bell said:

“Blunden’s sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence committed and takes into account his previous offending history.

“This was a diabolical offence whereby the defendant has stolen from the most vulnerable in our community.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for helping to bring him to justice – from the café owner who initially reported it, to the witness who provided a good description of the suspect, and the PCSO whose local knowledge ultimately led to Blunden being identified and arrested.”

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