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Lead thefts from five Horsham and Haywards Heath churches

Police received six reports of lead thefts from the roofs of churches since the 1 October.

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Sussex Police Officers are appealing for witnesses after a series of lead thefts in Haywards Heath and Horsham.

Sussex Police have received six reports of lead thefts from the roofs of churches since the 1 October.

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St Nicolas Church, St John’s Church, St Peter’s Church all in Horsham and the Holy Trinity Church and St Mary Magdalen’s Church in Haywards Heath were effected.

PCSO Daryl Holter, Heritage Crime Officer said: “We believe the majority of these thefts have occurred over night when the buildings are unoccupied.

“Most of the churches who have fallen victim to this crime are listed buildings and the consequences of such criminality can be significant.

“All lines of enquiry will be investigated and we will be working closely with the Diocese of Chichester and Ecclesiastical Insurance to tackle this matter.

“We are urging the communities in these areas to be vigilant and to watch out for any suspicious behaviour. No one knows their neighbours better than you. These buildings are part of our shared heritage and we need to work together to protect them.”

If you witnesses any suspicious behaviour near a church or would like to report any information, please go online or call 101 quoting reference 273 of 01/10. Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Crime

Crawley man jailed for over 4 years after racist and homophobic abuse at Brighton Pride revellers

A man who hurled racist and homophobic abuse at revellers heading to Brighton Pride has been jailed for more than four years.

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Ryan Brown was heading to Pride himself when he threatened to ‘knock a woman out’ and shouted racist and homophobic terms at train passengers.

The incident happened shortly after 5pm on Saturday 5 August 2017.

The 31-year-old from Hastings Road in Crawley, West Sussex, resisted arrest at Brighton and had to be restrained by BTP officers.

In his pocket he had a large number of small bags containing MDMA.

He was found guilty of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply and causing fear of violence through racially charged and homophobic language.

Brown was also sentenced at the same time for a separate matter which included affray, criminal damage, and assault with intent to resist arrest which he pleaded guilty to in December 2018.

He was jailed for four years and six months at Hove Crown Court on Thursday 10 January.

British Transport Police DC Imogen Sweeney said:

“I would like to thank the victim in this case. She was subjected to a frightening ordeal by Brown, receiving homophobic abuse and witnessing racist abuse. 

“She has remained determined to pursue justice throughout this investigation and I have nothing but admiration and praise for her strength.

“Brighton Pride celebrates diversity and equality, values that Brown clearly needs education in. I believe this sentence reflects the seriousness and particularly nasty nature of his offending on that day.”

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