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Tenants move into new Crawley council flats

The five new council flats have been constructed on the site of a former off licence in Northgate Parade.

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Cabinet member for Housing, Councillor Michael Jones with new tenant Elizabeth Oke.

Five brand new council flats have been built in Northgate, providing affordable accommodation for Crawley residents.

Two two-bedroom and three one-bedroom flats have been constructed on the site of a former off licence in Northgate Parade.

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New tenant Elizabeth Oke was over the moon to be able to move in to her flat and her new neighbour, Carole Thompson, was so eager to move in, she had the removal truck waiting outside when she signed up for her tenancy and got the keys.

Carole Thompson, keys in hand, with Councillor Michael Jones.

The flats have triple glazed windows, mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems, and photovoltaic panels on the roof providing power to communal areas.

Councillor Michael Jones, Cabinet member for Housing, said:

“These new flats are another example of the good quality affordable homes we’re building for the people of Crawley. And they are just a small taste of what is to come, as this council moves forward with our ambition to build more than 1,000 new council homes here in the borough.

“It was such a pleasure to join housing officers to personally welcome our new residents as they picked up their keys, and to wish them many happy years in their new homes. They had to satisfy rigorous ‘local connection’ criteria set by the council to ensure local people who live and work in Crawley are given the recognition they deserve when it comes to our council housing waiting lists.

(Left to right) Housing Officer, Vince Leader; new tenants, Elizabeth Oke and Carole Thompson; Councillor Michael Jones, Cabinet member for Housing.

“It’s a great use of a small site and I am sure that Northgate residents will also be delighted to see the removal of the previous building, which did little to enhance the appearance of the neighbourhood. Having taken a peek at some of the unoccupied flats, I’m also pleased to see the solar panels and other eco features on these properties.”

Planning permission was granted in 2016 and the construction was undertaken by Sussex firm Cheesmur Building Contractors.

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Langley Green, Crawley man who posed as delivery driver jailed for attempted robbery

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[Left to right: Cavelle Robinson, Jeamelle Baptiste, Ryan Roche]

A Crawley man is among three men who have been jailed in connection with an attempted robbery where they posed as delivery drivers and forced their way into the home of a terrified mother and her young children in south London.

Ryan Roche, 27 (28.06.93), of Melbourne Grove, Southwark, was sentenced to four years and three months’ imprisonment at Inner London Crown Court on Friday, 15 January while Jeamelle Baptiste, 28, of Juniper Road, Crawley, West Sussex, (03.11.92) was sentenced to three years and 11 months’ imprisonment.

Cavelle Robinson, 26 (25.04.94), of Grange Road, Croydon, was sentenced at the same court on 8 December 2020 to three years’ imprisonment.

All three pleaded guilty to attempted robbery at the same court on Monday, 28 September. In addition, Robinson pleaded guilty to possession of a Class B drug (cannabis).

The court heard that at about 18:50hrs on Friday, 3 July, Robinson drove Roche and Baptiste to near a residential address in Dulwich.

Baptiste posed as a delivery man – even wearing a delivery company’s t-shirt and a surgical facemask – and rang the doorbell. When the victim – a woman in her 30s – opened the door, Baptiste told her he had a parcel for her. She told him to leave it on the doorstep. He asked for her name and after she replied, he said he had made a mistake and he left.

A few minutes later, the victim heard the doorbell ring several times. She eventually opened the door while holding her one-year-old daughter. Baptiste was once again at the door holding the parcel. The victim told him to leave it on the doorstep when Roche, who was hiding to one side, jumped out and forcibly pushed the victim into the house.

Roche was also wearing a facemask.

The victim pleaded with the suspects not to attack her or hurt her child. Roche and Baptiste kept repeatedly ‘where are the drugs?’. The victim replied there were no drugs in the address, but there was some money in a container on the kitchen counter.

When Baptiste and Roche turned their backs to look at the money, the victim took the opportunity to run into her garden and shouted ‘call the police, I am being attacked.’ She saw a neighbour in his window. Roche went into the garden, grabbed her arm and dragged her back inside the house.

Clearly spooked by the victim’s actions, Baptiste said to Roche ‘let’s go.’ Baptiste ran out the front door and Roche quickly followed. The victim ran out into the road and again shout that she was being attacked and to call the police.

A number of neighbours left their houses and chased after the suspects. One of the neighbours saw the two men enter a black Volkswagen Golf, which was parked nearby.

Immediately after this neighbour called the police, officers in a marked vehicle saw the car approach a junction at speed. They blocked the car at the junction and Roche and Robinson were detained and arrested. Baptiste ran from the front passenger seat and began garden hopping – discarding clothes as he ran – but he was soon detained and arrested.

Officers searched the vehicle, registered to Robinson, and found the delivery company t-shirt in the front passenger foot well.

Detective Sergeant Chris Shepherd, from the Central South area’s Burglary and Robbery Investigation Team, said:
 

“This case of mistaken identity was an absolutely terrifying ordeal for the victim and her three young children. Luckily, she bravely used an opportunity presented to her to run outside and alert her neighbours.

“I’d like to thank her neighbours for being so vigilant and for calling the police, providing excellent descriptions of the suspects and the getaway vehicle. This allowed nearby response officers to swiftly apprehend and arrest the culprits of this abhorrent crime. The evidence we put together left the suspects no choice but to plead guilty.”

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