It’s been a busy year around Chesterfield and Derbyshire with news ranging from the tragic to the comic to the downright bizarre. Here is the second part of our review of some of the hundreds of stories we have covered in your Derbyshire Times this year.
Brightly-dressed revellers helped transform Chesterfield’s first Gay Pride Celebration at Queen’s Park into a kaleidoscope of rainbow colours. The inaugural event attracted hundreds of people despite the rain as they lifted the day with their brightly-coloured outfits and high spirits.
Generous fund-raisers have helped cover vital medical costs for a poorly stray who was found with a massive tumour. The elderly Staffordshire Bull Terrier, nicknamed Ronnie, was found stranded and placed with Bolsover District Council’s dog warden and the North Derbyshire Animal Support Group.
Police investigating the theft of money from St Mary and St Lawrence Church in High Street, Bolsover, said that the thief had hidden inside the building before breaking out with the cash, following a flower festival.
Bolsover brothers James and Thomas Hill were jailed for a “brutal, vicious and unprovoked” attack which left an elderly dog dead. James aged, 22, of Hillcrest Close, Bolsover, and 20-year-old Thomas, of Houfton Road, Bolsover, subjected the animal to a terrifying ordeal while they were high on the drug MCAT and drunk.
A dog which endured skin and eye infections because its owners could not afford to pay for veterinary treatment was set for a loving new home. Dana Levick and John Wishart each admitted causing unnecessary suffering to their nine-year-old English Bull Terrier, Blade, at Chesterfield magistrates’ court. A spokesman for Chesterfield RSPCA – which cared for the animal since it was taken off the couple – said: “Blade came into us with a skin condition which defies description.”
August was also the month when hundreds of young people from around Derbyshire nervously awaited the arrival of their GCSE and A Level results.
The Salvation Army celebrated its 150th anniversary in August with events up and down the country, including Chesterfield’s branch, which was formed 133 years ago following a meeting at the Old Malt House on Brewery Yard in Brampton at which a very interesting set of characters were present. They included the Converted Boozer, Smiling Jack, Teetotal Tom, the Boy Preacher, four Hallelujah lassies, the Singing Pilgrim and the Left-handed Fiddler.
Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills said he wants to put a stop to public officials being paid thousands of pounds indefinitely while they are awaiting disciplinary proceedings, saying he would favour a three-month limit for how long public officials can be paid while they are suspended. He made the remarks following the revelation that Derbyshire health chief Steve Trenchard was paid £40,000 while awaiting a tribunal regarding claims he protected a colleague from allegations of sexual harassment.
A bride-to-be described how she was “devastated beyond words” after her fiancé, and father of the couple’s young child, was left with severe brain damage following an accident at work.Jamie Somerton, 28, of Shuttlewood, sustained serious physical injuries after falling from scaffolding onto a pile of bricks.
Chesterfield College art and design student Hannah Carter, 17, was declared the winner of a competition to design a sculpture to be installed outside the college’s new construction facility on Infirmary Road as part of the percent for art scheme run by Chesterfield Borough Council.
Politicians from Derbyshire waded into the row over plans to slash tax credits for families, with Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins slamming the Government plans, after it emerged a total of 8,100 families in Chesterfield received tax credits last year, making an estimated 7,200 children worse off. The plan was eventually defeated by the House of Lords.
Police officers have thanked members of public who helped to track the owner of a group of horses found on Alfreton land.
An animal lover described her horror after puppies were abandoned at a road side and ‘kicked’ out of the car. Residents of Woodthorpe Road in Shuttlewood, near Bolsover, searched through fields all night for the lost pups after a worried pensioner saw the act of heartless abandonment.
Calls to reconsider plans to drastically cut the number of lollipop men and women at crossings outside the county’s schools were turned down by council chiefs. During a heated debate, county councillors blamed each other for the situation - Labour members blaming government cuts and the Tories citing a flawed consultation process.
A vicious knife attacker who stabbed a man in the chest was sentenced to seven years in prison. Piotr Karasinski denied wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon in public. Police were called to reports of a stabbing in Victoria Street, Shirebrook, on Monday, May 25 after a 43-year-old Polish man had been stabbed with a knife.
A far-right political party pledged to “make a stand” after it was banned from holding a conference in Chesterfield. Britain First had booked a Chesterfield Borough Council venue for the seven-hour meeting. In a letter to the nationalist party’s leader Paul Golding, the council’s chief executive Huw Bowen said: “I am writing to advise you that a decision has been taken to cancel this booking because of the risk of public disorder.
Violent thug Tomasz Borowicki, who pursued his frightened mother from Poland to Shirebrook was jailed for 26 weeks after he breached a restraining order and attacked her. Magistrates were told how Borowicki, aged 37, of Coronation Drive, Shirebrook, repeatedly verbally abused his mother and stepsister before he assaulted his mother at her home.
Sports Direct dominated the news agenda in early December following a major investigation by The Guardian newspaper, which the Derbyshire Times’ sister-title the Mansfield Chad contributed to. The investigation exposed working conditions at the company’s Shirebrook headquarters, and revealed agency staff were not being paid the national minimum wage. Protests also took place at stores around the country, including Chesterfield, calling for better conditions. Later in the month, owner Mike Ashley pledged to review how agency workers are treated.
It was announced in December that Coronation Street star Kym Marsh will help launch Chesterfield’s new multi-million pound Queen’s Park Sports Centre.The Chesterfield Borough Council-run centre was due to launch on Tuesday, January 5, and will be open from 6.30am Monday to Friday and from 8am on Saturday and Sunday.
Following a Freedom of information request, it emerged that Chesterfield Royal Hospital had earned more than a million pounds from parking charges in the last financial year. The trust made a total of £1.19m in 2014-15 - making it one of the 50 per cent of hospitals in England to be making at least a million a year from patient and visitor parking.
A Chesterfield dad who groped a woman worker when he took his wife and two kids to a Shrek-themed attraction in London has been given a community order. Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court heard how IT engineer Srinivas Boreddy, 36, grabbed the bottom of a young actress dressed as a look-a-like Shrek character and planted a kiss on her neck.
Pictured (from top) Chesterfield’s Gay Pride, Ray Baynes from Chesterfield’s Salvation Army branch, Nigel Mills MP, a lollipop lady, Piotr Karasinski, and campaigners outside Sports Direct in Shirebrook.