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New-look Derwent Centre officially opened

8.28am - 18th September 2018

THE newly refurbished Derwent Centre for patients with acute mental illness was officially opened by Harlow Council chairman Maggie Hulcoop and Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust chairman Professor Sheila Salmon. 

The Derwent Centre, on the Princess Alexandrta Hospital site, has undergone a major refurbishment which was started in 2013 by the former North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. 

The building has two wards, Stort Ward and Chelmer, which have transformed into a modern inpatient facility that is suitable for the needs of patients. 

There is also a new reception area, new entrance, hub and indoor garden. 

The refurbishment is part of the trust’s transformation plans to continually improve and develop facilities and environments that will enhance the patient experience.

"Sexual predator" jailed

12.10pm - 5th September 2018

A 41-YEAR-OLD man who kidnapped and sexually assaulted a girl during an opportunistic attack in Harlow has been sentenced to a lengthy jail term.

At the conclusion of a six-day trial on Monday, July 30, Darren Sellen, of Church Leys, Harlow, was found guilty of kidnap, kidnap with intent to commit a sexual assault and sexual assault on a child under 13. 

On Friday, August 31, he appeared again at Chelmsford Crown Court and was sentenced to six years imprisonment and another four years on licence. 

At about 3.30pm on Thursday, November 2 last year a girl was walking from Bush Fair and crossed Tillwicks Road when Sellen came from behind her and put his hands over her mouth and eyes. He dragged her towards some garages before sexually assaulting her. 

Two people who witnessed Sellen grab the victim, who was aged under 13, quickly went to her aid before calling police. 

In court it was noted that Sellen was seen on CCTV following the victim and making sure she was alone before attacking her. 

Officers who reviewed CCTV saw that Sellen was wearing the same clothing described by the victim. He was also caught on camera fleeing the scene. 

Sellen was arrested the next day, on Friday, November 3. 

At sentencing, a Sexual Harm Prevention Order imposed on Sellen following a previous sexual offence was also extended and will be in place for life. 

At the time of the incident in July he was being recalled to prison after a technical breach of his parole for this previous sexual offence. 

The Sexual Harm Prevention Order means that on release, Sellen will have to adhere to a number of conditions for life. Included in these are strict restrictions on physical proximity to children under 16.

Detective Constable Ryan Burgess, who led the investigation, said: “I would like to praise the victim for her bravery during this investigation. She has shown an enormous amount of courage throughout, and gave us key descriptions of Sellen. 

“Sellen is a sexual predator and a very dangerous individual who continues to refuse to admit his terrible actions, but who has now been brought to justice. 

“The severity of his crimes are reflected in the sentence imposed and I hope that this will help to bring some closure and comfort to the victim as she moves on from this ordeal. 

“I would also like to thank the two people who helped her, and whose actions were recognised in crown court for outstanding public duty.” 

A ten-year restraining order in relation to the victim and her immediate family was also granted. 

In court, the two witnesses who came to her aid were each awarded £500.

Applications open for new secondary school

8.10am - 3rd September 2018

ADMISSIONS are now open for Harlow’s newest secondary school and sixth form. 

Sir Frederick Gibberd College is being opened by BMAT to provide a solution to the critical shortage of school places in the town by 2019. 

A fully functioning temporary school building next to Burnt Mill Academy in First Avenue will welcome the first cohort of 120 Year 7 students next September. 

The two-phase opening will see Year 7 become the first cohort while the Department for Education builds the new school’s permanent home in Tendring Road. 

When the school moves to its new building in 2020, Sir Frederick Gibberd will offer an academic sixth form for students who aspire to attend Oxbridge and other Russell Group universities or leading universities in America and Europe. 

Characteristics which make BMAT schools a success - such as extensive enrichment, Saturday school, holiday club and a broad curriculum focusing on EBACC subjects - will be a part of the new school, however Head of School Dee Conlon is keen to also offer something unique to the town.

An open morning will be held at Burnt Mill Academy between 10am and noon on on September 8 to give parents an opportunity to find out more about Sir Frederick Gibberd College before submitting application forms by the October 31 deadline. 

For more information or to apply for a place in Year 7, contact the school on 01279 307244 or email info@bmatsfg.org.uk

Boy stabbed in "targeted attack"

8.35am - 1st September 2018

POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a teenaged boy was stabbed in the leg in Harlow. 

Officers believe the incident happened near Orchard Croft shortly before 6pm on Thursday, near the First Avenue underpass. 

The boy was taken to hospital with injuries which are not believed to be life-threatening or life-changing.

Police believe it have been a targeted attack and are appealing for anyone with information to ring Harlow CID on 101, quoting incident number 880 of 30/08, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Special day as hospice patient meets F1 star

8.30am - 1st September 2018

A PATIENT at St Clare Hospice has had a once-in-a-lifetime meeting with Formula 1 superstar, Lewis Hamilton. 

Katherine Lee, 39, from Epping, has followed the sport since she was a teenager. 

Her mother, Diane, approached the hospice and asked if it could assist in arranging a special 40th birthday surprise for Katherine who has been supported by St Clare Hospice since December 2016 when she was diagnosed with terminal heart failure. 

Katherine’s condition began after treatment for childhood cancer, aged 12, which saw her undergoing radiotherapy that caused later complications and heart failure. 

The hospice has been supporting Katherine and her family with specialist medical advice from its Clinical Nurse Specialists, practical support from social workers, and outpatient support from the hospice's Day Therapy team including occupational therapists, physiotherapists and complementary therapists - all who have helped Katherine manage her condition and continue to live her life to the full.

Katherine’s social worker at the hospice, Michele Tavarone, took on the challenge of planning Katherine’s special day. 

The hospice arranged for Katherine and her mother to attend the F1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone after securing a grant to pay for the tickets from the Willow Foundation, a charity that pays for seriously ill young adults to have a special day out. 

Having secured the Sunday tickets, the hospice’s communications team undertook a social media campaign to attempt to reach Lewis Hamilton. 

The ‘Katherine’s F1 wish’ campaign reached over 50,000 people on the hospice’s Twitter page in mid-June and led to a member of the public giving Katherine an additional two VIP tickets to Silverstone for the Friday when Katherine and her mother had a tour of the pit-lanes and garages, a ride around the track on an open top truck, and watched the qualification races, as well as a chance meeting with Lewis Hamilton when the F1 champion snapped a selfie with Katherine. 

But Katherine’s dream did not end there. 

A representative from fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger, of which Lewis Hamilton is an official ambassador, saw the Twitter campaign and got in touch with her with an invitation to an exclusive launch at their Regent Street store.

 The event was for the launch of Lewis Hamilton’s official clothing collection - Tommy x Lewis - which will be available this autumn. 

Just before leaving for the launch event, Katherine received a phone call from Lewis Hamilton’s team inviting her to meet Lewis at his hotel suite before the Tommy Hilfiger launch event. 

Katherine said: "I couldn’t believe it. It was apparently all Lewis’s idea! My Mum, my friend Beth, and I were welcomed at the hotel foyer by a member of Lewis’s staff and invited to wait in the bar as Lewis was still busy meeting journalists. 

"Once he was available we were taken up to his suite and invited into a big lounge. Lewis then came in, wearing his special Tommy Hilfiger outfit ready for the launch, and just sat with us and chatted. It was so surreal!” 

Katherine added: "Lewis was just so nice and down to earth, and he talked to me for over 20 minutes.

"We spoke about Formula 1 of course as I have been a fan of his for years and have followed his whole career. 

"We talked a lot about Sunday’s race as it had been such a spectacle to watch, and it really just felt like talking to a friend. 

"He was just so modest and kind. We then took some photos in his hotel. I just couldn’t stop smiling like the Cheshire cat all weekend. 

"I told Lewis about St Clare and how they had helped arrange my trip to the Grand Prix and he was happy for me to share my story with the hospice and of course the photos which we took together. 

"I just felt like I was on Cloud 9 and cannot really believe that it all happened! 

“Once we had finished talking it was time to leave for the Tommy Hilfiger launch in Regent Street. We were escorted by one of Lewis’s bodyguards to the event and then given front row seats to watch the launch! 

"We stayed for the party afterwards where there were canapés and the champagne was flowing. It was just crazy for me to be at an event like that, with fashion icons and celebrities. I had to pinch myself to believe it was true! 

"They were certainly a few days that I will never forget, and I am so grateful to everyone who made it happen - the staff at St Clare’s, the people who kindly shared the campaign on social media, the PR team at Tommy Hilfiger who invited me, and of course Lewis Hamilton and his amazing team of people! 

"It really was a dream come true."

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