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Police launch manslaughter investigation

5.16pm - 21st August 2017

POLICE have launched a manslaughter investigation after a man died in hospital two days after an incident at a Harlow pub. 
Police were called with reports of a fight at the Poplar Kitten pub in Tawneys Road shortly after 10.40pm last Thursday. 
A 48-year-old Harlow man suffered a head injury and was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where he died on Saturday. 
Two men were arrested on suspicion of GBH and released on police bail until September 15. 
Enquiries into the incident are continuing and anyone with any information is asked to ring the Major Crime Team in Harlow on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Cycle ride raises over £1,000 for hospice

3.30pm - 20th August 2017

A HARLOW woman has raised over £1,000 for St Clare Hospice after cycling 100 miles in the Prudential RideLondon event in memory of her mother. 
Joanne Weston's mother, Barbara Mackay, died at the Hastingwood hospice last December. 
The Prudential RideLondon covers a 100-mile route on closed roads through the capital and into Surrey. Joanne, 47, completed the route in just over 8 hours. 
She said: “I had an amazing day. Cycling past London’s iconic landmarks with so much support from spectators, I found that the miles flew by. 
"It was a bit emotional as I saw my family cheering me on, but the feeling of achievement will stay with me as it will always be connected to my mum. She was such a strong and supportive person, I know she’d be proud of us all. 
"I took part in the challenge to raise money for a very special place so that St Clare can continue to help families who need them. St Clare allowed us to stay with mum as a family 24/7, providing support to us all in a warm, safe and homely environment. 
"The hospice is a very, very special place and we need to ensure that it continues its work. "After my mum passed away I was feeling a bit lost. 
"My sister, Jayne, suggested doing something positive for our mum and for St Clare and I thought it was a great idea. 
"This ride, and training for it, has given me time to think and helped me to grieve for her. It has brought the family together to support each other through this time whilst giving me something positive to aim for.
"Exercise has been a great way to work through emotions.” 
To support Joanne's fundraisng efforts visit her fundraising page here

Work to start on new M11 junction

3.30pm - 9th August 2017

WORK on a new M11 junction at Sheering is set to begin this winter. 
Planning permission has been granted to allow Junction 7A and improvements to Gilden Way in Harlow.
The new junction is set to open in 2021. 
Essex County Council deputy leader Kevin Bentley said: "This junction will transform the daily lives of businesses and residents by helping to improve links to and from the M11. 
"Junction 7A will be on the doorstep of London Stansted Airport and the Harlow Enterprise Zone - helping to keep Essex moving and supporting economic growth for local businesses. 
"This is a major project but we are wasting no time in getting people on the ground to begin preparation works, ensuring we deliver the benefits of this scheme as quickly as possible." 
For more about the plans visit www.essex.gov.uk/junction7a

Headshave raises money for charity

10.16am - 4th August 2017

A MECCA Harlow employee has raised vital funds for charity by shaving his head to support Carers Trust.
Steve Oaks, who has worked at Mecca Bingo for eight years, signed up to allow his colleague Jackie Hill to shave off his hair as part of the Rank Group's 24/7 campaign for Carers Trust. 
Mecca Bingo Harlow customers and colleagues donated £344 to support Steve’s efforts for the campaign which aims to highlight the round-the-clock care provided by the UK’s seven million carers.
Steve said: "I couldn’t resist turning down a free haircut as a way to raise funds for Carers Trust. I wanted to do something a bit different and as I’ve never shaved my head before I thought this was the perfect challenge. 
"It was a nerve-racking experience but my hair will always grow back; it was definitely worth it to help raise funds for such a worthy cause." 
The partnership between Carers Trust and Mecca Bingo began in February 2014 since when team members continue to raise as much money as possible by undertaking various charity initiatives and fundraising activities in the local area. 
Mecca Harlow general manager Hannah Delasalle said: "We’re very proud of Steve for stepping up to the challenge for a cause that is very close to all our hearts. 
"He was very brave to shave off all of his hair to raise such a fantastic sum of money for charity."
Carers Trust chief executive Gail Scott-Spicer said: "The money raised by the team combined with the amazing amounts raised throughout the year will help Carers Trust support thousands of unpaid carers through a grants fund, to give carers the equipment and skills they need to carry out their caring roles whilst also ensuring their own health and wellbeing are looked after."

Teenager convicted of manslaughter

10.10am - 1st August 2017

A TEENAGER has been found guilty of manslaughter following the death of a man in Harlow. 
The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was convicted of manslaughter by a jury on Monday following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court. 
Arkadiusz Jozwik, known as Arek, and two friends had been out for the evening drinking in Harlow on August 27 last year and arrived at The Stow shopping centre at about 10pm. 
They sat drinking alcohol and chatting before going to buy a pizza at about 11.15pm.
They sat on a bench near a group of teenagers who had been in the area on and off for most of the day. At about 11.25pm, 
Mr Jozwik, 40, and one of his friends, Radek Koscelski, walked over to a boy who was sitting on a bench.
There was an exchange of words involving Mr Koscelski and the boy but it was not clear what caused the confrontation due to conflicting witness statements. 
About five minutes later the defendant and three other boys arrived back in the shopping parade on bicycles. 
Two boys, neither of whom were the defendant, rode closely to Mr Jozwik and Mr Koscelski, which appeared to spark a disagreement. 
The boys joined the other teenagers and the men walked over to the group. 
There was a heated verbal confrontation involving gesticulating and a push between the groups. 
At some point, Mr Koscelski was seen to stumble and fall. 
The defendant, who was in front of the men but behind the rest of the teenagers, surreptitiously moved around the group and stood behind Mr Jozwik. 
He was then seen to jump and forcefully punch him in the head from behind, causing Mr Jozwik to fall to the ground banging his head. The group of teenagers scattered and left the scene before emergency services arrived shortly afterwards. 
Mr Jozwik suffered a brain injury and a fractured skull. He never regained consciousness and died in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, on August 29. 
Police initially arrested six people in connection with his death including the defendant, then aged 15. 
He was later charged with manslaughter following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service. 
The teenager, from Harlow, denied the offence but was convicted on Monday. He will be sentenced on Friday September 8. 
Speaking after the hearing Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “This has been a complex and difficult investigation and my thoughts very much remain with Mr Jozwik’s family who have lost a dearly loved son and brother in the most tragic of circumstances. 
"While nothing will ever bring Mr Jozwik back, now the court proceedings are over, I hope his family can somehow start to rebuild their lives.
"Essex Police, working in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service, has carried out a huge amount of work into trying to establish the course of events that led to Mr Jozwik’s death and to find the truth of what happened. 
"My team has taken more than 150 witness statements, spoken to more than 300 people during enquiries and reviewed more than 100 hours of CCTV footage. 
"More than 30 police officers and staff have been involved in the investigation and committed more than 1,200 additional hours. 
"Whatever the reason for the events of that night, the defendant deliberately used violence against Mr Jozwik. 
"While he would not have intended for it to be a fatal blow, he made a decision to move deliberately behind the victim and take him by surprise with a forceful punch. He must have appreciated this would have caused harm." 
Harlow District Commander Chief Inspector Matt Cornish said: "Mr Jozwik’s death left residents of our town deeply shocked and my thoughts remain with his family and friends. 
"Tragic incidents such as these are extremely rare and Harlow remains a safe place to live, with a strong and resilient community. 
"We have been working closely with residents, the Polish community and community leaders to listen to, and address, their concerns. 
"A large amount of work has gone into tackling anti-social behaviour and crime, and this will carry on to ensure people feel safe and confident in reporting incidents to us."

Award for Town Park and nature reserve

8.04am - 1st August 2017

HARLOW Town Park and Parndon Wood Nature Reserve have again been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme. 
Both parks are among a record-breaking 1,797 UK parks and green spaces to receive a prestigious Green Flag Award, the mark of a quality park or green space. 
Parndon Wood Nature Reserve has now won the award for a ninth successive year with the Town Park celebrating its second Green Flag Award. 
The international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
The Town Park is maintained by Harlow Council and HTS (Property & Environment) Limited with support from local volunteers. 
The nature reserve is also maintained by Harlow Council and volunteers with local organisation ECCO managing the Conservation Centre and running community activities as part of a partnership agreement.
Environment portfolio holder Danny Purton said: "We are absolutely delighted to receive Green Flag Awards for two green open spaces which we are very proud of. 
"We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors and this award celebrates the dedication and pride that goes into maintaining both sites to such a high standard. 
"You don’t keep winning these awards unless you kept putting the hard work and effort in. 
"Maintaining both to the Green Flag standard is only possible through a big joint team effort between council staff, partners and local volunteers. 
"This year we dedicate these awards to Darren Fazackerley and all the volunteers who help maintain these areas."

Council to target anti-social behaviour

8.03am - 1st August 2017

HARLOW Council is to employ extra officers and make improvements to The Stow and Bush Fair shopping centres to help reduce anti-social behaviour and crime. 
The council's cabinet has agreed to employ up to three more community safety officers who will join the existing Community Safety Team and work with the public and community groups to target anti-social behaviour and environmental crimes like littering, fly-tipping and graffiti.
The new officers will provide a presence and work in areas such as the Town Centre, The Stow, Bush Fair and Staple Tye and will also support and work closely with Essex Police on specific operations. 
The council will also improve street lighting, street furniture, planting and the layout in The Stow and Bush Fair to help discourage crime and anti-social behaviour and make them more attractive places to visit, shop and do business. 
Council leader Jon Clempner said: "Nationally there has been an increase in crime and locally our communities have been unsettled by some high profile incidents which have taken place in the town. 
"For most Harlow remains a safe place in which to live, work and visit and these steps are about reassuring and supporting our residents and businesses. 
"We want to work with them to tackle any issues head on and respond directly to some of the local concerns and the national picture. 
"We will be taking a zero-tolerance approach and using a range of measures to prevent antisocial behaviour but to do that we need the extra resources in place. 
"Improvements to The Stow and Bush Fair shopping centres are about raising pride in these areas but also discouraging antisocial behaviour and criminal activity along with uniformed Officers working in these areas." 
The council is allocating £200,000 for the measures which will be financed by an underspend in its 2016-17 budgets. 
The new officers will be highly visible working different shifts including weekends and evenings and will receive training as part of Essex Police’s Community Safety Accreditation Scheme. 
The current Community Safety Team dealt with 3,651 reports between April 2016 and March this year.

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