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Two people charged in connection with a robbery

Two people have been charged in connection with a robbery in Heywood. Niall Kiernan (born 29/01/1991) of Caldbeck Drive in Middleton has been charged with robbery and Stacey Brewer (born 28/08/1990) of Caldbeck Drive in Middleton has been charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and drug offences.

They are both due to appear at Manchester and Salford magistrates’ on Wednesday 6 August. On Thursday 12 June at about 3pm two men approached a bank on York Street in Heywood. They broke into the bank and made threats towards staff and demanded cash. They then stole cash and ran out of the bank and drove off in a car waiting outside.

Three teenagers charged with robbery

Three people have been charged with robbery. Three boys, aged 17, 15 and 14, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have been charged and due to appear before Rochdale Magistrates on 7th August. On Wednesday 28th May, an 18-year-old man was threatened on Middleton Gardens and had his mobile phone stolen.

Man exposes himself

A man indecently exposed himself on three occasions in the Middleton area. The first happened on Bowlee playing fields, Heywood Old Road at around 4.45pm on Tuesday 15 July, when a ten-year-old girl was walking and saw the man exposing himself. She ran off before alerting her family.

The second happened 5.25pm, 40 minutes later, on Green Lane where he exposed himself to an 11-year-old girl before she ran off. The final incident took place at 9.10pm on Don Street. A 17-year-old girl was walking and as she got near to trees, the man exposed himself before she ran off. He is described as being white, in his 30s, 6ft tall and wore an Adidas tracksuit.

Detective Sergeant Nicola Hopkinson said: “Due to the times and locations all three incidents took place, we believe the same person is responsible. Although the victims’ have not been physically touched, they have still been left shocked by what happened.

“Obviously residents will be concerned by what has happened and we have increased patrols in the area to offer reassurance. I would ask if anyone has seen this man or believe they have been a victim themselves, please contact us as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 8576 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Man charged following robberies

A man has been charged with four counts of robbery. Reece Steven (22/05/1993) of Wood Street was also charged with two counts of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, two counts of possessing an offensive weapon and possessing cannabis with intent to supply. He was due before Oldham Magistrates on Thursday 3 July 2014.

On Friday 11th April 2014, jewellery and money was stolen from a jewellers on Middleton Gardens where a staff member was threatened with a machete. On Tuesday 27th May 2014, money was stolen from a travel agent on Manchester New Road and a staff member was threatened with a knife. On Saturday 31st May 2014, money was stolen from a travel agent on Sisson Street, Failsworth. On Wednesday 1st June 2014, money was stolen from a travel agent on Old Street, Ashton-under-Lyne.

Woman in wheelchair punched in face by would be robber

A disabled woman in a wheelchair was punched in the face by a man who tried to steal her handbag. At 5.25pm on Wednesday 2 July, the 55-year-old woman was on Long Street, having been shopping in the town, when the thief approached her and grabbed hold of her handbag. She refused to let go and was punched twice to the side of her head.

The offender is described as having olive skin, aged in his early 40s, about 5ft 7in tall, of muscular build and who had an Eastern European accent and was wearing a black hooded top and blue jeans. He ran off towards the town centre after someone who was standing outside the nearby Olde Boar's Head pub shouted at him. This person left the area in a taxi prior to police attendance and officers are trying to locate them.

Detective Constable Mark Green, said: “This individual really is the lowest of the low. He is a coward and a scoundrel. To deliberately target and strike a person in a wheelchair is beyond comprehension for anyone with a moral compass.

“Were you in the area and do you have information about the offender? If so please call us. I am also eager to trace the person or persons who shouted at the offender but who left the area straight away. It is really important we speak to you so please come forward if you see or hear this appeal.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8701, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, no 0800 555 111.

Caller claims to be from council before conning woman, 92

The offender's van A callous cold caller who claimed to be a council worker conned an elderly woman out of cash after calling twice at her Middleton home. At about 11.20am on 24th June, a man in a white Transit van called at a house on Lister Road. He told the 92-year-old occupant he was from the council and required £400 to erect scaffolding around the house in order to carry out repairs. The woman refused to hand over any money and the man left.

He returned about 20 minutes later and gained access to the house. He told the woman and her son, aged 66, that failure to pay the £400 would result in legal action. Due to the confusion over the situation and threats made against the two people, the requested amount was paid. The offender left in the van, driven by a second unknown person towards Lands End Road.

The offender is described as white, 5ft 6in tall, of slim build, with very short fair hair and in his early 30s. He was wearing a dark t-shirt, dark trousers and dark work gloves, and spoke with a slight Irish accent.

Detective Constable Nick Price, said: “Crimes where elderly members of our community are deliberately targeted are especially galling. Unperturbed by being knocked back, the man has returned and levelled threats of legal action should his demands not me met.

“Worried that the threats may be genuine and concerned and confused by the situation the woman has unfortunately handed over the cash. I now want help to track down this lowlife thief before he preys on anyone else. If you have information about who he might be, the person he was with or the van used, please call me.”

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 8577/8701 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Rotary’s Young Citizen & Citizen of the Year 2014 Announced

Rotary’s Young Citizen & Citizen of the Year 2014 The Rotary Club of Middleton Youth and Vocational and Community Service Committees announced the winners of the prestigious Young Citizen and Citizen of the Year 2014. The winners are 10 year old Connor Dunning and Glen Prendergast, the head coach of Middleton Gymnastics Club. Both received a trophy and £50 prize award. The awards were announced and presented to the winners by Isha Khan, Rochdale’s Young Person of the Year 2014, Emma O’Donnell, Youth Mayor of Oldham and by Graham Rawlinson, Director or Rochdale AFC.

The ceremony took place at St Anne’s Academy on 19th June. Six adults and six young people were nominated for personal achievements of service above self. Family and friends joined them for an evening of celebration and recognition. Nominations were received by the Rotary Club of Middleton throughout the year and were whittled down to an elite selection of twelve very worthy nominees. These twelve nominees were recognised for their outstanding contribution to the town of Middleton and were awarded certificates by members of the Rotary Club of Middleton, by Emma O’Donnell and by Graham Rawlinson.

Winner of the Rotary’s Young Citizen of the Year 2014, Connor Dunning, began to fundraise at an early age. Connor has raised funds for a variety of charities including DEBRA, PDSA and for a memorial garden for April Jones amongst others. Connor has conducted sponsored swims and walks, and has even made and sold key rings to raise funds to reach his goal of collecting funds for worthy causes. Conner would rather ask, ‘What can I do, then ask what can I have’. Connor regularly uses his time to find ways to help others.

Winner of the Rotary’s Citizen of the Year 2014, Glen Prendergast, established the Middleton Gymnastics Club back in 1986 and has been its head coach ever since. Glen works seven days a week to help individuals grow in self esteem, improve social skills, encourage self discipline and team work. Glen is a true community champion.

Sue Furby, Chair of the Youth and Vocational Projects Committee and joint organiser said, “It’s brilliant to recognise and celebrate the achievements of Middleton youngsters and their citizens, and it was an extremely difficult decision to choose the overall winners. However, Connor has demonstrated amazing commitment to charity work using his time to find ways to raise money. Connor has raised over £600 toward various causes close to his heart. He has made a real difference which makes him a worthy winner. Congratulations Connor, we hope you continue to make a positive impact in Middleton.”

Lee Wolf, Chair of the Rotary’s Community Service Committee commented, “The Rotary Club of Middleton is proud to recognise all these individuals within our community that go the extra mile. We struggled to narrow down the nominees and it was an even tougher decision to pick an overall winner for our Citizen of the Year 2014. We selected Glen and feel he is a very worthy winner. Glen has demonstrated unselfish dedication to help individuals grow in confidence and has spent 30 years improving many lives in Middleton. We applaud Glen and hope the Middleton Gymnastics Club continues to thrive and grow.”

The nominees for Rotary’s Young Citizen of the Year 2014 included:

Louise Woodhouse – for her work as a Junior Warden with Rochdale Borough Housing

Sian Wildbure – a ECO team leader at Alkrington Primary School

Juliette Waterhouse – a member of the ‘Make A Difference’ group at Cardinal Langley

Beth Duxbury – an accomplished student and swimmer at Cardinal Langley who has organised various fundraising events

Harry Page – a young man who attends Rochdale Sixth Form College and is a member of the National Citizenship Service

The nominees for Rotary’s Citizen of the Year 2014 included:

Peter Hyde – a member of the Oldham Mountain Rescue team for 48 years

Pauline McDonough – a voluntary swimming instructor for Middleton Amateur Swimming Club for over 35 years

Jackie Ainsley – of Ainsley Signs who stepped in and helped the Rotary Club of Middleton build their Christmas Float

Brian Brown – a member of Middleton Talking Newspapers since 1979

Ian Tomlinson – of Grange Body Shop (GBS) who found space in his busy garage to help the Rotary Club of Middleton build their Christmas Float

A special Certificate of Merit was awarded on the night to young Abigail Matthews who helped raise over £200 for the Rotary Club of Middleton’s Water Catchment Project in Kenya.

Do you know an inspiring individual who enjoys going that extra mile in helping others? If so, then maybe you could nominate them for the Middleton Rotary Young Citizen and Citizen of the Year 2015. If you know someone you would like to nominate please email middletonrotaryyvpc@yahoo.co.uk for a nomination form. The nominees for Young Citizen of the Year must be under 20 years of age. Nomination forms are also available by sending a self addresses envelope to The Rotary Club of Middleton YVPC 5 Broche Close, Marland, Rochdale OL11 3LT.

Man charged after a suspect package was left outside office

William Harkin (born 30/04/1960) of Hopwood Road has been charged with a bomb hoax, placing an article with intent. He appeared at Bury magistrates’ court on 17 June 2014 and was remanded in custody. He is due to appear at Manchester Crown Court on 8 July 2014.

Just before 5am on Monday 16 June 2014, police were called to the Benefits Office on Oldham Road, Middleton to reports a suspicious package had been left outside.

Officers attended and a number of cordons were put in place as a precaution while the validity of the package was established. An Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) was deployed to the scene and assessed the package, it was determined it was not a viable explosive device.

The package was recovered and there was no threat to any members of the public.

Middleton Rotary Projects Popstar Academy Forward

Middleton Popstars The Rotary Club of Middleton today announce a £500 grant to Middleton Popstars Academy. The grant will be used to help with purchasing a projector for the Academy’s new and recently opened Bojangles Theatre.

Anne Marshall, Director of the Academy said: “We would like to thank The Rotary Club of Middleton for their continued support both via this grant and the assistance they have given in the past. This grant has been awarded just at the right time as we have recently opened our new theatre.”

Middleton Popstars ​Academy is a performing arts centre located on Morton Street. It offers its students singing lessons, dance lessons as well as opportunities to undertake make-up, costume design and media. The academy was established ten years ago and is run as a not-for-profit community group and is open to all able bodied students and those with any disability.

Lee Wolf, Chairman of the Rotary’s Community Service Committee, said, “I have visited the academy on quite a few occasions and always impressed with the work of the academy and the fantastic effort Anne puts in day in, day out. The Rotary Club of Middleton is pleased to provide Anne and the academy with this grant so that their community work can continue and the academy can grow and grow.”

Lee Wolf continued, “The Rotary Club of Middleton is passionate about our local community and we want to help as many community groups as we can and I would encourage local groups and charities to get in touch with the Rotary Club of Middleton to obtain further information on Rotary’s funding opportunities.” For further information on Rotary’s Community Service Committee please contact Lee Wolf at middletonrotarycs@yahoo.co.uk.

Taxi driver assaulted by robber

A taxi driver was assaulted during a robbery in Middleton. At about 12.30am on 11 May, the 60-year-old driver collected a man from Bowness Road, Middleton and took him to Baguley Crescent. Once there, the passenger demanded the driver’s car keys and cash.

He then snatched the keys from the ignition and began assaulting him. The victim handed over some cash to the offender, who then got out of the car and kicked it. Local residents, who had heard the commotion, came to the victim’s aid and the offender ran off with some cash. He dropped the keys to the car at the scene.

He is described as white, about 5ft 10in tall and between 18 and 25 years old. He had short fair/blonde hair, was of slim build and wearing a parka style jacket.

Detective Constable Claire Ramsden, said: “This was a wholly unacceptable attack on a man in his 60s who was simply trying to do his job. By coming to the driver’s assistance, local residents have proven that they will not tolerate mindless thugs, like the man responsible for this robbery, operating in their neighbourhoods.

“The offender most likely has some connection with the area and I would urge others in the community who might know who he is or have information about him to call us with that information.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 1706, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

The Croft Community Gardens receive Rotary funding for Community Garden Area

The Croft Community Gardens The Rotary Club of Middleton has awarded The Croft Community Gardens a grant of £500. The Croft Community Gardens is a small allotment and community garden in the heart of Boarshaw. It occupies a triangular piece of land between Valley Road, Boarshaw Road and Green Lane. In 2010, Rochdale Council developed the land, which had previously been unmanaged, and created the foundations for the allotments and gardens. A small group of local people got together to form a Society to manage the site with one of their main objectives being ‘To promote allotment gardening to the wider community of Middleton and to encourage participation of schools and other community groups.’

Maureen Glynn, Secretary for the Society explained, "We now have 21 plots rented out to our members, many of them local residents who were new to growing their own vegetables, and we have a community area that is used for social events and for growing vegetables with the schoolchildren from Boarshaw County Primary School.”

Maureen continued, “We are very grateful indeed to The Rotary Club of Middleton for their support and generosity. The grant will be used to further develop the community area and create a growing space for small fruit trees and to demonstrate how vegetables can be grown in small spaces and containers. We will also be able to buy some small gardening tools for the children when they come to help with the planting. These and other improvements will make the gardens more attractive and a safer place for the children to visit.”

Lee Wolf, Chairman of the Rotary Club of Middleton’s Community Service Committee commented, “What Maureen and the members of The Croft Community Gardens have achieved over the last few years is remarkable and shows a real community spirit. This group has completely transformed the site and in doing so has created an oasis which the community can now enjoy.”

Bogus callers in Middleton

Three men conned a 69-year-old man into giving them money for work that was not carried out. At around 12.30pm on Tuesday 22 April, three men knocked on the door of a house on Lister Road, claiming to be from the water board. They said they were there to check the drains and asked for money. When it was given to them, they claimed they needed to get some machinery and would be back to carry out the work. They never returned.

One man is described as being white, 5ft 10in tall, of stocky build, in his 30s, had short dark hair, wore dark clothing and spoke with a local accent. Another was white, 6ft tall, of slim build, in his late 20s and wore a multi-coloured cap.

Detective Constable Mike Berger said: "These men took advantage of their victim, claiming that work needed to be done. They convinced him they would be back but never returned, taking his money with them. I would urge all members of the community to be vigilant. If someone comes to your home unexpected, ask them for ID. If they work for an official organisation or company, they will gladly show it to you. If you are still unhappy, tell them to come back later when a family member or trusted neighbour can be with you."

Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 5701 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Man charged following sexual assaults

A man has been charged with two counts of sexual assault by touching. Ganiu Olelakan Adigun, (22/11/1995), of Hopwood Road, Middleton, was charged and is due before Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on 19 May 2014.

In December 2013, a 17-year-old female was assaulted on Hopwood Road, Middleton. On Wednesday 19 March 2014, an 18-year-old woman was sexually assaulted on Cheap Side, Middleton.

Rotary Digs Middleton Archaeological Society

Middleton Archaeological Society The Rotary Club of Middleton presented the Middleton Archaeological Society with a £400 grant to be used by the society to fund their numerous community digs during 2014.

The society was formed in 2011 and aims to develop public interest in Middleton archaeology and is open to all members of the community. The society meets on the last Thursday of each month in the Sessions Room at the Olde Boar's Head, Long Street, Middleton.

Cliff Ivers, Treasurer of Middleton Archaeological Society said, “This grant helps to ensure that the society can continue to organise the community excavations which we commenced in 2012.”

Rotarian and Community Service Committee member John Brooker, said, “The Rotary Club of Middleton welcomed the application of Middleton Archaeological Society for a grant during our recent Dragon’s Den initiative and the club are pleased to make the award. “

Home-Start & Rotary Assisting Families in Crisis

Home-Start (Rochdale) The Rotary Club of Middleton presented Home-Start (Rochdale), a family support charity, with £400 to be used to assist vulnerable families in Middleton, providing practical help and support through difficult times.

Home-Start is a local charity offering friendship, support and practical help for families living in the Middleton area. The charity recruits parent volunteers from the local community, who are trained and prepared to visit parents and children at home, with an aim to prevent crisis and breakdown.

Many families who are lonely, isolated, struggling with various health issues, parents and children with disabilities, those struggling with debt, relationship breakdown and families with several young children, access help on a weekly basis.

Home-Start volunteers and referring agencies from within the community, help the charity to identify those families who struggle the most and require support. Relationships between a Home-Start volunteer and the family is developed; problems are shared and worked through to improve family life. Home-Start volunteers support parents by visiting them in their homes for a couple of hours each week.

Donna Arden, Home-Start Scheme Manager said, “Thanks to the support from The Rotary Club of Middleton, Home-Start will be able to offer additional support to approximately 40 families living in Middleton area. Families who are already supported by Home-Start may be eligible to access one off help and support with items such as fresh fruit, vegetables, toiletries, breakfast items, dairy products and fuel. These are essential items families sometimes struggle to provide, especially during times of stress, illness, loss of earnings or financial difficulty."

Stuart Sawle, President of the Rotary Club of Middleton, said, “Donna and the entire Home-Start team are making a real difference in our community, supporting families who are facing challenging times. The Rotary Club of Middleton is pleased to help with this important work. These funds were provided to Home-Start through our club’s Dragons Den initiative.”

Home-Start also puts regular support and friendship in place, to help children access the support they need, both short term and in the future.

Home-Start is looking to increase the number of parent volunteers they have available to support families in the Middleton area. In June 2014 Home-Start (Rochdale) will be recruiting and training new volunteers who can spare two hours each week. For information about becoming a Home-Start volunteer, please contact Home-Start on 01706-629651 or email donna.homestartrochdale@yahoo.co.uk or visit www.homestartrochdale.org.uk. Home-Start (Rochdale) is located at Crimble Croft Community Centre, Aspinall Street, Heywood OL10 4HW.

Rotary Leaps Ahead for Local Cause

Rotary Easter Bunny The Rotary Club of Middleton announced that they have raised £393 for local causes from their Easter Bunny fund raising at Sainsbury's, Heaton Park on Easter Monday 21st March 2014.

Rotary President Stuart Sawle said, “The Rotary Club of Middleton would like to thank Sainsbury's and their customers for helping Rotary raise funds for worthy causes in and around Middleton. We always have a good laugh when we raise funds and every penny we raise goes to help others.”

Stuart continued, “If anyone is interested in getting involved with community projects that improve the lives of Middletonians whilst making friends and having fun; we would encourage them to come along and see what a difference Rotary is making locally and internationally.”

Money stolen from till during robbery

Three men threatened staff and stole money from a shop. At 9.35pm on Saturday 12 April, the men approached the counter of the Co-Op on Kenyon Lane where staff were working and demanded they gave them money. One man threatened them with a baseball bat while the other held a screwdriver. Money was taken from the till before all three left.

One man is described as being in his late teens to early 20s and wore a dark grey tracksuit. A second man is described in his late teens to early 20s, wore a light grey hooded top and blue Adidas bottoms with black Nike trainers. There is no description of the third offender.

Detective Constable Mike Berger said: “At the time of the robbery, staff were working and customers were shopping and all involved have been left in shock. This is the last thing they were expecting as the day came to an end but thankfully no one was hurt. I would ask anyone who may have seen the men walk in, commit the robbery or walk out, to contact police. It is important we catch who is responsible so we can bring them to justice.”

Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 8701 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 55 111.

Masked men stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery during a robbery

Masked robbers assaulted a shop owner and stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery during a robbery in Middleton. It happened about 4pm on Friday 11 April when three men armed with a crowbar and a machete approached a jewellers on Middleton Gardens.

They ran inside the shop, one of the offenders pinned the 50-year-old shop owner to the floor while the others ransacked the shop. They stole a large amount of jewellery from the display cabinets and left. They drove off in a grey Toyota Rav 4 which was fitted with false plates. The car was found abandoned a short time later on Woodhill Close in Middleton.

The first offender is described as a white man, aged in his 20s, of stocky build, between 5ft 8in and 5ft 9in tall. He was wearing black clothing including a black coat and balaclava. The second is described as a man, aged in his 20s, of slim build, between 5ft 9in and 6ft tall and was clean shaven. He was wearing a maroon hooded top with the hood up, dark blue woollen hat, dark blue tracksuit bottoms with two lighter blue stripes down the legs. The third is described as a white man, aged in his 20s, 5ft 9in tall, of medium build and was wearing a grey hooded top.

Detective Constable Daniel Daly from Rochdale division, said: “This was a nasty robbery which left the shop owner fearing for his life. These three men burst into his shop armed with a machete and a crowbar and pushed him to the floor while they ransacked his shop and stole thousands of pounds worth of his stock.

“I want to reassure the shop owner and the communities of Middleton that we will do everything we can to find these men and bring them to justice. If you have any information about the robbery or you saw these man driving their getaway car or saw them abandon it on Woodhill Close, please call us ASAP.”

Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to call police on 0161 856 8701 or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 111 555.

The Three Arrows pub, Middleton Road

It is often said that the local pub is the hub of a community but in these recent hard times many pubs are feeling the pinch and end up closing.

One historic pub, the THREE ARROWS, at Middleton Road, has come up with a novel idea to combat these austere times. They have turned their kitchen into an Italian bistro and installed a real genuine petsa oven, so now customers can enjoy petsas made with fresh local ingredients, prepared by the pubs dedicated chef, Rick, along with their favourite pint of real cask ale.

Deanna Dimech, who runs the hostelry, has worked tirelessly to introduce new events and special theme nights to attract new customers, and the pub is becoming a real friendly local with a great homely atmosphere, live entertainment provided every weekend and several special free events planned.

The THREE ARROWS itself was an old coaching house that dates back to 1848 so it's good to see this historic building still remaining the focus of the local community and not going the way a lot of pubs have gone today. The building has been tastefully modernised but still retains its old world charm.

The launch date for the new Italian food venture was Monday 7th April, and now customers can choose from a range of petsas.
Les Pye (Chairman of Rhodes/Bowlee Environment Group)

Man attacked

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward, after a man was attacked in Middleton. At around 5pm on Monday 24 February a man was driving on Hollin Lane in Middleton and had an argument with the driver and passenger of a VW Caddy Van.

As they got to the junction with Rochdale Road, the van driver got out and approached the victim’s car. The victim got out of his car and the driver punched him in the face. The man then fell to the ground, but the van driver carried on punching him.

The van driver has been described as white, 30-35-years old, slim build and had teeth missing. He was wearing an orange hi-vis jacket. The passenger in the van has been described as around 27-30-years old, with black hair and a black beard.

Detective Constable Michael Berger of Middleton Integrated Neighbourhood Team, said: “This was a violent attack and we want to find the van driver as soon as possible. There are likely to have been quite a few people around at this time in the evening, maybe returning from work that may have seen the two men in the VW van or seen the attack. We are urging anybody who may have any information or recognises the description of the offender to contact us.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8701 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Grace’s Place

Grace’s Place is a new children’s hospice covering the Oldham, Rochdale, Heywood, Middleton and Bury areas that provides children’s palliative and end of life care for both them and their families.

Grace Cole is the home of award winning bath and body products manufacturer based in Cheadle but who’s owner is from that area and as such has chosen “Grace’s place” to be their charity of choice after the wonderful success they have achieved over the last few years, their MD Tracy Mort having received a succession of amazing awards to include non other than an MBE for her service to British Industry and also being named in The Times as one of the top ten companies to watch this year.

The ethics of their director is passed through the whole company and this is mirrored by its employees winning “The Team of the Year” at the 2013 Insider International Trader Awards. The team are about to ride for their chosen charity to raise as much money as they possibly can! On the 23rd of March 2014, they will follow the iconic Christie’s Manchester to Blackpool route which is attended by over 8000 cyclists annually. The route which starts at Manchester United’s Old Trafford and ends at the South Promenade in Blackpool.

The team aim to raise a massive £3000 for Grace’s Place and are certainly on their way to date, currently on a staggering £2,360.30. Please go to www.justgiving.com/GraceCole4GracesPlace and give as much as you can!

For any further information on this event or about Grace Cole or Grace’s Place, please contact Paula Green on paulagreen@gracecole.com

Rotary honours Nick Feist

Rotary honours Nick Feist The Rotary Club of Middleton has awarded Reverend Canon Nick Feist with a Rotary Vocational Service Award at their club meeting on 17 March at the Norton Grange Hotel.

Nick has worked in Middleton for 26 years and during that time, has shown remarkable dedication and commitment to the town and people of Middleton as well as his Parishioners. Nick was ordained in Manchester Cathedral in 1976 and during the years which followed he has touched many people’s lives in Didsbury, Delph and here in Middleton. Nick has been supported by his wife, Mary, who has worked alongside him in the community.

Rotary Clubs across the world recognise the importance of not just helping others through fundraising but of those people who put 'Service Above Self' in their vocational lives. A Rotary Vocational Service Award recognises an act or acts beyond and above what would normally be expected. Nick has demonstrated those characteristics throughout his tenure at St Leonards Middleton. Nick has dedicated 26 years of his life to the people of Middleton and has seen both the happiest of times and some of the darkest hours, especially in recent times. Nick has been there, offering support and advice, giving guidance and strength to those in need as well as celebrating joyous occasions.

The Rotary Club of Middleton is honoured to recognise Nick’s vocational service to the Parish of Middleton by presenting him with a Rotary Vocational Service Award.

Reverend Canon Nick Feist said, “I am honoured to be recognised by the Rotary Club of Middleton. The Rotary Club of Middleton raised the funds for the floodlights that light up St Leonards of Middleton, a historically significant church that is one, if not the oldest churches in the North of England. My wife, Mary and I will miss the town of Middleton and the friends and people of Middleton. We have loved working here. We wish the town and the people of Middleton well for the future.”

Sue Furby, the Rotary Chair of the Youth and Vocational Committee said, “The Rotary Club of Middleton enjoy finding and recognising people that excel in their daily work and who go the extra mile. We see these traits in the commitment that Reverend Canon Nick Feist has given to the people and town of Middleton over many years. Nick is a unique person and a deserving winner of a Rotary Vocational Service Award. We wish him and his wife well for the future.”

Man jailed after he violently assaulted his girlfriend

Lee Edwards A man has been jailed after he violently assaulted his girlfriend. On Friday 14th March, Lee Edwards (born 03/02/1985) of Lever Street, Middleton was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court to ten years in prison.

At 1am on Sunday 18 August 2013, Edwards and his girlfriend returned home from a night out and got into an argument. The woman attempted to leave the house but Edwards refused to let her leave. He grabbed hold of her and threw her on to the stairs. He then stood over her and repeatedly punched her in her face and on her body before biting her on the cheek, nose and shoulder.

The woman managed to get on to her side to crawl away when he threw her on her front and repeatedly stamped on her neck and all over her back. The woman attempted to leave the house but Edwards stopped her and told her to go upstairs. He then strangled her with both hands so she could not breathe. She managed to escape the house hours after Edwards had fallen asleep.

Detective Constable Michael Berger said: "Edwards is an extremely possessive and controlling man. In the months leading to this assault, he would often tell her to change her clothes and he stopped her seeing her friends as often as she would have liked due to his controlling nature.

"His anger spiralled out of control that night in August and left the woman in a serious amount of pain. He punched her so hard in the face that he fractured her cheek bone. Thankfully this woman had the strength to leave and report the assault to police before it could happen again."

Police Constable Diane Hancock from the Domestic Abuse Unit who worked closely with the victim said: "We are committed to protecting vulnerable victims who may be in abusive relationships and we are constantly learning how we can better protect and support victims of domestic abuse and take positive action against the perpetrators.

"The lessons learnt from the tragic murder of Clare Wood resulted in the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, Clare⿿s Law, which was piloted in Greater Manchester and is being rolled out nationally."

Anyone who is suffering domestic abuse, or knows someone who is a victim can call police on 999 or 101. Alternatively call the National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge, can be contacted on 0800 2000 247.

Boy robbed in Middleton

A 14-year-old boy was robbed by two men in Middleton. At around 6.45pm on Sunday 9 March, the boy was sitting opposite the Roebuck pub in the town centre when two men approached him. They demanded that he turn out his pockets and when he pulled out an iPhone they threatened to attack him unless he handed it over. The victim gave them the phone and the pair ran off in the direction of Tesco.

The first offender is described as white, around 17 years old, 6ft tall and of medium build. He had dark, shaven hair and was wearing a black Adidas tracksuit jacket with red stripes down the sleeves and blue jeans. The second is white, around 6ft tall and was wearing a dark hooded top with the hood up.

Detective Constable Andrew Robinson said: “Thankfully the boy was not physically hurt but was very shaken by his ordeal. I would urge anyone who may have witnessed the robbery or who may have seen these boys acting suspiciously in the area to contact police immediately.

“Be careful when you use your phone or other valuables in public, as this may encourage thieves to target you. I would also ask you to be aware of your surroundings when using your phone.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8701 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Car and dog stolen by opportunistic thief

A man’s car and dog were stolen when he left his keys in the ignition of his car at a recycling centre in Middleton. Shortly after 5.10pm on Saturday 1 March, a 51-year-old man was taking some bags to a skip at the Virdor waste recycling plant at Spring Vale, when a car thief jumped into his silver Kia Venga, registration LD62 ENF.

The keys to the car were left in the ignition so the offender drove off with the victim’s car and dog, which was inside. The victim tried to stop the thief from driving off and in doing so was hit by the vehicle and dragged a short distance along the road.

He was taken to hospital for treatment to bruising to his leg and head. The dog was found abandoned a short time later and returned to the man. The car has now also been recovered.

Detective Constable Charlie Stewart, said: “The man had turned his back for a second when this opportunistic thief jumped in and sped off. In trying to prevent him getting away the man suffered some quite painful injuries and we are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information about the offender to call us.

“The one piece of good news is the man’s dog was quickly returned to him and his car has also since been recovered. I would like to take the opportunity to remind people to never leave car keys in an ignition while you are away from your vehicle, even if it is for just a few seconds, because as this incident shows, a thief can strike in the blink of an eye.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8701, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Large amount of cash stolen in cash in transit robbery

A man was threatened by robbers who stole a money box containing a large amount of cash. At about 1.20pm on 24 February, a 50-year-old man was leaving Weatherspoons on Long Street, Middleton having just made a cash collection.

As he approached his van a white BMW 1 series pulled up alongside him and the passenger got out and demanded he hand over the box. He snatched the box from the victim and got back into the car, which was driven off by a second man. The car – which had the registration MJ62 TXX – was found abandoned on The Downs, Middleton a short time later.

Detective Constable Dan Daly, said: “These men have stolen a large amount of cash in what must have been a pre-planned robbery. I want anyone who saw what happened, the men escaping or the car being abandoned to come forward. I would also urge anyone who knows where the car was being stored prior to the robbery or has heard anyone plotting this raid to call us.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8701, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Man attacked outside Middleton pub suffers life threatening injuries

A man was left in a critical condition after being attacked outside a pub in Middleton. Around 2.10am on Sunday 16th February, a 37-year-old man was assaulted outside the Assheton Arms on Market Place. The man was taken to hospital in a critical condition where his injuries at this stage were believed to be life threatening.

James O’Connor (23/06/1981) of Great Arbor Way, Middleton, has been charged with section 18 assault and was due to appear at Bury Magistrates Court on Tuesday 18th February.

Shop worker kicked in face by robbers

A shop worker was kicked in the face by armed robbers during a raid at a shop in Middleton. At about 7pm on 8th February, three men entered the Co-op on Kenyon Lane. They were armed with crowbars and hammers and demanded cash.

One employee, a 21-year-old man, attempted to flee but tripped over and was kicked in the face by one of the offenders. The thieves helped themselves to cash, cigarettes and alcohol before escaping in a MG ZR with the partial registration KN02.

All three offenders were white and wearing dark clothing. One was about 5ft 8in tall, aged between 20 and 30 and of skinny build. The third was 6ft tall and of muscular build.

Detective Constable Heidi Edge, said: “The offenders were fearless and brazen in their pursuit of cash and goods and such was their determination to get their hands on these items you could be forgiven for thinking they were desperate and destitute.

“The only way the victims can delete this frightening experience from their mind and be truly reassured is if we bring the offenders to justice. If you have any information whatsoever please come forward and talk to us and you could be rewarded with the knowledge you have helped get dangerous offenders of the streets.

“I want to reassure the business community as well as local residents that we work hard to prevent incidents such as this but when they occur they are thoroughly investigated and we always aim to give those who think they can take what they want without repercussion a taste of their own medicine and a spell behind bars.

“We are particularly keen to speak to the person who handed details of the getaway car used to staff at the shop prior to police attendance. We are also keen to hear from anyone who has seen the car since that time or knows of its current location.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8701 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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