Woman Suffered Brain Damage in Collision Which Killed Passenger

A young woman accused of death by careless driving was not called as a witness in Lewes Crown Court today after suffering brain damage in the collision.

Amie Gatland, 21, was driving her BMW along the A281 past Cowfold when she swerved into the path of a Volkswagen Polo, killing her own passenger Charles Andrews, 21.

Forensic scientist Peter Davey showed the jury photographs of the collision site which involved Harriet Burrage, 22.

Miss Burrage was left with a broken wrist, bruising and whiplash while Amie contracted memory loss.

A series of possible reasons for the accident was given by Mr Davey, who has a PhD in Forensic Road Collisions.

He said that water damage may have caused the areas of fretting on the road, which he described to mean erosion or sinking of the road surface.

Analysis carried out in 2012 and 2013 by Alexandra Luck, an expert in construction and speed resistance, found that the road should have been treated for poor resistance levels.

The jury heard that the accident site had been the location of 15 driving incidents since 2006, with seven of those being since 2013.

Both women had been driving within the speed limit, and were tested on the scene for alcohol or substances, with clean results according to Mr Davey.

A statement from Miss Burrage confirmed that Miss Gatland, who gave a not guilty plea, was not distracted and did not deliberately cause the accident.

Although both cars were in too much of a wreck to test, neither cars were found to be defective.

The trial continues.

Protesters Win Battle to Block Proposed Housing in Ovingdean

Protesters have won their battle today at Hove Town Hall to block proposed introduction of housing to Ovingdean’s last green space.

Around 30 ecology enthusiasts were present before the Planning Committee for Brighton and Hove where the City Council voted six to five to reject 45 previously refused homes.

Outside the Town Hall, protester Camilla Tildon-Smith said: “I couldn’t see this beautiful meadow just being concreted over. Once it’s gone it’s gone forever.

A key factor in the decision was the fate of the rare red star thistle which grows on the site proposed for development.

Tracey Parker, a leading protester, outside said: “Think of the ecosystem as a jumbo jet. Somebody takes a screw out here, takes a rivet out here, and eventually the whole thing will collapse.”

Other rare species and 400 invertebrates would be in danger if the plans went ahead, she said.

Councillors also heard from ecology expert Jackie Thompson, from Deans Preservation Society, who said results from a survey of the land carried out by the applicants were incorrect.

She said the land had not been designated as a wildlife site only because inspectors were unable to gain access.

Councillor Lynda Hyde read a list of objectors, including more than 600 residents and Ovingdean’s MP Simon Kirby.

Voting against, she asked: “Can all these people be incorrect?”

Committee Councillor Julie Catell, voting in favour pf plans, said: “We have a housing crisis.”

The applicants argued that the plans were a valuable contribution to the City’s affordable housing target.

Ovingdean Parish Council was among those against the plans, along with Bug Life and Sussex Wildlife Trust.

 

University open day disrupted by pay dispute protest

A protest group disrupted a University of Brighton open day today (25th March) to dispute a contract change that has slashed some employees’ wages by 70 per cent.

Parents and A-level students attending the open day were forced to crawl under a banner that read ’70 per cent cutback, 100 per cent fightback’.

Security formed a barrier to keep the approximately 60 protesters from entering Cockroft Building on the Moulsecoomb campus.

One parent said: “I drove for four hours for this. It’s a joke, we should be allowed in.” 20 protesters forced their way through a back entry before being stopped by police officers who had escorted the protesters on a march from The Level to the Moulsecoomb Campus.

The disputed contract change occurred in October 2016 and affected postgraduate students employed in the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics.

Their job titles were downgraded from lecturer to demonstrator leaving them with 30 per cent of their wages.

Third-year undergraduates have been used to replace postgraduates who refused to work at the lowered rates.

University of Brighton student Niamh Rodda said: “The people in my year and below are going to end up being taught by other people on my degree course.

“It’s no education at all. I could sit around with my friends and do that.”

The protest was organised by two groups called Precarious Workers Brighton and Alt-Students’ Union.

The University of Brighton has been approached for comment.

Clubbers left disappointed as Brighton event asked to leave venue

Clubbing fans were disappointed to learn popular event Donuts has been asked to leave its venue, The Green Door Store.

The official Donuts page notified its fanbase of the decision last Thursday.

Founder Matt Tanner said: “After giving my heart and soul to the venue since setting up Donuts we are surprised and disappointed that we were given no notice or time to prepare.” According to the Facebook post, Donuts was given just four days notice of the decision and was told via email.

Reacting to the news, Donuts fan Chloe Punter, 19, said: “The fact that The Green Door Store have just been like ‘you have got to leave, there’s no question about it, you have just got to go’ is not cool, it’s just not cool.”

 

The event has been running at the venue every Tuesday night since 2012, and recently introduced an entrance fee of £3. Audience members would often participate in a scramble for the free donuts handed out from the stage.

The Green Door Store’s production manager, Toni Coe, said proceedings were handled badly on both sides, and it was a shame how a previously good relationship had ended.

She said it was not an overnight decision and talks had been ongoing with Donuts since the beginning of the year.

She added the growing success of the event created a need for more resources and money and it was growing out of the venue’s walls: “People were queuing for two to three hours outside and not getting in.”

A poster uploaded onto the Donuts Facebook page four days after the news broke announced it would be moving to Patterns club.

A statement published on The Green Door Store’s Facebook page apologised to fans for cancelling the night at such short notice and wished Donuts all the best for the future.

A free hip hop club night called Lemonade is set to replace Donuts.

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