THE Stratford Mop of 1914 appeared little changed from previous years. Wartime austerity had not yet set in and few people foresaw that the conflict would be lengthy. One of the great traditions of the fair was its roasts. No less than five oxen and seven pigs were rotating on the spits outside the pubs on the big day. The excursion trains brought their usual hundreds of revellers from Birmingham and other centres of population. None of Stratford’s conscripts had yet embarked overseas, although just five days before, a regular with the South Wales Borderers, Sgt RH Savage, had been the first Stratfordian to fall victim to the war. He had been struck by shrapnel at the Battle of the Aisne and died of his wounds in Bournbrook Military Hospital.
Four years ago Ellis Holtom, of Stratford-upon-Avon, was born with half a working heart. Later, the Herald featured his condition as a tribute to the work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was treated. Now, to mark Congenital Heart Defect Week his mum, Vicki, updates his story. . .
ALL 326 local planning authorities in England, councils like Stratford-on-Avon District, need a local plan. The core strategy is a component of that local plan. It contains all the local district wide policies that need to be considered when processing planning applications. New development needs to satisfy local needs, helping to realise the hopes and ambitions of its communities and protect them from situations they fear. New homes and places to work should provide then with a healthy lifestyle, a pleasant place to live, good recreational facilities and above all the infrastructure that enhances their quality of life. The buzzword to describe this is ‘sustainable’.
THE poor are paying more than they should be for their energy, according to damning new evidence from Stratford-upon-Avon’s Citizens Advice Bureau. Prepayment meters (PPMs) are costing users in fuel poverty a “disproportionate amount” for what little gas and electricity they can afford, the bureau has found. There are around 7.2 million people on prepayment meters in the UK and several thousand in the district of Stratford. Despite Stratford’s reputation as an affluent area, the bureau is being forced to come to the aid of more and more people living in fuel poverty on an increasingly regular basis.
A DRUNKEN man who raped a virtually unconscious woman in her own home in front of her daughter has told a court he could remember nothing of the incident.
But after he had initially denied raping his victim, John Harman finally pleaded guilty on the day of his trial.
The 50-year-old, of Chanders Road in Warwick, was jailed for five years at Warwick Crown Court, and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
Prosecutor Graham Russell told the court the woman was raped by Harman earlier this year in her own home while she was heavily under the influence of alcohol.
She had been drinking with a group of people at a bar in Warwick and had been helped home by another man.
When Harman was arrested he said he had been very drunk, and accepted he had been aroused when he saw her on the bed, but did not know what he did after that.
He entered his guilty plea on the basis that because of how much alcohol he had consumed, he could not remember having any sexual contact with the woman, but accepted the evidence of her daughter.
Mr Russell said the incident has put a huge strain on the woman’s relationship with her partner.
Graeme Simpson, defending, said: “Because Mr Harman can remember nothing about the offence itself, I’m somewhat hindered in the mitigation I can put forward.
“It is quite clear he was very intoxicated indeed. He is 50, with no previous convictions.”
Recorder Mark Wall QC told Harman: “You raped somebody in her own home at a time when she was particularly vulnerable, in that she had had so much to drink she was virtually unconscious.
“And what I can’t lose sight of is that her daughter, who had to witness part of the rape you carried out on her mother that evening, now is afraid to use the toilet in the room in which this offence occurred.”