From house fire death tragedy to Jubilee and Olympic fever – 2012's first six months revisited
From house fire death tragedy to Jubilee and Olympic fever – 2012’s first six months revisited...
Six children die after a house fire at a Derby home, Labour takes control of Derby City Council and Olympic and Jubilee celebrations are held across the county. Caroline Jones looks back at the first six months of 2012.
TEENAGER Lee Jones, 19, of Matlock, is found dead while scaling England's highest mountain Scafell Pike, in Cumbria. His friends describe him as "adventurous" and "outgoing".
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High winds and heavy rain cause disruption throughout Derbyshire, with 40 county council workers clearing trees from about 30 roads. Householder Jason Ryalls, of Derby, is told he cannot claim insurance after the chimney falls off his roof because "the wind wasn't strong enough".
A one-in-a-million bone marrow donor is found for 10-year-old Lewis Dyche, of Chaddesden. He receives the transplant in February and is now recovering from his illness.
Food giant Nestlé announces plans to create 125 extra jobs at its factory in Hatton, on top of 300 roles it had unveiled two months earlier.
Hospital managers' jobs are put under threat as Derby's hospitals trust is told to improve its financial performance by Monitor – the national body which oversees it.
A new cancer research centre is set up in Derby which experts say will put the city "on the world map", because it will become the home of a new blood test which is able to detect cancer up to five years before symptoms show.
THE University of Derby announces plans to create a new £9 million sports development centre – including a sports hall, football and tennis arena – at its Kedleston Road campus.
Bodybuilder Paul Longfield, 48, formerly of Loscoe – on the run from police – is tracked down in the Philippines by the Derby Telegraph. He was the reigning Mr Britain at the time of his arrest in 2006 and charged with 12 counts of illegally dealing steroids.
Six swans are found slaughtered and decapitated for their meat in Alvaston Park, forcing officers to step up patrols.
Financial adviser Malcolm Green, 55, of Swanwick, admits 42 offences of fraud, false accounting and obtaining money transfers after he stole more than £1 million from his clients. He is jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Prince Charles pays a visit to rail firm Bombardier's plant, in Litchurch Lane, Derby, and aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce's Sinfin factory.
TEACHING unions say they will fight the setting up of a Muslim free school in Derby because they fear pupils may not be taught by qualified teachers. The Al-Madinah School was opened in September.
Shop worker Rostam Mohammed confronts and scares off an armed raider wielding a shotgun at Dylann's Mini-Market, in Pear Tree, by throwing his Thermos flask at him.
Armed police are locked in a 13-hour standoff with a man in a boat on the canal off Town Street, Sandiacre. Stephen Cross – also known as Wayne Green – was wanted for a series of offences and was later jailed for two years.
Police investigate after two-year-old boy Riley Pettipierre dies soon after paramedics were called to his home in Kilbourne Road, Belper. Mum Sally Dent, 32, and Shaun Binfield, 44, have denied manslaughter. A trial is expected to take place next year.
A pig is discovered roaming in the downstairs rooms of a council home in Kingsley Street, Sinfin by housing staff who had arrived to evict the tenant.
Hi-tech engineering firm Assystem reveals plans to recruit 300 workers and open a new office in Derby.
POLICE launch a murder investigation after skateboarder Ashley Finlay, 24, is killed when he is kicked in the head after an incident in the Old Bell Hotel, Derby. Thomas Cullen, 29, of Taylor Street, is found guilty of manslaughter in September and jailed for six years.
The Derby Telegraph launches its Electrify Our Line campaign – to bring about the upgrade and electrification of the Midland Main Line. In July, the Government announces it will fund the proposal.
Prime Minister David Cameron says he has been supporting Derbyshire industry by helping to sell Rolls-Royce engines during a tour of southern Asia. He explains this during a visit to the Derby Telegraph.
The family of Derby mum Denyse Sweeney, 34, vow to leave "no stone unturned" to discover how she died in Goa. They had been told she died two years before of an overdose but an inquest reveals no signs of drugs and 20 injuries on her body. The Telegraph later launches its Justice for Denyse campaign.
Long-serving Rolls-Royce worker and parish councillor Jeffrey Clare, 66, of Draycott, goes missing and is believed dead after a boat sinks off the coast of France. The search for him is later called off.
LABOUR sweep to power after making gains in council election counts across Derby, ousting the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition. Former leader and Tory Philip Hickson says the Government needs to get a grip and blames national policies for the defeat.
The Derby Telegraph launches its We Want To Work campaign to help bring down unemployment levels and get people back into jobs. By December, eight people had found work.
Police launch an investigation following the death of seven-month-old baby James-Lee Riley at his family home in Waterford Drive, Chaddesden. In August, his father Nathan Pick, 37, denies murder. A trial is set to take place next year.
Six children from the Philpott family – Duwayne, 13; Jade, 10; John, nine; Jack, eight; Jesse, six and Jayden, five – all die following a blaze at their parents' house in Victory Road, Derby. In December, their parents, Mick and Mairead Philpott, and Paul Mosley all deny manslaughter. A trial is expected to take place next year.
Seven-year-old Lewis Mighty, of Mackworth, loses his battle against cancer neuroblastoma. His parents, Jaime and Perry, say they are overwhelmed by the heartfelt reaction of the community.
Mechanic Daniel Brown is killed in what is described as an explosion at the car repair garage in the Meadow Lane Industrial Estate, in Alfreton, where he worked. Family and friends describe him as "one of the good guys".
DIAMOND Jubilee fever sweeps across Derbyshire, despite a weekend of heavy rain. Streets throughout the county are awash with red, white and blue as dozens of street parties are held to honour the Queen and her 60 years on the throne.
The parent company of the Derbyshire Building Society announces its plans to shut 10 of its branches during a review of the business. They close on August 31 and, in December, Nationwide Building Society say it is too early to say whether the brand will disappear in 2013.
Dozens of workers are made redundant after Castle Donington's Real-Time Training Ltd – a firm which organises training for the Government – collapses and goes into administration.
Veteran Royal British Legion campaigner Bernard Page, who has helped raise millions for ex-servicemen, is honoured by the Queen by being made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
Olympic excitement grips Derbyshire as 250,000 people turn out to see the torch as it tours the county. About 40,000 people line the torch route in the city, 25,000 onlookers are entertained at Darley Park and another 8,000 pack out the Market Place.
Campaigns highlight the proactive approach of a local newspaper working hard for its community
Campaigns have remained vital to the Derby Telegraph throughout 2012, as Caroline Jones reports.
ELECTRIFY OUR LINE
The Derby Telegraph launched this campaign on April 16, calling on readers to urge ministers to fund the upgrade and electrification of the Midland Main Line in its latest spending plans.
It received the backing of politicians in both the city and county and from other areas along the route.
Business leaders and local companies also got on board, as they stood to benefit from the work being carried out.
The paper also lobbied Prime Minister David Cameron and, during a visit to the Derby Telegraph, he posed with a copy of the paper calling on his Government to fund the work.
In July, the Government announced a £9.4 billion package of rail projects, including the £500 million electrification and upgrade of the main line.
JUSTICE FOR DENYSE
It was three days after the inquest into the death of Derby mum Denyse Sweeney that we started our Justice for Denyse campaign, on April 21.
The hearing at Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner's Court was told how the 34-year-old's family had died from a drugs overdose two years ago – but there were no signs of drugs in her body.
Denyse died while volunteering in the Indian holiday resort of Goa and, because there was no explanation of the 20 injuries she had suffered, her family now believe she was murdered.
They are pursuing officials in India, while Derbyshire police are searching through Indian officers' files in the hope they can shed new light on the case.
WE WANT TO WORK
This campaign was set up by the paper on May 9 to get job-hunters from across Derbyshire back into work – following news that the number of unemployed in the city was at a 15-year high.
We started with six Derbyshire job-hunters who put themselves forward, as they were searching for permanent positions in a range of sectors, from hospitality and healthcare to business administration and engineering.
By December, we have helped eight members of our campaign get jobs.
They include Robert McPherson, 58, who got a job at an engineering firm, and Jackie Hughes, 23, who became a customer adviser at the post office in South Normanton.
John Larkin, 40, landed a part-time cleaning job with football pitch operator Powerleague.
SAVE A LIFE
On October 31, we decided to turn our readers into life-savers by getting them to perform simple tasks – such as giving blood or learning first aid.
And, in two months, hundreds of people have taken up the challenge.
They have done this either by booking an appointment at an NHS Blood and Transplant blood donor session they have seen in the Derby Telegraph, or cutting out a voucher in the paper which offers them a discount on first-aid training with charity St John Ambulance.
CLEAN UP DERBY
Let's Clean Up was the headline on the front page of the Derby Telegraph when we launched this campaign on November 26 – with the aim to stop litter blighting our city.
The city's mayor and the Bishop of Derby are among those backing the campaign, which asks readers to send in photos of rubbish-strewn streets so we can shame those responsible.
We are also asking people to take more responsibility for the state of Derby's streets and to dispose of rubbish sensibly.
In December, the campaign received cross-party support from the city council.
CAMPAIGNS launched by the paper before 2012 which have been continued this year include:
Pay Our Nuke Test Veterans: Demanding the Ministry of Defence compensate veterans of Britain's nuclear tests in the 1950s and 60s.
Asbestos – The Deadly Dust: Calling on the Government to ensure victims are financially compensated for their exposure.
Fire – Extinguish the Risks: Raising awareness of fire safety around the home and the importance of having a working smoke alarm fitted by getting people and firms to sign up as fire safety advocates.
An Industry Betrayed: Exploring the plight of Bombardier's Litchurch Lane plant following the decision to award the Thameslink contract to Siemens, examining in depth the impact the decision would have and championing efforts to reverse it.