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What’s on - p5

Sandbach news, sport and leisure

June/July FREE


Predator jailed after police raid on Sandbach home A MAN who preyed on vulnerable teenage girls for his own sexual gratification has been jailed. Andrew Griffin, 47, has been sentenced to a total of four years in prison, after he pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent photographs of a child and two counts of inciting a girl between the age of 13 and 15 to engage in sexual activity. In addition he was made subject to an indefinite sexual offences prevention order. Griffin was originally arrested

in January 2016 following a warrant at his former home on The Commons in Sandbach. During the warrant, officers seized a number of items, including a laptop, mobile phone and external hard drive. All of the items were examined by a specialist officer from Cheshire Police, leading to the discovery of more than 400 Category A images and videos, over 70 Category B images and videos and more than 2,700 Category C images and videos. Officers also discovered that Griffin, now of Brocklehurst

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Avenue, Macclesfield, had created a number of fake social media profiles in order to form relationships with vulnerable teenage girls. After gaining their trust, he would then ask the girls to engage in sexual activity via webcams. After conducting an investigation detectives

charged Griffin with six offences relating to the making and possession of indecent images of children and two counts of inciting females to engage in sexual activity. Detective Constable Simon Ledger said: “During this investigation we not only uncovered over 3,000 inappropriate images, but we also proved that Griffin used social media in order to form relationships with vulnerable teenage girls from across the UK. (cont. on p5)

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Six tweets on Sandbach @SandbachStrider From track marathons to half Ironmen, yet another busy week for the members of Sandbach Striders running club

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Sport - p8

Youth market by STEWART GREEN SINCE a consultation found that people wanted more going on throughout the week at Sandbach Town Hall, staff have staged a series of community events. One popular event last month was a Youth Market, showing off the talent and entrepreneurial skills of the local younger generation. Stall holders at the event included Hayley Emma Art, who displayed paintings of wellknown people, along with her henna business, Tomos Price-Jones sold his computer games, while

George Smith from Fleetwood came down to Sandbach with his father as he does every Saturday to sell eggs on the market. Matt Clarke sold his own science fiction books, while Christian Turner showed off pictures he had painted with views of Sandbach among his work. Laura Surgenor (writer Elizabeth Morgan) from the town hall, kept an eye on the event while selling her books and jewellery. The event offered real encouragement for youngsters to start their own business.

@Linz_Bon13 Senior squad at Sandbach gymnastics club. Doing the Manchester 5K colour run Saturday 1st July. Fundraising for new equipment @gavinsbiltong Thank you to all our wonderful customers and friends that supported us at #Sandbach @_makersmarket yesterday.. Brilliant day all round. @KathRockChoir What a brilliant night with the Sandbach Rockies in Warmingham Church, you sounded awesome. @Mariemluha Power to the people. Amazing job Laura Smith. Proud to have marched with her in Sandbach to protest against cuts to School funding. @jimmerjammers1 Terrible customer service and complaints at Cheshire east. All I want is my bin emptying is it too much to ask??

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New build Local rugby club expands BUILDING work for a new gym and studio has started at the home of Sandbach RUFC. The project will see the construction of the new facilities at the Bradwall Road ground, as part of the club’s long term strategic development plan and community involvement principles. The new facilities will not only provide benefits for the club and a potential income, but also advantages for the town and surrounding area. The new building is being constructed behind the under 8’s pitch, adjacent to the Sovereign Suite sponsors lounge, with the gym planned to be commercially managed by an external operator. Part of the building will be a fitness suite, while the other section will be allocated for gym classes. The club will also be looking to utilise the facilities for winter training and changing for the mini rugby section on Sundays,


as well as it being used by local schools for classes and external work. Meanwhile plans are already in place for preseason following the recent announcement of the club’s new coaches, England International Rob Webber and Scotland 7s star Byron McGuigan. Director of Rugby Will Stockdale has set up a player’s meeting on June 29 to introduce the current Sale Sharks Premiership players and to outline targets for the forthcoming season. Players will start pre-season training on July 4. The side’s first league fixture is a home tie against Bournville in September.

Stephen sets the pace A SANDBACH grandfather has raised £4,000 for the Stroke Association by walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats in separate stages. Stephen Davies, 73, was inspired to take on the walking challenge after he lost his wife Ann to a stroke in February last year. Stephen began the first 340 mile leg of the journey in August 2016, with the final 760 miles completed during the spring this year. He said: “Ann and I were married very nearly 50 years. “It’s been a huge challenge for my 73-year-old legs and two year-old hip replacement. “With family and other commitments, I chose to cover the 1,100 mile, 64-day walk by dividing it into four sections based on national longdistance trails, such as the South West Coast Path, Offa’s Dyke and the West Highland Way.” Stephen added: “Although my enjoyment was tempered by the reason for doing the walk, I’m so glad I did it and I certainly walked through magnificent scenery and met lots of interesting and friendly

people. “And of course I’m glad that with the support of lots of generous people – family, friends and complete strangers – I’ve raised a good amount of money for a very worthy cause; the Stroke Association.” The carity’s Mikaela Leape said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Stephen for taking on this challenge and raising such a fantastic amount; the money raised will go a long way in helping to support others who are living with the effects of stroke, as well as their families and carers.” Donate at www.justgiving. com/stephen-davies29.

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(cont. from front) “Throughout questioning Griffin openly admitted that he knew what he had done was wrong, and while he has shown some remorse for what he did, that will not change the long term mental harm he has caused to these vulnerable children. “I hope that the sentence handed to Griffin provides reassurance for the local community and also acts as a warning for other potential offenders. “The message is clear, paedophiles cannot hide online, the internet leaves a digital footprint and rest assured we will find it, and we will take action.”

Book tribute

CHESHIRE East Council has placed a book of condolence in its reception at Westfields in Sandbach to remember those who lost their lives and loved ones the terror attack at the Manchester Arena. Local people are invited to use the book to write messages of condolance to those who have been affected. The office is open 9am to 5pm on weekdays.

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Tues July 4 - Live Music Market Tavern, 8.45pm Sandbach Folk Club presents duo Paul Walker and Karen Pfeiffer Free entry

St Mary’s Church Hall, 7pm Sandbach Concert Series presents The Amy Roberts/ Richard Exall Quintet The evening also features a spotlight on local young musicians and an art exhibition Tickets are £8.50 adults and £3 children from Demeter Wholefoods or Bramwells Opticians. Sat July 1 - Party in the Park Sandbach Park, from 6.30pm Featuring music from the Sandbach School Big Band and Foden’s Band playing classics from musical theatre and last night of the proms. The evening comes to climax with fireworks at 10.15pm Tickets £10 adults, children free

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Sat July 20 - Charity Market and Coffee Morning St Mary’s Church Hall, 10am - 12noon Charity market and coffee morning for Sandbach Animal Rescue. For more details contact 07717386505. Entry 50p. Mon July 24 - Literary Event Sandbach Library, 2pm David Richardson from the Jane Austin Society presents ‘Jane Austin, 200 - Not Out’ Tickets, available from the library, cast £3 including refreshments Sat July 29 - Live Music Sandbach Rugby Club, 2pm 11.15pm Sandbach Rock and Pop Festival featuring musical tributes to Oasis, The Police, Taylor Swift and Jess Glynne Sun Aug 6 - Record Fair Sandbach Indoor Market, 10am - 4pm Record Fair and memorabilia, organised by Backtrax Music

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Tory victory LOCAL Conservative MP Fiona Bruce has been celebrating a comfortble victory at the general election. She was returned as the MP for Congleton after polling 31,830 votes. Second place was taken by Labour candidate Sam Corcoran with 19,211 votes. Liberal Democrat candidate Peter Hirst polled 2,902, Ukip candidate Mark Davies received 1,289 votes and Green candidate Alec Heath polled 999 votes. Fiona Bruce received 56.6% of the votes, up 3.3% on 2015. Labour saw their proportion of the vote rise by 13.8% to 34.2% overall. The rises appear to have been predominantly at the expense of Ukip, which saw their vote diminish by 11.3%. The voter turn-out was 73.3%, the highest locally since 1997. Following her re-election Mrs Bruce said: “I am delighted to have seen the Conservative share of the vote in Congleton increase from 53% to 56%. “I am honoured to have been

Young expression wins elected for a third time to serve the people of Congleton as their MP and I recommit myself to working as hard as ever for them on issues which really matter to local people.” Historically the constituency has never been out of Conservative control since it’s creation in 1983, held by Ann Winterton until she stood down in 2010. Labour’s Sam Corcoran said: “I am very grateful to all who voted for me. “I am disappointed not to have become the MP for Congleton, but I am pleased by the 13.8% swing to Labour. The Labour vote increased from 10,391 in 2015 to 19,211 in 2017.”

TWO Cheshire youngsters will have their work read by thousands after winning a creative writing competition. Sixteen-year-olds Chris Reel from Sandbach and Charlotte Lloyd from Northwich are among 12 winners from across the country. They were selected by National Express to have their short stories published on its onboard ‘infotainment’ system. Chris entered the competition

with his story The Road to Realisation, an exciting tale about a young man who has signed up to join the army, as a way to escape his life. Charlotte meanwhile impressed the judges with her story SAFI about a girl who uses her imagination to travel far and wide as a coping mechanism in a dystopian world. Chris said: “I’m really pleased to have won – especially during my GCSEs.“

A SANDBACH man has awarded for giving over 2,000 hours of his time for Cheshire Fire Cadets. Craig Howell, 50, was given the Palladium award at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s annual Volunteer Achievement Awards, where his wife Anita (right) received it on his behalf. Craig volunteers as a Cadet Leader at Sandbach Fire Station. As well as putting on activities for the cadets one evening a week, he organises the cadets to attend community events such as school visits, station open days, the Sandbach Transport Festival and more. He said: “It’s a privilege to be able to make a positive contribution to the community

through working with young people and supporting local events and initiatives. “To date around 120 Cadets have passed through the Sandbach Unit and it’s fantastic to see them develop and to also keep in touch with them after they leave us.” Craig has been volunteering, alongside his wife Anita, for some 11 years.

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Elworth extend lead as league front-runners ELWORTH have opened a gap at the top of the North Staffs and South Cheshire League Divison One, following an impressive victory over Newcastle and Hartshill. Elworth took 25 points from the encounter, ending 183/8 with Newcastle all out for 95. The win comes on the back of a 95-run victory over Silverdale. Foxes skipper Russ Ballard won the toss and elected to bat, showing confidence that the Elworth attack, spearheaded by Yasir Ali, Mike Holt and spinner Chris Winter, is well equipped to defend anything in excess of 180. The statistics endorse that confidence - Eccleshall’s 140 is the highest total the Foxes have conceded in the league this season. The weather made for tough work for the visitors and Alex Banks, opening with Ballard,



was at his busiest, making it even tougher. Always looking to push the score along and particularly strong through the off side, Banks ensured Elworth got off to a brisk start. Several fine shots, especially one cover drive off Andrew Keates, brought boundaries and the opening stand was worth 65. However the scoring soon slowed, something reflected in the anxiety amongst the large crowd. However the Foxes did enough and Chris Winter and Matt Holmes produced an enterprising unbroken ninth wicket partnership of 20 which deflated the visitors somewhat. When the innings closed at 183 there was a sense that while it might have been better it could certainly have been worse. Newcastle’s time in the field,

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The Saxon June 2017  

Sandbach news, sport and leisure.

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