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Bromley Times 2009 Look-Back

PUBLISHED: 14:43 30 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:45 16 August 2010

APRIL: DJ Talent appeared on Britain's Got Talent, a programme that showcased the surprising talent of Susan Boyle.

APRIL: DJ Talent appeared on Britain's Got Talent, a programme that showcased the surprising talent of Susan Boyle.

January A CATALOGUE of road catastrophes, including a five-car pile up and the death of an off-duty police motorcyclist George Small, dominated the new year.

January

A CATALOGUE of road catastrophes, including a five-car pile up and the death of an off-duty police motorcyclist George Small, dominated the new year.

Hundreds of motorists were caught up in the mahem following a horror smash on the A2 which killed one motorist and injured five more.

The crash, on January 12, ended a torrid three days of accidents on the A2 and M25 which caused delays to thousands of drivers as carriageways were closed in both directions to rescue the injured and clear debris.

Meanwhile, off-duty police officer George Small (pictured) was killed on Bromley Common's junction with Homesdale Road. Father-of-one Mr Small died on January 21 while making his way home from a shift at Catford Traffic Garage. He leaves behind his wife Polly and his then 17-month-old son, Franky.

February

THE trial began of Karl Bishop, who was later convicted of murder, after he stabbed to death Harry Potter star Rob Knox (pictured) in a frenzied attack.

The former pupil at Bromley's D & B theatre school was set upon on May 23, 2008 outside Metro bar in Sidcup. Violent Bishop, who had a history of bullying and a string of previous convictions, was given a life sentence for killing the 18-year-old.

March

RESIDENTS in Bickley were left in shock after the murder of Gerry Edwards and the attempted murder of his partner of 18 years, Chris Bevan, on March 3.

The couple were attacked in their home in Page Heath Villas in what was later blamed on a bungled robbery. Alcoholic David Kilcullen was convicted in December and ordered to serve at least 32 years for the brutal and unprovoked assault which has left Mr Bevan permanently disfigured and disabled.

April

A RAPPER made a bid to win ITV show Britain's got Talent...but failed.

At first, confident good-toothed DJ Talent, 28, from Beckenham, enchanted all four judges on the show with his repetitive ditty. However, he fell foul of their favour at the end of May when he was voted off.

May

THE first bout of swine flu threatened the borough when a school just three miles from the border suffered a breakout.

Five youngsters from independent Alleyn's School in Dulwich were affected by the disease which led the Princess Royal University Hospital in Farnborough to go on high alert for the killer bug. Borough MPs defied their leader David Cameron after refusing to hold public meetings to defend their expenses claims. Revelations exposed in the

Daily Telegraph a month earlier sent the country reeling into a fury over thousands of taxpayers' pounds squandered on items such as floating duck islands and moat cleaning. All three of the borough's MPs - Beckenham's Jacqui Lait, Bromley and Chislehurst's Bob Neill (pictured) and Orpington's John Horam - declined to comment or hold a meeting.

June

MAYOR of London Boris Johnson praised the Times for our exposé of the health committee responsible for the proposing the closure of a hospital A&E.

A Picture of Health claimed it had the backing of 100 clinicians to close Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup's emergency department but, after a lengthy Freedom of Information battle with the Times, we uncovered the fact that it only had a list of 44 invitees to a workshop about the closure.

It emerged it was not known whether these clinicians even attended or what their views were as no record was ever kept.

July

SHOCKWAVES reverberated around the world when news broke that the King of Pop Michael Jackson had died suddenly just weeks before he was due to start a 50-date tour at the O2.

In April, the Times revealed exclusively how he was set to rent Foxbury Manor in Chislehurst while in the UK. The 50-year-old star died on June 26, just a week before he and his family were due to take up residence at the luxury property in Kemnal Road. Fans flocked to the house to lay tributes and later took part in three-day vigils at the O2 where he was due to start performing on July 13.

August

THE identities of those responsible for the death of Baby P were finally revealed in one of the most abominable cases the country has ever seen.

The population was horrified when told of the nauseating cruelty which Jason Owen, formerly of Wittersham Road, Bromley, his brother Stephen Barker and the tot's mum inflicted on the 18-month-old. Owen was found guilty of causing or allowing Baby Peter's death and given an indeterminate sentence before the Court of Appeal reduced it to six years in October.

A pilot had a miracle escape when she made an emergency landing into trees just yards from a primary school.

The trainee's Piper Cherokee came down in Southborough Lane on August 18 after

skimming just five feet over nearby houses.

September

THE sports world mourned a loss when Olympic boxer Darren Sutherland committed suicide at his home in Bromley. Tracey Maloney, the wife of his promoter Frank gave an exclusive interview to the Times in which she described how the talented middleweight had spent the weekend at the family's home before he was found dead on Monday 14. Frank Maloney made the shock discovery of his protégée causing him to suffer a heart attack from which he has now recovered.

October

FOUR people were injured when a bus ploughed into a shop window in Widmore Road, Bromley.

The victims were hurt when the double-decker careered through Hammonds furniture store. Residents turned against postal workers for their continued strikes.

In our poll, 48 out of 60 people said their patience and sympathy was wearing thin for Royal Mail staff who were taking action over working conditions.

November

THE first weekend of the month was marred by two murders. Traveller Moses Duvall was stabbed in his home in Orpington while 23-year-old Richard Price died from head injuries inflicted during a fight in an alleyway off Bromley High Street.

Officers celebrated a long awaited breakthrough when 'Night Stalker' suspect Delroy Grant was arrested following a police manhunt spanning nearly two decades.

Amongst others, the father-of-seven faces charges of raping an 88-year-old woman in Orpington in August 1999 and the indecent assault of a 71-year-old woman in Beckenham in June 1999.

A luxury car took a dip in Prickend duck-pond in Chislehurst. The Maserati Quattroporte was clipped by a white van which led it to career down the grass slope into the pond in Loop Road.

December

ORPINGTON Treatment Centre closed its doors to elective surgery for the last time despite campaigners, led by resident Julie Mott, collecting over 18,000 signatures against the move.

The Times' third toy appeal was hailed a success after kind readers, business owners and politicians donate hundreds of gifts to sick children who had to spend the festive period in hospital.

Readers were unimpressed when Boris Johnson's younger brother Jo Johnson (pictured) was selected as the Conservative candidate for the Orpington seat, which is due to be vacated by current Tory MP John Horam before the election. The 38-year-old has promised to tackle anti social behaviour. The year sadly ended with the repatriation of Rifleman James Brown, from Orpington. He was killed by suicide bombers in Afghanistan.

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