Croydon review of the year 2012
5:00am Tuesday 1st January 2013 in News
A look back on what went on across Croydon during 2012...
Nishit Patel snuck out of his home before flying 4,500 to Guyana.
The next time his mum heard from him was on January 3, when he phoned from a Guyanese jail.
The 21-year-old was jailed for four years after he admitted drug trafficking and was fined $30,000 Guyanese dollars, about £95.
Confidential papers leaked to the Croydon Guardian revealed the South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) turned down the option of a contract with Waste Recycling Group which would have prevented the £200m incinerator being built.
A website was set up to help find Kevin Boyle, a former apprentice to TV chef Jamie Oliver, but his body was found in Coulsdon just 24 hours before an television appeal by Oliver was due to be aired on ITV.
As part of her prize Sandra Pollard won a 99 second trolley dash around the new store, giving her the chance to bag herself a bargain.
The 45-year-old managed to grab 106 items.
The 33-year-old dramatically changed his plea during his trial for arson at the Old Bailey after the court was shown CCTV footage of him setting a sofa on fire in the 150-year-old building. He was later jailed for 11-and-a-half years.
Marine Dylan Kemp was found hanged at his home in September 2009. An inquest into his death heard the 28-year-old left a suicide note in which he said he had “slipped through the net.”
After the hearing his mum Mary said she was considering taking legal action against the Ministry of Defence to highlight how her son was let down.
The Beast weighed a combined total of 15lb (6.8kg) and came with a pound of chips and a milkshake.
The 17,000-calorie monster is on sale at Burgers at Blacks.
One man was airlifted to a specialist burns hospital after the explosion. The explosion happened as contractors from refurbished a decommissioned firing range in the basement.
The route for the Olympic torch was announced and the borough’s torchbearers were named. Croydon Harrier Mike Fleet, 74, who represented Great Britain in athletics in the 1960s, was named as one of the runners to carry the torch.
He said: “It is a great honour and I am very flattered.”
Popular BMX biker Chris Isted, 25 and his friend firefighter Kevin Millward, were knifed following an altercation in the pub at about 2am.
Mr Isted was often seen on his BMX at Wandle Park skate park.
The hideaway had a waterfall, bar area, lounge, dance floor and drawbridge. It also had a crow’s nest to see when it is safe to return home.
Church of England parishioners converted to Catholicism after their preacher left to join a nearby Catholic church.
Father Donald Minchew, 69 of his previous congregation and three new members were received at St Mary’s Church, in Wellesley Road.
Unlicensed and uninsured driver Stephen Saunders, 22, killed popular schoolgirl Alessia Boschiazzo in February 2011.
After the sentencing Alessia’s mum Cecilia said the accident had left Alessia’s father a “broken man”.
IT specialist Patrick Guilfoyle was revealed to be the ‘goat man’, who had been the talk of the town after he was spotted walking his five goats near Reeves Corner.
Mr Guilfoyle said the goats weren’t pets and he kept them for meat, which he planned to sell to friends.
The 41-year-old allegedly used a doctor’s certificate to trick sympathetic colleagues into donating money for her lifesaving treatment.
She is due to stand trial early next year.
More than 130 street parties took place in Croydon, with fun events including tugs-of-war, face painting, barbecues and community lunches.
Schizophrenic Rostam Ahmadi attacked family man Umesh Chaudhari a few yards from his home in Broad Green in July 2011.
Judge Richard Marks QC told Ahmadi: “The particular tragedy of these events is compounded by the fact you should not even have been in this country.”
The boastful yob named Alex threatened to rob and steal from Bobby Dudani, the founder of the global chain Computer Exchange (CeX), when he went undercover in New Addington. He was suspended following a disagreement with colleagues.
Using floating booms the team were able to contain the spill to about 30m, preventing the oil spreading downstream, saving wildlife such as ducks, swans and fish.
Ten firefighters and seven ambulance crew had to carry the 47-year-old woman on a stretcher to a specially built reinforced ambulance, from the home in Selsdon.
The woman was taken to hospital after suffering from breathing difficulties.
Dozens of torchbearers ran through the borough enjoying their moment to shine. Film and theatre legend Sir Patrick Stewart, who carried the torch into St Andrews School, described the experience as “exhilarating”.
A nationwide hunt was launched for schoolgirl Tia Sharp who was reported missing from New Addington allegedly after telling her grandmother’s partner that she was going to the Whitgift Centre to buy shoes.
Hundreds of members of the public helped police search nearby for the 12-year-old. Her body was eventually found seven days later in her grandmother’s loft.
Stuart Hazell, her grandmother’s partner, will stand trial next year charged with her murder.
The pair set up the Cronx Brewery in New Addington, the first to open in Croydon for more than half a century, in the aftermath of the riots.
Their blonde ale proved to be a huge hit with fellow Eagles fans.
Up to 30ft flames engulfed 80 percent of the building on Beddington Lane.
The blaze was tackled by 75 firefighters and was believed to have been caused by an electrical fault.
Allders, the landmark town centre store, closed on September 22, after administrators failed to find a buyer. About 850 staff members lost their jobs.
The royal couple visited the Croydon Voluntary Action resource centre and met again some of the riot victims they had spoken to the year before.
CCTV footage showed Adrian Couzens and Paul Read fighting off the raiders on the forecourt of Ducati Croydon. Despite being threatened with metal bars, the pair saw off the thieves, who fled on scooters.
The 65-year-old Labour MP had represented Croydon since 1992 and had lived in the borough for more than 30 years.
Tributes poured in for the popular politician, both nationally and locally.
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband was among mourners that attended a memorial service at Croydon Minster.
An investigation by the Croydon Guardian revealed recyclable items such as paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, plastic containers and paper cups were being thrown into landfill bins.
A council spokesman later admitted there was “no excuse and the council should be leading by example”.
Lorna Vince, from Beddington, was banned for life after dumping her six emaciated huskies at her daughter’s house in the same street.
The dogs, that appeared in the Spice Girls hit video Goodbye and on an album cover for Goldfrapp, were so thirsty they tried to drink from a bucket of bleach.
To mark the occasion, a string of classical performances, old and new, were played for an audience that included Prince Edward, patron of the London Mozart Players.
The iconic vehicle from the Christmas television adverts visited North End as part of its tour of the UK and Ireland.
Fans were given the chance to get up close and have their pictures taken with the popular truck, with the day marking the start of the festive season for many.
The Labour candidate, who secured more than 64 percent of the vote, said he wanted to stand up for his constituents and aimed to tackle crime, unemployment and neglect of the area.
Mr Rouse, the council's chief executive, told residents he felt uncomfortable with journalist's attendance at the West Croydon Community Forum meeting and it was not his job to be scrutinised by the press.
Seventy-eight council workers face the chop, while funding for youth counselling, help for domestic abuse victims and care support are set to be cut in the proposed council budget.