Review of the Year 2013: July to September

July

  • A landlord painted his pub the colours of Crystal Palace FC after losing a bet on the club’s promotion. The Bull’s Head in the town centre is now red and blue after John McFarlane wrongly predicted the Eagles would fail to reach the Premier League. Mr McFarlane said: "If I hear one more person shouting ‘Eagles’ I don’t know what I’ll do."

Croydon Guardian:

John McFarlane and Andrew Lang outside the new-look Bull's Head pub

  • Croydon has the highest rate in outer London of children being permanently excluded from school, it emerged. Dozens of children were expelled from school and thousands suspended for misbehaviour such as assaults on staff, racism and sexual misconduct. A total of 59 students were expelled in the 2011-2012 academic year.
  • The house where Tia Sharp was murdered was torn down. Workmen said they felt sick as they demolished the loft where the 12-year-old was killed by Stuart Hazell.The house was destroyed in a bid to stop it becoming a morbid tourist attraction. Three new four-bedroom houses will be built on the site.

August

  • A masked gunman who shot dead a man and wounded his wife while trying to target their rapper son was jailed for at least 35 years. Christopher Thomas from Tulse Hill was found guilty of murdering Carlton Ned. Thomas tried to kill Mr Ned’s step-son, one half of rapper-duo Krept and Konan, in a jealousy-driven attack.

  • The trial began of Jerome McDonald, accused of murdering the mother of his son in a row over child support. McDonald, killed Janelle Duncan-Bailey before dumping her in the boot of a car. He was jailed for eight years after he was convicted of manslaughter, but cleared of murder, after the jury accepted he had acted in self-defence and did not mean to kill her. A family's bid to have his sentence reviewed failed.

Croydon Guardian:

Chris Pitman and Lisa Dennis got engaged

  • A taekwondo couple got engaged as they fought to become the most powerful couple in the world. Chris Pitman and Lisa Dennis attempted to break the Guinness World Record by smashing 1,000 roof tiles each in record time. Mr Pitman grabbed the men’s record, while Ms Dennis's disappointment was lightened as she agreed to marry him after he proposed the same day.

September

  • A police sergeant was hailed a hero after saving the life of a young girl while on holiday in Croatia. Sergeant Dave Sutton, from Croydon, rescued the Norwegian eight-year-old who became trapped in a hotel pool. He also insisted they continue with CPR after another man stopped compressions.
  • Lethal asbestos was not removed by Croydon Council for six weeks despite being near family homes and numerous warnings. Dozens of Coulsdon residents called the Council to inform them of the toxic material, which can cause cancer, but nothing was done. The material was dumped in a public alleyway by fly-tippers.

Croydon Guardian:

Hazel Brown-Strachan with a picture of her husband Errol

  • The widow of an Olympics worker run over and killed by an athlete is to fight for justice for her husband in a Greek court. Errol Strachan, 45, of Frant Road, Thornton Heath, died of multiple injuries when a car driven by a member of Denmark's Olympic sailing team struck him just hours before he was due to return home from the 2004 Athens Games, where he had been working as a catering contractor.

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