Browsing: Sidmouth

A murder-accused man, who battered and strangled a loner in his Newton Poppleford caravan, drank methadone belonging to the victim’s dead dog in the hours before the attack, a court heard. Exeter Crown Court was told Lewis Finch killed Geoffrey Pearce claiming he was ‘a nonce’ – alleging he had been his secret childhood abuser and that he ‘lost his mind’ when he heard him pleasuring himself. Mr Pearce, 47, died from serious head injuries and being strangled when Finch, aged 31, of Briseham Close, Brixham, battered at him least twice over the head then garrotted him with a plastic cable…

Voluntary groups in Sidmouth have until December 14 to apply for grant help from the town council – after £16,000 was handed out in the last round of funding. Applications for the 2021/2022 financial year are being welcomed by the authority. A decision on who will be awarded cash will been made in January next year. “Grants will only be made to organisations whose applications meet the criteria set out by the council and are approved at that meeting,” said Sidmouth town clerk Christopher Holland. An application must demonstrate that a group or organisation: Promotes the well-being of the people…

A loner who was beaten and strangled to death in his Newton Poppleford caravan survived for at least half an hour after the attack, a court has heard. A post mortem found Geoffrey Pearce, 47, died from serious head injuries and being strangled, when murder-accused Lewis Finch, aged 31, of Briseham Close, Brixham, battered at him least twice over the head then garroted him with a plastic cable tie. The court heard that Mr Pearce was dead before Finch set fire to the scrapyard caravan with the man’s body still inside. Finch is on trial for murder at Exeter Crown…

A person was treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation after firefighters tackled a blaze at a commercial laundry in Sidmouth this afternoon (Thursday, October 1). Both the town’s pumps and a crew from Ottery St Mary were called to Alexandria Road at around 3pm. The industrial unit was ten per cent damaged by flames and 100 per cent affected by smoke. One male person suffered smoke inhalation and was checked over by ambulance personnel… A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Two fire appliances from Sidmouth and one from Ottery St Mary were sent to a report of smoke…

A man who smoked crack cocaine with a friend hours after he battered and strangled a loner from Newton Poppleford told police he had done them a favour ‘killing a paedophile’, a jury has heard. Lewis Finch is on trial at Exeter Crown Court accused of murdering ‘unsavoury character’ 47-year-old Geoffrey Pearce in the early hours of January 9, 2020, believing he was a child abuser. Finch, aged 31, of of Briseham Close, Brixham, has admitted killing Mr Pearce – leaving him for dead and setting fire to his caravan while the man was still inside – but denies murder.…

The trial has begun of a hammer attacker who beat and strangled his Newton Poppleford victim then set fire to his caravan home to wipe out the evidence. Exeter Crown Court on Tuesday (September 29) heard how Lewis Finch ‘beat and strangled to death’ ‘pretty unsavoury character’ 47-year-old Geoffrey Pearce in the early hours of January 9, 2020, believing he was a child abuser. Lewis Finch, aged 31, of Briseham Close, Brixham, denies murder but has admitted manslaughter. The jury heard how Finch battered Mr Pearce to his head and face, fracturing his skull, then garroted him with a plastic…

Visitors are from Monday (September 28) being welcomed back at The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth after months of closure because of the coronavirus lockdown. The free-to-visit sanctuary today announced it was reopening daily, from 9.30am until 4pm, with safety measures in place to stop the spread of the virus. The Donkey Sanctuary said because coronavirus restrictions visitors can expect a ‘different’ experience, with one-way routes around the site, hand sanitiser stations and ‘fewer opportunities’ to mingle with the resident donkeys. A spokesperson for the sanctuary said: ““Like lots of other attractions, people can expect a different visitor experience when visiting…

Iconic Sidmouth landmark Jacob’s Ladder is to be repainted for the first time in six years and undergo structural repairs in a much-needed makeover. Work on the Grade II listed structure, originally built in the early 20th century, was due to start today (Tuesday, September 22) and is expected to take a fortnight. It will be closed to the public with scaffolding erected around it by East Devon District Council (EDDC) contractors. The dates were specifically chosen not to clash with our busy summer season, but also provide suitable conditions for…work to be carried out safely in this extremely exposed…

An abandoned campfire on heathland near Sidmouth could have been located ‘much quicker’ if the What3Words system had been used. Sidmouth firefighters called to Mutters Moor on Sunday (September 20) are urging people to sign up to the free location app, saying the the exact spot of the campfire could have been pinpointed easily using the service. The fire crew warned against lighting fire and barbecues on heathland, where flames can spread rapidly out of control. Sidmouth firefighters thanked the caller for raising the alarm, and the public for helping to locate the campfire. A Sidmouth Fire Station spokesman said:…

Life behind the lens in East Devon was highlighted when professional photographers Simon Horn and Steve Pope separately showcased these shots. Simon focussed on the cruise ships seen off the coast of Sidmouth, capturing these images as the vessels were spotted in the bay. Seen here is P&O cruise ship Azura and Ventura and transatlantic passenger liner, RMS Queen Mary 2. Steve was at Exeter Airport earlier this month, when the Red Arrows visited on their stopover ahead of their appearance at Guernsey air display. As well as the aerial display team, in the frame was a Chinook helicopter, light…

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