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Review of the Year 2018 part one: Grenades, drains and automobiles

PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 December 2018

Bowler Joan Peters at 100 is presented with flowers by club President Dave Faust ,Ladies Captain Ann Aston and Secretary Tom Bellamy

Bowler Joan Peters at 100 is presented with flowers by club President Dave Faust ,Ladies Captain Ann Aston and Secretary Tom Bellamy

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As we prepare to welcome 2019, The Recorder takes a look at the first six months of the past year, and the biggest stories we have reported on. Tomorrow we'll take a look at the second half of 2018.

The weapons seized in North Ockendon. Picture: Essex PoliceThe weapons seized in North Ockendon. Picture: Essex Police

January

A huge stash of weapons and explosives was discovered by police officers at a derelict site in North Road, North Ockendon.

Lifelong friends Holly Reynolds and Abbie Bagdonas.Lifelong friends Holly Reynolds and Abbie Bagdonas.

Two AK47 rifles, a hand gun, a sawn off shotgun, ammunition and a number of grenades were found.

Det Supt Mark Hall of Essex Police said: “This is a significant seizure and clearly in the wrong hands these weapons could have caused very considerable harm.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to safely recover them.”

Hornchurch Cricket Club pulled off a fine catch with the signing of former England spinner Monty Panesar.

Kerry shared pictures of the deer in Harold Hill. Photo: Kerry O'Neill.Kerry shared pictures of the deer in Harold Hill. Photo: Kerry O'Neill.

The 35-year-old joined Harrow Lodge having taken 167 wickets in 50 tests for his country. He is something of a cricketing folk hero across the UK.

“It seems like a great opportunity for me to help a club move up the league and hopefully win it,” Monty said on signing terms.

February

Police in Farnham Road on Wednesday. Photo: Ken MearsPolice in Farnham Road on Wednesday. Photo: Ken Mears

A man trapped in a drain on George Street was rescued after spending hours stuck helpless in the sewers.

The rescue operation was launched after passers-by on the street heard cries of help from beneath them.

Homeless David Miller, 48, thought he was “going to die”.

Bowler Joan Peters at 100 is presented with flowers by club President Dave Faust ,Ladies Captain Ann Aston and Secretary Tom BellamyBowler Joan Peters at 100 is presented with flowers by club President Dave Faust ,Ladies Captain Ann Aston and Secretary Tom Bellamy

A friend of David’s told the Recorder: “It took him hours and hours to get out.

“He just remembers waking up in a dark place and the next thing he was crawling around screaming for help.

“He didn’t know where he was.”

A Romford policeman was sacked by the Metropolitan Police and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for planting drugs on a fellow officer.

In an attempt to frame his colleague, Pc Joseph Prasad was found guilty of perverting the course of public justice and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice with malicious communication.

March

A Hornchurch furniture company helped transform the home of a policeman paralysed in the Westminster Bridge terror attack.

Kris Aves was unable to return home after being run over during the terror incident, before 900 volunteers assisted BBC programme DIY SOS to complexly renovate his house.

Two best friends from Harold Hill, who became inseparable from the age of five, discovered at the same time, 19 years on, they were both to have twin children.

Abbie Bagdonas and Holly Reynolds had attended the same schools and even worked together while growing up.

April

A man was shot dead by police in Collier Row after walking down the road at 4.45am with an air rifle.

The family of Richard Cottier said the father of three was clearly struggling with mental health problems before the episode that led to his death.

The RSPCA put a deer down in Harold Hill but then left it in a resident’s garden for three days.

The deer had been severely injured after being hit by two cars.

Janice Watts, of Ashbourne Road, told the Recorder she was “traumatised” by the experience, saying she “didn’t want to leave the house all weekend”.

May

A driver in his 90s crashed into a sweet shop in Harold Hill but miraculously, no one was hurt.

Firefighters had to lift the car out of the shop in Farnham Road before medics treated the “sweet” pensioner.

Romford FC pulled off a spectacular great escape in avoiding relegation from the Bostik North on the final day of the season.

The Boro’s 4-2 victory over Maldon & Tiptree saw manager Paul Martin proclaim: “I’ve probably never been prouder since my daughter was born.”

Havering Council was urged by Fossil Free London to end investments in coal, oil and gas companies and not profit from wrecking the planet.

June

Joan Peters celebrated her 100th birthday on the bowls green in Harrow Lodge.

The centenarian started competing back in 1978 and vowed to carry on playing despite reaching the incredible milestone.

Asked for the secret behind her long life, Joan revealed: “I keep running so they can’t catch me!”

An 80-year-old grandfather suffered two broken legs after being hit by a man on a mobility scooter.

Ronald Lloyd was walking his dog along Station Road on his way to church before he felt a “crushing” pain as his legs were taken from beneath him.

The driver of the scooter told Ronald that he didn’t have insurance, and instead gave him a fiver.

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