May 2010 Archives
COUNCIL chiefs have defended their use of covert surveillance powers to spy on residents - despite not one investigation resulting in a conviction.
New research into the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) by pressure group, Big Brother Watch, found Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) used hidden surveillance 23 times in the past two years, to detect crimes including fly-tipping and littering, falsified single person claims, noise nuisance and benefit cheats.
Meanwhile, Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) used its spying powers 57 times between 2008 - 2010, to investigate offences including under-age sales, doorstop salesmen, and sales of misdescribed products.
The two authorities are among 372 in Britain who conducted RIPA surveillance operations in more than 8,500 cases during the past two years.
Under the Act, councils can film people with hidden cameras, access telephone and internet records and log the movements of a residents' vehicle.
A TEENAGER has been given a community order and must pay ÃÂ£173 compensation after being convicted of causing criminal damage to a car.
Stephen Daniel Jones, 19, of Acre Way, Northwood, caused the damage to a Fiat Punto in High Street, Ruislip, on August last year.
Jones was also convicted of threatening behaviour in the High Street on the same day.
No plea was entered for either offence and both were proved at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on May 20.
He must also pay ÃÂ£300 court costs and is required to visit an attendance centre for 36 hours.
A MAN is due to be sentenced after admitting to using threatening language or behaviour.
Andre DaSilva Azevedo, 33, of Harrison Close, Northwood, committed the offence on March 22 in Uxbridge, causing two women to believe that violence may be used against them.
He has been remanded on unconditional bail until his sentencing, due to take place on June 8 at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court, after medical and psychiatric reports have been prepared.
A CELEBRATORY day of dance and print for over 50's will take place in Northwood next Saturday (June 5).
The free event, organised by Northwood Community Arts Group, will feature two short performances by The Green Candle Company's senior dance group, based on the themes of trees and Bollywood.
Participants will then be invited to join in two dance workshops, led by the artistic director of Green Candle, Fergus Early OBE.
THE details of 17 previous convictions Nathan Doherty had before he killed Rickmansworth man Frazer Bradshaw (pictured) were released to the Old Bailey yesterday, as sentencing was adjourned to June 24.
It has also emerged that Doherty, 20, was serving a suspended sentence for GBH when he punched Bradshaw so hard it caused the 33-year-old to fall and fracture his skull, which led to his death.
Doherty handed himself into police on January 6, following five days of uncertainty for Frazer Bradshaw's friends and family, following the attack on New Year's Day.
A CROXLEY Green parish councillor has agreed to take a leave of absence after being convicted of five counts of benefit fraud.
Councillor Frank Brand, of Baldwins Lane, admitted the offences at Watford Magistrates' Court on Friday (May 21).
Three Rivers fraud investigators obtained evidence to show that Cllr Brand, who was claiming benefits, failed to disclose 'substantial cash' held in a number of undeclared savings accounts.
Evidence was also obtained to show he was receiving undeclared income.
Although the bench considered custody, Brand said he was in poor health and required oxygen at night.
He was fined ÃÂ£400 for each count, ordered to pay a further ÃÂ£400 costs to Three Rivers District Council, plus a ÃÂ£15 victim surcharge.
A BUSINESSMAN from Northwood has been jailed for helping to cheat the taxpayer out of ÃÂ£37.5million in one of most complex tax rebate scams in history.
Shakeel Ahmad, 38, of Astons Road, was one of 21 men sentenced for plotting what Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) described as 'fraud on a massive scale'.
Reporting restrictions during the court proceedings - which date back to 2006 - mean only now can the Gazette publish results of the seven interlinked trials and re-trials that ensued, after the final defendant was jailed last Tuesday (May 25).
Ahmad received seven years imprisonment at Northampton Crown Court in March 2007, after being convicted of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue under the Criminal Law Act 1977. He was also disqualified from being a company director for 12 years.
A NEW chairman was appointed for Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) last night (Tuesday).
Councillor Ron Spellen (Lab) has stood in South Oxhey since 1995 and follows in the footsteps of his wife, Nina, who has also served as chairman of TRDC.
Cllr Spellen, who has contributed to various committees including development control, leisure, environment and highways, replaces outgoing chairman, Richard Laval.
Cllr Spellen said: ""It's been a great honour and privilege to be elected chair of Three Rivers District Council.
"I hope to be able to visit as many charities and schools as possible and looking forward to meeting the residents of Three Rivers. I am an approach Councillor and I would like to maintain this and be will be available to speak to anyone who wishes."
Cllr Ann Shaw remains leader of the ruling Liberal Democrats administration, while Chris Hayward has replaced David Sansom has leader of the Conservative opposition.
NORTHWOOD: 2 Hilliard Road - Conversion of dwelling to 3 x 1 bed and 1 x 3 bed flats to include conversion of roof space to habitable use to include a rear dormer, 2 rear and 1 front rooflights and new gable end window to side and part two storey part single storey side and rear extensions.
A PENSIONER from Rickmansworth who has been a foster carer for almost 20 years is urging others to reach out to children and young people in need.
Ann Gibson, 67, of The Cloisters, has taken 50 children under her wing since she started fostering in 1991.
The retired teacher was inspired to provide a loving home for youngsters after seeing her friend's family fostering children while she was growing up.