Jail sentence for men in Megan Bannister case

On Wednesday 29th November, a 29-year-old man was sentenced to a total of eight years and six months in prison after admitting supplying drugs to teenager Megan Bannister.

Jason Burder, of Braunstone Avenue, Leicester, had also pleaded guilty to possession of MDMA, two counts of supplying a Class A drug and driving without due care and attention and was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court.

His friend, 28-year-old Adam King, of Waltham Avenue, Leicester, was sentenced to four years and six months after admitting being concerned in the supply of the drug to the 16-year-old schoolgirl.

Megan Bannister

Megan Bannister

The body of Megan Bannister was found on the back seat of a black Vauxhall Astra after the car was involved in a collision in Enderby, Leicestershire, on the morning of Sunday 14 May.

Both men were acquitted of a joint charge of gross negligence manslaughter after the Judge directed a jury to find both defendants not guilty of the charge in respect of Megan’s death.

Burder was driving the car at the time, with King in the passenger seat.

It was established early in the investigation that Megan had not died as a result of the collision and toxicology tests found she had MDMA in her system.

However, the exact cause of her death remains unascertained.

The court heard how the teenager had been in the company of both men on the evening of 13th May when, during the course of the evening or the early hours of the next morning, she had taken the drug.

At some point she had become unwell and was seen being helped into the car by both men just before 8am on Sunday 14th May.

It is unclear as to when exactly Megan died.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Smalley led the investigation. He said:

“This is an incredibly sad case and Megan’s family are still trying to come to terms with her death.

“They have acted with great strength and dignity throughout the trial, at a time when they are continuing to mourn the death of their beloved daughter and sister.

“When Megan’s body was found unresponsive on the back of the car, a number of witnesses to the collision immediately attempted first aid in attempts to save her.

“They too must be recognised for their brave actions in that tragic situation.

“I hope the conclusion of this case will bring a degree of closure to all those who have been affected by it.”

Megan’s parents, Carol and Tony Bannister, released a statement on behalf of their family; siblings Hayley, Kierran, Kirsten, Callum, Ashleigh, Alex and Megan’s twin brother, Mason.

The statement, published on the Leicestershire Police website read:

“Megan was our beautiful, loving and kind daughter, sister and friend.

“Her compassion for others and energy for life meant she was loved dearly by everyone and our hearts have been truly broken by her death.

“Our bright, determined and popular daughter dreamt of being a midwife but her dream will never be realised as she died before her life really had a chance to begin.

“The last six months have been incredibly hard for our family. The grief and numbness we felt after Megan’s death was overwhelming and the absence of Megan in our lives has been so very painful.

“We still walk into our house and hear Megan’s laughter echoing around the rooms and for brief moments, we forget that she’s not here. The hole that has been left in our family is felt every day.

“There have been some very dark times but we have supported each other as a family and sought comfort in the overwhelming number of messages and tributes we have received from people who knew our daughter, as it is clear that Megan was loved by many.

“The silence without our beloved daughter in our lives is deafening.”

[Source/Photo: Leics. Police]
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Leicester Hospitals “delighted” at Glenfield Hospital decision

Doors to Glenfield’s heart unit will remain open following an announcement today by NHS England.

NHS England (NHSE) announced that the threat to decommission heart services at the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre (EMCHC) has been lifted, meaning the centre will continue to provide lifesaving surgery for children and adults in the region.

The centre is home to the internationally-renowned ECMO (Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) service, which treats some of the sickest babies, children and adults in the country.

John Adler, Chief Executive at Leicester’s Hospitals, said:

John Adler: Decision is vote of confidence

“We are obviously delighted with the decision to continue commissioning EMCHC as a Level 1 congenital heart disease centre.

“The decision is a vote of confidence for our staff and service, and is great news for our NHS partners across the East Midlands network.

The future is now in our hands and this decision means that the clinical team can now focus on building a world class congenital heart service for people across the East Midlands and beyond.”

Karamjit Singh CBE, Chairman at Leicester’s Hospitals, added:

Karamjit Singh CBE: We acknowledge the fantastic support

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre staff for their incredible resilience and hard work to achieve and more importantly maintain the level of quality and service over this difficult period.”

“We would also like to acknowledge the fantastic support we have had from our stakeholders; patients, relatives, charities, local councils, NHS partners, MPs and media, their unwavering commitment has kept our spirits up during these uncertain times.”

East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre currently treats over 50% of the respiratory ECMO cases nationally, making it the busiest ECMO centre in the UK

Outcomes at the centre are excellent and above national averages, with 99% of families agreeing that they would recommend the service to their friends and family.

Aidan Bolger, Head of Service for East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre, said:

Dr Aiden Bolger: Delighted by decision

“I am delighted by the decision made by the NHS England board today.

“It puts an end to years of uncertainty, and is a testament to the professionalism, energy and determination of all the EMCHC staff that have fought to ensure our service delivers the highest quality of care to meet the required standards.

“Patients in the East Midlands can now be assured that they have access to a Congenital Heart Disease centre of excellence, as close to home as possible, and we can continue to offer our internationally renowned ECMO and mobile ECMO service to the whole of the UK.

“I look forward to focussing all our energy on growing our service and delivering our plan with the confidence to attract and retain the best specialised staff possible and working with our network partners, and NHS Specialised Commissioning to make EMCHC the centre of choice for patients with congenital heart disease.”

EYE viewers can find out more about the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre and the services by visiting the website: www.eastmidlandscongenitalheart.nhs.uk/consultation/

[Source: Leicester Hospitals Communications]
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Local Plan consultation launches

Map of DistrictA plan to shape housing and employment across the District of Blaby in the coming years is being consulted on with residents and local businesses.

The Delivery Development Plan Document (Delivery DPD) is the second part of Blaby District Council’s overall Local Plan.

The Local Plan is an important set of documents that help determine the outcome of planning applications.

The Delivery DPD includes sites for new homes at Kirby Muxloe, Glenfield and Leicester Forest East.

An employment site in Enderby is also proposed.

A new policies map shows where development in the district should be focussed, as well as the important environmental assets that should be protected.

Consultation opened on Wednesday 29 November and will close on Thursday 18 January 2018. The Council is inviting residents to view the plans and comment on the proposals within the Delivery DPD.

After consultation responses are reviewed, the proposed document will be submitted to the Secretary of State for independent examination by an inspector.

Once finalised, the Delivery DPD and Policies Map will be adopted and, alongside the Core Strategy will replace the Local Plan 1999.

Councillor Sheila Scott, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing Strategy, Economic and Community Development, said:

“This is a vital document for the Council as it enables us to approve and refuse planning applications on our own terms; ensuring residents get the most appropriate decisions in their area.

“It also gives us the opportunity to protect and improve some of our most vital assets, as well as plan for new homes and employment sites, which are vital to help the district grow in areas we have identified will be most appropriate.”

All Delivery DPD documents and details of how to make comments are available at www.blaby.gov.uk/deliverydpd.

Information is also on display in local libraries and at the Council’s Narborough Offices.

For further details contact the Development Strategy team via email at planning.policy@blaby.gov.uk or write to the team at Blaby District Council, Council Offices, Desford Road, Narborough, LE19 2EP.

[Source: Blaby District Council Communications]
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£5000 fine for untidy land in Whetstone

A land owner has been ordered to pay £4,950.38 and issued a Remedial Order by Leicester Magistrates’ Court following non-compliance with a Community Protection Notice.

Peter Thomas of New Bridge Road, Glen Parva was first issued with a Community Protection Warning by Blaby District Council back in May 2016, following complaints of his untidy land off Enderby Road (known as Bulls Hit Farm.)

The land contains various broken down containers, vehicle parts, car tyres as well as further piles of bricks, rubble and refuse.

Following Mr Thomas’ non-compliance, the Council served a Community Protection Notice in November 2016.

Community Protection Notices require a person or organisation to undertake specific tasks in order to reduce or remove the detrimental effects of their conduct.

The notice served on Mr Thomas required him to remove the waste items, which also included scrap metal, tipped waste and rubber.

He was also required to ensure that once the items had been removed it would not become untidy again. After failure to complete these works, the Council sought prosecution for non-compliance with the notice.

Leicester Magistrates’ Court found Mr Thomas guilty and ordered him to pay a fine of £1,500 and full costs of £3,300.38, as well as a victim surcharge of £150.

The court judgement also included granting the Council a Remedial Order, compelling the defendant to carry out the work required as per the Community Protection Notice.

Councillor Sheila Scott, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing Strategy, Economic and Community Development, said:

“This is an important prosecution for us. Mr Thomas had a responsibility to ensure his land did not have a negative impact on the quality of life for others in his locality.

“Unfortunately he consistently failed in his responsibilities and as such we had no choice but to prosecute. I hope this emphasises how seriously we take untidy land and Community Protection Notices. They are not there to be ignored.”

This is the second successful prosecution for non-compliance of a Community Protection Notice that Blaby District Council has carried out in the space of 12 months.

Residents can report any untidy land in the district by visiting www.blaby.gov.uk/planning.

Source: Blaby District Council Commuications]
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Tree surgeon fined for contravening Tree Preservation Order

Photos of trees (before/after)An Aboroculturist has been ordered to pay £569 by Leicester Magistrates’ Court for unauthorised work on two trees in Littlethorpe under Tree Preservation Orders (TPO.)

Thomas Bale, of Fleckney-based Long Field Tree and Hedge Care Ltd, undertook work on a Horse Chestnut Tree and Lime Tree in April. Both trees have been protected under a TPO since 2011.

A TPO protects trees which are considered to make a significant contribution to the local surroundings. Permission was granted by Blaby District Council for specific work, including the removal of minor deadwood, severing ivy and removing some smaller branches lower on the each tree.

Following an investigation by the Council’s Planning Enforcement team, the work undertaken was considered to be “far in excess of the consented works.”

Mr Bale pleaded guilty to breaching Blaby District Council’s 2011 Tree Preservation Order, contrary to the Town and County Planning Act 1990. He was ordered to pay a fine of £440, with £85 in costs and a victim surcharge of £44.

Councillor Sheila Scott, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing Strategy, Economic and Community Development, said:

“I hope that this prosecution highlights to residents that we will not accept the bludgeoning of protected trees in the district.

“Both trees have become unsightly for residents, with the Lime Tree looking like a tall bare stick. TPOs are in place to protect trees for the public’s enjoyment, and we will not hesitate to prosecute if such orders are ignored.”

Residents can find out more about TPOs, or report any works suspected of being in breach of an order by visiting www.blaby.gov.uk/planning.


[Source: Blaby District Council Commuications]
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