Review of the Year: May
December 30, 2011
Firefighters tackled the biggest woodland blaze in Bracknell since the Second World War during the first Bank Holiday of the month.
The fire started on Wednesday, April 27, in the woodland near Foresters Way between Crowthorne and Bracknell, but quickly escalated due to a change in the wind direction.
The blaze affected 300 hectares of woodland, of which 55 per cent was damaged by the fire and clearing operations, and schools, leisure centres and roads in and around Crowthorne were closed for days and 13 homes were evacuated.
At its height 14 pumps from around the country were deployed including crews from London, Surrey, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, West Midlands, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire.
Birch Hill man Jon Clinton was convicted of murdering his wife Dawn by a jury at Reading Crown Court.
Clinton, 44, of Inchwood, was jailed for 26 years for his wife's murder and two years for arson, with the two sentences running concurrently.
The arson relates to a fire Clinton set in Mrs Clinton’s Land Rover, which she named Fred, the day before her murder in November last year.
He had denied her murder, claiming he was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the killing.
However, after hearing how Clinton had beat Dawn on the head with a plank of wood and strangled her, the jury found him guilty.
Mrs Clinton had ended the marriage just weeks before her murder.
Tesco was fined after a teenage girl fell ill after eating a chargrilled chicken pasta salad from their Martins Heron branch.
Her mother’s complaint to Bracknell Forest Council led to an investigation by Trading Standards officers who declared they were “astonished” to see so many out-of-date products on the shelves.
Bracknell Forest Trading Standards officers, describing it as “the worst case of out-of-date products they have ever come across”, discovered 127 outdated items of food during a visit to the store last June.
The products ranged from a Tesco Finest Salami Felino – on the shelf 16 days past its use-by date – to beefburgers, ham and a chocolate cheesecake.
The same month a British Airways pilot was also jailed for killing his wife and burying her body in makeshift grave in woodland.
A jury at Reading Crown Court found Robert Brown, 47, from North Street in Winkfield, not guilty of murder after his estranged wife Joanna was found dead at her home in Ascot in October last year.
Brown was jailed for a total of 26 years for manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and preventing the coroner of Berkshire from holding an inquest.
During the trial the court heard he attacked her, hitting her 14 times on the head with a hammer, while his children were in the house.