December 31, 2019 2.21 pm This story is over 23 months old

Rewind: Lincolnshire Reporter top 19 stories of 2019

Amazing, sad, and uplifting stories in 2019

When breaking news happens in Greater Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire Reporter is here to keep readers up-to-date.

As 2019 draws to a close, we have been reflecting on the biggest stories we have written in the past year.

Rising sea expected to swallow much of Lincolnshire by 2050

Just some of the Lincolnshire land projected to be below annual flood level in 2050. Photo: Climate Central

Large parts of Lincolnshire land could be at risk of coastal flooding from climate-driven sea level rise by 2050, according to research.

A digital elevation model produced by Climate Central, called CoastalDEM, shows that many of the world’s coastlines are far lower than has been generally known. Sea level rise could affect hundreds of millions of more people in the coming decades than previously understood.

Areas in and around Lincoln, as well as in towns including Boston, Spalding and Holbeach, are among the places with land predicted to be at risk by 2050.

This is currently the most read story ever in Lincolnshire Reporter’s three-year history.

DIY SOS: Mother forced to turn off life support for daughter and husband

Caroline with her family before tragedy struck.

A mother from Scunthorpe was forced to turn off life support for her daughter and then her husband just years later. DIY SOS heard the tragic story and wanted to change her life, in what was the second most read story ever on Lincolnshire Reporter.

Caroline Blanchard lost her daughter in a tragic accident at home in 2007 before her husband died after a cardiac arrest in 2016.

BBC’s DIY SOS TV show went to help Caroline and her family to rebuild their lives.

Two railway tragedies in two days

British Transport Police stock photo.

A man in his 30s was hit by a train between Grantham and Newark North Gate during the morning of November 6, 2019.

The day before, British Transport Police officers went to Grantham station in the early hours to reports of a casualty on the tracks. Paramedics attended but they sadly pronounced a man in his 60s dead at the scene.

Grand Designs feature Lincolnshire couple’s stunning home

Grand Designs’ host Kevin McCloud with Lincolnshire couple Paul and Amy Wilkinson. Photo: Channel 4

A Lincolnshire couple who set out to build a £1.2million giant lakeside house on their 16-acre plot featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs.

Entrepreneur Paul Wilkinson gave himself just one year to complete the challenge in the village of Old Leake near Boston with his wife Amy.

However, it isn’t just an ordinary home, as it is five circular buildings made up of interlocking timber cylinders linked by raised wooden walkways hanging over a fishing lake. Inside there is also a swimming pool, a spa and a games room.

Flooding causes havoc in Lincolnshire villages

They were told to find a new home for the next six to eight months.

Flooding impacted residents and drivers across Lincolnshire this year, including in Wainfleet, Ruskington and Potterhanworth.

More than 500 homes were evacuated in Wainfleet after heavy rain caused the River Steeping to burst its banks in June. The flood victims were then busy working away to rip out ruined flooring, walls and furniture.

Jean assessing the damage. Photo: Connor Creaghan for Lincolnshire Reporter

People living in Ruskington made desperate attempts to save their valuables when floodwater surrounded their bungalows and started to seep inside.

The High Street in Sturton by Stow was among the roads closed by police as flooding and heavy rain continued to affect Lincolnshire in November.

The persistent flooding issue at a Potterhanworth underpass, which saw several vehicles submerged under rain water, was fixed in November according to the county council.

Photo: Charlie Zobel

Wanted man dislikes police mugshot so he sent us a better selfie

Stephen Murphy. Left is the police mugshot, right is the selfie he sent us.

A former Mr Boston model, who was wanted by police after failing to attend court, did not like his custody mugshot, so he sent a more flattering selfie to Lincolnshire Reporter instead.

Stephen Murphy, who also goes by Jr V Murphy, was summoned to Boston Magistrates’ Court charged with causing criminal damage. He did not attend, which prompted a wanted appeal.

He doesn’t like people seeing his mugshot.

Our story went viral and was picked up by regional, national, and international news outlets.

Stephen Murphy is still on the run and sent another picture to us.

Murphy later told journalists he was “above the law” before being arrested and sentenced to two months suspended for two years. He was also put on work probation and ordered to do 24 sessions of ‘building better relationships.’

Another man – Nathan Baker, 36, from Cleethorpes was caught after his social media posts on his own wanted appeal helped police track him down.

Phillip Carter, 41, who was wanted after his release from prison, taunted police online before his arrest.

Police officer punched man in caravan park arrest

A police officer was caught on camera appearing to punch a man in the face at a caravan park on the Lincolnshire coast.

Smartphone video footage from Coral Beach Holiday Park in Ingoldmells shows how an officer appears to use excessive force on a man on Monday, August 19.

The man, who was punched, was only read his rights after he was struck by the officer three times, so technically was not resisting arrest, according to the video clip received by Lincolnshire Reporter.

One of Lincolnshire Police’s top bosses later defended the actions of the officer.

Concerns over new homes near Lincolnshire coast

More than 70 objections were sent to East Lindsey District Council over plans for nearly 90 homes set for approval in Hogsthorpe near Chapel St Leonards.

Officers recommended to East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee that developers Pridgeon Farms’ proposals for homes, along with a long walk way, open spaces and car park off land on West End, should be given the go ahead.

The 89 planned houses will circle land to the back of Hogsthorpe Primary School and neighbouring properties.

Nearby residents however, say the plans will create a strain on local infrastructure, increase traffic, noise and harm to wildlife.

The application was later approved in September 2019.

Furious holidaymakers lose precious memories to new caravan rules

Sophie Waite went into labour in this very caravan but she’s now being told that it will be taken away. Photo: Connor Creaghan for Lincolnshire Reporter

Holidaymakers in Skegness are furious after being told that their caravans will be taken off the site if they are over 20-years-old.

Kingfisher Caravan Park, Ingoldmells, tried to impose new rules on its residents which also means that any caravans over 15-years-old will be subject to a £100 annual inspection.

Residents also claimed to be left in the dark about the inspection criteria but have been told that if they fail then their caravan will be removed from the site.

Man poos outside Lincolnshire bar and takes photo

A man was caught on CCTV squatting over a bench having a poo outside an Ingoldmells bar before taking a photograph of it.

The man in the video wanders over and starts pulling his trousers down before squatting over a bench outside the bar. After appearing to defecate on the bench, he then wipes his backside and discards the paper towels.

After pulling his trousers up he still isn’t finished and decides to take a photograph on his phone before leaving the scene.

DJ slams Uber after London ride ends up in unexpected £1,400 trip to Sleaford

Chris Reed, also known as Plastician. Photo: Plastician/Twitter

A DJ in London has hit out at Uber with claims he was unfairly charged over £1,400 after an unexpected 300 mile round trip ended up in Sleaford.

Chris Reed, a DJ also known as Plastician, was trying to get from Fulham to Croydon in south London after a boozy night on October 6. He dozed off in the Uber car and the journey did not go to plan.

In a Twitter rant on October 10 he claims Uber have taken zero responsibility for their passenger’s safety and that there was no indication inside his app of ‘that address’ being entered by him.

Uber said at the time that they would look into the incident.

RSPCA appeal after man ‘punched dog several times’

Do you recognise this man?

A man was caught on CCTV punching his dog in the body and head several times.

The man came out of the Coral betting shop on the High Street in Barton-Upon-Humber on Tuesday, August 13 at around 5pm before attacking the dog.

Cameras caught the man leaving the betting shop before attacking the dog and going back inside. The RSPCA did not release the video at the time but wants to speak to the man after he left with the white Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Skegness grandma stranded in Barbados hospital with mounting medical bill

Lynda Rogers (pictured) and her daughter Nicky are still stuck in Barbados hospital desperately trying to get home. Photo: GoFundMe page

A Skegness grandma was stuck in a Barbados hospital with a mounting medical bill of over £10,000 after falling ill on a dream Caribbean cruise.

Retired pensioner Lynda Rogers booked herself on the Caribbean cruise with a friend after turning 70 last year and they left on their trip of a lifetime on October 29, 2019.

However, the dream turned to disaster for Lynda after she suffered a gallbladder infection five days into the trip and her travel insurance will not cover the treatment or travel costs.

Residents evacuated from Boston nursing home

St John’s Nursing Home in Boston. Photo: Google Street View

Residents were evacuated from a Boston nursing home in April.

Concerns were raised about St John’s Nursing Home through monitoring from Lincolnshire County Council and CQC were then notified.

It was later decided that the care home provide could no longer legally run from its Boston site after a damning inspection by CQC.

Concerns highlighted in the report published by CQC on May 21 included malnutrition, indignity of residents being in wet clothes and staffing issues.

Billionaire James Dyson’s farm flooded

The River Witham has breached and flooded farmland. Photo: Beeswax Dyson

Over 200 acres of farmland in Lincolnshire owned by billionaire inventor James Dyson flooded after the River Delph breached its banks.

Beeswax Dyson, which owns the land near Coningsby, first noticed a 35-feet breach on Friday, November 29 but the situation escalated quickly.

The company called on the Environment Agency to come up with a plan and send staff on-site to deal with the breach as soon as possible. It was the second time in as many months that farmland owned by Beeswax Dyson has been flooded.

Lorry drivers reveal their loads for charity calendar

It’s all for a great cause.

A group of lorry drivers stripped off for a charity calendar to raise money for LIVES.

It’s the fourth time that the Drivers for Defibs group from Sleaford has released a calendar, but it’s the first time women have been involved.

Neil Donner, 54, set up the group as a way of thanking LIVES after their first responders saved his wife and his disabled daughter.

Huge Lincolnshire company sold to Brazilian firm for £290m

Tulip Ltd has been sold to Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation.

A meat processing company which employs 450 people in Lincolnshire was sold to a Brazilian firm.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation announced on August 28 that it had signed a contract to acquire Tulip Ltd for £290 million.

Tulip has a long heritage in agriculture and is the largest producer of pigs with nearly £1 billion in annual sales and over 6,000 employees across the UK.

The company has a factory in Ruskington which employs 450 people, who produce Scotch eggs, cocktail sausages, and other snack foods.

Family drug operation busted by undercover police

Mary and her son Mason Wilson.

A Skegness woman who involved her son in a cocaine and heroin drugs operation was jailed for four years and seven months.

Mary Jane Wilson, 39, was caught supplying heroin and cocaine onto the streets of Skegness by undercover police. The judge said that Mary Jane Wilson was at the heart of the drug dealing offering to supply customers on a 24/7 basis. She was jailed after admitting conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.

Wilson’s partner Jack Mahl, 24, was jailed for three years. Her son, Mason Wilson, 19, of Sundial Way, Skegness, was given 16 months at a young offenders’ institution.

Matthew Parsley, 28, of Low Edges Crescent, Sheffield; and Steven Barnes, 43, of no fixed address, were each jailed for four years. Katy Murray, 25, of Firbeck Avenue, Skegness was given a 15 month jail sentence suspended for two years.

Police raid ‘sanctuary’, home to over 400 animals

Tamara Lloyd speaks before a raid on her property. Photo: Channel 5

Lincolnshire Police and the RSPCA raided an animal sanctuary over concern for welfare.

People in the area said there is a large police presence at the Alternative Animal Sanctuary near Boston on Thursday, May 16. The sanctuary is home to over 400 animals, including dogs, cats and dogs all up for adoption.

A woman who shared her home with around 400 animals was filmed for a TV documentary shortly before it was raided.

Footage now made public showed the chaotic home and outdoor pens overrun by animals, as well as a picture of dwindling finances and fears for the future.

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