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Bloodhounds on the trail as Suffolk hunt takes new turn

Hamilton Bloodhounds in Easton with Huntsman James Chadwick, Master Clare Simper and Bill Gilchrist Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Hamilton Bloodhounds in Easton with Huntsman James Chadwick, Master Clare Simper and Bill Gilchrist Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

After a breathless chase, the pack finally tracks down its quarry — and a frenzy of licking ensues.

Hamilton Bloodhounds in Easton with Huntsman James Chadwick, Master Clare Simper and Bill Gilchrist Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDHamilton Bloodhounds in Easton with Huntsman James Chadwick, Master Clare Simper and Bill Gilchrist Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The floppy-eared Hamilton Bloodhounds have become a popular sight on their daily exercise run through the village of Easton, near Framlingham.

These crack canine sleuths are trained to track down human runners.

The runners spend time having a ‘big hug’ with the hounds before the hunt so that they can get to know their scent.

MORE — Community mourns death of ‘caring and dedicated’ farmer and family man

Then they are dropped at agreed locations and will lead the pack on a merry chase through the countryside.

Hamilton Bloodhounds in Easton with Huntsman James Chadwick, Master Clare Simper and Bill Gilchrist Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDHamilton Bloodhounds in Easton with Huntsman James Chadwick, Master Clare Simper and Bill Gilchrist Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Using pre-set trails, the runners head off and get as far as they can before the dogs and riders catch them up.

The whole event culminates in a rather slobbery reunion — and as the runners are pre-armed with doggy biscuits and liver snacks — a treat for the dogs.

The Hamilton Bloodhounds was set up last year with the aim of reviving a very old tradition in the village — but with a modern twist.

They are looked after at kennels run by joint master and professional huntsman James Chadwick.

Hamilton Bloodhounds in Easton with Huntsman James Chadwick, Master Clare Simper and Bill Gilchrist Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDHamilton Bloodhounds in Easton with Huntsman James Chadwick, Master Clare Simper and Bill Gilchrist Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The pack’s predecessor — the Easton Harriers — was set up in 1875 by the Duke of Hamilton and historically hunted hares before the hunting ban of 2005.

But the old hunt appeared to have run its course and numbers were dwindling. The pack was rehomed and the hunt itself was on the cusp of disbanding when a group of enthusiasts came up with an idea which is also catching on in other parts of the country.

“We decided as a committee that we wanted to be able to hunt a pack of hounds that we could follow a human scent rather than a trail of artificial scent,” explains joint master Clare Simper.

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An entirely new type of ‘hunt’ was devised, and a bloodhound pack was established to track down humans, who would run ahead, thus laying a scent trail for them to follow.

“They go into the truck with the hounds and have a really big hug,” she says. “They are really gorgeous — they are beautiful hounds.”

Clare, along with senior master Lydia Freeman, whip Tegen Dovey who is also James’ partner, chairman Nick Dowding, and secretary Kevin Francis run the meets, which take weeks of careful planning.

As well as doing away with some of the more unhelpful vestiges of the past, the new approach means that a trail can be carefully co-ordinated with the agreement of landowners in the area.

Hamilton Bloodhounds in Easton with Huntsman James Chadwick, Master Clare Simper and Bill Gilchrist Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDHamilton Bloodhounds in Easton with Huntsman James Chadwick, Master Clare Simper and Bill Gilchrist Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

“Bloodhounds are tracking hounds they have the most incredible nose for the scent of a human and were used historically to catch criminals and escaped convicts, sometimes being called sleuth hounds,” explains Clare.

“We hunt what is known as “the clean boot” which means we follow the natural scent of a human runner or quarry as they are known.”

With permission from farmers and landowners they usually covering up to 17 miles over three lines of scent. Runners will run three to four mile lines and there are usually three or four lines per meet.

“Hounds, horses, riders and runners are able to have a wonderful day crossing beautiful country and it’s been great to set up a real community with so many people enjoying the experience of being outdoors and having fun.

Hamilton Bloodhounds in Easton with Huntsman James Chadwick, Master Clare Simper and Bill Gilchrist Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDHamilton Bloodhounds in Easton with Huntsman James Chadwick, Master Clare Simper and Bill Gilchrist Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

It is that fun approach, explains Clare, which has made the new-style hunt increasingly popular. The old hunt had dwindled to a membership of just 27 — now there are 60-plus.

The Hamilton Hounds meets have inevitably been curtailed by the pandemic, but it’s clear from the reaction so far that many are keen to get involved.

“It just felt the right time to have a change,” says Clare. “There’s a real sense of a lovely community forming now.”

She adds: “Our decision to do what we did was the right decision for us for sure and it’s enhancing lots of people’s lives across many spectrums. It is the next phase of what was a very old hunts history and we are justly proud of it as we hope it will help keep a pack of hounds in Easton for many years to come.”

The Hamilton Bloodhounds are hoping to get back on track after lockdown with Christmas holiday meets planned, restrictions permitting.


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Suffolk HMP Highpoint prison employability scheme

The inmates at HMP Highpoint learn a number of skills through the programme with LM Barry, which helps them become employable upon release. Pictured here is LM Barry's factory in London Picture: LM Barry

The inmates at HMP Highpoint learn a number of skills through the programme with LM Barry, which helps them become employable upon release. Pictured here is LM Barry’s factory in London Picture: LM Barry

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HMP Highpoint and LM Barry work together to give prisoners a range of employability skills and qualifications, including forklift truck driving, and health and safety.

Prior to lockdown, the men at HMP Highpoint would sort and recycle tonnes of fabric. Pictured here is LM Barry's factory in London Picture: LM BarryPrior to lockdown, the men at HMP Highpoint would sort and recycle tonnes of fabric. Pictured here is LM Barry’s factory in London Picture: LM Barry

For the past decade, one Suffolk prison has been working alongside a recycling company in order to equip its prisoners with invaluable skills that will help them find long-term employment upon release.

Those involved in the scheme say it’s incredibly important to give ex-offenders a second change, and reveal it’s proved hugely beneficial to those who’ve already taken part

Steve Phillips has been head of reducing reoffending at HMP Highpoint, a Category C men’s prison in Stradishall, near Stowmarket, for 14 years. His job focuses on finding out why men reoffend, and how he can prevent that happening.

“There’s many different factors which can help a man reduce his risk of reoffending – but it’s statistically proven that if a man can go into employment, or some kind of formal training, upon release, it significantly reduces his risk of reoffending,” he says.

HMP Highpoint's head of reducing reoffending Steve Phillips Picture: HMP HighpointHMP Highpoint’s head of reducing reoffending Steve Phillips Picture: HMP Highpoint

One company that helps skill up prisoners for life after release is LM Barry.

Based in London, LM Barry is a textiles recycling company that was founded in 1985 by Lawrence and Joy Barry. Their son Ross now works within the organisation, and explains what it is exactly they do – and how the partnership with the HMP Highpoint came about.

“Our main business was manufacturing those textile banks you see everywhere – we now have 500 placed in and around London and the Home Counties. Councils have the textile banks and local residents use them to donate their old clothes. We then go and collect the clothes, weight them, and pay the council based on what we take.

“We’ve then got a team of sorters who go through it, and we tend to find that around 50-60% is good enough to be reworn. A lot of that gets sent off to the markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

“Then the rest that’s not good enough is recycled. If it’s wool or synthetic-based, it gets shredded, pulled back to fibre and then used as insulation in cars and airplanes. It can also be used as mattress filling and carpet underlay.”

So where exactly does the prison service fit into this?

“Cleaning rags have always been about, and in order to manufacture them, it’s just a case of removing any buttons from the fabrics and cutting them into shapes before they’re packed. We sell around 150 tonnes of this a week within the UK industries. The prison service initially contacted us and said they were looking for some work that their men could do, and asked if we had anything.

“At that point, we were operating our own cutting systems and had about 20 to 30 people who did that job. We thought it was a great idea to branch out what we were doing, as we were expanding the company, so we started with a prison in Kent first – and it worked really well.”

Prior to this, LM Barry would send its textiles abroad to countries such as Poland and Pakistan – which only contributed to the growing problem of greenhouse gas emissions that inevitably play a huge part in global warming.

“We pay the prisons to cut it for us, and it just moves from one government body to another. From our point of view, partnering with the prison service was so much better because we kept everything in the UK, and therefore we weren’t creating unnecessary carbon miles,” adds Ross.

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With a number of prisons now under its belt, the partnership between LM Barry and HMP Highpoint came into being around 12 years ago – and has been going strong ever since.

“Prior to lockdown back in March, we had three workshops with the capacity to employ upwards of 150 men,” Steve adds.

“You’ll have some working on a very basic skill level, right up to those working as forklift truck drivers. The beauty of working in those workshops is having the men progress through the stages and pick up new skills and training opportunities along the way, which will help develop them into a prospective employee.”

So how exactly does a prisoner get involved with the programme, and what does he do once he’s on it?

“In general, there is an appetite for it within the prison. The men who join us will start by sorting the textiles, cutting them, and then using the forklift truck to help distribute them. Depending on their attitude and willingness to learn, they could progress right the way through and get a full set of qualifications.”

Just last year, Steve and the team at HMP Highpoint deployed the PEDPS – Prison Education Dynamic Purchasing System – in order to refresh parts of the workshop and bring in new qualifications.

These include warehouse and distribution, forklift truck driving, first aid at work, and health and safety.

“If a man goes right the way through, he could leave here with a forklift truck certificate, a first aid certificate, a Level 2 Warehouse and Distribution qualification, and a health and safety certificate. We figure if a man walks out of here with a well-rounded CV with those sorts of qualifications on them, it makes him highly-attractive to almost any organisation. It could be Tesco, it could be LM Barry – it could be anywhere.

“What we’ve tried to do is adopt the philosophy that these aren’t prisoners working in a workshop – instead, we treat them as employees and try to develop them as people. Then once they’re released, they leave with hopefully a reasonably good skillset which will help them thrive within the community.”

Prior to lockdown, the 160 prisoners at HMP Highpoint who were enrolled on the programme would sort anywhere between 80 and 90 tonnes of textiles every week.

“We have 10 prisons across the country, and our traditional business model with the prisons was that they would run it with their own instructor, and we’d train them how to do it. But with Highpoint, it was so successful, it got to the point where we had three workshops there. There’s just so much work being produced, so we needed to have someone there from our end overseeing it, and that’s where our colleague Tom is,” says Ross.

“It makes it so much easier, as we’ve always got a point of contact, the prison has that contact and the guys inside have that connection too. They all know Tom and they all get on well with him. They also know that as and when they come to leave, they can talk to our team in London and see if there’s any jobs going.”

With such a positive partnership between the two, it comes as no surprise that a handful of prisoners have later gone on to work for LM Barry upon their release.

“We’ve had 12 of our men end up working for LM Barry – and we actually had one recently get in touch, just to let us know that he was doing really well,” says Steve. “A lot of those men have gone on to pastures new since, but it’s that initial job placement at the point of discharge which helps them reduce their risk of coming back to prison.”

With the ongoing pandemic currently reducing the number of men who can attend the workshops, Steve hopes things will eventually get back up to running again soon, so many more men can have the same opportunities as those who came before them.

“The workshops have been closed since March, with a very small skeleton crew keeping things ticking over. We’re looking at hopefully expanding delivery and workshops when we can – making sure everything will be very carefully risk-assessed and socially-distanced. For me, giving someone a second chance is a real driver in all that I do.”


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Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour cancelled due to covid 2020

The Coca-Cola Christmas Truck tour has been cancelled due to coronavirus. Pictured is Ellen Downe outside the Whitehouse Asda, on a previous visit from the Christmas truck. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Coca-Cola Christmas Truck tour has been cancelled due to coronavirus. Pictured is Ellen Downe outside the Whitehouse Asda, on a previous visit from the Christmas truck. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The holidays will not be coming to Suffolk this Christmas, as the iconic Coca-Cola truck cancels its UK tour for the first time in over 10 years.

The Coca-Cola truck, which last visited Ipswich in 2017, is the latest event to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a tweet, the company said: “Due to current restrictions around the country, our Coca-Cola Christmas Truck Tour won’t go ahead this year.

“We know it’s disappointing, but we’ll continue to share special Christmas moments throughout the festive season.

“We look forward to seeing you next year!”

A 14-tonne lorry, decorated with fairy lights and giving out free cans of Coca-Cola, has toured the UK for the last nine years, stopping at shopping centres and supermarkets across the country.

The news was a disappointment to fans, with one saying: “2020 is the year fun died.”

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Another added: “Christmas is cancelled.”

However, Coca-Cola promised “fun will never die”, before adding there was still “a lot to look forward to”.

In previous years the iconic red American-style lorry stopped outside the Town Hall and the Whitehouse Asda store in Ipswich, but it hasn’t returned for the last two years.

MORE: Ipswich not on the 2019 Coca-Cola Christmas truck list

The closest it got to Suffolk last year was its stop at the Intu Lakeside shopping centre in West Thurrock.

The vehicles are also a regular fixture of television adverts throughout the Christmas period.

Responding to one Twitter user, the company said: “We’ve got loads of festive treats to come, including our Christmas ad! Hold on to your Santa hats for now…”

Last year the truck visited 19 locations throughout November and December, including Edinburgh, Cardiff, Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester, before making its final stop in London.

It stopped at cities such as Edinburgh, Cardiff, Newcastle, Leeds, Bristol, Manchester and London amongst a few others.


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Chris Lewis starts at Port of Felixstowe amid hauliers VBS dispute

The Port of Felixstowe could bid for cash from a £200m government pot to help with the Brexit transition Picture: STEPHEN WALLER/COURTESY OF THE PORT OF FELIXSTOWE

The Port of Felixstowe could bid for cash from a £200m government pot to help with the Brexit transition Picture: STEPHEN WALLER/COURTESY OF THE PORT OF FELIXSTOWE

© Stephen Waller

A new boss at the Port of Felixstowe will take up his post today, as the port remains embroiled in a dispute with hauliers.

Chris Lewis Picture: John KerrChris Lewis Picture: John Kerr

Chris Lewis, who was formerly chief executive at the Suffolk port, returns as a chief executive of Hutchison Ports UK – Felixstowe’s owners.

In September, when the appointment was first announced, industry news source The Loadstar reported that Mr Lewis had been handed the post in an attempt to “stop the rot” at the port.

WATCH: Haulage boss films video diary of VBS nightmare at Port of Felixstowe

Mr Lewis starts amid continued complaints from hauliers regarding the ports vehicle booking system (VBS) which allows truck drivers to book slots to get on to the port to pick up or drop off cargo.

One haulier told this newspaper that they are hoping to meet with Mr Lewis to discuss the issues.

In a statement on their website, the Port of Felixstowe said: “There is a significant amount of misinformation being circulated regarding the operational status of the Port of Felixstowe.

“The port is fully operational.

“Changes have been made to the Vehicle Booking System to improve the recycling of returned bookings.

“Further changes will be introduced if necessary to improve functioning of the system.

“In common with major ports worldwide, the Port of Felixstowe remains very busy due to a post-lockdown spike in container volumes. This is likely to remain the case for a number of weeks but we are working hard to minimise the impact on daily operations and to maintain vital supply chains.”

In a message to employees released in September, Clemence Cheng, executive director at the Chinese-owned group, welcomed Mr Lewis’s appointment.

“Over the past 10 years Chris has held MD/CEO positions at Southampton and London Gateway, and has a proven track record in delivering high levels of productivity and customer service using a teamwork approach,” said Mr Cheng.

MORE: Fix container problems at Felixstowe Port, government urged

“Chris will report to me in my capacity as managing director and division head of Hutchison Ports Europe and will strengthen my management team, allowing me to spend more time to focus on other division and group matters, including our expansion in Abu Qir, Egypt and Quebec, Canada.

“I have no doubt Chris will have all your support and please join me in wishing him every success.”

Mr Lewis started his career in the sector at Felixstowe in 1983 and stayed with the company until 2010, rising to the role of chief executive in 2006.


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Man jailed for Beck Row machete attack

Man jailed at Ipswich Crown Court after machete attack Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Man jailed at Ipswich Crown Court after machete attack Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

A Suffolk man who left a man with devastating injuries to one of his hands after attacking him with a machete outside a convenience store has been jailed for seven years and four months.

Jailing 28-year-old Wesley Temple, Judge Rupert Overbury described the attack as “cowardly”.

He said Temple had raised the long bladed knife over his head and had sliced it into 33-year-old Sammie Muntford’s hand when he put his arms up to protect his head.

“You inflicted the most terrible injury to his hand slicing through his hand, severing tendons and arteries,” said the judge.

He described the injury as severe and life changing.

Temple, of Willow Park, Beck Row admitted wounding Mr Muntford with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm outside the Londis Village Store, in Holmsey Green on August 6.

Christabel McCooey, prosecuting, said the incident started when a woman came out of the Londis store and found her car was blocked in by Temple’s truck.

She asked Temple, who was with another man, to move the vehicle but they refused and shouted abuse at her.

The woman called her husband and he arrived at the shop with his neighbour, Mr Muntford and confronted Temple and his companion.

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They denied shouting at the woman and when the husband said he was going to call the police the man with Temple punched him in the face.

The same man had then thrown a full can of drink towards the woman’s husband and was restrained in a headlock by Mr Muntford.

Temple had then gone to his truck and returned with a machete which he raised above his head before striking Mr Muntford.

Temple and his companion had then driven off.

In a victim impact statement Mr Muntford described the devastating impact the injury to his hand had had on his life and said he didn’t know if he would ever regain 100% use of it.

Eleanor Lucas for Temple said her client hadn’t punched Mr Muntford before inflicting the single blow with the knife.

She said he had been concerned for his friend who was being held in a headlock by Mr Muntford.

“It was a moment of madness committed on impulse,” said Miss Lucas.

She told the court that Temple had attacked Mr Muntford with a saw and not a machete.

She said that while he was in custody Temple was determined to address the issues which had brought him before the court.


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A140 crash: Road reopens after crane crash

The A140 has reopened after a crane truck overturned in the carriageway at Earl Stonham. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The A140 has reopened after a crane truck overturned in the carriageway at Earl Stonham. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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The A140 at Earl Stonham has reopened more than 30 hours after a 55-tonne crane overturned, damaging the road.

The crane truck overturned on Monday, October 26 on the A140 in Earl Stonham. Two people were inside but escaped without injury. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe crane truck overturned on Monday, October 26 on the A140 in Earl Stonham. Two people were inside but escaped without injury. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The police were initially called to the scene shortly after 2.30pm on Monday, October 26 after receiving reports that a crane had crashed on the busy road, near to the junction with the A1120.

After the crane was put back on its wheels and removed from the scene, a team from Suffolk Highways worked for hours to repair damage on the road.

The crash also completely destroyed a garden wall, spraying debris across the road.

However a tweet from Suffolk Highways confirmed that the road reopened shortly before 10pm yesterday evening.

The crane smashed through a wall and the home owner is now having to have the tree removed Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe crane smashed through a wall and the home owner is now having to have the tree removed Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

It said: “The road is now fully open to traffic. Thank you all for your patience.”


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A140 to reopen at midnight – more than 30 hours after a 50-tonne crane crashed

The crane truck overturned yesterday on the A140 in Earl Stonham. Two people were inside but escaped without injury. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The crane truck overturned yesterday on the A140 in Earl Stonham. Two people were inside but escaped without injury. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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The A140 at Earl Stonham is set to reopen at midnight – more than 30 hours after a 55-tonne crane overturned damaging the road.

The A140 has been completely blocked at Earl Stonham since the accident yesterday afternoon. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe A140 has been completely blocked at Earl Stonham since the accident yesterday afternoon. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Police officers were called to the scene shortly after 2.30pm on Monday, October 26, after the crane truck crashed near the A1120 junction.

Now a team from Suffolk Highways is set reopen the road after more than 30 hours of work.

A garden wall was completely demolished and teams from Suffolk Highways were on site throughout the night and day carrying out repairs to the damaged road.

A tweet from Suffolk Highways said: “The cleansing of the road and affected areas is almost complete. We look set to reopen the road by midnight tonight.

“Huge thank you to our teams for their work on this today and thank you to the residents & motorists for their patience!”

It was initially estimated work would be complete by 10am this morning.


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A140 to stay closed until evening after truck crash nearly 24 hours ago

The crane truck overturned yesterday on the A140 in Earl Stonham. Two people were inside but escaped without injury. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The crane truck overturned yesterday on the A140 in Earl Stonham. Two people were inside but escaped without injury. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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The A140 is expected remain closed at Earl Stonham until this evening – which will be more than 24 hours after a 55 tonne crane overturned damaging the road.

The A140 has been completely blocked at Earl Stonham since the accident yesterday afternoon. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe A140 has been completely blocked at Earl Stonham since the accident yesterday afternoon. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Police officers were called to the scene shortly after 2.30pm on Monday, October 26, after the crane truck crashed near the A1120 junction.

MORE: A140 blocked after 55 tonne crane truck overturns and hits garden walls

A garden wall was completely demolished and teams from Suffolk Highways have been on site throughout the night and today carrying out repairs to the damaged road.

It was initially estimated work would be complete by 10am this morning, however almost 24 hours after the accident the road is still closed.

A spokesperson for the authority said: “Following the incident which occurred yesterday afternoon, resulting in the temporary road closure of A140; our teams have been on site to complete road and footway repairs along with ensuring the road is clear of hazardous oils from the vehicle.

“We are working hard to have the road reopened this evening; although we are unable to provide exact details at this time.

“For updates, please visit @SuffolkPolice and @Suff_highways”

Diversions are currently in place through Forward Green onto the A14 at Stowmarket and drivers have been asked to avoid the area if possible.

MORE: ‘An accident waiting to happen’ – Locals react to A140 crane crash


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A140 at Earl Stonham still closed after truck crash

The A140 is still closed after a crane truck overturned in the carriageway in Earl Stonham yesterday afternoon. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The A140 is still closed after a crane truck overturned in the carriageway in Earl Stonham yesterday afternoon. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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The A140 is expected to remain closed at Earl Stonham well into this morning, after a 55 tonne truck crashed into a garden wall yesterday afternoon.

The A140 is expected to remain closed well into the morning, with police estimating it will not reopen until 10am. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe A140 is expected to remain closed well into the morning, with police estimating it will not reopen until 10am. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Police were called shortly after 2.30pm on Monday, October 26, following reports a crane truck had overturned near the junction with the A1120.

The truck is thought to have crashed into two garden walls and a telegraph pole, coming to a halt on its side across both lanes.

MORE: A140 blocked after 55 tonne crane truck overturns and hits garden walls

No other vehicles were involved in the crash and neither of the two people in the truck suffered any injuries.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said the road is expected to be reopened at around 10am, meaning the key route will stay closed through rush hour.

Yesterday afternoon traffic was seen stretching back as far as the A14 and more congestion is likely this morning.

A spokesperson for Suffolk Highways said: “The A140 at Stonham Aspal remains closed this morning following an incident with a large mobile crane, which blocked the carriageway yesterday.

“Suffolk Highways have been on site throughout the night to remove the crane, but the road requires some repair work today.

“There are diversions in place through Forward Green onto the A14 at Stowmarket, but drivers are asked to avoid the area if possible while the road remains closed.”

As of 7am, the road will have been closed for more than 16 hours.

MORE: ‘An accident waiting to happen’ – Locals react to A140 crane crash


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A140 crane crash: Locals react to Earl Stonham accident

The A140 is currently blocked in both directions after a crane truck overturned in the carriageway in Earl Stonham Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The A140 is currently blocked in both directions after a crane truck overturned in the carriageway in Earl Stonham Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A man who has had his garden wall smashed in a major lorry crane crash has called for improvements to be made on the A140.

The crane smashed through a wall and the home owner is now having to have the tree removed Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe crane smashed through a wall and the home owner is now having to have the tree removed Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The 55-tonne truck smashed through two garden walls before rolling on its side and hitting a telegraph pole in Earl Stonham shortly after 2.30pm today – sparking hours of closures on the major road between Ipswich and Norwich.

Both occupants inside the truck were unhurt from the crash, which residents said made a “large bang” heard across the area.

Pictures from the scene showed debris spread across the road, while the truck has completely blocked both carriageways.

Two garden walls were smashed during the crash Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTwo garden walls were smashed during the crash Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Local resident Mike Peters, whose garden wall was hit by the truck, said the junction has been “an accident waiting to happen” for years.

Mr Peters said: “It is not the first time my wall has been damaged due to an accident – they have also hit my tree which is now leaning over.

“I had been out cutting my grass two hours earlier so it was a lucky escape.”

The A140 is currently blocked in both directions after a crane truck overturned in the carriageway in Earl Stonham Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe A140 is currently blocked in both directions after a crane truck overturned in the carriageway in Earl Stonham Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Mr Peters added a speed camera at the junction had been out of action for several years, though the cause of today’s accident is unknown.

The extent of the road’s closure eventually spread from the junction with the A1120 until the junction with Needham Road.

The A140 is currently blocked in both directions after a crane truck overturned in the carriageway in Earl Stonham. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe A140 is currently blocked in both directions after a crane truck overturned in the carriageway in Earl Stonham. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

One motorist caught up in the disruption on his drive home from work in Ipswich said he would like to see further safety measures added to the road to help prevent further accidents.

They said: “I think it goes to show how dangerous the A140 is as a road – that junction is known to be a bad junction and a nasty one at that – it isn’t the only one along there.

“Something needs to be done about the road as it is the main road connecting Norwich to Ipswich and it is pretty torrid.

The A140 is currently blocked in both directions after a crane truck overturned in the carriageway in Earl Stonham. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe A140 is currently blocked in both directions after a crane truck overturned in the carriageway in Earl Stonham. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“I’m just glad no one was hurt.”

No other vehicles were involved in the collision.

The road remains closed.


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A140 traffic: Road blocked after crane truck overturns in Earl Stonham

The crane truck hit two garden fences and a telegraph pole Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The crane truck hit two garden fences and a telegraph pole Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

SARAH LUCY BROWN

The A140 is currently blocked in both directions after a crane truck overturned in the carriageway in Earl Stonham.

Police were called to the road shortly after 2.30pm, following reports that the truck had overturned near to the junction with the A1120.

It is understood the truck – which is said to weigh 55 tonnes – also collided with two garden walls and a telegraph pole.

A police spokeswoman said two people inside the truck have not suffered any injuries.

No other vehicles were involved.

One resident, whose garden wall was hit, said the junction has been an One resident, whose garden wall was hit, said the junction has been an “accident waiting to happen” Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Highways England crews have arrived at the scene to help assist in clearing an oil spill caused by the accident – although police have been unable to confirm when the scene will be cleared.

Traffic is currently stretching as far back as the A14.


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Suspended sentence for teen driver who caused smash on Suffolk road

Jessica Debenham appeared at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Jessica Debenham appeared at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

A teenager has avoided being locked up for causing a crash resulting from her ‘catastrophic’ decision to overtake traffic on a country road.

One witness assumed Jessica Debenham must have been killed in a head-on collision between her Volkswagen Golf and an Adnams brewery lorry earlier this year.

Debenham, of Darby Road, Beccles, was handed a suspended custodial sentence and ordered to carry out unpaid work at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday.

The 19-year-old had earlier admitted driving dangerously, on her way to work as a community carer, at 6.40am on January 29.

Another driver had been travelling at 40mph behind a Co-op lorry, on the A145 at Brampton, when her vehicle “broke off about two or three car lengths behind” and crossed solid white lines to overtake at speed.

Prosecutor Simon Gladwell said Debenham then tried to overtake the Co-op lorry but collided with another truck travelling in the opposite direction.

“Fortunately, the Co-op lorry braked. Otherwise, it could have been a lot worse,” he added.

The impact caused the Adnams lorry to turn into the side of the Co-op lorry and collide with the front of the following car.

The uninjured car driver forced open the door of the VW Golf to be met by “deafeningly loud music” and Debenham unconscious at the wheel.

The driver of the Adnams lorry suffered spinal ligament damage and whiplash, while his passenger was left with damaged neck, back and shoulder muscles.

Steven Dyble, mitigating, said Debenham had admitted from the outset that her driving fell well below the expected standard, adding: “It was a catastrophically bad decision to overtake at that location.”

Judge Rupert Overbury told Debenham: “Why you were overtaking on double white lines, on a bend, may have been down to immaturity, inexperience, or wanting to get to work quickly. Whatever the reason, it was a catastrophically bad decision.”

Judge Overbury said the collision must have been terrifying for those involved, adding: “Even more terrifying, would have been seeing you unconscious and thinking you were dead.”

Debenham was handed four months’ detention, suspended for 18 months, with 120 hours of unpaid work. She was also banned from driving for 18 months.


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