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S I T TI BI
Registered at the Post Office as a Newspaper Est. 1893
INCORPORATED WITH THE CONGLETON AND MACCLESFIELD MERCURY
THURSDAY, 11th MARCH, 2010.
INSIDE: OUR COMPREHENSIVE PROPERTY GUIDE FEATURING LOCAL ESTATE AGENTS
Plans split village
Candidates grilled Readers' Views Pages 17-20 Page 7
What’s on... What’s gone...
'Chronicle leads wa
Man’s ‘kidnap’ claim was a lie, court told
Heads up for book day
A man who claimed he was beaten, bundled into a car and kidnapped was in fact trying to escape from what he thought was a police chase, a jury heard.
Three Congleton men deny kidnapping 26-yearold Matthew Morris of Macclesfield. Chester Crown Court was told that the complainant went voluntarily with them because he thought an approaching ambulance was a police car and he feared being caught with drugs and £1,260 cash.
On the first day of the five-day trial on Monday, the court heard that Mr Morris and his girlfriend,
Hannah Gaywood, were driving along Chester Road in Macclesfield on 9th September at around 11pm when they had to stop at temporary traffic lights.
According to Mr Morris, a blue Rover pulled up behind them and two men wearing balaclavas got out, dragged him from the passenger seat, kicked and punched him on the side of the road and bundled him into their car where they beat him with weapons.
He identified the two men as Cain Pemberton, (20), of Parnell Square and Ricky Jervis, (18), of Dale Crescent; he said a third, Adam Pass, (36), of Naseby Road, remained in the Rover.
The vehicle, driven by co-accused Jennifer Bentley,
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(31), of Woodside Avenue, in Alsager — who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and is to be dealt with separately —sped away when an ambulance with paramedics who witnessed the roadside incident turned on the siren and blue lights.
Pass’s barrister, David Iles, told the court that he believed Mr Morris, as well as the defendants, thought the ambulance was a police car.
He said he believed Mr Morris was not dragged out of Miss Gaywood’s car and that he, Jervis and Pemberton had a fight on the roadside because Pemberton had accused him of selling his girlfriend “some dodgy heroine”. • —Turn to back page.
It was raining cats and dogs at Buglawton Primary School on Thursday as the story-loving pupils dressed as their favourite fictional characters to celebrate world book day. Pictured above are Lachlann Davenport as the Cat In The Hat and Bethany Mitchell as one of the 101 Dalmatians. For more pictures and the full story, turn to page 26. (“Chronicle” photo. 1006d/10).
DIY firm turns the screw but superstore expands
A major retailer in Congleton will expand in the coming months while another plans to downsize.
In April, Tesco on Barn Road will finally start work on a 10,000 sq ft ground floor extension it has planned since 2007. It will lead to new jobs in the town, although numbers have not yet been decided.
Meanwhile Foden Investments, which owns properties on Barn Road, wants to divide the existing Focus DIY store into two separate units, meaning the current building will decrease in size by around 50% and a new store created.
Tesco was granted planning permission for the expansion in October 2007 on condition that work started within three years. The company then applied to expand further — a mezzanine floor selling non-food goods. If approved they would have been built at the same time.
However Congleton Borough Council refused the mezzanine application after claiming it would harm town centre shopping and jeopardise the proposed Bridestones 2 development.
Tesco has since announced it would not be appealing the council’s decision, but would go ahead with the original ground floor expansion plans.
Matt Magee, a spokesman for Tesco, said: “The expansion should be starting at the end of next month. Works should be finished by October. There will be new jobs but we are not sure how many yet.”
He said the company hoped to keep the store operating as normal during the expansion.
The news comes just a week after Tesco announced it would be closing its distribution centre in Middlewich, which would lead to 400 job losses.
The planning application by Foden Investments is due to be considered by Cheshire East Council in the coming weeks.
It states: “The existing tenant, whilst downsizing, still requires the external garden centre.
“The proposals comprise existing retail space but sub-divided, and in each unit provision is made for a disabled toilet.”
The “Chronicle” contacted the Focus central office in Crewe for more details about the plans, but was told there would be no comment from the company regarding the application.
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