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THURSDAY, 16th JUNE, 2011.
Stand by your beds
Rollers steam in Readers'ViewsPages26-29 Page 10
What’s on... What’s gone...
Taxi driver raise fares
He’ll blow us up, landlord at pub feared
Booking in for fun chapter
A pub landlord has described to a court how he thought a man was going to blow him up by flicking a lighter over a petrol can.
Gerald Greenslade, who runs the Farmers Arms in Congleton, feared for the safety of his customers, wife and children when John Francis Grange sloshed the can’s contents over cars and the pub’s wooden decking.
Grange, (51), of 22, St James Avenue, Congleton, was sentenced to eight weeks for the affray and also assaulting landlady Karen Greenslade earlier the same evening.
The defendant, who had previously been barred from the pub, denied both charges.
A charge of attempted arson was dropped because the can was filled with water, not petrol.
Grange had claimed that Farmers Arms landlord Gerald Greenslade had given it to him so the defendant could pour water on flowers at his father’s grave in the grounds of St James’s Church opposite the pub.
Outlining the case to South Cheshire Magistrates sitting in Crewe on Thursday, Lauren Costello, prosecuting, said: “On the 7th May the defendant entered the Farmers Arms and refused to leave. Around an hour later the landlord was outside in the smoking area in the early hours and saw the defendant between the cars, with a petrol can and lighter in his hands. The liquid was being sloshed around and on top of the cars. He was flicking the lighter the whole time making sparks, but not a flame. There was a strong petrol smell
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Grange said he had been out in town on the evening of Friday, 6th May and had dropped in for a half of Guinness in The White Lion, then the Counting House and The Maskery before deciding to see if his friends were in the Farmers Arms.
However Grange had previously been banned from the Farmers Arms after falling out with Mrs Greenslade.
Mrs Greenslade said: “Grange came in and he said he wanted a drink and I said ‘no, you know why John. He said he wanted a drink for the Falklands, and then he said he wanted to buy everyone in the pub a drink. I said ‘no’, he said ‘well you better call the police’.”
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Budding bookworm Amelia Park couldn’t bear-lieve it when Bookstart Bear made a beeline for her at Congleton Library. The 18-month-old was one of many excited tots from local nursery schools invited to take part in a special transport-themed All Aboard Rhymetime event. The youngsters sang nursery rhymes and other songs and took turns to ride in the library’s book-toting toy train. Rhymetime is a weekly event run by the library for nursery school children on Mondays. It encourages kids to go to the library with their parents. Librarian Katherine Swann said: “If they visit 12 times, they get a Bookstart Bear and every fourth visit they get a certificate to chart their progress.” (“Chronicle” photo. 2317c/11).
Police use battering ram to free trapped boy in park toilets
A “petrified” boy was locked inside Congleton Park toilets for 40 minutes on Friday — before police broke down the door with a battering ram.
Concerned passers-by heard Brandon Turner’s screams for help and tried to console him while others attempted to track down park staff.
But when they could not be found, police had to be called in to rescue the panic-stricken 11-yearold.
Brandon, a pupil at Black Firs Primary School, West Heath, had been on his way to the skate park to meet friends when he stopped to spend a penny.
The Pavilion’s Lisa Whitehurst said the boy had called into the bar first to ask for directions to the toilets. She said: “When I found out he was in the bathroom, I just talked to him to help reassure him that someone wasn’t playing a nasty prank.”
Luckily Brandon had his mobile phone and called his mum, Leanne Turner, who arrived at the same time as the police.
Brandon said he thought the door had locked automatically: “I just heard the door lock while I was in the toilet and I started screaming through the door for help.”
Congleton police Insp Mark Gammage said: “Because the lad was very upset and we didn’t want to risk him being in there for hours — although we didn’t want to damage the door — we thought it best to get him out of there. He was very distressed.”
Mum Leanne Turner said: “I was in shock when it happened; you just don’t know who at the council to contact. It just doesn’t bear thinking about, if he’d been any younger or he’d not had the phone on him.
“When I got there, two women with small children were talking to him through the door He was petrified. The woman from the pavilion was also there, she was great, trying to help us locate the park warden and helping as much as possible, as well as running a business.
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