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Croydon review of the year - October

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A HOLLYWOOD A-lister brought some star quality to Croydon town centre in October, a month where the plght of a gravely ill young father led to heated scenes at Croydon University Hospital...

FAMILY and friends of a man on life support at Croydon University Hospital led a heated demonstration outside the hospital protesting about his care.

More than 100 people held up placards and chanted demands for change after Marcus Campbell's family was told by doctors they would not resuscitate him if his heart stopped.

The 22-year-old from Thornton Heath was in intensive care after being diagnosed with a rare brain inflammation. The family say they were told by medical staff he was "dying" and nothing further could be done for him.

Members of family were also banned from seeing their sick relative by the hospital.

The emotionally charged demonstration was inspired by a Twitter-led campaign called #PleasesaveMarcus, which also included a petition since signed by nearly 60,000 people.

Led by Marcus' mother Sandra Campbell, the crowd shouted "Mayday murderers", in reference to the hospital's former name, "Stop NHS injustice" and "Do it for his kids".

Tonicka, Marcus's 21-year-old sister, told the Advertiser: "The main thing for us was for our voices to be heard. We're standing up for justice so they understand what they're doing is wrong."

ONE story this month permitted us to run the headline – "Kevin Costner loved my shop".

The Hollywood A-lister was among several big names in town in October, shooting a new film at locations including Croydon College and High Street Radio, a long-standing family-run store owned by Paul Roach.

And Mr Roach received a glowing endorsement from the Dances With Wolves and Bodyguard star, who told him he "loved the shop".

Costner, who is starring alongside other household names including Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman and Ryan Reynolds, was pictured outside the store wearing sunglasses, jeans and a green coat.

Mr Roach, who runs the business with his father Reg, said: "A location manager approached us and said he thought our shop would be ideal for a scene in the movie. It was a bit bizarre, to be honest. I thought someone was having a laugh. It has been pretty surreal ever since we agreed to do it."

A PAIR of lovers were found guilty of murdering a man they savagely beat and left naked in a skip.

Fiona Nalty, 25, of Fairdene Road, Coulsdon, and Arry James Green, 22, of Dinsdale Gardens, South Norwood, were both jailed for life after being convicted at The Old Bailey of murdering Michael Hunt.

Mr Hunt, 37, originally from County Waterford in Ireland, was found in a skip off Station Road in South Norwood on March 15.

The father of three, known as "Irish Mick", was taken to hospital with multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, but died later the same day.

THE case against a vicar and six others accused of involvement in a "sham marriage" ring collapsed, amid allegations of Home Office corruption.

The Reverend Nathan Ntege was accused of carrying out a "conveyor belt" of bogus weddings at the Church of St Jude's and St Aidan's in Thornton Heath so illegal immigrants could remain in this country.

But on the trial's 31st day, Judge Nic Madge at Inner London Crown Court threw out the case, citing "serious misconduct" on the part of investigating immigration

officers, who were said to have tampered with evidence and lied under oath.

A FORMER school caretaker died after being hit by a lorry in Croydon town centre.

Maurice Baxter, 80, was struck by the articulated vehicle in Wellesley Road on his way home from an afternoon out with friends.

An active member of the community around his home in Longheath Gardens, Addiscombe, Maurice also spent 25 years as the caretaker at Ashburton Junior School.

His biggest passion in life was birds and he was kept company by a talkative parrot called Rocky Boy.

"Dad loved wildlife," said son Gordon. "He was always trying to get him [Rocky Boy] to say new phrases. He taught him to say things such as 'Gordon, come here you naughty boy', 'Rocky Boy, I want my dinner' and 'Cheeky boom boom'."

A NEW Addington head teacher declared war on spitting – but PARENTS, not her pupils, were the target of her ire.

Wolsey Infant and Nursery School, in King Henry's Drive, issued a carefully-worded missive to all parents on October 14, to ask them to stop spitting as it sets a bad example to children.

The note also asked parents to take their young children who don't attend the school to its visitors' bathroom rather than "using a discrete tree".

The letter, on paper headed with the name of head teacher Terry Cefai, told the spit-happy parents: "If you are 'caught short' the office would be more than happy to give you a tissue."

QUOTES OF THE MONTH:

"Let's face it, to put it quite bluntly the investigation was a total balls-up." 

Church verger Brian Miller, after the case against him and six others accused of involvement in sham marriages collapsed, amid Home Office corruption allegations

"On a cheery note we often find that head lice are considerably less frequent in the winter; we don't know why but every blessing helps." 

Having told parents to stop spitting, Wolsey Infant School head teacher Terry Cefai ends her newsletter on an upbeat note

"They don't care, they're uncompassionate. They're very dismissive. They don't see the importance of why we're here." 

Tonicka Campbell was furious at Croydon University Hospital's treatment of her critically ill brother Marcus and their reaction to his family

"It's no wonder ordinary folk don't trust politicians any more." 

Labour councillor Pat Ryan, after Boris Johnson went back on a pledge to extend the Tramlink to Crystal Palace

"I've been telling him for years to go and see Simon Cowell." 

X Factor finalist, as he was at this point, Ben Haenow's famous Nonna Rita. How right she was...

Croydon review of the year - October


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