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Man and woman jailed for 'horrific' child abuse images
‘HORRIFIC’ images of child abuse were found during the investigation which led to a man and woman being jailed for sex offences.
Miroslava Belakova, 37, of Greenfoot Lane, Gawber, admitted to two counts of sexual assault against a child younger than 13 and making and distributing indecent images of children, and was sentenced to a total of 70 months in prison at Sheffield Crown Court last Tuesday.
Craig Fearn, 33, of Wakefield Road, Normanton, was...
Girl was not ‘properly restrained’ in car before collision
A YOUNG girl from Barnsley was ‘not properly restrained’ before she died following a crash, an inquest was told.
Rosie Marie Murphy, then four years old, was involved in a three-vehicle collision on January 4, 2016, on a country road in Barnsley.
She reportedly sustained life-changing injuries, which included spine and brain injuries.
In September 2020 her condition began to deteriorate and she died on October 12 the same year, aged nine.
PC Richard Thorley,...
Demand for rehab clinic soars
RECORD-BREAKING drug and alcohol admissions at a Barnsley rehab clinic continue to rapidly soar - after it was revealed the town is now one of the worst-hit areas in the country.
Barnsley will receive more than £670,000 in funding for the town’s drug strategy allocation as well as an additional £54,000 to fund inpatient detoxification.
The town’s among the first wave of local authorities to receive Department of Health and Social Care funding due to...
Veterans’ compensation delay condemned by MP
A GOVERNMENT delay on paying compensation to injured veterans has been blasted by a Barnsley MP - after it was revealed one ex-servicemen has waited almost a decade for financial support.
Stephanie Peacock, MP for Barnsley East, urged the government to take action on the issue that’s caused many ex-personnel to go without cash having been forced to retire from service through ill health or injuries sustained while serving.
In Parliament, Ms Peacock - the...
Bereavement charge rise blamed on inflation
BARNSLEY Council has increased its fees for bereavement services by three per cent due to inflation.
About 2,800 cremations take place in the borough each year and the cost of a cremation now stands at £898 - up from £870 last year.
The cost of a burial in a grave for two people now stands at £980 - up from £950 last year.
Coun James Higginbottom, cabinet spokesperson for environment and highways, said: “Barnsley Council...
Famed artist’s paintings to be sold
FOUR paintings by famed local artist, the late Eric Hill, will form part of a fundraising auction taking place tonight.
The artist spent all his working life from 14 years old - except for a period as a driver in the Second World War - as a National Coal Board painter and decorator around Barnsley mines.
Born in North Yorkshire in 1921, he moved with his family to Royston as a boy and later lived...
Nature ponds offered to landowners
FULLY-FUNDED nature ponds to rejuvenate a protected species’ population are being offered to landowners in Barnsley.
The scheme by community interest company Wildscapes, funded by Natural England, has seen some success already in its aim to protect and encourage growth in the great crested newt (GCN) population.
Late last year ponds were built in Ardsley, Broomhill Flash and Honeywell, and Wildscapes has now announced plans to deliver ‘at least’ 15 more across South Yorkshire.
Ponds...
Doctor puts Barnsley on map
A BARNSLEY doctor has literally put the town on the map after sharing his expertise at an international working group on acute kidney injury.
Dr Steve Lobaz, consultant in anaesthetics and intensive care medicine, is a part of the group - and Barnsley Hospital appeared on a map for the agenda alongside hospitals in Italy and Spain.
As part of this working group, Dr Lobaz and Barnsley Hospital’s ICU will be evaluating the role of...
House price rise outstrips local towns and cities
HOUSE prices are increasing in Barnsley at a faster rate than most other areas in Yorkshire and the Humber.
According to Land Registry figures, the average price of a home in the borough was £157,142 in April - a 2.9 per cent rise on the previous month.
Across Yorkshire and the Humber the average increase is 1.6 per cent, to £201,806, while the national average is a 1.1 per cent rise to £281,161.
Across a...
Ukrainian refugees arrive in Barnsley
SEVEN more Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Barnsley under the Homes for Ukraine scheme over a month.
Delays in the process - which saw 29 people arrive in the borough as of May 16, and now 36 registered - have been criticised by charities such as the Refugee Council, which called the scheme ‘unfit for purpose’.
With regards visas issues, there have been 66 successful applications compared to 55 in May.
The scheme allows residents...
Baby deaths reduced
THE number of healthy babies dying suddenly in their sleep across the borough has been drastically reduced.
Across England approximately 200 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly in their sleep each year.
In Barnsley, 12 healthy babies from family homes died in their sleep between January 2018 and December 2020.
In January 2021, a sleep safe group was launched by the council dedicated to supporting Barnsley families to keep their babies safe in their sleep, with...
Air quality improvement work to be revealed
COUNCIL bosses tasked with improving air quality across the borough are set to unveil a plan of action next month - after a report revealed five per cent of the town’s deaths are caused by pollutants.
The council’s strategy is to reduce pollution levels and they are aiming to a achieve a zero carbon borough by 2040 - ten years sooner than the government’s hoping for nationally - as air pollution has been cited as...
Diamond couple toast anniversary
DIAMOND couple Fred and Phyllis Ledger celebrated a special anniversary this week.
The couple, well-known in Mapplewell and Staincross, celebrated 60 years of marriage at their home on Kingsway, Mapplewell, on Thursday.
Fred, 83, was a miner and then worked at Gist in Carlton for 34 years before he retired, and for three decades has also been a committee member at Staincross Working Men’s Club where he’s now treasurer.
Phyllis, 80, worked for Co-op Insurance...
Burglary prompts police appeal
INVESTIGATIONS are ongoing after a ‘large amount of cash’ was taken in a raid on a post office.
Wombwell Post Office, on High Street, was reportedly targeted in the early hours of Tuesday.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson said ‘unknown offenders’ reportedly damaged tills and took cash in the burglary.
“Police were called at around 4.20am on Tuesday, June 21 to a post office on High Street, Wombwell, following reports of a burglary,” they added....
Owl’s removal prompts warning from RSPCA
THE RSPCA is warning people to not move owls away from their nests after a young bird was found alone in Wath-Upon-Dearne.
The distinctive young tawny was handed over to a bird of prey keeper by a member of the public who found him grounded in a wood.
It’s believed the fledgling was moved away from his nest by youngsters.
RSPCA animal rescue officers Liz Braidley and Leanne Horness-Heather worked together to transport the owl...
Top award for doting dads
AN inspiring couple have received a special award for their charity work.
Paul and Michael Atwal-Brice, from Thurnscoe, took home an honorary award at the first Fatherhood Awards in London last Saturday.
The couple have four children - two sets of identical twins, Levi and Lucas who suffer with autism and epilepsy, and Lotan and Lance.
“It was amazing - I just couldn’t stop crying,” Paul said.
“The award was for our work promoting inclusive...
Domestic abuse rise to be discussed by councillors
EMERGENCY accommodation sought by victims of domestic abuse could be increased under new plans announced this week - after a report into cases revealed a 34 per cent increase in Barnsley since the pandemic’s start.
Rising demand for services will see the matter discussed by Barnsley Council’s ruling cabinet members on Monday due to high-risk cases rocketing by 34.3 per cent since the first lockdown.
According to a report, an increase in approaches to housing...
Litterbugs escape fine due to pandemic
YOUNGSTERS caught littering in the last year by enforcement officers have escaped a fine.
Patrols are carried out in Hoyland Milton, Rockingham, Darfield and Wombwell by District Enforcement - the firm employed by the South Area Council.
However, those witnessed dropping litter in the year to March 2022 have escaped a fine due to Covid-19 restrictions.
A report said: “For juveniles caught committing an offence, District would normally offer an option of a litter-pick as...
Changes made on hospital’s maternity unit after baby’s death
‘IMMEDIATE’ changes have been made at Barnsley Hospital after a devastated mother - who accused maternity staff of ignoring alarm bells - lost her baby during labour.
Emily Barley, 33, gave birth to Beatrice on May 22 with no signs of life, after staff reportedly failed to act on her baby’s bradycardia - a sustained low heart rate - but this condition was reportedly not written on records.
After Beatrice’s heart rate was monitored on...
Fraud warning issued by council
BARNSLEY Council bosses have warned residents of fake text messages claiming to be from Ofgem.
The messages claim to offer £400 energy rebates, but these claims are bogus.
A spokesperson added: “Please be cautious of suspicious text messages and trust your instincts don’t be afraid to hang up on a caller or delete an email or email.
“You should never give your personal information or bank details over the phone.”
Artist continues collaboration with Bard of Barnsley
ARTIST Patrick Murphy has continued his series of collaborations with ‘Bard of Barnsley’ Ian McMillan - with a poignant piece centred on what art can do in times of conflict.
Prints of the work are now on sale at the Cooper Gallery and all money raised from sales will go to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
Over a background in the colours of the Ukrainian flag, a white dove of peace - much of Patrick’s work...
Work on 188-flat complex results in road restrictions
WORKS to a town centre apartment complex will see one-way restrictions in place on the adjacent road until February.
Fitzwilliam Street will be subject to restrictions from tomorrow to enable the works on Gateway Plaza to take place.
Barnsley Council has advised the one-way restrictions will last until February 20.
Gateway Plaza’s development of 188 flats was previously owned by Quest Property, part of the Brook Group which opened it 12 years ago, before investor...
School reunion held 55 years later
SCHOOL friends were reunited for the first time in 55 years last week with their much-admired former teacher.
Ian Harley, 73, of Cinder Hills Way, Dodworth, began conducting research in 2019 into former pupils from Holgate Grammar School who lost their lives serving in World War Two.
Along with friend and fellow ex-pupil Melvyn Dunn, the research led to the idea to create a group email with former friends from Holgate who studied there from...
‘Levelling up’ minister visits Barnsley
THE government’s alleged failure to deliver on its promises to ‘level up’ communities such as Barnsley - which has lost out on an estimated £30m in funding in recent years - saw a minister visit the town following pressure from a local MP.
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove met Stephanie Peacock, who represents Barnsley East, and members of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust which formed 22 years ago to support...
Award nomination for popular Bob
A MAN who’s well known in the Old Town community for his cheeky jokes and huge smile has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award for his work in the area.
Bob Sharpe, 83, is a former firefighter - but his work to tidy up the area in which he lives has gained the support from his neighbours.
He regularly takes part in litter picks and clear graffiti off walls, as well as being...
Community farm set to find new home
A VALUED community farm - that operates a foodbank as well as helping schoolchildren and people with disabilities connect with nature - is within touching distance of finding a new home after fears of closure.
The project, at Milefield Primary Academy in Grimethorpe, was given an ultimatum last summer when Hoyland Common Academy Trust took on the school and made the decision to remove the farm ‘as soon as possible’.
The Chronicle can reveal that,...
Community-minded Nigel bags nomination
A MAN described as the ‘epitome’ of community spirit has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award.
Nigel Patrick, 58, of Cudworth, raised the spirits of his neighbours during the pandemic with his lockdown garden discos - but he hasn’t stopped there.
He’s since held large events in his area for both VE Day and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, all to put a smile on the faces of his friends.
“It all started as...
Trades union back rail strikes
BARNSLEY Trades Union Council has hit out at the treatment of rail union members following their decision to strike.
The council say they ‘wholeheartedly’ support the RMT union in their fight for a decent pay settlement.
They’re now encouraging those in charge to do the right thing, and will hold a rally tomorrow at 11am at Sheffield railway station.
George Arthur, secretary of BTUC, said: “Whilst Boris Johnson and his friends partied, RMT members worked...
Teen homelessness at highest point in years
TEENAGERS seeking help from the council due to looming concerns over homelessness are becoming increasingly common - with numbers at their highest point in years.
Last year saw an increase of two-thirds in the number of 16 and 17-year-olds approaching homelessness services, according to a report to be discussed by senior councillors on Barnsley Council’s overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday.
There were 62 approaches for help last year among 16 and 17-year-olds - compared...
High Court review sought by mourning family
FAMILY upset at the inquest that saw a much-loved grandmother’s death attributed to natural causes say they will be seeking a High Court review into the matter.
Vicki Austin, 52, of Upper Sheffield Road, contacted emergency services on August 11 complaining of upper right rib and abdomen pain, and became unresponsive on her way to hospital before dying there due to a pulmonary thromboembolism.
She was first taken into theatre at Barnsley Hospital for a...
Mayor links up with Barnsley College students
A TRIO of large planters were donated to St Mary’s Church by Mayor Coun Sarah Tattershall - which were planted up by students from Barnsley College.
Students from the college are also contributing to another event in a series held throughout this year as the 200-year-old, Grade II*-listed site celebrates the landmark.
The Friends of Barnsley St Mary’s are being helped by woodwork students to develop new bespoke stands for the Barnsley Pals colours, painstakingly...
Litter-picker Julie nominated for community award
A GRIMETHORPE woman who helps keep her area litter-free has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award in recognition of her hard work.
Julie Jefferies, 58, of Manor Crescent, moved to Grimethorpe from London in 2016 and has wanted to keep the area something to be proud of ever since.
She’s been litter-picking since 2019 and even more recently started to help tidy up her street off her own back with a number of...
Funding approved to ‘improve’ teaching standard
SIX-FIGURE funding has been agreed to be spent on improving Barnsley’s teachers.
A council report said Tykes Teaching Alliance - part of the Hoyland Common Academy Trust - will work with schools on their ‘improvement, development and continuing professional development (CPD) strategies, especially catch-up curriculum due to the Covid-19 pandemic and preparation for Ofsted inspections’.
It’s been decided that £150,000 will be approved to be spent on training and development.
“The value of this support...
Bench installed by Age UK
AGE UK Barnsley’s latest ‘Take a Seat’ bench has been installed in Darton Park.
The scheme is a partnership effort to place benches in areas which the borough’s elderly population have told Age Friendly Barnsley they’d like to walk around but are wary due to not having anywhere to sit and rest on the way.
Darton West Coun Trevor Cave said: “I visit Darton Park regularly with my dogs and since the new bench was...
Fundraising grannies raise cash for hospice
A GROUP of grannies have celebrated raising almost £3,000 for Barnsley Hospice - surpassing their goal almost twice over.
The ‘Grabby Grannies’ meet at the Heaven and Ale pub on Agnes Road in Kingstone at 1pm every Thursday, and have held fundraisers from auctioning off pork pies to weekly events in a mission to raise £1,000 for the hospice.
Their grand total now sits at £2,843 after an afternoon of music and games at the...
Three-peak fundraising bid for Barnsley woman
AN Elsecar woman is set to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for Barnsley Hospice.
Helen Wood, 30, of Foundry Street, will attempt to do the 24-mile walk in just 12 hours with her two dogs Lana and Lorek, in memory of her mum Dawn, who was cared for at the hospice during her final weeks.
“There’s lots of pressure - I am a walker but it will be hard going, and...
Police probe boy’s assault
A YOUNG Barnsley boy who was attacked whilst on his way home from his Darfield school is ‘terrified’ to return back after vicious bullies allegedly targeted him due to his nationality.
Year seven Netherwood Academy student Oskar, 12, was left with a black eye and blood running from his nose after he was reportedly attacked on his way home last Monday.
His mum, Maja Majewska, of Darfield, told the Chronicle the bullying has been going...
Generous residents dig deep for youngster
THE community has rallied around a Barnsley family to raise almost £10,000 for a youngster diagnosed with a terminal disease which robs her of her senses.
Stevie Taylor, 12, from Wath, was diagnosed with CLN3 Batten disease when she was just eight years old.
Often described as juvenile Batten disease, the illness is an extremely rare and incurable neurodegenerative condition that causes profound disability in children - a devastating and life-changing diagnosis.
Stevie’s dad, 45-year-old...
Rural crime warning issued
FARMERS in Barnsley’s most rural outposts continue to be targeted by crime rings on the hunt for high-value agricultural vehicles and machinery, a study has found.
According to the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), 2020 saw a 20 per cent reduction in incidents - a decrease attributed to long spells of Covid-19 lockdowns - before incidents started to climb.
Barnsley communities such as Penistone, Dunford Bridge, Royston and Shafton - all of which share borders with...
No Covid deaths recorded this month
NO Barnsley residents have died within 28 days of a positive Covid test so far this month.
May 28 was the last time a death was recorded, with total number of deaths currently at 1,135.
The current death rate is 457.5 per 100,000 residents - the second-worst in the country.
Popular music event to return
BARNSLEY Live returns to a summer setting tomorrow and organisers are hoping to carry on the momentum - and good weather - of last year’s success.
The festival, which went online during lockdown and then took place in October last year, has become well-established as one of the borough’s most popular live events.
With more than 20 stages and close to 200 bands, the one-day event sees punters pack into venues early in the afternoon...
Singer to perform at garden event
SINGER Bette Wernick - whose recent television appearances fronting a band of over-64s have given her a ‘new lease of life’ - will perform this weekend to raise money at Cawthorne’s Open Gardens event.
The weekend will see green-fingered residents in one of the borough’s most picturesque villages open up their gardens for visitors to enjoy.
Bette, 78, will perform two fundraising sets for local charity the Exodus Project on Sunday at a garden in...
Hospital wait times highlighted
THOUSANDS more patients have been left waiting weeks for routine treatment at Barnsley Hospital - also battling to keep its busy emergency department running - due to the knock-on effects of the pandemic.
Waiting lists for non-urgent elective operations and treatment have continued to dwarf pre-pandemic figures - with the latest NHS statistics showing 17,060 were still waiting at the end of April after being referred.
The number of patients has snowballed this year from...
Barnsley Pals vandalism reports investigated
THOUSANDS of pounds worth of damage was caused to a war memorial in the town centre on Saturday evening.
The Barnsley Pals light installation on Churchfields is an award-winning piece of artwork, celebrated for its innovation and community engagement, involving local families and children.
The cause of the damage is so far unknown, but Coun Robert Frost, cabinet spokesperson for place, said he would be ‘disgusted’ if it turned out to be vandalism.
He added:...
Arsonists to blame for damage
A WOMAN has been left homeless after a caravan was deliberately set alight in a suspected arson attack - which spread to her home and caused more than £60,000 in damage.
Firefighters from Dearne, Barnsley and Doncaster stations were called to Snydale Road in Cudworth at around 6.15pm on Saturday.
They spent more than two hours battling the blaze - and rescued the family dog from the home - before they left the scene.
South...
Face mask guidance dropped at hospital
FACE masks are no longer mandatory at Barnsley Hospital, it was announced yesterday.
However, health bosses confirmed they may re-introduce the measures if there is a further surge of Covid cases in the area.
A spokesperson added: “Infection prevention control guidance has continued to evolve throughout the pandemic, and we are now making further changes.
“With immediate effect, we are no longer asking colleagues, patients and hospital visitors to wear masks at all times in...