A look back at the news of 2012: January - April

A look back at the news of 2012: January - April

Dancer Rose Metcalf is reunited with her family

Elliot Turner with Emily Longley

First published in News

January

Poole man Michael Butterworth narrowly escapes death after a brick wall crashes down on his car in North Road, Upper Parkstone during violent New Year storms sounding like ‘a gas explosion’.

* Barclays announces the loss of 126 jobs at its Poole premises, Barclays House.

* Tributes pour in from all over the world as the death is announced of Professor Terry Hamblin, the renowned Bournemouth doctor and cancer researcher who carried out Britain’s first stem cell transplant.

* Wimborne dancer Rose Metcalf describes the moment she was nearly forced to leap into the chilly waters off the coast of Tuscany after the Costa Concordia cruise ship she was working on ran aground and rolled over.

* Thousands of angry drivers are caught in eight miles of queues on the A35 due to roadworks at Sandford.

* Wimborne town crier Chris Brown is delighted to find his ride has been pimped by his fun-loving friends, who transform his motability scooter into a mini galleon.

* When a man drives a fuel tanker into a Wool bungalow and then sets it alight, heroic dad Darren Fletcher averts disaster by leaping into the cab and driving the vehicle away. A man is later arrested.

* Harry Redknapp goes on trial in London, accused of cheating the public revenue. He denies the charges.

* St Aldhelm’s Academy in Poole is branded the worst school in England for its results.

* Iraqi war veteran Neil Heritage of Poole completes his Atlantic rowing challenge after 51 days at sea on the Row2Recovery team, which makes landfall in Barbados.

February

Bournemouth University students walk on water – frozen water – after the sea in Poole harbour ices over when temperatures drop to -7 degrees.

* Baby Alfie Fletcher Charlie Birch is named after his dad’s favourite football club AFCB.

* Harry Redknapp walks free from Southwark Crown Court after a jury clears him of cheating the public revenue.

* Mums Heather Gorst and Jane Popperwell scent success when they invent their own perfume: Eau de Bournemouth.

* Delighted young fans spot heart-throb Olly Murs playing crazy golf at Sandbanks in between two sell-out BIC gigs. Murs delights young fan Mia McClure of Poole by playfully stealing her scooter.

* Three times world karate champion and instructor Tim Stephens admits a string of child sex offences, including the possession of more than 38,000 indecent images.

* Poole adventurer David Whiddon dodges sharks, oil tankers and seven-metre waves to celebrate an oarsome achievement – rowing 3,300 miles across the Atlantic with partner Lloyd Figgins, raising £24,000 for the RNLI.

* After 30 years and £37 million, Poole’s Twin Sails bridge opens for the first time.

* Cherries boss Eddie Mitchell apologises for a foul-mouthed national radio interview on Radio 5 Live. “I didn’t know it was Radio 5 Live,” he says.

* Portchester School is plunged into shock as pupil Kyle Rees dies in a tragic accident after being struck on the head by a practise hockey ball.

March

Diver Matt Doggett snaps an underwater picture of a rare Baillon’s Wrasse fish in Poole Bay.

* Davina Travi of Bournemouth, a 42-year-old mother-of-five, breaks down as she is convicted of having sex with two teenage boys.

* Bournemouth’s night-life hot-spot Fir Vale Road is named as the sixth most violent in the country by the Economic Policy Centre think-tank.

* TripAdvisor names Bournemouth beach as the UK’s best but the town fails in its bid to be officially classed as a city.

* Major Phil Packer, who completed the London Marathon on crutches, inspires pupils at Bournemouth and Poole College when he drops in as part of his 2,000 mile UK Walk for the British Inspiration Trust.

* On the night of its grand opening, a crack is discovered in the surface of Poole’s Twin Sails bridge.

Beach Hut number 219 on Mudeford Spit is put up for sale for £126,000.

* Coroner Sherriff Payne voices disbelief after the ‘mummified’ body of 59-year-old Poole father Robert White is discovered in his home in a tower block in Langland Street, 18 months after he was last seen.

* ‘Justice has not been done’ is the verdict of the friends of Nicholas Ormerod after his killer, Mark Haylock, is cleared of murder and sentenced to eight years for manslaughter.

* Family and friends of tragic Kyle Rees say their final farewell at his funeral in St Andrew’s Church, Charminster.

* Daily Echo sports reporters are banned from reporting at Dean Court.

* Talbot Heath residents fear for their homes as a blaze started on the heath threatens to engulf nearby property.

* Wimborne bank manager Michael Stevens shows off his new look after shedding eight stone so he can play football with his 12-year-old daughter, Alisha.

* Bournemouth Royal Marine and father-of-one, Luke Taylor, is shot dead by a rogue Afghan soldier.

* Threats of an Easter petrol tanker strike prompt panic at the pumps, with queuing motorists causing congestion and chaos on Dorset’s roads.

April

Poole’s Old Town First School celebrates its centenary with Victorian party featuring the school’s original maypole, found in the basement.

* Dave Ellison of West Street, Poole, becomes the first non-royal driver to officially cross the Twin Sails bridge.

* There is shock at the news that six-year-old Isabelle Harris of Hampshire has collapsed and died while camping with her family at Holmsley near Bransgore.

* Aerial photographs show that new gaps have appeared in Boscombe’s ill-fated surf reef.

* Travellers create more nuisance when they move onto the Terrace Mount car-park in Bournemouth.

* Romantic Bournemouth man Jimmy Hill proposes to girlfriend Josie Stanford with the help of a guitar and a flashmob at Piccadilly Circus.

* Niki Taylor bravely and proudly pays tribute to her Royal Marine husband, Luke, at his funeral at Christchurch Priory.

* Lytchett Matravers mum Catherine Coombs suffers every arachnophobe’s worst fear after she is bitten by a spider in bed and her hand becomes so septic doctors fear they may have to amputate.

* Are these the shortest yellow lines in Dorset we ask, after lines of just 26 inches are painted in Broadstone’s Clarendon Road.

* Level 42 star Mark King opens Bournemouth’s new Academy of Contemporary Music Regional and performs his smash hit Running In The Family with a group of AMCR students as his band.

* Forty-five firefighters rush to Green Island to extinguish a blaze which has broken out at the holiday home of millionaire Edward Iliffe.

* Elliot Turner of Queenswood Avenue, Queen’s Park, goes on trial for the murder of his teenage girlfriend, Emily Longley.

* Wedding bells ring out on a blustery beach as Kate Smith and Fraser Seed become the first people to have a beach wedding in Bournemouth.

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