Details released about Bamber Bridge motorcyclist killed in Longridge crash

Police have revealed information after a 53-year-old motorcylist died in a road crash.

Police say the man was 53-year-old and died after the crash at around 5.30pm on Sunday on Preston Road, Longridge, close to the junction with Water Meadows.

It is believed a Mercedes C220 car and a Suzuki Bandit motorbike were involved in the crash.

The motorcyclist, from the Bamber Bridge area, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

The road was closed for around three and a half hours while specialist officers attended.

Police would now like to speak to anybody who saw the collision, or who saw either vehicle shortly before it happened.

Sergeant Finn Quainton, of the Roads Policing Unit, said: “First and foremost we would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the motorcyclist. Our thoughts are with them at this incredibly sad time.

“We are now determined to piece together exactly what occurred and would like to hear from anybody who saw the incident or saw either vehicle in the moments before the collision occurred.”

Anybody with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting log number 1003 of July 2.

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Ben Ashworth made ‘Friend of the City’ by Preston Council

Inspirational runner and fundraiser Ben Ashworth was made the first ‘Friend of the City’ the day before he died.

The honour makes Ben the first Prestonian to be awarded the certificate from the Mayor Preston Brian Rollo.

The letter accompanying the certificate states: “You are an inspiration to the people of Preston and you epitomise the very best of our city. On a personal level, I am very proud you are a Prestonian.”

Mayor of Preston, councillor Brian Rollo, said: “Seeing the amount of money raised for Ben’s chosen charities is phenomenal and a credit to Ben, his family, and all their efforts.

“This recognition is so very well deserved and I couldn’t think of anyone else who would be top of the list. Ben will be sadly missed by all who knew him.”

The council says Ben’s reaction was simply “wow”.

The 38-year-old dad of three died after a long battle with bowel cancer on Sunday at his home in Broadgate, Preston.

Ben was diagnosed with the disease in 2012 and told he only had months to live.

After setting a target of six marathons in six months in 2014, the 38-year-old ended up running more than 20, raising thousands of pounds via the Ben’s Bowel Movements charity site.

Last Christmas time, more than 100 runners added to the fund when they took part in the Cheeky Santa Dash in Avenham Park.

Earlier in the year, he had spent several weeks in hospital after a new tumour was found on his liver. He had to undergo an 11-hour operation and was in intensive care for five weeks, but was delighted at the success of the event, at which racers not only had the option of wearing the traditional Santa suit but also a pair of special ‘bum’ shorts.

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How the weather looks for Preston Carnival and Armed Forces Day

Two of the biggest events of Preston’s summer take place this weekend.

Armed Forces Day on the Flag Market and Preston Caribbean Carnival on Moor Park.

The armed forces spectacular is on Saturday (24 June) and Carnival hits the streets during Sunday (25 June).

This is how the weather is shaping up for both.

It’s due to be a fairly overcast weekend, but here’s a break-down for the two days from the Met Office.


Early morning
Starts very muggy and overcast, although temperatures have dropped compared to the week. Highs of 14 degrees and there’s a 20 per cent chance of rain. The wind is a light breeze meaning it takes a couple of degrees off the temperature.

Late morning
We stay at 14 degrees but the chance of rain falls away to just 10 per cent. Visibility is rated as very good in case we get any military plane flyovers.

Early afternoon
Heading on from 1pm and temperatures continue at 14 degrees and the chance of rain falls even further – as we see a bit more brightness around. The UV risk is highest at this point in the day.

Late afternoon
Temperatures rise slightly, staying at 15 degrees and the chance of rain goes to below 5 per cent.

We see temperatures still at 15 degrees and there’s sunset at 9.46pm.


Early morning
We start the day much brighter than Saturday with the sun peeking through the clouds. Temperatures are lower though at 12 degrees – and this is due to much stronger winds. Gusts of 30mph will be experienced.

Late morning
As we head towards Carnival time we see the wind speeds remain at 30mph and the temperatures begin to rise up to 13 degrees but the feels like temperature when the wind blows will be around 10 degrees.

Early afternoon
The warmest part of the day and it will cloud over although there’s a very low chance of rain throughout Sunday. Temperatures reach 14 degrees.

Late afternoon
Remaining the same as early afternoon although the wind drops off slightly and drops away to 20mph gusts.

A settled evening, remaining overcast and sunset is at 9.46pm again. We’ll see lows of 11 degrees overnight.

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Appeal after Preston primary school targeted by vandals

A Ribbleton headteacher has issued a plea to the young people in the area to stop damaging their school.

The staff at Grange Primary school are becoming increasingly “disappointed” after the school was targeted by vandals in a spree of attacks this week, says headteacher Cheryl Taylor.
On Monday June 19, windows were broken at the school in Grange Avenue and fire services were forced to attend when a small fire was started on one of the football pitches.

Headteacher Cheryl Taylor said: “It is very disappointing that on two evenings this week groups of children and young people have trespassed on school grounds and caused damage to the building, including breaking windows and setting a fire on one of the pitches.

“We have an excellent relationship with the local community and often open the school up for community use.

“I’d like to urge everyone in the community to help keep the school in good condition and enable us to continue to provide a good education to our children.”

In the latest incident which happened at around 7.15pm on June 20, a group of children climbed onto the roof and threw objects after the fire service were called out to help children who had become locked in the grounds.

A spokesman for the fire service said: “While we were attending the incident, around 20 children arrived and some climbed onto the roof.
“Some of them were throwing stones but we don’t think they were directly aiming them at us.

“We eventually used ladders to help the children get out of the grounds.”

Police were called to the school following the incident by fire services who were concerned about the behaviour of the children.

A police spokesman said: “Fire services called us out to reports of a group of children on the roof of a primary school who were throwing objects.
“By the time officers arrived at around 7.30pm the children had dispersed.”

Investigations into the incidents are on-going.

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Trial date set for Ellen Higginbottom murder suspect

A trial date has been set for a man accused of murdering teenager Ellen Higginbottom.

Mark Steven Buckley will stand trial on December 11 after being charged with the 18-year-old’s murder.
The 51-year-old appeared via videolink from HMP Manchester for a brief hearing at Manchester Crown Court this morning (Thursday).
Ellen was reported missing by her family after failing to return home from college last Friday evening.

Her body was found near a wheat field close to Orrell Water Park in the early hours of last Saturday.

A post-mortem examination confirmed she died from multiple wounds to the neck.

Buckley, with a shaved head and goatee beard, spent most of the hearing sitting unmoving, wide-eyed, staring straight ahead.

The defendant, of New Hall Lane, Preston, did not enter a plea.

Judge Richard Mansell QC remanded him in custody until a further hearing on September 4.

David Steele, 47, of Oakley Avenue, Billinge, is charged with perverting the course of justice and handling stolen goods. He did not enter a plea and was also remanded into custody to appear on the same day and at the same court as Buckley.

Dean Speakman and his partner Vicki Calland, both 30 and from Cob Moor Avenue, Billinge, both pleaded guilty, each to a single charge of perverting the course of justice and handling stolen goods.

Both admitted they handled the mobile phone, laptop and other property belonging to Ellen and that they destroyed the property believing she had been murdered.

Judge Mansell remanded Speakman into custody until September 4. However, his partner, Calland, was granted bail as she is a mother-of-four and the “least culpable” the court heard.

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Child rapist jailed for eight years

A man who raped a primary school pupil at Preston Docks 20 years ago has been caged for eight years.

Kieran O’Rourke, 34, was found guilty of two counts of rape and two of gross indecency against his victim, who was aged just eight at the time of the abuse.
Prosecuting, Guy Mathieson described how O’Rourke, who was then at high school, and the youngster would sometimes meet friends at a “hangout” close to the locking gates at Preston Docks.

On one occasion when the pair were alone, he forced the little boy into the bushes and raped him.

The court was told O’Rourke, who is now dad to a seven-year-old child and three-year-old twins, had access to the young victim’s home at the time and took the opportunity to abuse him there.

In a harrowing statement the victim, who is now an adult, said: “ I find myself in a position of bringing my devastating past back to life. It has ruined my life in ways I would have never thought possible.”

He said he had turned to drug and alcohol abuse, had suicidal thoughts and had suffered relationship breakdowns and job problems due to the impact of the abuse.

Defending, Stuart Mills asked the judge to take into account the defendant’s personal circumstances at the time said: “He had a difficult upbringing and was in and out of care from birth. He has all of the features that one might expect to bring someone into conflict with the law and suffered physical abuse.
“He witnessed considerable domestic violence. His mother was regrettably a drug abuser and an alcoholic – all of these must have had a grave impact upon his psychological wellbeing.

“In addition, his father was an alcohol abuser and his mother committed suicide in 2000.”

Judge Stuart Baker said he had to consider he was a youth due to his own age at the time of the offences.

He added: “Much has happened in your life in the last 20 years. You are not now the same person you were when you committed these offences.

“You were a damaged child yourself. Nevertheless, at the age of 15 you were old enough to know that what you did was seriously wrong.”

He is banned from working with vulnerable people and will be placed on the sex offender’s register.

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Motorbike rider dies in Penwortham crash

A motorcyclist has died following a crash in Penwortham.

Preston Police say no other vehicles were involved in the incident on Saturday night.

The rider – thought to be in his 30s – died at the scene from suspected serious head injuries. Air ambulance and paramedics had been called to the incident.

The incident happened around 6.20pm on Saturday (17 June) and the rider was coming around the bend on Leyland Road near the junction with Riverside Road.

It’s understood the rider lost control and collided with the fence, suffering serious injuries.

Eyewitnesses said they saw a man being treated by paramedics on the floor.

Police closed the road in both directions close to Penwortham Methodist Church and also the footbridge across the Ribble with Broadgate. The road re-opened around 9 pm on Saturday.

The rider’s next of kin has been informed by police.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 1243 although police said they were not treating the incident as suspicious.

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