Friday 11th May 2018
News and appeals
Worthing man given 14-year sentence for vicious ammonia attack on ex-partner
A West Sussex man has been given a 14-year sentence for spraying his ex-partner in the eyes with ammonia, causing long-term injury and distress.
Matthew Johnson, 26, a roofer, formerly of various addresses in the Worthing area, was sentenced at Brighton Crown Court on Tuesday (8 May) having been convicted at the same court on 23 January, of using a noxious substance to cause grievous bodily harm and sexual assault.
He was also convicted of both actual bodily harm and criminal damage over a previous incident in which he attacked the same woman in March 2016.He was given an extended sentence of 14 years of which the first 10 years will be in custody, for the ammonia offence.
The other four years will be spent on prison supervision licence.
He also received other sentences to run concurrently with the 14-year sentence - three years for sexual assault, 18 months for actual bodily harm, 18 months for criminal damage and two months for driving whilst disqualified.
Detective Constable Duncan Chalmers of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said; "This was a vicious assault by Johnson on his then 30-year-old ex-partner on 3 August 2016. He met her in Worthing, told her that he had a knife and ammonia and forced her to drive them both to a remote car park at Steyning Bowl, near Steyning, where he squirted ammonia in her eyes from a plastic sun tan bottle which we later found at the scene, before beating her black and blue and then sexually assaulting her.
"After this ordeal he prolonged her agony by driving her around for several hours before he dropped her off at Worthing Hospital later the same day.
"The victim’s eyes have still not fully recovered from the attack even now. She has to wear glasses and cannot drive at night"
In sentencing Johnson, Judge Shani Barnes said that her own experience of seeing the photos of the injuries would stay with her for some time, and that in the relationship Johnson was 'the knight in shining armour who became dark and dangerous.'
Johnson fled Lewes Crown Court on 9 May last year when he was initially due to stand trial for the offences. He was arrested at an address in Broadwater Road, Worthing, on 5 September, in a police search shortly after he had been spotted in the same street by someone who recognised him. During the arrest Johnson broke his ankle when he fell from a flat roof when attempting to evade officers.
For information about sources of support and advice if you are experiencing domestic abuse, see this link to the Sussex Police website. But always dial 999 if you are in immediate danger.
Appeal for information after woman found with serious head injury in Worthing
Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman was found with a serious head injury on the A259 Brighton Road in Worthing.
Officers are trying to establish the circumstances of how the woman came to be injured sometime between 2pm and 4pm on Friday 13 April on the Brighton Road junction with Selden Road opposite Ben's hand car wash. It was not reported to police until 24 April.
The 48-year-old victim is likely to have life changing injuries as the result of the head injury.
Detective Constable Seb Day said: "We know that the woman was sat on a wall with two men in the location before she was found. We are trying to establish whether she has fallen or been pushed.
"We would like like to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident, has any dashcam footage of the incident or from anyone who has information about it."
Contact police online or ring 101 quoting serial 1199 of 24/04.
Police appealing for witnesses following report of erratic driving
Police are appealing for witnesses following a report of vehicle being driven erratically in Durrington.
A dark blue Honda is alleged to have stopped unexpectedly on a number of occasions in Mendip Road, Salvington Road and Half Moon Lane between 1pm and 3pm on Tuesday 24 April.
Another blue vehicle is believed to have been behind the Honda, and police would like to speak to the occupants of this vehicle – or any other witnesses – about the incident.
Anyone with any information is asked to report it online at or call 101 quoting serial 778 of 24/04.
Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Two men plead not guilty to Worthing drug offences
Two men have appeared in court charged with Worthing drug offences.
Dante Smith, 20, and Jordan Rowe, 24, appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (4 May), both charged with possession with intent to supply class A drug (heroin), possession with intent to supply class A drug (cocaine) and the acquire, use or possession of criminal property.
Smith and Rowe, both from London, pleaded not guilty to all three charges and were remanded in custody until trial, date yet to be set.
The pair were arrested on 7 April after officers found them acting suspiciously in a property in St Michael’s Road, Worthing. Officers had initially attended the property on a welfare check.
For advice on how to report drug offences click here.
Reference: 0972 04/05/2018
Location: Bridge Road Worthing
Date and time: Between 5pm and 5:15pm
Details: A door was forced to gain entry. Cash and a mobile telephone were stolen.
SOUTHWICK MAY 12TH BETWEEN 10AM AND MIDDAY – Southwick Recreation Ground
A chance for you to come and speak to members of your local Police Prevention Team about any Policing issues you might have.
The event will be hosted by PCSO Kelly Watson and PC Rob Luff, and is open to all residents, visitors and business owners
GORING ROAD WORTHING MAY 19TH BETWEEN 10AM AND MIDDAY – Outside the Verandah Café Bar 322, Goring Road Worthing
We will be hosting a street Briefing on Goring Road, outside the Verandah Cafe This is the perfect opportunity to come down and express your concerns with your local policing team. We will also have a councillor for the Marine Ward in attendance as well. We hope to see you there
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Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
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