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20 May 2016

Man Jailed for Life for Bartley Green Murder

A Jealous boyfriend bludgeoned his ex-partner before drowning her in the bath after she said she had found a new love on holiday in Turkey.

Desmond Thomas, 51, carried out the vicious attack while their young son was outside the bathroom door calling for his mother.

Laura Holden, 35, was killed at her home in Monmouth Road in August last year, by her ‘on/off’ partner of 19 years, Desmond Thomas, 52, from Newtown. She was found drowned in the bath by her sister and 17 year old daughter after an argument with Thomas.

Thomas was found by police a short time later, having attempted to take his own life. Following hospital treatment, he was arrested.

The carer, of Hospital Street, Newtown, has now been jailed for life after previously admitting murder. He will have to serve a minimum of 15 years before he is eligible for parole

In a statement, Laura’s family said:

“We take some comfort in the sentence passed today although it will be nothing like the life sentence we now have to live with. Our beautiful daughter, mother, sister, auntie, cousin and friend can only live in our memories now. There are no words to describe the horror we have had to go through over the past months and I hope none of you ever have to experience it.

“We will go on with our lives because we have to but there will forever be that void where Laura should be. We would like to thank the police, our homicide case worker and our barrister Mr Price for their hard work and support throughout this ordeal. We thank the press for respecting our privacy and politely ask they continue to do so, so we can start to rebuild our broken lives.”

West Midlands Police Detective Inspector Warren Hines said: “This has been a truly horrific time for Laura’s family who are struggling to come to terms with what has happened to them and I cannot imagine the sense of loss they feel. I hope the sentence will be of some comfort to them and help them rebuild their lives.”




10 May 2016

PSPO for Bartley Green Open Spaces

Areas of open space in Bartley Green are now protected under a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

The order which covers areas like Sennleys Park and Woodgate Valley Country park make it an offence to engage in 2 specific acts which are likely to cause a public nuisance.

The prohibition include using a mechanically propelled vehicle in an illegal and/or anti-social manner.

The order, which came into force on the 3rd of February 2016 runs for one year but can be extended if desired.

The council and police have produced a leaflet a copy of which is available in pdf format below.



05 May 2016


After the retirement of Viviene Barton on health grounds Bartley Green has a new Tory Councillor Des Flood..

  1. Des Flood (CON) - 2080
  2. Saddak Miah (LAB) - 1270
  3. Tony Hayes (UKIP) - 827
  4. Peter Thorneycroft (GREEN) - 216
  5. Julia Garrett (LIB DEM) - 165
  6. Moira O'Driscoll (TUSC) - 62

03 April 2016

Probe launched into Bartley Green Schools exclusion record

A probe has been launched into the exclusion record of a Bartley Green Primary School according to a report in the Sunday Mercury newspaper

Nonsuch Primary School on the Woodgate Valley estate has according to the report excluded 30 pupils with disabilities some under 5 years of age. The school which is on Wood Leasow in Woodgate Valley is run by an Academy the head teacher is on sick leave and the chair of governors has resigned over the way the school is run.

Local councillor John Lines has gone further. At a full council meeting, he demanded action over “appalling reports of discrimination of our very young, vulnerable citizens, some of whom are still without formal schooling”. VHe told the meeting he had the names and address of 30 excluded pupils.

He has written to the Department of Education over the growing controversy.



03 March 2016

Bartley Green Man sentenced for gun crime

John Kingscott of Ambleside, Bartley Green has been sent to prison for 16 years after shooting a man near his home with one of his collection of illegal firearms.

Kingscott (62) had become enraged during an argument gone to his home fetched a Smith and Wesson pistol and fired two shots at Ben Milligan the first missing his victim the other hitting him in the shoulder.

In passing sentence Judge Patrick Thomas QC said: “For over 40 years your primary interest in life has been firearms. “On the night we are concerned with you went out for a social evening and you had more to drink than was safe. You got yourself involved in an unpleasant incident with a young man who you were a few minutes later to shoot. “I am perfectly prepared to accept you were the wronged party in that but it is what happened afterwards that matters."

“Clearly you have a fascination for firearms and your utterly irresponsible approach to them leads me to the conclusion that, in the context of firearms, you are a dangerous man.” He said the effects on Mr Milligan had been “very serious indeed.”

Kingscott had previously admitted causing the victim grievous bodily harm and seven charges of possessing firearms without a certificate. He had been acquitted of attempted murder following a trial.



20 January 2016

Newman University Plans MAJOR Rebuild

Newman University have lodged plans for a major rebuild on their site including new student accommodation, demolition of College Close and more car parking spaces.

Whilst the addition of more on-site parking may be welcome if it decreases the level of inconsiderate parking currently in the area by Newman students the size of the development may be a worry local residents

The University is holding an open day so local residents may come and see the proposals there will also be an opportunity to discuss the plans over tea and cake in the atrium on the 21st January 2016

For more details please see the Newman University page .

Or the EVENTS page.

We did ask Newman University for input to this article but yet again the department responsible for media relations could not be bothered to contact us.

11 January 2016

Bartley Green Leisure Centre Closure Threat

Bartley Green Community Leisure centre is one of 9 leisure centres threatened with closure under council budget cuts.

The facility which is based at Bartley Green school has for years suffered from underfunding and when last visited it was in a very dilapidated state so the proposal to close it is no surprise.

The proposed closure, following on from the loss of Shenley Leisure centre and pool 3 years ago, will leave the area with no council run leisure facilities with residents facing a 2 mile journey to either Northfield or Harborne.

Residents wanting gym facilities can use the Newman University.

09 December 2015

Woman hurt in bus incident youth hands himself in to police.

A woman was hurt when a brick was thrown through the window of a number 18 bus on Monday evening.

Jo Brandon was left covered in blood and spent seven hours in hospital following the rush-hour attack.

It happened on the National Express West Midlands No.18 Bartley Green to Yardley Wood. The bus was on Holloway when the incident happened close to the junction of Ley Hill Farm Road, Northfield , as the victim was heading home.

Ms Brandon, a university counsellor from Cotteridge, said the experience was the worst of her life.

She said: “It was awful.
It was like an explosion in my head.
I heard screaming and realised it was coming from me.
I can’t describe the pain.”

A teenager has since come forward to police following the incident.

The 14-year-old boy went to a police station with his mother on Tuesday and will be formally interviewed by officers in due course.



09 December 2015

Gun Obsessed Bartley Green Man in Court

An obsessive gun collector tried to kill a man by shooting him with a revolver near his Birmingham home after a minor argument over noise, a court was told.

John Kingscott, aged 62, of Ambleside, Bartley Green, who was found to have a “terrifying arsenal” of weapons, fired twice at Ben Milligan, from close range, the second shot lodging in his shoulder, the city’s Crown Court heard.

The trial is proceeding



10 November 2015

Bartley Green MP supporting Birmingham Community

Birmingham Edgbaston MP Gisela Stuart attended the launch of the Birmingham Opera Crowdfunding initiative yesterday in the River room in the House of Lords last night (09/11/15).

Birmingham Opera has a shortfall on funding this year and crowdfunding is one of the new initiatives they are following to move away from statutory funding.

Bartley Green is a part of the Edgbaston constituency and Gisela Stuart MP is our representative in Parliament. It is pleasing to see our local MP being involved in such an important wider Birmingham organisation as Birmingham Opera.

The event, held in the River Room at the House of Lords, was attended by many parliamentarians and members of the House of Lords and was hosted by Baroness Thornton.

In the picture Gisela Stuart can be seen enjoying the singing of Keel Watson one of the Birmingham Opera performers here he was doing an impromptu rendition of "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin' from George Gershwin's folk-opera "Porgy and Bess" (1934)

02 October 2015


West Midlands Police has identified potential capital and annual running cost savings of £8.5 million from its estate portfolio – a significant step towards the savings it needs to make over the next five years.

Included in this proposal is the police base in Bartley Green the full list can be seen HERE.

The report states that "The buildings earmarked for closure are either storage facilities or used as administrative bases by police officers. Teams based at these locations will move to other police buildings within the local policing area".

The force will present the proposals to the Police and Crime Commissioner at his Strategic Police and Crime board on Tuesday 6 October. If the proposals are given approval, a range of engagement activity will take place to ensure we share the proposals with key groups in our communities before a decision is made.

“If the proposals are given approval, a range of engagement activity will take place over the coming months to ensure we share the proposals with our local communities.” Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “As the cuts continue to bite we are faced with some really tough decisions. The Government has consistently continued to disproportionately cut funding in the West Midlands and the challenge is how we maintain the service that the public comes into contact with."

"The force is committed that any change in the use of estate does not adversely impact on service delivery."

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has called for a review of the government’s funding formula, which he says means West Midlands Police is hit harder by the cuts.

He also added: “In the past five years, we have been hit hard by the Government’s 20 per cent cuts to policing budgets.
We have seen our numbers reduced by 1,500 and front-line policing has been hit. We are also expecting further cuts when the Chancellor announces details of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review in November.
What everyone needs to realise is that cuts have consequences – for the police service, for local policing, for police officers and for members of the public.
I would urge anyone concerned about the policing cuts to contact their local councillors and MPs.”

Gisela Stuart Website




Birmingham Mail


12 September 2015

Teacher cheated SAT's

Woodgate Primary School teacher Beverley Reynolds and her Headteacher husband Robin being found guilty of professional misconduct and bringing the teaching profession into disrepute and may now face a lengthy ban from the classroom.

The hearing also heard that the pair then tried to cover up the scandal by intimidating whistleblowers – who were dubbed "the three witches".

The panel will now make a recommendation to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan whether the pair should be banned from teaching - and they could suggest a any length even up to a lifetime ban.

More on this story

Birmingham Mail

Birmingham Mail OPINION

28 August 2015

Police Appeal

Police who are are still hunting a violent thug who ran over a mum and dragged her under the wheels of her own car for more than 30ft in a terrifying carjacking incident have appealed for the public's help.

CCTV footage showed Nikki Law-Priddey desperately battling to keep her white Mini after it was taken from her Kitwell Road driveway on January 29 2015. The 30-year-old is shown grappling with the man but after being dragged for more than 30ft was left lying in the middle of the Bartley Green road in the path of oncoming traffic.

West Midlands Police confirmed this week that nobody has been charged in connection with the attack and the force is still asking for people with information to come forward. A spokeswoman for the force added that a 25-year-old man who was arrested yesterday on suspicion of robbery remains on police bail. She added: “No further arrests have been made at this stage and detectives continue to urge anyone with information about the person responsible to contact them on 101.”

More on this story

Birmingham Mail

25 August 2015

Men arrested after chase

Five men have been arrested and a firearm seized after officers chased down suspected Northfield burglars.

A group of men from an MG Rover were spotted acting suspiciously around a Ford Mondeo at around 3pm last Friday (22 August) on Bartley Drive and when approached by officers ran away.

They were chased through gardens and streets before being stopped by police on Cromwell Lane and checks on the Mondeo revealed that it had been stolen from a burglary on Maas Road some six days earlier, on 16 August.

Two men, aged 27 and 21, and two teenagers, aged 18 and 17, were arrested on suspicion of burglary.

A 24-year-old man was arrested from the MG Rover on suspicion of burglary and following a search of the vehicle a handgun and ammunition were found.

All five have been bailed pending further enquiries.

Superintendent Paul Minor, the local policing manager for Birmingham South, said: "We take gun crime very seriously and the seizure of a handgun means one more gun is off the streets of Birmingham. The car has been seized and will now be forensically examined by specialist officers. Our investigations now continue and we would like to reassure the local community that our fight against serious crime continues."

Anyone who wishes to report any suspicious activity in their area can do so by calling West Midlands Police on 101. Alternatively people can leave information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers the independent charity on 0800 555 111.

22 August 2015

Man Shot in Bridgburn Rd

Police are hunting two men over a late afternoon shooting in a Bridgeburn Rd.

Detectives said the 21-year-old victim was lucky to be alive after he was blasted in the arm at 4.15pm on Friday.

The two wanted men were thought to have fled the scene in a blue car.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: “This was a really nasty attack and the man was lucky not to suffer more serious injuries. This is a fast-moving investigation and our information so far suggests two men ran from the scene. The pair are said to have run down the road and then drove off in a blue hatchback. We would ask anyone who was in the area at the time and witnessed what happened or saw anything suspicious to contact us as soon as possible.”

The victim, whose car was found to have a smashed window, was in a stable condition in hospital on Saturday.

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.

More on this story

Birmingham Mail


07 August 2015

Rapist Jailed!

A man who held a gun to the head of a teenager before raping her in a Birmingham grave yard has been jailed.

Michael Ware, 23, of Shenley Fields Drive in Northfield was today (7 August) sentenced to 15 years at Birmingham Crown Court after pleading guilty to the assault.

Ware had followed the 19-year-old from Kings Norton railway station on the evening of Saturday 6 December 2014.

He threatened her with the imitation firearm on Back Road, Kings Norton and forced her into church grounds nearby. During the attack, the brave woman managed to grab the gun from Ware and used this as her chance to escape his clutches.

More on this story

Birmingham Mail

06 August 2015

Man Charged with murder!.

A man will appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court this morning (Thursday 6 August) charged with murdering a woman at her home in Bartley Green.

Unemployed Desmond Thomas, aged 51, from Hospital Street, Newtown, is charged with killing Laura Holden, aged 36 at an address in Monmouth Road on Monday 3 August.

Officers went to the address just after 7am following a call from ambulance and found the body of Laura.

A post mortem has confirmed she suffered head injuries, but died as a result of drowning.

Detective Inspector Warren Hines from Force CID, said: “Enquiries into the death are ongoing, however it is believed the deceased and the man arrested were known to each other. Specialist liaison officers are supporting Laura’s family.”

03 August 2015

Man arrested on suspiscion of Murder.

A 51 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the discovery of a womans body at an address in Monmouth Road Bartley Green today.

The deceased, a 36 year old female, and the suspect are believed to be known to each other but no names have currently been released.

Man Jailed for Bartley Green Murder

PSPO for Bartley Green

Election Results

Nonsuch School Probe

16 years for gun crime man

Proposal to close Bartley Green Leisure Centre

Bartley Green MP attends community group fundraising launch



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