13 December 2005

13 December 2005

£22k reward to find nurse killers

COPS have put up a £22,000 reward in the hunt for the killers of a nurse.

Simon Pearse was viciously set upon after getting off a night bus in Rushey Green, Catford, during the early hours of July 30.

The 45-year-old, of Goodrich Road, East Dulwich, was taken to hospital where he died two weeks later from a fractured skull.

Cops hunting his killers believe there are witnesses to the attack who have yet to come forward.

They offered a reward of £22,000 this week for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Mr Pearse's attackers.

Police believe the murdered man was in Vauxhall on the night of his death.

He took a N36 night bus to Rushey Green shortly before he was attacked.

Detective Inspector Tim Grattan-Kane, leading the murder hunt, said the driver of a passing taxi could have information vital to the inquiry.

He said: "We are particularly keen to trace a black hackney cab travelling east around the South Circular - the A205 - towards Eltham, around 3am.

"It was a short distance behind a Tesco lorry.

"The cab driver may have seen something and had to brake.

"We are appealing for the cab driver, who may have been going home at the end of a shift, to contact the incident room as soon as possible."

Mr Pearse was white, 5ft 6in tall, of stocky build and was wearing a black T-shirt, black leather jacket and a bandana the night he died.

Police want to hear from anyone who spotted him, or saw several men running away from the area in the direction of Bromley Road.

Information on the murder to 020 8721 4054 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Housing on nature reserve 'ridiculous'

CAMPAIGNERS have slammed an idea to build houses on a nature reserve which is home to woodpeckers, sparrowhawks and lizards.

The New Cross Gate Cutting Nature Reserve was included in a consultation document put out by Lewisham council this autumn asking the public which sites in the borough should be earmarked for development.

But Darren Johnson, Lewisham councillor and Green Party member of the London Assembly, said the site was "the best trackside wildlife habitat in the whole of London".

He said it should keep its status as a site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation.

The consultation document - called Local Development Framework Issues and Options - said the suggestion of development came from a borough resident.

Cllr Johnson said: "I cannot believe the council is taking this ridiculous suggestion seriously. I have been contacted by a number of groups and individuals alarmed at suggestions that the nature reserve be built on for housing."

The site, off Vesta Road, is leased by the London Wildlife Trust from Network Rail.

It lies each side of the railway line between New Cross Gate and Brockley stations.

Charity worker Geoff Taylor, 49, lives in Barriedale and volunteers at the reserve by maintaining its security.

He said: "It is in a wildlife corridor so the wildlife can come up the railway line from the countryside. It is also very interesting because it is the only site of acid grassland this side of Haywards Heath."

The reserve contains silver birch trees which used to be grown to be burnt in the nearby brick foundries.

Mr Taylor said the site was too dangerous to be built on because the ground was weak.

Other attempts to build next to the railway line, at the junction of Vesta Road and Endwell Road, had resulted in subsidence, he said.

Street market has big stores beat for value

SHOPPERS can get cheaper fruit and vegetables at street market than at a neighbouring supermarket, according to research.

The London Development Agency (LDA), which did surveys in London markets last month, revealed a basket of food from stalls at Lewisham Street Market cost £4.74.

The same goods were £7.18 from Sainsbury's, in the shopping centre.

Fruit and veg stall holder Jay Cook, 39, said the findings underlined how important markets are to local economies and communities.

The father-of-two said: "We form an important part of Lewisham and our produce is fresher and cheaper than supermarkets.

"The problem is younger generations go for convenience food shopping and prefer to use credit cards."

The LDA, which did the research for the Mayor's London Food Board, discovered the 100-year-old market helped improve trade for the other shops in the area.

Monde Yamalezi, 26, of Carisbrooke Road, Bromley, who goes to the market every week, said: "It's cheaper and you find everything you want from all cultures."

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