2012, a year we will never forget. Today, The Star begins a series of the best and worst in the news of 2012. Spanning from murders to the Olympics, Stacey Hallam takes a look.
Casey Kearney, only 13 years old was stabbed in a Doncaster park in February 2012. The story caused heartache across South Yorkshire as the much-loved girl died just eight hours after phoning the police from her mobile phone in Elmfield Park, Doncaster after being attacked by Hannah Bonser, 26.
Casey had just got off a bus and was walking through the park when she was stabbed.
Police commander Peter Norman at the time said that the Elmfield Park attack appeared to be ‘an isolated, random and unprovoked incident’.
Norman had meetings with social and mental health services to establish the background of the 26-year-old woman arrested shortly after the killing.
Although two knives were recovered after the stabbing, police were still combing the park and surrounding area shortly after the incident.
Casey left her home in the village of Rossington at about noon on Tuesday, February 14 and caught the number 55 bus to meet a friend. At 1.18pm she called police.
Tennis coach John Willis, who was in the park, also raised the alarm and helped until paramedics arrived. He said: “We didn’t know what had happened. The kids said she was walking normally, then hunched over as though she was looking for some keys in a bag.
“Paramedics had only been there a minute when they asked for everyone to make some room. It was then we knew she had been stabbed. It all felt very surreal but the full horror of what has happened is beginning to sink in.”
Dept Supt Terry Mann said that the staff at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary ‘worked tirelessly to save her but tragically Casey lost her fight for life’.
Shortly after the incident, friends and family united to take part in a walk aimed at supporting the devastated family to help raise money for Casey’s funeral expenses.
Organisers drew up plans to march from the 13-year-old’s home town to Elmfield Park, where Casey was stabbed.
Where will the lost children go?
Controversy was sparked when the beloved Steelworkers sculpture was moved from inside Meadowhall shopping centre to the outside.
The iconic bronze ‘metal men’ landmark was a popular meeting point for shoppers - and kids who strayed from their parents - on Market Street ever since the centre opened in September 1990.
They were moved outside as part of construction work and were placed near the centre entrance at the Next store. Angry shopper Barbara Godbehere said she was ‘disgusted with the demise of the fabulous Steelworkers sculpture’.
She asked for the statue to be returned to a public place ‘where it would be appreciated’.
A Meadowhall spokesman said there were no plans to move the statue, created by Robin Bell and depicting steel teemers at work.
She added: “There were a lot of discussions about where to put it as the aim was to keep it prominent. It is now in one of the busiest footfall areas.”
When the statue was moved as part of construction work and changes in the shopping centre Sheffield, South East MP Clive Betts asked Meadowhall management to reconsider.
He underlined the link between Meadowhall and steel as the centre was one of the first schemes built after the collapse of the steel and engineering industries in the 1980s.
January also saw the beginning of the end for weekly bin collections in Sheffield, saving the council £2.44 million a year.
Instead, rubbish is being collected from homes once a fortnight and free garden waste collections have ended.
Sheffield Council said it must enforce the changes - which came Mid-August - or make further cuts to other services.
The cabinet agreed the proposals at a meeting on January 11, and the plans were brought before full council for final approval in March.
Sheffield Council cabinet member for environment, Coun Leigh Bramall, said: “Due to Government cuts, the council has significant money to save from the waste budget over the next two years.
“Saving millions in the waste service will allow the council to protect services for those that most need help.”
The decision followed a review of the waste service by councillors, which recommended reducing bin collections and ending free green waste collections.
As a by-product, recycling rocketed by an estimated 22% in August.
FORMER miners’ leader Arthur Scargill said ‘justice has been done’ after he won more than £13,000 from a trust fund after suing his own union.
The 74-year-old spoke outside the court after a judge found there had been a ‘clear agenda to both disown him and to pay him as little as possible’ by the Yorkshire Area Trust Fund of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
It was found the former NUM honorary president’s employment contract was in fact legal and enforceable, meaning he was entitled to a £12,000 car allowance.
Mr Scargill, of Barnsley, said it ‘saddened’ him to take legal action after being a member of the union for more than 50 years.
Judge Moore awarded Mr Scargill £12,000 in damages towards the car allowance, plus £470 interest and £1,000 after the court ruled he had been denied union membership benefits for some time.
In his three-hour judgement, Judge Moore found it had been ‘unlawful’ for trustees of the area fund to insultingly offer Mr Scargill only £50 for the car in January 2011, though the trustees previously stated they thought it was ‘a bit much’.
However, the judge rejected claims for about £4,000 towards telephone costs.
Judge Moore said: “I’m satisfied the parties never intended to add the telephone costs. If they had so intended they would have put it in the contract.”
Mr Scargill insisted he had done more work for the union divisions than ‘any other official in history’.
THE big screen experience got a whole load bigger in Sheffield when the first IMAX screen was constructed at Sheffield’s Cineworld.
Cinema-goers could not believe their senses when they experienced John Carter, The Avengers and even The Titanic in glorious 3D.
The screen itself, one of the biggest IMAX screens anywhere, is a massive 70ft wide and 39ft 5in high - more than two-and-a-half times the length of a double-decker bus and not far off three times as high.
The screen was constructed in the cinema’s largest 585-seat Screen Seven auditorium and was also brought closer to the audience and curved slightly, to fill the viewer’s entire peripheral vision.
So when you are sitting in your seat you simply cannot see anything but the screen. All in high definition.
Andy Meakin, Sheffield’s Cineworld operations manager, said: “You don’t feel like you’re just watching the film - you feel you’re actually in it.
“I’ve never experienced anything like it before.”
Brave Sheffield cinema audiences gave it a go when sci-fi action adventure John Carter made IMAX history there, on Friday, March 9.
It even need a crane to hoist the two-ton projector, worth £1 million, into the cinema.
Movie fans were spoilt for IMAX features this year including Wrath of the Titans 3D, The Amazing Spider-man, the Batman trilogy conclusion Dark Knight Rises and the James Bond blockbuster, Skyfall.
Even The Star got involved, creating a competition for readers to be among the first in the region to try out the IMAX screen by winning tickets to see John Carter.
Emma Harrison, Ex-Chairman of Sheffield training company A4e stepped down from her role claiming her decision was ‘very tough’ after paying herself an £8.6m dividend from A4e in one year alone.
Ms Harrison stood aside just 24 hours after resigning as Prime Minister David Cameron’s Family Champion amid controversy over a police fraud investigation into A4e.
In a statement, the 48-year-old said: “This has been a very tough decision for me, as I have spent my entire 25-year career building up this business and I believe so strongly in the importance of the work it does.
“But it is precisely because this work is so important that I do not want the continuing media focus on me to be any distraction for A4e, for its more than 3,500 employees, and for the tens of thousands of people across the UK and globally that look to this company to give them hope of finding employment.”
A4e was under fire for paying £11m in dividends last year - 87% of which went to Ms Harrison.
And even after all the controversy, A4e was named in February as the preferred bidder for a £15m contract with the Skills Funding Agency to provide education to prisoners in London and work advice on release.
A PSYCHOPATHIC killer who stabbed a Sheffield granddad 120 times was arrested.
Detectives branded 32-year-old Benjamin Anthony Scott one of the most dangerous men they had ever met.
Scott, father of four, admitted himself the crime scene that he had created was ‘like something out of a Saw horror film’.
He was locked up indefinitely for the protection of the public on February 29 - and may never be released.
The 18 stone killer stabbed 5ft 2ins Gary Beech in a frenzied attack in the early hours of June 24 last year, after drinking at the 44-year-old’s flat in Batemoor.
Dad-of-two and grandad-of-one Mr Beech was a drinking acquaintance who had first met Scott only a few weeks before the incident. Mr Beech’s body was discovered the next day. He had been stabbed 120 times.
“He had 86 wounds to his head and face,” said Mr Moulson. “Many were made while he lay incapacitated on the floor.”
Scott, of Batemoor, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of abnormality of the mind.
Two forensic psychiatrists confirmed that Scott was suffering from a dissocial personality disorder. The judge said Scott had not shown the slightest regret or remorse.