HERE is our review of 2019, looking back at the second half of last year.


ON the tenth anniversary of the death of 24-year-old Adam Rogers our reporter Bill Jacobs talked to his parents about love, loss and the charity Every Action Has Consequences they set up in his memory.

Mr Rogers died from a single punch on a night out in Blackburn.

A COUPLE’S dream wedding in the Caribbean turned into a ‘nightmare’ – with a series of blunders which even saw them return home ‘legally’ unmarried.

Andy Helsdon, 45, and his partner Heidi Brown, 49, from Lower Darwen, had spent 18 months saving up and planning the wedding of their dreams

at what holiday firm TUI described as a luxury five-star family resort in Jamaica. The whole party of 24 spent in excess of £46,000 for accommodation and flights for the April wedding and the couple themselves spent more than £5,000 including the wedding package.


THE daughter of murder victim Sajed Choudry spoke out about how his brutal killing shook her family to its core.

Describing the father-of-four as “a wonderful and caring man”, Mariya

Choudry also slammed his killers for refusing to admit their guilt.

This came as four men started life sentences yesterday – a minimum of

100 years collectively – following an eight-week trial at Preston Crown Court.

THE family of 47-year-old Lindsay Birbeck paid an emotional tribute to her.

Her two children Steven, 19, and Sarah, 16, described her as “a great mum and wife, much loved daughter, loving aunty and sister-in-law and a great friend”.

A murder investigation was launched after Ms Birbeck’s

body was found in Accrington Cemetery, nearly two weeks after she had been reported missing from home.


VOLUNTEERS cheered with delight as the DIY SOS Big Build for Children in Need was finally completed.

Nick Knowles and his team of building experts - along with hundreds of volunteers - helped transform the old St Silas Church Hall into an accommodation block for Blackburn-based charity Nightsafe, over the past two weeks

A TEENAGE burglar was caught out by blood left behind at the scene of his crime – after he was attacked by a territorial family cat.

Burnley Crown Court heard after cocaine addict Connor Gorton raided the house with an accomplice his victims received a phone call taunting them hours later.

And in the morning, victim Beth Carr noticed their cat was limping and there was blood on the walls, leading her to believe it had attacked the 18-year-old. When police arrested Gorton they found scratch marks on his



THOUSANDS of visitors headed to Blackburn to see its textile festival and exhibition of adidas Spezial trainers after a star-studded opening night.

Happy Monday’s frontman Shaun Ryder, the band’s backing singer Rowetta Satchell and Olympic Gold medallist and Tour de France winning cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins headed the celebrity guest list for the launch parties.

The stars turned out for the celebration of Darwenborn designer Gary Aspden’s exhibition of 1,200 pairs of Adidas trainers including his Blackburn SPZL shoe to raise money for the town’s Nightsafe charity.

THE Blackburn brothers behind the EG Group were considering a Stock Exchange flotation of their petrol station and convenience stores business in a move that could net them £5billion.

If the public share sale went ahead it would make Mohsin Issa, 48, and Zuber Issa, 47, among the 30 richest families in the UK.

The company, which trades in the UK, Europe and the USA, was valued at £10bn making the Issa brothers 56 per cent stake worth more than £5bn, if it was to be floated on the New York Stock Exchange.


A COUPLE from a Darwen care home celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary in style by being the stars in a Halloween-themed party.

Peter Dysart, 65, and his wife Janice, 63, renewed their vows at Lees Court on Ribble Avenue by taking on the roles of Gomez and Morticia from their favourite film The Addams Family.

Bosses at the care home had pulled out all the hair-raising stops to make their celebration special - even down to pumpkin soup and spiders in jelly.

A ‘DANGEROUS’ career criminal who partially blinded a police sergeant by throwing ammonia in his face was sentenced to 18 years and six months in prison.

Paul Elliott, 46, squirted ammonia from a household bleach bottle towards officers as they climbed the stairs at a house in Ash Grove, Darwen,

in April. Sgt Andy Gore, who was at the head of the party, took the full brunt of the attack, when the gel like substance was squirted into his face and ran down into his left eye and mouth.

READ MORE >>> REVIEW OF THE YEAR: Looking back at the first half of 2019


ONLY Labour’s Fortress Blackburn stayed red as Boris Johnson’s blue tide swept across East Lancashire.

The Conservatives held on to Rossendale and Darwen, Pendle and Ribble Valley and seized Hyndburn and Burnley. It was a night of disaster for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party across East Lancashire with even his political aide Kate Hollern’s majority being reduced.