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Sussex hole in heart girl is a catwalk model

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A girl who had life-saving heart surgery when she was a baby has been modelling on the catwalks of major fashion shows.

Amy Lee, eight, from East Grinstead, West Sussex, was diagnosed with a hole between two major arteries when she was four months old.

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General election 2019: Political map of the South East

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Faulty Rampion offshore wind farm set for expansion

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A £1bn offshore wind farm which has been out of action for more than three weeks could be expanded.

The Rampion project, off the Sussex Coast, has been dormant since 26 October due to a fault in an electrical distribution system.

A spokesperson for Rampion confirmed an “area of search” next to the existing site is “potentially suitable”.

The wind farm, situated between Brighton and Worthing, could be extended as far west as Bognor Regis.

In August the Crown Estate – which owns the seabed – invited existing wind farms to express interest in expanding.

Work is continuing on trying to fix the existing wind farm after a fault on the offshore electrical substation which has halted supply to the national grid.

A Rampion spokesperson said: “We’re at an early stage of exploring the potential for development through environmental and engineering work and intend to engage with stakeholders more on this next year.

“Any potential extension would be subject to the same rigorous planning and consultation processes as previously undertaken, during which time we would work closely with both the community and local stakeholders before any proposal is submitted for consent.”

Power for about 350,000 homes is generated from the farm’s 116 turbines, which became operational in November 2018.

The spokesperson for the National Grid said the outage would have “no impact on energy supply” in the area.

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St Leonards hospice patients unlawfully killed in fire, inquest finds

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Three cancer patients who died after a fire at a hospice were unlawfully killed, a coroner has concluded.

Pearl Spencer, 78, Jill Moon, 62, and David Denness, 81, died partly from the effects of the fire at St Michael’s Hospice in St Leonards, East Sussex.

Forensic pathologist Dr Ashley Fegan-Earl told the inquest in Hastings they would not have died when they did if the fire had not occurred.

The hospice was fined £250,000 after admitting fire safety breaches.

Hove Crown Court heard staff were ill-trained to deal with such an event, and the main fire exit was locked.

The blaze on 11 July 2015 was started by another resident who died before he could go on trial for arson.

The inquest heard that the cause of death for Mr Denness and Ms Moon was cancer in association with inhalation of fire fumes. Both died at the Conquest Hospital, in Hastings.

The cause of death for Ms Spencer, who died at a nursing home, was cardio respiratory collapse and cancer “in a person extracted from a fire”.

The fire was started “either deliberately or through gross negligence” by patient Rodney Smith in the early hours with a cigarette lighter which set fire to a bed.

Senior Coroner Alan Craze said: “We are dealing with three absolute tragedies.

“Three deaths which have affected three families who will never forget the circumstances they happened in.”

Following the conclusion of the inquest, Irene Dibben, chairwoman of St Michael’s Hospice, and Karen Clarke, chief executive of St Michael’s Hospice, said: “We remain truly sorry for the pain and suffering caused by the fire.

“Our thoughts are with the families and it was with deep sadness that we heard their moving tributes and experiences during the inquests.”

In a joint statement, they said the “act of arson had a devastating impact”, but “comprehensive improvements” had since been made at the hospice.

Following a recent inspection by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, the fire safety level within the building was described as “exemplary”, they added.

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