The latest news, sport, weather and features from the South East of England.
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Today's main headlines in the South East:
A man's body has been found after a severe
A man's body has been found after a house fire in Sussex -
A huge rise in the number of people smuggling operations distrupted -
MPs discuss issues uncovered by this programme.
It feels like winter. If you are hoping for a bit of snow, there is
some in the forecast. I will tell you where and when, at the end of
the programme. The body of a man has been
found inside a house Fire crews were called
to the property in West Hill Road in St Leonards just
after 5.30pm this afternoon. The cause of the fire is currently
being treated as unexplained. Our reporter Jon Hunt
is live at the scene. Jon, what more do we know
about the incident? Six fire engines were sent to the
scene along with the police and paramedics and specialist medics
from the heart team. They are sent to deal with hazardous incidents.
Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus were here for around five
hours. But sadly they discovered the body of a man inside the property.
The property has been significantly damaged by fire and smoke. A lot of
damage around the entrance hall. There appears to be smoke damage and
broken windows on the first floor as well. Smoke did spread to a
neighbouring property and residents in that property had to be evacuated
as well. Is there any more information about the cause? The
police say at the moment it is treated as an unexplained fire. The
scene has been secured. I foresee a significant investigation, probably
in the morning, with forensic teams working closely with the fire teams.
Aside from the man who died, police said there had been no other
injuries. The coroner has been informed. Officers are asking for
anything or have any information anything or have any information
about what could have caused this fire. Thank you.
A body has been found by rescuers searching for a Sussex kayaker
Dominic Jackson, originally from Uckfield, was reported
He'd failed to return from a sea kayaking trip off
A kayak believed to belong to him was recovered earlier this week.
A pedestrian's died after being hit by a car on the A27
The driver of the car, a 58-year-old man from Climping,
has been arrested on suspicion of causing death
Despite treatment by paramedics, the 59 year-old victim
The bosses of a care home in Herne Bay have pleaded guilty
to health and safety failings that led to the death
Joan Daws suffered fatal crush injuries after a large chair tipped
against her in a lift at Laleham Residential Home.
The case has been sent to Canterbury Crown
BBC South East Today can exclusively reveal that there's been
a significant spike in the number of people smuggling operations
A 32% jump was revealed at a special meeting
It was prompted by our investigation which discovered smugglers in Paris
getting people to Kent by putting them on lorries owned
Here's our Special Correspondent Colin Campbell.
It was an investigation revealing how Paris has become a hub for
TRANSLATION: They will fit you in a way that even the
We exposed a gang offering us guaranteed passage
to England in the back of trucks, transporting produce for the
Our findings prompted two Kent MPs to
demand a private meeting with Government ministers.
What the BBC did was absolutely fantastic.
That was the sort of evidence I think Border Force need.
They can't be everywhere at all times.
Top marks to the BBC for what they did.
It's been acted upon and let's hope that that is another
route into the country, big smuggling operations,
worth ?5,000 per person, you know, this big money,
The latest figures we have gained show an increase
in the targeting of smuggling gangs by the authorities.
In 2015, 140 smuggling operations were disrupted.
Last year, that figure went up to 185.
We understand the Home Office expects the figure for this
While some consider it positive news, others
believe our fight against smuggling gangs is being hindered.
We would argue they are not succeeding in combating
We're having some success, but the sad reality is we are seeing
increased attempts of getting across the borders.
As we showed last autumn, the demolition of
Calais' migrants camp has resulted in gangs targeting UK-bound vehicles
The Home Office say they are working closely with
their French counterparts to break up the smuggling operations.
Our reporter Peter Whittlesea has been following the story for us.
This programme's investigation prompted the MPs to meet,
do they feel enough is being done to tackle the problem?
They said that from the meeting, the gang we exposed in that report were
actually being looked into by the French authorities. And on this side
of the Channel, the British authorities are trying to see what
they are doing here. British and French governments have said for a
long time, the only way to crack down on people smugglers is joint
cooperation. The Home Office says it is actually happening, hence the
increase in detection rates. But the union that represents border force
workers said that good work could be put in jeopardy because they are
facing 15% cuts. MPs are concerned migrant camps are reforming and
people smugglers are returning. You have been to Calais recently, is
that the situation on the ground? Last week I was in Calais and
charity workers said there are up to 500 migrants who have returned to
the Calais area. The official camp at Dunkirk has increased to 1500
migrants. I spoke to migrants who said there are people smugglers back
in the area touting for business. This is the concern of MPs like
Craig McKinley, his say more camps could crop up and more people
smugglers could be going back to France.
Four years ago Alfie Peak was attacked in Bexhill
after an argument over a bag of chips.
Last October the four men who continued to beat him even
when he was unconscious were jailed for a total of 55 years.
Despite suffering life changing injuries, Alfie and his partner
Bringing joy to a family after so much sadness and tragedy.
He has really giving us something to look forward to.
And a future, really, which is something we kind
Our future had gone, it has been taken.
That is exactly how Alfie described it to me before,
that he felt his life was over, really.
Alfie Peak suffered a catastrophic brain injury after being set
upon outside a takeaway in Bexhill in 2013.
Four men were jailed for the attack in October which left Alfie
Alfie was unconscious on the floor, and he was continued to be beaten
Tanya White has stood by Alfie throughout his long rehabilitation.
He's trying to learn to walk again, the signals from his brain
It has put pressure on the couple, and Tanya admits that there have
been times where she has wondered if she could stick with it.
Everything is really difficult for him.
That has spills out onto all of his family and friends.
Emotionally, really draining and really difficult.
I know you feel that because you can't do all those other
things that it makes you not a very good dad.
But one day you will realise that you are an amazing dad.
The couple say the attackers took everything from them.
But their bubbly new baby boy is making life worth living again.
That's it from me, we'll have the national weather
in a moment, first here's the forecast for the South East
You are quite excited by the talk of snow. I started the programme
talking about the risk of snow tomorrow. Overnight into Saturday is
when you are likely to see the risk. We have showers filtering in just
from the cloud we have had today. The temperatures in our town is
holding up slightly above freezing, but below freezing elsewhere. Watch
out for ice tomorrow morning. There might be a dusting on the ground at
high levels. But it is tomorrow evening when we start to see a risk
of showers coming through. Temperatures struggling tomorrow,
two or three degrees. As we go through tomorrow night, a feature
running in from the North Sea to our part of the world and that is
introducing some showers as it comes in overnight. We are talking about
the risk of snow. Let's have a look at how we start Saturday morning. We
could have, over higher ground, maybe a centimetre or two. They are
hit and miss. As we go through Saturday afternoon, temperatures
struggling again but coming up a little bit. Won't feel any great
shakes, because what is happening through the second half of the
weekend, the wind will pick up and it will feel raw. N'Gales along the
coast on Sunday. Any Outlook, temperatures coming up a little bit,
but it will feel very cold sleet and snow. The outlook, Sunday
will turn a bit less cold again. All the way up seven Celsius.
At this time of year we can often get the weather stories that reflect