Tragedy in Barns Green

“Death is but a distant rumour to the young” is the phrase that came to mind this week as I heard about the tragic death of 15 year old Will Hallett and thought about the impact on his friends and younger brother. It will have hit hard at Tanbridge House School – where Will was by all accounts a popular and talented pupil – and where I know that Jules White and staff will be supporting the students at a very difficult time. Tanbridge will be among many communities affected including the Horsham Sparrows and the tight-knit village of Barns Green where both Will and his grandfather, Barry Hearnshaw, were at the heart of the community. Mr Hearnshaw devoted his professional career to helping children with special needs and in retirement did a huge amount for local charities including helping to establish the highly successful Barns Green Half Marathon.

Our thoughts go out to their family who are experiencing a dreadful double tragedy.

The community in Barns Green came to the aid of the emergency services on the day of the tragedy and will I am sure continue to support Will’s parents and younger brother. re can be few worse situations facing our emergency services than having to break the news and deal with the tragic consequences of the loss of life. Unfortunately the tragedy at Barns Green wasn’t the only occasion in which our Emergency Services were called upon in the last week. The incident in Lintot Square, Southwater and two alleged incidents involving knife crime in Horsham at the weekend have left many deeply concerned. Violent crime is extremely unusual in Horsham and we are all determined to keep it that way – these incidents happened the same week Sussex Police were out and about in Horsham on a knife-crime prevention exercise. Both incidents took place in the early hours of Sunday morning. Anyone who has any information that could help bring the perpetrators to justice will I am sure contact with the police. These are serious incidents which they are determined to resolve; in the meantime I have no doubt people will welcome the sight of more police officers on our streets.

Picture Caption: St Nicolas’ Church, Itchingfield where Will Hallett and Barry Hearnshaw were remembered in a service on Sunday.