FOR SON'S SAFE RETURN AFTER DISAPPEARANCE IN SPAIN
THE parents of a Merseyside
man are appealing for information about his disappearance in Spain.
Francis Brennan was last seen in Alicante on 24 January 2014 when he
was stopped in a friend's car by several men posing as police
officers. The 25 year old, whose family are from Anfield in
Liverpool, has not been seen since and Spanish police believe he was
taken against his will. Merseyside Police is providing support to
the Spanish-led investigation into Francis's disappearance and
specially trained family liaison officers are acting as a point of
contact for his parents and girlfriend in Liverpool. Now Francis's
parents, Janet and Carl Brennan, and his girlfriend of 18 months
Sophie Staunton, appealed to the public both here in Merseyside and
in the British ex-pat community in Spain to share any information
with the authorities that could lead to Francis's safe return.
They said:- "Francis went missing in Javea in Alicante 5 weeks
ago now and we his parents, his grandparents, all his friends and
relatives are appealing for information about his disappearance.
got a call from one of his friends and his girlfriend back in
January to say that Francis had been arrested on 24 January 2014,
but we later learnt from the Spanish authorities that this was not
the case and that he had been taken against his will.
This has come
as an awful shock to us as Francis is our only son and we can still
remember him as a fun loving child who was football mad in a
football mad family who loved nothing more than playing out with his
friends. From a very young age Francis's granddad always took him out
to watch amateur football and he used to love spending time with his
granddad doing this and would talk about for weeks afterwards!
got older he started to follow his beloved Everton and would go to
the games with his dad, and then when he was older, his friends.
He has always been very close to his grandparents, ever since he was
very young, and he is the eldest of 7 grandchildren. He also has
a sister who he is very proud of.
When he was a teenager Francis did
spend a short time in a young offenders institute for affray, but
when he came out he attended college and trained as a gas and
heating engineer, before doing it as a job.
He also trained and
worked as a ceiling fixer with his dad, but unfortunately became
unemployed when he was 21.
This is when we saw him start to change
and unfortunately he became involved in criminality.
someone in the Thames Valley area in 2012 and was due to be
sentenced in October 2013 when he instead left the country and
travelled to Javea in Spain.
As his parents we advised him against
this, but he would not listen. He told us not to worry and that he
would be home after Christmas.
Francis met Sophie, his lovely
girlfriend in 2012 and he seemed to start to grow up and they seemed
very settled and happy.
Sophie went out to Javea in December to try
and persuade him to come home, but then last month he disappeared
and none of us know where.
This whole thing has devastated all
of us. No-one deserves this to happen to them and as time goes by we
are worrying even more on a daily basis.
Francis comes from a very
loving and caring background and we all want him home safe and well.
We are pleading with anyone out there who knows what has happened to
please speak up, please come forward and share that information with
the police or Crimestoppers so we can get our son back safe."
Detective Superintendent Richie Carr, from Merseyside Police, said:-
"Francis has not been seen since and this is clearly of great
concern to the family and the authorities in both the UK and Spain.
Francis's disappearance is completely out of character and because
of this, as well as his associations and lifestyle, ourselves and
the Spanish police are extremely concerned for his safety.
however believe he has been taken against his will and we and his
family are hopeful that someone in the criminal fraternity here in
Merseyside has information that could help bring about the safe
return of Francis.
Francis has been missing for over a month now. He
is in a country that is not his own. It is not familiar to him and
has no other family over there.
His parents have travelled there
already to try and find him and they are here today desperately
Francis is their son. Only a parent will be able to
understand what it could be like to fear your child coming to some
kind of harm.
I would urge anyone out there, whether it is here in
Merseyside or within the ex-pat community in Spain, who knows
anything at all that could help this family to please search their
consciences and call Merseyside Police on:- (+44) 0 151 777 8520 or
alternatively Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111."
OPERATION TRUCKCAM 2014
MERSEYSIDE Police Officers
have issued 180 road traffic offence reports, 17 fixed penalty
notices and seized 4 vehicles as part of a campaign to crackdown on
unsafe drivers and cut the number of cyclists being killed or
injured on Merseyside's roads. The operation is aimed at
drivers of commercial vehicles, particularly lorries, in LiverpoolCity centre and the surrounding area. Specially trained
officers have been using an unmarked bus and truck-cab throughout 2
weeks in February to patrol theCity and the county's motorway
network. One has been driving the vehicles, whilst the other has
used a handheld video camera to catch suspected offenders on film.
Drivers have been targeted who are believed to be committing
offences which mean they are not in full control of the vehicle,
including using handheld mobile phones, multimedia equipment and
reading, eating or drinking whilst they are behind the wheel.
Routine breath tests have also been carried out as part of the
force's on-going drink and drug driving campaign. Chief
Inspector John Hogan, Matrix Serious Organised Crime Roads Policing
Unit said:- "Through their sheer weight and size, heavy goods
vehicles can pose a huge risk to cyclists and other road users if
they are being driven carelessly. 98 cyclists were killed or injured
on Merseyside's Roads in 2013 and we are determined to significantly
reduce that number. This latest fortnight of action has resulted in
well over 200 offences being detected, ranging from drivers not
wearing seatbelts or having defective tyres through to people still
using mobile phones whilst they're behind the wheel. Whilst the vast
majority of drivers don't break the law, the success of this
operation shows there are still some who think it's acceptable to
put other road users' lives at risk because of how they behave. Our
work doesn't stop here and we will be carrying out follow up
operations over the coming months. We will also be out on major
roads across Liverpool next week speaking to HGV drivers and
cyclists' alike and giving advice on safety issues."
Traffic Commissioner for the North West of England and Senior
Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain, Beverley Bell, welcomed the
initiative. She said that:- "Some of the behaviour that has
been captured by this excellent initiative is simple unacceptable.
Drivers reported for these offences are warned they will be referred
to the traffic commissioners, as we are responsible for their
professional driving licences. We have the power to take action and
driver can lose their licenses for 2 weeks in cases of mobile phone
abuse. Overall, the commercial vehicle industry has a good record
when it comes to abiding by the rules, so it is vital that the
relevant enforcement agencies continue to target those who are
needlessly putting other road users and themselves, at risk. By
doing so they also damage the industry's image."
The following is the full list of offences and suspected offences
across the 2 weeks of action in February 2014.
► 107 Traffic Offence Reports for use of mobile phones.
► 47 Traffic Offence Reports for failing to wear a seatbelt.
► 6 Traffic Offence Reports for defective tyres.
► 5 Traffic Offence Reports for failure to comply with red traffic
► 15 Traffic Offence Reports for other offences.
► 17 Fixed Penalty Notices for various offences.
► 24 Roadworthiness Prohibitions.
► 4 Vehicles seized.
► 1 Summons regarding 5 defective tyres out of 6 on a vehicle.
► 1 person charged with a public order offence.
► £3300 of fines.
problems as Post Office is closed
LIKE us, the Champion was
contacted, over concerns about what was being placed in the skip,
outside the now closed Crown Post Office, last week. According
to some of our readers the bins and skips placed outside the
building had personal material in them, and could be easily accessed
by the public. when we attended we could see bags with files in, as
you can see above, but opted not to open them. We tried to contact
the number we had been given by workmen about the files, but the
number was incorrect. The Champion when they attended the
skip, obtained several files, as they have reported. All with
personal information on. So what are your views about the closer and
also the way the Post Office has handled it? Email us to