POLICE say a string of murders and other violent assaults in Sussex in just a few months is unusual – but the public should not be alarmed.

They said the cases were all unconnected.

Crime reporter Aidan Barlow looks back at some of the most serious incidents.

Stansfield Road, Lewes 

A COMMUNITY was left in shock after a woman’s body was found dumped in a wheelie bin.

Police were called to an area of land off the Landport housing estate in Lewes on Wednesday, November 13.

A dog walker found the body of 39-year-old Nicola Stevenson, who lived nearby at Stansfield Road.

The mother of two had suffered a head injury.

It is understood that she had been missing since October 10 and police believe she was murdered at some point between that date and November 13.

Neighbours said they were shocked she had been missing for so long, as her body was found not far from where the town celebrates one of its biggest bonfires.

A 41-year-old man, Richard Canlin, unemployed of no fixed address, has appeared in court accused of her murder and a trial is expected this year.

Stafford Road, Brighton

IN September, police were called to reports of a stabbing in Stafford Road, Brighton.

A 21-year-old man was killed at a property and police could not initially identify him.

After a week of investigating, they revealed the victim was Serxhio Marku, from Albania.

He is understood to have travelled to the Porthall area by taxi.

Neighbours were left shocked as armed police swooped in to arrest two suspects.

Police launched Operation Barnfield to investigate the alleged murder.

The road was closed for days while detectives went door to door to carry out enquiries.

Two men, chef Francesco D’Agostino, 44, who lives in Stafford Road, and fellow Italian kitchen worker Giuseppe Petriccione, 45, were later charged with murder and both appeared in court. They are expected to stand trial later this year.

Ship Street, Newhaven

POLICE were called to Ship Street in Newhaven at 11.30pm on January 6 to reports that a teenager had been stabbed to death.

Police have revealed that 18-year-old Ollie Wells died at the scene.

In a tribute, his family said: “Ollie was a much loved member of our family.

“He had autism and faced many challenges which left him vulnerable and he was often misunderstood by others.

“He was loved dearly and will be greatly missed by us all.”

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with murder and remanded in youth custody to appear at crown court next week.

Crawley Down, Crawley

OFFICERS were called to Hazel Way in Crawley Down at 10.20am on Sunday, December 22.

It was reported that two women had been attacked there.

Police secured a cordon around the area, and launched Operation Deanland.

The victims were 32-year-old Amy Appleton, pictured inset, a teacher at Copthorne Church of England School, and 76-year-old Sandy Seagrave, who is believed to have tried to intervene.

Officers found a 37-year-old man in a critical condition at a property nearby and he was arrested on suspicion of murder while he was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where he was transferred to intensive care. He remains in hospital but is out of intensive care.

Court Meadow Close, Rotherfield

A DEVOTED mother was killed in the village of Rotherfield on Wednesday, December 18.

Nelly Myers, inset, was found dead at her home in Court Meadow Close.

The 58-year-old had lived in the village for nearly 30 years and had worked as cabin crew for British Airways for nearly 20 years.

Her family said: “We are all devastated by the sudden loss of Nelly, our dear mother, sister and friend.

“She leaves an unfillable void behind, one absent of her incomparable generosity and zest for life.”

Police arrested two men on suspicion of murder as they launched Operation Coppice. Jayesh Gobar, 35, unemployed of Moorland road, Crawley, was then charged and is expected to go on trial later this year after appearing in court.

A 37-year-old man was released without charge.

North Street, Brighton

THE body of 24-year-old Billy Henham was discovered in an empty building in North Street, Brighton, last week.

He had been assaulted.

Officers were seen cordoning off the area, which is opposite the Post and Telegraph Wetherspoon pub.

Shopkeepers nearby said the building had been empty for years and was used by squatters and those who attended impromptu parties.

Billy, right, from Henfield, was named as the victim after an investigation by police.

Officers have now made five arrests, including a 16-year-old boy of no fixed address, an 18-year-old Greenwich man and a 26-year-old man from Hove.

These three were bailed until later this month, while the investigation continues.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Chapman said they want to trace Billy’s movements on New Year’s Eve from 6pm onwards.

Western Road, Brighton

CCTV images have been released in connection with a serious incident in Western Road, Brighton.

Cameron Devlin, 34, was allegedly attacked in the early hours of December 21.

He died suddenly five days later on Boxing Day and detectives are still investigating whether the alleged assault on Cameron may have led to his death.

Four men, three aged 18 and one 19, from Crawley, West Sussex were held on suspicion of causing GBH with intent and have since been released under investigation while the probe continues.

Police want to trace the group on CCTV who may have “vital” information.

Marine Parade, Brighton

THREE men were hit in a suspected hit and run on Brighton seafront in the early hours of December 1.

It happened outside The Amsterdam Hotel in Marine Parade, and 20-year-old Suel Delgado, a talented footballer from Crawley, left, was killed.

Two other men were hurt, including a 22-year-old and an 18-year-old, who remains at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

The news shocked Suel’s friends, who left flowers, candles, photographs and messages at the scene where he was struck by the BMW.

Police later found the vehicle dumped in Middle Street, Brighton.

Detectives closed the A259 for nearly three days while the scene was scoured for clues.

Three suspects arrested after the incident have been released under investigation.