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The extraordinary tale of a girl who at the age of eight took her first ever steps thanks to Recorder readers, is in part five of our Review of the Year, which takes a look at what shaped the news in Redbridge during September and October.

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September

An eight-year-old girl took her first steps after money raised by Recorder readers enabled her to go to America for life-changing surgery.

Mahlica Ajaib, of Gants Hill, has cerebral palsy and was confined to a wheelchair and suffered terrible pain.

After discovering the treatment she needed was not available in the UK, her family asked us for help raising money for the operations.

They beat the £55,000 target for surgery to lengthen Mahlica’s muscles and travelled to the US as a family.

After seeing her take her first steps her father Atif, 37, said: “It’s like a dream come true.”

Also this month:

• Mr Fox gets more than he bargained for after brush with Woodford Green shopper

• Barkingside travel agent gave families ‘fake’ holiday tickets

• Ma-woah! Human-sized marrow found lurking at end of Goodmayes garden

• ‘Hero’ kicked down door of burning Ilford flat to save people inside.

October

After years of extortionate fines, complaints and court cases, clampers finally left Redbridge for good when the practice became illegal on October 1.

Ilford Recorder reporter Lizzie Dearden said: “For years the paper had been getting calls and emails from people distressed at being caught out by clampers.

“Some never saw signs, others were in their cars and some had even stopped for seconds to put on seatbelts.

“The police and council were powerless to stop drivers being whacked with huge fines of up to £1,000 and seeing their cars impounded.

“But since the ban has been in force it looks like the clampers are gone for good.”

To see a video of a Secruak clamper ‘knocking a woman’s phone out of her hand’ as she tries to film, click on the link at the top right of this page.

Also this month:

• Bogus charity collector steals £250 by tricking woman into washing her hands

• Woman fails driving theory test for 105th time at Ilford test centre

• Redbridge’s most haunted sites revealed on Hallowe’en

• Seven Kings Christmas tree replaced with giant peace dove and multi-faith lights.

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