AFTER another busy year, take a look back at the Guardian’s most read stories online from 2017.

A stand-off between a large team of police and a 39-year-old man threatening to kill them played out for six hours in Abbotts Way, Winsford, on January 18, while officers searched for a man connected to Middlewich who allegedly breached terms of the sex offenders’ register.

February saw popular Winsford Chinese takeaway Canton Fusions receive a hammering from food hygiene inspectors, while Middlewich police appealed for help after two schoolgirls were hit by a car in Leadsmithy Street.

A man was taken to hospital with serious injuries after crashing into a barrier in Over Square on March 1, while officers traced a sex attacker in Cross Lane, Middlewich.

In April former Middlewich councillor Alan Brookes was fined £1,800 for allowing his daughter Alanah time off school, after she was bullied and later grieving a family member.

Meanwhile, Winsford paedophile Dwayne Michael Sunderland, of Clarence Drive, Cuddington, was jailed on April 12 for 17 years for multiple offences including the rape of a child.

Tributes poured in for inspirational Winsford carer Chloe Richardson in May, after the Disabled Disco founder died aged 26, while a woman was left with life-changing injuries after a crash in Cledford Lane on May 16.

Middlewich came to a standstill for the funeral of Manchester Arena attack victim Nell Jones on June 22, while arsonists caused ‘extensive damage’ to Winsford Lifestyle Centre on June 7.

A couple were chased by a man with an axe in a Warmingham Lane road rage incident in July, while a G4S driver was attacked at the TSB branch in Winsford on July 6.

Graham Kettlewell, of Crossfield Avenue, Winsford was jailed for five years and six months on August 7 for raping a woman as she slept, while two people were hit by a train in Holmes Chapel on August 21.

Winsford Academy students returned home on the first day of the school year after failing to wear tights, while an 11-year-old girl was airlifted to hospital after being hit by a car in Warmingham Lane on September 25.

Middlewich town councillor David Latham had a £3,000 catalytic converter stolen from his firm on October 10, and Winsford was terrorised by anti-social behaviour on ‘Mischief Night’.

A shocking CCTV video showed a lorry driver fling his own faeces over the fence of a business in Winsford Industrial Estate in November, and an alleged Middlewich sex offender faced court.

Tributes were paid to Middlewich High School teaching assistant Joanne Brown, who was found dead on December 8, while Swanlow Medical Centre remembered Dr Mohammad Shuaib who died last month.