Local News

Carl Davies Murder - Guilty Verdict Delivered

Carl Davies Murder - Guilty Verdict Delivered

A man has been found guilty of murdering former Sittingbourne school teacher Carl Davies on the Island Of Reunion.

Carl was 33-years-old when he was found dead on the south Indian Ocean island in November 2011.

Initial reports from the island suggested that he had fallen into a ravine but, a week later, it was revealed that he had in fact been murdered.

Since then his family have been trielessly campaigning to secure 'Justice For Carl' which also included a protest outside the UK Foreign Office in October 2013.

Carl's parents, Andy and Maria Davies (who have been interviewed a number of times on 106.9 SFM) along with his sister Kerrie Stewart and her husband, Joe, flew out to Reunion earlier this week to attend the 3 day trial.

It is understood that the man, Vincent Madouré, has been jailed for 15 years for Carl's murder.

Local Lightning Strikes During Storm

Local Lightning Strikes During Storm

Several properties were struck by lightning earlier today (22nd June) during a major storm here in the Sittingbourne area.

Shortly after 11.40am two fire engines from Sittingbourne Fire Station responded to a detached garage fire in College Road, believed to have been caused by a lightning strike. A hose reel and short extension ladder were used and crews made the scene safe.

Firefighters were also called to reports of a shed being struck in Orchard Road. There crews used a hose reel, a short extension ladder and small tools to tackle the fire in the roof void of the shed.

Sittingbourne Robbery - CCTV Images Released

Sittingbourne Robbery - CCTV Images Released

Detectives investigating a reported street robbery in Sittingbourne have issued CCTV images of a man they believe can help with their enquiries.

At around 1.10am on Friday 26th May it was reported that a man was in East Street when another man in his 20s approached him and stated he had a knife.

The man stole the victim's wallet and mobile phone.

Anyone who recognises the man in the CCTV footage or has any information that could help is asked to call Kent Police on 01795 419119 quoting reference XY/024003/17.

Alternatively you can contact Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonymously on 0800 555 111.

 

Sittingbourne Dad Wins Father’s Day Competition

Sittingbourne Dad Wins Father’s Day Competition

The Forum Shopping Centre, here in Sittingbourne, has announced the winner of their Father's Day Competition as Alan Larner.

The competition offered shoppers and online followers the chance to win a luxury dinner for two at The Holiday Inn Coniston Hotel plus a fantastic piece of jewellery courtesy of F Hinds, which is located within the shopping centre.

Members of the public entered the competition by sharing their most special and favourite things about their dad on The Forum's Facebook page.

The Forum's centre management team picked Alan Larner after his daughter, Jessica Larner, nominated him and uploaded a heart-warming photo of herself and her dad from 1990.

Alan told SFM News: "I'm thrilled to have been chosen as the winner of The Forum's social media competition. I'm very lucky to have such a wonderful family and we really enjoyed celebrating Father's Day in style at The Coniston."

Monica Rana, Centre Manager at The Forum Shopping Centre, told SFM News: "We loved hearing all about the wonderful things fathers are doing daily for their families and I hope that Alan enjoyed his well-deserved prizes. I'm delighted that here at The Forum we're able to reward families in our local community and I would like to say a very big thank you to The Coniston Hotel and F Hinds who collaborated with us on this special promotion. I highly encourage shoppers to keep an eye on our website and social media pages for more competitions like this one".

Large Grass Fire In Gas Road Area

Large Grass Fire In Gas Road Area

Kent Fire and Rescue Service have been called to a large fire involving around 100sq metres of grass and undergrowth in the Gas Road area.

It is believed that three fire engines have been sent to the scene and firefighters are using hose reel jets to tackle the blaze.

There is a large plume of smoke in the area and residents are being advised to close all their windows and doors to prevent the smoke from entering their properties as a precaution.

 

M2 Closed For Second Time This Week

M2 Closed For Second Time This Week

The M2 is currently closed whilst emergency services deal with a serious collision between a van and motorcycle between Junctions 6 and 7 at Faversham.

The coast-bound carriageway is expected to remain closed for the next few hours while emergency services deal with the incident, causing lengthy delays.

Motorists are being advised to avoid the area if possible.

Kent Police have confirmed that the incident was reported to them at 8.24am this morning (Friday 16th June).

It is the second time this week that that particular stretch of the M2 motorway has been closed. It was closed for more than six hours on Wednesday (14th June) after a crash involving a car transporter and two lorries.

 

Sittingbourne Burglar Jailed For Over Two Years

Sittingbourne Burglar Jailed For Over Two Years

A Sittingbourne burglar has been jailed for more than two years.

At around 10.30pm on 24th October 2016, a couple in their 70s discovered their home in Portland Avenue, Sittingbourne had been burgled.

Stolen items included a wallet with cash, and several pieces of antique jewellery.

An investigation by Kent Police revealed Christopher Swanson as the burglar and he was seen on CCTV climbing through a bedroom window of the property.

Swanson, aged 50 and of Peony Crescent, was sentenced to 28 months in prison after pleading guilty to one charge of burglary at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday (1st June).

Investigating officer PC Craig Hewitt told SFM News: "Swanson is a career criminal with previous convictions in theft and clearly shows little regard for the impact and upset his actions may have on others. He is a selfish and insensitive individual who stole items which were considered family heirlooms and irreplaceable to their victims, like engagement rings and wedding bands handed down through generations and full of memories. Being a victim of burglary can be devastating and I am pleased that Swanson will not be able to cause any more upset while he is in prison."

Dropped Cigarette Butt Costs Man £535 At Court

Dropped Cigarette Butt Costs Man £535 At Court

A dropped cigarette butt has cost an Surrey man £535, after he was prosecuted for littering in Sittingbourne.

Maidstone Magistrates Court found Anthony Nevin, of Reigate Road in Epsom, guilty and sentenced him to a fine of £50 and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £30 and legal costs of £455 within 90 days.

Mr Nevin failed to pay a fixed penalty notice of £80 having been caught dropping a cigarette on Sittingbourne High Street last year. He pleaded not guilty to the offence of littering in March and failed to attend the trial on Monday 30th May, where he was found guilty in his absence.

Emma Wiggins,Iinterim Director Of Regeneration at Swale Borough Council, told SFM News: "Some people might think that by ignoring the Fixed Penalty Notice we'll forget about their offence and the problem will go away. This prosecution clearly shows that is not the case. We are determined to get the message through that we - and the overwhelming majority of people in the borough - won't tolerate littering on our streets."

For more information about Swale Borough council's work to tackle litter across the borough, visit: swale.gov.uk/litter.

HRGS Announces New President

HRGS Announces New President

The Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne (HRGS) announced that Deputy Lieutenant of Kent, Paul Auston has agreed to become the new Honorary President of HRGS, taking over from Bill Croydon CBE, who has stepped down for family reasons.

Both attended the celebration event of the Rose Hill Project which was celebrated by the partners, community and young people on Saturday (20th May) at the Gore Court Cricket Club Pavilion. The handover of the role was marked at the event by Paul Auston presenting Bill Croydon with a framed painting of Sittingbourne High Street by local artist, Luther Gorf. Bill was also awarded Life Membership of HRGS in recognition of his long support to the group.

Bill Croydon's association with HRGS began in 2004 and, in stepping down, said that "One of the best things that has happened in the last 25 years in Sittingbourne was the establishment of HRGS" to research the fantastic history of the area. He praised current and past officers and committee members for putting their "Hearts & souls into producing what I think is a magnificent and very dynamic group" dedicated to finding out the history of the area. He also recalled the importance of some of the biggest business in the area which had supported the group but have now been lost to the area. "Big companies that have disappeared and with them their appreciation of the importance of the heritage of the area". This increased the challenges to keep going & he paid tribute to Richard & Theresa Emmett's work in keeping the group flourishing and said that "it is indeed flourishing". He remarked that it "makes such a lot of difference to the people who live here when they can feel the pride that they can have in their heritage".

Paul Auston expressed that it was a great honour and that he felt humbled to be asked become President of the group and to take over the role from Bill, quipping that Bill who had held that role "since I was a small boy". Paul told the audience that during his tour of the exhibits on the day and being taken through the timeline of the history of Rose Hill House, he was fascinated by the connection to Gibraltar, which had already opened his mind to further avenues known to him. He promised he would take this on as one of his first tasks for HRGS to explore the possibilities for this further line of research into the history of Rose House. He ended by saying that he would "do my best to be a good President and I am very interested and supportive in what HRGS is doing and want to see the group prosper for the long term".

Richard Emmett, Chair of HRGS, announced his sadness that Bill Croydon was stepping down and thanked him for his support over the years and wished him well for the future. He also welcomed Paul Auston to the role and looked forward to working with him.

Witnesses Sought Following Fatal Collision

Witnesses Sought Following Fatal Collision

Kent Police are appealing for witnesses to a fatal collision near Sittingbourne.

At 9.55pm last night (Thursday 18th May), a white Mitsubishi L200 truck travelling on the A2 London Road in Newington was in collision with a parked unattended vehicle and a boundary wall near to the junction of Playstool Road.

One of the passengers of the truck, a 17-year-old boy from Medway, died at the scene.

Three other people suffered injuries and were taken to hospital.

Officers from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU) attended the scene and enquiries are ongoing.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, or who saw the vehicle prior to the collision, is asked to contact the SCIU at Maidstone HQ on 01622 798538 quoting ref: MC/DH/102/17.

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