Local News

Man Charged After Fatal Collision In Teynham

Man Charged After Fatal Collision In Teynham

A man has been charged in connection with a fatal collision in Teynham on Saturday 13th February 2016.

Kent Police officers were called at 10.15am on that day following an incident involving a cyclist and a heavy goods vehicle on the A2 London Road.

The cyclist - 73-year-old local woman Barbara Phipps, from Lynsted - died following the collision.

A 58-year old man, William Magee of Readers Court in Chelmsford, Essex, has now been charged with causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop by Kent Police.

He has been bailed to appear before Maidstone magistrates on Friday 26th August.


Five Jailed For Drug Offences In Sittingbourne

Five Jailed For Drug Offences In Sittingbourne

Five people from two families have been jailed after pleading guilty to producing and supplying drugs.

Brothers Rhys and Kyle Seager and their father, Antony Seager, all of Peregrine Drive in Sittingbourne, were all jailed earlier this month at Maidstone Crown Court Following an investigation by Kent Police's Operation Jupiter team.

Rhys Seager, aged 22, was jailed for 40 months after being charged for conspiracy to supply and produce cannabis, possession of MDMA and possession with intent to supply cocaine. He was also sentenced on the same day for an aggravated burglary and received eight years and four months in jail.

Kyle Seager, aged 20, will serve 10 months at a young offender's institution after being charged with conspiracy to supply and produce cannabis and possession of MDMA.

Antony Seager, aged 49, was jailed for 16 months after being charged with conspiracy to supply and produce cannabis.

Susanna Rye, aged 41, of Mountview in Borden, was jailed for 16 months after being charged with conspiracy to produce and supply cannabis as well as possession of cocaine and amphetamine.

Her son, Jason Taylor, aged 21 and also of Mountview, Borden, was jailed for eight months having denied the charge of conspiracy to supply cannabis.

The charges were bought following two drugs warrants which were executed at both addresses on Tuesday 12th May 2015. At the address in Mountview, Borden, officers found £8,310 worth of cannabis, £126 worth of cocaine as well as 18 cannabis plants with a potential income of between £25,920 and £34,560 per year.

Around £163 of MDMA, £700 of cocaine and £192 of cannabis was found at the property in Peregrine Drive, Sittingbourne. Officers also found two black bags containing cannabis leaves as well as 20 cannabis plants and it was estimated that between £28,800 and £38,400 could be made from the cannabis crop.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Iain Joyce, told SFM News: "This group was running an organised operation of producing and supplying drugs and I'm pleased we have been able to bring them to justice and to stop them from selling drugs in and around Kent. Jason Taylor's conspiracy conviction shows that offenders can be targeted and convicted of drug offences even though they may not be found in possession of controlled drugs and that such people can and do, form lines of enquiry for the police."

Operation Jupiter is part of a local strategy designed to tackle emerging criminal gangs, whose members often travel into the county from other areas. The strategy includes taking robust action to deter criminals in areas including Medway, Swale, Gravesham and Dartford, often in connection with the sale and distribution of drugs.

Local Businesses Asked About The Impact Of Brexit

Companies across Swale are being asked their views of the impact of the EU Referendum on their business.

Swale Borough Council are carrying out a business survey to help build a picture of the state of the local economy and to identify trends and issues since the last survey that was conducted in 2014.

As well as asking businesses their view on the impact of the referendum, firms are also being asked about areas such as exporting, access to broadband, property needs and training and employment.

Cllr Mike Cosgrove, Cabinet Member For Regeneration at the council, told SFM News: "As Brexit means Brexit, it is even more important for Swale companies to make their voice heard about those things that they want to see happen to help them grow. It would be really great if every one of them could help complete our new business survey so we have an accurate picture of local needs and pressures."

The council are hoping that the survey will build a picture of the local Swale economy and help them to identify potential new measures which could help to improve the local business environment. The results will also help to shape local service delivery at the council and will be communicated more widely to other business support organisations.

The survey runs until Friday 2nd September and businesses can respond to the survey online or by post - paper copies are available by request, or from Swale House. A number of surveys will also be sent out in the post during the next few weeks, to try and reach as many companies as possible.

For help and information about the support available to firms you can contact Swale Borough Council's Economic Development Team on 01795 417165 or you can email: edu@swale.gov.uk.


Armed Burglars Jailed For Sittingbourne Attack

Armed Burglars Jailed For Sittingbourne Attack

An armed gang who viciously attacked two men during a burglary in Sittingbourne have been jailed for a total of more than 30 years.

One of the victims was threatened with a knife, beaten with a baseball bat and hit by a pellet from a BB gun during the incident at a house in Cortland Close on Tuesday 24th November 2015.

Two of the offenders jumped out of an upstairs window upon police arrival but were arrested shortly afterwards, as were their two accomplices.

Richard Palmer, Rhys Seager, Toby Earnshaw-Glazier and Robert Peters all admitted their involvement and were sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court yesterday (Monday 4th July).

Palmer, 28, of North Street, Maidstone, was sentenced to eight years and seven months in prison. Seager, 22, of Peregrine Drive, Sittingbourne, was sentenced to eight years and four months having also been convicted for unrelated drug offences. Earnshaw-Glazier, 22, of Bridge Road, Sheerness, was sentenced to seven years and four months. Peters, 20, of no fixed address, was sentenced to six years and eight months.

All four had previously pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, two counts of assault, possession of an imitation firearm, possession of a bladed article and possession of an offensive weapon.

The court heard how on the night in question the four men broke into the victims' home by smashing a glass panel on the front door. One of the offenders entered the bedroom of one of the victims and threatened him with a knife while demanding to know where his money was kept. He then punched him in the face before a second man started hitting the victim with a baseball bat. A third man then entered the room and fired a BB pellet at the victim's arm.

Meanwhile, the second victim was also confronted in his room by the men armed with the baseball bat and BB gun, and suffered an injury to his face during the struggle. While in his room the offenders heard a police officer enter the house downstairs and jumped out of a window onto a garage roof below.

The officer went into the first victim's room and arrested Seager as he was attempting to open a window. A knife was also found hidden in his pocket. The fourth member of the group was then seen to run down the stairs and out through the front door.

A search of the local area resulted in the discovery of Earnshaw-Glazier hiding in an outbuilding in the Cortland Mews area. He claimed to have fallen into a fish pond and was complaining of pain to his left knee and ankle, leading officers to believe he was one of the men who jumped from the upstairs window.

Palmer was located by sniffer dogs in the Tannery Court area of Kings Mill Close, lying on the floor in a small space between a parked car and a wall. He had covered himself with a piece of wood and claimed to be sleeping rough.

Officers noticed Palmer appeared to be in pain and he was later found to have suffered a foot injury consistent with falling from a height.

The fourth offender Peters was spotted acting suspiciously at Kemsley railway station and was found to have a pair of latex gloves in his pocket. He was also unable to provide a reasonable explanation for being there and was arrested.

Detective Constable Craig Hewitt told SFM News: "This was an extremely violent burglary that could have resulted in more serious injuries for both victims had police not arrived when they did. The four men involved gave no consideration for their welfare and seemingly little thought for the impact such a terrible crime would have on other people living nearby. I would like to pay tribute to the officers who attended on the night in question, who displayed tremendous initiative to hunt down those responsible in such a short period of time and ensure they were brought to justice. They are clearly a danger to the public and will spend a considerable length of time behind bars as a result."

Police Appeal Following Indecent Assault

Police Appeal Following Indecent Assault

Kent Police are appealing for information after receiving a report of a sexual assault.

The incident occurred in Windmill Road, Sittingbourne between 10.45am and 11.45am on Monday (27th June) morning.

A 20-year-old woman was walking home along Windmill Road when it is alleged a man attempted to pin her against a wall. The victim shouted at him, struggled and the man let go and ran away.

The suspect is described as being white, aged between 20 and 29-years-old, around 5ft 5ins tall, with short brown hair. He wore a white vest top, a brown hooded top and jeans.

Officers are making a number of enquiries and will be working with the victim to examine the possibility of compiling an e-fit.

If anyone witnessed the incident or has any information that may help police, they are asked to contact officers on 01795 419119 quoting reference XY/024746/16. Alternatively thay can contact Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonimously on 0800 555 111.

EU Referendum: How Swale Voted

EU Referendum: How Swale Voted

Here is the declared result for Swale:

  • Leave the EU 47,388 (62.5%)
  • Remain 28,481 (37.5%)

The turnout was an unprecidented 74.2% of the electorate locally.

A total of 48 ballot papers were rejected - 16 where both answers were marked and 28 void for uncertainty of the vote.


Polling Stations Open Until 10pm Tonight

Polling Stations Open Until 10pm Tonight

Swale's 71 Polling Stations opened at 7am this morning for the EU Referendum and will remain open until 10pm tonight.

For a full list of local Polling Stations please click here.

Despite the earlier downpours stations are reporting a steady stream of voters and are reiterating that voters should not leave their attendance to the last minute, as anyone outside a polling station after 10pm will not be allowed to join a queue if one has formed.

There were 16,241 postal votes and voters with postal votes have until 10pm to deliver them directly to any of the Swale Polling Stations.


Local Weather-Related Incidents Overnight

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) have confirmed that they received several calls overnight about flooding in areas including: Eastchurch, Herne Bay, Margate and Cliftonville. The majority of calls received by KFRS's emergency control room staff did not need immediate assistance. However, crews were called at 3.48am to Crown Road in Sittingbourne and used a grindex pump to move water away from some properties. They also attended an incident following a call at 6.35am. This involved a lifted storm drain in Staplehurst Road, Sittingbourne, which had created a two foot round hole in the carriageway. They used Jafco tools including sealing hooks and drag rakes to retrieve the drain cover and secure it in place.

KFRS is urging everyone, in the event of flooding, to follow basic safety tips:

  • Call 999 if you believe there is a risk to life or serious property or environmental damage
  • To know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water before the flood water enters your home and, if in doubt, consult your supplier 
  • Check on your neighbours if its safe to do so
  • To a void walking or driving in or near flood water and keep children away from flood water - there could be hidden dangers like sharp objects, raised manhole covers and pollution. Flood water is often deeper than it looks and may be moving quite fast - your vehicle could be swept away or become stranded.
  • If you see a sign saying that the road is closed due to flooding, remember the sign is there for a reason and find an alternative route 
  • When driving make sure you drive to suit the conditions keep lights on and speeds down, remembering road surfaces will be slippery and your braking distance will be longer
  • Listen to the local radio, TV and check social media for flood warnings in your area 
  • Visit the Environment Agency website for more advice, flood warnings and to sign up to their Floodline or call 0845 988 1188

Sittingbourne Drug Dealer Jailed

Sittingbourne Drug Dealer Jailed

A drug dealer has been jailed after cannabis, cocaine and cutting agents were seized by police following a search of his Sittingbourne home.

Richard Dawkins, aged 25, was clutching drug filled containers when he was stopped trying to flee his property in Burnham Close last year.

A search warrant was executed at the address on Friday 9th January, 2015, by officers connected to Kent Police's Operation Jupiter team. As the front door was being forced, Dawkins attempted to push past an officer waiting outside a back entrance.

He dropped two tubs he was carrying as he was being arrested. These were found to contain cannabis and a cricket sized ball of white powder. A further search of the property revealed deal bags, scales and what appeared to be a drugs cutting tool. In total, more than 80 grams of cannabis was seized, along with 10 grams of cocaine.

Large quantities of other (uncontrolled) substances including benzocaine and creatine were also recovered, along with cash in excess of £1000. Text messages on Dawkins' mobile phone provided further evidence of his drug dealing.

Appearing at Maidstone Crown Court Dawkins pleaded guilty to counts of possessing cannabis and cocaine with intent to supply. On Monday 23rd May he was sentenced to 3 years and 7 months imprisonment.

Jessica Luckhurst, aged 26, also of Burnham Close in Sittingbourne was convicted of being concerned in the supply of cannabis and cocaine. Luckhurst was given a suspended prison sentence of 12 months.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Iain Joyce, of Kent Police, told SFM News: "Dawkins was caught red-handed carrying drugs and almost 200 grams of benzocaine and creatine, substances he clearly intended to use as cutting agents for Class A drugs. It was clear that Dawkins was set up to supply significant quantities of cocaine, which would have ended up on the streets of Sittingbourne and beyond. This is another success for our Operation Jupiter team, but once again I would remind residents that their role in helping us keep communities safe remains vital, so please continue to report any suspicious behaviour."

Operation Jupiter is part of local strategy designed to tackle emerging criminal gangs, whose members often travel into the county from other areas.

The strategy includes taking robust action to deter criminals in areas including Medway, Swale, Gravesham and Dartford, often in connection with the sale and distribution of drugs.


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