Local News

Police Appeal Following Serious Assault In Sheerness

Police Appeal Following Serious Assault In Sheerness

Kent Police local Swale Detectives are investigating a serious assault by a group of men in Sheerness at the weekend, which has left the victim with a fractured jaw.

Kent Police officers were called shortly before 3.30am on Saturday morning (31st May) to a report of an assault near the clock tower in Sheerness High Street. A couple - a 21-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man from the town - had been on a night out. As they attempted to walk home, they were approached by a group of about 10 people near the clock tower and the man was reportedly assaulted. He suffered suspected multiples fractures of the jaw and is being treated for his injuries at a hospital in West Sussex.

Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Beverley Morrison of Kent Police, told SFM News: "This was a cowardly and unprovoked attack on a man by a group of people that has left the victim with serious injuries and he remains in hospital getting treatment for those. I am appealing for anyone who might have witnessed the assault or who might have seen a group of people walking together in the High Street area between 3am and 3.45am on Saturday 31 May, to come forward and help us with our enquiries."

Anyone with any information is asked to call DS Morrison on 01634 792588, quoting reference XY/19053/14, or alternatively they can contact Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonymously on 0800 555 111.

MP Welcomes School Building Funding

MP Welcomes School Building Funding

Local MP, Gordon Henderson, has welcomed a new £2 billion fund to help rebuild schools most in need of urgent repair, which could benefit schools here in Sittingbourne.

The Government announced a second round of funding for the successful Priority Schools Building Programme, which is already helping 261 schools across England, including Westlands Primary School. 

Mr Henderson told SFM News: "Delivering the best schools for our children, so the next generation can gain the skills they need to succeed in life, is a key part of the Governments long-term economic plan to secure Britain's future. That's why it is great news for young people in Sittingbourne and Sheppey that there will be a new round of funding for the Priority Schools Building Programme. This scheme targets funding where it is needed most and has already helped Westlands Primary School in Sittingbourne. It's only by taking difficult decisions on public spending that Conservatives have been able to afford to protect the schools budget and provide funding for school rebuilding. Only by sticking to our long-term economic plan can we provide the first class education that our young people need to get on in life."



Former Bailiff Admits Shooting Dead Ex-Boss

Former Bailiff Admits Shooting Dead Ex-Boss

A man has admitted murdering his former boss in a tackle shop near Sittingbourne.

54-year-old Simon Olsen, of no fixed abode, shot dead fisheries owner Steven Langley, 57, inside his own shop in Tonge on Friday 29th November 2013. He pleaded guilty to one charge of murder at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday (25th April).

The Court heard that at 2.45pm on Friday the 29 November 2013, Olsen walked into the Fishery Shop where Mr Langley was working and shot him once in the upper abdomen with a double-barrelled shotgun. He had visited the shop several times early that afternoon looking for Mr Langley. When questioned by other staff, Olsen said he wanted Mr Langley's permission to shoot a duck. Another member of staff and some customers had noticed him walking around with the shotgun before he entered the shop for the final time.

The employee and the customers were in the car park when they heard a shot fired. Olsen came walking out of the shop and fired another shot up into the air before walking off. The employee went back into the shop to find Mr Langley had been shot in the chest and called 999. However, the father of two was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kent Police officers found Olsen in possession of the gun and inside his property was a bag he had packed in preparation to go to prison. He was arrested on suspicion of murder. They later charged him with murder in the early hours of 30th November 2013.

Olsen will be sentenced on Monday 12th May at Maidstone Crown Court.

Police Appeal Following Wormshill Collision

Police Appeal Following Wormshill Collision

Kent Police are appealing for information following a collision earlier this week in Wormshill.

A cyclist and a white Mercedes B-Class car were involved in a collision on The Street at about 5.25pm, on Tuesday (22nd April). The cyclist, a man in his 50s from Sittingbourne, was taken to William Harvey Hospital by air ambulance with suspected leg injuries. He has since been transferred to a London hospital for further treatment.

PC Celia Weller, at Kent Police, told SFM News "I would encourage witnesses who have not yet spoken to police to contact us. I am also keen to speak to the driver of a silver car, possibly a BMW, that was in the area at the time of the collision and might have information that could help police with their enquiries."

Witnesses, or anyone with any information, are asked to contact PC Celia Weller at Kent Police by calling 01622 798538 and quoting reference 22-1188.

Second Speedway Season Opens At Central Park

Second Speedway Season Opens At Central Park

By Derek Barclay

A bumper Bank Holiday crowd welcomed Speedway racing back for its second season to Central Park on Bank Holiday Monday (21st April) afternoon, as the Kent CTA Fire Kings plundered their first piece of silverware of the campaign claiming the Easter Trophy in a competitive clash with a spirited King's Lynn Young Stars' side down from Norfolk.

That the homesters were not going to get everything their way under sunny Swale skies was highlighted in the very first race as new Kent skipper Simon Lambert's bike shuddered to a halt on lap two courtesy of a faulty carburettor, meaning the Kings' number one was unable to assist fellow newcomer Luke Chessell's attempts to hold off the ultra-experienced pairing for the visitors of guest Ben Wilson and Darren Mallett serving up a maximum start for the Norfolk side.

The Kings though were imperious in the immediacy of their comeback, reeling off three 5-1s of their own in heats two through to four to establish an ultimately decisive lead. Young Londoner, Luke Harris racing at Central Park for the first time, was delighted to match the distinction achieved on the road last month when he won his first-ever competitive race by doing likewise on his first home trip out - the lively reserve pairing of the Northolt-based teenager Harris and a fourth King's debutant Brandon Freemantle setting the Kent side well on the way in heat 2. Ultimately six out of the seven CTA Fire Kings' riders were to record individual heat wins: the Eastbourne-based Freemantle celebrating his home debut with a decisive win over the rider he's replaced in the Kent line-up this term, Adam Kirby after the unlucky Chessell fell awkwardly in a rerun heat 8.

By that mid-way point the returning favourite son of the Central Park faithful, Ben Morley had underlined his hugely confident start to the season by reeling off two wins from his opening pair of rides and the only surprise was the Southend speedster had reluctantly to settle for two second places behind the visitors' top man Wilson, before partnering his captain Lambert to an impressive maximum in heat 15. The Easter Trophy was firmly in the Kings' possession way before that final ride though with Benji Compton and Lambert recording a pair of heat wins, as a winning nine points margin was established by the completion of heat 13. A local favourite in opposition colours made his mark (literally in his case) in the penultimate race, as former Iwade graduate Marc Owen recovered from a shaky start to the meeting by surprisingly out-gating the Kings' Compton.

There was certainly enough egg-citement on show to send the holiday crowd away happy. Next up for the Kent team are back to back away matches the weekend after next, visiting the Coventry Storm in a league encounter on Friday May 2nd before heading further north into the Potteries to do battle with Stoke on May 3rd. Next up at Central Park is another Bank Holiday afternoon meeting: with the always good value Mildenhall Fen Tigers from Suffolk visiting in a National Trophy match on the May Day holiday on the 5th. of next month.

Result and scorers:
Kent 52 (Ben Morley 12+1; Simon Lambert 10+1; David Mason 8+2; Benji Compton 8; Brandon Freemantle 7+2; Luke Harris 5+1; Luke Chessell 2)
King's Lynn 39 (Wilson 10+2; Cockle 9; Mallett 8; Owen 4+1; Hughes 4; Bailey 2+1; Kirkby 2) [Easter Trophy].


Appeal After 'Hit-And-Run' Collision In Rainham

Appeal After 'Hit-And-Run' Collision In Rainham

The grandaughter of an 85 year-old man, who is in a critical condition in hospital following a road traffic collision, is supporting a Kent Police appeal to locate the driver who failed to stop at the scene.

On Friday evening (11th April) Thomas Davis had attended the annual dinner of the Polhill cycling club in Upchurch. At around 11:20pm he was dropped off outside the Premier Inn on the A2, London Road in Rainham (at the junction with Maidstone Road). He crossed the road from the Sittingbourne-bound side towards the Premier Inn. As he reached the Gillingham-bound side of the road he was in collision with a vehicle which failed to stop at the scene. It is believed the car may have been a silver Peugeot.

The police and the emergency services were called and Mr Davis was taken to hospital. He suffered multiple, serious injuries and his condition is currently described as being critical. His grandaughter, Nicole Sawhney, who has been at his bedside daily, told SFM News: "Tom is an active cyclist, he lives in Lincoln but he used to live in Gillingham where he established the Polhill Cycling Club. He lives a very active life and whenever the sun is shining he goes out on his bike. He is the main carer for my Nan and this has come as such a shock to us all. He has serious injuries. Nine of his ribs are broken and his lungs are bruised. This means he is struggling to get enough oxygen. He has fractures to his vertebrae and bleeds on his brain. We are under no illusions and know he has a lot to battle through."

Kent Police Roads Policing Inspector, Martin Stevens, is continuing to appeal for witnesses to come forward. He told SFM News: "our investigation is continuing and we are attempting to locate the driver of the vehicle. The road is a busy one and we are confident that there would have been people and motorists in the area at the time of the collision. Did you see a vehicle either acting suspiciously or driving at speed at around the time of the collision? Were you driving along the A2 in Medway before or after the incident occurred? Do you have a dashboard camera that may have captured the vehicle at some stage that night? A man's life is in the balance and we owe it to him and his family to find out exactly how this serious collision occurred. Mr Davis is a father, grandfather and great grandfather, how would you feel if someone treated your family member this way? Someone out there knows what happened. Someone knows who was driving that car and I urge them to do the right thing and contact us."

Anyone who has information is asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit directly on 01622 798538 or alternatively they can contact Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonimously on 0800 555 11.


Appeal Following Reported High Street Assault

Appeal Following Reported High Street Assault

Kent Police are appealing for witnesses to a reported assault in Sittingbourne on the evening of Saturday 5th April, at approximately 11:55pm, that left a woman with facial injuries.

The victim, aged 50, reported that she was walking from the train station past the Forum Shopping Centre when a group of men starting verbally abusing her. She walked away but the group surrounded her and began pushing her. She managed to run away into the High Street but the group surrounded her again hitting her in the face. Some members of the public came to the victim's aid and assisted her into a taxi.

A 20-year-old man from Faversham, has been charged with assault and attempted robbery following the incident.

Officers are appealing for anybody who witnessed the assault to come forward, particularly the people who helped the victim afterwards, who may have seen something.

Anybody with any information is asked to call the investigating officer, DC Simon Mather, directly on 01634 792285, or they can contact Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonimously on 0800 555 111.

Dispersal Area Introduced On The Meads

Dispersal Area Introduced On The Meads

Kent Police officers are to be given more powers to deal with groups of people causing anti-social behaviour in a residential area of Sittingbourne.

A Dispersal Area will operate in The Meads (Sonora Fields) estate for six months until the end of September 2014 and has been jointly authorised by Kent Police and Swale Borough Council under the powers of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. Under the Act, any group of two or more people found causing or likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress can be dispersed by a uniformed officer.
Young people under 16 not accompanied by a responsible adult between 9pm and 6am can be taken back to their home. Failure to comply could lead to a fine of up to £2,500 and/or three months' imprisonment.

The Dispersal Area is to be introduced following an increase in the number of reports of anti-social behaviour involving groups of youths congregating in the alleyways and community spaces of the housing development. It is not thought many of the youngsters are local to the estate, so neighbourhood officers hope the Dispersal Area will stop them using it for anti-social behaviour, which includes criminal damage.

Inspector Mark Button, of the Swale Community Safety Unit, told SFM News: "We won't tolerate law-abiding members of the public being intimidated and made to feel unsafe in their own homes. This area has been the subject of focused patrolling by neighbourhood officers in the past month. As a result, we've seen a decrease in the number of call-outs to anti-social behaviour. However, we want to continue this and the Dispersal Area will assist us further."

Sittingbourne Carnival Court Selected

Sittingbourne Carnival Court Selected

The selection of the Sittingbourne Carnival Court 2014 was held on Saturday (22nd March) at the Woodcombe Sports and Social Club, Church Road, Murston.

This year there were 12 entries for the honour to become Miss Sittingbourne 2014, with four changing their minds for various reasons meaning that there were eight entering on the actual day. The judges found their task quite difficult this year with so many to choose from, and the marks were quite close. All the entrants were interviewed privately by the judges at the beginning of the evening and just after 8pm they took it in turns to speak on stage and to the audience and also to answer some questions put to them by the compare for the evening.

The three lucky entrants chosen for the Sittingbourne Carnival Court of 2014 were:-
Miss Sittingbourne 2014 - Georgia Lane, aged 16.
Joint Sittingbourne Princesses 2014 - Ashleigh Taylor and Kendle Hunter, both 16.

The three judges at the selection were: The Mayor of Swale, Cllr Sue Gent; former Mayor and Cllr Ben Stokes and Claire Fosbeary (Former Miss Sittingbourne 1990 and Community Life Champion at Asda, Sittingbourne). The adjudicator was Cllr Sylvia Bennett. The compare for the evening was Maria Lawrence (Miss Sittingbourne 2010) and there were 2 other former Miss Sittingbourne's helping with the contestants, these were Laura Petch (2012) and Leanne Martin (2008). 14 other carnival courts attended along with the friends and families of the 8 contestants, with around 180 people attending in total.

The 106.9 SFM Roadshow will be appearing at this year's Sittingbourne Carnival on Saturday 21st June.

Three Men Charged With Sittingbourne Burglaries

Three Men Charged With Sittingbourne Burglaries

Three men have been charged in connection with a number of burglaries in the Sittingbourne area.

Benjamin Samuels (32) and Alan Looker (33) both of Milbourne Grove, Sittingbourne have been charged with four counts of burglary. Additionally Sydney Samuels (37) also of Milbourne Grove, Sittingbourne has been charged with five counts of burglary.

The men were all charged yesterday (Monday 24th March) and were remanded in police custody overnight. They are due to appear before Medway Magistrates Court via virtual video later today.

Police recovered war medals following the execution of a search warrant.




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