Local News

Controlling Man Jailed For Offences

Controlling Man Jailed For Offences

A teenage girl was forced to carry a mobile phone with an earpiece and microphone attached by a controlling man so he could eavesdrop on her conversations.

Rique Wall would also insist she speak to him for hours on end, dictated when she could leave her Sittingbourne home, and carried out a number of sexual offences against her.

Wall, 32, of Kimberley Road in Croydon, committed the offences between April 2014 and July 2016.

He was jailed for nine years at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday (12th April) after being found guilty of four counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of controlling or coercive behaviour.

The Investigating Officer, Detective Constable Steve Rees of Kent Police, told SFM News: "Wall targeted the young girl when she was exceptionally vulnerable and took advantage of her need for support. He then subjected her to a long period of emotional abuse and controlling behaviour, which included supplying her with mobile phones and equipment so he could control who she spoke to and stopping her from leaving her home and seeing friends. I'd like to pay tribute to the victim for her courage in overcoming her abuser and helping to ensure he serves a long period behind bars, without her support Wall may never have seen trial. We have specially trained officers on hand ready to aid and support any victims of sexual abuse and controlling behaviour. If you are a victim, please get in touch."

High Street Gets Ready For St George's Day

High Street Gets Ready For St George's Day

This coming Saturday (21st April) sees the return of the St George's Day celebrations here in Sittingbourne High Street.

The whole day has been organised by Sara Seabridge, the Event Co-ordinator for the Sittingbourne Retail And Business Association (SRBA).

There will be another fun-filled programme for 2018 with amazing stalls, a fair and entertainment zone for the day. There will also be a Classic Car Display, tug of war, costumes, acting, performances, bands, live music and the 106.9 SFM Roadshow Crew - including James Waters and The Saturday Show LIVE between 10am - 2pm.

So get yourself along and join in the fun in the sun on Saturday!


Attempted Burglary From Pensioner - Man Charged

Attempted Burglary From Pensioner - Man Charged

A man has been charged with attempted burglary following an incident at a home in Sittingbourne.

Christopher Swanson is alleged to have entered the home of a woman, aged in her 90s, in the Woodstock Road area in January this year.

Following enquiries by the Sittingbourne Criminal Investigation Department, the 51-year-old, of Peoney Crescent in Sittingbourne, has been charged with attempted burglary.

He is due to appear at Medway Magistrates' Court shortly (Monday 9th April).

Barn Owl Shot And Killed In Leysdown

Barn Owl Shot And Killed In Leysdown

Officers from Kent Police's Rural Task Force are appealing for information after a barn owl was shot and killed in Leysdown.

The wild animal was taken to a rescue sanctuary on Tuesday (10th April) evening at around 7.30pm after a man and a woman reported finding the bird injured.

The animal had been shot through the chest with what was believed to be an air weapon and died the following day.

Officers would like to talk to the man and woman who found the bird as they believe they may have information which may assist them.

Police Sergeant Darren Walshaw, of the Rural Task Force, told SFM News: "Injuring any animal on purpose is a despicable crime and one that we will not take lightly. We work hard to ensure our rural communities are free of crime and feel safe and that as well as people, this includes the welfare of both domestic and wild animals. After surviving through the winter, this young owl suffered an awful injury at the hands of a person and would have been in a lot of pain. We do not want to see another animal injured and I would encourage anyone who knows anything about this incident to get in touch with us."

The man and woman are both described as in their 20's white and the man was believed to be wearing a hooded top.

Anyone with information about the incident, or who believes they know the people who took the bird to the sanctuary, is asked to call Kent Police appeals line on 01795 419 119 quoting reference 11-0844.

Or alternatively they can contact Kent Crimestoppers, free and anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Iwade Flytipping Costs A Maidstone Man Dear

Iwade Flytipping Costs A Maidstone Man Dear

A Maidstone man is almost £2,200 out of pocket after building waste was dumped in Iwade.

Josh Allen, 26, of Wallace Avenue, Parkwood in Maidstone, was prosecuted by Swale Borough Council after building and demolition waste, including wood, shelves and carpets, was found dumped on Raspberry Hill Lane, Iwade in November 2016.

Council officers traced the waste to a fast food restaurant. The owner of the restaurant confirmed he had paid a company called Josh Clearance £150 to remove the waste, and provided contact details and text messages as evidence.

Mr Allen was interviewed by council officers and confirmed arranging the transaction. He denied holding a drivers licence, and claimed he and a friend picked up the waste in the friend's truck, and he left the vehicle and didn't know what happened to the waste after that.

Following the interview, Mr Allen was asked to produce his authority to act as a broker for waste and the waste transfer notes for this particular transaction. No response was given, and a fixed penalty notice was issued for the offences.

Despite reminders, Mr Allen failed to respond, leaving the council with no choice but to go to court.

The case was heard on Monday (19th March) at Medway Magistrates Court, where Mr Allen was found guilty of two charges relating to the transport of waste.

He was fined £660 for each offence, and ordered to pay costs of £750, compensation of £60 and a victim surcharge of £66 within 28 days.

Cllr Nicholas Hampshire, deputy cabinet member for safer families and communities at the council, told SFM News: "Local people are sick of seeing other people's rubbish illegally dumped around the borough. We are determined to do all we can to track down those who fly-tip, and take the necessary legal action against them. If you pay someone to take away your rubbish, and it is fly-tipped, you could be prosecuted if you can't prove who took the waste away. In this case, the business owner rightly kept records which we were able to use to track down who took the waste away. I strongly urge people to check who is taking their waste, make sure they're licenced, and keep invoices and receipts so you can help us trace them if waste is dumped."

To check whether someone is licenced to carry waste you can visit the Environment Agency website or alternatively you can call 03708 506506.

For more information about fly-tipping, and what the council is doing to tackle it, visit www.swale.gov.uk/fly-tipping.

Teenager Jailed For Killing Friend In Collision

Teenager Jailed For Killing Friend In Collision

Picture: Jake Burmingham

A teenager who killed his friend while speeding in a pickup truck has been jailed for four years.

Kieran Simpson, 18, of Gladwyn Road, Rainham, was jailed on Friday (16th March) by a judge at Maidstone Crown Court.

He was sentenced to four years in jail after pleading guilty to one count of causing death by dangerous driving after his friend died in a collision on the A2 on London Road in Newington.

The court heard how Simpson had been driving at more than twice the speed limit on Thursday 18th May 2017 when his white Mitsubishi L200 truck lost control and collided with a parked vehicle and a brick wall near to the junction of Playstool Road.

The collision happened at around 10pm and a 17-year-old boy, Jack Burmingham who was a passenger in the vehicle, died at the scene. Two other passengers and Simpson were injured and were taken to hospital following the collision.

Simpson had been out socialising with friends before the collision and had the truck for around six weeks.

Investigators estimate that he had been travelling at around 70mph in poor weather conditions and on a road which had a speed limit of 30mph when he lost control of the car after driving into a patch of deep water.

Officers from Kent Police's Serious Collision Investigation Unit investigated the incident and Simpson was charged by postal charge on the morning on Thursday 9th November 2017.

As well as the sentence, of which Simpson will serve half of before being released on licence, he was also banned from driving for five-and-a-half-years and will need to take an extended driving test before being allowed back on the road.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable David Holmes of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, told SFM News "This was a tragic incident which could have been wholly avoided if Simpson had stuck to the speed limit and taken care while driving. Simpson showed a remarkable lack of judgement that night and was not a competent driver to control his vehicle resulting in the loss of another person's life. Simpson's family, as well as the victim's family have suffered because of his actions and although he did not set out that night to cause any harm his recklessness did just that. A vehicle is a powerful machine and drivers need to remember their responsibilities when they get behind a vehicle."


Family Issue Tribute To Collision Victim

Family Issue Tribute To Collision Victim

The family of a 30-year-old man who was killed in a collision in Sittingbourne have issued a tribute.

Emergency services were called to attend an incident at around 11.25pm on Saturday 10th March in St Michael's Road which involved a man and a lorry.

Tom Field, who was a scientist and from Sittingbourne, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

His Mum, Dad, brother James and Tom's fiancée Chloé have issued the following tribute.

"Tom was a kind and gentle man, and a great, loyal and dependable friend to so many, son to Pam and Steve, brother to James and partner to Chloe, the love of his life. Tom was adored by his nephew, with whom he would always ‘high five' and was a much loved grandson. He was always sensitive to the needs of others and was very much aware of the effect his actions would have. Tom was a very private and modest person. He was great to be with, funny and could hold an intelligent conversation on just about anything.'

Chloe also added that ‘Tom was her everything'.

Tom was a student at Borden Grammar School in Sittingbourne and worked at Aesica Pharmaceuticals in Queenborough.

Following the incident officers arrested a 62-year-old man from the Netherlands who was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He has since been released, pending further enquiries.

Officers from the Serious Collison Investigation Unit (SCIU) are still appealing for any people who witnessed the collision, or who saw Mr Field or the lorry beforehand, and who have not yet spoken to officers to get in touch.

If you can help please call the SCIU at Kent Police Headquarters in Maidstone on 01622 798538 quoting SCIU/MS/035/18. Alternatively ypou can email: sciu.td@kent.pnn.police.uk.

New Carnival Court For 2018 Selected

Pictured are Alexandra Wastell - Joint Princess, Eleanor Hopkins - Miss Sittingbourne 2018 and Abbie-Jane Barnes - Joint Princess.

Sittingbourne's new Carnival Court for 2018 has been announced following the Selection Night on Saturday (10th March).

The event was held at The Woodcombe Sports & Social Club in Murston and involved interviews and public speeches from the participants.

We wish them all a very happy and successful year ahead and look forward to seeing them with the SFM Roadshow Crew on Carnival Day this year - which is Saturday 23rd June.


Fatal Collision Close To Railway Station

Fatal Collision Close To Railway Station

Officers from the Kent Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU) are appealing for witnesses following the death of a pedestrian close to Sittingbourne train station at the weekend.

Police were called at around 11.25pm on Saturday (10th March) to reports of a collision involving a lorry, on St Michael's Road. Police and ambulance crews attended and a man was declared dead at the scene.

Officers from the SCIU would now like to hear from anyone who witnessed the collision, or who saw the pedestrian or lorry beforehand.

If you can help, please contact them on 01622 798538 quoting SCIU/MS/035/18. Alternatively you can email: sciu.td@kent.pnn.police.uk.

Man Charged With Carrying An Air Rifle

Man Charged With Carrying An Air Rifle

Kent Police officers have charged a man with carrying an air rifle in a public place in Faversham.

Armed police were called to the Abbey Fields area on Saturday (17th February) following reports of a man seen with a weapon.

An extensive search of the area was carried out with the aid of the NPAS police helicopter.

Further enquires led to the seizure of an air rifle and the arrest and charging of Daniel Powell, aged 35 and from St Johns Avenue here in Sittingbourne.

He has been released on bail to appear before Maidstone Magistrates Court on Friday 16th March.


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