ITV Meridian news in brief

News as it breaks across the south, south east and Thames Valley.

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Family tribute to crash victim

Stuart Arnott Credit: Hampshire Police

The family of Stuart Arnott, who died in a car crash at Eversley Cross near Yateley in Hampshire on Saturday, have released a tribute.

Mr Arnott, 63, from Highgate Road, Southlake, Reading, was driving his black Honda on the A327 when, for reasons so far unknown, he left the road and hit a tree.

The collision happened shortly before midnight and he died at the scene.

In a statement, Mr Arnott’s family said: “We are completely devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our father Stuart Arnott.

“He will be sadly missed by all the family and those that knew him. He was a wonderful father, grandfather and brother. Rest in peace Dad."

Police are appealing for anyone who saw the collision or the vehicle prior to it to contact PC Jonathan Peace at Whitchurch Roads Policing Unit on 101.

Memorial for murdered schoolgirl

Claire Tiltman Credit: PA

A memorial service is to be held for a schoolgirl who was murdered in Kent twenty years ago.

Claire Tiltman was attacked and killed in an alleyway in Greenhithe. Today would have been her 36th birthday.

On Friday, Claire's former school friends and police will hold a candle lit walk followed by a church service. No-one has been brought to justice for the teenager's murder.


Man jailed after sending child sex pictures to prisoner

Gary Rockford Credit: Kent Police

A man who abused a girl and sent indecent images of a child to a man serving a life sentence in prison has been jailed.

Gary Rockford, 29, formerly of Sanspareil Avenue, Minster, was arrested after prison officers in Staffordshire seized a mobile phone from a serving prisoner.

The phone was found to contain indecent images of children that had been sent by Rockford.

He was arrested at his home address on the Isle of Sheppey and further investigation uncovered that he had also abused an 8 year-old girl, and broadcast the abuse on the internet in exchange for money.

He was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court to 10 years in jail. He pleaded guilty to possession of indecent images, two counts of distributing indecent images, taking indecent images of children, three counts of sexual assault of a child and two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

Judge Carey said: "It beggars belief that a situation could be created as sordid as this: a serving prisoner in his cell viewing material created and supplied by you, of a child being sexually abused, by you. This was gross criminal offending.

"The most serious of the offending was the gross depravity on a web cam."

Efit issued after sex assault

Do you recognise this man? Credit: Kent Police

Police have released this image of a man they want to speak to in connection with a sexual assault in Gravesend.

Police were called to the incident at 11.10pm on December 21st, when it was reported that a woman was walking home from Gravesend train station and felt she was being followed.

She turned to confront the man who touched her inappropriately before running off.

Anyone with information is asked to call DC Richard Debnam or Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Nine arrested for burglary - police statement

Nine burglary suspects have been arrested and detained at Folkestone Police Station since January 1st following offences in Ashford, Folkestone and the Romney Marsh.

The suspects include two teenage boys aged 15 and 16 and a man who was sentenced to 180 days in prison just 48 hours after breaking into a shop in Ashford.

Officers say they will continue to target burglars and other criminals and are encouraging residents to work with them to keep the area safe.

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