A woman who ran a letting business has been jailed for stealing £375,000 from customers.
Janine Pickett, of Gillingham, was handed a 32-month prison term at Dorchester Crown Court today for fraud by abuse of position.
The 46-year-old had pleaded guilty to the offence on 30 May 2014.
The court heard that Pickett plundered the money from the Shaftesbury office of Dorset Lettings which she ran under franchise. Between January 2010 and November 2013 she stole £375,000 of customer deposits and rental payments from bank accounts she managed.
Further investigations revealed that Pickett had altered documents including bank statements and financial audit records in an attempt to cover up the theft.
During her offending Pickett lived well above her means and financial records showed she had spent the stolen money on buying a number of Welsh ponies, one of which cost £7,000. She also took out a Hire Purchase Agreement for a new BMW and enjoyed a number of holidays, including trips to Florida, France and cruises around the Mediterranean.
A supporter at a Gillingham game has been hit with a three-year Football Banning Order after pleading guilty to the racial harassment of a Peterborough player.
Tony Edward Jackson, 33, of Medway Road in Sheerness, was arrested during a League One fixture between Gillingham and Peterborough United at Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday 16 September.
He was later charged with a racially aggravated public order offence, which he admitted and as well as the banning order, he was given a community order to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work within 12 months, £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Medway Magistrates’ Court heard that during the second half, Jackson was sat behind the Peterborough dug-out and was heard by the victim shouting abuse at a player leaving the pitch during a substitution.
It caused the victim, who was sitting on the substitutes’ bench to turn and look at him. As he did so, Jackson shouted a racially offensive comment which was likely to incite public disorder.
Officers were made aware of the incident and arrested Jackson at the stadium.
Jackson was served a three-year Football Banning Order, which precludes him from attending any football match above Conference South level, which is the second tier of non-league football, upwards.
The orders are a preventative measure designed to stop potential troublemakers from travelling to and attending football matches, both at home and abroad. Anyone who commits a football-related offence at one of these stadiums can be arrested and a Football Banning Order applied for.
These totally unacceptable comments made by Jackson are so out of place in what is a family-friendly environment and will simply not be tolerated.
Instances like this happen very rarely, but my officers attend matches to ensure those thinking of ruining the game and match day experience for others will be swiftly ejected and put before the courts where they run the risk of being banned from entering football grounds for several years.
We want to work with clubs and the FA and other organisations to stamp out such deplorable behaviour and would encourage anyone who experiences or hears anyone committing these types of offences to report it to police.
A 44-year-old woman from Kent is helping police with their inquiries after the death of another woman in Gillingham.
Police were called to Balmoral Road on Saturday after a woman was found injured. She was taken to hospital but later died.
A Kent Police spokeswoman said the death was being treated as "unexplained".
She said: "A 44-year-old Gillingham woman is helping police with their inquiries following an incident in Balmoral Road on Saturday.
"Kent Police was called at 12.10pm where a woman was found with injuries. The ambulance service treated the patient at the scene before she was taken to hospital; however she died that evening.
"Officers are treating the incident as an unexplained death and inquiries are ongoing."
A burglar who targeted flats above shops and business in Gravesend and Gillingham has been jailed for four and a half years.
James Hynd, 34, was sentenced to two years for the first offence, which took place in January at a flat above a pub in Gravesend.
He also received two and a half years for a burglary in Gillingham in June.
Hynd brazenly attempted to break into the flat in Gravesend and, when he was caught by members of the public, denied it, claiming he had been trying to hide.
He was arrested, charged and put before the courts. He was bailed and while on bail committed this further offence in Gillingham when he broke into a flat and stole the victim's possessions.
He has a history of targeting properties above shops and businesses and I welcome the news he is behind bars for his crimes.
A man was fined £1,000 after he fly-tipped a large amount of waste when he was employed as a gardener and paid £30 by a householder to remove rubbish from her home.
Instead of disposing of it at a council tip, Matthew Towers, from Upchurch, dumped the items on land near garages in Tywdall in March.
Items found amongst the waste included two doors, wood and carpet.
In a separate case, Christopher Beard, 34, was sentenced to 200 hours community service and ordered to pay £505 costs, after his fly-tipping was discovered in Gillingham and included a kitchen unit, worktop, cardboard, blinds and plastic wrapping.
During an interview with Medway Council officers, Beard admitted dumping the rubbish in December 2013 after being asked by a householder to remove it and said he had gone to a council tip to dispose of it but it was closed.
The Robert Napier School at Gillingham in Kent opened its memorial garden to day to mark Armistice Day. The garden has 64 remembrance crosses to commemorate the First World War. Students did the planting and the individual form classes raised money for a cross each.
The opening was done by the school's Junior Leadership Team, led by Head Girl Louise Parker and Head Boy Ryan Filtness.
Services of commemoration and remembrance have been held across the south-east today. Cities, towns and villages came to a standstill as people young and old stopped to think about the impact of conflict around the world.
David Johns reports, speaking to Tug Wilson, chairman of Chatham RNA; Warrant Officer Tony Matthews of the Royal Navy; and Mrs Susan Bavin, daughter of Sittingbourne VC recipient Donald Dean.
A man and a woman are due to appear at court following an alleged burglary at a property in Gillingham.
It is reported that jewellery was stolen from a house on Culpepper Road, Gillingham, between 23 and 26 August 2014.
Detectives investigating the incident identified two suspects in connection with the reported burglary, who were subsequently arrested and charged on 10 September.
Jodie Humber, 23, of Bank Street, Chatham, has been charged with fraud by false representation and burglary dwelling.
Paul Michael Gregory, 36, of Maidstone Road, Gillingham, has been charged with fraud by false representation and handling stolen goods.
They have both been bailed to appear at Medway Magistrates’ Court on 6 October 2014.
A homeless man is fighting for his life in intensive care tonight after being stabbed ten times in an attack in Gillingham being treated by Kent Police as attempted murder. Tom Savvides has been talking to eyewitness Andrew Whitehall and Detective Chief Inspector Jon Clayden.