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Murder investigation launched following hit and run

Detectives have launched a murder investigation after a man who was left in a critical collision following a fail-to-stop road traffic collision has died in hospital.

Kent Police was called at 8.50pm on Thursday 23 January to the collision in Castlemaine Avenue, Gillingham.

It is believed the occupants of a green Ford Mondeo Estate were involved in a dispute with two pedestrians at the junction with Grange Road.

The pedestrians, both male, walked off down Castlemaine Avenue.

The Mondeo drove down the road towards them and came into collision with one of the men.

The other was unharmed and ran to raise the alarm at a nearby badminton club.

The occupants of the vehicle, ran away. The victim, John Hedges, 33 from Gillingham, was taken to a London hospital to deal with his injuries and died earlier today.

My team of detectives have been carrying out a number of enquiries throughout the night and into today. We believe there were people who might have seen two groups of men having an argument at the junction with Grange Road. It appears the incident stemmed from that and I’d urge anyone that might have seen or heard what happened just before 8.50pm yesterday, to call us immediately. We are building up a picture of the events of that night and any information witnesses might have, no matter how insignificant it may seem, could prove important in our investigation.’

– Detective Inspector Ivan Beasley


Man in critical condition after being hit by a car

An investigation has been launched after the occupants of a car failed to stop, having hit a pedestrian who is now in a critical condition in hospital.

Detectives are appealing for witnesses after it happened on Castlemaine Avenue in Gillingham at around 8:50pm yesterday evening.

It is believed the occupants of a green Ford Mondeo estate got into a argument with two men at the junction of Grange Road.

As they began to walk off down Castlemaine Avenue, the Mondeo drove towards them, hitting one of the men.

The other man wasn't harmed and ran to raise the alarm.

The victim was taken to a London hospital, where he remains in a critical condition.

The people in the car have been described as two dark-skinned men in their twenties, wearing casual clothes.

Anyone with information about this incident should call 101, quoting incident reference number 23-1466.

Job losses at Dunkirk restoration project

The Medway Queen paddle steamer Credit: ITV Meridiian

The team working to restore the Medway Queen paddle steamer in Kent say they're looking for alternative sources of funding after job losses at the project. Between 10 and 12 of the 14 strong workforce will lose their jobs the end of December after funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund ran out.

The vessel was one of the "little ships" that helped rescue thousands of soldiers during the Dunkirk evacuations of World War II. It returned to Gillingham last week after exterior restoration work in Bristol was completed. But the vessel still has to be completely refitted internally.


Woman missing after dropping son at pre-school

Jayne Howley was last seen on Monday, November 18 Credit: Kent Police

Kent Police are appealing for the public’s help in tracing a missing woman from Medway. Jayne Howley, 44, of Jeyes Road in Gillingham, was last seen at 12.45pm on Monday November 18 after dropping her son off at a pre-school in Darland Avenue, Gillingham.

She did not return to pick him up later that day and her car, along with her purse and house keys, were found at her address. She was reported missing to Kent Police at 5.20pm.

Jayne is about 5ft 8ins tall, of slim build with dark brown ,collar length hair. She was wearing glasses, a dark Superdry jacket with a hood and jeans.

Gillingham chairman confirms Taylor appointment

Peter Taylor Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

According to the Gillingham FC website, Chairman Paul Scally held a meeting with the first team squad after training to confirm Peter Taylor's appointment as permanent manager.

He will remain with the club until the end of the 2013/2014 campaign.

Mr Scally said, “The players and I are delighted that Peter has agreed to stay on at the club and we wish him every success in his on-going efforts to push the team up the table.”

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