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Pensioner jailed for 'exploiting' elderly widow

Anthony Powell Credit: Kent Police

A pensioner who 'exploited' an elderly and vulnerable widow in order to steal more than £100,000 from her has been jailed for more than two years.

73 year old Anthony Powell of Harrow Road in Gillingham, Kent, wrote out three blank cheques to himself in the space of four months after befriending 90 year old Hester Herby.

He was said to have taken advantage of her age and confusion, and forged her signature to release an investment policy, a court heard.

Powell even claimed to be her next of kin when she was in hospital following a fall, and following his arrest branded Mrs Herby manipulative and a heavy drinker who had 'made advances' towards him.

While a judge accepted Powell had not embarked on his friendship with Mrs Herby with the aim of conning her, he said he had 'targeted' her vulnerability.

You took the opportunity, perhaps because of her failing health, to steal that sum. There was a degree of planning. It was a mean offence and the upset and harm to your victim was obvious... While it is a case involving money, it also involves a breach of trust and exploitation of a vulnerable and elderly person."

– Judge Philip St.John-Stevens

Police release e-fit after woman assaulted in Kent

Detectives believe the man in this e-fit may be able to help with their inquiries Credit: Kent Police

Detectives investigating a sexual assault in Kent have released an e-fit image of a man they believe may be able to help with their inquiries.

A woman in her 30s reported being assaulted in Hampstead near Gillingham on Tuesday the 26th August. She said she had been walking along an alleyway between Cedar Grove and Birch Grove at around 8.10am, when she was approached by a man who grabbed her and sexually assaulted her. The woman said she managed to break free, and that the man ran off down the alleyway towards Hempstead Valley Drive.

The woman said the man who attacked her was white, around 5ft7in tall, about 35-40 years old, and was wearing a grey hooded top with pockets and light coloured jeans.

"The victim in this case was left extremely distressed and we are appealing to the community to come forward if they recognise the man in this image.

'We believe he may have information that could assist in our investigation and I would ask members of the public to call me on 01634 792645, quoting crime reference XY/030366/14.

'Alternatively, if you would prefer to remain anonymous, call Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."

– Detective Sergeant Darryll Paulson, Kent Police

Kent Police have arrested a man, aged 47, from Gillingham in connection with the incident. He has been bailed until the 6th October pending further inquiries.