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Father of Sarah Payne dies aged 45

Michael Payne was found dead at his home on Monday Credit: ITV NEWS

The children of Michael Payne, the father of murdered schoolgirl Sarah, have paid tribute to him following his death.

Mr Payne was found dead at his home in Kent on Monday. Police said they discovered the body of a 45-year-old man at a property in Brishing Lane, Maidstone. A Kent police spokesman said, "The death is not being treated as suspicious. A report will be prepared for the coroner."

Mr Payne had developed a drink problem after his daughter was abducted and killed in 2000. Michael Payne split from his wife Sara in 2003 after 18 years together, with both of them blaming the difficulties of coping with the tragic loss of their daughter.

His daughter Charlotte posted a picture of her father on Facebook alongside a message saying she was "heartbroken". She later added, "I'm sorry I couldn't save you dad. I hope you have finally found your peace and happiness."

Her brother Lee wrote, "Dad, you had your demons and troubles but you had a good heart and was a decent man! I hope now you have found peace at last! RIP, you will be missed. We are all heartbroken."

Schoolboy meets helicopter crew who saved his life

A schoolboy who hit his head in a playground accident in Crawley and had to be airlifted to hospital has met the helicopter crew that saved his life.

Harvey Tagorti was placed in an induced coma and became the first paediatric patient to use the new helipad at St George's Hospital in London.

Dr Matt Davenport from the Air Ambulance, thanked the people of Kent, Sussex and Surrey, for their part:


Typhoon jets cause 'Big Bang' over Kent

The RAF has confirmed two Typhoon aircraft were scrambled to intercept an aircraft south of London. Residents in Kent had reported hearing a loud bang, similar to an explosion.

Typhoon aircraft were launched this afternoon from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft south of London which was causing concern to air traffic control authorities. The aircraft was safely escorted to London Stansted. To fulfill their quick reaction role the Typhoons were cleared to travel at supersonic speed, any noise disturbance as a result of this is regretted. Essex Police now have the lead.

– RAF spokesman

The aircraft was a cargo airliner from Latvia and the aircraft is a Russian Made Antonov An-26.

Touchdown! American Football comes to Canterbury

English football - soccer as they call it in the States - is now part of the American sports scene. The World Cup's been held in the USA, and interest is growing all the time. It seems only fair then, that American football's made the return journey, and landed on the green and pleasant playing fields of England. With more than 14 million fans over here, the game's proving so popular that former NFL stars from the US are now coming over here to coach British youngsters. Andrea Thomas has been to their first American Football camp, being held this week in Canterbury.


Nearly 200 drivers caught illegally using a mobile

Officers from the Hampshire and Thames Valley Joint Operation Unit have undertaken a week long operation across the two Force areas targeting people who use their mobile phones while driving.

Between Monday, October 20 and Sunday, October 26, Hampshire Officers caught a total of 178 drivers using a mobile phone behind the wheel in the force area. 66 of these were in the eastern area (including Portsmouth), 47 in the northern area (including Basingstoke), 47 in the western area (inclosing Southampton), and 16 on the Isle of Wight. The 2 remaining drivers were identified by other officers working in Hampshire.

As well as imposing penalties on drivers who were caught, dedicated officers also used it as an opportunity to educate motorists to the dangers of distraction driving. During the operation some of the excuses that drivers who were caught tried to use included: "I wasn't talking", "I didn't realise I was using it", and "I was looking at the time".

Sergeant Rob Heard, said: “These results are disappointing, and show that many people still do not understand the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving. The majority of the offenders are male and under 40. The results do demonstrate that there's still work to do to get this serious message across to all drivers. If you are caught using a mobile behind the wheel, you will face prosecution, it's that simple. My advice is to turn your phone off while behind the wheel to avoid the temptation to look at it.

"You are fours times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone whilst driving. The reaction times for drivers are around 50 per cent slower than normal when using a phone".

Families struggling to meet school costs

Families in our region are spending more than £800m a year to meet the basic costs of their children's schooling.

That's according to new research by the Children's Commission on Poverty.

It found more than eighty six thousand families in Hampshire are now struggling to cover costs.

"Children are supposed to be benefiting equally from a free education. Yet the reality is that families in the South East are paying millions of pounds each year towards the cost of school. Children are being penalised and denied their right to an equal education simply because their parents cannot afford the basics. This is just not right. The Government needs to listen to this crucial report by young commissioners and act to make sure no child is stopped from getting an education equal to their peers. It must stop children from being made to suffer because they are living in poverty."

– Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children's Society
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