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7 years in jail for attacking man in shower

Justin Burr has been jailed for 7 years Credit: Kent Police

A taxi driver who entered a man’s home to attack him while he took a shower has been jailed for seven years.

Justin Burr, 44, formerly of High Street, Chatham, lunged at his victim with a knife while two other men joined in the beating.

He denied causing grievous bodily harm but was convicted following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court and sentenced on Tuesday 18 November.

The court heard how Burr’s victim was taking a shower at his home in Gillingham when Burr burst into his bathroom in a dispute over money, on New Year’s Day 2013.

He then attacked the man by repeatedly hitting him in the head while also drawing a knife on him, which was knocked out of his hand.

Burr’s victim managed to escape before leaving the house, where a friend of his was working on his car.

The friend was chased down the road and had pint glasses thrown at him after attempting to fight the men off, while the attack on Burr’s victim continued.

Burr and the other men only left when the victim’s friend returned holding a brick.

This was a violent attack that left a man with serious facial injuries. Justin Burr’s actions in a dispute over money were entirely disproportionate and the sentence reflects the severity of the crime.

– Investigating officer Detective Constable Michelle Wise

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Men jailed for multi-million pound drugs ring

The ringleader behind plots to import and supply vast quantities of drugs has been jailed along with five associates.

Four of six men jailed for huge drugs ring Credit: Kent Police

Langton (top left) paid a transport company £50,000 for an HGV to transport 75 kilos of cannabis from Greece to the United Kingdom in July 2012. Two of his associates were responsible for logistics and communicating with suppliers in Albania and Greece.

Working closely with the Hellenic Police in Greece, National Crime Agency investigators were able to conduct operational activity in Greece and monitor the transportation of the drugs.

During the ensuing investigation, officers from Kent Police also seized 415 cannabis plants during a raid at a rented unit on the Darent Industrial Park in Erith, near Dartford. A Vauxhall Astra van was also recovered which had a concealed compartment containing packs of amphetamine, blocks of cannabis resin, four bags of cocaine and 7,824 ecstasy tablets.

Two more vans, which had left the unit earlier that day, were stopped on the northbound M6. Officers found 81 packages of skunk cannabis in a Vauxhall Vivaro, plus 18 packages of cocaine and 14 packages of cannabis resin in a Ford Transit.

The group were sentenced to a total of 59 years on 25 November at Maidstone Crown Court.

The joint investigations have resulted in the recovery of 50 kilos of class A drugs and 200 kilos of class B drugs, with a total value of approximately £8 million, as well as £275,000 cash.

Six men jailed for multi-million pound drug ring

The ringleader behind plots to import and supply vast quantities of drugs has been jailed along with five criminal associates.

Stephen Langton, aged 40, of Gews Corner, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, received 16 years at Maidstone Crown Court on 25 November after pleading guilty to conspiracy to import cannabis and conspiracies to supply cocaine, MDMA, cannabis and amphetamine.

Stephen Langton has been jailed for sixteen years Credit: Kent Police

Langton paid a transport company £50,000 for an HGV to transport 75 kilos of cannabis from Greece to the United Kingdom in July 2012. Two of his criminal associates, Paul Oliver, aged 36, of Crooked Mile, Waltham Abbey, and Arjan Lamaj, aged 32, of Bolbeck Park, Milton Keynes, were responsible for logistics and communicating with suppliers in Albania and Greece.

Working closely with the Hellenic Police in Greece, National Crime Agency investigators were able to conduct operational activity in Greece and monitor the transportation of the drugs.

Unaware the NCA had them under surveillance, Lamaj, who is currently serving 22 years for previous heroin offences, arranged for the cannabis to be taken to a safe house in Northamptonshire. The police searched the premises and recovered the cannabis, six kilos of heroin, a cannabis cultivation unit and over £50,000 in cash.

Analysis of telephone call data proved Langton was in communication with Oliver and Lamaj during the relevant times.

Further analysis of the call data also evidenced Langton's involvement in the supply of cannabis, cocaine, MDMA and amphetamine. This was investigated by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate with support from the NCA.

Officers from Kent Police seized 415 cannabis plants during a raid at a rented unit on the Darent Industrial Park in Erith, near Dartford, on 30 April 2013. A Vauxhall Astra van was also recovered which had a concealed compartment containing packs of amphetamine, blocks of cannabis resin, four bags of cocaine and 7,824 ecstasy tablets.

Two more vans, which had left the unit earlier that day, were stopped on the northbound M6. Officers found 81 packages of skunk cannabis in a Vauxhall Vivaro, plus 18 packages of cocaine and 14 packages of cannabis resin in a Ford Transit.

Officers arrested three of Langton's criminal associates - Michael Russell aged 39, of Widgeon Road, Erith, Billy Mills aged 34, of Oakdene Avenue, Chislehurst, and Scott Baker, aged 25, of Betsham Road, Erith. Langton himself was arrested in Malaga on a European Arrest Warrant and extradited back to the UK.

Scott Baker has been sentenced to nine years in prison Credit: Kent Police
Billy Mills has been jailed for twelve years Credit: Kent Police
Michael Russell has been sentenced to eight years in jail Credit: Kent Police

"These men thought they could work under the radar of law enforcement agencies, to conduct their criminal activity - they were wrong. 'Drugs destroy communities and the NCA will continue to work in partnership with police forces and international law enforcement agencies to ensure organised criminals are always held to account."

– Brendan Foreman, the NCA's Regional Head of Investigations

"This was a significant drugs supply operation dealing in vast quantities of illegal substances and money. 'Both the Kent investigation and the joint national and international investigation have made significant seizures and have undoubtedly had a disruptive impact on the drugs supply network. The key here is a large amount of illegal drugs destined for the streets of Kent and further afield have been taken away and destroyed."

– Detective Inspector Rob Haines

All five of Langton's criminal associates were also sentenced on 25 November at Maidstone Crown Court.

Oliver and Lamaj received eight years and six years respectively after pleading guilty to conspiracy to import cannabis.

Mills was jailed for 12 years, Baker was sentenced to nine years and Russell received eight years. The trio had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracies to supply class A and class B drugs. Baker also pleaded guilty to the production of cannabis.

The joint investigations, which also involved officers from the Hellenic Police, Hertfordshire Constabulary, Northamptonshire Police and Police Scotland, have resulted in the recovery of 50 kilos of class A drugs and 200 kilos of class B drugs, with a total value of approximately £8 million, as well as £275,000 cash.

Ebbsfleet United sack manager Steve Brown

Ebbsfleet United have sacked manager Steve Brown, following a 3-0 defeat at home to Gosport Borough.

Brown spent just under 18 months at the club, having been appointed as Liam Daish’s successor in June 2013.

I feel that the team needs a change of direction. I would like to thank Steve for all his efforts on behalf of the club and wish him well for the future."

– Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi, Ebbsfleet Chairman

Brown leaves Ebbsfleet fourth in Vanarama Conference South.

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Man has sentence increased to 19 years for violent homophobic attack

Margate man’s sentence increased to 19 years for homophobic hammer attack on flatmate.

The Court of Appeal has increased Joseph Williams’ 14 year sentence to 19 years for trying to murder his gay flatmate Connor Huntley in a hammer attack while he slept.

Connor Huntley, who was 18 at the time of the attack, was hit on the head with the hammer, suffered severe injuries and will never again be able to live totally independently.

Connor Huntley was hit on the head by a hammer in a homophobic attack Credit: Kent Police
Connor Huntley was hit on the head by a hammer in a homophobic attack Credit: Kent Police

He was found on an inflatable bed with a duvet covering most of his body. A claw hammer was embedded in his skull and there was blood on the pillow, the floor and up the door. The hammer caused a depressed skull fracture and a traumatic brain injury. He suffered a brain clot and underwent surgery to remove bone fragments embedded within his brain. Doctors had to remove part of his skull during the operation.

In September this year, Joseph Williams of Margate, Kent was convicted of attempted murder after his trial at the Old Bailey and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment combined with a hospital direction under s.45A of the Mental Health Act 1983 and with restrictions for an unlimited period of time under s41 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

I am pleased with the Court of Appeal’s decision to increase the sentence handed to Joseph Williams. His victim suffered horrific life changing injuries in a vicious hammer attack. I felt that the original 14 year sentence was unduly lenient as it did not reflect the aggravating factors in this case, that the offence was motivated by hostility towards the victim’s sexual orientation and that he was particularly vulnerable at the time because he was asleep and I hope the increased sentence of 19 years sends out a clear message that attacks motivated by homophobia will be dealt with by long prison sentences.

– Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP
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