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No such thing as a free hot lunch? School children to go without

Hundreds of schools are getting ready for the new rules Credit: ITV Meridian

Primary school children may not get a hot meal when they return back to their studies in September, despite a new law requiring all schools to provide them a free lunch.

The law applied to all children in reception and children in Year 1 and 2 and is being introduced across the country.

But some schools say they do not have the kitchens or dining halls in order to facilitate the new rules and so will have to rely on other schools to provide them meals.

Several schools say they are planning on giving children sandwiches to eat in their classrooms.

In Kent, the Government provided £2.7 million to fund the scheme but councils say this will not be enough to cover the costs. Our reporter Abigail Bracken visited one school in Benenden, south Kent, to find out more.

Do you think primary schools should have to provide free meals to school children? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting us @itvmeridian.


Man jailed after falsely claiming another man raped him

A man who wasted hundreds of hours of police time after he falsely accused someone of raping him has been jailed for 16 months.

Robert Fisher told Kent Police he had been raped by another man in an Otford car park in 2012. But an investigation by detectives found he had made up the allegations, in order to seek revenge for a friend.

As a result of the allegations Fisher made, a man in his 30's was arrested as he returned from a holiday with his family.

During police interviews, Fisher admitted the allegations had been entirely fabricated and that he had never even met the man he had accused of raping him. He said his victim had previously made a complaint to police about one of his friends. Because of this, he wanted him to experience being arrested and the impact this would have on his life.

Kent Police Detective Constable Jeremy Taylor said:

We treat every allegation rape very seriously and work tirelessly to secure the evidence to prosecute offenders.

In this instance, Fisher clearly perverted the course of justice by inventing false claims about being raped. His reckless actions have not only caused huge distress to the person identified as a suspect, but they have also wasted an estimated 200 hours of police time, at least. This is valuable time which could have been used to help genuine victims of crime.

– Detetive Constable Jeremy Taylor

Full report into Peaches Geldof inquest

A inquest into the death of model and TV presenter Peaches Geldof has heard that she died from a heroin overdose after starting to use the drug again just a few weeks earlier.

Her musician husband Tom Cohen found the 25-year-old mother of two slumped on a bed surrounded by drugs paraphernalia at their home in Kent in April.

Today the coroner said there was no evidence she intended to take her own life. A police investigation continues into who supplied the drugs that killed her. Watch Sarah Saunders report.


Man suffers multiple skull fractures following assault

Detectives investigating a serious assault in Tunbridge Wells are renewing an appeal for witnesses by releasing images of the victim’s injuries.

Mr Reynolds
Robert Reynolds suffered multiple fractures to his skull Credit: Kent Police

Robert Reynolds suffered multiple fractures to his skull following a sustained attack in his own home, in Dorking Road on Monday 26 May. The alarm was raised by a friend who had visited the property between 5pm and 5.30pm and who found the victim lying on the floor and groaning in pain.

Mr Reynolds
Two months on from the incident, he has now left hospital Credit: Kent Police

Before the attack Mr Reynolds, 60, had been at home watching a game of football on television, but doesn't remember letting anyone into the property. Two months on from the incident the victim has now left hospital and is recovering from his injuries. However, his mobile phone - described as having a distinctive JCB yellow cover - and his wallet are still reported to be missing.

South's athletes limber up for Commonwealth Games

As the Commonwealth Games begin today, many athletes competing are based in the Meridian region.

The Games will take place in Glasgow until the 3rd August.

Dani King from Southampton will take part in the cycling Credit: PA
Adam Gemili from Dartford will run the 100m Credit: PA
Chris Mears from Reading hopes to do well in the diving competition Credit: PA

Peaches' death 'not entirely' history repeating itself

The death of Peaches Geldof was "not entirely" a case of history repeating itself, the coroner has told an inquest.

North West Kent Coroner Roger Hatch said: "By November last year she had ceased to take heroin as a result of the considerable treatment and counselling that she had received.

Peaches Geldof pictured with her mother Paula Yates in 1993.
Peaches Geldof pictured with her mother Paula Yates in 1993. Credit: Robin Kennedy/EMPICS Entertainment

"This was a significant achievement for her, but for reasons we will never know prior to her death she returned to taking heroin."

Ms Geldof's mother, Paula Yates, died from an accidental heroin overdose in 2000 at the age of 41.

Man arrested after £1.3m cocaine seized

Drugs worth £1.3m were found by Border Officers after they seized 31 kilos at the Channel Tunnel entrance.

The cocaine was found in the early hours of Sunday morning when offices searched a Slovakian-registered lorry and its load of mixed goods.

Cocaine is a vile and destructive drug, which ruin the lives of users and the wider community.

“Border Force officers are on constant alert to keep illegal drugs and other banned substances out of the UK.”

– Paul Morgan, Director of Border Force South East and Europe
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