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Dog dies on ferry as he is forced to stay in hot car

Merlin
Merlin died in a hot car on a ferry Credit: SWNS

A ferry company has defended itself against allegations of animal cruelty after a Surrey family's pet dog died on a Channel crossing.

Current rules do not allow pets to be taken out of vehicles on crossings, and neither can owners sit with them.

On a hot day last week, the Wallace family from Brookwood, were travelling with their sons and three dogs, including four-year-old pug Merlin, on a P&O Ferries' Calais to Dover crossing.

On arrival at Dover, the Wallaces found Merlin unconscious, and the animal died despite efforts to revive him.

On Twitter, P&O have been accused of cruelty to animals.

P&O Ferries spokesman Chris Laming said: "We are reviewing our policy concerning dogs.

"But this particular dog was in a car with two other dogs which were fine, and there were a total of 20 dogs on that crossing.

"We also carried more than 250 dogs last week and the carrying of pets on board has worked well since it was introduced in 2000."

A post on the company's Facebook page said: "Many airlines refuse to transport certain breeds of dogs, notably pugs, bulldogs and other brachycephalic breeds, due to the respiratory issues from which these animals are prone to suffer.<

"P&O Ferries, which carries more than 50,000 pet dogs a year of all breeds, is reluctant to stop offering a service to the owners of certain breeds, believing that owners are best placed to judge the suitability of conditions when transporting their animals."

Iconic armour of King Henry VIII's on display in Kent

King Henry VIII's armour has returned to Leeds Castle in Kent after 500 years.

Two of the most iconic pieces of armour that belonged to the infamous monarch are on exhibition in the Castle from 23 July to 21 September.

King Henry VIII's armour on display
The Tonlet armour of King Henry VIII's will be on display at Leeds Castle Credit: Leeds Castle

The Horned Helmet was commissioned by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I as a gift for the young King.

And the and the Tonlet armour, which was made for the King for the foot combat at the Field of Cloth of Gold, have been loaned to Leeds Castle by the Royal Armouries – home to the national collection of arms and armour.

Horned Helmet
The Horned Helmet was a gift for the young king Credit: Leeds Castle

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Ben Blakeley 'guilty' of Jayden murder: the background

The ex-boyfriend of teenager Jayden Parkinson has been found GUILTY of her murder. Ben Blakeley, aged 22 and from Reading, strangled her after he found out that she was pregnant.

Jayden, who was 17-years-old, had grown up in Kent, but was was living in Didcot. She was last seen following Blakeley through Oxford - on the way to her death. In court he was described as 'cold and callous', 'violent and controlling'.

Cary Johnston has been following the four week trial at Oxford Crown Court, here is his report on Jayden's last journey.

The interviewees are: Detective Chief Superintendent Andrew Murray, Thames Valley Police Dr Jennifer Wild, Clinical Psychologist, University of Oxford Reverend Karen Beck, All Saints' Church

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

ITV
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.

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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.

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