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The last of the lions - fears for Maidstone's Chinese New Year celebrations

Today marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year and crowds gathered in Maidstone this lunchtime to celebrate it.

However, there are fears this could be the last time its colourful lions will be seen in the town, due to cutbacks.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Chris Perkins from the Maidstone Cultural Group, Mayor Derek Butler and Kalysha Howard-Smith.

'Stopping to see Christmas lights saved our lives' Kent couple minutes from Berlin Christmas Market disaster

Tragedy in Berlin as lorry ploughs into Christmas Market

A couple from Kent who were caught up in last night's suspected terror attack in Berlin have spoken of their own lucky escape, and their sadness at the loss of life during the tragedy in Germany.

Barry and Lynn Butler, from Maidstone, were in Germany with their daughter as the horror unfolded at the city's Christmas market. The couple who run a coffee shop in Kent, spoke to us - in Berlin - earlier today.


Couple appear in court to deny the death of baby

Maidstone Crown Court, where the couple appeared Credit: PA

A couple accused of causing the death of a baby in Kent have appeared in court in Maidstone to deny the charges.

The child, who cannot be named, suffered a 'catastrophic' brain injury and numerous fractures in a 10-week period before its death in April.

The court heard traces of cocaine and amphetamine were found in its body following two post-mortem examinations.

Danny Shepherd, 25, and Katherine Cox, 32, of Millfield Road in Faversham, are charged with causing or allowing the death of a child, causing or allowing serious physical harm to a child and possession of the class B drug, amphetamine.

The couple were released on bail by Judge Jeremy Carey until their trial, which is expected to start in July next year. A high court judge is likely to preside over the case.

  1. Tom Savvides

Green light for new road scheme in Maidstone

A new multi-million pound road scheme for Maidstone town centre has come into force. Major improvement works have been taking place since the summer to deal with gridlock on the town's gyratory system. This report by Tom Savvides includes reaction from the leader of Maidstone Council, councillor Fran Wilson.

The Maidstone Mummy goes under the scanner

In an incredible meeting of ancient civilizations and cutting edge technology - an egyptian mummy from Maidstone museum's collection has been carefully transfered to KIMS hospital in the town, to see what secrets a full body CT scan might reveal.

Researchers and radiologists also scanned the remains of mummified animal offerings from the museum's collection, and made a staggering discovery - one of the youngest mummified babies in the world.

Sarah Saunders went along to find out what happens when technology is used to reveal what lies beneath the bandages.


Have you seen missing Charlotte aged 14?

14-year-old Charlotte Dutton has gone missing

A 14 year old girl has gone missing from her home in Maidstone. Charlotte Dutton's disappearance was reporting to Kent Police at 5.10pm on Monday 17th October.

It is believed that Charlotte was last seen in the Fant area of Maidstone at about 8am on that same day. She was wearing a Maidstone Grammar School for Girls uniform.

Charlotte is white, 5ft 6ins tall with a slim build. She has short, dark brown hair and dark eyes.

Anyone with information can contact Kent Police by telephoning 101 and quoting 17-0982.

  1. Tom Savvides

Forget cats and dogs, how about a goat?

Now, forget cats and dogs. It seems there's a new animal companion in town. Yes, apparently goats can form excellent relationships with us. New research, using goats from Buttercups Sanctuary near Maidstone, shows they can pick up clues from our faces and act upon them. And we're not kidding as Tom Savvides now reports.

Toddlers waddle in support of Faye Burdett's Meningitis campaign

Parents and children have come out in support of a family battling for the Meningitis B vaccine to be given to all children - after their daughter died from the illness earlier this year.

An online petition calling for the move has become the most signed in Parliamentary history, following the death of two year old Faye Burdett in February.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Faye's parents Neil and Jenny, and Rachel Cattell, organiser of today's event.

Man charged with five offences after Maidstone incident

A 39-year-old man who was arrested in Maidstone yesterday has been charged with five offences - two serious sexual assaults, false imprisonment, assault, and possessing cannabis.

Rafel Kafel, of Milton Street in Maidstone has been remanded in custody to appear at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court later today.

Yesterday police closed Upper Stone Street for a time and advised motorists to avoid the area.

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