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  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Remembrance services in the south-east

Services of commemoration and remembrance have been held across the south-east today. Cities, towns and villages came to a standstill as people young and old stopped to think about the impact of conflict around the world.

David Johns reports, speaking to Tug Wilson, chairman of Chatham RNA; Warrant Officer Tony Matthews of the Royal Navy; and Mrs Susan Bavin, daughter of Sittingbourne VC recipient Donald Dean.

Man who sent over 5,000 threatening texts to victim jailed

Charlie Brooker sent 5,000 threatening texts Credit: Kent Police

A man who bombarded a Maidstone woman with thousands of threatening texts and phone calls has been jailed for 18 months.

Charlie Brooker, 26, pleaded guilty to assault and of making threats to kill.

Brooker assaulted his victim in May 2014 after "forcing her to drive him around aimlessly" while continually shouting abuse at her.

The court heard how Brooker – who also threatened to headbutt a female police officer while in custody – has a long history of convictions including many for violence and harassment.

His most recent victim received about 5,000 pages of text messages from Brooker and when police officers answered his calls on her behalf, he would still threaten to ‘wring her neck’. He also told his victim he would slit her throat and harm members of her family.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Becky Saunders said:

Charlie Brooker is a violent offender with 44 previous convictions, most of which in recent years are for violence and harassment. He was in breach of a suspended sentence when committing these most recent offences and therefore now serves this term. Brooker is a danger to women and belongs behind bars where he can cause them no harm and where they are free from his barrage of abuse.

– Becky Saunders


Kent backpacker killed in road accident in Australia

Jade Fox died while on a trip to Fraser Island in Australia Credit: Facebook

A 22-year-old woman from Kent has died in Australia, after the vehicle she was a passenger in overturned. Jade Fox was in Fraser Island in Queensland when the tragedy happened on Friday 31st October.

The Queensland Police Force said that their initial investigations suggested that: '... at around 2pm a four wheel drive vehicle travelling in a convoy of three and heading south towards Hook Point was in the process of overtaking another vehicle when it rolled. A 22-year-old British national was pronounced deceased at the scene.'.

Five passengers were taken to Gympie Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while the driver and another passenger were airlifted to the Hervey Bay Hospital with non-life threatening head injuries.

The force's Forensic Crash Unit is continuing to investigate.

Man charged with murder after body found in Headcorn

A man has been charged with murder after the discovery of a body in Headcorn, Kent.

Forty-year-old Ruslan Piktorov, of no fixed address, was charged last night with the murder of Trevor Hillman.

The 57-year-old's body was found on Church Walk on the morning of Wednesday 22nd October.

Mr Piktorov is due before magistrates in Maidstone today.

A second man was arrested but has been released without charge.

'I would like to thank the Headcorn community for their assistance with this investigation.'

– DI Lee Whitehead, Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate


New exhibition marks anniversary of Black Friday

One of the darkest chapters of Maidstone's history is the subject of a new display at the town's museum.

During the Second World War, two squadrons of Luftwaffe planes dropped more than forty bombs in a single day. Twenty-two people were killed and many more injured in the raid on 27 September 1940. This weekend marked the 74th anniversary of what became known as Black Friday.

ITV Meridian spoke to display organiser Tony Webb.

Inquest into death of soldier who died in Afghanistan

An inquest is due to open today into the death of a soldier from Maidstone who was killed when his helicopter crashed in Afghanistan.

Captain Ben Babington-Browne, who was 27-years-old, was a member of 22 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers.

He was carrying out a routine engineering survey when the crash happened.

27-year-old Ben Babington-Browne died when his helicopter crashed in Afghanistan Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive/Press Association Images
  1. Sarah Saunders @SSaundersITV

Bertha storm: Collapsed ceiling, localised flooding and transport delays.

The region prepared itself for torrential rain and gale force winds today as the remains of Hurricane Bertha arrived. The storm caused part of a supermarket ceiling to collapse in Maidstone, localised flooding across the region and transport delays - but in most areas, it had cleared away by the late afternoon.

Sarah Saunders' report has viewer footage from Ian Duffus and Charlotte Thurston. She spoke to flood victim Bill Smith and weather forcaster Philippa Drew.

Maidstone couple celebrate Euromillions win

A couple from Maidstone who used to joke about winning the lottery have had their dreams come true after scooping one million pounds on the Euromillions draw.

Wayne and Desiree Home celebrate their win with champagne Credit: ITV Meridian
Wayne and Desiree Home receive their Euromillions cheque Credit: ITV Meridian

Wayne Home decided not to tell his wife Desiree about the win until he was absolutely sure they'd won the money. The couple have suffered serious illness, both of them being made redundant and having to sell their family home.

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