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Rollercoaster at Kent theme park collapses in high winds

A Grade II* listed rollercoaster at a Kent theme park has been knocked over by bad weather overnight.

The ride structure at Margate's Dreamland was damaged by the strong gusts that battered Kent in the early hours of this morning.

The once-popular ride has been reduced to rubble Credit: @LobsterVanHire

The wooden frame of the railway rollercoaster was torn down at the site in Margate after heavy wind and rain battered the South East of England.

It is thought the contractors working to rebuild the attraction are covered for weather damage under their insurance.

The rollercoaster ruins that have been left following the strong gales Credit: @LobsterVanHire

Police hunt masked man after armed robbery in Margate

Police are appealing for information about this man after an armed robbery Credit: Kent Police

Police are trying to trace a masked man who robbed a Margate convenience store with a suspected firearm and made off with cash from the till.

They've now released CCTV images of a man they'd like to speak to.

It is believed that at 9.50pm on Tuesday 9 December, a man walked into Lawrence General Stores in St John’s Road carrying an item shaped like a firearm wrapped in a black plastic bag.

He then ordered the member of staff to go into back room and stay there. When the staff member returned, a quantity of cash from the till had been taken.

The man threatened a staff member before making off with cash Credit: Kent Police

The suspect was described as fat, and was wearing a dark grey hooded top, light grey woollen gloves, dark jeans and light grey footwear.

His face was covered by a balaclava but it is believed he spoke with an English accent.

"Although the suspect did not hurt the member of staff, it was obviously quite frightening to be confronted in such a way. We would like to hear from anyone who might recognise the man featured in the CCTV image and urge them to get in touch."

– Investigating officer Detective Constable Michael Freeman

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting reference number ZY/40101/14.


New home sought for rabbit dumped in alleyway

Ethel the lop-eared bunny was found squashed into a guinea pig cage Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA is appealing for information after a rabbit was found squashed into a guinea pig cage and abandoned in an alleyway in Kent.

The female grey lop-eared bunny was discovered dumped at 2.30pm by a passer-by last Tuesday (9 December) between Ethelbert Road and Athelstan Road in Margate.

The rabbit, now named Ethel because of where she was found, was in a good state of health despite the conditions she was found in and was taken into RSPCA care. It is hoped she will soon be re-homed.

RSPCA Inspector Deborah Pert says Ethel is lucky to be alive Credit: RSPCA

RSPCA inspector Deborah Pert said: “Poor Ethel had been completely squashed into what I think must be a guinea pig travel cage.

“It was completely barren and she had no food or water, or even bedding. She was far too big for the cage and could barely even turn around. She is likely to have suffered from welfare problems had she been left where she was for too much longer.”

If you would like to rehome Ethel please contact the Isle of Thanet branch on 01843 826180 or email

Two fishermen rescued off the south coast

Margate’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat was called out late last night (Friday 5 December) after a fishing vessel encountered problems on its delivery voyage.

The 10m long fishing vessel with two persons on board was on passage from Burnham-on-Crouch to Portsmouth when, while about five miles north of Margate, and in worsening weather conditions they encountered problems first with their electronic navigation system and then with their main engine.

The crew contacted coastguards at Dover and requested assistance to reach safety.

Margate’s all-weather lifeboat ‘Leonard Kent’ was tasked to assist and once on scene it was established that the fishing vessel’s progress using their faltering engine was insufficient to make safe progress so the vessel was taken in tow.

After an uneventful passage the refuge of Ramsgate harbour was reached and the vessel secured safely alongside, their journey temporarily interrupted.

Both crew were none the worse for wear after their experience.

Man jailed for 7-years for possession of a machete

Aaron Shucksmith has been sentenced to seven years Credit: Kent Police

A man who caught with drugs and machete on him during a stop check has been jailed for seven years.

Aaron Shucksmith, 25 from Middlesex was seen in a BMW King Street, Margate on 5 January 2014. Officers had reason to believe the car had earlier been involved in a road traffic collision so when they searched the vehicle found drugs and a machete. He originally told officers the driver of the car had fled, but he was found to be carrying the key to the ignition.

He was arrested and during further examinations at the station more drugs, including heroin were found which he had tried to conceal.

He was charged with possession of a bladed article and possession of a class A drug with intent to supply.

A jury at Canterbury Crown Court found him guilty on 14 October and he was sentenced to seven years on Thursday 16 October.

"Shucksmith showed a total disregard for the law by having a considerable amount of controlled drugs concealed on his person and being in possession of a machete in public. Shucksmith intended to sell these drugs and was prepared to defend himself if necessary. Even though Shucksmith attempted to evade justice a dangerous offender has been removed from the streets of Kent."

– Investigating officer Detective Constable Adam Hinton


Margate burglar jailed

Krystian Dubis has been sentenced to 28 months in prison Credit: Kent Police

A serial burglar who was caught after detectives tracked him down by his fingerprints has been sentenced to 28 months in prison.

Krystian Dubis, 23, of Athelstan Road, Margate, was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday 22 August after pleading guilty to burgling a dwelling in Cliftonville.

He entered the address in Stanley Road, through a window on 6 July and stole a laptop and charger worth £150.

Dubis was arrested on 25 July after officers found his fingerprints at the scene of the burglary.

He also admitted a charge of burglary other than dwelling in connection with stolen tools worth £1,000 taken from a communal cupboard in Union Crescent, Margate on 10 July.

"Due to overwhelming evidence by police Dubis had no option but to admit his guilt. This man showed little respect for people and stole their belongings without a second thought. I hope his sentence of 28 months will serve as a warning to anyone who is considering carrying out similar offences. Our team of detectives are committed to investigating reports of burglaries in the Thanet area and will continue to put their efforts into bringing offenders before the courts."

– Detective Sergeant Neil Watford, of Kent Police

Appeal for information following collision in Margate

Kent Police are appealing for witnesses to a collision in which a pedestrian suffered foot and ankle injuries on Tuesday 19 August.

Officers were called at 2.50pm following reports the pedestrian, an 18-year old man, had been in collision with a car in St Peter’s Road, Margate.

Reports suggest the woman who was driving the car, described as a silver Vauxhall Corsa, left the scene. The pedestrian was taken to a local hospital and treated for his injuries.

Enquiries are ongoing and officers would like to speak to the driver or anyone who saw the incident.

Man in his 60s dies after car crashes into building

The scene of the crash in Trinity Square Credit: @Lukehscotney

A man's died after his BMW crashed into a building in Margate. It happened in Trinity Square yesterday afternoon. Officers say the 62-year-old driver may have had a heart attack.

A cordon was put in place Credit: @Lukehscotney

His family has been told. Police are now appealing for anyone who saw what happened to get in touch.

Warning over inflatable dinghies

Two similar calls in 24 hours have prompted RNLI lifeboat crews in Margate to issue urgent warnings about venturing out to sea in inflatable dinghies in offshore wind conditions. Margate’s inshore lifeboat, along with RNLI lifeguards have this afternoon been involved in a 2nd incident in 24 hours.

Both incidents involved inflatable dinghies being blown out to sea by offshore winds. In this incident two people were brought to safety by the lifeboat and lifeguards from Botany Bay after being unable to return to shore.

RNLI guidance is clear: inflatables are great fun in pools but it is strongly advised that they are not used in the sea. If they are, only do so on a lifeguarded beach between the red and yellow flags. Never use an inflatable when the orange windsock is flying, and never in choppy sea conditions.

A feature of these two incidents was the distance offshore both were blown before being rescued. The importance of only using lifeguarded beaches is highlighted by the fact that it was thanks to the lifeguard’s vigilance that their plight was spotted. It is a very fine line between a story with a happy ending and a tragedy that can be avoided”.

– Peter Barker, deputy launching authority Margate lifeboat
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