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Fraudster jailed for stealing £250k

A former finance officer will spend time behind bars after a jury found her guilty of siphoning nearly £250,000 from a car mechanics in Strood.

Kerry Anne Stone, 32, denied fraud by abuse of position while employed as purchase ledger assistant at Mr Clutch in Priory Road between 1 January 2009 and 19 July 2013.

Stone, of Chequers Court in Strood, was found guilty of stealing £222,799.71 from two accounts and was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court to four years imprisonment.

Kerry Anne Stone has been sentenced to four years in prison Credit: Kent Police

Officers from Kent Police were contacted on 19 July 2013 after it was suspected Stone, who had been working for the company for 17 years, had made two fraudulent payments to herself of £1,770.72 from the company account.

It was found that on 20 June she stole £936.72 and seven days later she took an additional £830.

After coming clean to a colleague, a meeting was called and Stone agreed to pay the full amount back, which she did by 17 July.

Upon further inspection, other transactions were looked at and it was established at least £10,569.99 had been taken.

At a disciplinary meeting on 25 July, she admitted stealing the money and had created dummy invoices and posted payment to her own account.

Stone admitted to stealing from the company for past 18 months and was subsequently dismissed.

A full audit was later commissioned and it was found Stone had stolen money from two accounts totalling nearly £250,000.

"Kerry Anne Stone was in a position of trust with access to the company’s accounts and systematically stole large quantities of cash over an extended period of time to support her own lifestyle. This was a serious breach of trust and displayed a high level of contempt for the people she worked with. As a result of her actions she now has to serve a prison sentence. This should be taken as a warning to others about how serious police and the courts take this type of crime: cheaters will not prosper."

– Investigating officer, Detective Constable Karen Caulfield
  1. Sarah Saunders (@SSaundersITV)

Win, win. Why we are all National Lottery winners

The National Lottery celebrates 20 years of creating millionaires this week and for the past two decades billions of pounds has also been handed over to good causes.

Our reporter Sarah Saunders went along to one of the projects in the South East made possible thanks to lottery money, with jackpot winners from Kent Ted and Marilyn Newton.

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Medway residents urged to become 'Dementia Friends'

People in Medway are being urged to become 'Dementia Friends', as a roadshow bus visits Chatham.

Author Terry Pratchett is among those supporting the campaign

The bus will be in Chatham High Street today and tomorrow and will have information about the illness and about how people can help someone in need.

Medway Council and NHS Medway CCG want as many people to sign up to be a friend as part of the Alzheimer's Society initiative.

Education and awareness is vital so that we can work towards achieving early diagnosis and improve support for people with dementia and their families.

Medway is a dementia friendly community and we want more people to sign up to be a Dementia Friend.

We currently have 2,258 Dementia Friends registered in Medway and it would be lovely to get to 3,000.

– Dr Alison Barnett, Medway Council's Director of Public Health

To find out more, click here.

HIV cases on the rise in Kent and Medway

Kent County Council is urging people to seek early diagnosis for HIV Credit: Nebinger Frederic/ABACA/Press Association Images

Kent County Council has launched a new campaign to increase the number of people being tested for HIV.

In the last four years around 80 new cases have been diagnosed in Kent and Medway every year. Half of those were diagnosed in the later stages of the disease.

The aim of campaign, Better to Know, is to encourage early diagnosis.

Early diagnosis is important so people can start treatment if they need to, look after their own health and take steps to ensure they don't pass the virus on.

KCC Public Health Consultant, Faiza Khan, said: "The number of cases of HIV in Kent is rising and we know that part of the reason is because of late diagnosis.

"Simply put, people with HIV are more likely to pass it on and infect someone else if they are unaware they themselves are infected. Late diagnosis also reduces the chances of controlling the effects of HIV on the body.

"Early diagnosis is, therefore, vital if we are to control the spread of the infection and to give those living with HIV the best quality of life possible."

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

South-East midwives go on strike

Hundreds of thousands of health workers walked out on strike this morning, many for the first time in their lives, in protest at the Government's decision not to give them a recommended 1% pay rise.

Midwives, nurses, paramedics, ambulance staff, and hospital porters and cleaners mounted picket lines across England from 7am for four hours.

David Johns reports, speaking to Clare Morris from the Royal College of Midwives; midwife Gabby Dowds-Quinn; and independent midwife Virginia Howes.

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More than 1000 children pass Medway Test

More than 1,000 children have been told they are suitable for admission to a Medway grammar school after passing the Medway Test.

718 Medway resident children achieved the minimum score Credit: Press Association

This year 2,601 children registered to take the test, with 2,417 children actually sitting it.

Of those children who satthe test, 1,842 were Medway residents and 575 were from out of area.

This year the minimumscore required to be assessed as suitable for admission to one of Medway'sgrammar schools is 525. Last year the minimum score required was 528.

In total, 23% of Medwayresident children who sat the test achieved the minimum score.

Around 60 more pupils mayalso be deemed as eligible following the parental review process, whichinvolves the child's work being reviewed by a panel.

I would like to congratulate all children who took the Medway Test this year.

Moving up to secondary school from primary is a huge step for all children and I wish them every success when they make the move next year.

– Cllr Mike O’Brien, Portfolio Holder for Children Services

Arrested woman's death to be investigated

The circumstances surrounding the death of a woman, shortly after being arrested by police, are to be investigated.

Lora Snelgrove, who was twenty five years old, was pronounced dead at Medway Hospital.

She was being held at Medway Police Station when she fell ill.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has started an investigation

Prolific Medway and Whitstable burglar jailed

A prolific burglar has been sent to prison for committing offences in Medway and Whitstable.

Lee Matthew Dickie, aged 31, previously from Gillingham, pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary dwelling, burglary other than dwelling with intent to steal and theft from a motor vehicle.

Lee Dickie has been sent to prison for 4 years and 6 months Credit: Kent Police

In the evening on 7 January he attempted to steal a television from a Gillingham primary school and the next day he took a number of items, from a property in Third Avenue, Gillingham.

The burglary spree continued, when on 2 February, he stole shotguns and rifles, £50 cash, watches and a telephone from a property in Railway Avenue, Whitstable. He also stole a fuel card from a van parked in Gardiner Street, Gillingham, between 27 January and 3 February.

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