Kent MP leads Euro rebellion

Kent MP Mark Reckless led a rebellion of Conservative MPs in defeating the government in a vote on the European Union.

Rochester's Sweeps Festival

Medway celebrates Sweeps Festival

One of the more bizarre May Day celebrations takes place in Kent today. The Sweeps Festival in Rochester is the largest in the country.

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Six illegal workers caught in raids in Kent

Six illegal workers have been caught following raids at businesses in Rochester, Canterbury and Gravesend.

The Home Office will now take steps to remove from the UK the five men arrested and detained.

Jackie Fowler, from the Home Office immigration enforcement team in Kent, said: “We are determined to stamp out abuse of the immigration system.

“Employers who take on illegal workers are both fuelling illegal immigration and undercutting businesses which play by the rules.”

All three businesses visited have been handed penalty notices for employing illegal workers.

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Sweeps festival celebrates with song and dance

The annual Sweeps Festival takes place in Rochester this weekend. The event is in its 33rd year. It dates back to the nineteenth century tradition of sweeps celebrating their holiday with song and dance.

The pay was low, it was a dirty trade and there was little reward for the men who did the job and even less for children. The sweeps' holiday was traditionally held on the first of May each year.

Biker seriously injured in crash

A motorcyclist has been left with life threatening injuries after a crash in Rochester on Tuesday. His pillion passenger suffered serious leg injuries.

The motorcycle was travelling along City Way in the direction of Star Hill when it was involved in a collision with a silver Audi.

The 20-year-old rider and his 18-year-old passenger were both taken to hospital in London.

The car driver, a 65 year old man from Rochester, received minor injuries and did not go to hospital.

Witnesses are asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 01622 798538, quoting reference 30-1862.

Army tribute to dead soldier

The Royal School of Military Engineering Regiment has issued a statement following confirmation that missing soldier Josh Thomas has been found dead.

The 18-year-old's body was discovered in the River Medway on Monday. He had been reported missing after a night out in Rochester on April 9.

The regiment said it was devastated at the loss of a bright, young soldier.

"The thoughts of everyone at Chatham Station go out to his family and friends," the statement continued.

Soldier's death 'not suspicious'

Rochester Kent Josh Thomas
Josh Thomas went missing on April 10

The body was found in the River Medway at 12.44pm on Monday. Officers say they are not treating the death as suspicious and a report has been prepared for the coroner.

Josh Thomas, who was 18, was based at Brompton Barracks in Chatham had been reported missing on Wednesday 10 April after having been out with friends the night before.

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Prisoner sentenced for biting officers

John Schock Credit: Kent Police

A prisoner has been sentenced to six additional years in jail for biting several officers at prisons in Rochester, Sheppey, Durham and Worcester.

John Bernard Schock was found guilty of assault following an attack on two officers while in custody of HMP Elmley.

He was convicted of five counts of grievous bodily harm, one of actual bodily harm and one of common assault.

He will serve at least four years before he is eligible for parole.

During the incident at HMP Elmley, in June 2011, Schock bit one officer on the upper left arm and another on the wrist.

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