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Man jailed for robbing elderly woman

A man has been jailed for four years for robbing a 76-year-old woman.

Steven Murray, aged 19, of Diligent Drive, Sittingbourne, was charged with robbery following an incident in Sittingbourne on 15 February.

Steven Murray was jailed for four years for robbery Credit: Kent Police

Murray asked a 76-year-old woman, known to him, for £20 and she was reluctant to give it to him but he said it was his birthday soon and it could be an early present. The woman handed the money over and Murray left.

A short time later, Murray returned and again asked for £20. She explained she had already given him the money, which he denied, and to avoid any issues she handed over a further £20.

Later the same day, Murray approached the woman, who was wearing the handbag with the strap across her body, and he grabbed hold of the strap. The woman was reluctant to let go of the bag as it contained £80 cash to pay the rent.

She described the incident as a `tug of war' before the strap gave way allowing Murray to take hold of the handbag and steal £80 from her purse.

Murray was arrested the next day and admitted pulling the handbag's strap and prising the woman's fingers from the bag. He said the money was going to pay a portion of a drugs debt that he owed.

Teen ordered to pay £1500 to victim after assault

A teenager from Sittingbourne has been ordered to pay £1500 in compensation to his victim after he attacked him and fractured his spine.

It comes after the 17-year-old assaulted a 19-year-old man in June 2013, leaving him with a fractured eye socket and injuries to his spine.

The victim had to go through months of treatment and had to wear a neck brace.

As well as the fine, the teenager, who can't be named for legal reasons, will have to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and was issued with a 120-day custodial sentence.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Phil Pead said, "The victim suffered very serious injuries; he was punched just once by this thoughtless attacker, but it could have been so much worse. At one stage, it was feared the victim might become paralysed due to his spine injury."


Cheryl and Len take on new roles at hospice

TV judge Len Goodman becomes vice president at Demelza Credit: Demelza House

Singer Cheryl Baker and Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman have become Vice Presidents of Demelza hospice in Sittingbourne.

Cheryl Baker has supported Demelza for more than 15 years. She opened the first charity shop in Sittingbourne in 1998 and last year ran the London Marathon for the charity.

She said: “I’m honoured to be asked to be a Vice President of Demelza. It’s a charity close to my heart and one which I’ve supported since my family moved to Kent in 1996.

"The care they provide for families in need is phenomenal and I’m privileged to be able to do my bit by helping to raise awareness of this vital local cause."

Len Goodman has made several visits to Demelza in Sittingbourne and is always a popular visitor.

Cheryl Baker ran the London Marathon for Demelza Credit: Demelza
  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Journey back in time to the 1940s

It was a time of community spirit, of evenings by the wireless, and of making do in incredbly tough times. Now the war-time era of the 1940s has been recreated at a costume shop in the south east, and will soon open to the public as a living museum.

David Johns has been to look round, speaking to re-enactors Debbie White and Judy Knight.

Sinkhole forces closure of M2

The M2 is closed has been both directions between Sittingbourne and Faversham to allow emergency roadworks to a section of carriageway.

It's understood that a sinkhole up to 15 metres deep has opened up on a central reservation.

Traffic is being diverted via the M249 and A20. It's expected that the closure could last for 24 hours

Prolific paedophile guilty of series of offences

He was a prolific paedophile who used the internet to groom young girls - and, he got away with it for more than a decade.

Tonight, the full extent of the crimes carried out by delivery driver Darren Jeffries were revealed - following two Crown Court trials.

There were eighty offences in all carried out over a period of 13 years.

Children in Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey and Kent were targeted. Victims kept silent - and it wasn't until January 2013 - when a mother became suspicious of a man her daughter met in a chatroom - that police were called.

Even then, they were unaware just how many children and young people had been abused. Here's Mel Bloor.


Kent delivery driver guilty of 80-plus sexual offences

Darren Jeffries was found guilty of a series of sexual offences Credit: Surrey Police

A delivery driver from Kent has been found guilty of more than 80 sexual offences that took place over 13 years. Darren Jeffries, who is 48 and from Sittingbourne, was found guilty of charges including the rape and abduction of victims between the ages of two and 17.

He will be sentenced next month.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Savings and loans offered by Kent church

Where do you turn when you want a loan? A bank? A building society? A friend? How about your local church! Well this morning, Kent's first "community bank" to be held in a church opened its doors for savers and borrowers.

Last year the Archbishop of Canterbury promised to do more to help people affected by debt, and to provide alternatives to high-interest "pay day loans". But are financial services really what the church should be involved in?

David Johns reports, speaking to the Rt Rev Trevor Wilmott, Bishop of Dover; parish priest Rev Lesley Jones; financial expert Justin Urquhart Stewart; and headteacher Patricia Hatt.

Gales being blamed for collapse of wall

Video. Gale force winds which swept the South East yesterday are being blamed for the collapse of a wall which sparked a full-scale emergency operation in Kent.

Salvage operations have been continuing today at the derelict Bell Shopping Centre on Sittingbourne High Street and structural engineers have been examining the scene.

Nashreen Issa reports and spoke to Paul Ramsden from Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

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