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Burglars abandon stolen goods in police chase

Two burglars who stole thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes from a Kent newsagents have been sentenced today.

Stan Charlie Abbey, 29, of Priestfield Road in Gillingham and Ian David Thomas, 35, of Wordsworth Way in Dartford.

Three men smashed their way into the West Malling shop at 12.40am in a silver Saab estate. Thomas and Abbey threw a paving slab at the window and stole more than £5,000 worth of cigarettes.

On the way out they also helped themselves to nearly £100 worth of sweets and food.

At junction 3 of the M2 they were spotted by a police car which chased them until Taddington Wood Lane.

A short time later, officers saw a man in a wooded area where he was arrested and identified as Ian Thomas.

Nearby the officers found the abandoned Saab with a boot full of cigarettes and the car was reported to have been stolen from London.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Jon Faulkner of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said:

"They were brought down by their own stupidity and by the hard work of my investigation team.

"They left fingerprints all over the Saab, almost got stuck trying to squeeze their haul through the shattered window of Martins Newsagents and accrued parking fines outside one of their home addresses for a stolen car."

Woman who stole from her sick father is jailed

A woman From West Malling who stole from a sick relative in order to fund her own lifestyle has begun a prison sentence for fraud.

Linda Cooper, formerly of Durello Avenue, Kings Hill, was jailed for 12 months after stealing more than £35,000 from her own father, who was suffering from dementia.

She had been entrusted with managing Raymond Bartholomew's money, who was receiving care in hospitals and nursing homes. However, between 2007 and 2012 Cooper dipped into her father’s funds to pay for her own day to day living expenses, meals out and holidays.

Family members raised the alarm in 2012, following suspicions that thousands of pounds had been spent without permission of the victim, who died the following year.

This was a serious breach of trust against a very vulnerable victim who was suffering from debilitating mental illnesses. Cooper knew that he was no longer well enough to keep an eye on his own finances and used this to her advantage to deposit large sums of money into her own bank accounts in order to pay for her own lifestyle. Hopefully this sentence will reinforce the message that crime does not pay and that our officers will use every opportunity and legislation available to make sure criminals don't profit from their crimes."

– Detective Constable Brian Elsdon, of Kent Police

Pedestrian killed in Kent crash

An 85-year-old woman died after a car hit her in West Malling on Friday 27th December.

The elderly woman was crossing the road at 9.05am on Friday when a grey Seat Leon collided with her.

An air ambulance took the woman to hospital in London but she sadly died on Saturday 28th December.

Officers would like to speak with the driver of a dark coloured Volvo Estate who may have witnessed the incident. CCTV footage shows the car turning right out of West Street, into the High Street at the time of the collision.


Kent crash leaves elderly woman with 'serious head injury'

Kent Police are appealing for witnesses after an incident in West Malling that has left an elderly woman with a serious head injury.

Officers were called today at 9.05am today to a road traffic collision on High Street.

A grey seat Leon was in collision with an 85-year-old woman who was crossing the road.

The air ambulance attended took the woman to hospital.

The road remains closed as officers carry out investigations into the circumstances.

Music to their ears - the classical concert that had schoolchildren spellbound

A celebratory atmosphere at St Mary's Church Credit: ITV Meridian

Hundreds of schoolchildren have been given the chance to perform alongside a prima ballerina as part of a project to foster a love of classical music.

Respected conductor and violinist Thomas Kemp and other musicians held workshops for around 800 local primary pupils at 15 schools in and around West Malling in the lead up to the Music@Malling Festival.

Erina Takahashi, English National Ballet Credit: ITV Meridian

The end result was three performances of The Soldier's Tale, composed by Stravinsky in 1918. Dancing to the music, was a very special guest - Lead Principal with the English National Ballet, Erina Takahashi.

The plot thickens Credit: ITV Meridian

Pupils also played music they'd composed themselves in the workshops. Other children from schools around the region turned out to listen, and were captivated by the performances.

Two men arrested after armed robbery in Kent

Andrew Smith Jewellers was robbed by armed jewellers Credit: ITV Meridian

Two men have been arrested after a substantial amount of jewellery was stolen during an armed robbery in Kent.

Two men weilding an axe went into Andrew Smith Jewellers on West Malling High street on Friday lunchtime. They got away with a large amount of jewellery and made off in a blue Peugeot 106 driven by a third man. Two men have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Armed robbery at high street jewellers

Two men have been arrested after an armed robbery at a jewellers in West Malling, Kent.

Kent Police were called at 1.30pm on Friday, August 9 to a report of an armed robbery in progress at Andrew Smith Jewellers in the High Street.

The two men entered the store armed with an axe and stole a large amount of jewellery.

The men made off in a blue Peugeot 106, which was driven by a third man who waited outside the car.

On August 11, the two men aged 27 and 29 were arrested on suspicion of robbery. They have since been released on bail until October 21.

The High Street was quite busy at the time of the robbery, and we have spoken to a number of witnesses who have given us very useful information. I’m sure there are some more people out there who saw what happened though, and it would be great to hear from them."

– DC Graham Hunt at Tonbridge police station
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