An armed robber who targeted a Whitstable bookmakers after stealing an expensive set of drills from a DIY superstore and assaulting a member of staff has been sentenced. In November 2013 Ricky Loft entered the B&Q store in Reeves Way and picked up three drills.
The 32 year-old attempted to leave the store without paying for them. When staff gave chase whilst a colleague called the police. But as two members of staff caught up with Loft he lashed out - swinging the heavy drill cases at them, striking one employee in the head.
Just over an hour later, Loft entered the William Hill bookmakers in Tankerton Road.He was carrying a black bag, covering an object. He held it in such a way that staff at the shop believed was armed with a gun. He threatened staff before demanding they fill a drawstring bag with cash.
Through CCTV footage and mobile phone data, detectives soon realised Loft was responsible for the theft of the drills and robbery. He was arrested in the London area. But on 11 April 2014 Loft was sentenced to 10 years after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.
The driver of a large transit van and three of his passengers have been airlifted to hospital after the van came off the road and hit a tree in Kent. Fire crews were called in the early hours of this morning. All four were treated by ambulance staff before being airlifted to hospital.
The Whitstable Oyster Festival got underway today with hundreds of people sampling the town's most famous export. The festival lasts for seven days and organisers will greet Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall on Monday during a visit to the harbour in Kent.
The festival has been running since 1985, but the cultivation of oysters in the area began during the Roman occupation.
Temperatures have continued to rise this weekend, reaching almost thirty degrees centigrade in parts of the South. And with the warmer weather comes a boom in businesses for some of our coastal resorts. Andrea Thomas has been to one town in Kent to gauge the 'sunshine effect'.
She spoke to Derick West, a retired fisherman, Brian Hitcham from the Whitstable & District Chamber of Commerce and some very happy day-trippers.
Homes in Kent could soon be told they'll have SIX bins for their rubbish collection. The shake-up of recycling services means families could end up with three wheelie bins and three smaller plastic buckets. Fred and Sangeeta link to John Ryall.