Live updates

Animal lover achieves dream of opening own zoo

Adam Hemsley has loved animals since he was a child.

He has always dreamed of having his own collection.

He started small, with a few reptiles in his garden, and the collection continued to grow.

Now the 22-year-old is the proud owner of the country's newest, smallest zoo.

The Hemsley Conservation Centre near Wrotham has all kinds of exotic creatures and, as Lydia Hamilton finds out in the video below, he is not finished yet.


Police given more powers to deal with anti-social behaviour in Wrotham

Kent Police officers are to be given more powers to deal with anti-social behaviour linked to the use of motorcycles on the A20 in Wrotham.

A Dispersal Area will operate over a five month period until October.

Kent Police and Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council applied for the order after reports of motorcyclists driving dangerously and risking injury to themselves and other road users.

Under the Act, any group of two or more people found causing or likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress can be dispersed by a uniformed officer. Young people under 16 and not accompanied by a responsible adult between 9pm and 6am can be taken back to their home.

During the summer months a common complaint in this area is that residents suffer from noise and anti-social behaviour as a result of these gatherings. The manner in which some of these motorcyclists ride puts themselves in danger as well as other road users and we now have an order in place that means we can move people on. Those who do not comply with the order risk strong penalties.’

– Sergeant Ashley Boxall of Kent Police

The Borough Council is happy to support the work by the police and other partners to tackle this issue. It is just one way that we're attempting to address the problems caused by a small minority in this area.’

– Anthony Garnett, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council

Swans killed after being shot through necks

Two swans have been found dead in woods near Wrotham. They had been shot through the neck and dumped.

Police were alerted by a member of the public in woodland off Terrys Lodge Road.

The RSPCA has been informed and the swans have been removed by police.

PC Daphne Allen, of Kent Police, said: “The animals did not have any identification rings around their legs to suggest where they had come from. They may have been shot locally, or they may have been hunted in the wild and then their bodies driven to the location and left there."

Attacker identified by army-style trousers

Ian Phibbs wearing army-style trousers in a picture taken in 1986 Credit: Kent Police

In both attacks, Phipps was described as “chubby” and wearing army-style trousers.

He was arrested last October and initially denied the attacks but DNA analysis proved there was less than a one in a billion chance the attacker was anyone else but Phipps.

Ian Phipps was arrested in October Credit: Kent Police

Kent Police welcome conviction

Phipps targeted these women knowing he could overpower them in secluded locations.

‘He threatened the use of violence throughout their ordeal but they were brave and courageous enough to come forward and notify the police.

This man thought he had got away with his crimes after so many years but he didn’t ... and I’m pleased Phipps has been brought to justice and made to answer for his horrendous offences.

– Detective Superintendent Rob Vinson, Kent Police


Victim was 14-year-old schoolgirl

Maidstone Crown Court heard that in January 1986 Phipps attacked a 14-year-old schoolgirl as she walked home along a secluded public footpath in Halling.

A subsequent police investigation failed to identify a suspect.

In June 1991, Phipps struck again when he attacked a 23-year-old woman on an unmarked footpath in Wrotham.

When evidence gathered from the two offences was re-examined in 2012, police discovered the DNA of the attacker belonged to Phipps.

DNA analysis proved there was less than a one in a billion chance the attacker was anyone else but Phipps.