THE pilot of a parachute plane who died after a crash at Headcorn Aerodrome near Maidstone on Sunday has been named as Steven Davis. Mr Davis, 36, had been trapped in the cockpit of the de Havilland Beaver single-engined aircraft. He was taken to the Royal London Hospital where he died from his injuries. The aircraft had been carrying eight parachutists. It was taking off on a lift shortly after 4pm when it slewed across the runway and smashed into a static vintage aircraft. Jane Buckle, manager of Headcorn Parachute Club, said Mr Davis had worked at the club for only a month. He was an experienced pilot with a commercial licence. One of the passengers was badly hurt and is being treated at Maidstone Hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening. A third patient, an 18-year-old girl suffering from shock, was also taken to Maidstone Hospital. Fire crews from Tenterden, Maidstone, Ashford and Marden were called to the scene. The tragedy is being investigated by the Air Accident Investigation Branch.
POLICE are investigating after £48 million divorcee Beverly Charman was tied up and robbed at gunpoint. The 53-year-old former wife of insurance magnate John Charman was at home in Sevenoaks, when a gunman in a balaclava broke in at 9.40pm on Friday. He forced her to open a safe and hand over several thousand pounds worth of jewellery. It is thought the thief had an imitation firearm or BB gun. Mrs Charman was found by her son at about 10pm. She was not hurt in the incident.
POLICE have identified a young road sweeper killed while picking up litter from a grass verge. Damian Griffiths, 20, died after a crash involving the refuse truck from which he was working. The young man, who lived in Northview, Swanley, was working for Tonbridge and Malling council at East Peckham, on March 2, when the tragedy happened. He was on the busy dual carriageway when the collision occurred between his refuse truck and a heavy goods vehicle. Both drivers were shocked but unhurt. An inquest has been adjourned.
A MASKED youth held a bread knife to the throat of a foreign student and hit another one in the head with a traffic cone during an incident in the street. Detectives say the Czech youngsters had left the Marlowe Academy in Stirling Way, on Ramsgate’s Newington estate, when they became the target of racial abuse.
A GAS blast which ripped through a couple’s house wrecked most of the ground floor and killed about 100 budgerigars and a cockatoo. The blast happened when a portable gas canister exploded. Home owner David Brown and his wife, Sarah, narrowly avoided being caught in the explosion on Friday. The couple, from Imperial Road, Gillingham, managed to escape after fleeing through their front door. Firefighters say they are lucky to be alive.
The plane that crashed at Headcorn Aerodrome, killing the pilot