Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

A STRUC­TURAL en­gi­neer from Kent claims he was held in a po­lice cell for 18 hours af­ter be­ing mis­taken for a ter­ror­ist. David Neale, 32, of Rain­ham, was driv­ing through Corn­wall when he stopped with a friend to take a pic­ture of a py­lon. Mr Neale says he was ar­rested un­der the Ter­ror­ism Act, but, af­ter 90 min­utes sit­ting in a po­lice car, the charge was dropped to con­spir­acy to com­mit crim­i­nal dam­age. Po­lice have de­nied his ar­rest had any link to the act. He was ar­rested with house­mate Jay Cur­tis and taken to Newquay po­lice sta­tion where they were ques­tioned and kept in cells overnight be­fore be­ing re­leased with­out charge. Mr Neale said: “I de­sign and an­a­lyse py­lons for a liv­ing so have a gen­uine in­ter­est in them.”

PO­LICE swooped on a Kent vil­lage on Tues­day as part of a ma­jor op­er­a­tion to tackle an­i­mal rights ex­trem­ism. The ac­tiv­ity in East Peck­ham, near Maid­stone, at about 7am is thought to be part of an ini­tia­tive in which a to­tal 30 peo­ple were ar­rested. Raids took place in Kent, Sus­sex, Berk­shire, Hamp­shire, Greater Lon­don, Mersey­side, Worces­ter­shire, Northum­bria and York­shire, Sur­rey and Lan­cashire.

AN ar­gu­ment be­tween dog own­ers led to a wo­man be­ing struck on her face and nose. The as­sault hap­pened on The Com­mon, Tun­bridge Wells, on Fri­day, at about 7.30pm. Po­lice say the vic­tim, who is in her 40s, was walk­ing her dogs near a cricket pitch when she was ap­proached by two women who had with them a dog which be­came ag­gres­sive to­wards her dog. The wo­man tried to shoo the dog away and as she did so one of the two women hit her on her face and nose. A 24-year-old wo­man was later ar­rested and bailed in con­nec­tion with the in­ci­dent.

RITA Wid­de­combe, mother of Maid­stone and Weald MP Ann Wid­de­combe, has died sud­denly. She was 95. Mrs Wid­de­combe died last Thurs­day at the Lon­don home she shared with her daugh­ter, who was with her. Her funeral is due to be held on Tues­day, May 8, at St Christo­pher’s Church, Haselmere, Sur­rey.

A BOY of 14 was as­saulted while rid­ing his pedal cy­cle. The in­ci­dent hap­pened in Maid­stone Road, Rain­ham. Po­lice say older two boys threw stones at the vic­tim, chased him, pulled him off his bike and then as­saulted him. The boy suf­fered in­juries to his face.

GRAVESEND and North­fleet Foot­ball Club are to change their name to Ebb­s­fleet United amid spec­u­la­tion that the club are close to an­nounc­ing the site for a new sta­dium. Sup­port­ers were in­formed of the change at Tues­day night’s spe­cially con­vened open fo­rum at Stone­bridge Road. The club will re­tain the nick­name The Fleet. The change comes into ef­fect im­me­di­ately, hav­ing re­ceived the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion’s bless­ing. Be­hind the de­ci­sion is the re­gen­er­a­tion of the Thames Gate­way, which will see nearby Ebb­s­fleet Sta­tion be­come a fo­cal point for in­ter­na­tional travel.

David Neale

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