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.