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Ukip officer is guilty of scam

A FORMER Ukip official to one of Kent’s most controversial MEPs has been spared jail after admit- ting her involvement in an ex- penses scam. Christine Hewitt (55), of Townsend Square, King’s Hill, paid £950 for a meal in The Hoy pub in Thanet in March 2015. But Hewitt, who

was the chief of staff to south east MEP Janice Atkin- son - infamous for describing British

a Thai

woman as a “ting tong” - asked the restaurant to give her a £3,150 bill. The scam was uncovered in an expose in a national newspaper. Hewitt appeared in front of a

Janice Atkinson

judge at Canterbury Crown Court, where itwas heard that the inflated bill would have been passed to an organisation to reimburse the money, which would have ulti- mately been paid for by the British taxpayer. The tearful defendant put her

head in her hands when Judge William Kennedy told her that she would not be sent to prison during a 20-minute hearing earlier this month. The courtwas told how the Mar-

gate restaurant was furious at the rip-off and tipped off reporters at the Sun newspaper, who filmed Hewitt and sent the tape to police. The chief of staff was then ar-

rested and charged with fraud. Mrs Atkinson, who sits as an

MEP but has developed political links with the far right French Na- tional Front party led by Marine Le Pen, was sacked by Ukip bosses. She denied involvement in the scam and faced no charges. Hewitt was given a suspened jail sentence of four months, 40 hours on com- munity service and ordered to pay £500 in costs. Her defence claimed MrsAtkinson had “hung her out to dry”. Mrs Atkinson, who was ap- proached for a comment but did not respond, was tipped to cause an upset in the Folkestone and Hythe parliamentary constituency but was dropped when the fraud probe started.

Minibus will benefit elderly

MAIDSTONE group Involve Kent has taken delivery of a new minibus to help the elderly in the town, courtesy of the Department of Transport. But the vehicle, which will be used to take older people shopping, for

days out and other transport needs, presented just one problem – where to park it in Maidstone? Fortunately, construction firm Gallagher stepped up and made space

for the 17-seat Peugeot Boxer, which is wheelchair accessible. It will operate out of Involve’s new hub in The Mall shopping centre. Involve’s Older People’s service is now looking for extra drivers and

volunteers to help in their office – call 01622 677337. To find out how the service can help you, visit, email, or call 01622 235833.

Crash woman is cut from car

AWOMANwas cut from her car after a crash close to a Maidstone rail- way station. The incident on Station Approach at MaidstoneWest just before 4pm

on September 6 also involved a van and a third vehicle. Firefighters had to free the woman, said to be aged in her 40s. She is thought to have neck injuries which were not life-threatening. Police closed the road and diverted traffic into the Broadway.


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