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Detective Constable Geoff McCreery and Investigating Officer Donna Mencia- Kenny with ACCWorron

Awards for police in murder inquiry

POLICE officers who solved the murder of John Birney, who was found stabbed to death at his Maidstone flat in June last year, have been recognised at an awards ceremony for their good work. Detective Constable Geoff Mc- Creery and Investigating Officer Donna Mencia-Kenny worked tire- lessly to unravel the murder after one of the offenders, John Barham, was released without charge for his part in the crime. Alison Tomlin,wholived with the victim, was charged with the of- fence after her fingerprints were found throughout the victim’s flat, along with her belt that had been used to tie his wrists. Barham was said to be bragging

about killing Mr Birney and exten- sive enquirieswere made by the of- ficers, which led to the arrest and charge of the joint-killer. The trial was complicated by a

lack of evidence that Tomlin and Barham had acted together and the lack of a cause of death due to de- composition, but eventually both

were convicted of murder and the officerswere praised by the judge. The two officers from the Kent

and Essex Serious Crime Directorate received commendations for their work from Assistant Chief Consta- ble Steve Worron. He said: “Serious Crime Direc-

torate officers and staff are commit- ted to dealing with some of the most serious crimes in Essex and Kent. “There is a commitment across

the departments to make sure the people who have committed those crimes are dealt with by the courts. “Whether conducting enquiries in

the full gaze of the public or devel- oping intelligence and preparing ev- idence behind the scenes, it is the shared ambition tomakesure justice is done that motivates all involved. “I am delighted that we take the

time to formally recognise the dedi- cation and commitment of the offi- cers and staff tackling serious criminality in Essex and Kent.” The officers are pictured with

ACC Worron after receiving their awards.

Increase in armed police

MORE armed police will be on patrol on the streets of Kent to counter potential terrorist attacks. The county’s police force announced the move following a Home Of-

fice decision to increase the number of firearms officers. The patrols will include armed units and officers with taser capability at key locations. Deputy Chief Constable of Kent, Paul Brandon, said: “While we are

not expecting a direct threat to the county,we dowant to make sure that should circumstances change quickly, we are adequately prepared.” Some of the extra patrols will be be targeted at Canterbury city centre

and cathedral, the Port of Dover and Bluewater shopping centre. Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott said: “I hope

these visible patrols will provide additional reassurance to the public. The security of the people of Kent is my priority.”

Dog show help VOLUNTEERSare needed to help at the Hollingbourne Annual Summer Fete and Exemption Dog Show. This year’s fete in June made a

profit of just £315 for village projects, but previous years have raised thou- sands of pounds for causes such as the Hollingbourne Meadows Trust and the speed sign in Eyhorne Street. For details call parish clerk Vicki

Smith on 01622 880526 or email

Charity cards CHARITIES will benefit by thousands of pounds from the Christmas card shop to be held once again in the Methodist Church, Union Street, Maidstone. The shop, run by volun-

teers, will trade from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, from Friday, October 14 to Friday December 16.

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Maidstone East October 2016 5

Coming Home: Conflict and Care in 1916

‘Arrival of a Conv

Arrival of a Convoy of Wou

Wo nded Sol

ounded Soldiers at Maidstone East by F ank Hy de

s at Maidstone East’’,, by Frank Hyde

Saturday 24 September 2016 to Saturday 7 January 2017

An exhibition expl oring the experiences of the peopl e in two paintings of 1916 in the Museum’s collections - ‘T rones Wood’, a battld’’’,, a battl

e in two paintings of 1916 ones

b ttl e scene from the Somme

and ‘‘Arrival of a Convoy of WArrival of a Convo y of Wounded Soldiers at Maidstone East’.

s at Maidstone East’ FREE Supported by Supported by: and the Queen’s Own Royal Ws Own Royal West Kent Re Tu ent Regiment Museum Trust

Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 - 17:00, Sunday 12:00 - 16:00, Monday Closed Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery

fac @MaidstoneMuseum p 01622 602838

“When our new fence looks this good, is maintenance free and guaranteed for 25 years, it’s a no-brainer”

‘Trones Wood’, by Frank Hyde ones W Wo y F ‘If the Kaiser Should Come’

Saturday 8 October, 14:00 - 15:00 Hear a fascinating illustrated talk by military historian Victor Smith on the land, sea and air defences across Kent in the First World War.

£5 per person, £4 concessions and MMF members. Booking essential.

Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery, St Faith’s Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1LH


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