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Home-owner’s quick thinking

A FORMER Maidstone man has been jailed for more than three years for burglary after being wres- tled to the ground by his victim. Henry Barton (40)was not expect-

ing to be challenged when he and Liam McCloskey broke into a house being renovated in Smithers Lane, East Peckham. However, they

had triggered the alarm and when the owner arrived

at the property with a relative to in- vestigate, he heard movement in- side.

Barton (pictured) and McCloskey

tried to run off, but Bartonwas wres- tled to the ground and during the struggle, bit his victim’s hand. The struggle continued until police ar- rived and Bartonwas arrested. A police dog later found Mc- Closkey hiding in bushes nearby. Items including coins, awatch and

socks were retrieved from both the offenders. Barton told police he had not entered the property, claiming he had only stolen possessions from

a vehicle outside, whereas Mc- Closkey told officers “I got some stuff from in the house in my pocket”. Forensic tests proved they had

both broken into the property, after DNAwas found on net curtains. McCloskey (36), of no fixed abode, admitted burglary, and Barton, for- merly of Granville Road, Maidstone, admitted to burglary and assault.He was also charged with arson, relat- ing to a separate case. They were sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court – McCloskey to 16 months and Barton to a total of three years and a month in prison. Detective Constable Natalie Sam-

mells said: “Barton and McCloskey came unstuck, largely thanks to the quick-thinking and courageous ac- tions of the victim and his relative. “Whilstwewouldnever encourage home-owners to confront burglars, wedocontinue toremindresidents to keep their property secure and to try and make homes look lived in when no one is there. “We want to make it as difficult as possibleforburglarstostrikebut,ifthey do, they can expect togoto prison.”

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Town’s diversity celebrated

AN EXCHANGE of cultural song, dance and food featured in an ethnic cel- ebration in the town. Dancing Afghan women and a performance of ancient Turkish guitar by

the Baglama player drew fans on stage at The Vine in Boughton Lane. The event was organised by Maidstone Black and Minority Ethnic Com- munities Forum and Involve Kent. Involve Kent’s BME forum facilitator Jacqueline Bobb said: “Itwas a joy

to watch the enthusiasm and talent of our local musicians and dancers who proudly showed off their traditions and demonstrated just how di- verse and talented our borough has become.” MP Helen Grant said the multi-cultural celebration was “just what is needed” in light of an 85% rise in hate crime since the Brexit vote.

Crews tackle recycling site blaze

FIREFIGHTERS tackled a massive blaze at a recycling plant in Laver- stoke Road, Allington. The area was evacuated and no

onewas injured. Kent Fire and Rescue Service

said: “Crews found a smoke- logged three-storey building. “All personnel had been safely

evacuated prior to the arrival of the fire service. The building is used as awaste recycling plant and the fire is located in one of the large silos on site, containing various metals. “Crews used main jets and ther-

mal imaging cameras to tackle the large blaze assisted by the extractor fans on site to clear smoke."

Thursday 3rd November 2016 7-9pm

at our Bearsted Office

Places are limited so please phone to book your place now.

Bearsted Office Bearsted Green, Bearsted ME14 4QZ

Tel: 01622 737800 Penenden Heath Office

Penenden Heath, Maidstone ME14 2HN

Tel: 01622 671200

Maidstone November 2016 11

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