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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.

Armed officers increased

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.”

Biker injured A MOTORCYCLE passenger was taken to hospital with head injuries after a crash inWillowWay, Maid- stone, on Saturday, September 17. The womanwas flown by air am- bulance to King’s College Hospital in London after the incident, be- tween a car and the motorcycle, just after 8pm. Police cordoned off Willow Way

and Mote Roadwas also closed after the accident.

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. 01622 753073

Sandling Road, Maidstone Kent ME14 2RF


MA T TRE SSE S HE ADBO ARDS Maidstone November 2016 13


SA LE the next generation


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