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downsmail.co.uk Street pastors need new recruits


TWOMaidstone Street Pastors are leaving the team – leaving a shortage of volunteers on the ground. Claire Boxall, a prayer pastor,


and David Eberlein, a street pastor, have decided to move on. A spokesman said: “We thank


both of these lovely people for their time, love and commitment to street and prayer pastors over these past years and send them our bless- ings and love.” An appeal has been made to re-


place the vacancies. The Maidstone Street Pastors scheme was launched in January 2008 with the first set of Street Pas- tors out on the streets of Maidstone in October that year. They work with other bodies


such as Kent Police to provide sup- port to the homeless as well as the many thousands of revellers drawn to the county town eachweekend. Its website states: “Maidstone is the clubbing capital of Kent with


Driver banned


A 28-YEAR-OLD who drove through Maidstone without insur- ance, failed to give a breath test and then assaulted a police officer has been banned from the road for five years.


Jamie Stafford admitted driving


his Renault Megane in Dickens Road otherwise than in accordance with a licence, with no insurance, failing to provide a breath speci- men and assaulting the officer at the town’s police station on April 4. Mid Kent Magistrates’ Court sen-


tenced Stafford, from Rainham, to the driving ban and ordered him to do 250 hours of unpaid work in the community. He must also pay a £200 fine, £50 compensation and an £85 victim surcharge.


Assault arrest


POLICE have made an arrest fol- lowing an assault in Maidstone, which put a man in the neurologi- cal unit of a London hospital. The 23-year-old man, from Maid-


stone, was arrested following the incident in King Street at 2.28am on Sunday, November 6. He was bailed until December 9. A 26-year-old man from Maid-


stone was also arrested, but has since been released without charge. The victim was taken to King’s College Hospital by road, although the air ambulance was scrambled and landed nearby in Mote Park.


Drugs teenager A BOY aged 15 has been arrested on suspicion of dealing in heroin. Therewere three arrests in Lower


Stone Street. The 15-year-old is from Croydon, a 19-year-old from Maidstone and a 29-year-old from Woolwichwere bailed to January.


18 Maidstone East January 2017 More volunteers are need to keep the Street Pastors’ scheme going


up to 10,000 party goers on a Satur- day night. “Street Pastors work closely alongside the police, paramedics and the Urban Blue bus project to provide emotional, spiritual and practical support to those in need.” Tim Gosden, who is a parish-


ioner at All Saints’ in Loose, is training to be a street pastor. He has worked with the St John Am- bulance and NHS for a number of years. He is currently establishing a Christian Union in the ambulance service. Paul and Ruth Burchett are both returning to street pastor duty


Child abuser jailed for offences in the 1970s


A PAEDOPHILE who abused chil- dren at his Maidstone home in the early 1970s has been jailed for six- and-a-half years. Charles Rose (79) assaulted two


girls at his home in Loose when they were both of primary school age.


The victims reported to police in


2010 that Rose committed multiple sex offences against them through- out a 12-month period. Rose, who had moved to Pen- wortham, Lancashire,was charged by post in July 2015. He denied four counts of inde-


cent assault on a child and three counts of gross indecency, but was convicted following a trial in Sep- tember 2016, and sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court. In addition to his six-and-a-half


year sentence he will also serve an additional 12 months on licence. Investigating officer Detective Constable Rebecca Saunders said: "Charles Rose’s victims lived with what had happened to them for more than 40 years and I would like to pay tribute to them for hav- ing the courage to speak up and support the investigation. "They have demonstrated incred-


ible bravery through what must have been a very difficult time for them, including having to relive their experiences during the trial. "I hope this case sends a clear message to other victims of historic sexual abuse that it is never too late to report offences to us, and that you will receive all the necessary support should you wish to come forward.”


in the new year. Paul, who had back surgery this


year, has been away from the Maid- stone Street Pastors team and wife Ruth will be in charge of his wheel- chair. The Maidstone team is cur- rently short of prayer pastors who are needed for duties one Saturday night/Sunday morning a month from 9.45pm to 3am. The website explains: “The pas-


tors have quickly established them- selves as an integral part of the Saturday night time economy. Ex- cellent relationships have been built up with door staff, police and the Saturday night revellers and the pastors’ aim to be ‘lights in the darkness’ has been warmly re- ceived.”


If you would like to help out, call Nigel on 07817 250705 or email maidstone@streetpastors.org.uk


It’s all smiles at dentists


ADENTISTRY team from Bearsted has earned top marks for their prac- tice from a Government inspector. In a report from the Care Quality Commission, the New Tooth Com- pany Implant Centre on the Ash- ford Road earns top marks for providing industry standards of service and staff who put patients at ease. The inspector who visited the practice – run by Melanie and Gary Moynes – compiled the report after checking protocols and talking to patients and staf. TheCQCsaid this month that pa-


tients felt they received very good care in a clean environment from a helpful practice team. The CQC plans to inspect 10% of England’s 10,000 dental practices. Unlike most sectors regulated by the CQC, primary care dental serv- ices do not receive a rating.


New Ukip leaderwelcomed


ALEADING Ukip figure haswel- comed the appointment of Paul Nuttall (pictured) as leader of the party – and says it will force the local branches to announce their selections for forthcoming polls. Mr Nuttall’s appointment has delayed the announcement of local candida-


cies for the Kent County Council elections in May 2017. These were meant to take place


at the end of October but were forced to be put back when the party’s then leader Diane James resigned after 18 days. Shepway Ukip borough coun-


cillor Eddie Powell said: “I’m de- lighted that Paul Nuttall got the job. Locally, the Labour Party is finished, the Tories are in trouble and the Liberal Democrats aren’t worth worrying about.” Although Cllr Powell said that


he would like to see the appoint- ments made “sooner rather than later”, it may not be until after Christmas. Rumours have been rife that


Cllr Powell would stand for par- liament, while Downswood and Otham’s independent-turned- Ukipper Gordon Newton would stand in the ultra-marginal Maid- stone south east KCC division. Cllr Powell said: “Nothing has


been decided. It sounds like the Tories are a bit rattled. No one wants the selections to be made more than me but it’s a demo- cratic process.” Cllr Cooke, the Tory Maidstone south-east candidate, said he was confident he can win the seat back next May, no matter who Ukip chooses.


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