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News Code word for

safer nights A SAFE phrase is being introduced for those feeling threatened in Maid- stone. The announcement – by the Safer Maidstone Partnership – follows a series of sex attacks in the town. The “Ask for Angela” code will

allow anyone feeling threatened to discreetly alert bar staff that they are faced with a difficult situation. Posters are being displayed in ven-

ues across the town in conjunction with MaidstoneCouncil, Kent Police and Maidstone Domestic Abuse Forum and training provided for those within Maidstone’s Night Time Economy Forum. The initiative has already been successfully launched in Lin- colnshire. Cllr Fran Wilson, the leader of Maidstone Council, said: “Launch- ing this in Maidstone is a big step to- wards reducing the fear some people might feel in a situation and to prevent sexual violence.” Maidstone Council’s community partnerships and resilience manager Matt Roberts said: “I would encour- age anyone who needs help to go to the bar and ask for Angela, and the bar staff will know you need help and will help you out discreetly.” Kent Police are also advising those heading for a night on the town to: Plan journeys to and from home in advance. If you get a taxi or minicab, ensure it is licensed. Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back. Tell a friend if you have arranged to meet someone new, who they are and where you will be. Do not leave drinks unattended.

Rape charge

man in court A 25-YEAR-OLD man charged with five counts of rape has ap- peared in court by video link. Mateusz Sura, of Tottenham, was arrested by officers investigating a sex attack alleged to have taken place in Wallis Avenue, Maidstone on Monday, December 12. All of the charges relate to the

same incident against one victim who is not known to Sura. He was remanded in custody to appear at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court on Monday, January 16. Officers are urging anyone with information,whohas not yet spoken to the police, to get in touch. This includes a slim white man,

about 5ft 8ins tall and aged between 20 and 25. He was wearing black chino-type trousers and a black hooded top andwas standing on the corner of Bell Road andWallis Av- enue between 5.30pm and 7pm. Call Kent Police on 01622 654863 quoting 12-1162. Alternatively con- tact Kent Crimestoppers, anony- mously, on 0800 555111.

8 Maidstone East January 2017 Singers to fly flag at castle

THE Patriot Girls return to Leeds Castle for next summer’s classical concert, after a three-year absence. They will feature in a Battle of

Britain musical celebration, performing old favourites such as White Cliffs of Dover; Long Way to Tipperary and We’ll Meet Again, whilewar planes fly overhead. The open air classical concert in the

castle ground on July 8 promises to be memorable, according to artistic director John Rigby. He said: “Next year’s concert will not only feature many popular classics such as the

rousing Land of Hope and Glory, which audiences have come to associate with the event, but we’re also adding some Battle of Britain themes to complimentwhat I’m sure will be another breathtaking flying display.”

Audiences are invited to take their

Union flags, candelabras and smiles for the event, which will culminate in a firework display. He added: “We’re confident that

the 2017 event will exceed its reputation as a firm favourite with the people of Kent and beyond.”

Young triathlete raises £1,500 to help hospice

AN EIGHT-year-old boy has raised nearly £1,500 as a thank you to the “lovely people” who cared for his dying cousin. Jack Hills, from Lenham Road in

Platts Heath, completed a triathlon of swimming, cycling and running, and netted three times his target of £500. The challenge was in memory of

his cousin Jessica Humphrey, who was helped by Demelza Hospice Care for Children for three years prior to her death in 2013. Jack, who visited her in the Sit- tingbourne hospice several times, said: “That’s when I learned what a wonderful place it is. I saw the lovely people who work there care for Jessica and all the other children and I think they are awesome. “They have some cool toys and a

great music room too. Jessica loved her music therapy. I have decided I would like to raise some money for Demelza to say thank you.” Jack, who loves all kind of sport,

set about getting sponsors and com- pleted his 200m swim, 6k cycle race and 3.3k run at Maidstone’s Mote Park and Leisure Centre. He began

training two months earlier and fin- ished his challenge, accompanied by dad Chris, in 1hr 23m 27s. Jessica’s

sisters Amy and Emily held the red tape at the finishing line. He said: “I would have been quicker, but dad slowed me down.” He was presented with a trophy

by staff at Demelza to mark his achievement when he visited with mum Sarah and proud grandpar- ents, Jane and David Humphrey from Lenham. Demelza events co-ordinator

EmmaCox said:“Wewere delighted to hear about Jack’s challenge. Itwas so thoughtful of him and he raised an incredible amount to help fund the work we do in caring for chil- dren with life-limiting and life- threatening conditions.” More than 90 people, including

the lollipop lady at Jack’s school – Egerton CE Primary – supported Jack through his Just Giving page. Jack’smumsaid:“We are grateful

to everyone who supported him in raising this great amount, whichwe were delighted to hand over to Demelza.”


site for sale TWO Maidstone restaurants face an uncertain future as the owner of their town centre building has placed the site on the market. The distinctive property in

Union Street is occupied by an Asian restaurant called The Buffet House on the ground floor and La Taberna on the floor above. Christie and Co has been ap- pointed to handle the sale and the firm is seeking £849,995 for the freehold or £70,000 for the leasehold, with an annual rent of £45,000. The property agents said

both businesses would vacate the site when it is sold, but owners of La Taberna, the Munoz family, say they hope to stay put if a deal can be reached with the new owners. The current owner bought

the property nine years ago when it was known as the Comedy Creek Club. James Hughes, business

agent in the Maidstone office of Christie and Co, said the site is an “excellent opportunity” to introduce “new offerings” to Maidstone.

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