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Maidstone East Edition Maidstone Weald Edition


October 2017 February 2018


Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper


downsmail.co.uk


FREE No. 246


Armed robbers held family at knifepoint


Panto ahoy!


A FAMILY man whose world was ripped asunder when armed robbers burst into his home has tearfully relived the terrifying ordeal.


THE cast of Cinderella, which is to be staged at the Hazlitt Theatre in Maid- stone, took to the River Medway to launch this year's panto. On board The Kentish Lady were national treasure Rustie Lee (Fairy Godmother), former EastEnder Ste- fan Booth (Prince Charming), Eliza- beth Bright (Cinderella), Craig Anderson (Buttons) and, pictured, Stephen Richards and Adam Bor- zone (Ugly Sisters) . They were greeted by pupils from


Speaking exclusively to Downs


Mail, curry house ownerAbrusAli (62) recalled how at least five masked thugs barged into his home in Marden to demand cash and jewellery. Wielding knives and chisels, the


attackers ransacked the house for valuables, eventually escaping with an estimated £8,000 worth of family belongings. Among the haul was the jew-


South Borough Primary School and members of the media. The panto runs from December 1-31. For tick- ets go to www.hazlitttheatre.co.uk.


ellery Mr Ali’s wife, Muckbala, wore on their wedding day in Bangladesh, 40 years ago. Before they fled, the robbers


quietly, Mr Ali said: “I have never knowingly hurt anyone in my life, sowhy did they do this to us?” At 8.20pm on January 17, the


men banged on the front door of the Ali home, claiming to be Kent Police. At firstMrAli –who runs the Taj


Burberry Lane, near Leeds and Broomfield, has been targeted by waste dumpers for years, but in re- cent months, the problem has be- come more acute. Constructionwaste, rubble, hard


of Kent restaurant in Church Green, Marden– refused entry but eventually allowed them in, at which point they bundled him to- wards the living room and one held a chisel to his head. Mrs Ali begged the men not to hurt her husband and implored them to “takewhat youwant”.


core, windows and household fur- niture is left illegally – often strewn in the middle of the road. Cllr Gill Fort said: “Every month


we are having toilets, sinks and construction waste dumped in the village, specifically in Burberry Lane, where we are now thinking of installing cameras on private land, to oversee the problem area.” A recent event in Burberry Lane


saw a caravan burned out while a torched car remains on a footpath


CCTV call in a bid to stop fly-tipping


sprayed the housewith bleach in a bid to destroy DNA evidence they may have left behind. Clearly devastated and sobbing


CALLS for the installation of CCTV cameras to prevent fly-tipping on a country road have been made by the local borough councillor.


nearby, more than a year after it was dumped and set on fire. The church car park has also seen


areas including Langley, Otham and Kingswood. Water Lane in Bearsted and Pilgrims Way have also been targeted recently. Last year, Maidstone Borough Council cleared 911 cases of fly-tip- ping and this year more than 163 have been recorded since April. The approaching darker evenings will prompt a rise in illegal tipping. Cllr Fort welcomed a joint initia-


tive by the Environment Agency and the Driver and Vehicle Stan- dards Agency to clamp down on


many instances of illegal dumping. But it is a problem in many rural His son Sharif was ordered


downstairs and made to kneel on the floor. The couple denied that they had


any jewellery of value but told themwhere they could find £600 in cash in a jacket pocket that was to have been given as a traditional Asianwedding present. Mr Ali – who arrived in Keigh-


ley, West Yorkshire, in 1964 with his parents as a small boy – added: “They started turning the place up-


Abrus Ali, his wifeMuckbala and son Sharif were put through a terrifying or- deal bymasked and armed robbers


unlicensed waste carriers, but be- lieves the cost to small firms of dis- posing of construction waste at a transfer station is proving a deter- rent that is costing councils more. Cllr Fort made her remarks as


one of the borough’s closest trans- fer stations at North Farm, Tun- bridge Wells, announced it will be closed for 10weeks. She added: “If you go along the


line of increasing fines, they have to be enforced. A reduction in the charge or offering it free may have the desired similar effect.” Athree-monthly litter pick on the mile-long stretch of road through Leeds village produces an average 32 black sacks of rubbish.


Cllr Fort, who also serves as a


side down and they found a brief- case inside a cabinet under the bed where my wife’s wedding jew- ellery is kept. When they found it they shouted into my face: ‘Why didn’t you tell us you had this jew- ellery?’. “My wife whispered to me in


Bengali to say that we were looking after it for a friend while they went away, which I did.” He believes that he counted five


01622 690290 YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT


maidstone@martinco.com 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent


parish councillor, says teaching children about social responsibility and the issue of litter in schools will help take the issue off the streets. She believes with every household receiving a weekly refuse collection service, there is no excuse for litter being thrown from vehicles or dumped in the road.


ables,


See our website for details of our 'Bring a friend day' Tel: 07983266793 | info@wealdschoolofdance.co.uk | www.wealdschoolofdance.co.uk


visit www.amiga.co.uk or call 08000 199622


A world class dance teacher, teaching locally


men – who all wore masks and baseball caps – but is unsure if there were others because of the commotion during the raid. They were described as white with Eng- lish or Irish accents, police said. The raiders found other valu- including an expensive


watch, before leaving, but not be- fore they sprayed a bleach solution with finger pump canisters over


Continued on page 10 Home Alarms supplied and fitted News


Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper


FREE No. 250


Kate, 107, diesNews


KATE Hart, a resident at an old people’s home in Bearsted, has died aged 107, her son David has disclosed.


HELEN Whately asked the government to halt the borough’s housing scheme.


Morse found safe


MP’s Local Plan bid 3 Change of direction4


A BORDER terrier called Morse who went missing in December has been reunited with his family in Marden.


3


Plans for Dr Nigel 4 Castle woods sold


HOW Jo Loveridge left the United Nations and ended up as funeral director in Loose.


THE widow of GP Dr Nigel Minnet will walk the Grand Canyon for charity. 12


Jason Donovan date6 18


THE former Neighbours star brings his show to the Hazlitt Theatre next May.


A LARGE tract of woodland once owned by Leeds Castle has been sold.


Vicar’s stark warning


REV Steve Hughes fears two of his parishes are close to bankruptcy.


‘L’ test success rate


LEARNER drivers have a better chance of passing the test in Maidstone.


Obituaries 22 Parish Councils 34-35


ASH dieback has been discovered in Monks Meadow in Detling; Hollingbourne village fete stall- holder co-ordinator Jean Duffy has resigned; yellow lines are needed for Buffkyn Way, Otham, to allow buses through Imperial Park; rub- bish bins in the sports field in Kingswoodare to be moved over to the picnic area and rear exit.


THEdate for the next Ulcombelitter pick has been set; illegal and incon- siderate parking in Headcornwas to be brought to the notice of the police and crime commissioner; an applica- tion to turn boarding kennels at East Sutton into a site for housing was withdrawn; a fly-tipping incident in Linton was reported to Maidstone Borough Council to no response.


Crime Reports 36 Crime Reports 35


VEHICLES have been driven over farmland in Lenham, causing damge to crops; an attempted break-in was reported in Detling; a vehicle was vandalised in Bearsted Rd, Weavering; pumpkins were stolen from an allotment in Lenham.


Obituaries


Parish Councils 32-36 32


14


A TRAILER was stolen from the front of a house in Boughton Monchelsea; a quad bike was stolen from an outbuilding in Ul- combe; there was an arson attempt in Coxheath; the rear number plate was taken from a Hyundai i20 in a parking bay in Collier Street.


38


Comment 46-47 Comment 46-47


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