Tribute paid to crash son

THEfamily of amanwhodiedfol- lowing a collision on theA26 near Hadlow have paid tribute to their much-loved son. Tom Smith (25) was driving a

blue Vauxhall Vectra along Ton- bridge Road, at about 7.55pm on Thursday, October 25, when the vehicle left the road and hit a tree. Mr Smith died at the scene. Two women passengers in their

20s, also sustained injuries. Mr Smith’s family said: “Tom

enjoyed watching football, fishing and beingwith his friends.Hewill always bemissed and loved by all his family and friends.” Police are appealing for informa-

tion, including dash cam footage, or anyonewhomay have seen the car on theA26. They are keen to speak to the

driver of a dark Suzuki who may have seen theVectra just before the collision. Anyone who can help should call Kent Police on 01622 798538 quoting DK/SM/150/18, or email

Attacker ‘was trying tohelpbreakupfight’

ABURLYfather of three apologisedtomagistrates for lashing out inLash- ings Sports Bar inMaidstone after a fight broke out. Groundworker EdwardAdams

Mr Fairest said: “He saidhedoes

(35), of Quarry Road, Maidstone, intervened in a disturbance at the popular night spot to help staff. But intoxicated Adams, who

appeared in court in full-length high-vis overalls, hit Simon Reeves once on the head in an “unprovoked attack”. Prosecuting, David Fairest told

MaidstoneMagistratesCourt that at 2am on October 22, a fight broke out whilst Adams was out with friends. Adams then inter- vened to “assist the staff” in sepa- rating them. In doing so, he punched Mr

Reeves in the back of the head “in the heat of themoment”.

not know why he did that and he does not even remember doing it.” The probation service told the

court Adams was under the influ- ence of alcohol and does not re- member the full events of thenight. A probation officer said: “He re-

members there being adisturbance and trying to stop the fight, but his recollection is poor.” The court heard thatAdamswas

heavily intoxicated, and had been drinking spirits instead for his nor- mal beer. Normally, the defendant would

drink moderately at home once a week, sticking to his preferred Fos- ters lager, the courtheard.

The court heard how people

nearby felt scared by the altercation, andthatAdamswasembarrassedby his actions. Askedbythebenchifhewishedto

say anything,Adams replied: “I am sorryforwhat’shappened.” The court heard Adams had six

previous convictions and 14 offences on his record. He lives in a rented propertywith his partner and three children under the age of 12, and worksasagroundworker inCanter- bury.Theprobation service notedhe didnothaveanalcoholordrugsprob- lemandhadastable familylife. Adamspleadedguiltytoassaultby

beatingandwasorderedtopayafine of£382tothe court.

Knuckleduster thug hit victimon head

VIOLENT thug Louis Simmons has been jailed for more than six years, following a violent assault with a knuckle duster in Maid- stone. Simmons (24) left his victimsuf-

fering a serious head injury after the attack last year. He had been drinking in a bar

in Lower Stone Street during the evening ofMarch 4. When he left the bar, he at-

tacked aman outside, hitting him from behind with a knuckle duster, and knocking him to the floor. In an effort to stop Simmons

Work starts on STEMschool

WORK has started on the newscience and technology (STEM) college, which will be built in the grounds of Invicta Grammar and Valley Park schools inMaidstone. Workmen are cutting down trees along theNewCutRoad perimeter. Consent for the 1,200-place school was delayed after members of

Maidstone Borough Council’s planning committee raised concerns about the volume of traffic on the roads, bus routes and the loss of the maturewoodland. But theValley InvictaAcademies' Trust (VIAT) appealed to the gov-

ernment inspectorate and won, claimingMaidstone Borough Council had repeatedly failed to reach a decision. VIAT aims to have the school up and running by September 2020.

18 Maidstone January 2019

getting away, two men then con- fronted him at the bottom of Gabriel’s Hill. He threatened them with the

knuckle duster and shouted racist abuse in their direction. Officers were called and Sim-

mons was arrested. The knuckle duster was found close by, hid- den underneath a car. Hewas later chargedwith caus-

ing grievous bodily harmwith in- tent, possessing an offensive weapon in a public place and a racially-aggravated public order offence. Simmons, of no fixed address,

pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday, Novem- ber 16, and was sentenced to six years and fivemonths in prison. Investigating officer,DCEmma

Allison said: “This attack result- ing in the need for several stitches at hospital. “As well as the physical scars

caused by Simmons’mindless ac- tions, incidents such as these can often cause victims profound stress and anxiety, formany years to come. “I would like to thank all those

who assisted to bring thisman to justice, including the two mem- bers of the publicwho intervened as he tried to leave the scene.”

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