News Addict hid drugs in underwear HEROIN addict Nathan Seal attempted to conceal drugs in his underpants after he was

arrested by police, a court heard. Seal (35) admitted being in pos-

session of heroin of 20%purity. Prosecuting, David Fairest told

the court that on February 8, offi- cers were carrying out routine checks near a drug hotspot and noticed Seal on his phonewalking towardsMaidstonemarket. Seal (pictured)was taken back to

Maidstone police station, where a strip search revealed the drugs. Jag Takk, defending, told the

court the seized drugs were for Seal’s own personal use. They had cost him £35, and he had no intention of selling them. The court also heard Seal had

an extensive previous history of 13 convictions and 21 offences, two ofwhichwere drug-related.

Witnesses are sought after a manwas hurt

AMAN in his 20s suffered seri- ousheadinjuries inadisturbance outside anightclubinMaidstone. Kent Police have issued an ap-

peal to find witnesses to the al- leged assault at about 4am on Sunday, November 25, outside a bar inMarket Buildings. Agroupofpeoplewerebelieved

to have been involved in the inci- dent, which left a man in his 20s with head injuries. Police found the victim at the

top of Gabriel’s Hill and he was taken to hospital. Detective Inspector Robert Cox

said: “We believe themanwas in- jured during the disturbance in Market Buildings, near the High Street, and we know there was a largenumber ofpeople inthe area whomighthave informationtoas- sistour enquiries. “Weunderstand at least twomembers of thepublic triedtohelphimbeforehewalked away from the scene along Earl Street, thenviaWeekStreet andup to Gabriel’s Hill, where he was found. “Whilstwe continue tocarryout

enquiries in the area and review all CCTV opportunities, we urge any witnesses or anyone with in- formation to contact us as soon as possible on 01622 604100, quoting reference 25-0252.” Alternatively witnesses can call independent

the 20 charity

Crimestoppers in Kent, anony- mously, on 0800 555111.

Maidstone January 2019

FATHER Christmas will be helpingMaidstone Lions’ Club give away free toys to children inWeek Street on Saturday, December 22. He will bemaking the early stop inMaidstone – outsideM&S, op- posite FremlinsWalk – from10amto 4pm.

Helpwith rail complaints

THE first Rail Ombudsman serv- ice has arrived on local platforms. The independent body,with ex-

pertise in consumer law and dis- pute resolution,will step inwhen commuters are unable to resolve complaintswith train companies. Itwill have the power to review

appeals through mediation or by issuing formal, binding rulings. Customers can use the free

service if they are unhappy with the final response froma rail com-

pany or if their complaint has not been resolved within 40 working days. Christine Heynes, Southeast-

ern’s senior customer relations manager, said: “The vast major- ity of complaints – 99 per cent – are dealt with without the need for an appeals process. However, we and other rail companies are supporting and funding the Rail Ombudsman to build greater con- fidence in services.”

Mr Takk said: “Mr Seal finds it

disappointing that, despite the in- cident happening in February this year, it has taken this long to come before the court. “Mr Seal no longer has heroin

cravings and has not touched it since.” The court heard that on the

morning of his appearance at Maidstone Magistrates court on November 23, Seal had been drinking and arrived in court under the influence of alcohol after “removing one addiction and replacing itwith another”. Mr Takk told the court that Seal

is “alcohol dependent” and uses it to “calmhis nerves”. Mr Takk told the court that

Seal’s long-termpartnerwas sent to prison due to drug-related of- fences, and he nowlived alone on benefits. “Mr Seal uses his partner’s

prison sentence as a seriouswake- up call.” The defendant told the bench

his arrest was the “best thing to have ever happened” to him and he was trying to keep away from the old circle of associates. The court heard that Seal was

already in £3,497 of debt in un- paid fines to the court, and was ordered to pay another £20 on top of these charges. Seal was given a conditional

discharge of 18 months for the possession of a ClassA drug.

Students log in for digital

jobs advice NEARLY 200 students and teach- ers loggedin to the first conference in Maidstone showcasing digital career opportunities. Reflect Digital staged the event

at Maidstone Girls’ Grammar School onNovember 2 in an effort to address what is being seen as a potential recruitment crisis in the sector. An investigation found a lack of information on digital jobs, particularly marketing, with 51% of UK students aged 18-24 saying digital marketing was never or hardly evermentioned at school. In response, Reflect Digital in-

vitedguests fromstart-updirectors to in-house professionals, and agencies including Pillory Barn and Firemind, to speak to students andteachers about openings in the industry. Helen Grant, MP for Maidstone and the Weald, was among thosewho attended. Becky Simms, CEO of digital

marketing agency Reflect Digital, said: “Although students are using the internet, socialmedia andtech- nology every day, they are not aware of the career opportunities. “Our aim was to educate sixth-

formers about the career paths, roles,ways to get into the industry and to inspire them with some of our industry’s best speakers. “We have had feedback from

students saying it was the best ca- reers event they have attended, withmany connectingwithme on LinkedIn.”

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