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Man who killed his father sent to secure hospital

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

A man from Barrow has been sent to a secure hospital for "a very, very long time" for killing his own father days after being wrongly released from a mental health unit.

Jonathan MacMillan, 28, had previously admitted the manslaughter due to diminished responsibility of his father John on Provincial Street in Barrow in June.

Preston Crown Court
PA Media

Today two expert psychiatrists told Preston Crown Court that Jonathan MacMillan was severely mentally ill and neither could understand why he'd been let out of the Cygnet Health private hospital in Kent.

The Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown, handed down an order detaining him in a secure hospital, saying MacMillan should never have been released into the community.

NHS England says an independent Investigation is under way but is "in its very early stages", and expressed its condolences to John MacMillan's family.

Rail staffs' appeal to track down three-legged cat

Guy Bell


A train operator has launched a desperate appeal to find a three-legged cat adopted by staff at one of its Kent depots.

Southeastern staff in Gillingham raised the alarm on Thursday after noticing Tripod had not been seen for two days.

Nathan Dove, from Southeastern, said: “It’s really unlike Tripod not to make his presence known around the depot. We’ve checked all the usual places, including our yard, outbuildings and surrounding roads, but unfortunately have had no luck yet.

“He sometimes strays on to the train with the cleaning staff, and we’re wondering if he’s got on the train unnoticed and it has left the yard with him on board.”

Southeastern staff have been urged to keep an eye out for the errant ginger tom, who wears a reflective yellow collar and is missing a hind leg.

Staff are also urging passengers and vets to alert them in case he’s been found somewhere or has had an accident.

England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones is to be a retained firefighter
As wicketkeeper for England Geraint Jones won the Ashes but is now facing a very different challenge.

Roman ear cleaner and tweezers found on building site

Guy Bell

Ebbsfleet bridge
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation

Artefacts dating back 2,000 years - including a Roman ear cleaner and tweezers - have been discovered at a building site in Ebbsfleet.

The items, along with a piece of timber and pottery, were found at Springhead Bridge which is being built in Ebbsfleet Garden City and have been removed for further examination and documentation.

The developers employed archaeologists at the site due to significant finds elsewhere in the area, including elephant bones during the construction of the High Speed 1 line.

The bridge is nearing completion and set to open to the public in the Spring.

Roman earbud
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation
Roman tweezers
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation

Ten arrested after Folkestone robbery

Guy Bell

Ten people have been arrested following a robbery in Folkestone.

Kent Police say they were called at about 01:00 GMT to reports of a disturbance at an address in Bradstone Road.

The police helicopter, armed officers and Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) were also in attendance.

Two men were on the roof of the property and several others attempted to flee the scene.

KFRS assisted in retrieving the two men from the roof.

Kent Police say an investigation is under way.

Kent and Medway 'struggling' with bed-blocking

Guy Bell

County Hall

Concerns have been raised over continual transfer delays faced by patients occupying hospital beds in Kent who are medically fit to be discharged.

A Kent County Council committee met at County Hall in Maidstone on Wednesday to discuss a report on the county’s performance over delayed transfers of care, also known as bed-blocking.

Bed-blocking remains a long-standing issue in Kent and its performance has been in the red zone for more than three years, since August 2016, according to KCC data.

KCC’s corporate director for adult social care and health, Penny Southern, told the 15-person adult social care committee: “Kent and Medway are in red as a (whole) system and so nationally it struggles.”

Ms Southern’s comments come after a KCC report, published last week, revealed that Kent patients, who were medically fit to be discharged, faced transfer delays of more than 5,000 days in August this year.

KCC’s target for the total number of “bed day” delays in August was just over 3,000, but this was exceeded by 2,201 days.

This represents a 63% increase above Kent County Council’s agreed aim.

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus: Police hunt women after stolen card used in Brighton spending spree

Kent Online: Rapper Stefflon Don's brother 'didn't need to' rob Yalding family 'because of famous sister'

Get Surrey: Villagers feel 'conned' by Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust over care home plans

Chichester Observer: Flood warning issued for Bosham and West Itchenor

Eastbourne Herald: Anti-smoking messages on loudspeaker at Eastbourne hospital to catch out smokers

Crawley and Horley Observer: Fears second Horsham dog dies of deadly disease

Worthing Herald: Lancing train driver given emotional send-off after 54-year career

Mid Sussex Times: Council boss Nathan Elvery has left by ‘mutual consent’

Brighton & Hove News: Father of the bride takes Coach House to court over cancelled wedding reception

Hastings Observer: Man suffers fractured eye socket in assault at St Leonards Warrior Square

Brighton & Hove Independent: Police name Brighton teenager who fell from Horsham town centre car park

Eight vehicles rescued from flood water

Firefighters were called to help after eight vehicles became stranded in 2ft of flood water in Tonbridge.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service were called to Coppings Road in Leigh at 07:17 GMT on Wednesday and helped push the vehicles out of the flooded section of road with the occupants still inside.

The road will be closed temporarily and the fire service is warning of the dangers of driving through flood water.

Man stabbed in car park

Guy Bell

Kimberley Walk

A man has been stabbed in a car park in Ashford.

Kent Police say they were called to a car park near Kimberley Walk at 06:25 GMT where the victim was found with injuries.

He was taken to hospital and an investigation is under way.

Man in hospital after stabbing

Guy Bell

Lower Sandgate Road

A man in his 20s is in hospital following a stabbing in Folkestone.

Kent Police said the victim was in his vehicle in Lower Sandgate Road when a silver car pulled up alongside, and two people, who were known to him, assaulted him.

It happened at 01:30 GMT on Tuesday.

Police are reviewing CCTV footage and are appealing for witnesses.

Today's South East news website headlines

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The Argus: Police say they have found a man's body in their search for missing man Aslan King.

Kent Online: A drunk father led police on a high speed chase of up to 120mph undertaking cars and mowing over a roundabout.

Get Surrey: Map shows green belt sites that could vanish from Surrey's landscape in coming years

Chichester Observer: A hardworking Chichester couple are celebrating winning the £105m EuroMillions jackpot from the draw last Tuesday

Eastbourne Herald: Eastbourne hotel fire: nearby roads to remain closed until ‘structural support’ in place at Claremont

Crawley and Horley Observer: More than half of Sussex Police officers report having low morale, while almost 80 per cent said they were dissatisfied with their pay, according to a new survey.

Worthing Herald: Fire at empty Lancing launderette being treated as arson

Mid Sussex Times: Fly-tipping in Mid Sussex has soared over the past year, according to new government figures.

Brighton & Hove News: A shop accused of selling alcohol to drunk people may have its licence revoked.

Hastings Observer: One of the most iconic music venues in Hastings is making a return with the re-opening of The Crypt in Havelock Road.

Brighton & Hove Independent: West Ham considering former Brighton and Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton to replace Manuel Pellegrini

Man arrested after woman reportedly raped in park

Guy Bell

The Vines

A man has been arrested after a woman was reportedly raped in Rochester.

The woman is said to have been raped in The Vines, off Crow Lane, between 02:30 and 04:00 GMT on Sunday.

The victim, a woman in her 20s, had been out with friends and was walking through the park with a man when he is reported to have raped her.

Detectives have arrested a 19-year-old man from Chatham on suspicion of rape.

Kent fire crews attending more incidents involving bariatric patients

Sue Nicholson

BBC News

PA Media

Fire crews are helping the ambulance service in Kent by transporting increasing number of obese patients, according to figures obtained by BBC Radio Kent.

In the past three years, Kent Fire and Rescue said it had assisted with more than 560 bariatric patients.

In 2018, firefighters helped to move 263 people, up from 130 the year before.

By 4 October this year, 175 bariatric patients had been assisted, according to official figures.

A South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said the figures needed to be seen in the context of about 800,000 calls received each year.

"Across our region we treat a variety of patients, many of whom are managing long term and complex health needs.

"We have a duty to ensure we have the resources required to respond to the needs of all our patients including those who are overweight."

How will it look after the December election?
BBC South East's political editor Lauren Moss examines the main issues in the general election

KCC pension investment losses as Woodford crisis deepens

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

County Hall, Maidstone

More than £60m has been wiped off the value of Kent County Council’s pension investment in Neil Woodford’s flagship fund as the crisis deepens.

A council report shows KCC’s pension holding was worth £198.5m at the end of October, down significantly from £260m seven months earlier on 31 March.

This comes just over four weeks since Mr Woodford announced his company would be winding down, which KCC were not told about and whose investment remains trapped inside.

KCC’s superannuation fund committee met behind closed doors last Friday at Maidstone County Hall to discuss the latest financial report on the valuation of its Woodford investment.

The Local Democracy Reporting service understands the KCC superannuation committee pointed towards the “volatile” nature of market valuations during the meeting, which some members said can fluctuate up and down.

It is believed KCC’s superannuation fund committee focused on more positive aspects during the meeting, notably the overall value of its pension investments.

The total value of KCC pension investments are £6.423bn, according to the latest figures, which marks a 3.3 per cent increase from January this year.

Children in Need raises £3.9m in South East

It's been another great fundraising achievement for BBC South East's annual Children in Need appeal.

This year our party was held at Allington Castle near Maidstone.

Whitstable Castle Halloween Party
Whitstable Castle Halloween Party raised £250 through donations, a raffle, an auction - and zombie musical chairs

So far almost £3.9m has been raised across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Thank you to everyone who took part for all your fantastic fundraising efforts.

Today's South East news website headlines

Pile of newspapers
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The Argus: Lewes murder: Man charged over Nicola Stevenson's death

Kent Online: Church faces closure after 900 years

Get Surrey: Major accidents causing hours of delays

ChichesterObserver: Sussex baby airlifted to hospital after she stopped breathing is to feature in national charity Christmas appeal

Eastbourne Herald: Eastbourne man jailed for lifeboat station burglary

Crawley and Horley Observer: Sussex Murder enquiry: Police reveal identity of victim and make second arrest

Worthing Herald: Bomb disposal team called to Worthing beach

Mid Sussex Times: Mid Sussex General Election candidates officially announced

Brighton & Hove News: Former Brighton & Hove Albion trialist goes into Celebrity Jungle

HastingsObserver: Inquest into St Leonards hospice fire deaths to reopen

Brighton & Hove Independent: East Sussex lifeboat assists as migrant vessel is brought to shore in Dungeness

All-girls car club picks up speed
The women car fans taking on the 'boy racer' stereotype.

Search for Kent's Bing Crosby

Bing Bong
Getty Images

A record label is trying to find somebody called Bing Crosby who is registered as living in Kent.

Decca Records said they are aware of three people in the UK with the same name as the "White Christmas" singer, one of whom lives in Kent.

It placed an advert in the Kent Messenger, promising a "five-star Christmas lunch" to anyone who could provide a birth certificate bearing the name "Bing Crosby".

Crosby, who also starred in dozens of films between the 1930s and 70s, died in 1977.

"When we discovered there were possibly three people called Bing Crosby living in the UK, it caused complete pandemonium in the office and we knew we had to do what we could to bring them together," said Tom Lewis, vice president of Decca Records, which released many of the entertainer's hits.

Severe accident: A249 Kent southbound

BBC News Travel

A249 Kent southbound severe accident, from B2005 Grovehurst Road Iwade to B2006.

A249 Kent - A249 in Kemsley blocked and queues southbound from Iwade to Bobbing Roundabout, because of an accident and a shed load.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Digger used in Co-op ram raid

Guy Bell

Co-op Cranrbook
Peter Rolington

A digger has been used in a ram raid to steal cash from a Co-op store in Cranbrook.

The JCB was driven into the supermarket on the High Street at about 02:00 GMT. Detectives are now looking for three people in connection with the burglary.

Nobody was injured but the building was damaged and a large amount of cash reported stolen.

The digger remains outside the building and officers recovered another vehicle abandoned in a nearby road that is thought to have been involved.

Det Sgt Jason Booth said: "We remain in the area carrying out inquiries and reviewing CCTV and forensic opportunities. We are looking for three suspects and a third vehicle that may have been used."

Councillors' behaviour criticised

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

Kent County Council (KCC) members have been urged to improve their behaviour at public meetings after the council’s standards committee expressed its “disappointment” over their conduct.

Several complaints were submitted to the authority over the “inappropriate behaviour” of some of its members in the last two months.

KCC’s standards committee was told on Wednesday that two of the incidents related to public meetings at Maidstone County Hall on September 19 and 24.

A probe into the complaints has been launched by the office of the General Counsel at KCC, although the name of the members involved and specific allegations made remain undisclosed.

KCC’s superannuation fund committee chairman, Councillor Charlie Simkins, said: “We need to be constantly aware that Big Brother is watching us.”

A total of 14 complaints have been made this year over alleged threatening behaviour, social media misconduct and failure to talk to residents over local issues.

But this represents a drop from last year’s total of 17.