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  1. Updates on Tuesday 31 January

Live Reporting

By Claire Cottingham, Bob Dale and Stuart Maisner

All times stated are UK

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Nicky Ajose

Swindon Town re-sign forward Nicky Ajose on loan from Charlton, while Rohan Ince and Jesse Starkey arrive from Brighton.

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Goodnight from Local Live

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

That's it from us for today, thanks for joining us.

We'll be back from 06:00 GMT tomorrow, staying with you all the way through to 22:00 GMT, with all the day's news, sport, travel and weather.

You can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.  

A wet and windy week continues

Sarah Keith-Lucas

Weather presenter

Make sure you have a brolly with you for the rest of the week. Here's my latest forecast.

Distraction thefts linked

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Detectives in East Kent are searching for a young woman thought to be behind three distraction burglaries targeting pensioners.

In the first incident, on 24 January, the woman called at an address in George Street, Dover, asking to use the phone because she had locked her keys in her car.

The homeowner, a woman in her seventies, later realised her own car keys and car had been stolen.

The following day an elderly man had his wallet snatched, suffering an injury to his face, when a woman knocked on his door in Foord Road, Folkestone, asking to borrow £20.

On Sunday a purse was stolen from a pensioner in Telegraph Road, Deal, after a woman in her twenties once again claimed she'd locked her keys in her car and needed to use the phone.

CCTV clue in arson investigation

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

CCTV from arson investigation
Kent Police

Detectives investigating several suspected arson attacks in Tonbridge have released CCTV images of a man they'd like to speak to.

The footage is related to an incident in Ashby Point, at Walters Farm Road, at 22.20 GMT on 23 December.

Throughout December property and vehicles were damaged in Crabapple Road, Cannons Lane, Redbud Road and Medway Wharf Road.

Woman assaulted by burglar

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A woman's been attacked in her home during a burglary in Maidstone.

The robber, who was wearing a black balaclava, escaped from the property in Boughton Lane with a quantity of jewellery.

The woman didn't suffer any serious injuries.

It happened between 10:00 and 10:15 GMT on 27 January.

Police investigate burglary

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Five teenagers were arrested following a burglary in Hersden, near Canterbury.

Police were called to a property in South View at 18:30 GMT yesterday.

A ride-on mower, thought to have been stolen, was recovered.

The teenagers, aged between 12 and 16, have been released on bail.

Conor Sammon

Kilmarnock sign former player Conor Sammon on loan while Scott Boyd and Joshua Umerah also join.

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Calls for term 'honour killing' to be banned

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

A South East MP is calling for the term "honour killings" to be banned because she says it diminishes the seriousness of the crimes it describes.

Stephy Mavididi in action for Arsenal's youth team

League One side Charlton Athletic sign Arsenal forward Stephy Mavididi on loan until the end of the season.

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Police still investigating axe threat in shop

Hamish Mureddu-Reid

BBC News Online, South East

Police are still investigating after a man threatened shop staff with an axe.

It happened at Milton Express in East Milton Road in Gravesend at about 19:30 GMT on Friday.

The man, described as white, 5ft 7in tall, of thin build and with blond hair, was wearing a cap, balaclava, gloves and black clothing.

Severe disruption: M2 Kent eastbound

BBC Travel

M2 Kent eastbound severe disruption, at J3 for A229 Chatham.

M2 Kent - M2 lane closed on exit slip road coastbound at J3, A229 (Chatham), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Water back on in Higham

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Water has been restored to 370 properties in Higham near Rochester, after engineers repaired a burst water main.

Higham Primary School also had to shut because of the incident, which happened around 06:00 GMT.

Southern Water says customers may be temporarily affected by discolouration or low pressure.

Severe disruption: M2 Kent eastbound

BBC Travel

M2 Kent eastbound severe disruption, between J2 for A228 Strood and J3 for A229 Chatham.

M2 Kent - Heavy traffic and one lane closed on M2 coastbound between J2, A228 (Strood) and J3, A229 (Chatham), because of debris on the road.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Maggie and John get in the Comic Relief spirit

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

BBC Radio Kent's Breakfast Show team are gearing up for #rednoseday

And we want to find out what you're doing to raise money for Comic Relief.

You can tweet us @bbcsoutheast or email

BBC Radio Kent's John and Maggie

50 years since The Beatles filmed in Kent

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

Today marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles coming to Knole Park in Sevenoaks to film the video for Strawberry Fields.   

School closed due to burst water main

Libby Sutcliffe

News Editor, BBC Radio Kent

A primary school has been closed today after a burst water main meant 370 properties were left with no supply.

Southern Water said they were alerted to the problem in Higham near Rochester at 06:00 GMT and engineers are still trying to fix the problem.

Higham Primary School which has around 200 pupils had to shut as a result of having no water.

Missing woman in Kent found

Police have located a woman who went missing from her home in Margate on Saturday, 28 January. The 60-year-old woman was located safe and well by officers on Monday, 30 January.

More medals for Knight

Ben Watts

Sports reporter, BBC Radio Kent

Canterbury teenager Millie Knight has picked up yet another medal on the final day of the Para Alpine World Championships in Italy.

The 18-year-old visually impaired skiier came second in the slalom alongside guide Brett Wild, to finish the competition with one gold and three silvers.

Millie Knight
Getty Images

Knight won the downhill event last week, before injury kept her out of the Super G event.

She added super combined silver on Saturday, giant slalom silver yesterday, before today’s success further added to her impressive haul.

Patient 'labelled drug user'

Tanya Gupta

An inquest has heard how a mother-of-three was declared well enough to be discharged from hospital hours before she died.

Sian Hollands, 25, died from a pulmonary embolism at the Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford.

An inquest at Gravesend Coroner's Court heard she was a former drug user who had been taking methadone to treat her addiction but had stopped for a few days.

Sian Hollands
Family handout

She went into hospital in November 2015 complaining of chest and stomach pain and had suffered an ectopic pregnancy three weeks earlier.

Her mother, Nicola Smith, told the inquest she felt the hospital simply labelled her daughter a drug user.

The hearing was told Ms Hollands was given an ECG and later methadone and the next day told she was being discharged, but at that stage she wasn't breathing properly and was still in pain.

She died a few hours later of a pulmonary embolism, a blockage in the vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs. The inquest continues. 

Rikki Clarke has rejoined his first county Surrey, from Warwickshire

With the 2017 county season here, keep up to date with the latest signings, departures and rumours ahead of next season.

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Tick tock, time is running out for the Gills

Matt Cole

Sports Editor, BBC Radio Kent

It’s the last day of the January transfer window and Gillingham Head Coach Ady Pennock says he’s still hoping to make signings.

He’s made just two since taking over at the club earlier this month – goalkeeper Tomas Holy and forward Josh Parker.

Ady Pennock
Getty Images

The Gills boss has told us he’s got a number of targets in mind.

It’s a long list, not a short list. We’ve talked to clubs and agents, and it’s a bit frustrating but we’re getting close now. We’d like to get some new faces."

Ady PennockGillingham Head Coach

The transfer window closes at 23:00 GMT.

South East Today presenter Rob Smith feeling 'pugnacious'

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Yeah, I'm not really sure what that means either - but Rob Smith is celebrating the launch of Comic Relief Red Nose Day 2017. #comicrelief

View more on twitter

Deadman's Island

Discovering Deadman's Island off the Kent coast.
Spine-tingling tales of a mysterious uninhabited island hiding away dark secrets might sound like something from the pages of a Gothic horror novel. But there really is such a place – and it’s only 40 miles away from central London by the mouth of the Thames.

How your donations helped Comic Relief

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

This year's Comic Relief appeal is launched today.

Here's how your donations helped here in the South East on the last Red Nose Day in 2015.

This morning's top newspaper headlines

A pile of newspapers

Kent Online: Mum’s fury over 'filthy' state of pool floors at Strood Leisure Centre

Kent News: Brexit will not stop Lydd Airport expansion plans from taking off, insists boss

Kent Live: This is how traders in Dover town centre remember the riots one year on

Severe disruption: M20 Kent eastbound

BBC Travel

M20 Kent eastbound severe disruption, at J10 for A20.

M20 Kent - M20 entry slip road partially blocked coastbound at J10, A20 (Ashford South), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Will it be a quiet transfer deadline day for Dover fans?

Matt Cole

Sports Editor, BBC Radio Kent

They'll be hoping so, particularly when it comes to their leading scorer.

Ricky Miller has already scored 32 goals this season in all competitions, form which has seen a plethora of Football League scouts coming to watch him.

After Saturday’s 3-1 win over Chester - that saw Miller net twice - Whites’ manager Chris Kinnear was non-committal on the striker’s future.

"Who knows? It’s up to clubs if they’re interested, it’s up to us what we do. He won’t go to another side in our league obviously, even though some of the other sides are throwing money at us."

The 27 year-old is arguably the hottest property in non-league football right now. The transfer window closes at 23:00 GMT.

Ricky Miller
Getty Images

MasterChef presenter launches Comic Relief in Kent

Ian Palmer

Reporter, BBC South East Today

As part of the official launch of Comic Relief today, MasterChef presenter Gregg Wallace has been to visit a sports club in Gravesend. 

The Dynamite Wheelchair Rugby League Club encourages both disabled and able bodied people to play alongside each other in wheelchairs. 

Last Red Nose Day, the club received a grant of just over £8,000, which was used to purchase new wheelchairs.  

And we want to find out what you're doing to raise money for Comic Relief. You can tweet us @bbcsoutheast or email  

Bookmakers' fury at 'flawed' gambling report by MPs

The bookmaker's trade body has reacted angrily to a report by MPs on fixed-odd betting terminals (FOBTs).

The Association of British Bookmakers said it was "deeply flawed" and called for an inquiry by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

The MPs are recommending that the maximum stake for gambling on the electronic terminals in a bookmakers shop is cut to just £2.

People playing fixed odds betting machines

Currently the maximum stake on the electronic terminals is £100.

The renewed call for a lower limit comes from the all-party parliamentary group on FOBTs, once dubbed the crack cocaine of gambling, which published its initial report last December.

Bookmaking firms refused to take part in the MPs' enquiry.

Campaigners in Medway have been calling for more regulation of the machines.


A man is killed in a crash after it is believed he swerved to avoid a mattress in the middle of the carriageway.

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Deadman's Island: Six things you wanted to know

Sue Nicholson

BBC News

Deadman's Island

The remains of dozens of people who were buried more than 200 years ago are being slowly exposed on an island in Kent.

Horror stories have been handed down the generations about the mysterious site, known as Deadman's Island, so the BBC's Inside Out South East programme took a boat across to investigate whether any of the rumours were true.

Lots of you have since been talking about it on social media.

Here are the answers to six things you wanted to know.

Deadman's Island gives up its grisly secrets

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Did you miss the fascinating story of Deadman's Island on last night's Inside Out?

Tales about supernatural devil dogs, and bodies buried without skulls on an island off the north coast of Kent have been handed down from generation to generation.

Deadman's Island was a burial ground for convicts who died on prison hulks.

Now rising sea levels and coastal erosion are washing away their final resting place.

You can see the full video on the BBC iPlayer here.

'This is going to be amazing'

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Meet the 11-year-old girl from Maidstone who's voiced an advert for national TV.

The Cake Kit Cellar Show

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Thanks to Joel for this...

View more on twitter

Well, we asked Kate if she does in fact sell cake kits on the side.

View more on twitter

I'm glad we got that one sorted. We can all move on with our lives now.   

Hospital trust experiencing 'unprecedented demand'

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Bosses at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust say there's unprecedented demand on its emergency departments.

They're appealing for people with minor illnesses to go to their GPs or a pharmacist, or to a minor injuries unit.

The Trust operates the William Harvey hospital in Ashford, the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother hospital in Margate and the Kent and Canterbury hospital.

The winter pressures that we're experiencing at the moment is a national picture, I think it's reflected throughout trusts throughout England. At this time of year we often experience winter pressures, there is extra demand, and that's why we're experiencing these challenges at the moment."

Steve JamesEast Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

BreakingFatal collision on Blue Bell Hill

A 69-year-old man from Chatham has died in a crash that brought a busy commuter road to a standstill for most of yesterday evening.

It happened on the A229 at Blue Bell Hill, after his Peugeot 206 collided with trees and rebounded across the road. He was pronounced dead at the scene.  

Police say a mattress was in the carriageway at the time of the collision, having fallen from the roof of a red Peugeot 2008, but it is unclear if this was a contributing factor.

It happened at 16:35 GMT and the road was closed until 23:20 GMT to enable officers from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit to carry out enquiries and for the carriageway to be made safe.

'Now, here's cake kit seller with the weather'

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Hmm, I'm really not sure she sells cake kits, but by golly we'll ask her... (mainly because we want cake)

But we do love hearing from you, you can of course get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email

Even if it's just to tell us that you think our weather presenter has a part time cake kit selling job...

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M25 Kent clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Kent clockwise severe disruption, between J5 for M26 and J6 for A22.

M25 Kent - Queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J5, M26 (Sevenoaks) and J6, A22 (Godstone), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened.

Check local traffic and travel reports for: